Favorite Pictures [Saturday Bonus]

I think I’ve shared versions of all of these photos already this week, but I played around a bit in Picnik and created these special versions as a little bonus.

IMG_5886_hdr
Edited to emphasize the details on the mountains.

IMG_5892_boost_infrared_crop
Downtown

IMG_5944_posterize
The view from Lombard Street (you can almost make out Coit Tower on the right above the trees, under the wire).

IMG_5947_ortonish_matte
The basketball from yesterday

IMG_5964_cross process_vignette
The cross-processing seemed most appropriate for Fisherman's Wharf, especially with the circus-like entertainment at this end (there was a magic show going on, and that's a working carousel in the background).

I know not everyone likes the overly processed pictures, but sometimes it’s fun to play around a bit. Now I really am done sharing pictures from our trip.

Favorite Pictures [Friday]

Some very random, but fun, pictures from San Francisco.

IMG_5900
Prince Charming liked the hot dog sign. I like that the espresso sign is more prominent.
IMG_5919
Seen in Chinatown… just driving down the street. Perhaps it was some kind of official procession, like a wedding or something, but there was no indication of such. The driver seemed quite happy to see us snagging this picture.
IMG_5941
See that cute red car? There were similar ones (the one I saw was a convertible) that were self-driven audio tours of the area. The car was speaking to them about the street and giving them directions. It was pretty cool!

[Here’s a link to the tour car that I saw] [link removed]

IMG_5947
This caught Prince Charming’s eye on his way down the hill from Lombard Street.
IMG_5976
My zoomed-in shot of the Oakland Bridge.

Next time, I’ll remember to take a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge in the morning, since one would likely be facing west to take it. We were at the wharf around dinnertime, so the sun was setting, and so there are no good pictures of that bridge. But the Oakland one is to the east of the wharf, and pictures turned out pretty good. So many things to think about!

That just about wraps up photos from our trip!

Favorite Pictures [Thursday]

Today’s pictures are a bit more random than yesterday’s….

IMG_5818
The vine-covered trellis I mentioned yesterday.

IMG_5838
Friendly "wildlife" at the Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park.

IMG_5799
Also in the Botanical Gardens.

IMG_5857
Pacific Ocean

IMG_5861
More ocean

IMG_5926
Coit Tower

IMG_5975
Marina

IMG_5929
Church

Favorite Pictures [Wednesday]

I thought I’d spend the rest of the week sharing some of my favorite pictures from our trip. Today’s are all from the time I spent at Santa Clara University. Enjoy!

IMG_5796
So colorful!

IMG_5804
Lovely flower, no?

IMG_5805
For context, here's the flowers from the previous photo. They're huge!

IMG_5806
Statue of Santa Clara in the middle of the garden (in-between the two arbors).

IMG_5815
I sat outside the de Saisset museum to photograph the mission and some flowers. Imagine my surprise when this hummingbird decided to pay me a visit. He wasn't more than an arm's length away!

IMG_5817
Hanging overhead.

IMG_5820
The trellis was full of these flowers. The background tree trunks are actually the base of the vines that made up the overhead trellis, I believe. They were all woven together, and had obviously been there a long time. It was beautiful.

Sunny Skies

[Warning: long post, with lots of pictures. Enjoy!]

Well, I can’t say that I’m sorry for not having posted last week. I thought I might. It was a possibility in my mind that I would be bored, trying to entertain myself while was in training, and I could occupy myself blogging. Obviously, that did not happen. I even brought with me three crafty projects, afraid that I would run out of things to do (along with a very large book). I didn’t even finish one of them. I did make it about halfway through my book, but most of that was reading at night before going to sleep.

I was so paranoid about missing my airport shuttle that I got up 15 minutes early (3:45 am). This ended up being a good thing, as my shuttle was 15 minutes early. I was all ready to go, however, and made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare. Really, I spent over an hour and a half at the airport before my flight boarded. Because of the time difference, I arrived at the hotel in California (after a bus and then the light rail from the airport) around noon. I didn’t do much of anything, seeing as how I was a bit tired. Took a short nap, watched some cable (so glad we don’t pay for that), and did some embroidery.

IMG_5791
I didn't adequately capture the mountains in the distance for you. Sorry.

