Taking a break from blogging. will resume G.I.S.T. and everything else when I come back.

Year in Review

In 2008 I...
Lost a dear family friend.
Lost my grandmother.
Survived the worst bout of depression of my entire life.
Adopted the sweet and adorable Marlowe.
Got my first ipod.
Became totally addicted to the ipod.
Went to Albuquerque.
Learned to apply makeup correctly.
Threw water balloons with Justin.
Celebrated my 27th birthday.
Celebrated my 2nd wedding anniversary.
Battled with health insurance.
Went to Seattle.
Saw a burlesque show.
Became a ChaCha guide.
Bought the first swimsuit I've ever looked good in.
Lost 30 pounds.
Finally started to enjoy exercise. Even if it's still not my favorite thing.
Quit a job that I hated.
Spent a month in California.
Carved my first recognizable picture into a pumpkin.
Voted for a president that actually won.
Stood on a street corner and waved a sign for marriage equality.
Started Grace in Small Things.
Started substituting.
Surprisingly, loved substituting.
Learned to crochet.
Learned to knit (sort of).
Found pieces of my personality that I thought I'd lost.
Learned to cook a few good things.
Sold my first freelance article.
Posted 195 blog entries.
And for the first time in my personal history, I went an entire year without spraining my ankle.

G.I.S.T. 37:365

1. Surviving a tough year.
2. Enjoying large parts of a tough year.
3. The smell of roast cooking.
4. Frosted Mini-wheats.

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in 365 Days of Grace in Small Things.


I got these beautiful (and tiny, about the size of an egg) Forelle pears at the grocery store yesterday. Don't they look like something out of a fairy tale? The picture totally doesn't do them justice.

I found an old camera that my mother gave me at some point to replace my broken one until we can get a new one. It's actually better than the one I was using (which I didn't realize when I stuffed it in a drawer), but it doesn't fit in my pocket like the other one did. Oh well, it works for now, anyway.

I spent the day cleaning my house (after spending yesterday cleaning at my aunt's), and it feels so good for it to be all clean and sparkling. I also did 5 loads of laundry (Yay, clothes!) and cleaned out my closet (Yay, a place to put the clothes!). So, overall, it's beena pretty good day. I'm super exhausted now and insanely sore, but at least I'll sleep well tonight.

G.I.S.T. 36:365

1. Beautiful pears (also, tangelos and apples).

2. A replacement camera. (Amanda, I promise I'll post pictures of my knitting and crochet tomorrow.)

3. A clean house.

4. Seeing the bright side of an aching back and hands raw from dishwashing. (Good sleep!)

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in 365 Days of Grace in Small Things.

G.I.S.T. 35:365

1. Being (not just feeling) super-productive.

2. Finding a Pei-Wei in Lubbock. Finally some decent Chinese food.

3. Having lunch, at a restaurant, with Justin for the first time in weeks. We really needed a "date."

4. My dad brought a chocolate cake over tonight.

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in 365 Days of Grace in Small Things.

G.I.S.T. 34:365

1. We had "Christmas" at my dad's house today. Food, family, cute kids and presents!

2. A new crock pot. I don't use them for very much, partially because my old one is too small to be very useful, but how great would it be to be able to wake up and have lunch (yes, I usually get up around lunch time) already done?

3. Noting that I'm prettier, and have a nicer body than the models that Leonard Nimoy used in The Full Body Project. D'Liesa got me the book, which I've wanted forever, for Christmas. Hurray for an ego boost and a great gift!

4. Making actual, huge, progress cleaning at my aunt's house today.

5. Realizing that Justin can pop my back on my bed, saving me a trip to the floor (which hurts my ribs) and the chiropractor (at least for a few more months).

6. The cameras I got for my niece and nephews are their favorite present of the day.

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in 365 Days of Grace in Small Things.

G.I.S.T. 33:365

1. My siblings will be back from my mother's today. The holidays can officially begin! (Technically, the 12 days of Christmas last until January 5, so we're not *that* behind.)

2. Watching movies late into the night with Justin, who I haven't really seen in 2 weeks. Nothing says "Christmas" like Sweeney Todd.

