Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 didn't suck.

The year in review. Not a bad year at all. Nobody i love got sick or died. That alone is pretty freaking awesome. I have no idea what i am going to remember about this past year but i'll just randomly think of some stuff, big and small and put it up here. Please come and add your year in review!


photo taken with my new Coolpix on the way to East. Wash for Xmas


1. I'm still blogging and in spite of my love/hate relationship with Facebook, i am also still on Facebook, (though i did take a hiatus late July through early November). Weird that i didn't miss it either. But dumping 75 'friends' helps me like it more now.

2. I ran a half-marathon at age 55 and did better than i expected to do. I plan to sign up and run again this year. It was a great way to get through the gray winter months and it forced me to be outside in the light, which cut down on the Seasonal Affective Disorder issues. And if i wanted to over-carb because of that, it at least went to some good.

3. I quit being a blonde. It took some doing to get the right brunette/reddish tone, but it's all good now, though i still don't like my haircut.

4. I quit birth control pills (which is used as HRT) and had terrible issues with it those first 4 months. But nowadays i am actually sometimes even sleeping through the night, more so in the past two months than in the past 5 years.

5. Barack Obama was re-elected!  i never thought he would lose in the last months before the campaign and blogged about him 'handily' winning in the weeks before he did just that. (And at the time i never even heard of Nate Silver. ) And we elected Jay Inslee as our governor, which i worked hard on because i had to because of how unions are being attacked. So we have some breathing room for unions now for the time being. But i don't know for how much longer it will be.

6. My husband's new band Blues Oasis is one he can be proud of.

7. We found ....maybe....another house to buy around the corner on Emerald. The owner is interested in a swap possibly. But she took it off the market when she got an offer from someone else. We'll see how this works out. She says she plans to list it again in a year. She says she will keep our number.

8. My favorite nephew Brian (Troy's son) married his girlfriend of 9 years and a very nice wedding in Sept.

9. I read my favorite book Cutting for Stone which bumps something out of my Top Five list. Though i can't say which one right now.  Lonesome Dove, East of Eden and Prayer for Owen Meany still rank there. I think i would also add The Art of Fielding.

10. The horrible shootings in Connecticut. Worse than Columbine. That's all i can say about that.

11. The end of the world didn't happen. But i worry about other stuff that could happen. After seeing the movie Lincoln my husband and i both had the same thought about Obama. I'm worried some uber rich nutcase will assassinate him over the fiscal cliff stuff.

I will think of more.

Notes to Self: 

Sunset: check this out! we're headed the other way now..... 4:29 pm
High temp today: 41 degrees
All time blog views: 37,939

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Non-Apocalypse Y'all!

So the Mayans got it wrong. This is like Deja vu with Y2K.

Personal Service Announcement: 
This is my 52nd post for the year 2012. I have successfully reached my goal of an average of one blog post a week. I like reaching goals, no surprise to those who know me well!

This one is pretty easy because i need an outlet for writing. This blog was a Christmas present from my husband in December 2008. On one of our Friday night 'date nights' in late fall over wine and dinner and music he asked me what i would call a blog if I had one and without even thinking i said 'Let me tell you what i think' and though i doubt he really needed to buy the URL to secure that (who else would have a blog titled like that?) he got it for me. I'm not sure i would have started it otherwise. 

Many people sadly, have quit blogging and you already know i blame the wicked Facebook for that. But i'm grateful to those of you who still check in, even if only a few of you do. 

I was reading some old blog posts today, and really there are some pretty hysterical posts back when Kylee/Modern Hippie (my kindred spirit niece) and Island Pearl and when louie first came on board and back then more Gumbo yayas weighed in. 

Two blog posts that come to mind are ones because they had nothing to do with my original subject. They took a turn because of the participation: One was a lengthly one that for some reason turned into a good grammar post which went on, i think, for 47 comments. Another one was louielouie/Sarah and Modern Hippie going back and forth about the glass blown snowman and who gets them in my will. (It's probably because getting a will is always my new year's resolution... ) I think that got 80 comments. 

So thank you all for contributing and reading.  On with the Menu. And honestly, i have no idea what to add after this. I'm winging it. 

Menu of the Day: 

1. In My Glass:
Molly Dooker's Two Left Feet. It's an Austrailian red blend that cost $25 and it's such a big red i almost need to do jumping jacks in between each glass. I just wrapped my last presents for Christmas. 

2. I have no idea why i said that. I would never do jumping jacks. Too hard on the knees. 

3. Music: 
I love Mark Knopfler's new cd Privateering. That's what's playing. It's a two cd set and there is not one bad song. 

4. On TV: 
A marathon of Snapped was on Oxygen channel today. (Nothing says Christmas like sociopathic wives murdering their husbands!) I have to admit to loving Snapped. And what about that woman's voice who narrates? I want that voice. Wouldn't that be cool to wow your friends at parties with a voice like that? You would be the life of the party!

5. The Best Thing:
This is my third day of vacation but my first day unencumbered. Nothing is finer to me than an unencumbered day. And by that, i mean i didn't have to even go for a run today. Or get in my car. In fact i refused to even check my mail. 

6. Book:
I barely started it yesterday but finished it today. It's from that movie, Silver Linings Playbook. Really good book and with Bradley Cooper in the movie, i imagine the movie is as good as the reviews say it is. Let me know if you have seen this movie! 

7. Christmas Day Plans: 
We are going to see Lincoln on Christmas Day. Troy and my relocated Morgan City, LA cousin Todd who arrives on Christmas Eve may come with us. We are also going to walk Chambers golf course in the morning after presents and breakfast. And probably go out for a drink at a bar on the water and then to Kylee's grandma's house for her annual open house. She lives so close we can walk there. We head out over the mountains for Brian's family Christmas the next day.

8. Shout Out: 
Amanda, i wrote you responding on the previous blog post, (maybe two back). I will loan you the Augusten Burroughs How To book. I LOVE this book. It's the best no-nonsense self-help book ever. I wish i had written this book. I feel like i could have because i agree with him and it's not your regular kind of self help book. The only other self help book that make sense to me nowadays is that He's Just Not That Into You. I bought that and gave it to Kylee when she was pretty young. I think it's part of why she is so grounded about guys to this day. I wish she still blogged here so she could weigh in. 

