30 December 2008

back in the bay area...

...where the air is heavier and the crowd diverse. And homemade ramen
is found just down the street. I felt both culture shock and
comfortable relief overcome me whilst walking around town today. I
guess that's what happens when you come home after having been *home*.

29 December 2008

'Tis the season, still

We're trying to hold on that Christmas spirit as long as possible here. Drove back down from the mountains today and now have to pack to fly back to SF tomorrow. Ugh. I don't like when vacations end!!!

Tonight, though, we'll have dinner out and possibly see a move. I've not seen any movies this trip, which is weird, because I usually see a few over Christmas. We've just had too many fun parties to attend!


so today my mom took a nap...but she fell asleep holding an open water
bottle...which eventually leaked all over her. I am a horrible
daughter to admit that this was funny. Actually...she had a good laugh
at it, too - once she changed clothes...

27 December 2008

lessons learned

1. -4 degrees is cold.
2. long underwear is truly a blessing
3. no matter the temperature, if I sass my mother she WILL douse me with a waterbottle

26 December 2008


I am sleepy. Finally hit my wall, I think. But definitely had fun in the process. What is it about the combination of holidays and family and chaos that just gets everyone all riled up?

Nothing a shot of wild turkey whilst spiking the eggnog won't cure, say I! hahaha

25 December 2008

I'm keeping an eye out for Santa

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!!!

On the eve

On the eve of Christmas this year, I found myself singing Silent Night at a candlelight service, tears welling up in my eyes as my heart bursts forth with love. I am so so blessed with a wonderful family and amazing friends all over the globe. God is good, indeed.

23 December 2008

Dogs and babies and presents, oh my!

I spent most of my day surrounded by short people. Short, as in, under 5 years old. It was lovely. There were also four-legged friends involved (I'm totally allergy-face right now, but it was totally worth it). First, we had some family pass through on their way to the mountains. I got to bestow my "Vehicles of STAR WARS" book upon my little 4-year old second cousin. He was thrilled. As was I.
Then, this evening was spent at my "second mom's" house with her family and our close friends from forever...a circle which now includes my favorite little munchkins: Addie (2); Clark (1); and Carter (4mos). The only one missing was Lake (4 mos, I think), who is spending Christmas in Texas. (And yes - to the munchkin's mommies - it is one of my biggest joys to spoil your kiddos...it'll be a loooong while before we have any of our own in our immediate family...ha!)

All in all, a wonderful day...now time for a hit of benedryl an dreamland....zzzzz

22 December 2008

Life is good

Life is good. I'm here in Denver with friends and family and about to go have dinner.
Hopefully I might actually do my Christmas cards here (I dragged them here in my luggage, so they HAVE to be done.)
We'll see.
Hope everyone is having a good week!

21 December 2008

Friday...err...Sunday Five - Countdown to Christmas Edition

There are only five three full days before Christmas Day, and whether you use them for shopping, wrapping, preaching, worshiping, singing or traveling or even wishing the whole darn thing were over last Tuesday, there's a good chance they will be busy ones.
So let's make this easy, if we can: tell us five things you need to accomplish before Christmas Eve.

1. Wrap gifts
2. Send Christmas cards (realllllly late this year)
3. Cross fingers and hope Mom's gift arrives on time
4. Costco run for Sibling's party
5. Keep Mom sane

20 December 2008

finally home!

Sibling and I finallt made it in at 2:30am...whohooo...i went to bed
just as the clock said 5am. Sleepy time....

19 December 2008

Pray pray pray

One of my very close friends lives in Dallas. His wife just had a HUGE and unthinkable tragedy befall her family. I am not going to link up to the story. But it is horrific. Please pray for their family. Thanks.

I think

I will be able to sleep on the airplane tomorrow. Because I am going to be up very late tonight. Again. So. Keeping this real short!!!r

17 December 2008


Describe what goes on for you and your house and your family for Christmas:

My typical Christmas morning begins with my dad waking up everyone else - bringing us all coffee in bed - and scratching our backs. This has been the M.O. in our house for as long as I can remember on *any* morning when I am at home - not just Christmas. Mom usually starts a pot of grits, and we open stockings together (we all play Santa these days for one another). After stockings we eat breakfast, and then head downstairs to the basement where the Christmas tree is and open the wrapped packages. Peppered throughout the morning are phone calls from friends and family scattered across the globe. And music - we definitely listen to Christmas music.

The best thing about Christmas is being with my family and close friends. Truly, I have been blessed with an amazing community back home - and I relish the time I get to spend among my 'tribe' of folks. And the snow - I love a white Christmas, I have to say.

The worst thing about Christmas is some of the stress leading up to the actual holiday. Have you noticed? People get crazy; work gets crazy; traffic gets bad; the end-of-the-year madness sets in.

