28 February 2006

From Plato, The Republic

Any one who has common sense will remember that the bewilderments of the eyes are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from coming out of the light or from going into the light, which is true of the mind's eye, quite as much as of the bodily eye; and he who remembers this when he sees any one whose vision is perplexed and weak, will not be too ready to laugh; he will first ask whether that soul of man has come out of the brighter life, and is unable to see because unaccustomed to the dark, or having turned from darkness to the day is dazzled by excess of light. And he will count the one happy in his condition and state of being, and he will pity the other; or, if he have a mind to laugh at the soul which comes from below into the light, there will be more reason in this than in the laugh which greets him who returns from above out of the light into the den.

25 February 2006

Manon Lescaut

I went to see Manon Lescaut down at West Bay Opera this evening. Raina drove up from SJ and met me there.

It was a good show . . . absolutely gorgeous music. Truly. I'd never heard Puccini's Manon story all the way through before. And, there were some beautiful moments: most notably (for me) the Act II duet in which Manon and des Grieux are reunited. It is bliss for Manon - who begs her lover's forgiveness for having run off with another, richer man, but it is torment for des Grieux. He was heartbroken - the anguish written all over his face, and oozing through his body. It was just a beautiful, real moment - one infused with emotion, and then heightened to the drama that is verismo opera.

CPT asked me to record the performance on his mini-disc. So, there I sat, the mic discreetly hidden under the flap of my messenger bag, while on the supertitle screen the words "recording devices strictly prohibited" flashed before the audience. Heh heh heh . . . my own little rebellion! Mom would be proud.

Poking around backstage afterwards, it was nice to talk to colleagues I'd not seen in a while, and make new acquaintences. Just more opportunities for networking, I suppose. There were a bunch of folks both Raina and I knew in the show, and then I also ran into the bass from the Brentwood Messiah last December (he recognized me, but it took me a minute to realize who he was under all the make-up and wigs). Not to mention that it's good to show up at performances and hobnob with the conductor and director - just to remind them of your face and that you're still in the area. In tonight's case, I like very much the conductor and the director, so it was good to see them.

Networking is a necessary evil, for any profession, I think. It's not necessarily my most favorite thing to do, unless I actually know the people in some sort of capacity. I just don't like 'small talk;' I'm not that great at it, and I don't know, I'd rather do something else!

whew. okay. I need sleep . . .

23 February 2006

slice of heaven

I love this. I want to crawl up inside this quilt and just . . . be.

ahhhhhhhhh..... Posted by Picasa

Picture puzzle

Can you "name that airport?"

I'll give you a hint:

it's one of the airports I traveled through in 2005 . . .

winner gets ... um ... a "prize". :) Posted by Picasa

22 February 2006

We the people

I had to respond to my jury summons today. It was the first time I'd ever been called here in SF. I woke up at 6 (ugh) and had to take my car in for new brake pads before going to the courhouse for 8:30 this morning.

It was a gorgeous day, today, so making the walk up from SOMA to Civic Center was a nice way to start the morning. I arrived at the courthouse greeted by the line out the door of folks waiting to pass through a metal detector.

Down to room 007, the Juror Assembly Room. It was a good place for people watching, and I was reminded just how much of a melting pot SF is. Unlike my last jury summons, in Arapahoe County, CO, I was the minority (young, white, female) this time.

Young and old the jurors poured in: equipped with books, iPods, magazines, computers, or just a pair of sunglasses we gathered. By 9 am, there were about 100 of us waiting around.

Post-orientation, I was called up to a jury selection with about 40 other folks. The judge entered and told us the case would take at least 6-8 weeks. Twitterings from the crowd.

I filled out my "hardship" form, stating that it would be impossible for me to serve as a juror on this case. I have nothing against my "civic duty" other than the timing, which is what I told the judge: at work, we are just about to move and then renovate, so the trial would be taking place during our preparation and subsequent move. Highly inconvenient! I let the judge know I was happy to defer my duty until July 10.

