Monthly Archives: August 2007

Seen on the road in Wilsonville yesterday:

Red truck in the right turn lane (onto freeway) sitting at a busy intersection with a red light. When all the cross traffic had passed, the driver made a U-Turn in front of the other two lanes going his direction, and around the lane divider to go the opposite direction, barely making it before the light turned green. Heads in every other car around me: Turned to watch him with mouths agape.

That has got to be one of the ballsiest things I have ever seen! At least driving down a road the wrong way is usually a mistake. This was sheer lunacy. U-Turns aren’t even legal in Oregon unless there is a sign specifically allowing them. And I’m pretty sure cutting in front of two lanes of cars to get into one of the other two busy lanes going the other direction is severely frowned upon. Just a guess mind you.

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  • John loves his new job!
  • I’m being kept busy at work… good and bad sides to that.
  • We had a BBQ this weekend, and I had blackberry pie with vanilla ice cream. I didn’t beat myself up about it, but I am sure I could have done without it.  Then I had a piece for breakfast (sans ice cream) which was completely unnecessary and i regret. I had lost 2 pounds from Wed night to Saturday morning, but  the last two days I register up a pound. Sigh. I didn’t bother looking this morning. It’s weigh in day.
  • In one of those funny quirks of life, John was put in the municipal division of his new company. I work for a civil engineering firm that works for municipalities only. He will be designing pumps primarily for water and wastewater treatment and management.. We design water and wastewater treatment facilities and designing includes deciding what kind of pump is needed. Go figure! I never thought my life would converge upon sewage . In retrospect however…. let’s just say my childhood was not idyllic.
  • How hard is it to keep your mouth shut and let your children make their own mistakes? Really hard. How easy is it to try to rescue them? Really easy. How much do you have to let go and let them live? All the way. How much will they resent you if you don’t? Good question, but I’m not going to find out. Loving someone with your hands wide open for them to move about freely is difficult. I had to learn to do it with their dad, I can do it again. But the lion roars inside.

 


well, shoot…

I haven’t posted for a week. How lame is that? Answer: very lame. I weighed in last night and had lost .6 lbs which might have frustrated me, but then I realized that last week I missed the 10 lb. mark by .6 lb, so instead I found it very humorous. OK God, you’re right, I DID ask for that .6 lbs last week, didn’t I? Careful what you ask for, and how you ask. So God, this week I’m really hoping for losing 2 lbs. Think you can help me with that? I sure hope so. (Amen!)

Last week, in my favorite computer game (World of Warcraft), I met a group of friends and they invited me to join them on a quest. OK thanks! I told them I’d seen their guild tag around “town” (somewhat equivalent to saying “Oh yeah, I know you, I’ve seen your family around town”), and thanks for the party invite. (A group of 5 people or less in the game is called a party.) When we finished I asked if they’d like to keep going since I could see we had many of the same quests. There was a long pause. So I said not continuing was fine too. Finally, one of them says “sure, let’s do that, maybe some of these harder ones.” Sounds good to me.  The other one asked me a short time later for my sex and age, and that they ask everyone, not just me. Ok, well I’m a 41 year old woman. “Oh cool! I’m 36 and so-and-so is my boyfriend, and other-so-and-so is my 31 year old sister.”  Alright, good enough, it’s nice to know when you are playing with adults vs. children.

In the next couple of hours, in response to several questions and/or situations, she and I said the same things. Sometimes exactly the same thing. By the end of the night we were cracking up laughing and decided we were two peas in a pod, just alike. So now we call each other podling, seeing as we’re pod people and all. I’ve played with one or all of them every day since we met up and I’ve been invited to join their guild. At this point, I’m still with my old familiar guild. What if the honeymoon ends and instead of making each other crack up, we make each other pissed off? That kind of stuff worries me.

She reminds me of myself when I was younger. Not 36, but maybe when I was 30-32.  Lots of cussing and a big-bad attitude, put on more for fun than for real. I hate to say this, but she reminds me of me before I got together with my husband, before I had a unsettling religious experience and became a Christian. What’s up with that?? Some of it is simply age and settling down. Some of it is from the Christian culture.

