Sunday, December 30, 2007

Photo-rific

Jason and I spent the weekend visiting his grandma and parents at his grandma's ranch in Wallowa, OR (think: very rural, very rustic and LOTS of snow - 10 inches at least!). We had a great time playing in the snow. I tried snowshoeing for the first time, and we went sledding. And Bella - well, Bella + Snow = Tru Luv. She couldn't get enough, though poor thing was often up to her neck in it. She was a trooper, which surprised me, since she's such a momma's girl and her momma is a big wimp.


As I was uploading the pictures from this weekend (oddly, well not so oddly, we took no photos at the actual ranch or of the people we were with), I found a ton of pictures on our camera from the past year. And I just had to share with you all.


First, introducing Hugo. These pictures do not do his justice. He is a beautiful cat, especially his eyes, the color of scotch, and his gorgeous pink bow lips. And I can just tell he will get more handsome as he gets older.








Second, the view I've been raving about. Still doesn't do it justice.









Third, cute pics of Bella. The one of her and I was taken a couple weeks after we adopted her.












And lastly, some cuteness - me and J at the park and our little Christmas tree.











I wish all of you a very happy and safe New Year's!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Oh the Holidays

So, it's been a quiet holiday season for the J-meister and I and our little farm. We stuck to this side of the mountains because Jason had to work the days surrounding the 25th. We made a pre-holidays jaunt to the Workmans' and had a wonderful time. They are just good peeps. Except, they got me addicted to a video game that I am still craving to play and we don't own. Thanks a lot, Workmans.

On Christmas Eve, I cooked lamb shanks*, sauteed kale and spiced parsnips, which all turned out marvelously, according to fellow eater and helper, Jason. Christmas morning, I made scones, which turned out okay. For some reason, I was bitten by the cooking bug, hence all the non-typical cooking by me. After breakfast, we opened gifts from each other - I got Jason the His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman and he got me a sewing magazine, a Sudoku book, and the first season of the Adventures of Pete & Pete. Oh, and some candy that was supposedly for me, but he's eaten an awful lot of.

We were invited to Christmas dinner with some new friends. Dinner conversation included how the 20-something son's ex-girlfriend couldn't figure out how to use birth control, the mom's tryst with her college professor, her pot use post-knee surgery and the father's belief that men shouldn't be in the delivery room (this came up twice, actually). Honestly, it was a lot of fun.

As for the pets, they got tuna for dinner on Christmas Eve and their grandma made them gifts. Bella got a giant blue and pink fleece coat and the kitties got fleece catnip toys made with some of the most potent catnip ever. It transformed Paul into a slobbering mess and Rachel lashed out at anyone who got near her toy. Hugo, oddly enough, was not very affected by it. And poor Alfie went presentless. Since he's a fish, I'm sure he's already forgotten. One minor holiday triumph - and I jinx myself, I know, by writing this - no holiday decorations were attacked, torn down, chewed on, etc. A miracle, really.

For New Year's, we're planning to par-tay with our friends, Matt and Jan, and perhaps the Workmans. Now, when I say par-tay, I mean hang out at Matt and Jan's, drink wine, play Carcassone and be silly. Wait, that sounds an awful lot like what we did last year. We're getting old, folks. We go to bed at 9, play board games and stay at home rather than risking an adventure on the town. We're only 30 - what will we be like at 50?

I wish all of you a very happy New Year's.

Friday, December 21, 2007

72 Days?!?

It's been 72 days (or something like that) since my last post. Seriously, I'm not quite sure where the time has gone. And it's not like I've been super busy. I'll just blame cable TV, which we cancelled today, so that's a super convenient excuse.

So, what have I been up to? Well, for starters, we now have 5 - count them 5 - pets. Fred (aka, Winifred the kitten) turned out to be a Hugo, a healthy, male kitten, and we decided to keep him. He's a bit of a terror, as kittens are, I suppose, despite having him fixed. But, I absolutely adore him - well, when he's not attacking one of the other pets or Jason or digging up my plants. I'll try to post a picture of him soon. Seriously, he's the cutest cat ever. EVER.

And we also have a Beta fish - Alfie, the Alpha Beta fish (I named him, if you couldn't tell). He's a gift from Jason's co-worker. Initially, I was not thrilled (fish in tanks - caged animals of any kind - stress me out) but things are working out nicely. I even feed him every once in a while.

What else? The new house is grand. I just love all the space. And the view, my god people, the view! Again, I will have to post pictures. Words can't describe. And living a block up from the library is fantastic. I've checked out so much, but actually read very little of it. Sometimes, I just like having the books around. And knowing I can get such cool stuff from my rural library system. I tell ya, it puts the Chicago Public Library system to shame.

And...my food issues. So, still having sensitivities to dairy and eggs. I've started trying Lactaid (the generic version, actually) and that's going okay. It's allowing me to eat pizza again. Goodness, how I have missed pizza. Unfortunately, no remedy for the egg thing, so I will have to continue pining away for a big plate piled high with steaming scrambled eggs. And baked goods - I can't even handle the eggs in those. I'll have to write an Ode to Eggs or something.

Well, there's tons more I could talk about, but I wanted to get an initial post up and don't want to tax you too much after having gone such a long period sans Cora postings. I'll take it easy on ya until you build your endurance back up.

Peace out.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fred

Hey! We're all moved and settling into the new place. We got our new washer and dryer today - very exciting.

The pets are having an interesting readjustment period. Instead of transferring their heirarchy from the last place, it seems they are trying to reestablish their roles here. Bella is being very submissive to the cats - almost as if she's afraid of them - before she was intimidated by Paul and didn't pay Rachel much attention. Paul's being a super jerk and just trying to bully Bella as much as he can and Paul and Rachel have both taken to eating Bella's food - while she's trying to eat!

And just to add to the chaos, Jason and I rescued a kitten this morning. Jason woke me up about 3 am saying he could hear a kitten meowing outside and asked if it would be all right if he brought the kitten inside. I jumped up, got dressed and joined him in the search. We found her (not actually certain of the gender but we're going with female) squeezed between our porch and a fence. She fled when Jason went to grab her. After chasing her up a densely vegetated hill, we gave up and went inside. We were able to catch her this morning and brought her inside and set her up in one of our spare rooms. She's currently hiding between two pillows covered by a blanket. She seems to be about 6 weeks old, but is malnourished. She's been eating but starts to shake whenever we are close. We're going to give her a couple days and try to help her regain her health. After that, we'll decide if we want to keep her and take her to a vet or turn her over to a shelter.

We've already named her -- Fred (after a female character from Angel), who was found living in a cave, terrified and alone but soon rejoined the world successfully. I wasn't really wanting another pet, but she's just so darn small and cute, and poor thing, all alone in the great big world. Of course, if we find out that she has feline leukemia or something contagious but not curable, we'll have to give her away because we can't have her infecting the other two. I do worry that if we keep her, Bella will feel outnumbered and not as loved.

But...I need to not get ahead of myself. We just need to help Fred survive the next few days and then go from there.

Monday, September 24, 2007

What happens in Aurora, happens to ME (and you?)



The fight for women's access to reproductive health care has landed in Aurora, Illinois, a fast-growing city outside Chicago, where Planned Parenthood just built a large health center.

The usual suspects in the anti-choice fringe have showed up in droves - more people are protesting this clinic than Planned Parenthood has seen in a very long time. And they are doing everything in their power to try to keep our clinic doors shut. You can read more about it here and here.

Planned Parenthood needs our help! People like you and me are tying ribbons at the new clinic - a ribbon for every supporter. If we get massive amounts of ribbons tied, we'll send a powerful message to the protesters that Planned Parenthood has support from across the country. And, we'll also let the women seeking care there know that they are welcome and supported, too.

You see, what's happening in Aurora isn't just some isolated incident. What's happening in Aurora today is what's happening in America. It's not a war on a clinic - it's a war on women's access to needed health care - in Aurora, and across our country.

Join me! Tie a ribbon to show your support. Click here.

Friday, September 14, 2007

New House!

