31 October 2008

Happy Halloween!

This is the costume I have planned for the year I reach my life goal: being a grandma.

30 October 2008

Thanksgiving Adventures.... four weeks and counting

Most years my family goes camping over the Thanksgiving weekend. It is a great tradition that we have with some dear friends of ours. I love getting away and just enjoying each other's company. We get ridiculously competitive about board games (okay maybe Tim and I get ridiculously competitive), we go hiking/adventuring and we eat tons of yummy food.

We have done beach camping, mountain camping (We froze our tushes off at Lake Isabella!), house camping (We rented a house in the desert and slept indoors!), and last year it was fire camping.... ummm fire camping? you ask. I will fill you in on that later.

As you can imagine cooking a turkey while camping is not ideal... so we precook and heat at the campsite.

Here we are preparing with a Target Shopping Extravaganza.

This is our Thanksgiving Feast.

Hiking with Joel and Todd can be quite the adventure....

Our fun was cut short at around 3:30 am.... with the sound of helicopters flying overhead to drop water on the Malibu Creek Fire.

This last picture was our view as we drove home... BUT we are gamblers by nature... so we are trying Malibu again this year! Hopefully we'll make it the whole weekend without any evacuations.

29 October 2008

Grandmotherhood = Life Goal?

Today I met my hero...

Ever since I was a child, I have held a secret desire. My life goal is to be a grandmother... yep, you read that right. I have always wanted to be a cute little old lady who has a wraparound porch, a bench swing, and a faithful old dog that sits at my feet as I crochet, or maybe crosstich. I want to make lemonade, bake cookies, and sew Halloween costumes. The idea of Thanksgiving dinner for dozens being cooked in my kitchen, thrills me! I love the idea of being a grandmother, I always have. I assume that that must mean I have fantastic grandmothers who have inspired me (I have at least one!).

The one problem with my life goal has been that I'm not as excited to be a mother. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE CHILDREN. I just don't have the same passion for motherhood that I have for grandmotherhood. (I know I'm a little weird.)

Today I met my hero. Today I met someone who married into grandmotherhood. It's brilliant! She didn't have to raise anyone, AND she gets to love on grandkids and spoil them rotten. She married a grandfather and inherited a complete family.

So it's official I am in the market for a grandfather.

... or I will be in about thirty years. So keep your eyes peeled!

28 October 2008

Why today just might have sucked...

1. I rear ended a car on my way to work... don't worry I'm fine. We were at a red light. He started to move. I started to move. The car in front of him stalled. He stopped. I stopped... just not fast enough.

2. I came into the office and found five voicemail messages that consisted of clicking.... alternating silence and clicking. Turns out our phone system has crashed. That's good news. Right?

3. The phone tech comes to check on the phone system (stored in our server room)... and says "Melissa, I think you have a bigger problem." Bigger than a broken phone system?!?!

The air conditioner that is supposed to keep our server/phone equipment safe from overheating has a leak.... there is a freakin' flood in the server room!!!

4. I go to tell the office manager about our new Server Sea and find a small flood in the kitchen as well. mmm... sweet!

5. Now the Internet is coming and going.... so we can't communicate with phones or email!

HOW are we supposed to call for help, when we start drowning?

6. The pizza that I ordered for the teleconference (that is now being held via two cell phones on speakerphone) comes burnt!

7. I twisted my ankle thanks to the wet kitchen floor...

8. I blame part of my lack of grace on my impending period. I am (on top of everything else) suffering from stomach cramps and a mild case of PMS. (I know. I can't believe I just blogged about PMS either!)

9. Because of our phone situation, the alarm system that lives on the wall next to my desk spends the ENTIRE day beeping to let me know that it can't connect to the phone.

10. Oh yeah and yesterday we laid off seven people at the office so basically today would have sucked without #'s 1-9.

So yeah... I think it might be official that today sucked. :)

27 October 2008

My Favorite Family

Okay so this blog may have become a total love-fest.... but let's be real, it's me... I LOVE a good love-fest.

One of my favorite blogs to read is my dear friend Kacy's. I love her honesty and her tender heart. She has always been one of those friends who speaks directly to your soul, with truth and love. NOW she speaks straight to my heart and soul via the world wide web. As Kacy grows as a mother and wife, I feel like I get the benefit of growing a little with her.

This picture is of Halee (Kacy's oldest daughter) and I... speaking of tender, Halee is most certainly a sweet reflection of her mother.

Don't worry. I'll write an angry blog really soon!

26 October 2008

The Men I Love...

One of my favorite faces on the news is Anderson Cooper. I try to watch his podcast everyday... The podcast is better than the show, because it is much shorter and therefore less repetitive. I can't wait to spend election night this year with my dear friend Anderson.

