Monday, December 29, 2008

Guess what?

I'm stuck in DFW airport overnight. Why? Cuz I misread my itinerary and missed my first flight, which led to a missed connection to Seattle. What's worse than finding a comfortable sleeping position when pregnant? Finding a comfortable sleeping position on an airport cot when pregnant. Oh, and did I mention that the restaurants and shops closed at 8:30 (which is about 30 minutes BEFORE I knew I was going to be stuck here overnight)? That lovely gem of information is only enhanced by the fact that all the vending machines in the terminal are "CURRENTLY UNDERGOING PROCESSING". I don't know what that means in vending machine-ese, but in real-life, it means that they don't accept currency and don't dispense food or drinks. Good thing I stashed a bag of cookies in my bag. Looks like it will be dinner and breakfast.

I'll be back later in the week to really blog about my vacation. As you hopefully understand, I'm just not in the mood right now.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Has It Been A Whole Week? and other blog updates

Hello, blogosphere!



Apparently, its been a week since my last entry. My bad! Actually, we've been snowed in since Wednesday night and I've made good use of my time checking things off the "Things I'd Like To Do Around The House If I Had One Extra Day In The Week". Remember my request for Sriday? The day between Friday and Saturday? Well, I've had 3days in addition to the weekend and I'm on a roll! Not sure if work will be "open" tomorrow, although it may not matter if I can't get my HHR out of our parking lot. I was able to get out a bit Friday and Saturday, but attempts today were futile!

Anyhoo, enjoy the pictures of this winter wonderland. This is very unusual weather for Seattle. Particularly for our area here by the lake.

In other news, I am honored to be tagged by two fellow blogistas: Davida Chanel from OMIGOSH, Let Me Tell You... and from Patranila from My Beautifully Brilliant Life. Thanks, for the tags, ladies! So, here goes...

Photobucket

1. I am a recovering shopaholic. Seriously. I'm proud to say that I've had my shopping under control since 2001. This is thanks to a great friend, Darlene, who volunteered to be my shopping chaperone during the last stage of my recovery.

2. I really, REALLY, like being pregnant. I squealed with delight the first time I couldn't zip my pants. I relish round ligament pain. And I am completely amazed at the ginormity of my new ta-tas! I recently reached another happy milestone - I can't see my feet anymore. Yay!

3. I have written one and a half fiction novels, but am to lazy to shop them around to get published. The finished one has been sitting on my shelf in a yellow folder since 1998.

4. I asked Santa for a Wii. I've never asked Santa for anything so impractical or expensive, but I went balls out this year. I really want that Wii!!!

5. I have the "gift of goodbye". I can make up my mind to completely sever a relationship with someone and never look back. I usually have a moment or two of sadness or disappointment, but by the end of the week I'm so over it. So, as you can gues, I've never gotten back together with an ex-boyfriend.

6. I love, love, LOVE watching those cheesy court shows. My favorites are Judge Mathis, People's Court, Judge Alex, and the newly discovered Judge Karen. I'm so embarrased to even mention that. You know with all these days off what has been the tv soundtrack to my puttering around the house. LOL!

Now, I get to tag 6 folks I'd like to know more about. Only, there is some kind of tag epidemic sweeping the world wide web right now and lots of people have already been tagged, so here's two folks that haven't been tagged that I'd like to know more about.(Nilsa, you get a pass because you're already answering a lot of questions on your blog.)

1. kenge at Treading Water

2. Reiko! at God's Favorite Shoes

Monday, December 15, 2008

Can you help me, please?

Okay, I have always been extremely terrible at naming things. I can be stumped for hours at a time simply creating a username. My Barbies all kept whatever name was printed on the box. I have named two dogs. The last one, I started thinking of names in the early 90s so I would be ready with a good name if/when I ever finally got a dog. It took me two weeks to name this blog.

So, with that said, I need your help picking out a name. No, not a name for baby. We have a list of those (another example of me starting years in advance). My fantastic, amazing, super great friend is throwing me an online shower - complete with pre- and post-baby blog, photos, games, etc. She called me two weeks ago and asked me to pick out a name for the URL. Two weeks ago. And today, I got nothing.

Any ideas?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Starbucks vs. McDonald's

So, among other mega-conglomerates, the Seattle area is home to Starbuck's HQ. Well, in the last few months, McDonald's has started serving (pretty yummy) coffee shop-style products as well - lattes, cappucino, espresso, iced coffees. As soon as they rolled out this new section of the menu, they launched a full-on attack on Starbucks. There were commercials of people sitting in a Starbuck's-looking coffee shop finally realizing that they were paying too much for mediocre coffee. Snapping out of it, kicking off pretentious clothing and over-pronouncing words and running with glee to their nearest McDonald's. Those commercials were great too watch. The latest phase of advertising has been about billboards lining the highway very near Starbucks HQ (and elsewhere in the area that read

Four dollars for coffee is dumb.
.

There's also my favorite commercial where a woman comes up to the counter and rattles off a super long coffee shop style order (Come on, we've all done it - "I'll have a vente half-decaf skinny vanilla latte slightly foamy please"), then she realizes she's at McDonald's and rejoices in the fact that all she has to order is a medium coffee. Hilarious.

Now, since I think Starbucks coffee tastes burnt and is over-priced, I've really enjoyed this little media blitz. But, Starbuck's is beginning to get embarrased. Even though their media people keep saying that they will not join in the pettiness of McDonald's ad campaign, they've been releasing statements everyday saying that they think the campaign is juvenile and that Starbucks does not resort to tit-for-tat advertising.

Only in Seattle, would news of a Starbucks/McDonald's designer coffee war be a headline in the news even though we're in a massive global financial crisis, at least two wars and political corruption exposes.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Traditions

Lots of my blog friends have been mentioning Christmas traditions lately, so I think I'll join in on the fun. I'd love to hear from y'all too about your favorite (or most hated) Christmas traditions.

My mom's family hangs out all of Christmas day. There's a big dinner, lots of desserts and presents passed around from the name draw. Then, we get down to business - family games! We have the best rounds of Scattegories, Charades, MadGabs, and any other manner of group interactive games going. It lasts into the night.

My dad's family bumbles awkwardly about in a rented hall for one hour (count it, one hour) of catered dinner on Christmas Eve. Everyone sits in their "cliques" and we fake hug and yell Merry Christmas on our way out the door almost as soon as we came in. It's so insincere, but its a ritual. My flight gets in very late this year so I'll have to miss out this time (darn!).

My most favorite Christmas tradition, though, is waking up very early on Christmas morning at my mom's cinnamon and peppermint smelling house in my new "Christmas pajamas" and sneaking across the hall to crawl in her warm bed until its really time to wake up. Now that I'm married, I have to sneak back to my room to be there when hubby wakes up, but its so worth it for those few quiet moments with my mom.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A snapshot from my awesome childhood


This is a picture of me and my dad, circa 1981 in the field across the street from my grandmother's house. This is my favorite picture. My mom took this (she is such an amazing photographer). I think this photo captures the essence of my early childhood. I'm hanging out with my family do something extremely simple, but most likely having the time of my life.

This little girl is now expecting a little one of her own, my dad long ago ditched the Member's Only jacket and tight jeans and my mom rarely has the time to find and capture moments as beautiful as this. This picture is my little reminder of a time when things weren't complicated and my only care in the world was keeping this kite from crashing to the ground. And, as always, my mom was there to catch my moment of success and dad is cheering me on.

Christmas at the Condo


Well, we finally made our way to the Christmas tree lot, where I subjected my husband to unraveling, propping up, fluffing, then discarding about six trees before I found one that was the right size.

Hubby doesn't believe in measuring trees before he buys them. Because of this, we had to move our dining room table partly into the kitchen, then give up use of the entire sliding patio doors last Christmas. He bought a 9'x4' tree to fit in a 7'x3' space. Therefore, my plans for a festive foyer had to be diverted to an unusable dining room, patio entry/exit.

Anyhoo - I put myself on the tree-finding committee this year and we made out okay. The tree is still about a foot wider than I wanted, but at least it fits in the space.