The outside (note the massive deck)

The living room

The fireplace in the living room

The kitchen

The downstairs bonus room


The house also has four bedrooms, two baths, a laundry room, double car garage and a wonderful view of the Blue Mountains and the town. It's located in Milton-Freewater - we're Oregonians again! Not sure when the moving will start...

We didn't get the roof issue sorted out - the sellers refused to give us the funds necessary to finish the job. But since it wasn't a costly repair, we decided to end the bickering and just finish the deal.

I can't believe we're home owners again. I'm very excited, a bit baffled and little overwhelmed.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Little Whining

Yeah, I'm just gonna do it -- whine, on my blog. I won't insult your intelligence by trying to justify such behavior.

It's 7:40 pm, and I'm still at work -- going on hour 12. I have to be back at work at 7:30 am tomorrow to drive for two hours for Staff Day, or as some of my co-workers call it, Forced Fun Day. I was looking forward to it earlier, but now I'm just too tired and would rather sleep-in tomorrow. But we're getting track jackets -- something to look forward to.

My hubby is sick, perhaps with the flu. Or perhaps side-effects to his meds. Poor guy. And because I'll be out of town tomorrow, he has to take the bus to and from work. If he can make it to work.

I've started a new diet -- no dairy or eggs. I'm seeing a homeopathic doctor, and she did a blood test that came back showing that I am strongly sensitive (but not allergic, i.e., won't die from) eating those things. Cutting them out hasn't been very hard so far, but I have been having some nasty bowel movements. Not sure if the two are related, but I'm suspicious. Perhaps my colon is cleaning itself out. Sorry if this is TMI.

The house is still not ready to close. We have an extension until Friday. We've already signed papers, but are just holding back the funding until the darn roof situation is worked out. We had the sellers put a new roof on it, which they did, but the roofers didn't do a complete job and because the sellers already paid them, they (the roofers) are being less than responsive on getting the job done. So, we're now trying to convince the sellers to just set aside some funds for us so we can hire someone to get the roof finished. I'm starting to get frustrated -- we've had four extensions on closing so far. I don't want to get too impatient and lose our wonderful house-to-be, but...I'm a sucker for resolution.

Things to not whine about --

I'm loving my hair! So cute and subtly (very subtly) punk rock, in my opinion. I always like to believe I'm more punk rock than I am (which is to say, not at all). And thanks for the compliments, ladies.

Bella is just a big sweetie. I love having her in our lives.

My co-workers and boss are super groovy and supportive.

Jason is too and such a helper-outer.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Whew! That was a long one. Thanks for reading this far. It's about time for me to finally head home. Peace out. Much love.

Monday, September 10, 2007

New Hair



Got my hair professionally dyed for only the second time in my life today. It's hard to tell in the picture, but my head's at that weird angle as an attempt to show off the color variation. I'm liking it so far.

Work and home have been kicking my butt lately. Just finished putting together then putting on a two day training. And we're in the process of buying a house and closing was delayed today for the fourth time. My time at home has been spent parked on the couch vegging or in bed sleeping. I'm hoping to rejoin the land of blogging and e-mailing soon. But I wanted to let you all know that I hadn't died, joined a cult or run away to Bora Bora.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Happy First Anniversary, Emergency Contraception!

One year ago today, the FDA approved over-the-counter access to emergency contraception (EC) for women 18 and older. The FDA’s decision was a major victory for women’s health and the effort to prevent unintended pregnancy.

In recognition of the one-year anniversary, Planned Parenthood has created a short Internet video, “Stop Something,” to raise awareness about the availability of emergency contraception.

To learn more, visit www.plannedparenthood.org

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Friendship pt. II

Thanks to the three very special ladies who responded to my first post. In typical Cora fashion, I have not yet responded. Why? Has nothing to do with the ladies or their wonderful words. No, I simply retreated back into my shell, shy that such great people consider themselves my friends.

And a little embarrassed because I realized that I was hoping way deep down that they would tell me in detailed, step-by-step instructions, how to be a good friend. Thanks to their thoughtful, honest answers, I have realized that no such instructions exist and I was just being lazy.

So, where does that leave us? Well, if you have any insights you'd like to share, please do so. Here's what I've realized - I have a very limited view of what friendship should look like. My dear friend, Heather, is someone I consider to be a master friend. She has friends from high school (middle school even?), college, grad school and all the years in between and since. She sends care packages, holds parties, meets up for drinks and e-mails often. She's a super friend - everything I had grown up thinking was how you be a friend. And, I went to Smith College, where they practically guarantee that with the price of admission, you will make numerous life long friends. Well, I have one friend from college and she didn't even go to Smith.

Not to point the metaphoric finger at my parents, but my parents didn't have many friends when I was growing up, so I feel I didn't have a good example of how to make and retain friends. But I don't think it's their fault. I think I've just tried repeatedly to force myself and others into the same friendship mold. Obviously, well, only newly obvious to me, is that this mold doesn't fit and I need to let go (we all know how well I do that).

So, to ask one of my favorite questions, where do we go from here? Well, I'm obviously still struggling with the being open and intimate on a one-on-one basis. Suprisingly to me, I feel more comfortable, posting my feelings here on the blog, rather than sending an individual e-mail. I'll work on that. During the mean time, I hope you'll keep reading. Thanks.

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Full Range of Choice

This morning, I was visiting a favorite blog of mine, Ruby Soho Adventures, and read this post about a woman who just gave birth to her 17th (living) child. Here was the comment I left:

I must agree, the thought of 17 children baffles me, just as my grandmother's own 11 children baffled me.

But, I have a question for you - if memory serves, you are pro-choice. Is it not this woman's choice to have 17 children? As crazy as it sounds to us, doesn't she have the right to have as many children as she wants, just as you and I have the right to have an abortion?

Now, I struggle with this. Personally, I think 17 new Americans causes a great impact on the environment. And why can't they adopt? Why can't they be foster parents?

But can we condemn them for their choice when we demand the freedom to practice ours?


So, what's your opinion on the matter?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Friendship

So. I realized that I haven't written anything very personal lately. And I realized that I've been avoiding doing so, telling myself that 'gosh, nothing much is going on in my life, I've just got nothing to say.' The truth is, I have a lot to say, I just keep stumbling over the words. I worry too much about expressing myself properly and clearly. I worry too much period.

There has been a lot going on in my life - there always is. There is something big looming, but I'll be a tease and just say that I don't want to talk about it yet but, fingers crossed, I can do so soon. And no, I am not with child - I'll nip that train of thought right in the bud (how's that for a mixed metaphor).

The big topic on my mind tonight is friends. And since I can't summarize my thoughts well on friends, I'll just tip the brimming cup over (alas, more metaphors). I wish I had more, friends that is, not cups. I don't feel I'm a very good friend (and no, I'm honestly not looking for sympathy and cries of 'but Cora, you're a fantastic friend!'). I'm jealous of the good friends of my good friends - I want them all to myself, even though I realize that would make them not be the friend I love - I still irrationally want their undivided attention. I don't feel I ever learned how to be a good friend - never had good friend role models, but learned to be excellent at developing co-dependent relationships. It hurts to open up and be vulnerable. And I'm afraid if I do open up, I'll sound like one of those people who tell you their whole messy life story when you've simply asked how their day is going. I worry about making new friends and being disloyal to my existing friends. I feel I just don't know how this friendship thing works.

I did buy a book - my solution to any problem, read a book! But seriously, it's SARK's new book, Fabulous Friendship Festival: Loving Wildly, Learning Deeply, Living Fully with Our Friends. I haven't read it yet. So, until then, I have a question for you, dear reader - how do you define a friend? What makes some friends better friends than other friends? And, if we are friends, how would you describe our friendship and what is one thing you would change about it?

That's quite a lot to ask I know, and I'm resisting taking it back and saying, 'oh, don't worry about it, you don't have to answer them.' Well, you don't have to answer those questions but I sure would appreciate it. Thanks.