9. Ummagumma
 if you are still reading this is for you. (i don't forget.  Number 9 will always be YOUR number.) For those of you who don't know, ummagumma was a Gumbo Yaya friend. Her real name is Robin. 

I'll be back with comments before the holiday so this is not the final post. But i do celebrate with you all that we are still here on Earth living the high life.

By the way. To this day, we still don't have that will. But for sure, this year... we will!



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Happy Ho Ho Ho



Behave is up all year long, but if you think about it, it is a Christmas decoration!
I just bought some more of these glass lights for my kitchen. These hang over the sink. 
Christmas tradition: loved ones who have died have a photo in my tree. This is the Famous Dorothy. 
Christmas Tree 2012. Looks like Christmas Tree 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. I think in 2007 i had colored lights. 

Let's Talk About the Holidays! I know some of these questions will be redundant, but if you are like me, you forget that you asked and answered, (plus sometimes your answers change), so then it won't matter.

1. What is your favorite Christmas carol?

2. How old were you when you knew there was no Santa Claus?

3. And what made you think there was no Santa?

4. What are some of your favorite traditions?

5. How many Christmas cards do you send out?

6. What's the best present that you have ever received?

7. What's the goofiest?

8. Do you put up a real tree or a fake tree or none at all?

9. What irritates you about the holidays?

10. What is your favorite Christmas movie?

11. What do you dread?

12. What's the best thing you cook for the dinner?

Add whatever Christmas/holiday thingie you want to add!


Notest to Self: 
Sunset: 4:22 pm
High temp: 37
Low temp: 32 (with light snow!)
All time views: 37,415
Views this month: 1251
Views yesterday: 65 ... Who are you people??????



Sunday, December 16, 2012

Maybe the Mayans have it right.

The end of the world is supposed to be Dec. 21st. (Though there are contradictions to what they really meant if you read online.)

 But after Friday you have to wonder if maybe they didn't get it right.

I finally had to turn off the news. I watched The Thorn Birds Today. Yesterday i turned on The Big Lebowski on Encore and laughed my ass off. So if there is new Breaking News, i haven't heard it yet.

When the stories of these teachers and the principal and psychologist and little kids unfold with all those sweet little details about who they are and what they loved... it's too much .

What i keep coming back to is wondering what i would do if i were in the same position. Would i freeze? Would i panic and run? Would I..... oh i hate to even think of this.... but would i only save myself?  How could you know until you are in it? The teachers and the principal stories are amazing about how they put the kids first. At the very least i hope that the bashing of teachers and public schools might be put aside. The folks educating our kids in schools indeed really do put kids first. It's not just a platitude.

We've been down this road before. I remember watching obsessively the Columbine news for days. And i read the book  in one sitting when it came out. The pundit talk on the news is the same today so many years later.

So no, i don't think we will really see any meaningful gun control over this. We have short memories about this stuff, until anniversaries. We talk alot, but it goes away after awhile.

But then again....  maybe something will happen because of the age of these little kids.

These guns were legal and we do know that anyone who wants one will still find a way to get automatic weapons and that will be the argument. And maybe the argument against that thinking is not the one to be made.

I believe what's needs to be addressed is less about gun control and more about the mentally ill and the cuts in social services. So i have hope that that might be a place where Congress gets some courage.

And just as we did with 9-11....something needs to change. We have all these new rules about flying with no more than 3 ounces of liquid and taking shoes off and invasive body scans and we also have federal marshalls and The Patriot Act...lots of stuff happened to protect us from another 9-11. Maybe we need something similar in the schools. Deputize the right teacher who could pull this out (and the principal too maybe) where nobody knows that they are the marshall of the school, not even the teachers. One in each hall. Maybe that's the answer. More guns. (Isn't that weird? I can't even believe i'm saying it.)

Somewhere in all this news I heard or read a stupid story about someone believing we should arming ALL teachers with guns and i have to say, working in the union office, knowing some of these folks in the schools, that is so dumb and incredibly dangerous.  Most people are not equipped to carry out any mission that would be required in these situations. In fact, i have been afraid of some of our own members doing something similar to us in the office. Maybe i should not even add this because right now we are focusing on teachers who are the heroes. But having gun proponents offer this up as a solution make me crazy.

Here is what i thought too. I have long had a fear of flying. But i think now I might be more afraid of entering an elementary school.

I don't usually do this on the blog and i will change it soon. But i wanted to put it here for history sake. In hopes that one day i will come back and re-read it and remember how i was cynical that anything could really be done. And maybe, this time i will be wrong. Plus i thought some of y'all might want to talk about it too.








Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Things We Want to Do When We Retire

Let's just get to this. I don't want to talk about another mall shooting (this one in Portland). I don't want to talk about politics. I don't want to talk about Christmas (for now). But i do have a goal to hit 52 blog posts before January 1st and i will not miss that goal. so here go.

Things I want to do when i retire:

1. Stress no more about not sleeping!  I can adjust my sleeping schedule to my body clock and not my work clock. I don't mind my internal alarm clock that wakes me up at 3:00 am and again at 6:00 am (which is approximately 30 minutes after i feel asleep finally after 3:00 am)....i will get up both times and do stuff i like to do. I might read a book, watch TV, do some online shopping. But then i can go back to bed and get up when i want.

2. Tutor again. I haven't done this for a couple of years. It got too hard when our office moved. I have a couple of librarians who i really like (Joan B. is one of them louie!) and i want to help out in the library with kids. My career in education/unions started in the school libraries when i was 19 years old. I love the idea of going back to it.

3. Take some cooking classes. Or do the restaurant cooking classes (the kind where you get to drink wine!).

4. If louielouie retires this year with me, i think we might even think of doing something together like taking yoga! hahahaha. i hate yoga.... but maybe when i am retired my personality will be more in tune to that sort of thing.

5. Read more books. AND start posting on book blogs. I read more than almost anyone i know, yet i am not inclined to join a book club, mainly because i know that someone is going to pick a really stupid book by Nicholas Sparks, or even worse, something really pretentious with a lot of history or some damn intelligent shit that will force me to take notes on the characters so i can keep them straight. I hated when my English classes made me read A Separate Peace, My Antonia, Cry the Beloved Country. I don't like being told what to read. But i like sharing opinions on characters of books i do love.