I still don't understand why he insists on having a Christmas tree - and a live one at that. We are always in Oklahoma for Christmas so the tree sits twinkling alone on the days surrounding Christmas. Now that we're living in Washington and the front, side and rear of our condo are surrounded by pine and furs, I suggested that we just decorate one of those trees already naturally outside. We can enjoy them through one of three picture windows. No dice.

So, here's the before and after of our 2008 Christmas tree. Thought I'd post it to add a little joy to your season. *cue holiday music in the backgroun*

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Small wonders never cease to amaze


Our first look at our little one. Boy or girl? We swore the tech to secrecy. We'll leave it for the big moment at delivery.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm always conflicted about Thanksgiving. I don't appreciate the historical origins of the holiday because of the settlers treatment of Native Americans. However, in recent years, I don't appreciate how Native Americans are treating Black Indians so that dampens my initial sympathy a little bit.

Yet, no matter how I feel about that whole bit, I relish the idea of having a holiday devoted solely to being thankful for all of one's blessings.

So, in the honor of the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are a few things I'm thankful for this year:

1) My loving and supportive family
2) That dinner will be catered by Safeway (read: I don't have to cook a thing!)
3) My little circle of friends
4) An end in sight for the current presidential administration
5) This chocolate bun I've got in my oven
6) A husband who rubs my feet in the evening (even if he did snatch the covers last night)

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Is there an end to the stupidity?

A card sent to Jewish leaders had a distinctly Yuletide flavor.

WHITE HOUSE (CNN) - Whoops! A picture of a Christmas tree is not the first thing you would expect to see on an invitation to an event celebrating Hanukkah, but that is exactly what recipients of invitations to this year’s White House Hanukkah reception initially got in the mail.

The invitation sent to American Jewish leaders on behalf of the President and First Lady, requesting “the pleasure of your company at a Hanukkah reception,” bore an image of a Clydesdale horse drawn cart, carrying the White House Christmas tree, with a Christmas wreath-adorned White House in the background.

Mrs. Bush’s press secretary, Sally McDonough, attributed the snafu to a “staff mistake” in not printing separate cards for the different White House holiday events, as has been the custom in years past. “Mrs. Bush is apologetic, It is just something that fell through the cracks,” she said, referring to the role of the First Lady’s office in sending out the invitations.

The card as originally intended featured a menorah given to the White House during Harry Truman’s presidency. That mailing was to have gone out today, according to Mrs. McDonough.

McDonough added that the White House had received “dozens” of calls of support from members of the Jewish community to express their appreciation for what President and Mrs. Bush had done for them through the course of Mr. Bush’s presidency.

***I highly doubt that's true***

Monday, November 24, 2008

Any dream interpreters out there?

I have been having the weirdest dreams lately. The pregnancy books mention that the unusual hormone levels can often cause this, so I'm not worried. Normal, unpregnant Karla already has crazy, vivid dreams that I remember like movies when I wake up. However, lately, they are super weird and more real people are involved (usually my dreams are filled with imaginary friends or people I am no longer in contact with).

Saturday night, I dreamt that my dad passed away while I was home for a visit. A sudden death. I remember feeling an extreme heaviness and depression, but not necessarily being sad or angry. Weird!

Sunday night, I dreamt that hubby and I crashed into a young woman's car while we were visiting some other place. Apparently, the law of this place is that if you cause an accident (even if noone gets hurt) you must be punished by death. So, after the cars were towed and we made sure everyone was okay, we waited at our guest house for the police to show - which they did - and inform us of the day of our demise. On death day, my friend took me to my favorite place for breakfast and I remember thinking as I enjoyed my ham, bacon and cheese omelet that in a few hours I'd be dead.

One common thread in both dreams is that my cousin J showed up after bad news was delivered and took care of things - making phone calls and arrangements, making sure I ate and bathed, etc.

Clearly, J is my guiding light, but I don't understand the rest of it. Any clues? Dream readers, help me out here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A moment to vent

About a month ago, my hubby was away for a week at a conference for his job. When he came back, he was completely ruined for sharing sleeping space. In the course of one week, he has somehow picked up the three worst habits of a bed-partner:

1. SNORING

2. Cover-hogging

3. Bed-hogging

Something magical happened in his fancy 4-star hotel bed that mutated his ideal bedmate gene into one that causes him to sleep damn near spread eagle in the bed. Well, we have a king-sized bed, so if he's encroaching for any reason other than cuddling and canoodling, he's out of order. And wrapping himself in the covers during these 40-something degree nights is not cool. I won't even begin to mention his obnoxious snoring. All in the matter of one week!

Well, this mommy-to-be needs her sleep. Preferably, uninterrupted by flailing arms, snores and drafts. A bad night of rest equals back pain, extreme fatigue and loss-of-appetite and productivity for me the next day.

Last night, I reached my tipping point and declared that he observe all bed rules, or sleep in the guest room until he remembers how to share a bed. I gave him a Breathe Right strip and left it up to him. Well, he promised to try and threw a frickin tantrum before putting on the Breathe Right strip, but I'm happy to report that I had a wonderful night of uninterrupted sleep (thanks in part to the body pillow I wedged in between him and myself). Today, for the first time in weeks, I feel well-rested and might actually make it through my 13-hour work day without needing a nap. However, due to the fit he threw last night, I'm giving him the cold shoulder- despite his immediate apology.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Holiday Message from the Obamas

Friday, November 14, 2008

For my single friends

As those near and dear to me (and some unfortunate victims) know, I am literally a genius when it comes to all things boys. Genius, I say! I have usually had more guy than girl friends (marriage will put an end to that, won't it - enter crazy person laugh here) and my former experience as a serial-dater offered many opportunities to gain insight on our protein-packed co-humans.

Recently, I've grown increasingly frustrated with some of the comments I've heard from my single friends about the treatment they accept/tolerate/put up with from the guys they date (or their own brothers, for that matter). Well, I can't take it anymore! Maybe its my genteel upbringing, but I expect a lot from the guys in my life. Not only do I expect respect(not demand, but expect - there is a difference between the two), I also expect to be treated like royalty. This is a normal course of life for me.

If I'm heading inside a building and there's a male heading inside the building at the same time, it's natural for me to step aside so that he can open the door! And, let me tell you, if you do that, a man will ALWAYS open the door for you. Anyhoo, I'm going to do this public service for my sistahs out there and give 6 simple guidelines for the type of treatment that you deserve.

1. NEVER pump your own gas if there's a male over the age of 13 in the car. NEVER. Why should you have to get out, touch that grimy handle, and risk getting the smell of petrol on your hands? Its not necessary! Let him do it! I learned this in high school! Come on, people!

2. Learn how to put a condom on a guy and learn how to do it without looking. This needs no explanation. Ladies, we're progressive enough to protect ourselves. And by the way, keep your own stash and take some with you on dates.

3. Don't open door if there is a guy coming through the same door at the same time - even if you're going in opposite directions. This should apply for your life in general, but it is REQUIRED if you are on a date or otherwise hanging out with a significant other. If your guy won't open the door for you, he's inconsiderate (in my humble opinion) and who wants a future with an inconsiderate guy? If you weren't raised this way, it might take some getting used to, but you can do it!

4. If you're on a date, try to let your guy hold the seat for you. He doesn't have to push you up to the table (that's awkard unless he really knows what he's doing), but he should make sure you're comfortably seated first. I don't know what kind of guy seats himself before his date is seated. Oh, yes I do - it's the guy who doesn't get a second date.
*Aside* My parent's friends always stand when a woman approaches or leaves the table during dinner/brunch/lunch. This is awesome, but even I realize that it is a disappearing art. These guys also wear sports coats to dinner/brunch/lunch...

5. A guy should open the car door for you. He really should. This is absolutely required on a first date. My hubby is pretty good about this. But, I must admit, sometimes I forget to wait for him - particularly when its cold or rainy. I think remote locks has kind of ruined the propensity for this sort of generosity.

6. If you don't feel like a guy is going at least a little bit out of his way to treat you like you're super special, forget him. Its doubtful his manners will ever improve and there's no reason why you shouldn't feel like Queen Bee when you're with him.

