Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Back in Business

I have to admit . . . it's good to be back. The respite was great while it lasted, but it's good to be here again. Home. As Dorothy said, there's no place like it.

Despite the above confession, we had a wonderful time in Long Beach with my family. The drive down was remarkably traffic-free. (We have to drive directly through Los Angeles to get to my parents' house.) The drive BACK, however, was a complete nightmare. Not only was the traffic bad, Kevin seemed especially aggravated by all the California drivers, whom he says are the WORST drivers in the world. This is a loaded statement when you consider the fact that he's driven in Massachussetts, which I would contend contains the worst drivers. Kevin's biggest complaint is that, in California, it's like there's a stigma when it comes to driving in the right lane. It's as if everyone feels like they have to camp-out in the left lane (the "fast" lane) rather than use it for passing purposes only, thus forcing drivers like Kevin to constantly pass in the right lane. And this causes severe frustration to certain drivers (namely, Kevin).

The most memorable event of the weekend was probably flying with Betsy and Steve on Friday. They flew us up the coast for several miles. We flew so close to the cliffs of Palos Verdes that I thought we might be able to reach out and touch them! (Well, we weren't quite THAT close, but nearly that close!) It was a gorgeous day and we thoroughly enjoyed the ride. We took lots of pictures of a really cool lighthouse and the many mansions along the coast. When we took off, Steve asked, "Do you want the regular take-off or the fun take-off?" We told him we wanted the fun one, which basically meant a nearly vertical take-off. It was indeed fun . . . and also very scary. On the way back to the airport, we flew over my parents' house. We spotted it easily because of the large trampoline in the backyard. As we circled the house, two people, who were so tiny we couldn't tell who exactly they were, came out of the house and waved wildly at us. Good times . . . The inspiring thing about flying is that it gives you a different perspective on the world.

The second most memorable event was fighting the crowds early Friday morning while shopping with my mom, grandma, and Melissa. My mom informed me on Thursday that we were going to do this. I was dreading getting up so early and joining the throng. But, after doing it, I can definitely see WHY people do it. The deals were incredible. And now I'm a believer in day-after Thanksgiving sales, especially the early-bird ones.

Well, lots of other things happened but I won't bore you with more details or assume that anyone out there with a life has time to read about it. :-)

Now . . . go enjoy the rest of your day, evening, or whatever . . .

My sister Betsy and her boyfriend Steve, both pilots.

Enjoying our ride in the back seat. You can see the So. Calif. coastline in the background.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

As we all would have expected . . .

. . . La Cenerentola had a happy ending:

Sad no longer among the cinders, ah!
No more I'll sob alone -- No!
Like a song, a dream, a winter's
Tale, my sorrows all are flown.

Going into it, I didn’t realize it was going to be a comedy. And, actually, it was quite funny. The only thing that bothered me was how, at the end, the prince was trying to protect her from her cruel family but she wouldn’t allow him to do this. I like how the version Ever After ends – with the step-family having to work just like Cinderella. Maybe it’s just this ingrained sense of justice that God instills within each of us – we like to see the wicked punished and the good people rewarded. (And, yes, to anyone who’s wondering, I’m glad God had mercy on me even though I’m a sinner and, for the record, as a Christian, I should probably be happy that Cinderella forgave her mean, evil family.)

One thing I really liked about this version of Cinderella was the fact that, when Cinderella fell in love with the prince she didn’t realize he was a prince. In fact, she thought he was merely a servant (because the prince and his servant has swapped roles). At the ball, the “prince” (who was really the servant) told her he wanted to marry her and she said “no” because her heart belonged to another. When the pretend-prince responded in anguish, she said, “I’m in love with your servant,” who of course was the real prince. And, would you know it, the real prince was hiding behind a pillar during this conversation and overheard everything. Cinderella’s confession caused him to leap for joy and, of course, immediately burst out into song. Remember, this is opera we’re talking about. They sing about everything.

In conclusion, I must say that I really enjoyed La Cenerentola.

Hey – Have a Happy Thanksgiving and . . . relish your little break from the blogsphere. :-)

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Am I wrong on this one?