My gift giving philosophy is that I unabashedly give gifst. Little ones, big ones, random ones. Even anonymously. It is one of my love languages - how I express my love for people. I might go over the top some times - but it's not because I expect a gift in return. Just a "thank you" would suffice. Some folks don't really know how to react to that - but I think it is just a function of how I was raised: my father is like that. He is a shy man, so his words are few, but his expression of love is manifested through giving and his generosity. Both my brother and I picked that up, I think.

Shopping destinations: internet, Borders, cost plus, random stores as I come across them, walgreens.

Budget: Um...I don't really have one. I have folks I get Christmas packages for every year, and I try to get an even number of things for the family...but usually, I get something I think a person will really like.

Receiving gifts is not something I expect. It's not why I give. But hey, it's always nice to get gifts, hahah!

Decorations at my house are not up this year. We don't have a tree, but then, I'm not here really during the holidays. My folks' house will be all decked out.

Theme - n/a

The tree was fake. And was taken over by a mouse in the outside storage bin. And is now in the trash.

My decorating wish is to not have a mouse-eaten tree. Next year!

The menu will be traditional and potluck. As usual!

The vibe is loving!

Your best timesaver tips...uh. Can't answer on that one.

The wow factor could be having a white Christmas!

Preparing for guests over New Year's, actually, will entail decrapping the living room.

On the day after Christmas I'll be helping to throw an engagement party for Sibling and his fiancee. Yay!

Getting in the Christmas spirit

It is cold and crisp here - our high was in the 40s today - which just doesn''t happen here. Like, ever. It's strange, but every time I step outside, I take a deep breath and enjoy the cold on my skin. I can see my breath in the air and briskly head to my next destination. And the whole while? I'm humming a carol under my breath. 'Tis the season, indeed.

The weather is just helping the fact that everything else about Christmas seems to have snuck up on me. I've been seriously caught off guard this year. Maybe because Thanksgiving was so late? I don't know, but MAN, I'm leaving for home this Friday and I am just running fast and furious until then. But I can't wait. Yay!

16 December 2008

so wrong and yet

I can't help but love robot chicken on adult swim. It makes me laugh out loud.

15 December 2008

Fun for the whole family!

In random order - my weekend:
1. Wonderfully bizarre French film;
2. Brunch with Sibling;
3. Dicken's Fair;
4. Absinthe;
5. Drag Queen Christmas spectacular-spectacular;
6. Fancy-schmancy dress up party at City Hall for a tech company;
7. Rehearsal (including, but not limited to, my hitting on a mannequin);
8. Finding out that yes, a female burlesque performer *will* do a striptease for her audience, even if said audience is completely made up of gay men and straight women;
9. Finding out that there *are* such things as Santa Hat pasties (see #8, above);
10. Four full champagne flutes spilling makes a big mess. Especially if you are the recipient of said mess and you are dressed up for a fancy-schmancy party at City Hall;
11. Downtown at Christmas time is one sure way to get an instant dose of Christmas-spirit. People, lites, music and decorations everywhere!

13 December 2008


my aunt is responding to antibiotics used in the treatment of ecoli
bacteria...so we think that is what wa causing the intestinal
bleeding...which, int the grand scheme of things, is much less serious
than some of the alternatives! She is still in the hospital for now.
Thank you all for the prayers!


My Aunt went into the ER yesterday morning - docs don't know what's wrong just yet. Hopefully will find out soon. (All I know is she has had some major blood loss....possibly something like diverticulits? Not sure.)

She lives in Shreveport...divorced...her son lives in DC...so, she doesn't have family close by to her. However, she does have some amazing friends - and for that, I am immensely grateful.

12 December 2008

Friday Five - Windows of the Soul

1. What color are your beautiful eyes? Did you inherit them from or pass them on to anyone in your family? Mine are blue - like both my mother and father. My sibling? He has hazel eyes...go figure.

2. What color eyes would you choose if you could change them? Purple!

3. Do you wear glasses or contacts? What kind? Like 'em or hate 'em?Soft Contacts. I can't see anything without them. I also have glasses, but prefer the contacts.

4. Ever had, or contemplated, laser surgery? Happy with the results?Contemplated, yes, but my astigmatism is so bad that even with laser surgery, I'd still have to wear corrective lenses!

5. Do you like to look people in the eye, or are you more eye-shy?Depends on the situation. If I'm really nervous, I can be eye-shy.

Bonus question: Share a poem, song, or prayer that relates to eyes and seeing. In Your Eyes, by Peter Gabriel. Still my all-time favorite song.

borrowing a post

...from Buck today, since it is late and I cannot string more than one sentence together...ha!