Video about punishments for illegal abortions

This video is mentioned in the article I posted below in the post titled "Can't Have it Both Ways." I guess the owner reposted it to YouTube.

Praying



Mantis, that is.

Yesterday, as Jason and I walked out the door to go to work, we noticed two Praying Manti hanging out on our door frame. One was green, like the one pictured above, and the other a light brown. I'm presuming the green one was the female and the brown the male. When I got back home at lunch, only the green one remained...hmm...

Jason and I were both surprised to learn that we had Praying Manti in this part of the country. I guess I always assumed, based on their looks and their prediliction for biting their mates' heads off, that they lived in jungles - somewhere dank and steamy and full of other creepy creatures, like giant cockroaches.

And there you are, the random Walla Walla fact of the week.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Mobbed



Snuggle time: during (above) and after (below)



I have writer's block. I've drafted about three different texts to go with the pictures, but nothing's seemed right. So, just enjoy the pictures of my kooky pets mobbing my kookier husband.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Note: A Change

All righty, I'm makin' a change on this here blog o' mine. I'm no longer going to abbreviate your names. Honestly, I just can't keep all of the abbreviations straight. Too many of my nearest and dearest have names that start with the same first letter.

However, I swear to never use your last names. If you have children, this rule won't apply - their names will remain abbreviated or will be changed to avoid confusion.

If you have a major problem with me possibly referencing your first name on this blog, let me know, and I won't use it.

Thanks!

Another interesting perspective

From I Blame the Patriarchy (thanks, Heidi, for the recommend):

Butt-swat Preservation Society goes to bat for jailed teen boys

I laughed the hollow, mirthless laugh of an obstreperally-blocked spinster aunt when I read this story about the two butt-slappin’ 7th-graders in McMinnville, Oregon whose ‘horseplay’ — that is, an avocation leading them to cavort through the halls spanking female students — has landed them in juvy, facing felony sex charges. The responsible adults in their lives are now scrambling to determine whether their actions were criminal or just a matter of boys-will-be-boys engaging in “a common form of greeting.”

I laughed because these boys are precisely the product of their culture. Do these outraged parents and attorneys and sociologists and radio jocks and sexperts really expect that boys will not initiate attempts to dominate girls as early in their lives as possible? Do they imagine that misogyny is a figment? Do they delude themselves that the attempt by these boys to join their elders in satisfying, lifetime careers of culturally-approved sex-based harassment was merely an anomaly, an aberration?

Apparently not everyone does. As the father of one of the jailed ‘McMinnville Two’ whined, “We’d all be in jail if everyone got arrested for this kind of stuff.” Too true, Mr. Redneck, too true. Everybody hates women; why, it would be insane to criminalize patriarchy. Which is essentially the argument in favor of defining the efforts of pubescent boys to forcibly dominate pubescent girls as ‘horseplay.’ How can it be antisocial when all of society condones it? Quoth a dudely editorialist in the Salem StatesmanJournal: “[T]o criminalize […] brutish behavior is irrational and counterproductive.”

Blowhards variously use the words ‘irrational’ and ‘insane’ to describe this case, but what is really nuts is that anyone should expect anything but criminal behavior from kids raised to revere a culture of domination.

As usual, the real nub of the controversy, although nobody is acknowledging it, is not over whether a couple of 13-year-old boys facing 10 years in the hoosegow for butt-swatting is an “overreaction.” It’s whether female humans have a legal right to personal bodily sovereignty.

Incredibly, in 2007, the jury’s still out on that one.

Can't have it both ways

How Much Jail Time for Women Who Have Abortions?
By Anna Quindlen, Newsweek
Aug. 6, 2007 issue

Buried among prairie dogs and amateur animation shorts on YouTube [actually, the video has since been removed by its owner] is a curious little mini-documentary shot in front of an abortion clinic in Libertyville, Ill. The man behind the camera is asking demonstrators who want abortion criminalized what the penalty should be for a woman who has one nonetheless. You have rarely seen people look more gobsmacked. It's as though the guy has asked them to solve quadratic equations. Here are a range of responses: "I've never really thought about it." "I don't have an answer for that." "I don't know." "Just pray for them."

You have to hand it to the questioner; he struggles manfully. "Usually when things are illegal there's a penalty attached," he explains patiently. But he can't get a single person to be decisive about the crux of a matter they have been approaching with absolute certainty.

A new public-policy group called the National Institute for Reproductive Health wants to take this contradiction and make it the centerpiece of a national conversation, along with a slogan that stops people in their tracks: how much time should she do? If the Supreme Court decides abortion is not protected by a constitutional guarantee of privacy, the issue will revert to the states. If it goes to the states, some, perhaps many, will ban abortion. If abortion is made a crime, then surely the woman who has one is a criminal. But, boy, do the doctrinaire suddenly turn squirrelly at the prospect of throwing women in jail.

"They never connect the dots," says Jill June, president of Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa. But her organization urged voters to do just that in the last gubernatorial election, in which the Republican contender believed abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape and incest. "We wanted him to tell the women of Iowa exactly how much time he expected them to serve in jail if they had an abortion," June recalled. Chet Culver, the Democrat who unabashedly favors legal abortion, won that race, proving that choice can be a winning issue if you force people to stop evading the hard facts. "How have we come this far in the debate and been oblivious to the logical ramifications of making abortion illegal?" June says.

Perhaps by ignoring or infantilizing women, turning them into "victims" of their own free will. State statutes that propose punishing only a physician suggest the woman was merely some addled bystander who happened to find herself in the wrong stirrups at the wrong time. Such a view seemed to be a vestige of the past until the Supreme Court handed down its most recent abortion decision upholding a federal prohibition on a specific procedure. Justice Anthony Kennedy, obviously feeling excessively paternal, argued that the ban protected women from themselves. "While we find no reliable data to measure the phenomenon," he wrote, "it seems unexceptionable to conclude some women come to regret their choice to abort the infant life they once created and sustained."

Even with "no reliable data," he went on to conclude that "severe depression and loss of esteem can follow." (Apparently, no one has told Justice Kennedy about the severe depression and loss of esteem that can follow bearing and raising a baby you can't afford and didn't want.) Luckily, there still remains one justice on the court who has actually been pregnant, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg roared back with a dissent that called Kennedy's caveat about regret an "anti-abortion shibboleth" and his opinion a reflection of "ancient notions about women's place in the family and under the Constitution—ideas that have long since been discredited."

Those ancient notions undergird the refusal to confront the logical endpoint of criminalization. Lawmakers in a number of states have already passed or are considering statutes designed to outlaw abortion if Roe is overturned. But almost none hold the woman, the person who set the so-called crime in motion, accountable. Is the message that women are not to be held responsible for their actions? Or is it merely that those writing the laws understand that if women were going to jail, the vast majority of Americans would violently object? Watch the demonstrators in Libertyville try to worm their way out of the hypocrisy: It's murder, but she'll get her punishment from God. It's murder, but it depends on her state of mind. It's murder, but the penalty should be ... counseling?

The great thing about video is that you can see the mental wheels turning as these people realize that they somehow have overlooked something central while they were slinging certainties. Nearly 20 years ago, in a presidential debate, George Bush the elder was asked this very question, whether in making abortion illegal he would punish the woman who had one. "I haven't sorted out the penalties," he said lamely. Neither, it turns out, has anyone else. But there are only two logical choices: hold women accountable for a criminal act by sending them to prison, or refuse to criminalize the act in the first place. If you can't countenance the first, you have to accept the second. You can't have it both ways.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Reading

So, right now, I'm reading two wonderful books - Harry Potter & the Deathly Hollows by J.K. Rowling and Fun Home by Allison Bechdel.

The first, I won't say too much, since it's already been widely talked about. I'm only about a third of the way done and am loving it.

The second book - Fun Home - is fantastic. It's Bechdel's autobiography in graphic novel form (she's the cartoonist behind Dykes to Watch Out for). Her story focuses on her own "sexual awakening" (for lack of a better phrase), and her father's closeted homosexuality and death. It is awesome. She does a wonderful job of weaving in raw truth, reflection, intellectual analysis and emotional tenderness. Plus, I really dig her drawing style. So, go out and buy it already (or get it from the library).