3. Learning to knit (not crochet, as it turns out, I'm multi-talented) a hat. (In one night, not 20 years, like that damn scarf took.) Pictures to follow.

4. Finding the most beautiful yarn I've ever seen. Hmm, never thought I'd say that.

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in 365 Days of Grace in Small Things.

G.I.S.T. 32:365

1. Great Christmas gifts from Justin and friends.

2. Christmas dinner at my dad's house. Amazing food. Piles of dessert. Mmh!

3. Wrapping presents. (We won't be completely done with Christmas until January 1.)

4. Finishing my scarf. It's the first crochet project I've ever finished, and it looks pretty good, if I do say so myself. (I'll post a picture eventually. My camera is *still* broken.)

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in 365 Days of Grace in Small Things.

Yes, Virginia,

Instead of my regularly scheduled Grace in Small Things, I'm posting my favorite Christmas story. The Santa in the picture? He's my daddy. *smile*

Eight year old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York's Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial September 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history's most reprinted newspaper editorial appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages, books, movies, other editorials and on posters and stamps.

DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'
Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O'Hanlon.

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias! There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus? You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. No Santa Claus! Thank God he lives! And he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in 365 Days of Grace in Small Things.

G.I.S.T. 30:365

I'm wondering if I should reevaluate this whole 365 days of Grace in Small Things idea. I'm on day 30 and it's getting old in a hurry.

1. Finally, after 20 years of trying on and off to learn to crochet, I've figured out where I've been going wrong and now I'm making pretty good headway on a scarf. I'm pretty sure that I can't follow a pattern, or do anything remotely fancy, but it's a start.

2. Having dinner with my family.

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in 365 Days of Grace in Small Things.

G.I.S.T. 29:365

1. This picture of Marlowe. Seriously, how cute is he?!

2. Putting on a fashion show of my new clothes for Justin.

3. Receiving a big box of presents from my friends in the mail...

4. ...delivered by the cute UPS guy.

5. Skin Milk lotion. It's the only thing I've found that makes my super dry skin stop itching since the magic of Eucerin stopped working.

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in 365 Days of Grace in Small Things.

G.I.S.T. 28:365

1. Feeling productive.

2. Soft peppermints that dissolve on my tongue.

3. Jewelry that looks like hard candy hanging around my neck.

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in 365 Days of Grace in Small Things.

G.I.S.T. 27:365

1. Shopping with my aunt today. Sooo much fun and lots of great stuff!!

2. Being a size smaller than the last time I bought jeans.

3. It's finally cold. Maybe now I'll feel like it's Christmas.

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in 365 Days of Grace in Small Things.

G.I.S.T. 26:365

1. Last night I had the best sleep I've ever had. Or at least the best sleep that I can remember.

2. Finding some chocolates similar to the ones that I got completely addicted to in California. They're not quite the same, but close enough for now.

3. Justin cooking dinner.

4. Getting all my Christmas cards mailed out...with, I think, enough time for them to get to their various destinations by the 25th.

5. Singing along with Mama Mia.

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in 365 Days of Grace in Small Things.

G.I.S.T. 25:365

1. I had a really good day at work. No one got sent to the office.

2. Justin calling me beautiful in the kitchen tonight. While I was crouched over and wretched after what can only be described as throwing my back out. Totally not beautiful, except to him.

3. Christmas lights.

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in 365 Days of Grace in Small Things.


We saw these candles in the grocery store a few days ago. They were alongside the prayer candles with pictures of Jesus and the saints on them and I thought they were so funny that I had to share. I seriously love the fact that they say 'Alleged Money Drawing' and 'Alleged Court Case.' As if someone is going to sue the candle company if they don't actually come into money or win their court case. If they're all that concerned about it, why don't they put 'Alleged' on the candles with saints on them? You know, just in case someone sues when their prayers aren't answered.

There was also this candle. I don't know very much about the saints, not being Catholic, but can anyone tell me who this guy is and why his hair is on fire?

