Friday, January 30, 2004

Shack 4 Sale

We have begun to nonchalantly scan real estate ads. Nothing but gloom and depression is to be found on the pages of recent ads. Basically it takes $250,000 to buy a junk heap in the Sacramento area (of all places!). Today, for instance, I opened up an ad to see a picture of a small, old, modest house for sale in Citrus Heights. Citrus Heights is a decent area, but certainly nothing fantastic or ritzy. The price was $225,000 and here is the property description:

"Major fixer! All units red tagged by city. Possible tear down. Please be careful when viewing, many trip hazard. Seller will provide no warranties, no reports, no clearances, and no repairs."

Talk about an "ultimate seller’s market."

Lance and Matt

Went to a Mongolian BBQ for lunch with two office-mates, Lance and Matt. These two people have the strangest sense of humor I’ve ever encountered. We filled up our bowls with noodles, veggies and raw meat at the buffet line. The meat was labeled as "chicken," "turkey," "lamb," "pork," and "beef," respectively. We observed, however, that all the meat looked the same. It was all a light reddish color and in the same shape. Lance speculated that it all came from the same "mystery animal" that was bred somewhere in Asia. Later on, during the meal, Matt told us about the other day when he took out the trash at his apartment and discovered an entire homeless set-up behind his dumpster. "Did you throw it in the trash?" Lance asked. "No, I actually lit it on fire. And it was the funniest thing. It was a screaming sleeping bag. Amazing technology they have!" The rest of the conversation was spent talking about food, losing weight, food, the war in Iraq, food, Mel Gibson, and, did I mention food?

Go Red for Women Day!

The newest crazy resolution: This measure would proclaim February 6, 2004, as "Go Red for Women Day" in California, and would encourage all Californians to wear red on that day, in support of those women whose lives have been touched by heart disease or stroke.

Although the assemblyman picked a great choice of color, red, I still don’t "get" this resolution. I mean, what about the lives of MEN who have suffered from heart disease and stroke? Do we care about them too? And what if we excluded women from a compassionate resolution like that, how many bra-burning feminists would be hoppin’ mad? Talk about gender discrimination.

It’s just like breast cancer funding. Far more men die of prostate cancer than women die of breast cancer. But why do we have so much federal funding and public awareness of breast cancer? Because it’s a women’s issue. And why do we have basically zero funding and awareness for prostate cancer? Because it’s a men’s issue.

I offer my sincerest apologies to the male species for the ego-centric female activists of the world and the politicians who pander to them.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

The Joy of Cosmetics

I was going to write a blog on Cooking with Beer and then my Baptist sensibility took hold of me and restrained that inclination.

Last night I bought some facial soap and stuff from Clinique and got a free bag to go with it - a snappy lime green bag, mind you. As I left the cosmetic counter with my new purchases and my freebie, I turned to Kevin and victoriously declared, "Just what I wanted. A LIME GREEN BAG." The lady from Lancome heard me and snickered.

Today I went back to Clinique for a supposedly "free" facial. Why not? I could always use some tips on the art of makeup application. The white-robed lady sat me down and asked me why I was there. That’s when I got suspicious about the whole thing. Shouldn’t she already know why I was there? Everything went downhill after that. I felt like an idiot because I couldn’t answer any of her questions. And, of course, I had to endure a sales pitch! She began fluffing my face and painting it all up. I told her not to go loud but she must have been hard-of-hearing because she brought out all the loud colors. "I'm going to be a clown for a day," I thought. The worst part came after she applied this "new" line of "long-lasting" 24-hour lipstick (the "won’t wipe off" kind of stuff). I looked in the mirror and, to my horror, it was very obviously crooked! Heaven forbid. I waited until she turned her back and then tried to unsuccessfully wipe it straight. When she turned back around, I asked, "What happens if the long-lasting lipstick is outside the boundaries of my lips?" "What do you mean?" she was quick to retort. I think I offended her by implying that she, the expert, didn’t apply the lipstick right. She offered no solution to my problem and I just decided to resign myself to my crooked-lipped fate for the next 24-hours.

The very worst part of it came when I got lost in the parking lot for ten minutes. I wandered from row to row looking for my car. I envisioned the millions of toddlers riding in the cars in the parking lot exclaiming, "Mommy!! Look at that crooked-lipped clown!"

Are you an infralapsarian or a supralapsarian?

Last night, after the cosmetic shopping spree, we went to a bible study with some church friends. The topic of discussion was infralapsarianism and supralapsarianism. Don’t worry if you don’t know what this is. I didn’t either. And, after last night, I’m going to have a brain cramp for a week. Honestly, the topic was interesting to breeze over - but I’m not going to lose sleep over it because, ultimately, I don’t feel it’s very important. We did talk about a more practical topic after the whole discussion above. We talked about ministries to poor people and helping the homeless population in Sacramento. So that was the redeeming topic of the evening. :-)

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Beads for your Love

You probably think I never work but I just got distracted by the radio and thought I'd write a quick blog to edify you all. So, here you go:

Attention ladies (and guys, if you care), Dr. Laura is selling handmade beaded necklaces for Valentine’s day to boost her foundation. Very interesting. I can tell why some of them haven’t sold - no offense to the amazing talent of Dr. L. I think "Victorian Romance" is pretty. And, naturally, it’s the most expensive one! Not that any are cheap!!! Gag.