I sat. And waited. And read. And waited some more.

Finally, after an hour or so, I got my papers declaring I was free to go. I had served my time. That was it, she didn't even make me defer my time. Interesting.

So. Lots of work-drama avoided. Praise the Lord.
-In other news....I was offered a role with GG Opera, which happens to be up in Marin County. They called me up on Saturday and asked for my resume and voila! It is for a small role I've already performed, and they would like to hear and consider me for a larger role and/or cover. Kinda nice, just to be called up like that.

-My brother and his girlfriend are coming to visit in a couple of weeks. I am so excited I just don't know what do to!! I am thinking that karaoke is in order . . . as for the rest of the time, Will has expressed his desire to have Dim Sum, but, other than that, not many plans.

-I don't know if I slept crooked or what, but I think one of my pinched nerves (leftover from a May 2004 car accident) is flaring up - I have had dull, throbbing pain in my neck and head all day. grrr.

-Mom and Dad are safely back in CO. I have some funny tales from their trip, which I'll post at some point this week.

-I think it's time to re-read my favorite books. I got the most recent installment for Christmas, but I kinda want to read the entire saga again. If you don't hear from me for a while, you'll know why - this is book number 6, and each is easily 900+ pages. :)

15 February 2006

Mental Health Day

One of my coworkers brought her 6 year old son, Jack, to work today. She walks in with him and says "we're having a mental health day," which I assume means that she is taking most of the day off, and that J is out of school today.

J's a great kid: very personable, smart and full of trouble, as most boys are. I had a good conversation with him about dissecting owl pellets and frogs, as well as how to beat the current level of Sonic on his gameboy. I was also informed that the square root of 9 is 3, and yet the square root of 3 is 1.7320508 (how could that be?!)...and then we shared an apple.

About 15 minutes later, I'm sitting at my desk, sorting through months of posting history, and Jack is happily running about the office. He joins AW up front at the reception desk and takes over her computer, while she works on the other side.

N, our former colleague from the suite next door, had come by to pick up some stuff, and she was using the reception phone to call a taxi. All of the sudden, I hear from my cubby - towards the back of our large suite, "Jackson, that's triple XXX!!!" and then several people burst into laughter.

Apparently, young J had been trying to pull up some cartoon site, but intstead ended up with porn. He was all...."but I typed in such-and-such....". All of the "adults" were trying not to crack up, and to explain to him that that was not appropriate viewing, before changing the site for him. But everyone was dy-ing with suppressed laughter.

Even though I was cracking up (it was funny), it's also a little sad. I cant' believe just how much is out there for kids (well, anyone, I guess) to get a hold of, but especially kids. Forget being attached to an umbilical cord, they are attached to the internet. Wow. Really makes one long for the old days of sesame street on tv, my lil pony, and the high-techness of Atari.

14 February 2006

Johari meme

From mathjedi . . . these are addicting, and I know you'll want to do one of your own.


If myspace used candy heart messages:

add me


ur hott

new pix



top 8

i luv tom

13 February 2006

12 February 2006

time capsule

I would just like to point out that it seems the 80's are "back". And all the people buying these close did not live through them the first time, so they just don't realize that striped, day-glow, gathered tights and purple shirts with pink-polka dots and heart-shaped buttons are both bad ideas:

My definition of Urban Outfitters: had 1984 gone out and partied too much, and then returned home and threw-up, this is what would come out of it:

11 February 2006

Hu let the dogs out?!

Around 8pm this evening, I discovered that I had been wearing my underwear inside-out all day long. I guess I had been in a big hurry earlier that afternoon, and just failed to notice until then. Inside-out knickers aside, today was such a fun day. For some reason, AZ and I tend to have the random-est things happen when we're out exploring the City. And today, we were not disappointed.