These candles are counting as my Grace in Small Things for the day (24:365) because they make me laugh. I subbed at Middle School today and my last class was a bit discouraging.

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in 365 Days of Grace in Small Things.

G.I.S.T. 23:35

I'm a day late on this. Last night I went with my family to a Christmas party where my dad was playing Santa Claus and we didn't get back in time for me to do my usual post, so I'm doing it now.

1. Seeing how great my dad is with the kids. He truly is the best Santa ever and the children *love* him. I meant to take pictures and post them today, but I dropped my camera last night before I took any and it no longer works. Ptth.

2. Receiving a gift of my favorite wine from my friends Shannon and Matthew. Early Christmas gifts rock!

3. Taking the last of my antibiotics. Thank goodness that's over.

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in 365 Days of Grace in Small Things.

G.I.S.T. 22:365

1. Krab. Yes, with a k. It's better than real crab and easier to eat!!

2. A compliment from someone I don't know very well today at the grocery store. Complete with hug.

3. Seeing my grandmother's best friend at the grocery store and chatting about the place mats and things that she used to make. I really wish I had a set.

4. Corn on the cob.

5. Naps. (Yes, again. I'm still getting over illness and my medicine makes me drowsy.)

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in 365 Days of Grace in Small Things.

G.I.S.T. 21:365

1. Cake Nouveau

2. Maybe laying her head on my lap and looking at me with love.

3. Toaster waffles.

4. The smell of hot chocolate.

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in 365 Days of Grace in Small Things.

Birthday in Oz

Look at this amazing cake:It's from Cake Nouveau and is just the most perfect thing I've ever seen. I love The Wizard of Oz! The only things missing are ruby slippers...

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in 365 Days of Grace in Small Things.

G.I.S.T. 20:365

I can't believe I've managed to do this 20 times.

1. Sugar cookies.

2. Netflix. Girly movies in my mailbox when I wake up? Score!

3. Free Christmas cards with our picture on them. (Thanks Shutterfly!)

4. The vaporizer (totally sounds like a weapon), which has been improving my breathing for 3 days.

5. The total lack of guilt I feel about not putting up a Christmas tree this year. I was worried that I'd feel bad about it, but I absolutely don't.

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in 365 Days of Grace in Small Things.

Today's G.I.S.T. 19:365

1. Feeling much better today thanks to all the drugs mentioned in the earlier GIST post.

2. I was called in to sub a middle school PE class today. My first thought was "I'm not really qualified to sub PE..." but I went anyway and it was fine. Apparently 7th and 8th grade PE mostly involves everyone doing whatever they want to, (according to the coach who showed me to the gym). As it turns out, what they want to do involves throwing volleyballs and beach balls all over the place.

3. Chicken and dumplings. My absolute favorite thing for dinner.

4 A long nap this afternoon. Amazing.

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in 365 days of Grace in Small Things.

Make Up G.I.S.T 18:365

Yesterday I got two shots and took some cough medicine and so I fell asleep before I could post my Grace in Small Things list for the day. I'm going to make up for it by doing two today.

1. Coupons for free clothes at Avenue.

2. Rocephin.

3. Steroids.

4. Benzonatate.

5. A husband willing to drive me all over town to see doctors and go to pharmacies and put up with the super bad attitude that appears when I'm not feeling well.

Now for the bad news:

Is your cat plotting to kill you?

G.I.S.T. 17:365

1. The validation I felt upon being notified about my article selling.

2. Family members who can bail me out of a seriously tough situation at a moments notice. (Thanks Mom.)

3. (Legal) Narcotics provided by the emergency room to stop my cough and numb my throat until I can see an actual doctor tomorrow.


This morning I sold my first freelance article through Helium to a company called Life Answers, who I think produce those little leaflet magazines that they have inside newspapers and church bulletins and things like that. Anyway, it's a very small amount of money and a very small publication (they don't even have a website), but it's a start and I'm really proud. But not proud enough to tell you what the article was about, because it's a little embarrassing.