I need to organize a Jo the Despot Bookclub....where I get to choose ALL of the books that we read. Who's in?

(On a sidenote, since we are talking about books. I am reading, quite possibly, the best Self-Help book ever. what i mean by that is if you know me well you know i HATE self-help books. But Augusten Burroughs (Running with Scissors) wrote one that blows the doors off self help books in a way that i would want to. It's called This is How.)

6. Write my own Self-Help Book. hahahaha.

7. Run more and run earlier.

8. And if that doesn't work, maybe i will join the YMCA again for the camaradarie. (How is that spelled anyway?).... anyway NOT that i have that at work right now, cause i don't. But i would love to get some of that in my retirement years.

9. Hang around more people i really like and who like me  - it will be key to my retirement success and my physical and mental health.


Notes to Self:
All time blog posts: 37,127.
Blog posts this month: 1234.... (cool number!)
Sunset: 4:20 pm.
Highest temperature today: 47 degrees


Monday, December 3, 2012

More Ways I Drive Myself Crazy....

But first....let's start with Menu of the Day:

Last purchase on iTunes: O Susannah by Neil Young.

Last Book Read: This is weird, but i can't remember. I think it's because i'm reading three different ones right now and haven't finished one since The Middlesteins. One I'm still reading is Ann Patchett's Run.

Mission Accomplished: Christmas tree and house decorated! It's so early this year it seems, but everyone everywhere seems to be done. It's why i feel behind in my shopping again.

The Best Thing this Week:   Today louielouie and I went to a reunion lunch with some really great people that we both worked with at Mann Junior High back in the early to mid 1980's. And nearly everyone looked pretty good! Though I think louie and i looked the best, (but then we were two of the youngest staff members back then). You know what? .... i think louie and I actually look better NOW than we did back then. That would be partly due to our terrible 1980's hair. (Ask louie about her Rosanne Rosanna Dana perm.... hahaha... And I had a terrible variation of that short perm that the Let's Get Physical chick wore, only mine was worse -  i never wore the headband though!...but it might have been an improvement.)

What a great time - louie and i took a half day of vacation to do this and it was so worth it!

Shout Out: Jennifer.... Are you still around? And Amanda, where you be?

On with the Ways......

1. Have i mentioned this before? Stop me if i did.... i keep all of these recyclable grocery bags in the trunk of my car with good intentions. But I still keep forgetting to grab them before going to the store. So i moved them out of the trunk of my car to the backseat. And i STILL forget them. (I am a terrible environmentalist!)

2. I keep moving ornaments around on my tree when i see two of the same colored balls too close to each other. While i did break records for finding my tree AND for putting on the lights, i still obsess over the ornaments. They have to perfectly spaced. I can't stop noticing them once i do.

3. I am trying to grow out my eyebrows, but i can't seem to leave them alone. i need to put away that 7x magnifying mirror- you can see the hair on a flea with that thing! No woman over 30 should own one.  I  think i am addicted to tweezing! (It's why i am trying to grow them out!)

4. Back to grocery shopping for a moment. I get these great receipts that are coupons from Albertson's that give you $10 off or $20 off on your next visit to the store if you spend more than $70 and i ALWAYS forget to use that damn coupon. I think when i am retired i might try to be more vigilant to shop with coupons and venture out to sales. I hate big advertised sales. Because i hate crowds as much as i hate shopping. But when i have less money i may need to change my attitude. And i will have more time!

5. I am very assertive about my wants and needs and opinions. However i have a hard time telling my hair stylist when i don't like my haircut. (I had no problem telling her about that too dark color she did because that was too much and too obvious and definitely needed a fix.)  But normally I get in her chair and i let her be the boss all over me when it comes to my hair. I don't even do that with my REAL boss! Sometimes i find myself doing it with my doctors too. I become this passive person i don't even recognize.

6. For the life of me i keep trying to edit myself and stop writing such lengthy blogs, emails, letters, etc.  I can't seem to do it. (I call it the Ferocity of my Verbosity. or Verocity of the same.) I want to enter that Reader Writer Columnist thingie the News Tribune has lately been requesting, they put it up each year about this time and each year i think I want to go for it and try to get picked. However,  aside from even having an appropriate topic that is readable by the general public, the real problem lies more with the   word limit of the column. Maybe when i'm retired I'll work on it.

hmmm... maybe calling it a 'thingie' disqualifies me already.

7. Speaking of retirement. (I know, i know, y'all are probably rolling your eyes, there she goes again, talking about her retirement.....!)  But yeah, I drive myself crazy thinking/worrying about what i'm going to do or not do next year. I am somewhat mollified by the news that louie may be able to join me. I think our next blog post should be Things We Will Do When We Retire. (Everyone has something to add even if it's a few years down the road.)

8. A way i drive myself crazy is not being sure of my vocabulary. For example after i typed the above i had to look up the word mollified to see if that's what i meant. (I did.)


Notes to Self: 
All time blog views: 36,800
Blog views last month: 1202
Today's high temperature: 50 degrees
Sunset: 4:21 pm (doesn't this start going the other way on Dec. 21?)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Let's Get it On.

With the holidays, i mean!

I am sitting here listening to Dustin Kensrue's Christmas album which is one of my very favorites. Yes, i am already listening to Christmas music! And Brian put up the outside lights last night. (He is the best putter upper of Christmas lights because he satisfies my OCDness by getting them perfectly straight!)

I'm just gonna start numbering stuff and be done with it. I have 6 more blog posts to reach my goal of averaging one a week so i need to change it. I'll keep this one short. I keep promising to do that and then i forget.

1. Facebook ads are still driving me nuts. I don't care about what Women Get for Free or the Freebie links. I keep hiding them but they multiply by different names. I don't trust anything that says it's for free and i don't even want free stuff. If it's free, how good can it be, really?

2. I am one of those consumers who believe if it costs more, it's better quality. And i usually go for what is the most expensive. Luckily i don't shop that much.

3. Everywhere i look i see Taylor Swift and i want it to stop. First of all, she looks like a cat. And everyone knows how i have a phobia against cats. They totally creep me out. More than snakes even! Seriously, i would be more inclined to have a pet snake than a pet cat. I don't think you can even call a cat a pet. You never hear the term 'pet cat' for example. Think about it.