100 Things I've done/not done.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris (lived there)
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (Only if Louisiana counts!)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (I guess?...odd question)

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (Snorkeling)

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar

72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (assuming fish count)
88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous (George Burns)
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cellphone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

10 December 2008


I didn't end up going to the fancy-dancy event tonight, afterall. I was going too, but then got caught up doing other stuff.

And, by other stuff, I mean singing Christmas songs up at the SF VA Hospital. A bunch of us went and sang in the convalescent home part of the campus - and it was a great night. Lots of the guys staying up there couldn't get out of bed, but they joined right in the singing when we went to see them. Many had special requests, and Silent Night was probably our most-requested carol. It was fun to sing and talk with the folks (staff and patients alike) at the VA. It was not all fun and games, though - some of it made my insides melt. Watching people tear up because you've stopped to thank them and bring them a little holiday cheer . . . that is touching.

I was going to attempt to go to the VA, then head home to change into formalwear and head out to the fancy party...but...that didn't happen. I got home at 10pm - and the party is an hour away from my house. AND, I wouldn't have been able to drink some liquid courage once I got there since I'm still on antibiotics for an ear/sinus infection. The bonus part was that since I came home instead of going back out to BFE, I had the opportunity to talk with M on the phone prior to his final departure from SF tomorrow morning. Alas and alack, am once again reminded of just how transient a city this is - that and I still hate saying goodbye to people.


Tomorrow night, I'm supposed to go to a swankity swank party being held in the East Bay as a fundraiser for a local theater company I work with a lot here. I'm looking forward to it just by virtue of the fact that I get to get all gussied up.

However...networking? Networking and schmoozing do not come naturally to me. They are definitely nurture not nature for me. But I'm hoping that a glass of wine will help in the department....heh!

07 December 2008

Goes with the territory

And people think that opera singers are a bit inclined toward the dramatic...check out our most famous audience in the world.

Sometimes I marvel that I am not more crazy than I am. Seriously.

sometimes you're in, sometimes you're out

(Or so I'm told).

What do cupcakes, cardboard dioramas and Heidi Klum cut-outs have to do with each other? These magical items all add up to create "project cupcake birthday extravaganza."

AZ had a vision of a design-your-own cupcake competition, and I think we can say that said vision was fulfilled this evening. You'd think you'd entered an elementary school bake sale - not a room full of 30somethings - the way we were carrying on with those toppings! It was fantastic.

I took a few pics, and will upload them soon.
My favorites were:
Darth Vader
The Spanish and French Armadas (oh yes)
The one with broccoli coming out of it

Good times had by all.

04 December 2008

The Christmas Letter

Two years ago, I started writing "The Christmas Letter" update. I never thought I would ever do that, but I did. And a lot of my family and far-away friends liked reading it.

I've been trying to write this years, but I got nothing so far. I think I was too witty the first time - set the bar too high hahaha.

Or, it could be that I'm not feeling so hot.

Oh well. I'm going to sleep on it. Gotta big weekend ahead!

03 December 2008

I still

I still can't believe that it is December already.

In that vein - some music for you:

02 December 2008

This photo would definitely be worth 1,000 words

My father is a big fan of velour jogging suits - they are his ideal after-work outfit during the winter months. In fact, I cannot remember a time when he did NOT sport these suits - they are as much a part of my dad as are his moustache or ponytail. (And to those Sopranos fans out there - my dad is quite the antithesis of a Mobster...merely a coincidence in clothing choice. But I digress.)

When I was home this last weekend, Dad donned one of his trademark velour ensembles. However, upon further inspection, I noticed that the top and bottom pieces did not match. Clearly, this was not a mistake - my father always wears matching sets - and never mixes and matches. I commented upon the brown/white top with the dark blue pants, and asked where his brown pants were...

"Oh, well, your mother cut them off just below the knees and I don't have them anymore."

"What? Why on earth did she do that?"

"Because I was Carmelo Anthony."

"I'm sorry . . . what did you just say?"

"We had a Sunday School costume party, and I dressed as Carmelo Anthony - and those were my basketball shorts."


(Mom chirping in): "He had long shorts, a Nuggets shirt and wore his doo-rag." [Yes, my father has an *actual* doo-rag, not just a bandana - I've seen it in action.]

"Was this for Halloween?"

"Ooh, no. This was back in the Spring - we just had a costume party. And I took [Sibling's] basketball with me and bounced it around. It was fun!"

"Well, what did mom go as?"

"Oh...I don't remember. She had on some crazy wig."

"And you were Carmelo Anthony..."


All I have to say is that I come by "teh silly" honestly. And perhaps my love of costumery is genetic, as well :)

in another world, far, far away

Our family has another very close family friend who just deployed out to the desert last month. I got the news today that 2 men in his (Marine) unit were KIA.

So, if you think about it, send up a prayer for J and his family back here in the states (wife L and three kiddos)...he's a Navy doc with said Marine unit and things are off to a heavy start.