Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Firsts

I'm always up for trying new things and at the end of each year I like to make of list of my firsts. I like to make lists in case you hadn't noticed. But this is my first time making a list on my blog, since 2008 is the first year in which I became a blogger.

We played Guitar Hero for the first time in 2008! I've always wanted to have a band named Yardsale Lingerie, but lacking musical talent and vocal abilities I was thwarted until this game!

We went to our first gay wedding in California, and just in time.

The next day we went to Disney's California Adventure for the first time. I highly recommend The Tower of Terror!

We went to our first protest! After the election and the subsequent ban on gay marriage, Corey and I went downtown with our gay friends to shout: What do we want? Equal rights! When do we want them? NOW!

For the first time I used my scrapbooking powers for good. The day before the protest who should stop by our house but the Mormons? You know, the ones who pumped millions of dollars into the campaign against gay marriage? They left a little card behind and immediately Corey and I began thinking about how we could use it against them. I think we make a good creative team, no? Corey wore that on his hat, and I carried a sign that said SEPARATE CHURCH AND STATE.

I went to my first Jason Mraz concert. I went with my friend Stephanie, who kindly prepared an Essential Mraz compilation for me ahead of time. He totally rocked!

I tried absinthe for the first time. It didn't make me feel like I had tulips on my legs, as Oscar Wilde once described, but I did feel pretty happy. Could be because I was surrounded by friends and Corey. I did not care for the taste though.

Wishing you much happiness and many new experiences in 2009!

P.S. I found the absinthe picture on the internet.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Santa's Coming!

I just heard on NPR that NORAD is tracking Santa's flight progress. If you would like to see where Santa is via satellite go to Currently he's in Vik, Iceland.
I hope he brings you everything on your list!

Monday, December 22, 2008

My family is crafty.

I come from a family of quilters. I think quilts are cool. Sometimes I pretend like I'm going to make a quilt too, but sewing kind of makes me feel crazy with impatience so if it ever does happen it will probably not be for a long time.

In October my mom's quilting group held a quilt show. The quilt above is one my great grandmother made a long, long time ago. It's so old that the material is disintegrating. That is my dad with his grandmothers quilt, and he is wearing a shirt my mom made. He is also wearing a leather belt that he made and hand stamped.

When we first arrived at the show I wanted to take off and start looking around. My mom kept stopping me and making up nonsense and I started to get annoyed. The reason was that her friend Robin helped her make this class quilt for me as a surprise, and she was trying to find her so they could show me together. My bad.

Even my oldest sister is a quilter. She made this quilt for my mom.

My mom also made this quilt for the grandchildren Corey and I are never having. This is as close as she's going to get:

Strega Nona says she loves it!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

6. I suck at Christmas.

Each year I say I'm going to get everything done early, and each year I don't. This year I at least got both of my packages out on time. Last night after a friend's party Corey and I got the tree up. Wednesday I got our cards made. Now all I have to do is address them all and mail them out. At least there are still 4 days until Christmas. One year I had to make Happy New Years cards since I took so long.

The only thing I'm good at is the shopping, and that's only because I do it throughout the year. I'd just like to add at this point that I'm tired of when I tell people my shopping method and they respond, "Oh, I try to do that but I just can't wait and I give them the present as soon as I buy it!" Well aren't you special? Some of us are teachers, and some of us loathe shopping in December. And you don't love your family more than I love mine just because you don't have restraint or foresight.

Also now I have to do report cards in December, adding to the madness. But it's not an excuse. I sucked at Christmas even before I was a teacher.

P.S. Thank you Victoria Usova for depicting me and Corey decorating our tree at 11:30 last night while watching Elf.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

*I should be wrapping presents*

I came across another reading challenge this morning, the What's In a Name Challenge! So instead of doing the things I should be doing, I (once again) found myself making a list.

*The Challenge: Choose one book from each of the following categories.

1. A book with a "profession" in its title.
The Short History of a Prince by Jane Hamilton
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Blessed Are the Cheesemakers by Sarah Kate-Lynch
The Last Witchfinder by James Morrow
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (reread)
The Postman Always Rings Twice by James Morrow

2. A book with a "time of day" in its title.
Bright Angel Time by Martha McPhee
The Servants of Twilight by Dean R. Koontz

3. A book with a "relative" in its title.
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

4. A book with a "body part" in its title.
The Body Project by Joan Jacobs Brumberg (I started it a few years ago & never finished)
Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut

5. A book with a "building" in its title.
Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman
Joy School by Elizabeth Berg
Last Chance Saloon by Marian Keyes
The Mineral Palace by Heidi Julavits

6. A book with a "medical condition" in its title.
(This one's a stretch, and I've already read Love in the Time of Cholera)
Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination by Helen Fielding

I wonder which books will make the cut in 2009...

Here is the website in case you want to do it too:

P.S. Thank you Comes Mart for letting me borrow your cute library pic.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

5. I'm reading a really good book right now.

It's called, "A Pirate of Exquisite Mind: Explorer, Naturalist, and Buccaneer: The Life of William Dampier." William Dampier is responsible for every discovery ever. Ok, I'm exaggerating, but it feels that way while reading the book. I told Corey, "Name something and William Dampier discovered it!" And Corey said, "Rubber!" And then I was like, "Oh. I don't think so, but I'm not done with the book yet either."

The coolest thing is that Dampier went to the Galapagos about 150 years before Charles Darwin and wrote about what he saw in his journal. Then Charles Darwin used Dampier's books when he went there and it helped him with his theory of evolution!

Here are other neato things Dampier did:
He was the first person to document a hurricane
He was the first person to publish a description of the Aboriginees
He named a sea lion a sea lion
He has over 1,000 entries in the Oxford English Dictionary
Robinson Crusoe and Gulliver's Travels were inspired by his journals
He made maps people still use today

And you know how you always see pirates with parrots on their shoulders? It's because of Dampier and friends. They raided a town which was deserted. The villagers heard they were on their way, took all of their valuables, and ran up into the hills. All that was left of any interest when the pirates got there were lots of caged parrots. So the pirates stole them and kept them on their ship.

And I'm only halfway done. Imagine what the coming chapters behold? And why have we never heard of this guy?

P.S. Vladimir Kush made the perfect painting for this post, don't you think?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

4. I love Whale Wars.

Corey and I have just started watching this show on Animal Planet called Whale Wars. What we learned is that despite a moratorium on all commercial whaling enacted in 1986, the Japanese continue to hunt whales. The law says you can kill a whale for science, but you can't let any part of it go to waste either. They take tissue samples or weigh their stomachs (in the name of science, of course) and then are left with a giant carcass worth anywhere between $250,000-$1,000,000. Then people can eat it.

After learning this and watching them hunt whales, I got really pissed. The Japanese Rednecks give real scientists, like my fabulous sister-in-law, a bad name. And they are killing mammals with brains bigger than Volkswagens.

That is where the Sea Shepherds come in. They get on their ship, Steve Irwin, and fuck with the Japanese trying to kill, I mean research, whales. They throw Butyric acid on their ships, ram them, and cause general mayhem in a non-violentish way. They are eco-pirates. In our latest fantasy, Corey and I sell the house and go save whales with them.

You should watch Whale Wars too. Let's save the whales! Again!

P.S. Iceland and Norway do the same thing, but the show isn't about foiling them. But don't think you're off the hook, Iceland and Norway!

P.P.S. The Hope painting is by James Jean & Kenichi Hoshine.