The morning started off great, thanks to "Will Farrell" and his cardio dance class, topped off with "welcome to the sex trade" (his OWN composition) as the soundtrack for our crunches.

Then, ran home to change, grab lunch & chat with DGS, and meet back up at AZ's house. Our plans were to walk to the bus from her house, and head downtown for the Chinese New Year Parade. I had never been, but every year I've lived in SF, I kept telling myself "this year, I'll go . . ." Today, I finally got to see the parade in person.

We get to Geary just as the bus pulls up. Excellent timing! As we slowly make our way down the boulevard, we realize that I could've caught the bus by my house - AZ could've called me when she was close and we could've just met up on the bus. This would haunt us later in the day.

We get downtown, and have a few hours to kill before all the festivities begin. It was a gorgeous day, lots and lots of people out and about. Perfect for people watching, too. AZ had one item on her list: to find a sundress. So, we went in H&M, Old Navy, Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters (see previos post).

We then went to what is quickly becoming one of our favorite places in the city (and one of the best ever for people watching): Virgin Megastore. Not ONLY were they having a $10 sale (hello, Pink Floyd? check. Roomie bday gift? check.), but they have excellent Illy espression up at the Citizen Cupcake cafe. mmmmm. We had a bird's eye view of all the people, and there were two adorable children up there, both with red frosting from valentine's cakes smeared EVERYWHERE. It was hilarious to watch them.

-After our coffee and pocky break ("men's" pocky, at that...) we headed to Union Square to stake out our seats. We scored excellent seats on Geary between Grant and Stockton, just prime viewing. We could see and everything. The parade itself was great: so many colors, lights, firecrackers and lots of different cultures all celebrating together. What a great SF moment. The highlight, however, HAD to be the SambAsia group. We heard the drums down the street...and could see in the distance a feathered Samba dancer. And he was good. And as he got closer, we realized....HEY, that's Jaime! Our friend and Salsa instructor!! So, we stood up and waved him down & he did a little samba for us & blew kisses! Random!

I also noticed that our Carnaval Float from last year (we had the only float on the peninsula with a working cage mechanism on it) was in the parade. No longer Jaime's L.A.W. float, but rather some corporate-sponsored float, it still had the red and gold papered inside Jaime and I spent hours working on. I was happy to see it.

As 2006 is the year of the dog, several groups were dancing to "Who Let the Dogs Out?" However, let you think the title of this post is somewhat uncouth, I will mention that there was a one Mr. Hu in the parade, and we had no idea who Hu was. So, perhaps Hu is the one, indeed, who let all the dogs out.

After 2.5 hours, our legs were stiff and we were hungry, so we forewent the rest of the parade. We walked to the metreon, had a fast dinner, and then decided to walk back to Geary to catch the bus. Little did we realize that the buses were not running tonight. So, we decide to hoof it up the big hill to California street, to try the #1. On the way up, we spotted a mariachi and a woman on their way down. Just as I said "Hey! It's a mariachi," I realized it was my friend Gustavo, from SFCM. WHAT??!! Running into him here was, again, random, but lovely all the same.

We reached the top of CA street, to find out that the #1 was not running, either. We make our way to Nob Hill, and pass the Vampire Tour of SF for the night (they go to all the 'haunted' places up there) and decide to take a cab to Masonic & Geary - - near my house, and take the bus from there. Well, that's fine, except we end up walking for a long time, since there were no buses yet. Eventually the 38 comes along, and we end up almost full circle.

BUT, before we reach AZ's house, we see a couple walking towards us. The woman is carrying a bunch of balloons, and is clearly having a hard time walking straight. They stop when they reach us and ask "Are you happy?" We say, yes, and inquire if she, too is happy. Of course she is, for she is in love with her man. "And I want to give you each a balloon!! We were just a chinese wedding, and we're not Chinese of course, but to be happy is the most important." Indeed, they were not Chinese, but Russian. And the woman gave us both a balloon: silver for AZ, gold for me.