Wearing Apparel

"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."
- Mark Twain

Now that I have your attention, I will proceed.

Today I am wearing a pair of shoes given to me by my sister Betsy. They are really cute. I like them. Fortunately for me, my sister is a minimalist. (And Kevin wishes I were a minimalist!) Betsy has a habit of buying things, wearing them three or four times and then getting rid of them. It’s like it’s against her religion to have more than ten items in her closet. Last time I saw her, she also gave me a snazzy shirt and a few other things. I have no pride, mind you. I am unashamedly admitting to you (and via my blog, to the world) that I accept hand-me-downs from my younger sister. But, then again, she has pretty good taste when it comes to clothes. Both my sisters do. I used to always take them with me when I went to buy a pair of pants. They would roll their eyes and declare that I had NO idea what to look for in buying pants. (It’s all about the butt and the length of the hem, they’d say.) So rather than being a puzzled, helpless, totally nerdy consumer, I’d take them along for the ride and end up with something "cool" and "in." Thank God for sisters with fashion sense!

Equestrian Appreciation

Okay, I don’t want to bore you with a bunch of legislative details but, hey, that’s my job. That’s my life. That’s what most of my waking hours are consumed with lately. So, I have to tell you about the latest absurd bill introduced by the highly esteemed (eh, hem) California legislature. Here it is. Get ready for this. ACR 166 - "The second Saturday in December should be specially set aside as the Day of the Horse to encourage all citizens to be mindful of the welfare of the horse and its contribution to our economy, heritage, and history."

How profound. What a brilliant resolution to enrich and better the lives of us Californians.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004


Since eating downtown is quite costly - a bowl of disgusting, lukewarm chili is about four bucks - I generally pack myself a lunch. Today I was quite desperate to grab something quickly as I headed out the door. First I checked the fridge. Nope. Nothing. Next I checked the freezer. Ah! Potstickers. "But can they be nuked?" That is the million dollar question! To my relief, the back of the package displayed a jazzy little picture of a microwave. "Yep, these will do!" And then I proceeded to haphazardly rush out the door. (Fast forward four hours.) Now I sit and chew ("chew" is the key word) my microwaved potstickers for lunch.

Conclusion: You know you’re desperate for lunch items when you eat microwaved potstickers for lunch.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Blizzard, Sort of

Saturday we went skiing with our lovely friends, Aaron and Cacey Klein, at the Donner Ski Ranch in Tahoe. Upon arriving at the Donner Ski Ranch, I had a flashback to when I was a young pupil, studying California history. Ahhhh . . . the ghostly, morbid story of the Donner Party. "So, this is where it all happened," I thought, gazing at the silent, snow covered mountains around me.

Kevin and I swished down one of the slopes (well, he swished and I plowed) and stopped halfway down to take in the scenery. We paused to enjoy a few moments of conversation. We reflected on the patchy snow. Much of it was freshly-fallen powder and some of it was pretty icy.

A: I love the virgin snow!
K: It’s more like a "J Lo. Virgin" snow, I think.
A: Ha!
A: You look cute in your beanie hat.
K: (a look of astonishment and offense crept on his face) What do you mean "BEANIE" hat?

Suddenly Amy had a face full of snow.

A: I don’t think my "beanie hat" comment deserved that!
K: You’re right. I’m sorry. (And he did seem quite remorseful.)

But, despite Kevin’s remorseful look, a full blown snow fight soon erupted.
. . .

We forgot our sunglasses, if you can believe it. We thought about buying sunglasses at the lodge, but they were $50 a piece! So we decided to suffer it out. And, it was okay in the end because pretty much the whole day was overcast.

Well, it was okay until a BLIZZARD swept through the mountainside. (Kevin, upon reading this blog, will roll his eyes at me calling the weather a blizzard. You see, he is from Indiana and has actually experienced blizzards. Whereas, I have not. But, in all seriousness, this was the closest thing to a blizzard I have ever experienced - if you don’t count the thing you order at DQ.) I couldn’t see anything because snow and ice was flying in my face and eyes. I remember being separated from Kevin for a few runs because he wanted to try some more difficult slopes. I remember getting off the lift at the very top of the mountain, looking around me, not being able to see anything because visibility was, like, zero. I stood there for a few long moments. The wind was ferocious and threatened to knock me into the ground. Then, through the swirling snow, I made out this big white smile and a little beanie cap! It was my Kevin. My hero. His face was such a wonderful sight! He came to me. Covered my face from the snow. Gave me his gloves (they were warmer than mine) and waited with me until the worst of the blizzard had passed. What a wonderful man. Sigh . . . I just love him.