 

When got back to the room after his training session, we took the light rail to nearby Mountain View for dinner. It was such a cute little town that I decided to go back the next day.

I slept in on Wednesday (OK, let’s get this straight: I slept in every single day until at least 9, or 11 Minnesota time, and it was fabulous), and made it over to Mountain View late morning. It was, unfortunately, cloudy, and supposed to rain. I went to the Red Rock Cafe for a decaf mocha, because it was supposedly the best place to go. I was unimpressed (burnt tasting coffee does not entice me). When I was done browsing the first book store (there were 3), it started to sprinkle, and then rain. I couldn’t seem to figure out where to eat lunch, but did take shelter briefly in the new age bookstore. I eventually found some gellato (half caramel chocolate crunch, half chocolate hazelnut, aka Nutella). I should note that while the vast majority of stores on Castro Street are restaurants, nearly all are sit-down, fancy-like places, which is not what I wanted. In the third bookstore, the one that sold used books, I finally found the last book of the Pern series that I have been looking for. I paid a whopping $2 for it, which is all I spent this entire trip (food and transportation not included).

I had hoped to take some pictures, but the weather wasn’t cooperating and I just didn’t feel like it. After some more walking around, I realized that there was no way I could spend another 4 hours in Mountain View ( was going to meet me there when he finished for the day), so I went back to the hotel. I thought about using the hotel gym, but was tired from all the walking, so I did nothing instead. It was wonderful. We went back to Mountain View for dinner, stopping by a laundromat first so could do some laundry (he had difficulty packing a week’s worth of clothes in a carry-on).

Thursday, I pulled out my trip map (of all the things in and around Santa Clara and San Francisco that I wanted to do) and set out on my own adventure. I bussed to Santa Clara University, where I enjoyed the beautiful scenery. I went to the de Saisset museum on campus (free), looked at the outside of the mission (was unsure if I could go in or not), wandered through the gardens and paths, and then walked some more around the outside of the campus.

IMG_5813
The (5th) Santa Clara Mission.

 

IMG_5810 

 

 

Garden outside the de Saisset museum, dedicated to Santa Clara (statue in the middle).

 

My tired feet carried me to the Starbucks across the street from the bus station, and the wonderful staff there made me a decaf mocha Frappuccino, the first I have had in far too long (I was unaware until recently that decaf Frappuccinos could be made). It was wonderful, and came with me on the bus as I continued my journey.

photo 2
What? You'd take a picture too if it had been that long since you'd had your favorite drink.

 

photo 3
From there, I went to Santana Row, an outdoor shopping mall also in Santa Clara.

 

Unfortunately, the unique stores were all very upscale (too upscale to enjoy more than window shopping), so mostly I walked around enjoying the weather and very slowly shopping in the stores we have back home (Crate and Barrel, Anthropologie, etc) – something no one ever wants to do with me. Seriously, I browsed that slowly. Eventually, I bussed back to the hotel. We decided to skip the train to Mountain View and found a place closer by.

photo 5
Prince Charming's classic Philly cheesesteak on the left, garlic fries in the middle, and my mushroom cheesesteak on the right.

 

photo 7
Did you need a closeup of those garlic fries? They were serious.

 

Originally, I was going to go to San Francisco by myself on Friday, but it turned out that the training was almost over. So, instead of spending 7 hours in SF by myself and then getting back for dinner, I lounged around all morning, and then we took the Caltrain together to SF (and still spent around 7 hours there). The Friday plan was to go to Golden Gate Park, where I had a few things marked (none of which we did), then walk up to the Cliff House restaurant, and then catch a bus back to the Caltrain. We did make it to Golden Gate Park, but basically just walked around, looking at stuff. The park was very relaxing, and the weather was beautiful.

IMG_5825
We stopped at the Japanese Tea Garden, which was under construction. (The construction was behind me - this is a small portion of the garden that wasn't.)

 

IMG_5824
Amphitheater near the Japanese Tea Garden.

 

We walked through the botanical gardens.

IMG_5836
Strange plants in California.

 

IMG_5843
Happy ducks.

 

IMG_5846
Gorgeously pink!

 

And then we walked a really, really, really long way to the end of the park until we reached the coast.

