30 March 2009

Emoticon War

"She's typing . . IT HAS BEGUN!!!!"

Here's the embed, finally:

economics - southpark style

(h/t to Nixon for this clip. Since giving up TV for Lent, I've not seen any recent Southpark episodes. Does it count against me now that I just watched this clip on his blog? It was well worth it - very funny stuff. Ha!)

Link: Economic Crisis South Park Style

27 March 2009

tagged by lea

I’ve been tagged by Lea Lea, so here goes.
1. Respond and rework. Answer the questions on your blog, replace one question you dislike with a question of your own invention; add a question of your own.
2. Tag eight other un-tagged people.

What is your current obsession? Afghanistan
Good fika (coffee) place? Blue Bottle kiosk
Do you nap? Not often - but a well-timed Sunday afternoon nap is just about perfect
Who was the last person you hugged? Sad - I'm not sure of the answer...oh wait...friends at rehearsal on Wednesday.
What’s for dinner? Thai food with the gals
What was the last thing you bought? Dinner for Sibling last night
What are you listening to right now? Thumping music from the noon aerobics class at the gym below our office. Every week we can hear it - and sometimes even feel it.
What is your favourite weather? Crisp and sunny
What’s on your bedside table? Clock, coins, lots of books, pens, a few small stuffed animals and mail. I need to clean it off.
What are you currently reading? Inside the Jihad: My Life with Al Qaeda
Say something to the person/s who tagged you: Hi, LeaLea!! Thanks for giving me something to blog today! hahahah :)
If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be? Paris
Favourite vacation spot? Rocky Mountain National Park
Name the things you can’t live without. THINGS? Does music count as a thing? Cellphone, keys, burt's bees chapstick
What would you like to have in your hands right now? hmm. Someone else's hand.
What is your favourite tea flavour? Probably Mighty Leaf's Marrakesh Mint
What would you like to get rid of? Lots of "stuff". Working on it.
What did you want to become as a child? A ballerina. And then a Marine Biologist.
What do you like better, e-mail or telephone calls? Either is fine. Email is usually the easiest way to track me down, though.
Why do you blog? I started due to peer pressure from AZ, and continued as a way to keep in touch with friends all over the place.

25 March 2009

Making it into the 21st century

My mom is a wonderful woman. A wonderful - albeit technologically challenged - woman. She'll be ther first to admit it. Time and time again have I, Sibling, and even S explained to Ma how an email attachment works, how a text message works, how to get pictures off the digital camera and onto the laptop, etc . . . only to be met with the same questions over and over. Same with my Dad. Which is fine. Emailing they've got down pat, so, that's a step in the right direction.

Fast-forward to last night, when my cell phone beeped at me, indicating that I had a new text message:

From: Mom

obama made me so mad i am learning to text
I just about died laughing. As did Sibling when I showed him the text. It was completely out of the blue and captures my mother in a nutshell - fiesty and when provoked, eager to overcome whatever obstacle (in this case - texting) happens to be in her way. Leave it to Obama (and Fox News - Ma wanted to text in a vote on something) to get my mom to text. CHANGE, indeed.

24 March 2009

Baby Boom, part deux

In the past two weeks, my best friend from 4th grade through college had her first baby (Baby Ethan); one of my best friends here had her first baby (Baby Abigail); and my cousin gave birth to her second son yesterday (Baby Maxwell). To my knowledge, I have at least three other friends expecting this year (if not more). ‘tis the season, indeed – or, as one friend put it, I must’ve had a lot of friends who were awfully bored last summer and fall. HA! In any case, I am thrilled to welcome such dear little ones to the world. More kids for me to spoil ;)

After talking to my mom about Baby Ethan being born, she asks me “Are you *ever* going to have any babies of your own? You’d be SUCH a good mom!” The anxious pleading in her voice was unmistakable. I told her that Sibling and S would have the grandbaby front covered long before I did, especially given that if it were solely up to her, S would have all her kids before she turns 30 – still 5 years away for her.

I understand that my mom just wants me to be happy, and that her concept of happiness is based on her experience of getting married right out of college and eventually having kids. I *get* that, and have carried around those…expectations…since I was in high school. And, as dark as it sounds, I know that her health problems often cause her to wonder whether or not she’ll even be around to ever see me get married, much less meet any future grand-kiddos.

Most days, I’m able to roll with her motherly concern and get on with my life. But other days, I get real tired of it and am awfully short with her. Ahhhhh….the dynamics of the mother-daughter relationship. Never boring, that’s for sure!

23 March 2009

other news

I found out my cousin and her family are moving to Japan this summer - or rather, the Navy is moving them - for the next few years. I think I'll have to go visit, if I can. Shoot. I'm already on the West Coast - that's half the flight, right there ;)

Things to be thankful for last week - in random order

1. Two good friends both gave birth to healthy babies. YAY!
2. Speaking at Career Day wasn't nearly so nerve-wracking as I thought it would be.
3. That so-called horrid winter storm we were supposed to get on Saturday? Didn't happen, which meant hiking in the Headlands was a go!
4. Simultaneous waltzing and singing is a challenge. Especially after drinking champagne. But a fun challenge, nevertheless.
5. Point Bonita is really quite...bonita.
6. Cheesesteak
7. Feeling at the end of my rope, only to realize - with relief - that I'm nowhere near to the end.
8. The Darkness, The Beatles and Yonder Mountain String Band
9. Catching up
10. Setting sights on vacation time!