I’m glad we waited out the storm. Because, after about 15 minutes or so, the blizzard passed, most of the crowd had left, and we were able to really enjoy the rest of the day.

In the end, I had a much better appreciation of what the Donner party went through. Yikes. In fact, it almost felt sacrilegious for me to have fun skiing the day away when they suffered so miserably on the same mountainside.

We ended our adventure at the Klein home in Colfax. Cacey made some delicious soup to fill and warm our bellies. We enjoyed our time with them. It was fun to reminisce about old days, mutual friends in Oak Brook, and swap love and marriage stories.

The Conversion of Amy to an Appreciation of Lent and a Tolerance of Mankind

A: He’s Lutheran.
K: What’s wrong with that?
A: Nothing. I love Lutherans. I have several friends that are Lutherans. It’s just that it’s so high-churchy. I mean, they celebrate Lent.
K: What’s wrong with that? We celebrate Easter and Christmas. Lent is just another religious holiday.
A: But it’s totally different than Easter and Christmas. You have to fast and stuff.
K: So? I don’t see your point. I often think Christmas is nonsensical. You decorate a dead tree in your house, rush around the mall trying, madly, to find gifts for people that they don’t need and you can’t afford. You stuff SOCKS with candy! And for Easter, you color chicken eggs and hide them in the backyard! I’m sure all that seems ridiculous to a lot of people, too.
A: (sigh)
K: When you think about it, Lent makes just as much sense as Easter. Lent leads up to Easter and memorializes Christ’s suffering. Easter simply commemorates His resurrection.
A: Alright, alright. So, let’s celebrate Lent this year too. Just don’t expect me to give up sugar.

A Matter of Bioethics

Have you ever seen the movie Gattaca? I highly recommend it, minus one scene.

I found this article to be very interesting and also very troubling. Nothing is new under the sun. Man never gets it through his thick skull that he is not God.

Excerpt: "No longer can science simply help couples have babies, it can help them have the kind of babies they want. Choosing gender may obliterate one of the fundamental mysteries of procreation, but for people who have grown accustomed to taking 3-D ultrasounds of fetuses, learning a baby's sex within weeks of conception and scheduling convenient delivery dates, it's simply the next logical step. That gleeful exclamation, ‘It's a boy!’ or ‘It's a girl!’ may soon just be a quaint reminder of how random births used to be. . . . Even fertility specialists are divided over whether choosing a male or female embryo is acceptable. If couples can request a baby boy or girl, what's next on the slippery slope of modern reproductive medicine? Eye color? Height? Intelligence? Could picking one gender over the other become the 21st century's form of sex discrimination?"

Friday, January 23, 2004

Short Work Day

I get off early today because of the long day yesterday. Hooray! I think I will go have lunch with Kevin and then come home and bake some cookies or something. Baking is a luxury I haven't been afforded lately. And with all the wind and chill, it will be nice to warm up the house with the oven. Then after that . . . maybe I'll light the fire and read a book. Or maybe I'll do a crossword puzzle. Or maybe I'll go for a walk. Or maybe go buy a new pair of socks just for the heck of it. ("Why?" you ask. Because I live in America, that's why. And in America, I can go anywhere I want, whenever I want, and buy whatever I want at the store of my choice. Well, as long as it's in the budget or else Kevin will kill me.) And then after that, I'll find something else to do with myself. I'll have a champagne and celebrate the fact that I'm not in law school anymore. I'll go eat all the bread, noodles and tortillas in the house just to celebrate the fact that I'm not on Atkins, even though all my other friends are.

And then after that . . . as Donna Reed says in It's a Wonderful Life . . . "After that, who cares?!"

The possibilities are endless . . .

Have a good weekend folks.

Oh, and this blog couldn't possibly be ended without extending wishes for A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY AWESOME AND BELOVED FRIEND, MEREDITH TURNEY! Happy 24th birthday, Merf!!

I take it back.

Okay, I take it back. I said something about pro-aborts being a "little bitter that not all share their joy" in my last blog. How about very bitter? N.O.W. should, in reality, be called N.O.B.U.W. - The National Organization for Bitter and Unhappy Women.

Yesterday, I observed two groups of people standing side by side. One group consisted of parents, children, clean-cut looking young teens. Several cute, chubby babies were also present in this group. (And the silent presence of those infants spoke volumes for the life cause.) Many in this group carried pictures of aborted babies - exposing the truth that abortion really is, simply stated, a modern form of legalized genocide.