A funny little story about reading this book - I took it with me yesterday when I went to get some blood drawn. I was reading it while waiting for the nurse, and when she came up, she asked what I was reading. Living in a conservative area, I decided to just say it was a cartoonist's autobiography. She then commenced telling me about the wonderful books she'd just heard about and couldn't wait to read - a Christian series about a youth moving to a Christian town and how that plays out. But she said she would definitely tell her daughter about Fun Home because her daughter was always looking for new books. Tee hee.

And perhaps it's not fair to giggle. I know lots of Christians who are gay-friendly, and the nurse and her whole family might just love Fun Home. I guess what I found amusing is that I hesitated telling her the real premise of the book, but she had no qualms telling me that her books were Christian focused. I'm still getting used to that - people assuming that I am Christian and/or interested in Christian things (books, music, TV shows, etc.). Having lived in Portland and Chicago, having attended a very liberal arts school, I learned to challenge my assumptions about one's religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc. So, I'm still surprised when people make assumptions about me, then don't follow up with a question clarifying if their assumption is correct.

I don't feel I'm expressing myself very well. I'm too worried about sounding judgmental. Which is funny because I am being so, but I'm trying to spin it so it sounds like I'm not.

Anyway, another recommendation, music this time - The Gossip's Standing in the Way of Control. I am loving this album. The lead singer's voice is reminiscent of Janis Joplin - soulful, deep, scratchy at times. And good beats and guitar riffs. Love it.

Okay, me and my judgmental ass our going to sign-off now.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Soothing the Savage Beast

So, I'm at my radio show right now - it's a music interlude. The topic of the show is reproductive rights abroad and I'm playing lots of groovy international music (i.e., not sung in English). I'm actually very proud of that fact - only one of today's song is in English (a little Scottish ditty). I actually had enough in our iTunes to fill 2+ hours of non-English music. I'm so jet set. Actually, much credit is due to Ms. H and her wonderfully diverse music library.

Now, on to the subject of this post. Some of you have already heard me rant about driving in Walla Walla. Well, not driving, but Walla Walla drivers. They drive me crazy (ha ha). Many drive at least 5 mph under the already low speed limits in town, which top out at 35. And if you honk at them or flash your lights, they slow down even more. Oh, how this makes me crazy. I hate feeling that I cannot change something. They also change lanes without blinkers, stop in the middle of the street for no reason and opt to obey traffic laws when it's convenient.

In light of that, I've come to the conclusion that I need to be more Zen while driving or I was going to give myself an aneurysm or wind up in jail. I tried listening to music, and I tried listening to NPR, all to no avail. Finally, I have found my saving grace - books on CD. Listening to them puts my brain into balance mode - the part of my brain that usually rants about other drivers is silenced into focusing on the narrative, thus freeing up the other part of my brain to pay attention to the road. I actually think listening to books on CD makes me a better driver. Right now, I'm listening to The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan.

I wanted to share, in case any of you are like me. And to let those who already aware of my rage know that it is being soothed.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A new post!

I was thinking last night that I haven't posted in a while, mainly because I've lacked to urge to blog, meaning - nothing has happened that moved me to write. That's not to say that I didn't have a fabulous time with the PDX gang this past weekend, but nothing happened that I felt compelled to write about, to share with all of you.

So, instead, I will answer these questions that I stole from Ms. L and perhaps provide you with some new insights into my psyche.

1. When was the last time you went out?
Last night, to the local food co-op party at my friend's house

2. What was the last movie you saw?
In the theaters -- Waitress

3. Miss someone?
Yes, I always miss my grandma

4. Are you scared to fall in love?
I'm guessing not, since I am in love

5. What were you doing this morning at 7 am?
Driving J and Bella back from the park

6. What were you doing this morning at 10 am?
It's still 42 minutes away -- yesterday, I was sitting at my desk

7. What were you doing this afternoon at 12 p.m.?
Yesterday, I was still sitting at my desk; today I'll be meeting someone for lunch

8. Name a country you want to visit:
Belize

9. What was the last thing you ate?
Sprouted wheat toast with peanut butter

10. What was the last thing you drank?
Carrot, guava and pineapple juice and hot water with lemon

11. Last text message received?
"FYI - Isaacs becomes Mill Creek road. - kiss" from J

12. Do you have a nick name?
Not really

13. Things you need to do everyday?
Take my vitamins, pet my dog, kiss my hubby

14. The last person who called you?
J

15. Rate your day 1-10.
So far, an 8

16. Anything exciting happen today?
Going to look at a house

17. Do you ever lie about your age?
Nope

18. How many things in your past do you regret?
A few; I try to keep the list short either by not doing certain things or by choosing not to regret them

19. What do you want to be when you grow up?
Me

20. Who was the last person you hugged?
J

21. Have you ever had your heart broken?
Yes

22. Do you shop at Hollister?
No -- where?

23. Has one of your friends ever stabbed you in the back?
A long time ago

24. Did you forgive them?
I tried

25. How long have you had myspace?
Couple of years

26. Have you ever skipped school?
Yes

27. Have you ever slapped a girl in the face?
I think when I was young

28. Do you ever wish you were a man?
When I was younger, I wondered what it would be like to be a boy

29. Where's your number one on your top 8?
Not hip with the lingo

30. What is your favorite possession?
Um...my iMac?

31. Do you own a gun?
No, though I stand to inherit quite a few

32. If you could tell your last ex something what would you say?
I hope you're well

33. Do you get nervous before doctors appointments?
A little

34. What do you think of hot dogs?
Morning Star mini corn dogs are the best

35. What's your favorite Christmas song?
The Merry Christmas Song (Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...)

36. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
Coffee, hot water with lemon (aids the ol' digestive track)

37. Can you do push ups?
"Girlie" push-ups, yes -- do I do them? No

38. What is your secret weapon to lure the opposite sex?
Currently, my D cup boobs

39. Name the last 3 things you have bought?
Groceries, snacks, map of Paris

40. Name 3 things you drink regularly:
Water, coffee, juice

41. Current hate:
My period

42. How did you bring in the New Year?
Playing Carcassone and watching Tiki TV

43. What shirt are you wearing?
Black and white striped t-shirt from the Gap

44. Favorite color(s)?
Green, purple, blue and black

45. What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child?
Ghosts

46. What's in your pocket right now?
No pockets

47. Best feeling in the world?
Love

48. Worst feeling in the world?
Not feeling myself worthy

49. What song do/did you want played at your wedding?
Honey & the Moon by Joseph Arthur

50. What song do you want played at your funeral?
Same

51. What were you doing @ 12 AM last night?
Sleeping (but not snorring!)

52. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up?
Hurry, turn it off before Rachel (the cat) notices (so she won't start demanding her breakfast and I can sleep)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Me & My Girl



She hates having her picture taken.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

You can listen to my radio show!

I just learned that 90.5 KWCW (where I do my radio show) streams its programming, which means you can listen to VOX ROX via the internet live as it's happening. Here's how:

Just visit www.kwcw.net and click on Listen In! on the bottom right of the page. A little menu will pop up, offering you the options to Find, Save or Cancel - click Save and save to your desktop (or wherever). Then open a player (Winamp works - you can download it here) and through the player, open the document you downloaded (in Winamp, click on File, then Play File). The station should then start streaming through the player (in Winamp, the station will be saved to the player, so you won't need to keep doing this).

Note - I believe streaming music this way takes up a ton of bandwidth, so if you're listening on your work's network, you might want to check with your IT department first.

So, when's my show you ask. Thursdays, from 1 to 3 pm PST.

And what's the show about you ask. Reproductive justice, sexual health and all things Planned Parenthood. It's co-hosted by me and Erin, my intern. We do a lot of talking, but also play some good tunes.