IMG_5853
My favorite Prince Charming shot of the trip. That's a wind surfer's kite there in the background.

 

IMG_5862
Ah, the Pacific Ocean.

 

It was super windy, and since we had no idea what kind of restaurant Cliff House was (and we were fighting lots of wind and sand thrown at us), we found somewhere else to eat dinner (and took the bus to get there).

IMG_5879
I don't know how we would have gotten around without our iPhones. I know I did it 11 years ago, but seriously? This is how we found out where to eat, which streets to turn on, etc. Invaluable for tourism!

 

The food was great, but the service was very slow (though it seemed on purpose, as if that was part of the experience). We were aiming for the 8:40 Caltrain (so as to not miss the last light rail out of Mountain View), so when the bus dropped us off for our transfer, we did the math and figured out that the 47 would drop us off at the Caltrain at 8:41, and perhaps we could make it there faster on foot (there was a 15 minute wait for the bus). We walked/ran the two miles to the Caltrain, and missed it by 7 minutes. Less than fun, and I really don’t recommend walking to the Caltrain at night through that neighborhood. If you do, put on your “don’t mess with me” face. Seriously.

The 9:40 was apparently the party train. It was filled with drunk or otherwise inebriated Santa Clara college students (who really did their university a disservice with their behavior). A few got kicked off for smoking pot in the bathroom (really, if I can figure out that it’s pot, you’re going to get caught – I am totally not good at that). The last light rail waited for the Caltrain, which was nice, since it was 5 minutes late, so we didn’t have to take a taxi home.

photo 8
We noted this on Saturday morning's Caltrain ride. The bike cars have outlets so you can use your laptop!

 

Saturday was our last full day in California, and we decided to take it easy (relatively speaking). We didn’t get up super early to go to SF. We slept in. Late. Very late. We transferred our belongings to the other hotel (one closer to the airport), and then took the Caltrain in. We didn’t arrive until 3, and wanted to get the 7:15 Caltrain back out, so we modified our plans a bit again. We did manage to do almost everything on the list; the only thing we skipped was the Cartoon Art Museum, which at $7 would have been a lot of fun, but we just didn’t have the time for it. We bussed to downtown, found the Apple store, and then had lunch (yes, at 3:30) at my favorite SF restaurant, Boudin. I had my favorite sandwich of all time, the Turkey and Havarti, which is still on the menu, unchanged, 11 years after I first had it (who knows how long it’s been there – it’s good! had the other half of mine and agreed).

IMG_5905
From there we walked to the Transamerica Pyramid.

 

IMG_5918
Then up to Chinatown,

 

IMG_5920
where the buildings are quite unique,

 

IMG_5922
and the Trolley goes right through - seeing it was going to have to do, because we didn't have time to take a ride.

 

IMG_5939
Then across to see Lombard Street (Prince Charming walked all the way up to see it and take this picture, but my feet were killing me, so I waited several blocks down the hill, since I'd seen it before).

 

IMG_5960
Then we made our way through North Beach to Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39.

 

IMG_5964
The ultimate in touristy places.

 

Due to time constraints and my inability to figure out what we should have for dinner, we ended up taking the bus back to the Caltrain and grabbing Panera before getting on the 7:15 as planned. The ride was significantly quieter, thankfully. We got back with plenty of time to eat our dinner and soak in the hot tub for a bit (soothing sore muscles and feet).

Sunday morning, our flight didn’t leave until 11, so we got to sleep in and didn’t have to rush the morning. The hotel shuttled us to the airport for free, and our flights back were relatively unremarkable (except for the nausea-inducing heat and turbulence on the first flight). The Twin Cities’ own light rail and bus system got us back to our house, unharmed, by 7:30 pm. Our two kitties screamed for attention, we had some dinner, and that was that. There is still plenty of laundry to be done, more kitty affection to dole out, and vacuuming (see, we’re gone for a week and the same amount of mess is on the floor – those cats need to learn to vacuum, because it’s certainly not our mess), but that’s life.

I’ll share some more photos in the coming days – I’m still working on processing them all.