G.I.S.T. 16:365

1. Tylenol Daytime/Nighttime cold medicine.

2. Being able to use a banana in place of 1 egg when baking.

3. A husband who will go out and rent me movies and buy me soup when I'm feeling bad.

4. Knowing that I get to go to bed soon.

This Hurts My Feelings

I love snails. I love the slimy little trail they leave on my skin. I love the little antennae that poke in and out of their heads, I love their swirly shells...and so this picture hurts my feelings:

And now I'm worried about whether the snails survive the winter. Do they go underground or something? If you know, will you tell me? Also, does anyone know if the salt on my skin hurts them when they move across it?

And, before I forget. G.I.S.T. 15:365

1. Snails.

2. The feeling I got when they called me to sub today, even though I couldn't go.

3. My shiny new badge.

4. Hot Tampico punch. It feels so good on my sore throat.


I got called to sub this morning, but they hadn't given me my badge yet, and I seem to be coming down with something that looks an awful lot like strep throat so I couldn't do it. However, I was able to go get my badge, so when they call again, I'll be able to work! Unless, you know, I die of strep.

G.I.S.T. 14:365

1. The new soup recipe I tried today was delicious and came together with minimum drama.

2. Cold medicine actually took care of my symptoms and I've managed to breathe for most of the day.

3. Harry Potter movies have been on ABC Family all afternoon, giving me excellent background noise while I work.

4. My dad brought us plates of meatloaf, mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts for dinner. I've been craving brussel sprouts all week. Yum!

G.I.S.T. 13:365

1. The smell of cake baking.

2. The ache in my legs after getting off the elliptical.

3. Clean laundry.

4. Fresh sheets.

The Family That Elfs Together...

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

G.I.S.T. 12:365

1. I was approved today for substituting!! I'm going to pick up my badge on Monday and get to work. This is a BIG thing. I feel incredibly relieved and happy. The woman who I submitted my paperwork to today had my favorite Willow Tree figurine on her desk today. (see picture) I love this little statue because she just looks so filled with joy. I took that as a very good sign, and apparently it was.

2. Buy one get one free deals on things that I buy regularly at the grocery store.

3. Kristin Chenoweth's Christmas CD. It has my favorite Christmas song (Do You Hear What I Hear), which is rarely included on holiday cds, which makes me happy and it has some good original songs too. Plus it's Kristin Chenoweth.

Christmas Cocktail, G.I.S.T. 11:365

Tonight I invented a super delicious Christmas cocktail. It's also very easy.

1 1/2 ounces Vanilla Vodka (I like Svedka)
8 ounces Diet Red Cream Soda
Splash of Lime
Ice Cubes
Green Straw

Which brings me to my grace in small things list for the evening.

1. Vanilla Vodka

2. Straws. (My teeth are sensitive.)

3. Broccoli and Cheese Soup (Completely unrelated to the holiday drink, but it is what I had for dinner tonight, and it was delicious.)

Under the Wire G.I.S.T. 10:365

I nearly ran out of time tonight! It's already 11:30, geez...here goes:

1. Gravy on hard rolls.

2. Diet red cream soda.

3. A nap in the middle of the day.

4. A soft, warm puppy curled up in my bed with me.


Everybody cross your fingers, say a prayer, light a candle, make a wish or whatever it is that you do, for me this week. I've filled out the paperwork to begin substitute teaching and I'm supposed to go back to fill out my W-4 on Friday. Please hope, hope, hope that I get calls to sub soon. We're in a pretty desperate situation right now, and it would really be helpful if you could send a few good thoughts my way.

G.I.S.T. 9:365 The Best I Can Do

1. Now and Later candy canes. Delicious. Amazing. Pretty.

2. Barefoot Cellars selection of wines. Moscato, White Zinfandel, Pino Grigio oh my! And all the flavors also come in bubbly.