I think its sad to hear girls brag that some guy helped them into or out of their coats. Why would a guy watch you struggle to get your arm in a coat and not help? Why would a guy not bring the umbrella around to your side of the car so that you don't get wet between the car and the door? If valet and the restaurant host/maitre d can open doors for you, hold your seat, and help you into or out of your coat - why can't the guy who's supposed to care about you?

Anyway, that's enough preaching from me for one day.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

YES WE CAN!

Congratulations to America for putting our heads and hearts together to elect a President that stands for something. I hope that 2009 is a new era in American history - an error of CHANGE, a restoration of our high international standing, and a new generation of educated and informed young voters!

I Voted Today, Did You?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Hey! Guess what?

The world will soon be blessed with Karla, Part II!

Yep, I've got a chocolate bun in the oven. Should be browned to perfection and ready to present to the world in April.

I solemnly swear not to turn this into a pregnancy blog. I'm just not that type of gal. But I may subject you to an ultrasound photo, if Baby K gives poses like he/she is on an episode of ANTM.

The Dynasty begins...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Give it some thought

I was perusing through some old diary entries and I ran across an entry I wrote while reading Elizabeth Gilbert's "Eat, Love, Pray" (highly recommend it). One section centered around 2 questions that I challenged myself to answer. I challenge you to give them some thought. I think answering these questions helped me put some perspective to where I was in life and what things I still needed to accomplish to be completely fulfilled.

1) What do I believe I deserve in this life?
love, happiness, contentment, romance, children, piece of mind, true friendships, financial freedom, spiritual well-being, fun, freedom to travel, the ability to speak up for myself, independence, a clear conscience, a healthy weight, healthy hair, a church home that feels like home, a faithful, loving and attentive husband.


2)Where can I accept sacrifice?
Do I have to accept sacrifice? Says who? My list of things I cannot sacrifice will probably be much longer. Why do I have to sacrifice anything? I've already sacrificed my comfort zone time and time again. I sacrificed my health, sanity and dignity to obtain my PhD. I sacrificed simple carbohydrates for a lifetime of Atkins. I've sacrifice hot summers and beaches you can swim at for a career in WA. I sacrificed my chance at science superstardom by choosing the wrong grad research advisor. Oh, the list could go on!

Where I cannot accept sacrifice is in the things that make me inherently happy: my connection with The Divine, taking care of myself mentally and physically, learning to be fiscally responsible, loving with everything I've got, and the ability to live my life freely in a way that makes me want to celebrate being me.

Having thought these things through. The real question is: Now what am I gonna do about it?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Just a little something for dessert



My new friends at the downtown Charlotte Amelie, St. Thomas fire station ;)

SWS

Hello. My name is Dr. Fuller and I am here to talk to you about a serious epidemic - SWS, Suburban Wife Syndrome.

For years, SWS has been silently and methodically killing the social lives of fabulous women everywhere.

Here, in out private, super-scientific laboratories, we have been working diligently to solve the problem of SWS. Though we have not found a cure, we have made it our mission to spread awareness of this dreadful disease.

SWS most often afflicts married women who are beautiful and have previous histories of having lots of fun, being charismatic and social butterflies. Women who had a socially active college life are particularly vulnerable to SWS.

Are you, or someone that you know, suffering from SWS? Symptoms are: lack of social obligations, decreased desire to shop at Express and a cell phone that never rings after 8pm.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with SES, rest assured that we are working on a cure! In the meantime, we advise a treatment of reconnection with college girlfriends, meeting new active girlfriends and a once-weekly trip to your local happy hour.

Treatment works!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm back!

to the blogosphere, only to leave again in a few days. Hubby and I are heading to warmer climates for a much needed vacation. Do you know that we haven't had a real vacation since our honeymoon in 2006! So, I'm happy to say that on Tuesday, October 21, we will celebrate our second year of marriage in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. Hallelujah.

Speaking of marriages...I want to say a big CONGRATS! to my blog friend Nilsa

who will join the "Married Ladies Club" this coming weekend. And wish a very happy anniversary to my brotha-from-anotha-motha, D who has made the one-year mark with his fantastic wife, Tif.

Ah, love is in the air.

So, here's the deal. I'll go back to old fashioned pen and paper journaling on the cruise, then play catch up with you when I get back.

Wish me bon voyage!

Karla

PS - Did McCain confuse autism with Down's Syndrome, not once, but twice during last night's debate? Or was he trying to make a more global point about special need's education? I vote for the former.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Rednecks for Obama

I couldn't resist...you just don't see this stuff everyday. Gives me a bit of hope for America, after all...

Thanks to http://wearerespectablenegroes.blogspot.com/ for the post.



Tony Viessman, 74, and Les Spencer, 60, got politically active last year when it occurred to them there must be other lower income, rural, beer-drinking, gun-loving, NASCAR race enthusiasts fed up with business as usual in Washington.

"We need to build the economy from the bottom up, none of this trickle down business," Spencer said. "Just because you're white and southern don't mean you have to vote Republican."

Racism "has softened up some, but it's still there," Viessman acknowledged from Belmont University, site of Tuesday's McCain-Obama debate in Nashville, Tennessee.

Surely [Obama] alienated many rural voters earlier this year when the Harvard-educated senator told a fundraiser that some blue-collar voters "cling to guns or religion".

But Viessman, who says he owns a dozen guns, said Obama "ain't gonna take your guns away."

Viessman says he'd like to think his grassroots movement could sway enough people in small-town America to make a difference.

"There's lots of other rednecks for Obama too," he said. "And the ones that's not, we're trying our best to convince them."

Chess Club Showdown

One of our chemistry professors is an advisor to a local elementary school Chess Club. This is a pretty hard-core group of kindergarten through 3rd grade chess enthusiasts. Well, they recently challened astronoaut Greg Chamitoff (who is currently hanging out at the international space station) to a game of chess. He has answered their challenge with a YouTube video and made the next move.

Well, I couldn't leave it at that. This is World Space Week, and I am in charge of science outreach at my college - so I sponsored a live satellite feed between the space station and our college. The kids will be here in an hour to make the next move live and in real-time (well, technically, Chamitoff is in the "future"), and have a chance to ask Chamitoff some questions about living and working in space.

I couldn't be more proud of these kids, the chem professor. And I didn't do so bad myself. Because I have effectively connected my college to NASA on a strictly goodwill mission, which has resulted in local and national media coverage. And who doesn't need a feelgood story in these terrible times.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

After the jump...

One of my favorite blogs has a slew of cool posts and videos in the last couple of days regarding the issues surrounding the upcoming elections. Its too much for me to jack, so check it out after the jump.

Aside: I don't know what role Benicio del Toro is preparing for, but his serial-killer looks in the "Don't Vote" spot have made me fall in love with him all over again.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

On being 72 and in charge

I am taking a french class. I love it. This is my second french class here in the Pac NW and I've been happily dusting off my skillz.

My current instructor is a 72 year-old guy. He's smart, witty and quite spry. But, sometimes in class, he goes off on a tangent. Last night we spent 40 minutes listening to him tell a story about the days when he used to teach out [nearby University that thinks too highly of itself]. The story had a great surprise ending. And although he was talking about something that happened "one time in French class", it had nothing to do with Chapitre Deux and even less to do with en parlent francais. It was just a 40 minute digression. This would have been perfectly acceptable at afternoon tea, not so much for my tuition-paid class.

But, he is 72 and these things are bound to happen. Maybe this is what happened to McCain when he mentioned that the average South Korean is three inches taller than the average North Korean. Sure, the discussion was on Korea, but on nuclear complicity, not the correlation between height and ethnicity.

Is this what we have to look forward to with a 72 year-old president? Are these early signs of dementia?

Whenever Monsieur T goes off track, he says "Don't worry about this story, I am old and crazy, I am allowed to ramble." I have a feeling that might not work so well in a meeting with Ahmadinejad. Well, I guess we don't really have to worry about that, because McCain would NEVER have a meeting with the likes of Ahmadinejad. Ever.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Friday's Debates

I enjoyed Friday's debates. I feel like I understand both candidates foreign policy conditions a little bit better. I am disappointed that McCain cannot separate the war in Iraq from the war in Afghanistan, at least in terms of why we went to both places to begin with. Seems he drank the Bush kool-aid on that one.