The other group? Try spiked hair femi-nazis with hardened faces and darkened eyes, bearing their "choice" signs. I hate to judge people by outward appearances. But it's hard not to judge when you see two groups that are so contrasted. I swear that the latter group was comprised of two subsets of people, all women: 1) those who had been hurt by abortion themselves, have been hardened by it, and are now trying to justify it because of their guilt, and 2) staunch male-hating lesbian feminists. All of them are hurting. I wish they'd quit their rhetoric, stop shouting, stay still a moment and take time to search for peace and truth.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Memorializing Roe v. Wade

One-third of my generation is missing. They are not missing because of drugs, car accidents, suicide or gunshot wounds. They are missing because of abortion. I write these words on behalf of the 45,000,000 young people in my generation who have been slaughtered in the name of "reproductive rights." I speak for them.

This year, on January 22, many Americans will stop and reflect on Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

Still many more Americans, safely ensconced in the busyness their everyday lives, will pass the time of day on January 22 oblivious to the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the far-reaching implications of that dark day.

Those of us who do take time to memorialize Roe v. Wade will be remembering it in various and diverse ways. Some of us will feel hollow, grasping for understanding, ashamed, remorseful, grief-stricken, anguished, disbelieving, crushed, and helpless. Others will feel triumphant, empowered, victorious, jubilant, superior, enabled, independent, and maybe a little bitter that not all share their joy.

To add insult to injury, several legislators in California have introduced a resolution to encourage the President and Congress to "stand firm in their resolve to uphold the intent and substance of . . . Roe v. Wade . . . [which guarantees] women reproductive rights, an occasion deserving of celebration and special public commendations, . . . [and protects] the health and freedom of women . . ."

I have two things to say to the authors of this resolution:

1) Just because the majority of 9 judges believed abortion should be legalized, that doesn’t make it RIGHT. Just because slavery was once legal, that didn’t make it morally excellent.

Our society today is consumed with the celebration of individual rights. We are so caught up with our "rights" that we forget to ask "what is right?"

2) Can you please simply rejoice in the fact that you have what you want (legalized abortion) without slapping the faces of the rest of us who are in despair on this day? Isn’t "enough" really enough?

Even if you believe abortion is good, can you please be DECENT enough to think of it as a "necessary evil" and not CELEBRATE and so gleefully embrace it?

A lot of people will be mourning on January 22. This California resolution shows no tolerance or compassion for these people who are grieving the fact that one-third of their generation, their children and grandchildren’s generation . . . is missing.

Dean Scream

As I was driving home from work last night, I laughed my head off listening to the radio talk show hosts pull Dean to shreds over his speech. The commentaries were so very humorous. To make it more fun, a bunch of Dean fans would call in and, whenever they said something idiotic, the producers would play the "Yaaaaaaaaaaaaah!" Dean Scream. I don’t know why but I just couldn’t control myself. It was SO funny. I never thought I’d feel sorry for Howard Dean but last night I came pretty close.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004


My little brother, David (9), was in a talkative mood last night. I was on the phone with him for quite a while. He was excited to tell me about his chemistry class. I thought to myself, "Geesh, he CAN’T be old enough to take chemistry. It’s impossible!" Then I talked to Melissa (7). She was excited to tell me about her ballet class. "Are you taking ballet instead of chemistry?" I asked. "NO," she said, insulted. "I’m taking chemistry too!" Good grief.

The most shocking thing I learned last night is that my MOM is "dancing" too. It’s not ballet but an exercise-dance class afterwards. Huh. This will certainly take a while to digest. I mean, I think that’s awesome - just unexpected. :)

I had a great conversation with my mom last night, too. I’ve really grown to appreciate my mom more and more over the last three or four years. My mom and I are SO different from each other. But I really appreciate my mom’s sacrifices for me. I appreciate her genuine love and friendliness displayed to every person she meets. And I appreciate her godliness. Here is an example of her godliness: You know those annoying political flyers that come in the mail to junk up your house during elections? You know how most people toss them in the trash without giving them a second thought? My mom actually takes them, cuts the faces out, pastes the faces on a 3x5 card, and PRAYS for each of them every day! Last night on the phone, she took some time to pray with me. Yes, I love my mom. She’s a great example to me. She makes me want to be a better person. And I thank God for her.

Here is the question of the day: What is the definition of self-control?

Last night Kevin inquired as to how many cookies I actually ate.
Amy: I can’t remember. Probably at least 10!
Kevin: Now, now. Where’s your self-control?
Amy: I had perfect self-control while eating those cookies.
Kevin: No you didn’t. Otherwise you wouldn’t have eaten that many.
Amy: Yes I did. Because I wanted every cookie I ate. Every bite was willful. If I ultimately did not want the cookies and ate them anyway, THAT would have displayed a lack of self-control. But since I knowingly and intentionally ate them with a desire to do so, I was in perfect control.
Kevin: Um . . . no, dear. You misunderstand.