3. Brianna's French Vinaigrette.

4. Having a really good lunch, even when everything else is scary and wrong.

G.I.S.T. 8:365

1. Today was payday (for Justin)! We now have groceries and another month of phone. Also, our grocery store does this thing each week where if you buy one thing you get a whole pile of other stuff free. Sometimes it's not a good deal, when it's something that we don't usually use, we skip it. However, today the thing to buy was a lasagna, which we enjoy and buy from time to time. So, we bought the lasagna and we got (for free!) a bag salad, a loaf of french bread, a case of bottled water, grated Parmesan cheese and a spatula! It was a particularly nifty deal because a) we use all of those things and b) my spatula has gone a bit melty, and the one they gave us is surprisingly nice. So yay!

2. This morning the plumbers came and we are back to 2 bathrooms, for the time being. They fixed the gigantic leak under our bathtub, so we no longer have a swimming pool under the house, and no more bugs can get in through the drain. In the next week or so, someone will come replace the floor. Yay again!

3. We got a Christmas card in the mail from my mom today, which contained (drum roll please)..... Christmas Money! Exceptional, especially considering that we're dead broke (in spite of it being payday). So, that's some extra cash for gas and groceries. Awesome.

4. Also in the mail, I got a coupon for $10 off a $10 or more purchase at Avenue. Actually, I got TWO of them so that's $20 of new clothes for FREE. Hopefully I can replace the sunglasses that I lost on the stupid plane with this...or maybe I'll be a grown up and get some actual clothing. We'll see.

G.I.S.T. 7:365

This is increasingly difficult...and I had a sort of bad day today, but I'll try.

1. Watching old Christmas movies on TV.

2. Witnessing Marlowe and Maybe learn to fetch...they've always chased the ball, but now they know to bring it back.

G.I.S.T. 6:365

1. The fact that I can toast marshmallows in the oven.

2. Watching Marlowe try to lick a melted marshmallow off his nose.

3. FREE inhalers and Zyrtec thanks to my aunt. I can now breathe and get through the day without sneezing so much that I think I might die.

4. Realizing that I'm sad because I've been out of tyrosine for a week and not because I'm spiraling into a dark place again.

Ghosts of Christmas Past

I took the picture that Justin and I are putting on our Christmas card last night, and as I was comparing it to ones that I've taken previous years, I was really surprised at what a huge difference the little bit of weight I've lost (and it really is just a little bit) makes in my face...and at how much better my hair is this year. Check it out:

This is the picture for this year. The only photo-shopping was to remove the gigantic pimple that sprouts on my forehead every year after Thanksgiving, (I removed it from the other one too) some general skin smoothing (also done in all pictures) and to change the color of my shirt from black to blue, because my hair was blending in too much with the black. I'm not good enough at Photoshop to do much more than that.

This is Christmas 2007. Not too bad...but it's clear that a) I look better in my glasses than I do without them, and b) my jawline is puffier and my cheeks are chubbier. My fingernails are also better (in this pic), but they don't appear in the newest photo. Moving on...

This is Christmas 2006. At the time, I thought this was a pretty good picture. And it is, but you'll note the even saggier jawline (which is just a nice way of saying double chin) and the GAP between my teeth, which seems to be getting better on it's own. You'll also notice that I removed my forehead zit from this picture too.

So, there you go. Christmas pictures from every Christmas that Justin and I have been married. I know you were just dying to see them.

Grace in Small Things 5:365

1. The funny pictures my niece took today when I let her play with my camera.

2. Ambrosia.

3. Family members who can cook. We just had an amazing Thanksgiving. (Yes, I'm aware that we're a day behind.)

Almost Forgot. Grace in Small Things 4:365

1. The rain, when the weather was supposed to be clear and sunny. Clear and sunny is not Thanksgiving weather. This is.

2. Justin liking the disaster that I made for dinner tonight...and the fact that he was smart enough to come up with a contingency plan for me, when I didn't like it.

3. My brother rushing right over to give me an inhaler when I couldn't breathe.

4. ChaCha finally working the way it's supposed to again. Mostly.


A Poll

So, do you guys call the side dish that goes with turkey on Thanksgiving stuffing or dressing? My family has always called it dressing, because we don't actually put it in the turkey. It's not stuffed anywhere. I was recently informed that this is incorrect, so tell me what you think.