There’s a lot of hype in this politically-correct world about funding research to find cures for AIDS/HIV. Today I read an article on Yahoo News about a new AIDS epidemic in Russia and that got me thinking more about the topic of funding AIDS research. Just this year, the federal government budgeted $3 billion for AIDS research ($18.5 billion total on AIDS-related spending). And this $3 billion figure does not, obviously, include research funding by state governments, private foundations, and charities. (How many countless AIDS foundations have been established by modern celebrities?) A lot of money is dumped into AIDS research.

To me, AIDS funding shouldn’t be a top priority because it’s a preventable disease. I, personally, am not worried about contracting AIDS because I have a monogamous relationship and try not to drink from too many public water fountains (just kidding on the last one). I think we should focus first on diseases that can’t be avoided.

Aside from the occasional tragic story of some kid who got a tainted blood transfusion, persons who adhere to certain moral sexual guidelines and abstain from sharing drug needles will never contract AIDS. Because AIDS is avoidable, I am often annoyed that so much money is dumped into finding a cure for it. If we took all of the AIDS research money and funneled it into research for non-preventable diseases (like cancer, where the victims are innocent of any personally irresponsible behavior), then just try to imagine how much accelerated progress we could see in finding cures for those diseases. Moreover, why doesn’t the government spend money on educational programs to teach people that they can keep from contracting AIDS by living a more sexually constrained lifestyle? Maybe it’s because we like to live our lives however we want without facing negative consequences. And that’s exactly what AIDS is . . . a consequence for certain types of behavior. (Again, remember that I’ve already acknowledged there are innocent people who get AIDS – but that definitely isn’t the norm.)

Am I just a cold-blooded, callous, excuse-of-a-human-being for thinking these thoughts? Or am I making sense here?

Mystery Gift

Several weeks ago we got an envelope in the mail addressed to “Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Coons.” When I opened the envelope, I found season tickets to this year’s opera along with a letter welcoming us as new season ticket holders. The only thing is – we didn’t purchase season tickets for the opera. We have been asking around trying to find out who may have bought these for us but haven’t had any luck. (If you are the culprit, let me know so we can thank you!) Hmmmm. It dawned on me recently that, shortly after I wrote about us going to the opera in my blog, we got the season tickets! (Gee, maybe I should blog more about how I’ve always wanted a red Z-3 convertible.) ;-) Anyway, tonight the opera is performing Cinderella (La Cenerentola). . . and it looks like we’ll get to go ‘cuz we have tabs on seats K-16 and K-17 for the rest of the season!

Monday, November 22, 2004

Our Brilliant Friends

I was finally forced out of bed at 5:40 a.m. on Saturday morning by my human alarm clock (i.e., Kevin). He had been trying to wake me up for quite some time and was finally successful when he mentioned that beautiful thing called Starbucks. We were soon on the road, headed for Fresno, so Kevin could participate in OBCL’s Alumni Association Board Meeting.

The best part of the entire day was watching Seth, Jeremy, and Mark (who are all lawyers, by the way) spend five minutes trying to open Jeremy’s car with his remote. They held it at different angles, and different lengths from the car, while furiously pressing the various buttons. After that didn’t work, they actually took the remote apart to look at it better and check the battery. Finally Jeremy decided to use the key (even though the alarm would go off). But the key didn’t work either! Then Jeremy pressed the panic button, and when the car four rows over started honking, said, “Um, guys, the reason it won't work is because it's the wrong car.” He pointed several rows over to his own car – a similar color, make and model - which was honking and had the trunk lid open from all the button-pressing. The trio then threw their hands into the air and Kevin and I started laughing hysterics. It was very funny. You’d have to have been there to appreciate it.

The most amazing revelation of the day occurred at the lunch table when the discussion centered on the phenomenon of blogs. Out of ten people at the table, only four of us admitted that we read blogs on a semi-regular basis. And only two of us actually have our own blogs. This is incredible to me. I'm still trying to make sense of this. Does it mean that, because I blog so much, I don't have a life? OR does it mean that, because they don't blog (or read blogs), they're missing out on one of the greatest technological tools of the 21st century? I'd like to think it's the latter.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Early Turkey

Last night we had an “early Thanksgiving” celebration with our young married friends from bible study. We did this last year also and I think it’s one of the best ideas for a get-together. Everyone enjoys gathering with their families and stuffing their faces at Thanksgiving. So, why not repeat the marvelous occasion? And, better yet, why not do it with your good friends whom you never get to see on Thanksgiving Day? As we sat around the beautifully decorated table, with our plates heaped up with all sorts of delicious foods, there was a great sense of togetherness and tradition.