4. I just had 5 days off for this T-Day holiday and i barely remember what i did except for going to louie's house for T-Day where we did exactly what i wanted to do, cook, eat enchiladas, drink wine and visit with her very cool kids, who if God promised me i could have kids just like them, i would have chosen to be a mother after all.

5. I did watch a few movies. The end of Lonesome Dove and the end of Gone with the Wind, two of my favorite movies - i've seen them many many times already and i know so many of the lines!...which is always fun. Even many of the non-famous lines. I also enjoyed Midnight in Paris.( I like Woody Allen. He almost makes me want to travel! Yes, even ME!)

6. Last night for probably the first time in maybe a year that i can remember i slept all through the night! We went to bed around 11 pm and i never got up until 6 am this morning. It was wonderful! And i'm thinking it's cause our neighbor Gary gave us a growler of this great dark beer. (Somewhere i read that hops can help with your sleep.) So i just poured a beer from that growler to see if it works again tonight.

Ok, i'm going to try and scan a put up a postcard that louie sent me in the mail yesterday. Her disclaimer on the back says she is officially an old lady because she recycled it from a greeting card she received from someone else. I know it has nothing to do with Christmas, (except the drinking part) since they are in bathing suits, but i love it!

I just added a photo of louie's kids Nick and Emma that i took on Thanksgiving. I've known them since they were babies! They are so awesome.


Notes to Self:

All time blog posts: 36,491
Blog views yesterday: 86 (!)
Today's High: 45 degrees
Tonight's forecast: 29 degrees. (I better take in the fuschia. It's still alive and looking good!)
Sunset : 4:25 pm.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thanks... even for the stuff that kinda sucks.

Marie, Ashley, me and Kylee at Brian and Adrienne's wedding last Sept.
It's Thanksgiving. Most people love this holiday, me not so much. Maybe if i had kids. I would like it better if it was not so close to Christmas and if people didn't already start decorating their homes so early, as two houses down the road have done this week. It's only November 17 and i feel a little bit stressed that i haven't thought about presents nor do i have any ideas.

But i do know this. I have a lot to be thankful for even in spite of stuff that bugs me. I thought about these last night when i couldn't sleep. So i decided to write them down: Here we go.

1. Health: As a committed runner I am pissed at having high blood pressure. I really hate how tired the medication seems to make me and i think it has blunted what creativity i used to have. Sometimes i try to see if i can control it. For example i didn't have any wine last week so i decided to try going without my pills to see what would happen since i figured no wine would make it better. I skipped them for two days. By the afternoon of the second day i had a scheduled appointment and the nurse told me that it was up to 155/95 even though it had been ok that morning. I told her i accidentally forgot. Then i went home and took my medicine. (Lesson: I can't control it.)

I never have liked taking medicine (even aspirin). But i am so thankful that i have good health insurance and that there is medication that keeps me healthy. And another thing: if giving up wine lowered my blood pressure then i would have to make a serious decision about giving up wine for good in lieu of taking the medication i hate.


2. Job: I don't always love my job. Too many values get stomped on when i watch what happens with some of the folks in union leadership. Lack of work ethics and follow through, wasting money, greediness, inflated egos, it goes on.

However, i am thankful that for 25 years i got to work for an employer that not only allowed me my political leanings, but embraced them, encouraged them and expected me to act on them. This was one of the best elections i can remember in all of my years of voting. And in our state my union employer had alot to do with this success. Out of 99 legislative candidates we endorsed, 79 were elected. That's what i call action and effort.


3. Living in the Pacific Northwest: Yes, the rain and semen colored skies are a bitch. And our mushroom colored skin and perpetually bad hair days this time of year do not help make us attractive in our holiday photos. And the sunset (4:32 pm today) makes me tired by 8:30 at night.

However, I am thankful for this: (back to election for a moment) : We grew up in our early youth in Louisiana where my mom was also born and raised. And every election year (except those two George W ones) i call my dad on the phone and thank him for moving us to Washington State from Louisiana.

AND truthfully, i sort of love the rain. It's conducive to my lifestyle anyway. I love to be indoors, i am a voracious reader and i love TV, cooking,  movies and low lights. I don't even mind running in it. And  the high humidity (nearly 10 months of the year) and lack of sun benefits our skin and helps to keep us younger looking.


4. Family: I sometimes think i was born into the wrong family.  With the exception of my Dad, they all love to party. A lot. With Coors Lite Beer (ick!) or my mom's big magnums of cheap chardonnay If it's at my parents little house (where my mom always wants it), it's always a quasi-hoarder's chaotic paradise, where i spend the first 5 minutes straightening all her pictures on the wall to settle down my slight OCD. And if you want a seat you first have to navigate and excavate piles of magazines, folded laundry, and other crap first.

The meal is always BBQ and lots of it. (I call it caveman eating).  And for some reason my mom thinks she always has to make some casserole with the key ingredient being cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup. It's a raucous affair. The music comes off one of those cable TV channels. And the conversations can often turn to politics, religion, which celebrity would we be willing to cheat on our spouses with (mine was Brad Pitt, but only if he has quit smoking),  AND if we were gay which celebrity would we want to date...(Rachel Maddow for me)....nothing is off the table!

But even as i get irritated at times by these very things, i am actually thankful for all of these reasons above too. I am never intimidated about what to cook or bring to these affairs. The music playing is usually the blues.  And I always bring my own bottle of chardonnay, and nobody give me the raised eyebrow when i pour my third glass AND if after my third glass I say something stupid, nobody will even notice in the midst of all of the arguing about same sex marriage. And like my nephew Brian says, "We Louvraks are  good looking family!" I love my family. And they love my husband and he loves them.  And that is what matters. (So what if i sometimes feel adopted.)

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!  If you are reading, (and by the stats i know you are even if you don't post - unless is amulbunny and louie checking in 500 times each by themselves)....Anyway, if you are, please come share yours.
My brother Scott and Kylee at her Art Institute graduation 2010


Kylee's mom Marie, brother Troy, and me at nephew Brian's wedding
Coors Lite balancing with Troy and Brian

Kylee with Brian at the Bayou Bar at Scott's house, both wearing goofy glasses

I love this photo of Kylee from a couple of Christmases ago

niece Jessica, me, Jessica's daughter Mari and Kylee


My Baybee and Kylee March 2011

Nephew Josh, Brian, and Ashley Christmas 2008


Monday, November 5, 2012

Back in Business: Election Eve Musings....