I’ve looked at her myspace page. I can’t say we have tons in common today, but we seem to think very similarly. As she put it to her boyfriend, “See, she gets me!”  She’s right, we “get” each other. Maybe that’s more important than having lots in common? We laugh so much it’s a treat, one I haven’t had in a long time. It’s been many years since I’ve had a friend that I routinely get the giggles with, laughing til tears are coming out of our eyes and we can’t breathe. Much like being around a couple of 12-14 year old girls. “Nothing is THAT funny” i’m thinking when I hear my daughter and her friends get the giggles.  Oh YES, there IS, I forgot!

She lives in Texas. I wish I had more friends like that around here. Hear that Melissa?! 😉

 


Thursday night we had our Seminary Orientation and Registration, got our student ID’s, got our mailbox keys, got website logins and instruction on the various resources available to us. (For one thing, I discovered that coffee drinks are available across the street from my office. Who knew? It’s on the second floor! But, I digress.)  I registered for the following:

  1. Old Testament I
  2. Knowing Self, Knowing God
  3. Spirituality & The Writings of the Mystics

If I had known how seriously excited I would be to say “I am a graduate student”, I might have done this years ago. Oh well, I would have been studying something else, and I’m really thrilled to be in Seminary rather than the SFSU Graduate Program in Psychology that I originally had planned to attend, 19 years ago. Funny how life turns out.


Loser

Last night I weighed in at Weight Watchers: down 3.4 lbs, for a total weight loss of 9.4. Do you think I was bothered by that little .6 that would have brought me to a total of 10 lbs lost? You bet your bippy I was!! Oh well. Slow and steady finishes the course eventually.

In the time honored tradition of almost every successful WWer I know, I went out and treated myself to a dinner I wouldn’t normally eat. I’ve just weighed in, I have all week to be good. This dinner wasn’t exactly out of bounds in the way I normally roll, but I went to Quiznos and got the black and bleu chopped salad with flatbread…. AND a chocolate chunk cookie. It was D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S! When I was younger and did WW with my next door neighbor, we would go every week to our meeting on Tuesday nights, then we’d meet up with my boyfriend and her husband for dinner at Chili’s. I had the same thing every week because I LOVED it so much! Fajitas with plenty of cheese and sour cream, and a margarita. Completely off target in the diet area, but fully satisfying and it made the rest of the week go so much easier. This time with my mental focus a lot more on “What is good for my body?” instead of “what can i get away with eating?”, it’s actually much easier from the get go. But I do need some treats now and again, so I got the cookie, and I didn’t waste a single moment on guilt and just completely enjoyed the whole thing. I DID immediately notice AFTER eating the entire cookie that it gave me a sugar headache or something. I think I would have been better off eating half of it and giving the other half to my husband. But if I’d given him half to begin with I’m sure I would have felt deprived, because “i might want the whole thing!”. Next time, I’ll think about that, and consider it.

I have more songs, or poems, not sure which, germinating in my head.  We’ll see.


Sing, Sing a Song, Sing it Loud, Sing it Long

I wrote a song today. I used to write lots of poetry, but I think this is the first time I sat down to intentionally write a song. The first couple of lines came to mind while I was driving to work. When I had some time, I Googled every phrase and several artists lyrics, just to be sure I wasn’t remembering a song instead of thinking one up. I didn’t come up with anything terribly similar, so I’m assuming that it’s mine. I rewrote it several times, trying for better internal structure, and came up with one I liked pretty well. Not that I’m planning to try to become famous (haha), but I am thinking of submitting it to my worship pastor. He has written a few of the songs we sing at church and maybe he’ll write some music for it if he likes it. That would be kind of neat, hearing my song in church. It’s a praise song for sure, but it’s not exactly “Word of God Speak” or anything.