It was a perfect random cap to our adventurous day. Happy New Year, indeed.

09 February 2006


AW had a coupon for FAZ restaurant, down near south beach area. So, we decided to go try it out after work today. It was so yummy - mostly Persian fare, but also pan-mediterannean cuisine.

We got there, and since it was so early, they sat us near the back, at the window, where we could look out over the embarcadero and see the Bay Bridge all lit up. It was a very romantic atmosphere, but, considering that we are both straight, and I'm seeing someone...well, we couldn't take full advantage of it, I guess :P

We had great pomegranite chicken...mmmmm...a glass of good wine, and tasty foccacia bread. Then, at dessert time, we had wanted to share this chocolate, caramel, heaven on a plate thing, but they didn't have any tonight. So, we both had hot tea (on the house, because of the dessert snafu). We were sitting, drinking our tea when the busboy came by with a tiramisu for us. He said "It's on the house, I've worked for the owner for 13 years, and it's okay for me to do this. So, please, enjoy." We looked at him all agog with our jaws hanging open.

We. Were. SO. Excited. FREE DESSERT?!? Where does THAT happen??

Needless to say, it was mighty tasty.

The best part? We hadn't told the waiter we had a coupon for part of our dinner. So, we totally left it with the bill when he came to take it for payment. He didn't say one thing, but I'm sure he was thinking "We comp'ed them all this stuff, gave them the best seat in the house, and they still give us a coupon?" I admit, I felt a little redneck doing that, but dude, they made their money on us.

We made sure to leave a good tip.

quick post, as it is bedtime (hopefully)

Is it just me, or do you find that - for lack of a better phrase - we here in America are afraid to "reach out and touch someone"?

I am so used to touchy-feely types of people: my family is very much a family that shows affection through pats (dad) and hugs (mom), etc. A majority of my close friends from home (Ty, Katie, etc) are very touchy-feely, as well. And another dear friend will punch (lightly) in the arm as a sign of affection.

All this to say, is that I realized how *foreign* it is - if you are in my demographic of the working 20- or 30-something, unmarried, urbanites - to have daily, human, physical contact. I was struck by this in a few ways over the last week:

1. I hugged my friend AW at work, because she was having a horrible Monday. And I like to give hugs, but I almost checked myself, in my head saying "is this weird...to be hugging in an office?" No, was the conclusion I came to. It's not!

2. Whenever I go get my hair done, I relish when the time comes for C to wash my hair. She washes it and massages my head. AH Heaven! Seriously, just melts the stress away.

3. If I'm with DGS, just holding hands = fabulous!

4. My friend Tamra used to always say that "A person needs 7 affectionate touches a day to stay happy and healthy". And she would walk around SFCM giving hugs, squeezing shoulders, hands, whatever. All in promotion of this maxim. And you know what? I think she's right!

Babies need affection - they need to be held, and not neglected. It affects their behavior and development. I think as adults, we feel we grow out of that need. But really, I don't think so. I always notice after a trip home or something just how much of that lacks on an everyday basis.

Interesting . . . hmmmmmmmm

08 February 2006

Leave your Problems*

*Lyrics by R. Quinones of M.O.V.E.

I've been listening to this song all week in my car. Besides the awesome drum action in it, I just really like the lyrics.

So...here is part of the chorus (used without permission, but note that all words are copyrighted by the aforementioned Ruben and/or MOVE):

The rain that stains you
Beats you down,
But will not drown you . . .

I feltthis so distinctly on Sunday morning at church. I had been in shock Saturday night, after talking to my mom about Will, and really couldn't react in any way. AZ showed up that night and she can attest to that fact. I talked to mom several times that night and throughout the night, but I was in a stupor of sorts. When she called Sunday around 8:30am and told me that the EKG and spinal tap results were normal, I felt relieved, but I still had not gotten through the initial shock of everything.