Menu of the Day: 

on iTunes: Forest Sun's Harlequin cd. Love this guy!

Book: I'm reading The Middlesteins. I like it. It reminds me of Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections. Odd Family Drama story.

What I'm thinking about: The election. I'm excited and i'm scared.

Finally accomplished: Putting my summer clothes away, switching them for my 10 months of gloomy. The funny thing is my summer clothes take up more room than the stored winter clothes. But that's only cause summertime often feels like the rest of the year (by that i mean, autumny kind of weather) so i have AC/DC clothes that never need to be stored away...and for God's sake, I swear i think i own about 35 tank tops. I had no idea until i started packing them away.

What's irritating me: I got a call on Friday from a co-worker who's 21 year old gay friend had not registered to vote. She wanted to know if there was still time for her to do so. I knew this answer because i  had put this info up on our work's website - first time voters could walk in to register in person if they did so by Oct. 29. So If same sex marriage goes down by 1 vote i vote that someone should beat the shit out of that lesbian.

Shout Out: Lynnie. What happened to you? It's been a very long time!

I have no idea what's on my mind, but i'll go ahead an number some things and see where this goes:

********************************

1. I phone banked 7 times for our governor this election and called cranky menopausal women (that was our demographic target) to get out the vote for our Democratic governor candidate, Jay Inslee. A candidate i don't love very much, but who is better than the other dude who i am super scared of.

But here's a phone bank i would really enjoy!..... post election i want to call people who don't vote, like the woman above i describe. I would  ream them up and down and tell them what shits they are.

2. My predictions tomorrow:

  • Obama will handily win re-election....    :) 
  • Charter schools will be allowed in Washington State ....   :( 
  • McKenna and Inslee will be close but i'm afraid that McKenna is going to win ... :(   I wish there was a SCREAMING emoticon for this using our keyboard. 
  • Dawn Morrell (who louielouie/Sarah and i doorbelled for will win)....   :)
  • Steve O'Ban will win .... :(
  • Tami Green will win ... :)
  • Same sex marriage will lose ... :(  (which is what my photo above is about.)
  • marijuana will lose ... :(  I don't smoke pot at all, but i wish it were legal cause it's stupid that it's not. My childhood would have been much less chaotic had my Dad been a pothead instead of an alcoholic. 
3. I hate ending daylight savings time. I went to bed at 9:30 because it feels like 11 pm. I have been awake since 4:00 am and will probably need to go to bed again at 9:30. this will take me about 3 weeks to get adjusted. 

4. I bought a Christmas present already, but it almost doesn't count cause it for my parents. I bought them sheets. 

5. I already hate thinking about the holidays. Brian and i rarely fight hard about stuff. We get into disagreements and talk it out, but we rarely get into something that makes us both mad where we don't want to talk to each other for awhile...that is, until we talk about the holidays and family dynamics. 

6. So far it's been okay, but we also haven't made a definitive plan so i dread it and try to tread softly, but anyone who knows me understands how very difficult that is for me. 

7. Here's a good question: If you are in a relationship,  married...or not, or if you are divorced or broke up....  what is the topic you most fight about?  For us, it's definitely holidays and family stuff.  The good news is it is never about money. 

OK, i'm going to end this cause i've been trying hard to make this shorter. Only one person posted on my shortest post of all though... though i did notice that "Nada" had 18 views today. (And thank you amulbunny for being the one person posting on it!..hahahaha.)



Notes to self:
Sunset: 4:47 pm ....boohoo :(
Today's high: 60 degrees. weirdly warm today!
Longest run this week: 60 minutes on Saturday
All time pageviews: 35,651
Views last month: 1206


Friday, November 2, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

In My Humble Opinion





My friend Julie (jj here) gave me this little journal. I put the whole subtitle on the previous blog post in my last comment so i won't type out the whole thing except this part:

"A journal to vent about why people are like that and why all the stupid things they do are so obvious to me...."

So i'm going to keep this close to me and write down stuff as i feel irritated. I have been a longtime journal writer, starting around the age of 9 with those little diaries that had that stupid little key that really never locked your thoughts away. But that key was so cute!

In this little book there are tips on journaling and i like this one by Anais Nin: "What feels vivid, warm, or near to you at the moment?"

So let's get on with my humble opinion. . . not sure it's all that humble, since it's me writing, but hell, it's part of the book title...so here we go!

1. In my humble opinion  - i think that the presidential race is not that close at all!  Those cable news channels are full of shit, but i'm glad they are saying it's neck and neck, because then more people vote. And when more people vote, Democrats win! I think Obama will handily win. (I want to predict a landslide, but i can't because of the Republican money, and for that reason i am afraid we are going to get a bad Governor. )

2. In my humble opinion - You can never have too many pairs of jeans. I just bought another pair of Christopher Blues. Here's my bitch: I had to buy them in 34 inseam. I have something like a 28 inseam. They are supposed to be boot cut but by the time i cut them off and hem them they will be skinny jeans.

3. In my humble opinion - nearly every time i leave H&L produce i have to turn on to a busy street that feeds off the freeway. There is a left turn lane and a separate lane for people, like me, turning right. Seriously, about every other time i am there i get behind a giant SUV turning left who blocks BOTH lanes and so now i totally understand road rage.

4. In my humble opinion - Verbosity is not a bad thing. I was thinking about how i posted earlier that i was going to make these shorter and so far i have done exactly the opposite, starting with live blogging the debates!... For some reason it's a challenge for me to keep things short. I have no idea how to rein myself in. I do the same with voice mails. It's my wiring. I would be a Terrible Twitterer. 

5. And in my humble opinion - Contradicting oneself is not so bad either! It means you are always evolving.

6. One last humble opinion...probably my most important one ...to me, anyway... People who don't vote should leave the country, or at the very least, leave whatever room i am in. I can almost say, without apology, that i hate people who don't vote. Or to be more accurate, i can't imagine that i could ever be friends with you if you didn't.


What are YOUR humble opinions?