One question, though: Is it just me, or did it appear that every word out of Obama's mouth completely infuriated McCain? What happened to his composure?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Now the fun starts!

I have been on an election moratorium because the entry of Sarah Palin into the race kind of put me in sensory overload. I had to distance myself from the whole thing. Well, the first presidential debate starts tonight and I am officially back in the game.

I'm going to try my best to watch these things with my impartial eye because that has been an incredibly rewarding experience thus far. I look forward to the upcoming conversations that ensue and I promise not to turn this into a political blog.

My request to you: Please, watch the debates (or read about them the next day in the paper/newsfeed/blog of your choice). Then vote.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Vegetables


 

Imagine that from the day you are born, your parents, friends and loved ones tell you that you are a vegetable. You come from a long line of proud vegetables. They even name you Vegetina to reflect your wonderful vegetable heritage. They buy you vegetable toys and books about different kinds of vegetables. There are beautiful portraits of your vegetable family members and famous vegetables all over your house.

At school age, you arrive for the first day of class and your teacher, who is a fruit, tells everyone that vegetables are bad. She just states it as a fact, nothing personal against you. You learn to read and discover that some influential people have even written books that explain how and why vegetables are bad. Newspapers and magazines write whole articles describing how bad vegetables are. You are bombarded by messages of the bad nature of vegetables on TV and on the radio. For the rest of your adolescent life, you hear about vegetables being bad.

What do you do? Do you eventually start to believe the message about bad vegetables, despite the wonderful things about vegetables that your elders have told you? Vegetables are bad – everyone says so! I am a vegetable. Therefore, I am bad. What impact does that attitude have on the decisions you make about your own life and the way you act, live, dress, carry yourself? What impact does that attitude have on the way you speak about and to yourself and other vegetables like you?

Do you alter your physical appearance to look more like fruit and distance yourself from your vegetable heritage in an effort to be more readily accepted by fruits? If you do that, who do others value you? Do they realize that you are simply a vegetable in fruit clothing? What does this do to your own self-worth?

Or, do you ignore the negative message and devote yourself to projecting the positive vegetable image that your elders have instilled in you?

Now imagine that 5 years later, the government makes the following executive decree: For many years, vegetables have been viewed as bad. We have recently decided that although vegetables are bad, we all need a certain amount of vegetable to function as a country.

Now what? Does society immediately begin to embrace vegetables? Do people now allow a minimum amount of vegetable employees to work in their companies? Do vegetables deserve an apology for the previous years of prejudice? Now that vegetables are slightly acceptable, does anyone consider them not bad?

I used this example in a cultural climate seminar I gave today. We were discussing why certain groups of students never believe they can achieve anything and have to spend so much energy and time overcoming internalized stereotypes that they barely have time left to study and succeed. Whether the issue is race, socio-economics, foreign accents, gender, ability, or whatever - it doesn't matter. I think the vegetable reference was vague enough for you to put whatever private prejudices you hold in the blank and see it from a new perspective. I received a lot of compliments afterwards from people who said they finally "got it"! Whew. One group down, the rest of the world to go.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Contender for Husband of the Year


I woke up yesterday morning to 2 tickets to the Seahawks/49ers game on my pillow.

Sure, they lost. But at least I was there to see it - live and in person.

Can your husband top that?

One of the best things about going home


Is that your grandma will "throw a little something together" for you to eat if you give her advanced notice.

My grandma and I are working on a geneology project that unintentionally gets put on the backburner everytime I go home. I always have too many other things to do and no time to stop and sift through papers and records.

Well, this time, I made it a priority. I went straight from the airport to grandma's house where there was a lovely supper of the following waiting for me:
fried chicken
mashed potatoes and gravy
greens
cornbread
lasagna
and my very own personal butterroll

MMMMMMMMM!

This picture is for those of you who haven't been to grandma's lately. (And kudos to me for not overloading my plate!)

Friday, September 12, 2008

88% of 8th graders in DC can't read

and 92% of them can't do math.

Please tell me what good a voucher system is going to do in that district. Please!

Words can't express how pissed I am about that stat.

People, I beg of you to vote and vote wisely. Our future depends on it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pics from Home. Finally

Every Labor Day, my Uncle Roy has a big bbq at his house. It always turns into a big family reunion. I'm usually not at home that weekend, so I almost always miss out. Well, I was at home this time! Here are my favorite pictures.

Little Miss Sunshine (Jewel's littlest)
Photobucket Image Hosting

My grandma (love, love, LOVE her hair since she stopped dying and straightening it) and her sister.
Photobucket Image Hosting

Me and my 2 favorite little people
Photobucket Image Hosting

Friday, September 5, 2008

I don't know any Alaskans :(

Okay, I've really been enjoying both the Democratic and the Republican National Conventions (clearly for different reasons). This is such an exciting election and I don't want to miss a thing! It has been particularly enriching for me to watch the RNC with an open mind - go figure. I have just been listening to the speeches and taking in as much as I can without my libero-conservative democratic filters on. It has been very gratifying to test my own ideologies against those of modern Republicans.

I make it a point to not force my political beliefs on others, other than to encourage everyone to vote - regardless of who they're voting for. But, I must mention that McCain's choice for VP is quite an offense to me (and women in general, I believe). Why he would choose Sarah Palin over Kay Bailey Hutchinson (now that's a woman I respect and admire) is lost to me. I could spend an hour discussing the many ways I am conflicted by Palin, but I will not subject you to that.

I almost missed my connecting flight back to Seattle to listen to her speech in the airport bar. I was really looking forward to learning more about Gov. Palin. I live in the closest state to her and had never heard of the lady. I was curious to hear about her remedy for the economy. And what is so clever about her ideologies that causes McCain to call her "a breath of fresh air"? What does it mean to be from Alaska (other than eating moose burgers)? Clearly she's pro-life, but what does she think about abstinence education? The mortgage crisis? Overseas outsourcing of jobs? The impending Boeing strike (after all isn't the Repulican party all about the "working man")?

Sadly, she didn't mention any of those things. She reduced herself to snipes and snarks and trying to live up to her high school (and how long ago was that? Grow up!) nickname of "Sarah Barracuda".

With McCain being as fuzzy as always on the issues, I was hoping to hear where the GOP stands on stuff. Unfortunately, I got the most information from all the people that are not applying for jobs in the Oval Office.

A very saavy person (or a person with too much time on their hands) at the Seattle P-I (the big paper here) counted the words in her speech on Wednesday night. Here's the breakdown:

I, me, my = 53
McCain = 16
Opponent = 9
Housing = 0
Environment = 0
Deficit = 0
White House = 2 (the only time she referred to house or housing)
Economy = 1
Jobs = 2
Iraq = 3 (once when referencing her son's deployment)

PS - Why does she consider Obama her opponent? Wouldn't Biden be her opponent? Does any VP candidate really have a personal opponent, since they're kind of just along for the ride? Enlighten me, someone, please!

*sob sob sob*

I think I may have to give up on yoga for now and just join a gym. How boring.

In other news, I've spent most of the time since my great birthday at home (I mean home-home, OKC) holding hands with my mom, being daddy's little girl and every little Doakes' favorite big cousin. I have some great pictures to share. I'll put them up somewhere as soon as I remember to upload them.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, Karla

I turned 32 on Friday. Yay!

Hubby had a breakfast donut buffet laid out in the kitchen for me when I woke up. We drove up to the Evergreen State Fair and fattened ourselves up with Carnival food.

Photobucket

Anthony gave my $5 to buy lotto tickets, and I'm happy to say I won $3 from the scratch-offs.

Photobucket

We came home, got dolled up and Anthony took me to have dinner at a fancy seafood restaurant overlooking Lake Washington. We got there just in time to see the sunset behind the Olympics. Rico Suave also had my favorite flowers delivered right to our table.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Omnivore's Hundred

The weather outside is crappy, I'm bored to drowsiness by this grant application. Thank God for the World Wide Web.