I made two of my favorite dishes last night: cranberry spinach salad and garlic mashed potatoes. Not only are these potatoes the best thing ever, they are extremely easy to make. Even Dan Getz or Mark Bigger, two of our bachelor friends, could probably make them. Well, maybe. ;-) (Do I smell a challenge?) Come on guys, it would be fun! They say that every guy should know how to make at least one recipe, and make it well. (My dad makes killer omelets.) That way, when you decide to have kids someday, your children will think that you are the most amazing cook in the world because of your one famous dish.

[A word of caution: The potato recipe is written to feed 100 people, but you can size it down by entering in the number of servings you want in the "customize" box below the recipe.]

Since we're on the topic . . .

Since we’re on the topic of cooking, and since my blog is a place where I can freely rant and rave, I would like to say for the record that Cook’s Illustrated Magazine is a low-down, rotten, no-good company with deceptive and misleading advertising strategies and vile marketing tactics. Several months ago, because a friend recommended it, I signed up, online, for a “risk-free,” no-cost trial issue. Two weeks later I got a bill for a year’s subscription, which I promptly threw away. Yesterday I got a “collection notice” from the “National Credit Audit Corporation” that my subscription payment is past due. When I read this, I was not a happy camper, and called the credit corporation to tell them as much. Fortunately, despite the fact that the experience has left a sour taste in my mouth, everything has been straightened out.

It’s a competitive, dog-eat-dog world and I know that companies out there are just trying to make a buck, but, nonetheless, I hate it when companies do these sorts of things. If they say something is “free” and there’s “no risk” in getting a sample, then the last thing I should expect (as an innocent consumer) is to receive a “collection notice” from a credit audit corporation that I owe money. If I were of a more frail mind, or didn’t want to hassle on the phone, I might have been tempted to just pay up to avoid potential credit problems – and that’s exactly what Cook’s Illustrated would have wanted me to do!

Although I’m sure that many cooks, and aspiring cooks, have benefited from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine’s techniques, recipes, and tips, in my estimation, none of these benefits could possibly recompense me for the hassle, maltreatment, and exploitation I feel I have suffered. So, in conclusion, I think that, for now anyway, I’ll stick with my wonderful (and purely free) internet resources.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

The Commonsense Wisdom of Dr. Seuss

"A person is a person, no matter how small!" - from Horton Hears a Who, by Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Thoughts at Ambrosia

"Now godliness with contentment is great gain." - I Timothy 6:6

Ambrosia is my new favorite cafĂ© downtown. Usually I pack a lunch but last night I was too lazy and this morning I didn’t have time. So (drat!) I just had to go to Ambrosia today. Between mouthfuls of grilled chicken, pesto, and feta cheese sandwich, I contemplated what I think is the key to a happy life. I think that, in order to be happy, a person must be content with whatever stage of life they’re in. This might seem like a really simplistic, no-brainer observation but it’s amazing how often I see people miserable because they so strongly desire to “be in the next stage” of their life. (Ala the Beach Boys song Wouldn’t It Be Nice If We Were Older.) I’m sure you’ve seen it too. In fact, if you’re a normal person, you’ve been there yourself (as have I). It goes like this . . . A lot of young teens want to be grown-up so they can drive, get a job, go to college, etc. A lot of singles want to be married because they think it will end their loneliness and because it’s fun and romantic. A lot of married persons without kids want to have kids because they think children will meet some sort of emotional need that they have (or maybe they’re trying to “keep up with the Joneses” which is the worst reason to have kids, or to do anything, actually!). A lot of young mothers with toddlers and babies just want their kids to grow up because they’re exhausted and maybe want their independence back. It’s all a vicious cycle. And, sadly, it’s oftentimes pretty rare to find people who are truly, completely content in their current stage of life (whatever that may be) – people who are not longing for “greener grass.” I think that every stage of life has its definite pros and cons. Every stage has its own particular joys and sorrows. When we have the attitude that “things will get better IF this or that changes in my life” then we are only hurting the quality of our own existence now. Let us not reach the end of our lives realizing that, because of our discontent, we never truly lived.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


Here is our conversation when Kevin called me today, while on his lunch break:

K: It’s too bad we have to go to work every day.
A: Yeah, I know. Maybe we should just sell all of our earthly possessions and go move to an island somewhere. We could survive by eating all the fish and coconuts.
K: But you don’t like fish.
A: And I don’t really like coconuts either.
K: So that could be a problem.
A: Hmm. Well, it's been nice dreaming with you!