Fast-forward to church on Sunday, during which we sang "How Great is Our God" finished off with the chorus of "How Great Thou Art." It was a powerful time...the shock wore off, and I went from sadness, grief and worry to praise and thankfulness and humility. Tears streaming down my face...singing through the tears. It was an intense experience and felt very much like the "rain that was staining me" just might drown me. But, it didn't. God is good!

William is doing fine. He has an appointment with a neurologist next Thursday to try and figure out what's going on. He's thinking it might be migraines and/or something to do with his caffeine intake(!). Thank you for all of your prayers and support!!!!

One of the reasons 2006 has been interesting, has been that I am re-connecting with a lot of my colleagues from SFCM. I kinda fell out of that loop for a while . . . somewhat on purpose, but also just because of how life goes.

Anyways, I posted a little about this before, but since them God has really been talking to me about not being concerned with earthly judgements; for ultimately, He knows me and judges my heart.

Rather than being concerned with what poeple think of me, my professional "aspirations", my extracurricular activities, or my day-job . . . what really matters is what are my motives for all of these things? And even more, how harshly do I judge myself on these same things? There is a difference between living righteously and living in a perfectionistic manner. Is my life, are my choices, pleasing to God? Do I worship Him in everything I do? What fruits of the Spirit are evident in my life?

One passage that has been powerful to me this week is 1 Cor. 4:1-5

So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.
Thanks be to God . . .

06 February 2006

Update! updated...

The last 24-hours have been an emotional rollercoaster. I'm thoroughly drained.

But, a quick update:

I spoke to Will this afternoon and found out that the the spinal tap was negative, meaning there is no bleeding going on in his brain. He has to see a neurologist this week and get some more tests run to see if they can't figure out what is causing these pains. He was in high spirits, about to watch the superbowl, though I know he was tired and in pain from where they did the tap. (It took them 3 tries!!! OUCH!!!).

And, because I'm his sister, and I can get away with it, I think I'll send him this movie for his birthday next week. Hey, laughter's the best medicine, right?

05 February 2006

Brokeback to the Future

Stolen from Jen. Thanks, J, for the much needed comic relief.

Whew. And now I'm going to take a nap. Go Broncos! Man...just as long as the Steelers get their butt kicked, I'm happy.

Sibling! update

Will is okay right now. They sent him home from the ER, and we're now just waiting for the results of his spinal tap, which takes about 24 hours to process. My parents spoke to him at some point last night, and he was in high spirits, which is good. Please continue to pray for him, that the docs would figure out what is going on...thanks.


Please pray for Will. He turns 24 in 11 days. I just found out that he's in the hospital, for reasons that are yet unknown.

<------See how smiley he is? :)

Please pray that the doctor's would figure out what's wrong. Pray for his girlfriend, Shanna, as she is waiting there with him. I pray that this would bring them both closer to God - as Will has kind of wandered off the path for several years, and Shanna is not a practicing believer, either.

Please pray for my parents. They are not well. My dad deals with severe stress by becoming angry and pissy with my mom. My mom is freaking out, because, well, this is her Baby Boy.

I'm . . . well, the shock is starting to wear off. And, now I must turn to God and ask for miracles, and focus on the positive. If I stop to contemplate the alternative...I just can't even go there...Thank you for your prayers.

04 February 2006

Check this out

One of my oldest and dearest friends from UHBC sent this out. It will drive you crazy, but it is still really fun. And *really* satisfying when you get one of the harder answers.

I got 30/33. That means I'm a *genius* :)

We'll call this the Mad Skillz test.