I know a lot of people hate Christian music, but I personally like lots of it. The main criticisms I hear are that it’s “sappy” and that the “songs and/or artists would never make it if it weren’t such a specific genre”. I disagree. Certainly not as many of them would be popular, but we can see from the Mainstream songlists that quite a few songs cross-over from Christian to Mainstream radio stations. It’s just that most people don’t know they were on Christian radio first. Also, most of my favorite Christian artists I think would make it just as well in Mainstream radio if they chose not to sing what they sing now. They have good voices, good bands, good writing. Again, obviously not true of all or even most Christian artists, but some. In any case, I think some are much better than a lot of the craptacular stuff i hear on mainstreams stations. Then again, I frequently dislike the music that music snobs recommend to me, so don’t take my word for it. Usually about 1/3 is stuff i like. I’ve never claimed to have good taste in music, just MY taste in music.

I need to note something…  I dreamt last night that I was going to marry Zach Braff (definitely not someone who does it for me) and we were having an engagement party / weekend and of course everything was going awry. Only, he was much sexier in my dream. Then again, so was I. Go figure.


They gathered at my home, slowly. First a group of three, then four more, and finally, another four, including the little baby we hadn’t yet seen.

The first couple and their adult daughter arrived 15 minutes early, thinking they were 45 minutes late. No, I assured them, you’re fine. The woman and her daughter both made noises of aggravation mixed with triumph; clearly they had won some previous argument with that news. The man sputtered and pulled the pocket calendar out of his shirt pocket. He checked the time he had written down and declared he had been right, that he had copied it from the invitation email. The fact that I had just confirmed the later start time made no difference to him. His wife proceeded to talk loudly about his unreliability at getting things right, that you could never trust him, and that they had a big scene about being on time because she and her daughter had been out shopping instead of getting prepared to come over. Had he won they might have arrived an hour early. I wouldn’t have been home, I was out shopping too, for last minute items for the dish I was making. I was grateful that they got here when they did. I was also grateful no other guests had arrived to witness the verbal cutting down of the husband by his wife. These are my parents; my father and my step-mother, with my step-sister in tow. My step-sister being in town was the reason for the gathering; my parents live about 5 minutes away.

The second couple and their two small daughters arrived a half hour later. The seven-year old was the first to the door. No other person or vehicle was visible from the doorway. “Where are your parents?” I asked, peering behind her. She said “They’recomingthey’llbehereinaminute”, the words coming out in a rush, as though they couldn’t come out fast enough. Then she tackled me with a bear hug, her hands meeting behind my back. She is in the 99th percentile of height for her age, her limbs are long and skinny, and she bolts about like a colt who is still learning to run. Her parents showed up a minute later, arms full of food and beer and their other daughter. She had just turned two the week previous. Her huge black eyes stared at me calmly, as she leaned into her daddy’s body, and held her “passy” in her mouth. Daddy tried to take the pacifier away, trying to get her to say hi, but she shook him off, tossing her head and making a shrill noise.  No can do Dad, no hellos this time. He apologized for her, explaining that she’d just woken up. I wasn’t offended, I’ve never even heard her talk. She has yet to warm up to me, keeping her distance, watching me, as if assessing my worthiness of her favor. This time was no different. No big surprise. I’m used to it. Her mother followed them in and handed me a tray of vegetable kabobs, giving me a cheek-to-cheek hug as she passed. Her arms were still full of items. The pasta I had forgotten at the store and asked them to bring, the extra veggies for the grill, the case of beer her husband had promised to bring, and the baby bag, full of clean clothes, clean diapers, and other baby necessities.  This arrival brought smiles and laughter, unlike the previous group. These are my brother and sister-in-law and their two girls. They live nearby, about 15 minutes away.

The third group called three or four times from the road. “We’re lost!” It’s a simple drive from the house on Mt. Tabor to ours, but the directions they got from online were convoluted and confusing. A baby could be heard screaming in the background and its mother was sounding flustered. She usually does on the phone. “It’s as if they know when it will be most inconvenient to make noise!” Personally I am sure they do. Mama must not be allowed to pay attention to anything or anyone else. Finally they arrived, a woman my own age with two of her three kids (6 mos. and 6 years), and her stepfather. Her mother and her middle child were not feeling well and had decided to stay home. I was a little bit disappointed not to see them, but I understood. She gave me a big hug as though it had been a long time. It had. Two years I calculated. Her middle child had been a small baby on the last visit. She is visiting her parents for a week as she does every year. Last year I had a horrible cold and missed her. It wouldn’t do to be around the small children with that cold, so I had told her we’d have to try again next year. And, here she was, in my new house, congratulating me. “What a great house!! Oh, I love the vaulted ceiling!” I have known her since I was 13. We have been best friends for 28 years. These are my best friend Nicole, her children, and her stepfather.  She lives in Spokane, Washington, and her parents live in Portland. I have never been to their house, though they moved here a little over two years ago. I would guess it’s about 20 minutes from mine.