Tired feet recap: Wednesday I walked at least 3.5 miles, not including all the wandering around inside of stores. Thursday I walked 2 miles around Santa Clara University’s campus and 3 miles at Santana Row (shopping center), and then we walked 2 miles to get dinner (and back again). Friday, and I walked 5 miles in Golden Gate Park and speed walked / ran 2 miles to the Caltrain station (though we still missed the train). Saturday, we walked 4 miles in San Francisco, from downtown to Fisherman’s Wharf / Pier 39, with a bunch of stops in-between. That brings my total for 4 days up to 23.5, but let’s just call it 24. That’s the bare minimum I walked, and doesn’t count getting to and from the bus/light rail, going to dinner, etc.

In the interest of full disclosure, most of the San Francisco pictures were taken by . Also, it should be noted that I have done very little editing on these photos – mostly cropping, not color correction. It really was that beautiful there. On the ocean pictures, the ones where the sky is bright blue is more accurate – looking directly out on the ocean seemed to change the color of the sky, making it duller, but it didn’t look like that in person.

Busy fingers

I was hard at work last weekend and Monday through Wednesday evenings working on the ornaments for a swap (that should have been in the mail on Monday, of which I am not proud). They went off in the mail yesterday, and should be arriving at their destinations early next week (except for the two that went to Australia and New Zealand – those might take longer).

ornament collage 1
From top to bottom: Bell with garland, two bells, candy cane, and trumpet (or horn?)

ornament collage 2
From left to right: boy singing in choir, snowman, and girl angel

ornament collage 3
From left to right: stocking, holly and berries, and Christmas tree

That last one there is mine. I had to make up ten, and accidentally made up 11. (Yes, I know if you count up the pictures, there are only ten. I forgot to take a picture of one of them before sealing up the envelope. You’ll have to trust me.) The last one, the tree, was my favorite, and was much more detailed (and therefor took a lot more time) than any of the others.

I used some fabric that I’d salvaged from a pair of pants made me back when I worked in San Francisco (in 1999). I used 1 section, out of four, so I have lots left. The backing (a green Christmas print with horns, quite similar to #4 above) came from a stash of Christmas fabric I bought ages ago, before I knew that fabric could be cool. Maybe one of these days I’ll share my bad taste in fabric of the past. The ribbon, floss, and stuffing (bamboo filler) all came from stash, so I actually didn’t have to spend any money, just time. And time, they took.

My favorite part? The ones with white floss? It glows in the dark! So much fun!

Once I’ve received my ten I’ll have to share pictures of what I received in exchange.

Unconscious Mutterings

  1. San Francisco :: Summer of
  2. Sadness :: heart
  3. Spirits :: liquors
  4. Harriet :: Island
  5. State :: Park
  6. John :: Doe
  7. Offense :: Defense
  8. Timeless :: Endless
  9. Account :: -ing
  10. Refuse :: pick up

Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Threshold :: Crossing the
  2. Jason :: San Francisco
  3. Suspicion :: Under
  4. Tender :: Love Me
  5. Tempted :: by the fruit of another (I really don’t like that song)
  6. Crimson :: Red
  7. Repulsive :: He was…
  8. Bulldog :: Restaurant
  9. Garage :: Joe’s
  10. Racket :: Ball

Tuesday Twosome: It’s all about location…

  1. Name two things you love about the city/town you live in: I love that it’s a large city with a neighborhood feel, residential and mid-size-town like, but with all the amenities of the major metropolitan area that we are. I also love… well, I just really like my neighborhood. I’ve been here over 3 years now (2 different apartments), and I really feel quite comfortable here.
  2. Name two things you dislike about the city/town you live in: In my neighborhood particularly I feel a lack of good places to eat. Also, downtown has nothing going on outside of the 9-5 M-F routine.
  3. Name two cities/towns you would live in if you couldn’t live where you are now: I looooove San Francisco, but could never afford to live there. Also, the western part of Michigan, on the lake, is really nice.
  4. Are you a “true local” (born and raised) or a transplant of the city/town you live in? I am a transplant, though in 16 days I will have been here 5 years, and it really feels like home (though I will stay say I’m going “back home” when traveling to Illinois).
  5. Do you like to leave your city/town when you have a long weekend or do you like to stay home? I spend almost all of my weekends at Prince Charming’s house in the suburbs, including long weekends. I don’t think it really counts as leaving, since it’s only 13 miles away and I’d be there if it was a long weekend or not.