Mo Rocca 180 "Only half as tediuos as the regular news" is a favorite blog of mine and he is tied (with Paula Poundstone) as my favorite panel member on Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me. He makes me laugh really hard. I know that he can be a little crazy and little bit crude... but when I see him on Best of the 80s or watch him perform one of his useless surveys (like: Would you vote for a president with a lisp?) I can't help but wish that we hung out in real life.

David Pogue of the New York Times is most probably the nerd to end all nerds. He is everything I could hope for in a friend and journalist. He spends his days reviewing techy geeky things and putting it all into terms that I can understand. PLUS he makes really cheesy video blogs... yep! He is the complete package. He has a blog but normally I watch his video podcasts and you can catch him on CNBC as well.

25 October 2008

Chicken Run

My father and nephew are visiting my grandmother up in Northern California this week... so I have become the Mother Hen around this homestead. I've been up early feeding chickens and gathering eggs. The picture I'm posting is of our newest additions to the family. They are already bigger than this picture... by quite a bit! I am not going to lie, I'm getting emotionally attached. I dare you to hold one of them and not love them.... I double-dog dare you!

Look out... I'm becoming a chicken lady. I'm never going to get married at this rate. ;)

24 October 2008

Happy United Nations Day!

The UN officially came into existence on the 24th of October, 1945 (63 years ago today!) upon ratification of the Charter of the United Nations by the five permanent members of the Security Council — France, the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States — and by a majority of the other 46 signatories. The first meetings of the General Assembly, with 51 nations represented, and the Security Council, took place in London in January 1946.

A thought to ponder on this day of reflection...

Humor has a way of bringing people together. It unites people. In fact, I'm rather serious when I suggest that someone should plant a few whoopee cushions in the United Nations.
-Ron Dentinger

So pull out those whoopee cushions and start celebrating!

23 October 2008


***This is a refurbished blog from when I was in South Korea. I started it quite a few times, but didn't ever get it to the point of postworthiness. (You like that? I make up my own words, because I can! English is an "open lexicon." I can do what I want, and if enough people start doing it too, then it becomes a recognized word. Take that!)***

Back to the blog...
I was getting homesick while being abroad and it was being triggered by the oddest things. I started collecting some pictures of the things that made me miss home.

Some things were obvious triggers. The local Starbucks...

For those of you that don't know, I worked at Starbucks for two years. Being in a Starbucks made me think of dear friends and great coffee dates. It brought back memories of Starbucks runs on road trips, working the morning rush, watching the sunrise over the Ross store in Solana Beach (We used to pretend that the Ross was really a majestic mountain... at 4am you'll believe almost anything.), and sharing illegal Frappuccino remnants with Erika and Jayma. I thought of my father's love of espresso and my mother's lack of love for whipped cream on her Frappuccino. (A note for all Starbucks employees: Don't even think about whipping my mom's frap!) While I hate to admit it, I love Starbucks. It has really become that "third place" in my life.... I fell for all of their marketing. I'm hooked. I drank the Kool-Aid... well I guess I drank the latte.

Shopping in Seoul, I ran into a HUGE home sickness trigger. Alisa and I saw our childhood heroes, the Blues Brothers. Growing up we used to watch the Blues Brothers every year for my sister Petra's birthday... starting at a very young age. We didn't find out until all of us girls were adults that the Blues Brothers is rated R! My parents had no idea. We had been unwittingly watching a rated R movie as a family for a decade! So seeing the boys I knew and loved in Seoul, brought a little bit of home back to me. [Here is Alisa showing off her dance moves. Don't judge. She has mad dancing skills!]

Even the subway terminals caused me to long for family... or, at the very least, Family Game Night! We have traditionally played Trivial Pursuit as a family since the days when Disney Trivial Pursuit was as cool as cool could be. Please try and tell me that this subway tile was NOT inspired by the fabulous Parker Brothers game!I know! Right? Thanks to my detective work, you, dear reader, now know that the same architect designed the Seoul subway system AND the Trivial Pursuit cheese wheel.

You're welcome!

Now that I've been "home" for over a year and a half, there are some things that I miss about being in South Korea... but, those are for another blog.

22 October 2008


I read an interesting op-ed by Peggy Noonan in last Friday's Wall Street Journal about Sarah Palin. I know that many of my dear readers (I think there are three people reading this blog.) don't share my political views, but I found that this article summarized my concerns pretty well. Please read it and feel free to start a political conversation with me or in the break room at work.

21 October 2008

She's My Person

I love Grey's Anatomy.... but why?

I love the show because I see myself in the characters. I see myself especially in Meredith and Cristina. I'm not sure that that's a sign of emotional health... it may, in fact, be a sign of the opposite, but nonetheless I love to watch. I love the rollercoaster, the tears, the laughter, the lust. I love the drama.