Tune in, if you can. We'd love to have you.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Brief

Hey!!! I made it back to WaWaWa safe and sound after a wonderful week in San Fran. The training was great - lots of learning, good folks, and mui restful. Then a weekend with HD and she delivered...loads and loads of wonderful food. My favorite - the ice cream. Oh Bi-Rite ice cream, if it wasn't so late, I would compose an ode to you right this very second. Truly, folks, it's so freakin' good. And all the cups and spoons are made from compostable materials, so no remorse taints the ice cream eating experience.

A tie for second - a visit to H&M (European clothing store) and learning to play Petanque (French bocce balle).

Of course, all of this was wonderful only because I did all of it with HD. Who, by the way, has one of the cutest cats ever - a white Persian named Elvis.

Okay, off to bed. Probably not much more posting this week, as J's family reunion is in full force in a camp none to far from where I now sit.

P.S. HD helped me set-up an RSS feed for this blog (click on Subscribe: Posts (Atom) at the very botton), which means you can subscribe and you'll be notified every time I post something new, so you won't have to keep hitting the Refresh button incessantly.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Again, Packed & Ready



Rachel loves her a good suitcase. And a photo op.

Well, I am packed and about ready to head off to San Fran. I'll be incommunicado all week -- yay! No offense, of course, but I'm excited to unplug.

Ciao -- have a great week!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Best Game Ever. Seriously

This even tops my favorite game show (which also happens to be Japanese), Iron Chef. So rad.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Take Action against Hate Crimes

The Human Rights Coalition (HRC) has a letter for the Senate that you can send (via e-mail) asking your representatives to support the Matthew Shepard Act, legislation that will protect gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals and transgendered against hate crimes. To learn more, go to www.HRC.org.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Cora, Wyoming

OMG - there's an actual Cora, Wyoming. It's pretty small - population of 70 in 2000. Southeast of Jackson, WY, and near the border with Idaho. It would only take me about 12 hours to get there...road trip, anyone?

The picture below is of the Cora post office, the only building in the town.















And this is a picture of the CORA bike rack. I'm feeling narcissistic today.

San Fran

Next week, I'm off to San Francisco (Burlingame, technically) for an intense 12 hour/day, 5 day training on grass roots organizing. And when it's all done, I get to spend the weekend with my good pal, H-D (not to be confused with Ms. H). Very, very excited. It's like a mini-vacation from work and home, plus I get to get my activist geek on and then hang in a cool city with a very hip and cool person. She always knows the best cheap eats and cool art. And she loves public transportation, like me, though more so (she once won a grant to create and implement her own campaign to get more people to ride public transit in St. Louis). And she has a cat named Elvis -- a female cat. And she's a young adult librarian. H-D is just too cool.

If you have any S-F recommendations for me, let me know! I'll have some time Friday afternoon to chill on my own before the library releases H-D for the weekend.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Packed & Ready to Go


Awww...Rachel just walked in the room and promptly laid down in the suitcase. Now, I will go disturb her by actually putting clothes in it.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Cursed!

You know the saying that bad things come in three? Well, this week I believe it. I got back to WaWa on Friday to find a sick J (not just regular sick, but more serious sick, which I won't go into until I get the okay from him). Yesterday, I got a flat tire, which I found on my way to a meeting (which, thankfully, I had on my schedule for the wrong day). And today, meer seconds before my very first broadcast began, the iPod froze, taking my entire show hostage. I had my intro, songs, news clips -- all gone. So, I had to wing it. At first, I panicked and just read straight from my script, then I panicked again and played a lot of music. This helped mellow me out and the rest of the show was music heavy but with some interjections from me. It's good for me to be forced to fly by the seat of my pants every once in a while. Reminds me that I do pretty well on the fly and that the world won't end when things don't go to plan.

Still.

My boss laughed a little when I told her about the iPod freezing. I mentally threw popcorn at her.

J was an outstanding source of support. He sent me flowers, which were supposed to arrive prior to the show (and their good luck vibes might have saved the iPod). Roses. He sent me a text message half way through the show, letting me know he was listening and that I was doing a great job. And then afterwards, he listened to me talk all about it and praised me heavily. What a sweetie. I know, I'm gushing. But after 7 years together, you tend to take the person you love for granted, and it's nice when the blinders are pulled off and you're reminded what a fabulous person your partner is.

'Nuff said. Peace out.

Squeeze

I read this on Freewill Astrology today (for Taurus):

In what areas of your life are you trying too hard? How might you be undoing your good intentions by grasping them so tightly that you've squeezed out all the juice? In what ways are you so boxed in by habitual thoughts that you're not spontaneous any more? It's a perfect moment to fix these problems, Taurus. To begin getting yourself in the mood, relax every muscle in your body -- especially your achy-breaky desire muscles -- and half-sing, half-shout an exuberant "YO!"

Um, when do I not try too hard? That is the story of my life. I try so f*cking hard, never really paying attention to see if all my effort is actually paying off. I was raised (as I think many Americans were) to believe that if I just worked hard enough, all would work out. But we were never taught to pay attention to our actions, to reconsider our actions, to relax and let things happen.

I have such a hard time trusting that if I let go of something I've managed to get a hold of, that it will stay. What's the saying, "If you love something, let it go. If it was meant to be yours, it will come back." But what if it doesn't come back? I want what I want because I want it. And I want to make it happen.

Struggle, struggle, struggle.

Other things I'm struggling with -- turning my puddles of patience into kiddie pools of patience (I almost wrote lakes of patience, but I think that's a bit too ambitious and setting myself up for failure). And not letting my job, my wonderful, challenging job, take over my life and start to resent it.

Now I just want to lay down, and I've only just started the day.

Pics for you -- J is giving the big thumbs up to a young friend of ours who just got his very first e-mail address. Rites of passage these days, I tell ya. But, really, our young friend is a great e-mail writer.



Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Geeking Out

I've got a gig as a DJ, as in disc jockey, as in on the radio. KWCW 90.5 FM Walla Walla. The local college (Whitman) radio station. The show will be Thursdays from 1 to 3 pm. Why I'm telling you this, I don't know, since they don't stream their programming. But, just in case you are in range, and it's Thursday, and it's 1 pm.

The show is about reproductive rights, sexual health and the organization I work for (which shall remain nameless, so I don't get fired and/or sued) and will include music by pro-choice artists.

And I'm doing the first show all by myself. Which at first freaked me out, because I've never done a radio show before. But now I'm geeking out. I made an opener for the show using the beginning of Le Tigre's On the Verge and my voice (thanks to Mac Garage Band). I've drawn up a play list, which will feature Le Tigre, of course, Rage Against the Machine, Sleater-Kinney, Moby, the Dixie Chicks, Duncan Sheik, the Indigo Girls and Cabaret for Choice.

And I'm typing up an entire script. I think this is why I'm not so nervous anymore -- I'll be the only one at the mic and will know pretty much what I'm going to say, unlike if I was actually doing it with my co-host. Not to say she's not super articulate and good with staying on-point, but I think for me to get through this without hurling/my head exploding, I need to have the most control possible. I can go more free flow the second show.

Anyway, wish me luck. I'll let you know how it goes.

And, added bonus -- cute Bella picture, entitled Dog Patiently Awaiting Pets.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Viva la Revoluction!

I am finally joining the craft revolution. Years after knitting became popular again, years after diy craze started, I have finally found my craft and am ready to start revolutioning.

My craft of choice? Sewing. My mom taught me to sew when I was young, and we used to do it together. In April, I got back into sewing thanks to Ms. H & N -- two very crafty ladies. Sample of our craftiness:


(J says this top makes me look like I'm trying to cover up that I'm pregnant. I'm not, but I need to be ready for comments before wearing it in public; I'm working up the courage to say, "Nope, not pregnant, just fat!")

(N -- notice the altered sleeves.)

For my birthday, my father sent me my grandmother's sewing maching that had been sitting unused in his house for almost 2 decades. I haven't had a chance to set it up yet, but I already have fabric and things to sew.

First projects -- curtains for the sliding glass doors, throw pillows for A's b-day, presents for a new born and one year old, pillow cover and a blouse or skirt.