And, for your brain-twisting pleasure, here is part two of the Mad Skillz test which I'm currently working on . . .

priere / prayer

que Dieu te benit...il te montrera ton chemin...mais c n'est pas a dire que le chemin sera facile. oh la, si j'aurais la puissance....mais c seulement Dieu qui va te proteger, qui va te diriger. La priere que j'ai pour toi est celle ci: que tu sois rempli avec joie - la joie de Dieu - et que tu sentirais le vrai amour divin. Et que les blesses des anness passees...donc que celles sont passees, et que tu pourrais sentir que t'es merveilleusement fait a l'image de Dieu, et qu'il ne laisse pas ses enfants vivre sans but. oh mon cheri, tous ces choses et de plus...mais peut-etre surtout, que tu saurais et sentirais que ton Pere s'inquiete de toi. -ecrit completement d'amour et du soin, K

that God blesses you....he shall show you your path, but that is not to say that the path shall be easy. oh la...if i had the power....but it's only God who is going to protect you, and manage you. The prayer I have for you is this: that you would be filled with joy - joy from God - and that you would feel His truly divine love. and that the wounds of the past, that they are past, and that you could feel that you are wonderfully made in His image, and that He does not let his children live without purpose. oh my dear, all of this and more - but, perhaps, above all, that you would know and feel that your Father cares about you. -written full of love and care, K

I am *feeling*

at a level where words cannot do justice to express exactly what or how I'm feeling.

While a bit frustrating, it's not a bad thing . . .

02 February 2006

Short February observations* (Rated at least PG-13 for you sensitive readers)

It's the first of February.

I walk to the grocery store before heading out to meet Alan for our trek to Berkeley.

I enter the front doors and *whoosh* I am blinded by an enormous mish-mash of pink, red, and white. Plastic, paper and glitter cascading down the shelves, forming a mass of cupids, hearts and lip-prints. Holiday marketing at its best. But, the part that stuck out the most - which actually made me chuckle out loud as I continued further into the store - was the ginormous chapstick display. There were about 30 different flavors of chapstick prominently displayed in a free-standing, pink, cardboard shelf unit. I guess there's an increase of chapped lips to be expected between now and February 15. It just cracked me up, though.

And, in complete contrast . . . at the opera this evening, as were we loitering around the lobby during intermission, I noticed yet another free-standing shelf unit. No chapstick this time, but flyers, rather. Free flyers for upcoming events in and around Berkeley. I literally stopped in mid-sentence when I read: International Clitoris Celebration. (Hyperlink purposefully left off). My first thought? "Hmmmm, maybe it's some sort of protest against various groups/cultures which persist in practicing female genital mutilation as a means of abuse and/or control of women".

Nope. Just a day for well...I stopped reading and gave the flyer to Alan. But you get the gist. Only in Berkeley, ladies and gentlemen. And so continues my love-hate relationship with the People's Republic.

Finally, in perhaps what could be called a real tribute to everyone's favorite holiday between MLK Jr. and Presidents' Day: a quote from this evening's opera, Verdi's Falstaff.

Bocca baciata non perde ventura
Anzi rinnova come fa la luna

Now, where's my chapstick? ;)

01 February 2006

Je vais au lit en cinq...

mais, a ce moment je voudrais penser/reflechir un peu en francais parce que demain, je parlerai avec Raeeka pour une heure, en francais. Elle a une audition en france en ...deux semaines, je pense, et elle m'a demande' de lui aider un peu.

pff...il ya trop de temps depuis que j'avais parle' francais avec une autre personne. bah, c pas la meme qu'avec un vrai francais..mais....ca va

euuuhhhhh peut-etre je trouverai un autre cours a l'alliance francais pendant l'ete. ca sera impossible avant ca, je pense...mais je me commence a trouver en moi meme qu'il existe un......bon, qu'il me manque qqchose.....pour la plus part, je suis si heureuse, mais j'ai envie de rattraper la capacite de parler plus come avant...

de plus...je dois une idee' pour mardi en quinze...je dois reflechir un peu plus...

bon ca fait 5 minutes....bonne nuit et bons reves a vous tous: mes amis que j'aime sans reservations ni conditions; et quand meme les etrangers qui cherchent un peu d'amitie' aussi . . .