Wine and crackers with brie had been laid out on the table when my parents arrived, joining the large bowl of tortilla chips and a smaller bowl of Trader Joe’s Pineapple Salsa.  My husband swears by it. I actually haven’t tried it. I’m afraid I’ll like it, and I really don’t need any more reasons to pile tortilla chips in my mouth. As my family had moved out to the deck to chat, so had the appetizers and drinks. Now that everyone that was coming had arrived, the cooking and grilling began. I made a baked ziti casserole. I would have started it earlier but I had needed that pasta my sister-in-law was bringing. It’s a delicious pasta dish made with tons of cheese and red sauce, baked for an hour. I’m sure a serving accounts for all of my “food points” for the day, but I didn’t care. My husband took control of the grill. This is a good thing. He’s very good at it. Flank steak and veggie kabobs were tossed on and watched with the eye of a practiced grill chef. The smells were appetizing and made my stomach start to grumble. My step-mother put together the salad she had brought for us. It had candied walnuts, blue cheese, red onions, fresh salad greens and cranberries I think. The bread, two loaves: kalamata olive bread and rosemary bread, from Trader Joe’s also, were heated up in the oven and then sliced and put in a bread basket. All of the food was spread out on the table outside and everyone formed a line to dish up what they wanted. A couple of yellow jackets arrived for the party and had to be coaxed away with the “sacrificial piece of meat” that I placed on a small dish and perched on the rail of the deck.  The little girls were scared of the “bees” and high-tailed it inside, joined by Nicole with the baby. She was afraid he’d get stung. The rest of us toughed it out on the deck, emerging victorious over the little flying carnivores. The weather was the perfect temperature, completely comfortable with a sleeveless shirt and/or shorts. Several bottles of wine were consumed, along with a number of beers, and some crystal light for the girls. Conversation was easy and relaxed. My family hadn’t seen Nicole since my wedding five years ago, and had never met her stepfather, so there were plenty of topics to cover, lots of jokes to be made, and lots of pictures to take. The evening ended four hours after it had begun, with cheesecake for those inclined to indulge, and Skinny Cow mint ice cream sandwiches for those watching their waists. Many hugs were given all around and promises to see each other again sooner than later were proffered. Congratulations were given on our house and a successful evening. This was the family barbecue/potluck that my husband and I hosted on Saturday, engendered by my step-sister being in town for two weeks; my best friend being in town at the same time and able to attend was an unexpected and lovely bonus.

After the initial awkwardness of my parents early arrival had worn off, I had a great time and I think everyone else did as well.


A bit late on the ol’ weight loss post, as Wednesday night when I weighed in, I got a migraine and had to go to bed, so i forgot. So…. this week I lost 1.8 pounds which didn’t thrill me, but it’s a healthy weight to lose. I just was hoping for that first two weeks drop 10+ pounds, and got 6 instead. According to my scale at home today I’ve lost 8, so i don’t really know. Of course that’s first thing in the morning nekkid.   But still, it’s apples to apples, that was how i was weighing myself before. They are weighing me in the evening with clothes on, but the main difference available there is different clothing weights (minimal impact) and food i’ve just eaten (can be noticeable in terms of poundage).

Anyway, the important point for me to focus on is that I’m LOSING and not gaining or plateauing, so don’t bitch about it. I’m getting used to eating smaller portions. It’s hard to stop when something is good. I had to keep telling myself last night. YOU DON’T NEED ANYMORE.

Speaking of food, gotta go eat lunch. Ciao!


Message In A Bottle

Let me preface this by saying (again) that I have problems with movies because I don’t seem to have the boundary between me and the characters that I should. I am completely unable to watch some movies due to the sheer inhumanity inherent in some stories. This is probably why I prefer animation for the most part.