I can't wait until Saturday, when I'm back in town after a week full of work trainings in the Palm Springs of WA (the town is anything but that) and can sew my little heart out...well, actually, figure out if the machine works or not and if I can make it go.

Hip Hip Hooray!



A got the job! And she accepted! The W's are moving to Walla Walla!

(One set of friends down, about a dozen to go.)

Friday, June 01, 2007

Simple Pleasures

I was going to name this post "Guilty Pleasures" but decided I didn't need anymore guilt and that I enjoy these simple things and shouldn't regret that.

And with that said, a list of current simple pleasures:

- Dido
- Spaghetti O's
- Klimt's Kiss coffee drink from Verve
- Zima Pineapple Citrus
- Angel, Season I, early episodes
- Bella's ears
- J's bum
- Dooce.com
- Podcasts
- A/C
- Bare legs
- Mac PhotoBooth:





Fingers Crossed, Please

Our good friends, K&A, who you may recall from the Mandarin Day 2006 post, are visiting right now. A has an interview here for a school librarian position. It would be so very cool in so many ways if she got the job. First, she'd make the world's best librarian (no offense, Ms. H), and they would live close to us, which would then lead to many fun times and crazy shenanigans. Plus, their kids are way cool.

So, gentle readers, please, fingers crossed that the school district of WaWa will see the jewel presented before them this morning and rightfully snatch it up.

My favorite picture of A and her son - her laugh is one of my favorite things ever.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Back with a Vengeance

The past few days, I've been mulling over the thought that I half-a** a good deal of my life -- relationships, work, citizenship, self-improvement. And I've been wondering what the hell I'm going to do about that, and, more importantly, when I'm going to do something about it. Hell, I've got 5 volunteers showing up tonight to learn from me what they can do to protect reproductive rights and promote sexual health. And, sure, I've got a fancy power point to let them know. But I feel like a sell out, since I don't do anything beyond what I get paid to do. And that's pathetic. I am a better human being than this, and I need to start acting like it.

This rant was prompted by my other posts and this quote from the post here:

I’ve quoted Thomas Jefferson before. I’ll do it again. People get the government they deserve.

Brothers and sisters, I say and I say again the fault lies not in your rulers but your self rule. You don’t really care – not enough of you anyway. If you did, you’d do something. But you’re just like me. You’re content in your middle-classdom, your health coverage, your relative assurance that you’ll have enough money to live on when you’re old and your delusion that even if all is not as it should be, it is as it must be. I, for one, will not subscribe any longer to such naïve optimism or such cynical fatalism. It ought not be this way and god damn it, it need not.

Soothing Balm for a Troubled Soul

Keith Olbermann, Special Comment on MSNBC, 5/23/2007

It feels so good to hear his words, to hear my own thoughts and feelings so articulately expressed. But I can't help wondering, what now? Where do we go from here?

I feel quoting the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Once More with Feeling (musical episode) is appropriate here:

Where do we go from here?
Where do we go from here?
The battle's done,
And we kind of won
So we sound our victory cheer
Where do we go from here?
Why is the path unclear?
When we know home is near.
Understand
We'll go hand in hand
But we'll walk alone in fear
Tell me
Where do we go from here?
When does the end appear?
When do the trumpets cheer?
The curtains close
On a kiss god knows
We can tell the end is near.
Where do we go from here?

Unfortunately, for the troops in Iraq (U.S. and elsewhere), the end isn't near. And more troops are signing up and shipping out every day. And our elected officials just don't seem to care.

So, tell me, where do we go from here?

Cindy Sheehan Resigns

It took me a minute to remember who she is -- her son, Casey, died in Iraq, and she set up Camp Peace outside of W's Crawford, TX, ranch, trying to hold him accountable. Trying to get this sorry-a** country of our's to change for the better. Well, she's resigning. And not because she's accomplished what she set out to do. Her letter is here. Thanks to Aaryn for directing me there.

I thank Cindy for all the work she has done and all she tried to do. And I thank for letting it go before it ate her and her remaining family alive.

And we're live

I'm back!!! Finally, Internet at home -- what a wonderful thing. To celebrate, below is a picture from my fabu 30th b-day bash. What fun we had. T-shirts by Ms. H -- isn't she super crafty?



And this is all the time I've got for now. Work beckons -- I have my first volunteer meeting tonight. I invited 425 and so far, 3 have RSVP'd. And I keep trying to remind myself that if those 3 show up, I'm doing well.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sweet Onion

In a fit of procrastination, instead of doing my usual Internet surfing, I decided to be a bit more creative. I took the lyrics to Light-Rail Coyote by Sleater-Kinney (R.I.P.) -- a song about Portland -- and changed them to reflect life here in WaWa. I found it an amusing exercise -- hopefully you will too. (In case you are not an S-K devotee, lyrics to Light-Rail Coyote can be found here.)

Sweet Onion

Let’s meet in the town where
Traditional and cutting edge meet there
Let’s float down into the midst
Where teetotalers and winos mix
A kid from out in Dayton
Wants to be seen and go out
Let’s borrow my parent’s car
Let’s stay out till sundown there
And Main will be our street
Where the townies and tourists meet
Restaurants, bookstores and galleries
Mix with wine bars and banks galore.

Sweet Onions, Colleges and Wine
(I’m as green as this wheat stalk that bends)
Small Washington town draws you in
(In the air that blows through mighty windmills)
A promise undefined or not
(Where Porsches and tractors share pavement)
Just hang on until April, it’s hot
(And to gain the hope that this town sustains)

We’ll make our home A/C tight
Work all day, rest all night
And hope we’re not blown away
By foul scents or the bourgeoisie
And Adventists rule College Place
Where the poor and the devout meet
The grid that divides us all
Myra Road makes final call
Out at the edge of town
Where airfield runs wineries down
Wild fowl cross highway 12
To feed in the wide green fields

Sweet Onions, Colleges and Wine
(I’m as green as this wheat stalk that bends)
Small Washington town draws you in
(In the air that blows through our mighty windmills)
A promise undefined or not
(Where I take dirt roads to tasting rooms)
Just hang on until April, it’s hot
(And to gain the hope that this town maintains)

And if you wanna be a friend of mine
Follow the Columbia to the east side
Find me on the edge of conservatism
Tell me the country is no place to hide
Take me on a walk through downtown
Through Verve, Hot Poop and Whitman
You came to me in the nick of time
Thankful for the things I can still find

Oh highway 12, show me the way in (3X)
Oh highway 12

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tuesday

Hey, hey, hey! Yes, I'm still here -- still breathing, still happy, just very busy. And Internet-less at home. And now working for an organization that actually monitors how much time its employees spend on the Internet and fires them for inappropriate use. Hence, the lack of posts and e-mails.

However, this is all coming to an end next Tuesday (fingers and toes crossed, please, because I do not have a lot of faith in the local cable Internet provider). As will my life without cable. Yes, J and I signed up for the dish network and made an 18-mos. commitment and got the DVR. I am hoping this last piece of equipment will keep me from surfing cable for hours, but instead keep me watching all my favorite shows (i.e., What Not to Wear!!!) for hours. I can just see it, though, J and I will be buying a second TV in the coming weeks because we will refuse to watch each other's shows (for J, that would be basketball and Adult Swim on the cartoon network).

But, back to the Internet. Once installed, we hope to start our own blog and weekly broadcast about life in WaWa. For example, if we had been broadcasting last week, I would've reported on the cowboy I saw riding his horse down Main St. at 3 in the afternoon on a Friday, then later saw him swaggering down another street. In chaps and cowboy hat, both times.

All righty, I can feel the Internet police creeping ever closer. Please know that I miss you all and compose umpteen posts and e-mails to each of you every day. Your Cora withdrawals are almost over.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Wall of Protest & Locked


You can be anti-choice for all I care, just not in my vagina.

I just participated in Planned Parenthood's Wall of Protest -- a virtual wall that represents the widespread opposition to courts and politicians invading the most personal health care decisions of women and their families. (That's my post above.)