Y'all know how much I love email quizzes! I got this gem from cilantro & lime .

Instructions:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you've eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) If you've put it on your blog, or emailed it to friends, shoot me an email of your list or post a comment here linking to your results.

I had to look some of this stuff up (thanks Wikipedia!)

The VGT Omnivore's Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak Tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho (o how I luv pho)
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Frois gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters (not my cup of tea)
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl (another new fav)
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
J
36. Cognac with a fat cigar (but that's a good idea...)
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail (mom, remind me to take you for oxtails when you come. meat falls right off the bone!)
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects (tried once, but never again)
43. Phaal
44. Goat's milk (Langston...)
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala (thank you, Anup, for bringing this into my life)
48. Eel

49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald's Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S'mores
62. Sweetbreads (disgusting!!!)
63. Kaolin (according to Google, this is clay. not down for that)
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs' legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake (all 3, many times)
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare (if rabbit is included, yes...if not, no thank you)
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel with lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake







Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Our weekend camping adventure

Its amazing that we can drive 40 minutes east and be in the mountains. I love that. We took advantage of that fact this weekend and headed to the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie Forest for some camping and hiking. We stayed at the Middle Fork campground, which was excellent (as long as you don't mind lots of kids - all properly wrangled by parents, but very loud). This was Figaro's first camping trip. He had a blast hanging outside with his parents for 2 days.

Saturday, we hiked 5 miles up the Taylor River trail to Otter Falls. The majority of the hike is along the river, so even though the day was hot, the breeze was cool. We had to scramble over several blow-outs and through a couple of wash-outs along the way, but it was a very nice hike. At about 3 miles, we came across a lovely wooden bridge crossing a small cascade. We all took a break to cool off.

cooling off

About a mile and a half after that, we turned off the trail at a spot marked by cairns (damn, I meant to take a picture of that), scrambled about half a mile up a hill, over and under fallen trees and boulders, then down the other side through scratchy brush about 7 feet tall. Then we were visually assaulted by the beauty of Otter Falls

Otter Falls and Lipsey Lake

It's dry season, so the falls were really only a trickle. But enough for people to use them as water slides into Lipsy Lake (what fun!) Figaro swam around with his dad, while I waded thigh deep to take pictures.

swimming with dad

We had snacks, then headed back. Figaro's joints were so sore by the time we got back to camp, he climbed in the back of the truck and stayed there til near nightfall - sleeping and watching us hang out at camp.

worn out

Early Sunday morning, we were lucky enough to get a beautiful electrical storm off to the west. What a sight with the mountains in the foreground. Another good northwestern weekend!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My first executive decision

I hired a co-worker's high schooler son as a program assistant as a favor. Not only was he obnoxious, annoying, disruptive, childish, late-coming & early-leaving, a poor listener and unable to follow directions or complete a single task. He was also (and some may say more importantly) a bad dresser.
 
After a day and a half on the job, he received his first warning (read: threat). At the end of the second day, I fired him.
 
Now, I'm drunk with power.
 
And its not nearly as hard to fire someone as I thought it was.
~karla~

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Olympics


I've been in an Olympic stupor - stuck in front of my tv, watching the Olympics on 3 screens (picture-in-picture and my laptop). Subsisting on healthy snacks and a later day work schedule to accomodate the stupid 8pm primetime West Coast starts.

Best friggin Opening Ceremonies EVER aside, when will the Chinese government get it? You have to treat people better. The final straw was uprooting 7 year-old singing phenom Yang Peiyi, pictured right, to sing under the damn stage while less talented, but cuter (according to the music director) Lin Miaoke, pictured left, lip-synced for the world to see. What the hell?

Apparently, Yang Peiyi won the singing contest but was deemed "not pretty enough" to be on stage. She looks pretty darn cute to me, particularly with that snazzy little bob of hers. But, whatever. The Chinese never fail to disappoint me - unless we're talking about gymnastics, then they totally kick ass.

"We have a responsibility to face the audience of the whole country, and to be open with this explanation. We should all understand it like this: it is a question of the national interest. It is a question of the image of our national music, our national culture. Especially at the entrance of our national flag, this is an extremely important, an extremely serious matter...So we made the choice. I think it is fair to both Lin Miaoke and Yang Peiyi - after all, we have a perfect voice, a perfect image and a perfect show, in our team's view, all together."—Chen Qigang, musical designer


In other news, its been absolutely orgasmic watching Michael Phelps and friends totally dominate in the pool. And I'm thrilled that the plagued men's gymnastics team pulled a Bronze out of nowhere. Through which I am pleased to announce my first Olympic crush since Greg Louganis - the fine physical speciman, Raj Bhavsar. I have watched on in mock pity on other (sub-par) countries as the hammer that is Misty May-Treanor and Kerrie Walsh keep smashing people on the beach volleyball circuit. They dispatched the Cubans in less than 32 minutes. Sad.

photo credits:Getty/AFP as seen on Telegraph.co.uk

Monday, August 11, 2008

Another goodie box


I received a goodie box from my second swap partner, kate, from thecleanplateclub.

I received some marvelously delicious (like eat directly off your finger out of the jar) black raspberry preserves, a chocolate nougat bar and some dark chocolate chunks that I can't wait to sprinkly on something decadent, and some locally made granola (which I will debut on my upcoming camping trip).

Many thanks to kate for putting together a great assortment of guilty pleasures!

For other Taste Like Home Food Swap news, visit Megan's site.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I couldn't resist! LOL!


Talk about being pear-shaped. LOL! I love Google Image searches. Happy summer y'all! (That's Spokane, WA in the background)

4th of July

Wow, I'm just now getting a chance to tell you about my 4th of July! Its almost August. Sheesh!

Hubby and I met Lorna and the gang under the Space Needle for Seattle Beerfest. It was an absolutley gorgeous day and what better way to take advantage of that than drinking obscure beer imports with one of my favorite people in the whole world. My fav was the Honeymoon Nectar Sweet Honeywine from Mountain Meadows Meadery (CA). I also tried We're Only In It For The Money brewed in the Malt Liquor of Certain Death style. This baby clocked in 17% alcohol and was a definite party-started. *wink*

After drinking up all my liquor tickets, designated driver hubby drove our drunk asses over to North Seattle, where we were forced to park a mile away from our destination. We finally stumbled our way to Gas Works park then celebrated freedom from British tyranny with about 10,000 of our closest friends. We got there quite early, but it filled up quickly.

*Taste Like Home* Food Swap

I believe I blogged before that I was participating in the Taste Like Home food swap over I found out about at Megans Cookin. I got my first box of goodies last week the morning I left for Phoenix. Yay!

My partner in food was Ley from Cilantro and lime (Chattanooga, TN). Ley sent me the following:

goodie bag

1. A bag of seasoned, deep fried peanuts (which I fully intend to smuggle into the Mariner’s game next week)
2. Moon pies!!!! In vanilla, lemon and chocolate. I love moon pies! This is one of the main reasons I trekked to Mardi Gras every year (they throw out moon pies at Endymion).
3. Homemade suckers. These things are wonderfully sticky even in their package, so I can’t wait to dig in!
4. Homemade peach jam. I’m going to spoon this over crepes and whipped cream for my Saturday brunch. I cannot wait!

(Sorry about the poor photo quality. I had to use my camera phone, as my digicam was all packed away.)

Many thanks to Ley who took the time to put together this lovely box for me. I can’t wait to dig in.

My other partner was Kate from thecleanplateclub. To see Kate’s blog on what I sent her, go to thecleanplateclub

Monday, July 14, 2008

My Something!


You know what's better than coming home to a clean house after a long trip? Coming home to a clean house with a suprise package waiting for you at the doorstep (or just inside the door, cuz the dogwalker was sweet enough to bring it in for me).

My "Something" came from the Something Store while we were out becoming one with the wilderness (camping pictures to come soon). It's this Crack-A-Head. Some kind of spacey basil plant living inside this egg-thing. I had to crack the top like a hard boiled egg to water the seeds. Within a few weeks, the plant should start growing up and out of the top of this egghead.