Notes to self: 

  • Sunset: 6:04 pm
  • Highest temp today: 53 degrees
  • All time blog views: 35,155
  • Blog views last month: 1165



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Threes.....

Menu of the Day:

Last song purchased from iTunes: Don't laugh, but it was Wichita Lineman by Glen Campbell. (Brian had something to do with this.)

Shout Out : Swiss Charrd, where you be?

Book: The Magician's Wife by Ann Patchett. So far, so good.

Photo: Goes with my celebrity crush (below). I heard that Brad Pitt was the new ad campaign face for Chanel, here's a still shot from that.



I haven't done Threes in awhile. So here we go!



Three things I could live without: 

  • a phone
  • Facebook
  • birthday parties



Three things i would hate to give up: 

  • coffee
  • wine
  • books


Three celebrity crushes:

  • Johnny Depp
  • Brad Pitt
  • John Corbett (back in his Northern Exposure days, BEFORE he started up with Bo Derek!)


Three things without fail, that are ALWAYS in my refrigerator:

  • parmesan cheese
  • old butter 
  • soy sauce 


Three lies I keep telling myself: 

  • I'm going to stop complaining about people i work with.
  • I'm going to not open that second bottle of wine on Friday night.
  • I'm going to start dressing my age.


Three things i hate about home decor when i see it:

  • fake plants
  • vertical blinds
  •  family picture collages hung on walls all over the place


Three things i hope will happen:

  • Obama gets re-elected in a landslide!
  • All of my local election issues on the ballot get passed: Our Democrat Governor and my other legislative picks, NO on Charter Schools, Yes on Same Sex Marriage.
  • My new raincoat that i bought for doorbelling this Saturday arrives tomorrow!

Three Best Things about the 2nd Obama/Romney Debate
  • The now infamous Romney quote about the Binder of Women 
  • Obama not throwing Hillary under the bus over the Libya attacks.
  • Obama's "Proceed Governor


OK, what do y'all have for threes?

Notes to Self: 
Sunset: 6:16  :(
High for today: 65 degrees
All time blog views: 34,878




Tuesday, October 16, 2012

For Gawd's Sake...No Big Bird, PLEASE ! Live Blogging Debate #2!



Ok, I was actually planning on switching out my summer clothes for winter clothes while watching the debate, but louie called me at work. So here I am. And I'm sure she will be soon. And it's too depressing switching out the summer clothes if Obama is a pussy again. So i'm going to open up a porter, eat some leftover Chinese food and blog away!

I think Candy Crowley is going to be so much better than Jim Lehrer!



Sunday, October 7, 2012

Another Sunday Night Blog About Stuff

Menu of the Day: 

All Menu Today: 

What i'm doing: i'm listening to my new Mark Knopfler cd Privateering and i'm matching a humongous batch of chili. However, the best music i've bought all month was Van Morrison's new one: Plan B. I rarely like a cd on a first listen, but this one is great!

Secret Ingredient in my Chili: 2 squares of Bakers cooking chocolate and about 10-12 oz of a Chocolate Stout beer. Oh yeah, and some brown sugar. (I recently read a recipe in my Cooks  Illustrated magazine where they put crushed walnuts in their vegetarian chili recipe. I will try that sometime.)

The Best Thing That Happened this Week: We had a family deal at Rollie's tavern last night for my Dad's 78th birthday (his neighborhood tavern) and it was pretty fun. It's a funky bar with decent bar food, like sliders and wings and chicken tenders and a really great juke box. Everybody there knows my Dad and he's very happy when he gets to show off his family and look important. My nephew Brian and his wife showed up to celebrate too among other relatives we don't usually see.They brought their really cool wedding book that Kylee made them on Shutterfly and they gave me a print from the wedding of me hugging my nephew Brian. It's a cute shot and sweet that they made me a print. )

Another Best Thing: It hit 74 degrees today! BEAUTIFUL DAY! i cannot remember the last time i was rained on while running. It's been something 2 months. Maybe more!

The Worst Thing That Happened: Well according to the media, it was Obama doing very poorly in the debate. I didn't think he did THAT bad. I think Romney did SO much better.

What I've recently Discovered: OMG, Project Runway. i LOVE this! louie/sarah i think you told me awhile back you watched this show. I saw Tim on Jon Stewart weeks back and decided to DVR it. But i forgot to watch until this morning. I watched 3 episodes in a row and got hooked on the first one. What's funny is Brian was looking at his computer but kept watching too and then he started jumping in with his own opinions about the designers. And he often got it right! I have two more left on my queue. Does anyone else here watch? I want to talk about it!

The Reason This is Hilarious: louie and i recently talked about this - our husbands are not what you call fashion forward in any way whatsoever. But it's endearing to me when Brian comes to me in the morning and asks me if he looks okay.... (does this shirt go with this tie? Are these pants okay with this shirt?.... That sort of thing. This week he came in to ask for advice before he left for work because he was meeting the chancellor of the college. I look him up and down, He has a nice shirt and jacket, but i say to him.... "I think you need to iron your pants." His reply: "I already did."

That's what i'm talking about.

What I'm Tired of: I have volunteered now 5 times phone banking for our governor race.And  I have two more this week. Plus a Saturday of doorbelling with louie. I think doorbelling works. I'm not so sure that a voice mail from me calling an independent woman voter is going to make much difference, so i'm not crazy about what I'm doing. I would so much rather be registering young voters at the colleges and in front of Safeway like i did in the last two elections.  And this governor candidate is not even a candidate i am in love with. But the other guy is too scary. Especially for unions. So i have to do this.

What I'm reading: It's a new book ... I have to go look it up on my kindle and get back to you. It's a memoir by a man writing about his mom who is dying of cancer and they start up their own little book club. "Book Club" is in the title. I'll add the title later when i fire up the Kindle.  It's not maudlin. That's why i think i'll like it. And his mom is fiesty and a true liberal activist, someone i would like. It probably will get sad at the end though.

My Last Book: thank you julie/jj for turning me on to Ann Patchett. I liked Bel Canto. I liked State of Wonder better, but this was good too. My next book by her is The Magician's Assistant.