Grace in Small Things 3:365

1. A Miami-Dade circuit judge Tuesday declared Florida's 30-year-old ban on gay adoption unconstitutional, allowing a North Miami man to adopt two foster kids he has raised since 2004. (This is a rather big thing, actually.)

2. Knowing that even though things are tough right now, we've been through much worse, and it won't last forever.

3. Justin kissing me when he gets home from work in the mornings.

Down to One

So, Justin's bathroom has been giving us problems, basically since the moment we moved in, we've called the landlord, they've made some (what turned out to be temporary) repairs but nothing has every really fixed the problem, which is that the floor under the bathtub/toilet has basically rotted out underneath the tile. (It's a kind of old house.) So today, finally, an actual plumber came! And he knew what to do about the problem! Unfortunately, the thing to do, it seems, is to not use that bathroom for ANYTHING for about a week, while the swamp that has developed under our house dries out. Then we have to stay out of the bathroom for an undisclosed period of time, until they install a new floor and pipes or...something.

We do have two bathrooms, so it's not really the end of the world. (Especially considering that I grew up in a household with 2 adults, 5 teenagers and 1 tiny bathroom.) The bad news is that the shower in my bathroom is teeny. I'm not sure how I'm going to manage to shave my legs, or any of the other shower-y stuff that I like to do. I'm actually not sure that Justin can even turn around in my shower...it's basically a wet coffin. Ew. And also, I'm currently using the shower for storage, so I'm going to have to find a new place for my suitcases. But oh well, when it's all said and done we'll have a totally non-scary bathroom, with a new floor. Yay!

PS: I just watched Marlowe snatch a fly out of the air. Impressive, no?

Grace in Small Things: 2 of 365

1. This website: Tell Me What You Believe Now

2. The way I feel carrying my paisley corduroy hippie purse.

3. The massage Justin just gave me.

4. Seeing Barack Obama on TV and suddenly remembering that he's going to be president.

5. Clementines.

A Project

Okay, so I'm going to try something out. It's a project called 365 Days of Grace in Small Things. (See the button?) Every day for a year, I'm going to try to post a few things that have graced my life either on that day or in the past. I'll start today.

1. My dad bringing me soup last night when I felt sick.

2. The heaviness of the quilt on my bed.

3. How happy Marlowe and Maybe were to see me when I got home on Thursday.


This sign is in San Diego, CA.

It says: "Mission Gathering Christian Church is sorry for the narrow minded, judgmental, deceptive, manipulative actions of those who took away the rights & equality of so many in the name of God."

Be It Ever So Humble

I'm home. California was great, my friends were great and I had really good time, but it's also really nice to be home. I missed Marlowe and Maybe. I missed my family, and I missed Justin more than I've ever missed him before. So yeah, it's nice to be back.

The bad news is, that it's cold! I have a huge pile of blankets on my bed and a blanket on the sofa and the heater is on (but not very high) and I'm still freezing. The main problem is my bathroom, where there is no heating vent, and so it's very, very cold in there. Not exactly what one looks for in a room where they're regularly naked. But whatever. The chilly weather gives me an excuse to wear my new black peacoat and the hat that I stalked for a week on Etsy before Justin bought it for me. I am totally addicted to Etsy.

Today I went to Holiday Happening with my aunt, which is basically a huge "getting ready for Christmas" event, with all sorts of vendors. My dad was playing Santa Claus (he's amazing, it's really like his calling or something) and it was the first time I've seen him since I got home so they locked the children out for a minute while I hugged him and then the photographer took my picture with Santa/Dad. I'll post it when I get it. I'm really tired and probably going to bed soon, but I wanted to post an update so that you'd know I didn't get lost on a layover or miss my plane or any other terrible thing.

PS: I don't think I posted enough pictures from my trip, so here's me with a giant turtle in Chinatown.

And here's the big heart sculpture in Union Square that I love, LOVE.


This is the cupcake I had with my lunch today at The Model Bakery. Yes, it was absolutely as delicious as it looks.

The One Where Keith Olbermann Makes Me Cry

Please watch this. It's exactly the sort of thing that I was trying to say in my post On Eight, and couldn't get out this eloquently.