Monday, November 15, 2004

Stricken and Afflicted

Maybe I’m being overly dramatic but this weekend was pretty low for me. I hate it when people are constantly categorizing their lives (i.e., every day was either a bad day or a good day, etc.) but this weekend can definitely fall into the not-so-good category. My head cold got consistently worse until Saturday morning when I was ready to call urgent care (a very drastic measure for me). To make a long (and boring) story short, with a lot of sleep and Echinacea, I think I’m finally on the mend. [Insert big sigh of relief.]

But, leave it to me, there were also “high” points this weekend. Kevin and I learned how to play Spades with only two people. If you’re interested in trying it, you can go here and this website will explain it to you. Last night we played a very heated game. It was close but I finally managed to pull ahead, much to Kevin’s chagrin. I like Spades because it’s a game of risk – the more you bid, the more you have to win and lose.

We also rented three movies. The Prince and Me was very lame. If you want to waste a couple hours of your life on it, go ahead. Mystic River was very sad and unsettling, but well made. The Italian Job was awesome. We loved every minute of it and highly recommend it, if you haven’t already seen it.

Another fun thing this weekend . . . Kevin started reading a book out loud to me called The Bears of Blue River. It’s about a little boy named Balser and his adventures in the backwoods of Indiana with various bears he encounters. I’m immensely looking forward to the next chapter.

Lest you think that we were total slackers this weekend, Kevin finished grading and seeding the backyard on Saturday. I’ve been popping my head outside every couple hours to see if the grass is growing yet. Kevin tells me to hold my horse, as it will be at least a few weeks. Bummer!

Government Says To Church: “Do Not Feed the Poor.”

A letter just came across my desk from the City of Vacaville to an Episcopal church that essentially reads: “The City has been informed that the Church is currently operating a meal service for the homeless on at least one evening each week. . . . According to our records, the Church has not filed an application to request approval [to feed the homeless]. Therefore, this letter is to request that the Church take the following actions: 1) If any social service meal program is currently being offered on the church site, please cease immediately. . . . 2) If the church would like to request approval for a [permit], . . . please submit an application.”

Is anyone else out there completely shocked and outraged by this?!! If the government is stepping in to tell the church to stop feeding the poor until they get government permission to do so, I think this is a very warped, messed up world we live in.

Thursday, November 11, 2004


For those of you unaware, there is a movie coming out tomorrow called Kinsey, based on the life of the notorious sex-research, Alfred Kinsey. This movie lauds and extols the work of this man without holding him to the fire for how exactly he conducted his research. If you take a look at his studies, it becomes apparent that, in order to get the statistics he did, he had to participate in the molestation of hundreds of children (some as young as five months old). Kinsey was a bisexual man who had an “open marriage” with his wife. He is widely credited as the “Father of the Sexual Revolution” which has done nothing positive for society and has destroyed many families in the process. I believe that the sexual revolution has particularly hurt women and children. More children live in fatherless homes because of the sexual revolution. The statistics of rape, anorexia, unwed cohabitation (which ultimately hurts women because men expect sex without making commitments to them), etc. have skyrocketed since the sexual revolution. Kinsey’s statistics (which were later proved to be extremely flawed) were used to soften and eliminate many sex crimes across America. Kinsey’s “research” has also been used to develop sex education curricula in the public schools. (Yet another reason not to put your kids in public school.) Kinsey believed that “anything goes” when it comes to sex – “If it feels good it must be right.” His research has been a disaster for the family unit in the United States. Please tell your friends about the Kinsey movie. I would urge you not to see this movie and ask your friends to boycott it as well.

