Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Blogger is being a butt and not letting me make this picture my replacement for the belugas in my profile. This is Charlie, my in-laws' Lhasa-Apsa. I am so very enamored with Charlie. Whenever I visit, I try to convince him to come home with me. Alas, he loves my in-laws more than me. But we have fun while we're together.

Foot firmly planted

Irony of all ironies. Today, at work, we had our monthly All Staff meeting. During a section about communication with your co-workers, I say, in my slightly bitchy tone, something to the effect that I wish people would learn my correct title and that of my office mate's. Not such a big deal for me, but my office mate always gets these half-assed attempts at stating his title, which I think he finds a little insulting. So, my heart was in the right place, but oh so poorly executed. The moderator quickly, but not embarrassingly moved on, and one of my co-workers commented to me that people can't remember her title either. Anyway, I realized my folly soon thereafter -- inevitably, I'm going to mess up someone's title and sound like a jack ass (again). A little later, I realized that at AIDSWalk this past Sunday, while introducing J to some co-workers, I completely forgot one's name. Insert foot now. Why, why must I make a fool of myself in front of the entire organization? Lesson learned -- don't share these thoughts with all your co-workers. Try to keep some of them believing that you're not a complete jack ass.

Chagrined am I.

In reality, it's not a big deal, but I couldn't get over the irony -- while discussing what not to do regarding communications with co-worker, I set a prime example. Which I totally meant to do. I stepped up, took one for the team. How else are people going to learn without a bad example?


A few weeks ago, I downloaded this picture off our digital camera. J had taken it while I was napping, not so much to catch me asleep, but to show me that Paul had curled up on me and slept too. That doesn't happen too often. I was astonished to find that the frown on my face was not a rare occurrence. Apparently I frown all the time in my sleep. I caught myself doing it the other night. What does this mean? I haven't been having great dreams the past few months but nothing awful. Do I smile too much during the day, so at night, my mouth likes to excercise the frown muscles? I find this frowning bothersome. So, now I will likely frown even more while sleeping.

The biggest question of all -- do I drool while I'm frowning?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Stolen from Vanity Fair

Questions posed to Margaret Atwood in the Oct. 2006 issue:

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Holding a sleeping baby.

What is your greatest fear?
Not having a child.

Which living person do you most admire?
Janet Weiss (drummer, Sleater-Kinney).

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Passive agressiveness.

What is your greatest extravagance?

What is your favorite journey?
A new book.

On what occasion do you lie?
When people ask how I'm doing.

Which living person do you most despise?
George W. Bush.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
How are you?

What is your greatest regret?
Spending so much time and brain power worrying.

When and where were you happiest?
When Jason proposed.

What is your current state of mind?
Relaxed, sleepy, content.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My impatience.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Still being alive and relatively sane.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
A Cassowary (largest land bird in Australia).

If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?

What is your most treasured possession?
My star tattoo.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Where would you like to live?
In a hobbit commune in New Zealand.

What is your favorite occupation?

What is your most marked characteristic?
My goofiness.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Who are your favorite writers?
Peter S. Beagle, Margaret Atwood, Isabel Allende.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Jane Eyre.

Who are your heroes in real life?
Team D+, Liv, my co-workers, Iris, Amanda, Heidi.

What is it that you most dislike?
People's inhumanity to each other.

How would you like to die?
In my sleep.

What is your motto?

A Good Moment

I was sitting on the back deck just now, alone, enjoying a small glass of red wine (from a box), looking at the few stars visible in the sky, feeling the cooling breeze, listening the cars on Sandy Blvd., watching Rachel (cat) watch a spider crawl up the door frame. J and I, we've created a good life here. The past couple of weeks have been great -- touch and go moments, but overall, very good. It's amazing, how good we can be to each other. When I stop thinking of myself as a "wife" and him as a "husband," things are easier. I remember why I married him. I remember I love him. I think -- and I can't speak for him -- that, at times, we get a little too wrapped up in those titles, with their expectations, stereotypes. All I owe him is respect and honesty. And that 's all he owes me. When I can break/ignore all the other "agreements" (see _The Four Agreements_ by Don Miguel Ruiz), loving and being in a marriage is relatively easy. Why do I make things so hard? I've been asking myself that my whole life.

Music: Arcade Fire "Funeral" -- started making a playlist in iTunes, pulling all my favorite songs from our Library and almost this entire album made it on there. They remind me of The Shins, of Modest Mouse, but there's a pinch of something more that makes it brillant.

Picture: Rachel, my silly, goofy girl. She's a tough one, not like most cats. She doesn't really enjoy pets, she loves to play and she's very vocal, with her grunts and meows and demands for cream on a daily basis. She still flees me, as though I may decide at any moment to kill her. Though, when we've been gone for a few days, she follows us around the house and lets us pet her, just a little. But she loves her Paul (the other cat) -- hopelessly devoted to him. And when she can relax enough, she loves a good chin rub.