So I was recently catching up on my Grey's Anatomy...

and WOW!!!!

there was a three part "arc" (their wording, not mine) in the last season that is so intense. At one point the character Cristina is engaged and she can't believe it's real until she tells her friend Meredith. In fact, she gets all bent out of shape when her fiance tells other people about their engagement before she can tell Meredith... She tries to explain it to him:

"It's just that she's my person.....If I murdered someone, she's the person I'd call to help me drag the corpse across the living room floor...she's my person"

I totally get that. That scene spoke volumes to me, because I have my person. She is the one I call when I can't stop crying. She is the one I text when I can't stop laughing.

She's my wedding date. I know she's high class, right?

She the one I have the most serious conversations with.... this one was about the importance of having windshield wipers on your eyeglasses. If you don't have them, you are living dangerously!

She's my fellow iPhone addict! It's nice to have a girl to geek out with. We waited in line for hours for our phones... and were told that some guy would be lucky to have such a geeky wife. Of course, those were geeks telling us that. Hmmm, perhaps we were being proposed to...

She is the person who makes everything real as soon as I've shared it with her. So Lauren, know that you are loved... and if I murder someone expect a phone call on your fancy pants phone.

19 October 2008

My Biggest Fear

"A poll of 3,000 Americans found that for forty-one percent, the thing they're most afraid of is speaking before a group of people. Thirty-two percent stated they were most afraid of heights."

So the two biggest fears in America are public speaking and heights.

Weird... I'm not afraid of either of those things. I would gladly speak in front of people all day long... I love it actually. If I could find people to pay me for it, that would be my ideal profession. Melissa, professional public speaker... OR Melissa, professional heights experiencer. I enjoy the thrill of being up high. The higher the height, the better the view. ... in fact, if I could have a superpower it would totally be flying. Then I could get up really high and not have an airplane wing in the way of my view.

So if I'm not afraid of what normal people are afraid of, what makes me quake in my flip-flops? (I live in Southern California, so we don't wear boots enough to quake in them.)

Well dear reader, it's time for a true confession:
My biggest fear in life is mayonnaise. Yep... whipped egg yolks and vegetable oil. That's what haunts my dreams at night. I just think the stuff is creepy on like 100 different levels. The consistency.... the way it kind of clings to your throat. What if it slides into my throat and never leaves!?! That is possible! I could suffocate on mayonnaise! What a horrible way to die, with that nasty yellowish/whitish/colorless mixture blocking my access to life-giving oxygen. The taste is gross too. It makes me gag just thinking about it... give me a minute. Breathe in. Breathe out. hee hee whoo. Um... yeah I'm sweating at the thought.

So you can imagine how much more difficult life is as a leukolactocitriviniovacondimentophobian... I mean every potluck lunch has a potato salad, and when sandwiches are served at work the caterer brings a tub of mayonnaise to set next them... for nasty people to coat their poor defenseless breads and meats in. I have to face my fear at the very least three times a day! I don't live alone... I can't stop the rest of the world from storing that jar of death goob in their fridges. Don't even get me started on you freaks who eat it on french fries! Why would you ruin such a lovely food with the nastiest concoction on earth!??!?! WHY!?!? Oh, it makes me angry! My life is difficult, and I am tired of suffering in silence.

A side note:
-I have been advised to seek help at the Mayo Clinic... not funny and not helpful.

15 October 2008

Another one...

There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread. ~Mahatma Gandhi

I will write more about this one later...

It has me thinking!

Blog Action Day... my timing is impeccable

Ironically the day I choose to return to blogging is Blog Action Day! What are the odds? Now the pressure is on for me to write a blog about poverty (the theme for this year's blog action day).

I thought this was an interesting quote:
"You can't get rid of poverty by giving people money." ~P.J. O'Rourke, A Parliament of Whores

I would love to hear what people think.


I know that it's a little early for a Thanksgiving blog, but since it's been ten months since I've posted I am hoping my "public" will offer me a little bit of grace. :)

This week I have been a little bit bored at work. The old Melissa would have planned another adventure and hightailed it out of this town to India, Costa Rica, etc. to numb the boredom, but today's Melissa has decided to just sit tight and be thankful for where I am and what I am doing. Our current economic state is not great. Many people are without jobs or a little nervous about how much longer their employer will be able to cover payroll. I am thankful to work for a company that has cash reserves to last quite awhile. I am thankful to sit at the best desk in the office and have a view of the golf course and, on the right day, of the ocean. I am thankful to look at the ocean and not a cubicle wall. I am thankful for the visitors outside of my window. Today it was a hummingbird, tomorrow who knows? I am thankful to have parents who support and love me. I am thankful for sisters who are freakin' fun! I am thankful that I have too many social events to keep straight. I will not complain about being busy, but be thankful that I have so many people to spend time with and love on.

I am thankful that a baby visited the office today, and that tonight I get to hang out with Jack Crash. Two babies in one day!?!??! My life is good!