In the meantime, have a happy Veterans Day! God bless and protect our troops!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


My sister Christy (who has, for the time being, changed her name to Christiana) is in Florence right now attending a month-long language school. It’s been fun to get e-mails from her about her various adventures and experiences. She’s such a free spirit. She seems to be immensely enjoying her newfound friends, the beautiful art of the city, and all the espresso she can possibly drink. Before she left I sent her a long e-mail reminding her to beware of the pick-pocket thieves and all the flirtatious Italian men out there whose reputations precede them. “And, whatever you do, don’t go out at night by yourself,” I wrote to her. Kevin told me I sounded just like a paranoid mother. What can I say? I’m protective of my little sis.

I’ve just come down with another energy-draining head cold. This is my second cold of the season. I’m usually a very healthy little girl. So, I don’t understand why I’ve gotten sick again. Health is something that can definitely be taken for granted. Last night, as I was lying on the couch bemoaning the fact that I wasn’t feeling too keen, the doorbell rang. I was tempted not to answer it but got up to do it anyway. I opened the door and there stood one of the little boys from next door with a beautifully wrapped plate of hot, fresh coffee cake. “How sweet,” I told him. He just smiled back. “Did you make this?” He shook his head. “Did your mom make it?” He nodded. “Well, tell your mom ‘thank you very much.’” He just smiled again and, without saying a word, walked back toward his house.

As I ate my coffee cake last night, I realized that the very last thing I should be eating to boost my immune system is sugar. (Aren’t you proud mom? I should be a nutritionist!) But you simply have to understand – it’s not every day that I get fresh-out-of-the-oven coffee cake delivered to my door by such a cute little kid.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Ditch-Digging, Etcetera

Kev’s parents just left after spending a 3 ½ day weekend with us. Early Saturday morning (well, okay, it was probably 8:30), I looked outside the front window and saw that Kevin and Dale had dug a ditch, approximately two feet deep, all across the length of our front yard. In the process of working to beautify the yard, they discovered some “drainage issues.” By the end of the day, they had to tear out part of the fence separating the front yard from the back yard. By Monday, they had dug up much of the back yard also and installed a new drainage system. The poor guys were covered in mud from head to toe. It was, actually, really cute. Hopefully now the problems are fixed and we can throw some grass seed out there and watch it grow. I think the whole thing was a really good “bonding time” for father and son. And we definitely appreciate all the work that Kevin’s dad did for us!

While the guys worked their tails off on Saturday and Monday, Laura and I, aside from tending to the guys’ hunger needs, were pretty much lazy bums. Laura did teach me to knit a little bit, though. That was fun. I’d like to learn more – if I have the patience for it. I was really annoyed at the fact that after you buy yarn at the store you’re expected to make a ball out of it before you knit with it. I just don’t understand why they don’t sell the yarn already in balls. This is the 21st century. You’d think they’d get with the program. (Maybe I wouldn’t have been so annoyed if I was good at making yarn balls. The problem is I really stink at it – the yarn threads were always too tight and I couldn’t pull my string out!)

In the evenings, when we could reclaim the guys from their projects, we played Euchre (the ultimate Midwest card game) and went to Starbucks just to hang out and enjoy the ambiance and conversation. We also made Dale watch The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood one night, the epitome of a girl-movie. He’s such a trooper – he does back-breaking work in our yard and then how do we repay him??

Friday, November 05, 2004

Something for Everyone at the USPS!

At the post office yesterday I saw that holiday stamps are already on sale. And, would you know it, there are holiday stamps out there for everybody! If you’re a secularist (or think they're cute and like how they look), you can buy an “ornament stamp.” If you’re one of those Christian religious people out there you can buy the traditional Madonna and Child stamp. And then, of course, there’s the Hanukah stamp and the African Kwanzaa stamp. There was also an “Eid” stamp on display.

Call me ignorant but I’d never heard of Eid before. After doing some brief research online I discovered that it’s a spiritual Muslim holiday. It makes sense that we would bend over backwards to validate Islamic holidays since we’re fighting them in the Middle East and don’t want the Muslims here at home to “feel bad” and take it personal. Isn’t it just so much fun to live in such a bighearted and tolerant society?