May sound boring to you, but it goes along great with my cilantro, cherry tomatoes and baby strawberries I'm growing. :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sriday

I, like many Americans, work very hard Monday through Friday from 8am – 5pm. I also play very hard on Saturday and Sunday – all day, and usually into the night/early the next morning. This is all fine and lovely. But what ends up happening is that Monday morning, I’m exhausted from the previous Monday – Friday work week in addition to all this running around I’m doing on the weekend. So, I have a proposition…

Let’s add a new day to the week. One in between Friday and Saturday. We can call it Sriday. No work, no play. Just relaxing. This would be the day that you spend organizing that box of old photos, returning phone calls/emails/texts from friends, cleaning out the refrigerator. Or all those other things that are not quite work, not quite play, and don’t quite fall under your normal household maintenance routine.

If the day after tomorrow was Sriday, I could sleep in, get a pedicure, watch a dvd, get my tires rotated. And that would free up at least enough time so that I could spend an extra hour at Pike Place Market on Saturday and perhaps be in bed by 9pm on Sunday. Wouldn’t that be grand.
If you had told me 10 years ago that I would be hard-pressed to find 2 hours to watch a dvd, I would have thought you were just saying that to scare me. Little did I know…

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Why this black woman celebrates Independence Day

I love the 4th of July! Fireworks displays put me in a child-like state of amazement and absolute giddiness, and can actually bring me to tears if paired with the right patriotic score. In my Indiana days, I spent the 4th on a blanket picnic with the Hot Girls and their dates, listening to the stylings of the Purdue Symphony Orchestra, playing Cranium or Trouble (gotta love the pop-o-matic bubble). In college, the 4th was spent reclining on the back of my car with [flavor-of-the-month’s name here] watching fireworks explode over downtown Houston from 5th Ward (where the free parking is). Back at home, my cousins and I spent the 4th in the “country” setting off whole packs of Black Cats and lighting Roman Candles for our dads to hold. Lighting the incredibly short fuse of a rocket display and running away dramatically a split second before the things went off. Ending the night making light trails through the sky with multi-colored sparklers.

But none of these things really get at the essence of why we, as Americans, celebrate Independence Day.

The celebration of Independence Day by Black Americans has always been a topic of contention, with some blacks citing that the Declaration of Independence did not include blacks, as blacks weren’t treated as humans (only 3/5 of a person until much later in history). I understand this point of view and have had many interesting discussions with my more militant friends over the topic. However, I believe that it is this very Declaration of Independence that would eventually pave the way for the events leading up to the Emancipation Proclamation - including the Abolitionist Movement, The Civil War and Reconstruction - and, later, the Civil Rights Movement. The Declaration of Independence reads:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Without the words of the Declaration of Independence, those opposed to slavery (for political, social, religious and/or moral reasons) wouldn’t have even had the right to fight for a change in the system. The fight for legislative abolishment of Jim Crow might never be if there weren’t laws in place securing the right to Safety and Happiness.

So, that is why this Black woman - whose own family members weren’t freed from the horrors of slavery until General Gordon Granger and his troops sailed into Galveston, TX to remind the Confederacy that slaves had been freed 2 years prior – celebrates July 4th with all the excitement and vigor she can muster. Because 232 years ago, the country’s founding fathers had the foresight to allow for protections for all US citizens, even those who were stranded here by the disgusting slave trade and have managed to become a valuable, contributing part of this Republic we now live in.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My Meez

My meez (see the picture at left) is really a lot like me. She has a really small waist and a HUGE rump (just like me!), and she's cheap as hell - I only outfit her in the FREE stuff. So, see, even a meez can dress well on a budget. She's also eating a hotdog and watching fireworks over a large lake. Yep, this meez is all Karla.

Happy Fourth of July, everybody! America is awesome!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Wanted: Random Items

I stumbled upon a link for a very cute website called the Something Store. You pay $10 and they will send you a random gift item from their inventory. Sounds bizarre, right? Well, I'm a sucker for surprises, so I purchased a random gift. I'm looking forward to whatever wonderfulness will show up on my doorstep in a few days.

Browse the website: they have some recently shipped "somethings" there for you to peruse.

http://www.somethingstore.com

Thursday, June 26, 2008

It's Nice to Meet You Again For The First Time

(Vida, remember that quote?)

Yesterday was the first day of my beginning French class. Now, mind you, I took 4 years of French in high school. Clepped out of the first 2 semesters of college French, then amassed enough French credits for a minor in French. Well, then I moved to Indiana (not exactly known for its diverse culture) and all French-speaking, writing and reading ceased (unless I was cruising the BBC website, or sneaking in on a French conversation class). So, after 6 years in French wasteland + 1.5 more in BF Texas (also no French speakers - imagine that!), I felt like I had maybe lost my skillz.

I recently decided that I wanted to be able to speak 3 languages (take that, American education system!) and figured I might as well start with one I used to know. Well, it turns out, I'm still pretty damned good with French (if I must say so myself) and am well on my way to being GREAT with French.

I do have beef with my teacher, though. Her name is Juliette. And, in addition to having a completely cute name, she weighs about 7 pounds, but has curves in all the right places. She also has a fantastically cute personality, a great sense of humor and happens to be beautiful. Is this a requirement for female french teachers? My high school French teacher had the same characteristics. The French teachers at Purdue also had these characteristics. It isn't fair!

I think I should mention that I am the 3rd youngest person in the class - the other 2 are high school students and really don't count anyway. Do you know how fun it is at the age of 31 to be the youngest person somewhere? Yay! I'm going to love this class.

I'm picking up Arabic in the fall, as long as they don't raise tuition too much. If the Europeans can be fluent in several languages, damnit, so can I!

To hear more hateration, particularly aimed at Europeans, read the next post...

Why Are Tennis Players So Hot



Okay, I am not a big tennis fan. Although I know some big tennis names, I don't follow the sport whatsoever, except in a "let me make sure the US is still totally dominating all areas of competetive sports" kind of way. I guess its "tennis season" right now because I have been noticing lots of tennis players in the paper and on the cover of magazines. I have also noticed that a disproportionate number of them qualify to be supermodels in the off-season. Lots of tennis eye candy lately, Check out super-hot Russian Marat Sarafin and Serbian goddess Ana Ivanovic.

What's even more disgusting is that the picture of Ms. Ivanovic is her Wimbledon id mugshot. Who's mugshot looks that fabulous? Bitch! I hate her!

Monday, June 23, 2008

This way to God



This cloud formation looks like a lighted arrow pointing to the Heavens. Do you see it, or is it just me?

I saw this while waiting for hubby's football game to start.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Pas de duex


I was standing in line at the drug store and happened to catch a tabloid headline that said

Angelina confesses: I'm still love Billy Bob!

I don't get it! What's the big deal? Is it so bizarre to still be in love with your ex? I mean, they did swap vials of blood! Why are people so convinced that you can't be in love with more than one person at a time? Are our hearts so small? Even if the relationship doesn’t work, you don’t automatically lose all feelings for a person.

My parents, for instance, they divorce ages ago. But, it wasn’t a bitter, evil battle. It was a mutual decision by to grown people who have decided that their lives are heading in opposing directions. They still love each other. My dad and stepmom celebrated their 10 year anniversary this week. I know he loves his wife completely, yet still manages to love my mom. This love does not diminish, or interfere with the love he has for his current wife.

With all the nastiness going on in the world, I hope that people are as open to love (current and past) as possible. I have loved four men with whom I’ve been in a relationship with (and I don’t count E. because I only told him I did to get in his draws *evil grin*). Except for Stew the Slut, I didn’t stop loving any of them just because the relationship faded to black. The loss of love was gradual because I lost contact with them, but I’m certain there were periods of overlap where I still had love for the ex and was nurturing a new love with the current.

Or maybe its just my sentimental self...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

For All You Foodies Out There


I just signed up for a "food swap" with Megan and April. It's a pretty cool idea. You are matched with a fellow foodie in another part of the country (or international, if you like) to swap some home-grown goodies. I'm excited and seriously hoping that someone from Lousiana gets my name. LOL! I signed up for 2 swaps - one with Oklahoma food, and one with Washington State food. Should be pretty cool. I'd love to do swap internationally, but am not willing to pay the exta postage - that's 2 or 3 yoga classes!