Queston Of The Week

Homelessness. Have you ever been homeless, or been afraid that you might be close to being homeless? Do you know anyone who is or has been homeless? Do you have any views on homelessness that have been proven right or wrong, or that you’ve changed over the years?

No, I haven’t ever been homeless. I had this conversation with when I was in San Francisco. I made a statement about how sad it was to see all these homeless people (especially teenagers) and realize that many of them really didn’t have anyone they could turn to, not a single friend or family member who would take them in so they wouldn’t be sleeping on the streets. Did they burn all their bridges? Were they truly alone in the world? Was everyone they knew in just as bad of a situation as they were? said, and I remember this clearly, “you will never be homeless.” And I realized at that moment how truly lucky I am, because I knew he was right. I knew that there were enough people in my life with the monetary means who cared enough about me that I wouldn’t ever have to be homeless.

I do know people (or know of people) who have been homeless. Growing up in an upper-middle-class suburb in Chicago, I certainly didn’t meet any homeless people. It wasn’t until after I went to college that a shelter was built in my hometown (the only one in a several-city area). But in college, I volunteered with several groups and organizations, and eventually worked at a few, that put me in contact with lots of homelessness.

My original views on “the homeless” were drastically shattered when I lived in San Francisco. While I had a heart for the city and wanted to help, I think I went into that summer being afraid of them, as if they were going to hurt me, as if they were all dangerous, or that they were all drunkards. I was so very wrong. I also learned that each one was homeless for a different reason, and they all had a different story. There wasn’t one thing that could categorize or classify all of them. That experience really broke down my stereotypes of homelessness. I was able to step out of my privileged upbringing/background and understand another side of the picture (much like when I lived in Arizona and we considered ourselves Apache and were frequently embarrassed by “those white people”).

I’m interested in hearing others’ answers to this, but would like to remind all that the political side of homelessness is still not up for discussion on this blog. If you want to discuss politics, do it elsewhere. Personal stories/recollections/revelations only.

Question of the Week

How’d you get that scar?

As best I can tell, I only have one visible scar remaining. I used to have one on my knee, from a very embarrassing incident in college that involved coffee, a set of stairs, and a cute boy, but most people have heard that story and I won’t bore you with another retelling.

The one scar I do have is on my left elbow. I got it the first night of high school youth group, freshman year. We were playing… some team sport outdoors (Ultimate Frisbee perhaps?) in the church parking lot, and there’s this spot underneath one of the lights that is kind of in a corner and collects gravel. I ran through it and slipped and gashed up my elbow pretty bad. I believe there was gravel embedded in it at some point. I don’t think I cried, because I’m not that type, but I’m sure I complained a lot. (I am that type.)

You think I would have figured out sooner that “church can hurt.” Oh well. Really, it’s not church’s fault. I was (and am) a generally clumsy and graceless individual, and at 14 was still growing at weird rates. I grew 6 inches in junior high, my feet kept pace, and my limbs did as well. So I was generally … gangly and awkward. And never really good at team sports that require talent and competition (I’m much more for leveling the playing field and games like “Wacky Ball,” or at least playing games for fun and not competition).

I don’t think anyone has ever actually noticed the scar without me pointing it out though. Handy.

I do have a red spot on my chin where I had the ringworm. And a spot on one of my fingers where I used to get warts as a kid.

Wow, I sound sexy in this post. You know you all want me.

I think I protest!

Most people who know me know I’m about as political as… socks (or pick something absolutely non-political), and so consequently politics and all things government are almost never discussed here on ‘wonderment.’ I’m going to have to stray from that path for a moment and discuss a recent law Las Vegas passed [link removed]. Read the article first. I’ll wait.


Done? OK.

I don’t want to sound like an extremist here, or, God forbid, liberal, but I think that’s the biggest load of [Republican] crap I’ve heard in quite a while. [Nevada is a red state – I looked it up. And, for the record, before anyone gets offended, I’m just slightly Democratic, like… 51% or something. I test right down the middle of the road. And if you’re easily offended by things political, I can understand why you might enjoy reading this blog, since we never discuss that stuff, but you might have to go read someone else’s blog today. It’s alright. I won’t be offended.]