You can express your outrage over the Federal Abortion ban by posting a photo or video on the Wall of Protest. Visit Wall of Protest to learn more.

Also, I saw a wonderful film last night -- Locked -- about two sister survivors of sexual assault by Juli C. Lasselle. It's an independent film and not in theaters, but I recommend you figure out a way to see it. It's multi-layered, deep and hopeful. Plus, Juli's great, and I'm excited that such a woman is making films.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Awww yeah!

Thick Chicks by Tamara Blue

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Supreme Outrageousness

Ruby Soho Adventures has published a wonderful post on her blog regarding the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Federal Abortion ban. Read it here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Dark Day for Women's Rights

Today, the Supreme Court upheld the federal abortion ban, which was passed by Congress and President Bush in 2003. The ban criminalizes abortions in the second trimester of pregnancy (12-15 weeks) that doctors and health professionals (including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Nurses Association) say are safe and the best to protect women's health. The ban does NOT include an exception to save the life of a woman. This ban tells women that politicians, not themselves or their doctors, will make their health care decisions.

If you are outraged by the U.S. Supreme Court's failure to clearly and unequivocally sustain the long-established principle that any and all restrictions on abortion must protect women's health, sign the Planned Parenthood pledge at here.

For more info, visit here.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Can I get a hell yeah?!?

We have accepted an offer on our house. I just faxed back the documents. Word.

I'm remaining guardedly optimistic, since this is just the first step in a long process of inspections and paper pushing. BUT, if all goes well, we will be house free on April 27th. (fingers crossed, toes crossed, eyes crossed)

I'll admit, when we got word of the offer on Tuesday, I cried. Well, first I hyperventilated from sheer joy, then I cried. I will miss Carl, as we called her. She was a good house, and we tried to do right by her during our short tenure with her. We'd keep her if we could.

With that said, I am looking forward to a life where we only pay rent, not rent+mortgage. I look forward to a life free of credit card debt. I look forward to saving for a down payment on a new place. We're going to do it right this time.

Team Davidson's NOT in the house, yo.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Awesomeness

My friend, Ms. A, sent me this awesome story about her daughter, MiniA:

To convey the wonderfulness of my daughter (or as I like to call her MiniA) I must tell you that she has a great passion for Star Wars movies...huge. Even H [her son] is known to say, "Oh MiniA not Star Wars again." Anyway, we were all sitting around laughing at MiniA for some crazy thing she was doing. She then stopped, stared at her dad, and dead panned, "Laugh it up fuzz ball."

I can just hear Ms. A's laugh -- I wish I had a recording I could share with all of you. It's the best freakin' laugh in the world.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Leashes - not just a cute dog accessory

My day is looking better, but I had a little incident when I popped home to let Bella out and decided to take her for a walk, since it's so gorgeously sunny out. As we were walking (she was on her leash), these two dogs come running up who were twice her size. I tried to position myself between them and her and her the hair along her spine stood up, which happens when she gets scared. The owner, thankfully, was outside, but he was just calling for the dogs and they weren't listening. So, I called out, "Can you come get your dogs, please?!?" And he said, "Don't worry, they don't bite."

I HATE that. I have had plenty of encounters with dogs where they do something their owner has never seen them do before -- be it growl at me, try to bite me or roll over and let me rub their bellies. I have never met your dogs before and vice versa -- I or my dog could do something that sets them off. So, instead of telling me your dog doesn't bite, how 'bout you put it on a leash and get the damn animal away from me and my leashed dog?

Miraculously, I managed to maintain my cool and replied, "Well, she doesn't know that. They're twice her size and she's terrified." So, he tried lamely to get them under control and when we could, we walked off and I thanked him for his help.

Grrrr...I hate irresponsible pet owners. In my neighborhood in Portland, the neighbor across the street lets her cats (all 6 of them) run freely around the neighborhood. And this really annoyed me, as well as my next door neighbor, since the cats liked to use her yard and garden as a litter box. She once said, "You know, I have to clean up after my dogs when I take them out. Cat owners should have to do the same." Well, cats are a bit different than dogs, but I do agree with her sentiment. It's not okay to get pets and then just let them run wild. That's not only irresponsible to your neighbors but also to the pets.

Okay, I'm getting off my soap box.

Grumpy

Boy howdy, I'm a bit grumpy this morning. Trying to reign it in, but my day continues to challenge me in ways I am not up for.

First, I wake up (again) at 4:30 am (and not because of the crazy, neurotic rooster next door) and lie awake for an hour and half, only to fall back asleep really hard for 20 mins. before the alarm rudely jerks me awake. After caring for the kiddos, I climb back in bed and proceed to nap for the next hour and a half.

I finally pull my butt out of bed at 8 (when I'm usually arriving at work), only to have Paul attempt to smack Bella upside the head for the second time in 12 hours but he restrained himself (yay for small victories!).

Then Bella jumps up on the bed and when I try to pet her, she pees on the bed (but not very much -- another small victory!). So, I get that cleaned up and get ready for work and drive the stick to work, stalling only once (asm!).

I get to work to find out that HR hasn't a clue where the paperwork is for my intern, who is supposed to start this week, despite it being sent 2. weeks. ago. And now we have to get the paperwork again. And I have to tell my intern that we're lame.

I really, really, really hate it when I do my part and the other person drops the ball. I'm very judgemental on this, though I know I need more compassion in this department.

Whew. Okay, feeling a bit better, though I'd still rather hide under my desk.

P.S. when you're text messaging and someone else is near you and not text messaging, could you please turn the beep off for your keys? It's really, really annoying to hear all that beeping. Thx.

Ahhhh Portland

This was posted at Mighty Girl:

HOODLUMS: Mar 27 2007

In Portland, a group of punk youth is entrenched on sidewalk. They are smoking, trying to out-blasé one another. One holds a sign that reads, “AT LEAST WE’RE NOT MUGGING YOU.”

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sweet but Mortifying

My co-worker told me this funny story this morning, and I just had to share.

My co-worker has been mentioning to her husband for about six months that she needs new underwear. Being the sweet man that he is, he tried to buy her a bulk pack from Bi-Mart, but they weren't right. So, he decided to try again, but this time took a pair of her ratty old undies with him and showed them to the clerk at Macy's. He wound up getting her the right size, style, everything. Except she is now mortified that the clerk at Macy's has seen her ratty old underwear. But at least she's in comfy clean underwear now.

I just thought that was too funny -- so sweet, but so mortifying. In a small town like WaWa, it is quite possible to run into that clerk again and have her remember the husband and the undies.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Rural Life

I am new to rural life. I grew up in and around Portland, which was not always the thriving metropolis it is today, and even with it's progressive urban growth boundaries, I was miles away for farm livin'. So, there are things out here that I have never encountered before.

For example: at the local community college, you can study John Deere (the tractor) Technology and Dealership Management, as well as Turf Management and Farrier Science (working with horses), and you can join the college's rodeo team.

To be fair, you can also study Oceanography (amongst other things) and the Enology and Viticulture programs (winemaking) is one of the best in the nation.

But, still, John Deere Technology major and the rodeo team? Whoa. This is taking FFA (Future Farmers of America) to a whole new level for me.

Outraged

I have recently learned that to get a card to the only local public library, I have to pay $50 annually, because I live in College Place and not Walla Walla. Now, for those of you who are not familiar with the CP/WaWa divide -- there really isn't one. The mighty Myra Road -- a 2 lane road with a Home Depot and sports store on it -- divides the two towns. If you blinked, you would miss it. Though the library is supported by county tax revenue, and CP is in the same county as WaWa, CP county tax revenue for some reason does not go to supporting the library. The city of CP does provide a limited amount of reimbursement -- up to half -- for CP residents who get a library card.

WTF, people?!? A public library is supposed to be for all the people, not just those who can afford it or live on one side of a street. I am thoroughly outraged. One of the places J and I toured when we were thinking about moving out here was the library, because the public library has played an important role in my life. I still have library cards from when I was 4 years old. Libraries are a place for people from different neighborhoods, different socio-economic classes to meet, to share ideas. Libraries are a place to explore, research, learn and not be hindered by money and censorship. And, the kids in CP attend high school in WaWa, but only those living in WaWa can use this public resource free of charge.