Anyhoo, if you're interested, here's the blurb from Megan's website:

If you would like to join us in a local area goodies exchange, send your name, mailing address, e-mail address, and blog name and blog URL to either april at aprilsattic@comcast.net or to me at cookinmeg@gmail.com. Also let us know if you'll send internationally. We will match up partners and have a round up of the participating blogs. We ask that you post about the goodies you receive and include links back to both April and myself. Sign-ups end June 27th.

So, what do you say?

Want to share your *Taste Like Home* with someone?


Here's the link to the Taste Like Home blog.

I think I'll pick up something terrific at Pike Place Market.

I'll keep you updated with what I'm sending.

Saturday, June 14, 2008



Welcome to "June-uary".

The weather in Seattle sucks so bad. We seem to be eternally stuck in winter.

I went to Target today to stock up on a few tids and bits. The seasonal area was full of summer clearance items - beach towels, pool loungers, sun tea carafes, water guns, patio furniture. It appears that Target has given up on summer! It's not ever going to get here, so we might as well put this shit on clearance and bring the hats, scarves and coats back. Sheez! What's a girl gotta do to get the weather to hold steady at 65 degrees or above? I don't think that's asking to much? Is it? Apparently so.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Have passport, will travel


The study abroad woman was at the Geography Club table in the cafeteria. They are having a fundraiser to take a trip to Mexico, Guatemala and Belize in August. She is there to answer questions about the trip.

Anyhoo, she and I were talking about how much we loved Belize and she said "If you feel at home in Belize, you will feel like you're in heaven in Guatemala." I don't know what that means, so I just said, "Wow! Really?!"

Then she gave me the once-over and said, "I bet you are a great traveler. You must travel all over." I told her if by "all over" she meant all over the Southwest route map, then she was exactly right. We laughed long and hard at that (I made a funny!), then she said, "No, I mean, you are exactly the right height, build and complexion to blend in everywhere. I would love to travel with you. People probably treat you like a native. I bet you get the best price on all your souvenirs."

Wow! Something about that made me feel really good. Like I belong to the whole world. And with all this fighting and bombing and other miscellaneous mayhem, it made me feel really happy to know that maybe the world considers me a person who is not trying to tear it into a thousand little pieces.

Happy Monday!

Ah, Monday. Funny, now that my career has switched gears and I have a job that I absolutely adore, I don't dread Mondays like I used to. I actually don't mind coming to work on Monday (or any other day, for that matter).

Saturday, I went to a lovely 2-hour hip openers work shop at Samarya. It was such a release to spend so much time focusing on that area and my 2nd chakra. With my anxiety about the miscarriage, rising gas and food costs, and my dead social life, it was good to release the tension and calm myself down. It was also a great way to wrap up the first week of my 21-day cleanse.

After yoga, I treated myself to a spa day at Hot House Spa. Hubby sponsored my 1-hour massage by Deb which was absolute bliss! She wrapped things up with a scalp and facial massage that was almost orgasmic. Or maybe it felt so good because my 2nd chakra was still very much alive and well from the workshop. Whichever. It was amazing. For the next 2 hours, I lazily rotated from the hot tub, to the sauna - relaxing, by lying on the edge of the hot tub in between. Dosing in and out of consciousness. I finished my spa day with a cold plunge to make sure I was awake enough to drive back to the Eastside.

The rest of the day was spent lounging at home. Reading a book and watching the rain patter on the lake. A perfect Saturday.

The only problem is that I was RUINED for any kind of activity Sunday. It was like I had taken a sedative once I fell asleep. I slept for nearly 12 hours, completely missing church and my beloved Sunday Ashtanga class. I spent the evening with Figaro on the beach chasing lake clams in the sand.

Not bad for a weekend.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Ms. Badu

Hubby & I enjoyed a fabulous (yet chilly) evening listening to the The Roots & Erykah Badu. We had fantastic seats and it didn't rain. That made it a perfect concert. The Roots started their set about 30 minutes early, though. Who does that? You can't start a concert early! Especially one that has the ticket price equivalent of a 3-course meal in the Space Needle Restaurant. Anyhoo...I think Ms. Badu nicely summed up feelings about any and all things in life when she yelled out:
 
If you're not for the good, then you're for some bullshit!
 
Erykah, I couldn't have said it better myself.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

O2BNLUV

I saw that on a license plate today. Thought is was really cute. Or really sad, now that I think about it.

I spent today at Alki Beach poking and prodding at things in the tide pools. Picking up things that were slow enough for me to catch. The weather was crappy, but it was tons of fun.

Why does sea sand smell so stinky once you're away from the beach? Blech!

I want to write about the historical significance of Obama's nomination, but I am overwhelmed by emotions right now and can't put two concise thoughts together, let alone an entire entry. I'll come back to it once I calm down.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Today's Weird Headline

The next week, shaggy-haired emo teenagers were harassed again by punks and rockabillys


I found this odd sentence in a story about recent anti-emo violence in Mexico. It is apparently very serious as the national guard riot squad has been called out to protect these poor rebellious souls. Is this generation's emo my generation's grunge? What right do rockabillys have to be rude to anyone? And aren't emo and punk similar? Or am I too old to understand the difference? Yeah, that's probably it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

You Gotta Have Friends

Friends are invaluable.

I think this move to Seattle will probably be my last relocation for quite a while (I hope!) Prior to this, I darted around a lot. To Houston for college – with stays in OKC and Austin in between. To Indiana for grad school. To Smithville, then Bastrop during my post-doc. Then across the country to Washington State.

Because of this, I have friends all over the country (and a few scattered around the globe). That’s very cool. But, each time I move, I leave my “local” friends behind. I miss their company, for sure…but I also miss the little amenities that each friend brings to make my life better.

As we approach the end of May (this is traditionally “moving season” for me), I want to acknowledge some of the little details I took for granted about my friends that I am really missing now that I live near NOONE.

~Christy can unravel a snaggled mess of tangled necklaces in about 5 minutes.
~Angel can be dressed and ready to go from the time it takes me to drive the 3 blocks to her house.
~Jewel can tame my hair into styles I never thought were possible.
~Josey will rearrange her plans to go have some impromptu fun.
~DaVida will pimp the parking lot with me and have fun doing it.
~Damion will ignore his ringing phone to listen to my problems.
~Rachele is always down for happy hour. Always.

I miss you guys!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Simple Pleasures



I love to skip. Something about boundign up and down brings me great joy. I love the feel of my curls bobbing atop my head. I was heading to the restroom today and let loose a skip or two as I rounded the corner. Why was I skipping at work? Because it's Friday? Because spring has finally arrived and the weather is gorgeous today? I don't know. What I do know is that - at that moment - I was happy.

I think it might be impossible to skip if you're not happy. Don't you have to be completely content to bounce through the air like that?
(photo by Dave Beckerman, "Skipping Boxes")
***

My gym locker is directly underneath a skylight. I store my lotion on the top shelf. On sunny days, my lotion is nice and warm. A perfect ending to a hot post-run shower.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Making a Case for Burquas


Okay, I would never agree with a man requiring his wife/sister/mother to wear a burqua. I understand its the way things go in some parts of the world, but luckily for me. Surburban Washington is not one of them (at least not in my house). However, I had an experience today that challenged my very beliefs about burquas.

Women are required to wear burquas so that men don't have to worry about not objectifying them and turning them into sexual objects. So, the argument is that because men are so unable to control their sexual selves, women must take on the burden of saving them from their own immorality by covering up. Heaven forbid a man have enough self control to not oggle a woman or think inappropriate thoughts (or speak inappropriately) to a woman because he happens to see a slip of wrist, or a the line of a neck.

Well, today, while walking across campus, I passed through a group of young gentlement. Now, I've heard some of these youngsters speak in their classes/student clubs so I know they are capable of intelligent speech and manners. For some reason, as I walked by in my high-waisted pencil skirt and fitted blouse, several of them completely lost all good sense and reduced their language to "Damn!", "Lookadere!", Whoo!" and smacky, kissy noises.