Monday, January 19, 2004

In Pursuit of Nothing

Just ran 1.82 miles in the chilly afternoon air, dodging countless scary homeless people and (surprisingly) numerous people eating ice cream cones. (?? - I don’t get it either.) I was hoping to make a quick lunch trip to the large downtown library to get some books on estate planning. (Sounds fun, eh?) Do my dismay, I arrived at the library, out of breath, to discover, IT’S MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY and they are CLOSED. Argh. How ditzy am I? And, I have no excuse either. Because I KNEW it was MLK day. And, furthermore, I wrote in my BLOG hours earlier that it’s MLK day! What an airhead I am.

"Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Negative, Don’t Mess with Mr. Inbetween"

This weekend was rather random. Um, let’s see . . . we had a dinner party on Saturday and I only sent Kevin on two last minute errands. So, that was good. :) It was like this, "Yikes, we need an ice bucket." Kevin says, "I’m on my way." (Isn’t he a sweetie?) Then, as soon as he returns from that errrand, it was like this, "Gosh, honey, I burnt the bacon for this recipe." Kevin says, "I can remedy that!" And, he’s out the door once more to again save the day! My hero.

Oh, and Eric invited us to his grandparents’ house for dinner. That was nice. On the way there, we nearly ran over some chickens and a rooster crossing the road. I am NOT kidding about this. It was difficult to hold back the bad jokes.

Let’s see . . . what else? Oh, we were both enlightened by a book on personality differences in relationships. Kevin is an ENTJ and Amy is an ENTP. (My dad would say he’s an S.I.C.K., just to be funny.) Anyway, the chapter on ENTJs and ENTPs being married to each other was very revealing. We both agreed that the chapter pretty much described our relationship. One section described things ENTPs could do to show their ENTJ partners how they appreciated them. The first thing on the list was "organize or clean something." Ha!

We are remorseful to admit that, although we watched the first Lord of the Rings movie twice, we hadn’t seen the second or third. (Isn’t that terrible? Tut, tut.) So, this weekend we watched The Two Towers. The story was great and inspiring. We really enjoyed it. The only thing I didn’t appreciate so much was all the warring involved. War scenes in general don’t turn me on. But they especially don’t do anything for me when the bloodshed involves a bunch of grotesque monsters spilling eachothers’ guts.

Alright. How shall I end this pointless blog? I will say this . . .

Our random weekend was officially over when Amy drove Kevin to work this morning. He’s typically the one behind the wheel but, this morning, she took control of the car. Halfway to the office, Amy realizes that Kevin is clutching the side of the passenger’s seat.

Amy: "Aren’t you glad when I drive you to work?"
Kevin: Suddenly bursts out laughing.
Amy: "What’s funny?"
Kevin: More laughter
Amy: "Don’t you just love it when you can sit back and RELAX in the car? Shouldn’t I drive you places more often?"

This last question results in even louder, more uncontrollable laugher erupting from Kevin.

Amy doesn’t get it.

Oh, and on a final note . . . Happy MLK Day!

The Merits of Spanking (Rewind to Friday)

On Friday I went with Karen to watch as she conducted a "debate" with a group of fourth graders. The topic was spanking. I was curious to see how this was going to work. The debate was over a mock bill that would outlaw spanking (as abusive conduct) and put parents in jail for 45 days if they broke the law and spanked their kids. After announcing the bill, the crowd of children immediately broke out in smiles and cheers. Many of them cocked their heads back and laughed. They obviously liked this idea and felt empowered. My time of amusement was over when Karen divided the kids in half and told them that her friend, Amy, was going to take the side that opposed the bill. So, almost immediately, I become the Evil One. It was somewhat overwhelming to me that I had the task of convincing a bunch of nine-year-olds that having their parents spank them is a good idea and the government shouldn’t be involved. But, honestly, the kids were smarter than I gave them credit. One of them astutely observed, "If my parents are in jail for 45 days, who will take care of me?"

Thursday, January 15, 2004

"The Opt-Out Revolution"

Many of you may have heard about the NY Times Magazine’s article on October 23, 2003, called "The Opt-Out Revolution." The question "Why don’t more women get to the top?" The answer: "Because they choose not to go there." Highly educated women with MBAs, MDs, JDs, CPAs, are choosing to stay home with their kids.

Honestly, having a law degree meant more to me at age 18 than it does now. I don’t mean to say that I’m indifferent about my education. I’m very, VERY glad that I finished law school and passed the bar exam. And I will someday advise my daughters that it is very important that they pursue a higher education. Maybe when I was 18 and wanted to be a lawyer so badly it was because it was the whole "magic" of craving something I didn’t have and, now that I have it, it’s not quite as magical anymore. And, of course, I’m also the type of person that loves a good challenge. But now, that challenge has been attained. That craving has been satisfied.