Revelation: Back to the debate for a moment. Brian (The Huz) and i were talking about the debate and i said i wish Obama had hammered on the 47% stuff that Romney said. And Brian said something that made total sense to me about why Obama DID NOT do that. He said that it's still on voters' minds and if Obama had brought it up, it gave Romney the opportunity to sort of explain it away better once more (since he did such a poor job the first time). Obama didn't give him that chance. And i'm pretty sure the ads will be coming out very soon that will hammer on that message. SuperPacs!

Shout Out : to susieatl!  Where you be?

Ok, what's on your menu....?


Notes to Self: 
Sunset: 6:37 pm.  :(
Pageviews all time history: 34,446
Top Viewed Blog Post This Week: Once again....the Bad Boyfriend story from 4/3/09. It's the all time top viewed post! And nearly every month the most popular. That one and the Velvet Sledgehammer wine one are usually up there. (And High School Favorites is a Close 2nd with the Velvet)




Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Live Blogging the ORom Debate. Who knew Big Bird was a Democrat!


I got my wine.
I got one of my many Obama t-shirts on.
I got comfortable sweats.
I love that Jim Lehrer is moderating.

here we go!
Happy 20th wedding anniversary, Barack and Michelle!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Coming Tomorrow: Live Blogging during the Obama/Romney debate!

The shiraz i will be drinking is one of my favorites and SO apppropriately named:  'VELVET SLEDGEHAMMER'. Which is how i picture Obama tomorrow! 

I've done this before during the Academy Awards and it was fun. i hope some of y'all want to join me! (louie, if you are at your mom's house i guess you won't be able to do this!)

See y'all tomorrow!  

Go O! Go O! Go O!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Absurdities

1. That new Honey Boo Boo show on TLC. It's disgusting to me that in our country we elevate this type of family to superstardom. And what's that other show? Tiaras and Tots or some damn thing where all the girls look like Jon Benet Ramsey? I believe this show was a spinoff from that show. 

2. Why can't there be a show about a young smart struggling student who does charity work or someone volunteering in the Peace Corps, people saving lives, anything but this? The shit on TV is not helping this generation be wise and honorable. Don't even get me started on the Baby Mamas and those Jersey assholes. 

3. I'm really afraid God is watching TV (I'm sure God gets bored too!) and I'm afraid after watching some of this crap, He might take a hint from the Mayans and just end it all this December. 

4. For God, it would be like changing the channel on the remote. Think about it. And be scared. 

5. Here's an absurdity for you: how come razor blades cost so much money and don't last that long? You just know that they have the technology to make a razor blade that could last all through the summer, (and they should for the money we pay) but nooooooo. I've nicked my legs most when trying to get more life out of my razor blades. 

6. So many drugs for men for their old limp dicks, but nothing to safely help women get through menopause.

7. Eyebrows, nose hair, ear hair that grow out in truly unruly comedic fashion as we get older but hair eyelashes and and the hair on our head gets thinner where we really want more. 

8. Back to Honey Boo Boo for a moment. I've called my husband Boo Boo for many years. (If i ever call him Brian to his face he knows I am getting ready to give him some bad news.) The Boo Boo comes from his initials BBB. Mostly i just call him Boo....but i feel like i need to give him a new nickname now because of this dumbass show. 

9. And aren't they voting for Romney too? I think like McCain had Joe The Plumber, Romney needs Honey BooBoo. Anyone middle class or lower middle class American voting for Romney is an absurdity. 

10. And here's another: Why can i buy a regular physical book in paper form from Costco cheaper than a digital book from Amazon? That makes no sense to me at all. I like to loan out books to friends and it's not as easy if you have an e-book. Seriously, i thought it was going to save money (and trees, right?) but noooo. Greedy bastards, Jeff Bezos who supports charter schools in our state. This is why i am borrowing more from the library. This will dismay my friends as the Jojo Library dries up and closes for economic reasons. 

I have more, but i forgot them. I'll come back. Please add to these! 

Notes for me: 
Sunset 9/25/12 @ 7:01 pm
High temperature was 66 degrees.
Blog all time views: 33,966
Page views today: 26
Page views this month: 1142


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Oh For God's Sakes!



I'm changing this blog but want to say that The Family Louvrak wedding photos are on the previous post, if you are so interested.  (Thank you louie for posting on them.)

Oh For God's Sake refers of course to Romney's secretly video-taped $50,000 a plate dinner fundraiser last May where he did what i think is far far far far far worse than the "Dean Scream" from 2004. (For those who don't know, I was a Howard Dean state delegate for our state. i loved him!)

If you haven't seen it, let me know and i will link it. Oh, hell with it, i will link it anyway.( I like having it for historical purposes, because i think it's a doozy.)

By the way, did y'all know it was $50,000 a plate for that fundraiser when you first saw that video? I did not. I got this news first online from my boss at work where the article linked said that it was from May 2012 and MotherJones put it out.  But it was from Jon Stewart who filled in some of the good stuff.

I love presidential politics normally. But this year i did not have the stomach for the pundit crap even MSNBC and CNN... and all the polarizing and defensive back and forth hypocrisy on the other side so i have purposely not been watching anything but The Daily Show. And Jon Stewart makes it fun. I don't have the energy anymore to debate or defend my liberal Democrat side, because i feel like it is a big waste of time. We are all trapped and wrapped in our ideologies.

That said, I am still working on the election, only it's our local Washington State elections. I won't bore you with the details because you don't all live and work here. But for the next three weeks this political work cuts into many of my evenings.

And if i find when talking to any minorities, gay people, women who don't want to get pregnant every time they have sex, young people, (especially if they are under the age of 26), ANYONE who might be deemed 'entitled to health care or food' and they tell me that they didn't vote, well, i don't know...I guess i better get a lawyer on retainer right now....

(By the way did y'all see Romney try and fix this? I think that is just as bad as this little speech. )

I feel better every day that Obama is going to be just fine. I hope it's not just because i live in Washington State and get a different bent on the political climate. I don't believe it will even be close.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Some Wedding Photos

Menu of the Day:
Book: State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. I am really liking this book. Thank you, Julie/jj... Has anyone here read her other one, Bel Canto?
The Best Thing That Happened this Week: The sun. So many days in a row of sun, sun, sun. I love late summer weather. It's been so nice that they extended our pool closure for the second time.
What I'm looking Forward to: The election being over. Also our flyfishing trip in mid-October.