Instead of just bitching or ponying up the $50, I'm going to do something about this. I'm going to attend city council meetings, library board meetings, county meetings and get this rectified -- not just for me, but for all the people who can't afford to pay $50 or even $25 to use what should be, in my opinion, a public resource.

Ri-f*cking-diculous.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

iWant

From Graffiti Fridays:
I saw this and was immediately ashamed. Lately, I've been lamenting the broke state of Team D. And I deliberately use the word broke, rather than poor, because I -- well, for the very reason of the meaning of this piece. Seeing this was a slap in the face and a reminder of just how damn good I've got it. Will that stop me from posting to my Tumblr page? No. But I will be doing it with a heart full of appreciation.

I Weigh 202 Pounds

A Fat Rant by Joy Nash

My one complaint - I have an exteremly hard time finding pants that fit. Either they're too small or too big -- at my size, I'm not quite plus size but not quite misses. Very frustrating.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tumblr

The lovely Ms. Culotte Folle introduced me to tumblr.com, and I have created my own site. I decided to create one because Team D is broke, broke, broke, but I keep finding things I want to purchase or would go to. I thought having the site would be like shopping but without the spending of the non-existant funds. Ahhh...virtual shopping.

And I thought, maybe, just maybe, you might like to know what I would want to buy. Ahhh...narcissism.

Bella!

The verdict: to dog! We adopted Bella (full name: Mirabella, formerly known as: Precious, often called: Precious Bella) last Thursday. The first day she was quite nervous with us, but has since warmed up a whole bunch. She sleeps with us every night and has taken to sleeping on J's pillow.




Doesn't she look like a chocolate Easter bunny here?

We took her on a little road trip on Sunday, and she did fabulous in the car and out in nature. She is really only interested in other dogs and humans. We saw some horses and nada -- didn't hide, didn't try to sniff, nothing. Curious.


Bella also doesn't bother the cats -- at all. At first, I thought maybe she couldn't see them, then I realized that was dumb, because she could certainly smell them. Paul is coming around -- he's stopped hissing at her every time she gets remotely near. I think he's a little ticked that she doesn't pay him any attention and gets part of what he considers to be his ration of pets. Rachel just thinks Bella's a spaz and avoids her as much as possible. I feel bad for Rachel -- she's kind of getting ignored in this whole acclimation process.


So, yes, my life now revolves around my pets. After spending 40 minutes this morning taking turns petting each of the kiddos, I told J we needed to have a human pet session.
















Tuesday, March 13, 2007

To dog or not to dog?

I'm thinking about adopting a dog (hence the title of the post). Actually, this dog here, Precious. Isn't she, though? She's a Corgi/Chihuahua mix, 6 years old. Not sure why she's up for adoption. The shelter says she's good with cats. Not sure, though, if my delicate flowers will be good with her. Rachel seems to find dogs curious, but they seem to freak Paul out (what doesn't, though?). J says he is lukewarm to the idea of getting a dog, but that the decision is up to me. And what a tough decision it's turning out to be. I've come to the conclusion that I can't really decide until I meet her, and I don't know yet when that will be.

I'm torn, though -- is it right to bring another member to our family who won't necessarily be welcomed by two members and only kind of welcomed by the third? Not to say that J won't be kind and loving to her, but he did explicitly say that the dog will be 75% my responsibility. I have a lot of what ifs running through my head, all fears that bringing her into the home will put a wedge in our family with she and I on one side and J and the cats on the other. I'm being overly dramatic, I'm sure (as I am known to be), but what if I'm not? Too many what ifs.

I want a dog for many reasons, and I've wanted one for quite a while. I like the idea of playing with her, taking her for walks, snuggling with her, taking her on care rides (she supposedly likes these). I know I will also need to take her out when it's pouring down rain or 20 degrees or I'm sick. And, yeah, that kinda sucks, but I think the bonding between her and I would more than make up for that. It does with the cats. But what if Precious and I don't bond? What if she never really comes around or, instead, bonds with J? Or, what if it's just like I imagine it and we're the best of friends?

What all this talk about adopting a dog has made me realize is that I'm not yet ready for a baby. I'm just getting into my new job and new town, and I'm just not ready for that kind of responsibility yet. I kinda see the dog as a step up in responsibility. And as a being to care for, who needs my care, but isn't so dependant on my care, if you know what I mean.

For the moment, I guess I just wait until I can meet her and get to know her a little. If you have any advice or words of wisdom, please share.

Monday, March 05, 2007

My Star Chart

I've always wanted to have a start chart done, but wasn't willing to pay for it. Thanks to my friend, L, I found a web site that does them for free -- http://alabe.com. If you are interested in reading my chart, enter this data:

Name: Cora
April 30 1977
7:25 AM
Time Zone is MDT
Boise, ID

What struck me after reading this is that I think the chart pretty much describes me, warts and all. As I was reading the report, I thought to myself several times: "True; need to change that." But then I started wondering - if this is who I am, why do I need to change? Can I even change? Or do I just need to be aware and use these to my advantage? A new way of looking at my "faults."

Really Deep Thoughts

Though it's been a while since I last posted, I'm resisting doing a catch-up post, letting y'all know what I've been doing since Feb. 20th, mainly because it would consist of - get up, go to work, work like crazy, pick up J, go home and veg with family, go to bed, start all over. One variation to that - J's 31st b-day was on Saturday - happy b-day to my old man.

So, I finally found something to write about that didn't involve the mundane (yet thoroughly enjoyable for me) schedule listed above or reproductive rights and sexual health. Last night I dreamt about a ex-friend (let's call her Q). Q and I ended our friendship last March after almost 14 years of friendship. She was my longest-term friend and my only remaining friend from high school. We had really tried to make this friendship work, mainly long-distance over long distances when I lived in other states and on another Continent. Actually, she tried harder than I did. In the early years of the long-distance, I remember wondering why she was trying so hard. Anyways, last March things kinda came to a head, and we decided to part ways. Well, she said she wanted to take a break, and I said if we took a break, I most likely wouldn't be coming back. And that was that. I didn't think or talk too much about it, mainly because when the break-up occurred, I was very sick and was focused on that. After I was well, I just don't think I was ready to contemplate it. I e-mail her to check-in and she sent a friendly response, but it sounded hollow to me - she sounded like she does when she talks to people she doesn't like but feels she needs to be polite to. And maybe she wasn't - e-mail can be difficult, I know. But I didn't feel like pursuing it.

So, last night I had this dream that she and I were hanging out again and having a good time, better than we'd ever had previously in our relationship. I thought about e-mailing her again and letting her know what was going on with me, but ultimately decided against it. What I realize now is that we're very different people, with different interests and priorities. And, I could not stop judging her and her actions, which I totally hated myself for, especially since I felt I was doing to her exactly what my parents do to me. I just realized that I don't actually miss our friendship. Sure, I still care about her and wish her well - I still think she's an amazing human being. But I don't miss us. I wish there was a way that we could be friends, but after 14 years of trying, I think I need to concede the loss. And I think that's what I struggle with - the giving up. Gosh, I really am as stubborn as my mother and J say I am. Part of me just wants so badly for our friendship to work, while the other side recognizes it's time to let go.

And Q's not the first friendship I've struggled with like this. I have a long history of this, particularly with females. I want so badly to have a BFF (best friend forever) who truly is F. And if I could remove my head from my own a**, I would realize that I have this with J, complete with rings and a certificate and a shared mortgage. Can't get more than a promise of F than that.

I also think I need to learn how to be a friend to myself, which I have no idea how to do. I've always felt that I need to be a disciplinarian to myself, keeping myself in-line and under control. And I think that I extend that to those closest to me - that if I really love and care about them, I will be hard on them and hold them to high standards. At least I don't expect anymore from them than I expect for myself. But I think that's too much.

Anyway, this is starting to ramble, so I'll end here. Thanks for reading.