When reflecting on the NY Times article, I remembered a conversation I had with my dear friend, Nicole, who is also an attorney. It was one of those moments when we were talking about similar struggles we’ve had and goals we have and we both reached the same conclusion. Nicole said it best, "I’m glad I went to law school because, someday, when I stay home with my kids it will be because I WANT to, not because I have to."

So girls, get your education and, if God later sees fit to have you be married . . . fine. I would advise to cherish your calling whatever that is and not second guess God’s plan for your life. A verse that has meant a lot to ME lately: "But godliness with contentment is great gain." I Tim. 6:6 That’s my two cents. ;)

To be frank, I have never fantasized about changing soiled diapers and cleaning toilet bowls. (Ask Kevin, cleaning the toilet is my least favorite job, next to cleaning the shower!) And I doubt all these executive women in the NY Times article, who are leaving their cush jobs, hallucinate about that sort of grunt-work either. But heaven bless them for putting their kids first.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Spring in Sacramento

Spring has started to unveil its beauty in Sacramento, as flowers begin to bloom on the trees. In January - if you can believe it. One of my favorite flowers, the camellia, is starting to take over the east side of the capitol lawn. And it’s simply gorgeous.

On another matter . . .

I swear that I saw several people nodding off in the tax committee hearing today. And, for sure, I saw many a glazed pair of eyes. Especially when this one guy droned on and on - after an hour of talking he was still on page two of his seven page testimony. I think you have to be at least a little touched in the head if you enjoy the gory details of tax matters. How I hate fiscal details. This is why I think I will never run for office. Granted, you get to deal with fun stuff like life issues, education, and marriage matters. But, the down side is . . . you also have to deal with things like ANNUITIES and such. Blah.


Kevin taught me how to play poker last night. (Shhh. Don’t tell my mom.) Everything was going well until he got Flush. The bet was up to $40 million. So he ended up netting $20 million. Darn. I hate it when that happens.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Why I Try

Every piece of legislation I care a hoot about, and have testified on, today (that would be four bills) has died in committee. It’s very disheartening. Ugh. I have to ask myself why I do this. I’ve only been doing this for a week and it’s so amazingly easy to get discouraged. You’d logically think that no SANE person would stand up there and talk about these issues when they know it will fall on deaf ears. You’d think!

Walking back from the capitol building, I was really in a daze. But in mid-stride, I made a conscious decision to not let discouragement overwhelm me. The reason why is twofold: 1) I believe in ultimate justice and 2) I also believe that I have a duty to do what’s right no matter what the consequences. I need to maintain a tough constitution and move forward, chin-up, knowing God’s in control and only requires that I continue doing good.

Tomorrow (get this) I’m testifying on a TAX BILL!!! I had just sworn to Karen the day before I agreed to testify that I would NEVER testify on a tax bill. There are two reasons for this: 1) I worked for a CPA once and HATED it and 2) number-crunching often freaks me out (that’s why I went to law school - no math). But then this sweet leg aide called me up and said she couldn’t get anyone else and begged me. I’m such a glutton for punishment. I’m really dreading this one, really. And now everyone is going to think I’m the sucker they can call to testify on random bills because I’m too nice/stupid to say no.

The color of my world . . .

Red is my absolute favorite color. It has been my favorite color since a very young age. I’m pretty sure I can guarantee that I’ve chosen red as my favorite color on all those internet "how well do you know me?" surveys sent to me by Christy, Robin and Amber throughout the years. ;)

You see . . . Red can be bright or it can be crimson. It can express and provoke so many different feelings and sentiments. Everything from exultation to vivaciousness to power to patriotism to passion to mystique. Red can be subtle or loud. Stark or soft. Whatever red is, it is never neutral. It’s never insipid or dull. Yes, red is my signature in life.

May the color red live long and prosper. May it bring life and joy to the masses. May it always endure in our material world and in the confines of our hearts.


P.S. I think these thoughts were prompted by a red rug I bought for our apartment last night. In case you were wondering. (The darndest little things will set me off.) Please note: These thoughts were not prompted by that unopened bottle of red hair dye I have sitting underneath the bathroom sink, unfortunately.

Monday, January 12, 2004


Well, I thought we had a very eventful weekend and then I checked out Mike’s blog and it seems that he had a MUCH more eventful weekend than us.

We had a heavenly weekend. That is, we went to Heavenly ski resort in Tahoe. Some friends of ours, Matt and Lori, won a free weekend deal at Caesar’s Palace and Heavenly and we joined them on Saturday for the skiing part.

It was fun to ski in two different states. We’d spend some time in California, head to the Nevada runs, and then head back to California to have lunch. The views were magnificent! You could see the lake from almost all the runs and, on one side of the mountain, you could see these big brown mountain ranges in the distance near Carson City. On one of the runs, it was terrifying (to me) because the trail was narrow and there was this ledge that dropped off into what seemed like an abyss. But over the ledge, you could also see views of the lake and other mountain peaks. It was incredible.