Last night I saw Message In A Bottle for the first time. I had not read the book. I had never discussed the movie with anyone. I had looked at the movie description and wasn’t interested. “Sappy sappy love story” was how it looked to me. I read enough Harlequin Romances in my tween years to satisfy a lifetime’s worth of stupid, sappy, unrealistic romance stories. But, my husband was flipping through the channels and stopped there as it was JUST beginning. “Here’s a Sandi movie”. I didn’t bother to correct him because i was playing my game anyway, so i didn’t have to pay attention.

First, I idly watched while playing my game online.  Initial opinion: substitute Meg Ryan for Robin Wright Penn and I’d have Sleepless In Seattle. Which I love, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t need to see this to know it’s going to be goopy and sweet.

Second, I was caught by Robin Wright Penn’s acting. Subtle, real, interesting. How Sean Penn went from Madonna to Robin is an interesting question. Clearly he was moving up in the world. She’s classy.

Third, I was struck by Kevin Costner’s acting. I know. I’ll say it again, I was struck by Kevin Costner’s acting. It was…. good. Nuanced. Interesting. Still Kevin Costner, but more like Dancing With Wolves and less like Waterworld. Vulnerable. They both were vulnerable.

Fourth, Paul Newman was a little over the top, but in a good way. He provides some much-needed levity. A fine acting job, but saying Paul Newman has given a fine acting job is like saying I had food for lunch.  Well, …. yeah. Duh?

Fifth, I got caught up in the story. I became nervous for Robin’s character… her secret would surely have to be revealed and then what? Kevin’s character became engrossing as well. I cared what happened to these people.

Sixth, I decided this was my new favorite movie. I was sort of embarrassed, but there you are. I was in love with these characters and the way they were falling in love. The hesitance of letting go of the past, the scary future, the redemption involved therein. I could understand these things.

Seventh, the ending. I won’t say what happens, but I went from wanting to go buy this movie so i could see it whenever i wanted, to thinking I might never watch it again.

Throughout the movie I laughed and I cried. A good movie will usually provide that. But some movies are tear jerkers. Say, City of Angels, Terms of Endearment, Steel Magnolias. All wonderful movies, but oh how I cried. Message In A Bottle goes on the list.

I was distraught when the movie ended. I felt broken. I had to go to bed because I couldn’t see how I could continue to interact with my husband or hear the television prattling on.

Today it is in my mind, coloring my day. I am sad for no reason other than a mourning for the characters in the movie. It’s not a big deal, but it’s there.

And one further comment… Most romantic movies portray men to be so sickeningly wonderful that the real men in our lives could never possibly measure up. I emerge from those movies angry at my husband for not being as romantic as that. What’s that about!?! That’s horrible! And what must they be thinking about us after seeing movies with “perfect” or “sexy” women in them? I can’t possibly be like Ashley Judd or Drew Barrymore…. sweet and sexy and perfect all at once.  I emerge from those movies feeling self-conscious, knowing I could never be like that.  Stupid Hollywood!


I must have played this song about 10 times yesterday, not for all of the words, but for some of the words, some of the phrases that hit me deeply and strike a chord within me (highlighted).

It’s My Life by Paula Cole
That quiet voice inside of my soul,
It’s rising up again.
Oh I know it’s the time, life is short.
Gotta grab the wheel of my life.

Indecision, should-haves, could-haves,
Will only rip my joy away.
This inner cross-roads may define me,
But it’s the only way.

‘Cause it’s my life,
And I am free,
To live my life,
The way I feel.

For all the people who hear my song,
Why not take a chance?
By the keeping the child alive in our heart,
There’s truth and meaning there.

Trusting beauty,
Truth, perfection,
I’ll never lead my light astray.
Listen to my intuition,
Gather up my faith.

‘Cause it’s my life,
And I am free,
To live my life,
The way I feel.

Deep inside I know I can,
Deep inside I’m beautiful,
Tell myself I won’t give up,
Tell myself have courage now.
Willingness and openness,
Step by step and day by day,
Over time a thousand fields,
Will have passed beneath my feet.
‘Cause it’s my life.