A Country Unified

I’m troubled and dismayed that many conservatives are buying the elite media line that we are a “country divided.” If a “country divided” means that the presidential election was decided by 3.7 million votes, I certainly don’t think we’re a country divided. It's my understanding that JFK won the presidency against Nixon by less votes than Bush won in the state of Ohio alone. Did they say we were divided then? Frankly, I think the evidence points to the fact that our country is unified and strong.

We are unified and strong in our determination to fight against terrorism. Even democrats want to fight terrorism – they just believe they have “better” methods to do it. Putin, in his post-election statement, recognized the strength of our determination when he said that Bush’s reelection indicates Americans are not afraid of terrorists.

We are unified and strong in our determination to preserve traditional marriage. All eleven of the states that faced the question of gay marriage last Tuesday voted to ban it. The American people clearly do not want the homosexual extremist agenda forced down their throats by the likes of Gavin Newsom and a handful of activist judges in Massachusetts.

Some may say that we are “divided” over the abortion issue. The truth of the matter is that only 1/3 of Americans believe that abortion should be legal in all situations. And studies indicate that Generation Y is much more pro-life than their forebears.

The elite media would like you to believe that we’re divided. But don’t buy their rhetoric. Don’t believe their lie. Perhaps they disagree with how the election turned out. Perhaps they are “divided” and disagree with the president’s position on the war and his stand for moral values. But that doesn’t mean the American people are divided. We have a long history of disagreement on various issues – ever since the founding of our country. If it’s merely the fact that there are two strong movements in this country that disagree with each other, and that makes us “divided,” it can be said that America has always been “divided.” I think we Americans are just as unified, if not more unified, in this generation than in many previous generations. We are steadfast and determined. We will win this war. And we will never quit the fight to defend and promote our values and principles. [Even if we live in California and it’s extremely depressing sometimes!]

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Short Attention Spans . . . and Art, Again

I am, unfortunately, one of those people who can’t stay focused on one single thing for a very long period of time. My mind just simply wanders in too many directions to keep it trained on one subject for an extended duration. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been reading up on art history a little bit. Despite my best intentions, I’ve been distracted from my goal of being an art-whiz by the time the book was due back at the library (yesterday). Although I renewed the book two times, two times is, unfortunately, the limit. So, yesterday I had to give it up. (I guess they presume that other people might want to read it also?) The good news is . . . I was able to at least skim the last half of the book before returning it.

I was very pleasantly surprised to discover recently that my 7-year-old sister is also studying art history with her home school group. While she was at my house this past weekend we had several good discussions. She told me that her favorite artist is Michelangelo because he painted the “Sixteenth Chapel.” When she studied Michelangelo, her teacher taped some posters to the bottom side of a table and the kids sat under the table to draw scenes from the bible “on the ceiling” just like the famous artist. I thought that was very cute. She also liked Van Gogh because of the swirly stars in his Starry Night. When she studied Van Gogh she drew a self-portrait and was happy to report that she put the words “Girls Rule” on her t-shirt. When she studied Picasso, she cut out squares from a magazine of similar-colored objects and pasted them together to illustrate cubism. It was all very interesting to learn about how art history is taught at that level. (Isn’t home schooling the most fantastic thing ever?) The only thing is that I’m envious I can’t take a class like that. Sounds like a lot of fun!

Now I’m trying to decide whether I’ll stay on the art history kick (and get another book at the library) or find some other fleeting area of interest for the next six weeks. Life is way too short to cram everything in. I hope they have really big libraries in heaven.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

One more thing . . .

. . . about the election. Yesterday both Kevin and I got our first vote, each, for U.S. Congress. Because of some things I’ve heard about our Congressman lately I absolutely refuse to ever vote for him. Even though he’s supposedly a “good Republican,” he’s used his powerful position to bully the central committee into endorsing an evil, anti-family candidate who ran for school board in our area. Incidentally, the “evil candidate” also donates a lot of money to this Congressman’s campaigns. Interesting, eh? (Rich people rule the world. They truly do.)

It makes me so mad that, just because someone’s a Congressman, they think they can go around and make people do whatever they say. I think that’s a shameful abuse of power and I have no respect for people like that.