Wedding: Dorcy - West

From The Olympian

Lane and Barbara Dorcy are proud to announce the marriage of their daughter Hilleri Danielle to Samuel Evans West, son of Ronald and JoAnne West of Eugene, Oregon.

The wedding and reception took place at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle on July 22, 2006. The ceremony was officiated by Gery Gerst, the bride’s Godfather. The bride’s Matron of Honor was Anneke Stasson, Hilleri’s cousin, and the best man was Michael Anderson, Sam’s cousin.

Hilleri graduated from Washington State University with a degree in Education and Seattle University with a Masters in Special Education. Sam graduated from University of Oregon with a degree in Economics. The couple met through their mutual friends, Jason and Cora Davidson.

Hilleri and Sam will reside in Seattle. The couple would like to thank their family and friends for making the day so special.

**Yes, Jason and I introduced Hilleri and Sam, and though that's really the only role we played, I feel strangely proud at having brought the two together. I guess it just feels good when you can help two people find each other and that makes them so very happy.**

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


From "Corruption of Remembrance" by Michael C. Gilbert:

We remember the dead by how we live. I live in a country that is in the midst of its own acts of remembrance. As I look back over the last five years, although I am continually touched by the efforts of thousands of individuals and organizations, I am heartbroken and ashamed by our collective response as a nation.

As a country, we have chosen to remember the dead of 9/11, not with life and love, but with death, greed, repression, and lies.

We preyed upon the people's collective anguish to invade the Middle East and in the process kill far more people than were killed on that horrible day. We've transferred untold billions of dollars out of the public coffers and into the hands of the wealthy few. We have worked to build up the machinery of private profit and a network of private killing organizations.

At home, we continue to choose to remember the dead through systematic spying on citizens and through the erosion of civil liberties and other key foundations of civil society. Barely within the reach of our crumbling legal protections, we've engaged in widespread kidnapping, imprisonment, and torture.

I can hardly contain my tears when I ask the dead: Is this how you wanted to be remembered?

HIV - social revoluntionary?

Yesterday, I met a delegation from Africa -- six men and two women from Mali, Ivory Coast, Chad and Togo. (One was a chief of a town in Togo -- he wore an actual crown!) They all spoke French, so we spoke through interpreters. We talked a lot about HIV/AIDS (this was through my work). What struck me the most is how similar our struggle are -- with getting people to get tested, use condoms. Someone else commented that HIV touches on all our taboo subjects -- sex, drug use, promiscuity, poverty, race. It made me wonder, if there is a god or a higher being, was this virus sent to help us get beyond our hang-ups around all of these things. To effectively fight AIDS, you have to acknowledge that people have sex, often with multiple partners, that sex is more often than not about pleasure than procreation, people shoot up drugs, that poor and often minority people contract this virus due to lack of access to quality condoms and HIV tests and many women contract it because they lack an effective means of protecting themselves from it. If we, as a society, valued fighting this virus like we value fighting breast cancer, I think it could help us work through many social stigmas and start addressing root issues.

Functioning like a girl

So, you might of guessed that I'm a Firefly geek. Well, I've watched it so much that I'm starting to draw wisdom from the show, much like I occasionally draw wisdom from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Not to say the wisdom is faulty or any less wise because of the source, but when I explain the source of the wisdom, that's where it falls apart. "So, Spike, a vampire, says to Angel, the vampire with a soul, that he may be love's bitch but he's man enough to admit it." See what I mean?

Okay, well I'm way off track here. I brought it up because one of the characters (River, the crazy girl) said something that I identify with:

I work, I function like I'm a girl. I hate it because I know it'll go away, the sun goes dark and chaos is come again.

I have my good days, I have my not so good days. My good days are tinged with the worry that the bad days will return, that the good days -- how long will they last? Granted, lately, my bad days have not been so bad. But I worry the day will come again when the darkness will run deep and maybe, this time, I won't escape. Sometimes it's tempting to just give in, to succumb to the bad, to become crazy and stop fighting it. There's peace to be found in that option. It seems that life is one long struggle. Can rest be found?

Well, now I'm feeling very mellow-dramatic and the part of my brain that activates once I've made such confessions is saying "Come, come now. You don't really feel that way. You're just overreacting and trying to get attention. Silly girl. Go back in your corner." I guess that's from years of trying to hide what I was feeling, what was going on in my life -- repress. I will resist the urge to delete this post or say anything more demeaning about it.

Stolen from Liv

What side of the heart do you draw first?:

Can you dive without blocking your nose?:
um...not sure

What color is your razor?:
blue and white

What was for dinner last night?:
veggie stirfry with chick'n and salsa over rice

Do you watch TV Land?
no - no cable

what's your favorite number?:

Do you always read those pointless things they say on adult swim?:
adult swim?

Have you ever changed the wording in a question / added a question to a survey you didn't create?

Star Wars or Lord of the Rings?
well, until the prequels for sw came out, this would have been a tough question -- now, lor all the way

air conditioning?

How many chairs at the dining room table?