Magic Berries

These are strawberry tree fruit.

I don't know why they don't sell them in stores, because they are delicious and they look really magical. They grow a few blocks from here and I saw them about a week ago and didn't know what they were or if they were edible. After some research (thank you Internet) I discovered that they're not poisonous. The Wikipedia article says that they taste bad, but it's not true. They taste similar to plums, and the only thing people may not like about them is that they're spiky, and therefore feel grainy when they're chewed, but personally, I like that. YUM!


We saw W. last night. It was good, and since y'know, it's a biopic, there were no real surprises in the script itself. What did surprise me, was that I walked away feeling incredibly sorry for George W. Bush, which isn't what I expected to feel at all. I've always known, that he was in over his head, but it never occurred to me how overwhelming that must feel to him. How awful it must feel to be going down in history as a terrible president.

In the past couple of weeks, I've been very sensitive about...well everything really. I've been very emotional about babies and people who are being wronged and people who are in need. And now, I'm feeling sorry for George W. Bush. I think my new birth control may be a bit too high dose.

The movie, although many of the characters were poorly cast, did have an exceptional soundtrack. I will have Willie Nelson in my head for the next 3 days, at least.

On Eight

Because of my time in California the past few weeks, I've been very exposed to the "conversation" surrounding Proposition 8, the California constitutional amendment which bans same-sex marriage. On Tuesday, it passed, and people are, to say the least, upset about it. Because this is an issue close to my heart, and on my mind, I thought I should probably post about it.

To put it simply, Prop. 8 is shameful. It is not okay to discriminate against a person based on their sexuality, just as it is not okay to discriminate against them based on their race, gender, or religion. This proposition is very clearly discrimination. People are very sensitive about the word marriage, even our new president-elect, who I feel to be a very compassionate, smart, open-minded guy has said that while he believes in equal rights for homosexual couples, he doesn't necessarily agree with the word "marriage" being used to describe their relationship. I completely disagree with this. Marriage is a contract, not some magical transformation. Anyone who is over the age of 18 in this country is able to sign a contract, why are we taking that right away from people based on their sexual preference? It's like saying that a person couldn't have a mortgage if they were black, or couldn't have a car loan because they were Catholic. There is no reason that gay and lesbian couples shouldn't have the same rights as everyone else, except perhaps "because god said so," which, quite frankly, I'm pretty sure he didn't, and even if that was the case, we are supposed to have a separation of church and state in this country.

The government, by allowing same-sex marriage, would not be forcing any church to perform these ceremonies. No one is going to chain pastors to their pulpits and make them do something that they believe is morally wrong, but at the same time, the church should not have the power to determine which people have basic rights. The right to enter into a contract. The right to be married.

The other argument I keep hearing is that by allowing same-sex couples to marry, we are somehow violating the "sanctity of marriage." You know what violates the sanctity of marriage? DIVORCE, quickie weddings in Las Vegas between people who barely know each other and teenagers getting married just because one of them happens to get pregnant. If marriage is a scared institution, why are we so casual about it? (As long as it's between straight people.) Furthermore, the group with the highest rate of divorce in this country, are those that scream the loudest about the "sanctity of marriage." Isn't that interesting? Besides that, how exactly, does someone else's relationship effect theirs? Just because the neighbors may beat their children (they don't, by the way) doesn't mean that Justin and I would be bad parents. Why would someone else getting married effect the "sanctity" people at all? They should mind their own buisness.

Texas: Improving.

I'd also like to add that regarding the election, Texas naturally went red, but the race was much closer than I expected. McCain: 55.5% and Obama: 43.8%. Who knows, maybe someday we'll be a blue state...one can dream.



To quote Justin: Further enhancing his bad-ass image, Vladimir Putin now has a pet tiger.

As further proof of his tacky Russian sense of style, she has a gold, tiger-striped bed.

The tiger was a gift from an unnamed supporter for his 56th birthday. Prime Minister Putin says he will be donating the animal to a zoo or wildlife preserve, and that he thinks he'll name her Mashenka or Milashka.