Because of my passionate refusal to ever vote for this Congressman, I convinced Kevin to do the same. While I was filling out my ballot yesterday, I decided to write-in Kevin’s name for Congress instead. Later I found out that he did the same for me. It was kinda cool getting my first vote for Congress. But, trust me, I don’t have any aspirations to run for this office in the future. (I like being able to blog about whatever is on my mind without having to worry about saying nice and politically correct things all the time. Ahhh . . . the Freedom!) I think Kevin would make a good Congressman, though. Duh. Obviously . . . ‘cuz I voted for him yesterday.

"That Values Thing"

What a night. What a morning! Commentators with a lot more insight than me have already written about how people came out yesterday to vote for their values, and that’s what made the difference for Bush. My hope is that this is the beginning of a turning tide where people put their faith into action; where our beliefs don’t stay within the four walls of our churches and homes, but are employed boldly in the public square. I love the U.S. I love living in the U.S. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with thinking my country is better than all other countries. I think everyone should be proud of their country and, if they’re not, they should move somewhere else. Here in the U.S., we have an extraordinary history. Yesterday’s election gives me hope that our future will be equally bright. Let us ever remain vigilant and continue to vote for our values. God bless the U.S.A.

Last night we went to Karen and John’s house for their election party. Kevin manned the laptop, checking results for local races on the Internet. For some strange reason, I got extremely drowsy at around 11 o’clock (west coast time, so we already knew most of the results) so I crawled underneath the dining room table and fell asleep. I think everyone thought it was funny. But, honestly, I was really tired from poll watching and phone banking all day. What’s a girl to do?

This morning I was really missing all my friends at HSLDA – thinking how I used to always rely on Scott Somerville to make sense of the political goings-on. I miss conferring with all my fellow comrades in the legal department, pontificating with them, and trying to collectively figure out all the madness in the world. Those were good days.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Melissa, the Artist.


We Are Fami-LY

My parents and little bro and sis just left our house this morning. We had a great weekend with them. The whole weekend can be summed up like this: BIG SUGAR HIGH. On Saturday we went to the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield for a tour. Incidentally, there was a big Halloween celebration taking place. Normally, when you go to the JB Factory, you come away with enough sugar in your system to keep all the dentists employed for a 20 mile radius. Can you imagine what it's like when the Halloween factor is added? (Candy everywhere!) I had been wanting to go to the JB factory for quite some time and was glad my family was in town to give me an excuse to go. Kevin said he didn't know if it was more fun watching the kids or ME. (I get really excited about sugar; plus they had clowns and a man who did tricks with bubbles there. It was an exciting time.) :)

We had fun at home with face paints, carving pumpkins, etc. Usually we don't do anything celebratory on Halloween (we celebrate Reformation Day) but since my sibs were here, they dressed up like Native Indians and went out for candy. Since they were going out, and since we have TONS of kids in our new neighborhood, we stayed home and gave candy to the little kids that came to our door. I was trying to make caramel apples but kept getting interrupted by the door bell. After handing out the candy I would come back into the kitchen and report to Kevin (who was carving a pumpkin on the table) how absolutely cute these kids were, or how bratty this one kid was, or what a creative costume that was, etc., etc.

On Sunday, Joel Belz, founder of World Magazine, came to speak at our church. He spoke about the Christian worldview and also talked about Christians wanting to have a "formula" for their faith because either they are lazy or works-oriented. He had some insightful things to say and it was good to put a face to the name.

Well, I've gotta go do some more phone banking. I'll try to post a picture of Melissa and me, if I can figure it out without Kev's help. :-/

Election Rush

Last night Karen called me with the news that our county's GOP Headquarters was burglarized over the weekend and all of the computers, cell phones, and election data were stolen. Because of this, I took a comp day off work and have been volunteering all morning to help keep things under control. I've been doing a lot of phone banking. Lucky for me, I was assigned a large retirement community. The elderly folks are so pleasant to talk to. They all thank me for calling them to remind them to vote. So . . . my job's been pretty easy so far. Tomorrow I'm sure I'll be doing much more of the same. So, don't expect Amy on the blogsphere until after the elections. Until then, pray with me that GWB wins by a landslide. He'll probably win (that's the optimism in me) but I hope he wins so completely that all the lawyers out there, ready to fight, will just shrug their shoulders and go home.