Instantly self-conscience of the way my backside was being so blatantly pointed out, I willed myself into invisibility (which y'all know didn't happen). Then, for some reason, I thought, "That's why husbands make their wives wear burquas in public". Because there are a small group of imbeciles who really cannot control themselves (or at least pretend to be this way in front of their friends).

I know my arse is larger than average. It's in my genetics. It's toned and muscular and as fit as I can make it, but it will never be normal size. I also know, that my small waist only brings attention to the size of my hiney. I have struggled with accepting this about myself for the last 20 years or so. But, I am certain that my bum is not the biggest bum they've ever seen.

Of course I wanted to turn around, memorize their faces, then tell their sociology teachers to give them F's at the end of the quarter. But, turning around might be mistaken for acceptance of this behavior - and that is certainly not the message I want to send.

Somewhere, these guys have encounted a girl who responded positively to this sort of behavior. Otherwise, why would they even think that was acceptable. I guess the bigger question is, what kind of woman or girl would be flattered by such disgusting, offensive verbal behavior? Is her self-esteem so damaged that she is happy for any attention she gets, even if its negative attention? Is this the culture that perpetuates the striving "video ho" subculture?

I'm disappointed that these young students would behave this way to a professional. They know I am faculty because they've seen me act in that capacity. For those that haven't seen me in a professional light previously, they certainly saw the purple faculty badge I had snapped on my shirt.

Well, maybe not...because they probably didn't even pay attention to me from the front. Wearing a burqua is not an option. But I shouldn't have to adjust my behavior so any man I encounter in public doesn't have to worry about his behavior. Fuck a burqua. These idiots need to learn once and for all to respect women and girls. If they don't know this by college, when will they learn? Shit, now I feel like I should have turned around and started a converation about respect and proper treatment of women. If they can't learn it at home - do I have to teach them?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Its Back: The President's Physical Fitness Challenge


If you were born before the 80s, you remember the President's Physical Fitness test. Although most kids dreaded this measure of fitness, I looked forward to this part of the year, because I usually ranked up there with the boys (except in pull-ups - I suck at pull-ups). Also, I was the State Sit-and-Reach champ for 2 years in a row.

Well, due to the fat epidemic currently over-running the US, the Baby Boomers had a great idea to bug the prez into re-releasing the test for adults (I won't even begin to preach about the need for this sort of thing back in elementary schools).

Click here to get started.

Aside: We're at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, with a close eye on Iran & N. Korea. Gitmo is a fugging mess. New Orleans is still being treated like an illegitimate child. The Midwest is being torn to bits by tornados. There's been a cyclone in Burma and an earthquake in China, both of which could use some recovery help from their international neighbors. Americans are having to choose between gas and groceries. Amid all of this, Bush has made Baby-boomer physical fitness a top priority.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Day of Three Posts

Seattle Asian Pacific Island Heritage Festival 2008

So, beignets and lattes are certainly not asian. But, Seattle Center has a New Orleans Beignet stand and I just wanted the world to know that they taste deliciously authentic, and the coffee wasn't half bad.





...and then


WHEN PIGS FLY!

I saw this cute little statue in Seattle Center near the Pacific Science Center.

...and finally



Today is a great day! For one, its Cinco de May - which means chips & salsa followed by whatever the Tex-Mex May 5 special is, followed by sopapillas (if I can be so lucky) and washed down with a premium margarita.

The sunrise over the lake this morning was BREATHTAKING!

As I was taking my power-walk at lunchtime, an old lady drove past me and gave me the thumbs up and a HUGE grin. Certainly added about .25 rpms to my pace. Then an old man working in his street-side garden gave me a low five on the way past. Then, another Miss Daisy gave me the black power fist and a "You Go Girl!" as I trucked it past her slow moving car.

I found out my baby cousin will be in OKC at the same time as me.

My midwife gave me a clean bill of reproductive health.

And, I'm looking fabu in my Project Runway-inspired Bitten dress from Steve & Barry's.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Wig Season


The weather is (finally) warming up, so you know what that means? It's wig season for Karla.
See, I L-O-V-E short hair, but refuse to cut my mid-back length curls that I've been growing out for the past 4 years or so. (Although you'd never know my hair was so long because the curls shrink so and I REFUSE to thermally or chemically straigthen my tresses.) So, when the weather warms up and my neck can stand to be bare, I weave-it-up, or go for a short wig. I have a closet full of them! Here's the spring 2008 interpretation of last spring's spiral curly homemade wig. I've used the power of the bobby pin to turn it into a classic pin-tuck bob and I must say it looks pretty fierce!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Goodbye Little Bean

WARNING! THIS POST IS LONG AND DEPRESSING. PLEASE READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.
On March 21 of this year, I found out I was 5 weeks pregnant. A week and a half later and unbeknownst to the rest of my body, my little bean stopped growing and ceased to be alive. In my 9th week, I went for an ultrasound and watched the technician shake her head and frown as she looked in vain for movement and a heartbeat. I had had a miscarriage. 25% of pregnant women miscarry in the first trimester. It’s a known fact. It’s scientifically accepted. Unfortunately, I happened to be in the 25% - it’s not like it’s the first time something didn’t quite work out for me.

Funny thing is, from the moment the nurse told me I was definitely pregnant, although I was excited, what I felt the most was apprehension - a feeling of impending bad news. The feeling you get when your organic chem. professor asks you to stop by during office hours to discuss your progress. I mean, it could be something great, but it’s probably not.

So, I waited a whole day to tell my husband. I waited 2 days to tell my parents. I waited a week to tell a best friend. Then, I didn’t tell anybody else. Even as I shared the good news, everyone asked me, “Well, are you excited?” They weren’t asking to be polite. They were asking because my usually bubbly self was less than. Hubby was literally floating around the house everyday on clouds, he was so happy. I swore everyone to secrecy. I didn’t want anyone else to know – because I didn’t want to have to tell them bad news later. When my mom asked if she could share the news with the rest of the people at home who love me, I told her to only tell people that she won’t be uncomfortable telling them that something bad happened and there was no longer a baby. What kind of monster does that? Well, not a monster; but a person that has spent the last few years breathing and meditating; lying in corpse pose, or half lotus just being “aware” of her body. So, even though my brain (subconscious? psyche? inner-self?) new that something was not right, my body didn’t. I started fluffing up a bit in the hips and tummy. My breasts were tender. My uterus continued to expand. Yet, my mind is yelling at me “SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT!” Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore! I called my midwife and bullied her into giving me the ultrasound a week earlier. I told her point blank that I felt something had gone wrong and it was killing me not to know.

I don’t feel bad about miscarrying. There was nothing that could be done to prevent it. I feel horrible about being such a downer and walking around the house in tears for 3 weeks because I “had a bad feeling”; while my husband was making plans on what kind of cute maternity outfits he was going to buy me. I feel even worse for not displaying any emotions when my fears were confirmed as I watched my big, strapping, hulk of a husband wilt and lose his composure at the news. I can’t help it; I had been mourning the loss of my baby for weeks already. Everyone thought I was just being wary because I’ve never been pregnant. I knew!

I’m pissed because my first positive pregnancy test, my first ultrasound, my first OB visit – all these things were WASTED on a baby that was never to be. I’m sad that my parents have to wait infinitely before their only daughter, who ain’t getting any younger by the way, will finally produce a grandchild for them to spoil. It breaks my heart that my husband, who was so visibly happy, excited and expectant had to sit next to me and listen for a tiny heartbeat that would never be.

The final insult was having to take an abortion pill to finally expel the remnants of a life from my uterus. The physical pain of it was almost too much to bear (even through the narcotics my midwife so graciously supplied), but the emotional trauma of expelling my dead baby will never be erased from my mind.

Crack addicts, stupid teenagers, welfare abusing baby-factories – these people get pregnant at the thought of unprotected sex. I, a responsible half of a financially stable, loving married couple, get a miscarriage. Ah, life. Of course, I realize that it wasn’t meant to be at this time for us. We will try again for as long as it takes. But, damn! Can a sista get a baby of her own?

 

blogger templates 3 columns | Make Money Online