By the end of the day, our legs started to give out on us and we left to go into town and enjoy a quiet lakeside dinner with Matt and Lori. We enjoyed our time with these friends. I first met Lori in high school (at a summer camp) and, low and behold, her husband (Matt) ends up working with Kevin years later. They are so funny to be with - they crack us up.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Naïveté and Prevarications

If any of you watched The O’Reilly Factor last night, Bill talked about a California bill involving parental consent and sex education. That’s the bill I testified on last Tuesday. He interviewed an opponent of the bill, Assemblywoman Cohn, a smirking little, bleached-blonde, thing that actually has deceived herself into thinking she’s intelligent just because she got elected.

And, no, I didn’t just make those comments because I’m a disenchanted brunette.

If ever I wanted to throw things at the TV, it was while watching this interview. I was shocked and appalled at the blatant misinformation given to O’Reilly by Cohn. She was not only fabricating the FACTS of the bill - she was also lying about the tone and tactics of the author at the committee hearing, if you know what I mean. Ugh.

Anyway, today I wrote a letter to Bill O’Reilly to clarify things for him. Not that I’m big-headed enough to think he needs my comments - it’s just that my sense of justice demanded that I set the record straight.

Perhaps I’m simply a young and naïve person, yet to realize just how low the liberals will stoop to continue their agenda of destruction and annihilation of the traditional family in America. I’m starting to wake up, though.

God help us all.

Bible Study

I would love to repeat to you the many comments that were made last night at bible study. However, the ones that were appropriate, I can’t remember, and the ones that were off-the-wall are probably not appropriate for this dear blog.

I will say that we are beginning a study of . . . can you guess? I’ll give you some hints. What is every other church and bible study in the nation studying right now? What is the biggest Christian fad? You guessed it! Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.

We’ve now completed several books on marriage and now we’re starting PDL. We are still hoping that one day we’ll actually be able to study the Bible at our bible study. We’ll hang in there for a while longer to see if this happens. This is primarily due to the fact that we really like our new-found friends.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

The News

Kevin Dale Koons is now a bona fide member of the Ninth Circus, er, um, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, evidenced by a certificate received in the mail today. Yay for Kevin!

Speaking of the whole law thing - did you hear about the most recent lawsuit against WalMart? This couple was carrying a bag of groceries home and, when unloading the groceries, the bag broke open. They claim that WalMart didn't properly train their baggers how to load the grocery items, the bag was too full of stuff, and that they have suffered damages, including foot injuries. My question to Kevin was: "Aren't you glad you don't have to deal with clients who want lawsuits like that?!!" People are unwilling to assume personal responsibility for anything nowadays.


Today I got to the office, talked to about three different people, one at length, and then went back to my computer. That’s when I felt the itchiness of a tag at my throat. I looked down at the front of my shirt and, to my horror, noticed I was wearing it backwards!! Ugh, how embarrassing. It’s going to be one of those days . . .

This morning I opened my bible and several pieces of paper fell out. They were from a game, called the "bowl game," that we played with my family when in Long Beach for Christmas. To play this game, each player writes down random nouns on pieces of paper for their teammates to guess. I kept these particular pieces of paper because they were written by my little sister, Melissa, recently-turned seven, and when we read her entries, we got a chuckle out of ‘em. She reads better than I do but is still having a little difficulty with the spelling part. Here are the things she thought of when writing down her persons, places, and things:

"Chocllit" (a girl after my own heart)
"Mooves" ("Moves?" we asked her. "No! MOVIES!!" she exclaimed. This entry signifies Christy's influence on her life.) :)
"Teks book" (the little student that she is) ;)
"Caek" (and she drew a picture next to it with candles and all)
"Lego Land"
"Robinson May" (a local department store)

What a cutie pie.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Of Kings and Challenges

Go Kings! I’m slowly becoming a King’s fan. Growing up in LA, I suppose I was, subconsciously, a Lakers fan. But, several weeks ago, Kevin very logically explained to me why I shouldn’t be a Lakers fan. Seriously, it made total sense. And it’s a good thing I’m no longer a Lakers fan because that is cause for the death-penalty in Sacramento county, I think. For instance, last night we went to a Kings’ game with some friends. Suddenly, during a time-out, the whole crowd started cheering. I asked Kev why they were cheering since it was time-out. He explained that they just showed on the screen that the Lakers had been beat by another team that night. You see, Kings fans not only get wild when the Kings do well, they get wild when the Lakers lose.

Today is my first time testifying in a legislative committee hearing. Here are the challenges of today: Figuring out what the heck I should say about my bill. Being notified at the last minute that the bill has been completely revamped. Re-figuring out what I’m going to say. Knowing Karen is watching me on the TV screen while I speak. Knowing Karen is also TAPING me blabbering my mouth away on the TV screen. (Now posterity will be able to see what an idiot their great-great-great-grandmother was.)