Photos:
  • 'Father' Scott (my brother) married our nephew Brian and his wife Adrienne.
  • My brother Troy and his son, the groom.
  • Brian shaking his dad's hand after the ceremony.
  • Me dancing with my niece Ashley (Kylee/Modern Hippie in the foreground.)
  • My Dad with Ashley and Kylee.
  • The Wedding Men. (To the left is my sister's son, Christopher, who was the Best Man.)
  • The Bride.
I have been neglecting this blog but i hope to do better. I might add to this later or not. I might just add a new topic (if i can come up with one!) ....but for now, i knew i had to change it.

P.S. I did not take these photos.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Labor Day Wedding - Van Morrison song added


I can't stand seeing my picture up there anymore so i have to change this.

I have nothing really to talk about really except to say The Family L o u v r a k wedding went off wonderfully! I didn't take photos with my camera, only with Kylee's, so i have no access to put anything up right now.

My nephew Brian and his wife made me a part of their ceremony and that was very special to me. I'm even mentioned in the program!

I danced with my nephew after she danced with her father. At the rehearsal dinner he and went through his iPod to find one that was appropriate....(equeyaya,  i thought of you, cause originally our song was going to be Chariot by Ryan Montbleau. In fact we even practiced danced to it!)

In the end he chose a Van Morrison song i didn't own (though i do now). Called These are The Days... such a pretty song. And hahaha, they got me a wrist corsage.

My brother Scott performed the ceremony which involved drama because as mentioned in the last post, he stepped up to fill in at the last minute when my nephew Brian's friend who was ordained cancelled the day before. (His baby was sick.) We found another ordained friend to make it legal , and in the end i think it was better than if it had been Brian's friend who cancelled.

And because Troy married my Brian and me 10 years ago, Troy (who is Nephew Brian's dad) introduced my brother Scott by saying "We have a tradition in our family of family members marrying family members"...and the crowd burst out laughing since it sounds like something out of Deliverance families. He hadn't realized what he said.

Scott started it the ceremony and was so at ease, then before the vows had Troy come up again and give a parable that he had said at rehearsal about family and life being a jigsaw puzzle, some pieces are missing (referring to, but not actually mentioning my sister and Nephew Brian's brother), some get lost (Nephew Brian's mom), but you keep building the puzzle and making it bigger. And then it was turned over to Scott again who said some more and got us all participating by having us repeat after him when there was a bit of a break, i.e. a train going by at one point.... Every time he said "God is Good", we responded "All the Time" and then he would say "All the Time" and we repeated "God is Good". Their vows were traditional, and because we were outside at the park, the church bells chimed at the very right moment when he started. And the crowd laughed again on cue.

In the end Scott started to say 'by the power vested in me...' and then stopped and laughed and said, "i have no power, so let's all say it together..." and the whole crowd repeated that part in unison of the power vested....' pronounce you husband and wife'...

It was perfect.

Life is good for the Family L o u v r a k right now.

I'll be back soon to change this blog. Maybe add some pictures. We do have some extremely funny video that my Brian shot of my dad, who is so cute, dancing with Kylee and Ashley, (my nieces)) and he it's the Electric Slide. My Dad NEVER dances. And we have some funny Crawfish kind of moves from my mom on video too.

What did everyone else do on Labor Day????  Welcome back EoDe! I forgot to mention that last post!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

If you're over 40, you need these!




Product Endorsement: 
I have been unable to wear bifocals and have wasted money buying two pairs in the past three years. Since i was in my teens, (maybe earlier) I needed glasses to drive and see distance, but my last eye appointment shows i am legal to drive without corrective lenses for the first time ever. And i can even read the crawl on CNN now where i used to need glasses at the movies. 

However, i can't focus on my food when i'm eating. And i can't read a thing anymore. I liked it better the other way. 

By last count I own 8 or 9 pairs of readers, not counting my prescription readers. (A couple of weeks ago I misplaced the expensive ones - my prescriptions, but i know they will eventually turn up because i never lose things.) I try to keep a pair in every room (and in my car and at work) because i keep taking them off and leaving them only to be annoyed when i need them again. 

Anyway, i think i have found the end all this problem: 

These are Clic readers and i think they are so cool! They are connected by a strong magnet at the bridge as you can see in the bottom photo. But they look good on. When you don't need them you just let them hang around your neck. Much better than those granny chains IMO. 


you can find them here

I can't wait to use them flyfishing and taking photos. 

Latest Books: I just finished Gold by the author who wrote Little Bee. Great book about two Olympic women cyclists who are competitors for the 2012 Olympics and are best friends. I really liked it. It's another one of those books i kept picking up and putting down that ended up being a favorite. I wrote about this in a previous blog post.

Now i'm reading Jonathan Tropper's new one One More Thing Before I Go. He really writes for men but i love him. The main character is always a hapless, sad figure without much redemption. But funny too. 

Grits doesn't post here anymore but she told me about Richard Russo's Interventions. I just got that too but haven't started it. 

Shout Out: To EoDE.... Where are you girl? I miss seeing you here. I was reading old blog posts the other day and seeing so many folks who are gone. Is everybody Facebooking? Louie i hope you don't leave us when you join the FB world. If anything, it should give you more to talk about. 

What's Happening this Week: The Big Wedding of the Family Louvrak. After 9 years my brother Troy's son Brian is marrying his girlfriend this Saturday. They are having a similar wedding like mine. A friend is performing the ceremony. They are being married in a hall. No tuxes. Not too big of a wedding. Should be fun. My cousin is coming in to stay with us this Thursday, so I'll be away for a bit. 

In the News: Lance Armstrong. (and then Neil Armstrong)... I have always thought Lance was guilty of doping. Maybe when he first started he told himself it was okay because of his famous testicular cancer. But you can't possibly have 10 teammates ready to testify against you without you being guilty, can you? 

In the Air: Autumn! Thank you summer for your two weeks. See you next year!

Speaking of In the Air. That song In the Air Tonight used to be a favorite of mine by Phil Collins back in the 1980's. Now i can barely stand to listen to it. I think my next blog posts will be about how we change our minds about songs, movies, people, politicians, etc. 


Ok, i didn't really have much to say today, but it was Sunday and i wanted to change this blog.