Now I realize I have a slightly different perspective on homelessness and that whole world than the average citizen. Take into account the following:

  • I grew up in a Christian home and have been part of several Christian communities where serving those less-fortunate has not only been encouraged but sometimes promoted as saintly.
  • In high school, our youth group went to a soup kitchen to volunteer a couple of times. We also had events where we collected soup cans for the food bank or otherwise did something beneficial like that. When I was volunteering with the junior high youth group, we took a weekend trip into Chicago and painted apartments in Cabrini Green (so that they would be available for people to move into, something that the management couldn’t keep ahead of, which resulted in fewer subsidized housing units unless the community helped out). That was an eye opener (especially when I temporarily lost a junior higher, but that’s not relevant to this conversation).
  • In college, we had a group of students that went down to lower Wacker Drive in Chicago (Ctrl-F to search the page for “Wacker”) to feed sack lunches to the homeless there once a month, and I often participated, until I 1) had a boyfriend, and later 2) they closed lower Wacker Drive and “cleaned it up.” [link removed]
  • Also in college, I chaired the Missions Committee, a part of Student Senate. We planned the spring break Missions trips (which I’m getting to), and also local missions opportunities. We went to Nashville several times and worked in an extremely impoverished neighborhood with a children’s’ program. I remember clearly a little girl sitting on my lap on the swings, maybe 6 or 7, telling me about how her dad beat her mom and that’s why her mom lost the baby. In Chicago, with CSM, we went on a prayer tour of the city, which highlighted areas that were in need of God’s hand (that would be you and I, by the way), including housing projects, government buildings, parks where the homeless would sleep, neighborhoods with high volumes of adult entertainment centers and bars, etc. This was a pivotal experience for me, that resulted in my summer spent in San Francisco.
  • Then I spent the summer between my junior and senior years of college working for CSM in San Francisco (Dana was my boss, if you read partway down the page, and all those projects outlined we worked with). We lived in the Salvation Army building in the Tenderloin neighborhood (you really should read the first few paragraphs of that article), which was an experience in itself. There I daily worked with the homeless, the impoverished, families in transitional housing, people who chose to be homeless, people dying of AIDS, etc. I cannot go into enough detail to explain how this changes my view compared to the rest of America.
  • I also spent a summer in Arizona, and while nobody was homeless, we did work with a community that had a very low income rate and the majority were unemployed (70-85%).

So, you see, I have seen first-hand how government money, community efforts, kindness of strangers, hard work, etc, can positively work in people’s lives. Don’t misunderstand me – I refuse to give money to people on the street, but if I had a granola bar with me, I’d certainly pass that on. Especially in communities where the housing vacancy rate is around 1% and affordable housing is non-existent (like San Francisco), sometimes throwing money at the problem, like in the case of transitional housing shelters for families, does work.

And at the very least, even if there’s absolutely no government assistance whatsoever, there are [almost] always caring individuals in a community who want to make a difference in an individual’s life, or who want to bring more meaning to their own lives, or who just want to give back. And just on an individual level, what right does the government have to take away the satisfaction that helping out one less fortunate than you can bring?

I understand the concerns of a community with a growing homeless population. And the argument that people need more than a sandwich, they need social workers and doctors etc, is valid, but slightly off. Yes, people who are homeless, who desire to change their situation, will usually need the help of a community to do so, in the form of social workers and shelters and doctors and clothing and job readiness and …. the list goes on. But not everyone who is homeless desires to change their situation. And I’ve seen first-hand how that isn’t always a bad thing. I met some wonderful men in San Francisco who chose to be homeless and were perfectly content – they knew that the confines of life as you and I experience it were not for them, made them unhappy, or they just couldn’t adapt. And that was OK. Not everyone who is homeless is violent or belligerent or constantly asking for handouts or drunk. Sometimes they’re just people who step to the beat of a different drum. And in a community like San Francisco that is so open to the homeless population, there are social agencies that help, by providing free showers and toothbrushes, vegetarian soup kitchens, cots in shelters, etc.