Seriously, I think it’s good to be forced out of your comfort zone now and then. The whole sweaty palms, racing heart, butterflies-in-your-stomach condition is probably good for your general well-being. (Like those old piano recitals.) But it sure is misery while you have to endure it.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Only in California

This is the second time I’ve lived in California. The longer I live here, the more inclined I am to believe that this truly is a land full of fruits, nuts, and flakes.

Yesterday Assemblymember Yee introduced this resolution:

"WHEREAS, Feng Shui is a natural earth science that reveals how
people are affected by their immediate surroundings, and its core
philosophy states humankind must live in harmony with the
environment; and . . .
WHEREAS, Several western companies practice Feng Shui, including
Citibank, Shell, Tommy Hilfiger . . .
WHEREAS, The structure of a building can affect a person's mood,
which can influence a person's behavior, which, in turn, can
determine the success of a person's personal and professional
relationships . . .
RESOLVED . . . the Legislature urges the California Building Standards
Commission to adopt building standards that promote Feng Shui principles . . ."

Good grief. And it costs approximately $40,000 to introduce a bill - a lovely way to waste money in this time of budget crisis.

Last session, a bill was introduced to prohibit soft drinks and other unhealthy beverages from being served to public school children. Only milk and 100% juice could be served. When I was a kid, I knew this health-conscious, earthy-type home school mom named "Mrs. Thompson." I remember Mrs. Thompson criticizing my poor mother for using iceberg lettuce instead of Romaine. ("You know, don’t you, that iceberg lettuce consists purely of gas and water. I would never use iceberg lettuce for anything.") Anyway, you’d think that Mrs. Thompson was taking over the State of California. (Or not.)

Do they actually expect 8-year-olds to drink V-8 juice? This 24-year-old won’t even drink it. Gag.

Dieting Craze

Are we the only ones not on a diet? I'm almost afraid to have people over for a meal because I won't know what diet they're on - low fat, low carb, or what? Sheesh. I can't escape this whole dieting craze. Every time I go to a store, get online, drive in my car, etc., I am reminded that the world is trying to lose weight. Or, at least Americans. This reminds me of a quote:

"Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean I'd love to be skinny like that but not with all those flies and death and stuff." - Maria Carey.

On My Soapbox

I’ve been learning more about friendship lately. Friendship is a gift. In order for a friendship to exist, it takes two people willing to extend that gift to each other. It takes two people willing to reach out beyond themselves and BE friendly. Sometimes friendships evolve over many years. Sometimes they happen instantly. I think Christians should always be willing to extend the gift of friendship to another person. I realize you can’t have quality relationships with every person. Who has the time? But, there is a difference between being bosom-buds and being friendly and offering a smile and companionship, when you can. This is especially true when someone else openly offers the gift of friendship to you. How can anyone reject that? I just don’t understand. The problem is that many people are caught up in their own lives and are happy with their own click of friends. They are unwilling to reach out beyond their own comfortable, preexisting friend-circle. I think Christians should be the friendliest people in the world. And personality predisposition is no valid excuse, either.

Monday, January 05, 2004

Helping the Economy, etc.

Saturday, I believe we spent enough money to create several jobs in Sacramento. (Okay, I won't exaggerate so much, maybe one minimum wage job.) Yikes. :-/

We are so weird. Here is proof. We’ve been searching far and wide for living room furniture. We’ve probably been to 10 billion furniture stores in the course of three months. On Saturday, we were running errands and Kevin happened to see a furniture store tucked away in the corner of a shopping strip. We decided to swing by on the spur of the moment. There was one particular couch that we really liked. In fact, we sat down and talked about it for thirty minutes. Then, we got samples of the cloth and took it around the rest of the showroom to find a chair that would match the general color scheme. That took another fifteen minutes or so. Then, we sat down on the couch, again, to talk about it for another five minutes. That’s when we decided to just "wait on it." On our way out of the furniture store, we spotted a leather sectional that looked really cool. Kevin, who has always sworn that he hates leather and hates sectionals, sat down with me. Within three minutes we had decided that we liked it, loved it, and were crazy over it. So, we bought it. Ha!

We also bought several other items that day - using gift money and some old giftcards - from our wedding!!!! - that I forgot we had. I just love it when that happens. :)

As I try to fight back the tears of sadness, I concede that Christmas is now officially over in our household: We have now taken down our tree . . . and the stockings . . . and everything else. Sorrow and heartache pervades.

Truthfully, I find that I’m such a scrooge this year. I’m glad to have that annoying, messy, beastly, little, pine-needle shedding, fire-hazardous tree out of the house.

The best triumph of the new year, so far, has been Kevin admitting that Pride and Prejudice (A&E version) is a downright good movie. As the credits rolled at the end of the movie, here’s what he said: "Actually, I’ve changed my mind. That was pretty good after all." Later, though, he told some friends that it was like "watching an 18th century soap opera." Whatever.