18 March 2009

End to Stop Loss Announced - Ryan Phillippe is screwed.

Oh. Wait. Not that Stop Loss.

From the DOD today:

March 18, 2009
End to Stop Loss Announced

The Department of Defense announced today a comprehensive plan to eliminate the current use of Stop Loss, while retaining the authority for future use under extraordinary circumstances. This is an important step along the path in adapting the Army into an expeditionary force.

The Army Reserve and Army National Guard will mobilize units without employing Stop Loss beginning in August and September 2009, respectively. The Regular (active duty) Army will deploy its first unit without Stop Loss by January 2010.

For soldiers Stop Lossed during fiscal 2009, the department will provide a monthly payment of $500. Until the department is able to eliminate Stop Loss altogether, this payment will serve as an interim measure to help mitigate its effects.

“Stop Loss disrupts the plans of those who have served their intended obligation. As such, it is employed only when necessary to ensure minimal staffing in deploying units, when needed to ensure safe and effective unit performance,” said Bill Carr, deputy under secretary of defense for military personnel policy. “It is more easily rationalized in the early stages of conflict when events are most dynamic; but tempo changes in this war have frustrated our efforts to end it altogether.”

The department intends to provide Stop Loss Special Pay to eligible service members until the point of separation or retirement, to include that time spent on active duty in recovery following redeployment. Stop Loss Special Pay will begin on the date of implementation, and will take effect for those impacted on or after Oct. 1, 2008.

Stop Loss Special Pay implements the authority granted by Section 8116 of the “Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriation Act, 2009.” The appropriation is available to secretaries of the military departments only to provide Special Pay during fiscal 2009.

I don't know about you, but I think this is good news! Now...what about the IRR?

Sheep Art

Trust me. You will not be disappointed with this. There is music, too, so listen with your volume up.

13 March 2009

Friday Five: Mid-Lent Check-In

1. Did you give up, or take on, anything special for Lent this year? I gave up watching TV.

2. Have you been able to stay with your original plans, or has life gotten in the way? Pretty much, yes. Though I did watch part of the news the other night.

3. Has God had any surprising blessings for you during this Lent? I have rediscovered listening to music just for the sole purpose of listening to music without any other distractions. And not just having it as background to other activities - but actively listening to it - which I have not done in a very long time.

4. What is on your inner and/or outer agenda for the remainder of Lent and Holy Week?
I have lots of rehearsal during Lent for a forthcoming show. As far as Holy Week itself? It's tech week for said show...but I'll most likely celebrate Easter with friends and family here in SF.

5. Where do you most long to see resurrection, in your life and/or in the world, this Easter? Resurrection and renewal in my daily spiritual life. As far as the world at large goes...wow. I don't even know where to start!

10 March 2009

06 March 2009

BONUS Friday Five

Friday Five of things on my mind:

1. SF MUNI bus advertisements reading "ISLAM: Submission to God."
I have two issues with these posters:
A) If a Christian organization tried to do that in San Francisco, there would be no END to the riots.
B) Speaking of riots - I'm confused as to why there is not any uproar in this particular city, given that Islam is not necessarily known for being lenient in their views of homosexuality. Curious. (Picture below from eric-m's flickr stream).

2. I gave up TV for Lent - which is a good thing. And I'm enjoying some of my free time by actually listening to albums from start to finish whilst cooking or not doing anything else...and I am loving that. I used to do that ALL the time as a kid - hours of my life spent sprawled on the floor poring over liner notes and hitting "repeat" until I knew the entire album by heart.

3. Cleaning. As in, my closet. Baby steps, people, but I SHALL OVERCOME.

4. Am currently brainstorming a mix CD (or a "playlist" for all you digital-types). The working title is "Guitar Orgy"... featuring all my favorite guitar-driven tunes - metal, blues, classical and otherwise. Input from the peanut gallery is welcome. (Special cliched hidden bonus track: Free Bird!)

5. It's Friday. YAY. And today is 03-06-09, which is kinda cool.

Friday Five - Hodge Podge

1. What activity can you not believe you survived in your childhood?
Considering I can't even make it out of my house most mornings these days without injuring myself (exhibit A: rug-burned, aching knee and bruised torso from slipping in my bathroom earlier this week), there are DEFINITELY some activities I cannot believe I survived: sledding behind a pick-up truck...you know...in which the sled is TIED to the truck; scaling a highway embankment fence in the dark - and tiptoe-ing across the ledge hanging on for dear life with cars speeding by just on the other side of said metal fence; any science lab involving fire, ever; ski-school (I'm horrible); The Blob at Eagle Lake - which entailed jumping from couple stories up in the air onto a ginormous inflatable "blob" floating thing and scooting to the end of it so that when the next person behind you jumped on - you shot up into the air before landing in a freezing mountain lake - but oh, was it fun; driving up to Evergreen, CO in a wicked snowstorm with a bunch of teenagers.

2. What activity can you not believe kids get away with today? Cursing/having sex in like, middle school (or earlier?!)/texting at the dinner table/being completely disrespectful to their parents.

3. If you could be anyone else in the world alive or dead, who would you choose to be? Possibly my great-grandmother. Just to see what her life was like.

4. A lot of people think they've been in love at 15 or 16 years old, do you look back and think you were a stupid kid or do you believe that you were old enough to know what love is? I might have had an inkling of what love was...ha...but no. I was never "in love" at that age.

5. Do you think it is possible to remain in love with someone you once loved, but haven't seen in a year? Most definitely yes.