The idea of actually making it illegal to make a tuna fish sandwich at home, pack it up, and take it to the homeless guy in the park across from your house… is abhorrible to me. Where does the law stop and start? If I walk over there and instead invite him into my home for dinner, is that a crime? Because it’s probably less safe for me than just handing over a sandwich. What if instead I hand over a business card to the local shelter or soup kitchen? Can I let him sleep on my front lawn? Can I give him things that aren’t food, like blankets or money? If I offer him a job in my warehouse, is that wrong too? Because all of those things could be construed as “enabling” and encouraging homelessness in a community.

Yes, that last part was a little extreme, and I did say I was going to try to avoid such statements. And I know some people have mentioned that when I write such long posts, even if I ask for comments, no one is going to leave them because it was too long. But I’m still going to end by asking for your comments. Amanda and Liz, you’ve worked with some diverse populations of people and probably have some good views on this. And I’m going to stop talking before I sound like the guy on the bus last night who was militant that the US government owed him millions of dollars of restitution for the enslavement of his ancestors 300 years ago. Because that just made everyone uncomfortable.

Five On Friday: Summer Lovin’

Tell me more, tell me more…

  1. Did you get very far? What’s the farthest away from home you’ve gone on a summer vacation? I’m too lazy to run the distances on a map, so the options are: San Francisco, Arizona, and North Carolina.
  2. Like does he have a car? What car would you like to have for the summer? Anything convertible. And pretty.
  3. Was it love at first sight? Have you ever felt love at first sight? Maybe not first sight, but within 24 hours.
  4. Did she put up a fight? What was the last fight you had about? Um… Prince Charming and I disagreed on how many tennis courts were at a park we walked by…. I really don’t like fighting though, so if you’re looking for raised voices you’ll have to go elsewhere.
  5. But you don’t gotta brag. What accomplishment or talent are you most proud of? My Access database project is supercool and I am a goddess.

TGIF

  1. What is the easiest money you’ve ever made? Most babysitting jobs I’ve ever had. Even when it was the parents’ group and there were 7 kids ages 3-8, relatively speaking it wasn’t all that hard.
  2. What is the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do to to earn money? It’s a toss-up between when I worked in San Francisco and when I worked in Arizona. In San Francisco, they were long hard days and I made $75/week (so at roughly 6-days a week working 15-hour days, that’s, what, 12-cents an hour?), so in terms of quantity of money made, I definitely worked the hardest for the least amount received. But in Arizona, the work was, like, ten times harder. I made… well, not ten times more than SF, but enough to pay my rent back in Minnesota and a few bills over the summer. I worked harder in Arizona, but earned more. So, I can’t decide.
  3. Other than money, what is the best inheritance anyone could ever leave you? The piano at Mom’s house (though I would argue that it already is mine, I just don’t have possession of it, but not everyone sees it that way).
  4. Even if you didn’t need to, would you still work? Absolutely not. I know, I’m lazy. I’d volunteer a lot, and I’d do things, but would I work for someone else, definitely not. I’d rather be my own boss and decide what projects are of value and how I should spend my time, and when I can just lay on the hammock wasting the day away.
  5. What is the most you’ve ever spent for something really dumb? Wow, since most of my life could be classified under “poor financial decisions,” I’m really not sure. I have some items of clothing that cost a lot and weren’t worn nearly enough. I’d love to classify bridesmaids dresses as “really dumb” (since they’re freaking expensive for a one-time-use item). Anything in technology (because usually by the time I can afford it, the technology advances so shortly afterward that my investment is… not nearly as valuable). Cars are just stupid purchases in general because they cost a freaking lot of money and are constantly depreciating. I could go on…

The Many Things About Me Meme

Stolen from KathyHowe

Ten Favorite:

  1. Color: green makes me happy. So does brown.
  2. Food: Chocolate, hands-down. Preferably in ice cream form.
  3. Band: Eh, I don’t listen to a lot of music these days.
  4. Movie: Price & Prejudice – can’t wait for my copy to show up!
  5. Sport: Wacky Ball. Yeah, I know it’s made-up, but it’s so cool.
  6. Season: Fall – its the colors and the changing and the season of college brochures and the overall romance in the air. (Yeah, dead leaves do it for me.)
  7. Day of the week: Saturday.
  8. Ice Cream Flavor and why? Chocolate. I just discovered Ben & Jerry’s Brownie Batter, and that’s fantastic.
  9. Time of the Day: From about 7-10 at night. I’m awake, there’s often nothing of importance to do so I can relax, and I’ve usually eaten by then so I’m full and content. And I’m never at work [anymore].
  10. This one is missing so I guess I’ll add my own– Sandalwood.