Do you like video games?:
i prefer computer games

what's your favorite gaming system?:
play station 2, since that's what i own

Do you know all the words to the Fresh Prince Theme Song?:
yes, unfortunately

Do you go to summer camp?:
no, just day camp

what's your favorite kind of gum?:
the orbit citrus

Do you like to read?:

Do you have a crush on anybody?:

Do you know how to use some words correctly, but not know the exact meaning of them?:

Do you like to sleep?:

Do you like commercials?:

Do you like rap?:

Do you want a bright yellow '06 mustang?:
no, no and no

Have you had sex in the past 24 hours?:

What's something you always wanted?:
a baby

Do you have hairy legs?:
below the knee, no; above the knee, yes

How many fillings do you have?:
none but i have two small cavities, too small to be filled

Would you rather swim in the ocean or a lake?:
if its a warm ocean, then the ocean wins; otherwise, i prefer a lake

Do you wear a lot of black?:

Have you ever hugged a tree?:

Describe your hair:
mid-neck length, tri-color starting as honey at the roots, then a blondish-red, then red at the tips

Do you like drama?:
i am loathe to admit it but yes

Are you afraid to die?:
no, but i do worry about how i might die -- i'd rather it not be painful

Are you an adult?:

Do you think you have a good handle on spelling?:
most days

Ever won a spelling bee?:

Are you a television addict?:
recovering. if it's on, i have a hard time focusing on anything else.

Do you enjoy spending time with your mother?:
on occasion

Does your mom think someone's hot?:
pierce brosnon

Are you a sugar freak?:
i enjoy a fix now and then -- or everyday

Actually, do you like orange juice?:

What sign are you?:

Where do you wish you were right now?:
asleep or on a hike

Unknown facts/secrets about yourself:

1. What does your LJ headline mean?
don't have one

2. Elaborate on your default photo:
it's a picture of a baby beluga born at the shedd aquarium in chicago -- i saw it in utero

3. What's your middle name[s]?:
louise -- same as my grandma

4. What is your current relationship status?:

5. What are you wearing right now?
black wool sweater, purple paris t-shirt, black yoga pants

6. What is your current problem?
can't access my work e-mail

7. What do you love most?
my hubby, my cats, my friends, my house, my work

8. Who makes you most happy?

9. Are you musically talented?:
um, maybe?

10. If you could go back in time, and change one thing, what would it be?:
hmm...firefly not getting cancelled

11. If you had to be an animal for one day what would it be?
a whale

My friend Amanda's creation

Thursday, September 07, 2006

One more thing I've done...

well, witnessed, really. I meant to add this to the list below. While living in Chicago, I saw a cab driver murdered. At the time, I didn't know what the hell was going on. It was February 2005, very late at night -- around 3 am. I was awoken to the shouts of "F*ck you! F*ck you!" Then I heard an engine revving. I raced to the living room in time to see a cab driving forward really fast, then reversing and going forward again really fast. Then the cab drove off. I got on the phone to call 911, thinking I would alert them to a reckless cab driver, but then a woman started screaming for help. Within minutes, there were dozens of people on the street helping her. Once the ambulance arrived, I realized there was a man lying in the middle of the street. As they loaded him in to the ambulance, I couldn't tell if he was alive or dead. I was awake the rest of the night -- I hadn't been sleeping well during that time and all the excitement had me amped. The next morning, the news reported that the man had died. A passenger he picked up in my neighborhood had begun fighting with him about something and the passenger got so angry that he pulled the cab driver from his cab, beat him, then ran over him with the cab twice before driving off. The passenger was caught within a couple of days and deemed psychologically unstable. He later tried to kill himself. I was devastated when I learned what I had witnessed. I'm still a bit traumatized. But what bothers me the most is the woman I heard screaming. I wonder if she's okay -- she saw the whole thing happen from just a few feet away and then she tried to save the cab driver, cradling his head in her lap. He may have died there. And she didn't know if that passenger would be back or not. Knowing how much the whole thing has affected me -- someone witnessing it from four floors up -- I worry how it has affected her. I hope she's okay.

The first of many, I'm sure

So, my newest obsession is www.says-it.com/seal. I was trying to create the CoraNation emblem, but the only inspiration that struck me was my fear of birds. Yes, I fear all birds to a point, but mainly those kept in a cage, larger than a pigeon and/or that fly at my head. Seriously. During the recent vacation, we pulled up to a cheese shop with a petting zoo (don't ask) that had an Emu wandering around it. While still in the car, I had the beginnings of a panic attack (wringing of hands, hyperventilating) and begged my friend to re-park the car. Then, J had to escort me from the car -- he kept an eye on the loose roosters while I kept an eye on the Emu -- to the shop. He wanted to leave the shop early to rest in the car, but I told him he could absolutely not leave me alone to walk that gauntlet alone. I'd thought I was pretty much over my fear, but I guess not. Every few years or so, it rears its ugly head and I wind up mortifying myself in front of others and having absolutely no control over it. At least this freak out wasn't as bad as the Australia Freak Out of 1999. I still shudder over that (both from my own mortification and the thought of those ducks swarming me).