Nine Current:

  1. Current Mood: Sleepy (my eyes are really dry, too, so it kinda looks like I’ve been crying.
  2. Taste: Good & Plenty (black licorice)
  3. Clothes: Cream cords, brown turtleneck sweater, brown shoes, brown & orange striped socks.
  4. Mousepad: work-related old retro one, found while we were moving offices
  5. Finger/Toenail Color: Fingers are naked, toes are taupe-ish.
  6. Time: 10:29 am.
  7. Crush: Water – I’ve been so dehydrated lately, it’s been absolutely divine to imbibe.
  8. Thought: I wish I’d stayed home from work today.
  9. Love: Prince Charming

Eight Firsts:

  1. First Best Friend: Mary
  2. Love: Mike, just not in that way.
  3. Screen Name: Redcleo.
  4. Pet: Alexander, a gorgeous short-hair tabby cat.
  5. Crush: That lasted more than a day or two? Brian W in 7th grade.
  6. Piercing: Ears. It was DadAlison’s idea that I could get them pierced for my 10th birthday.
  7. Word: I have no idea. I haven’t heard that story. All I know is that I didn’t really talk much until I talked in complete sentences, at the age of 3
  8. Car: Skippy, the Dodge Colt 2-door hatchback. He was a sexy beast.

Seven Last:

  1. Last Cigarette: A few weeks ago on a Tuesday on my back porch with
  2. Drink: Tall glass of water.
  3. Car Ride: Home from Amanda’s house on Sunday night.
  4. Text Message: Sometime around Christmas from the airline with updated flight information.
  5. Movie Seen: Can’t remember. Obviously nothing special. I’m sure there were at least parts of movies seen this weekend, but I’m spacing out here.
  6. Phone Call: To Alison last night, to catch up and find out if she’s pregnant (she’s not) and generally bond.
  7. Song Listened to: “Baby I Love Your Way” by Big Mountain on the Reality Bites Soundtrack – hey, it’s what popped up on shuffle.

Six Have You Ever:

  1. Dated one of your best friends: No, though it almost happened once.
  2. Broken the Law: The state trooper in Wisconsin seemed to think so, and evidenced it by giving me a $180 ticket for speeding.
  3. Been arrested: No, though I was threatened with it in the afore-mentioned.
  4. Skinny dipped: Absolutely not.
  5. Been on TV: No, though I have had an article written up about me in a newspaper, complete with picture.
  6. Kissed someone you didn’t know: No, though I have been kissed by a stranger, most notably at the Halloween charity event for ‘s employer.

Five Things:

  1. What you’re wearing: Same as earlier (it’s only been 10 minutes and I’m at work – not much of a chance for a wardrobe change).
  2. What you did last night: Went for coffee with Amanda and Liz and knit, talked to Alison on the phone, watched CSI reruns, read, and fell asleep.
  3. You can hear right now: Nothing, it’s blissfully quiet in the office today.
  4. You can’t live without: Target.
  5. You do when you’re bored: Eat, watch TV, sleep. I’m a pretty boring person.

Four States You Have Been To:

  1. California – visited San Jose, San Diego, lived in San Francisco the summer of 1999.
  2. Massachusetts – May 2004 for Sarah’s wedding.
  3. Tennessee – several times for mission trips, once for a conference
  4. I’m just going to throw all the other ones here, since I’d rather not leave them out (the joy of family vacations as a kid) – Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota (duh), Iowa, South Dakota, Washington, Arizona, Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, New York, Florida, Georgia… maybe another one or two.

Three People You Can Tell Anything To:

  1. Alison
  2. Betsy
  3. Prince Charming

Two Choices:

  1. Black or White: White
  2. Winter or Summer: Summer – I want sun and warmth and lazy vacations.

One Person You would Do Anything For:

  1. Anything? Yeah, no. There are a few people I’d do almost anything for though.

Play along if you’d like…