30 October 2009

40,000 Soldiers or 40,000 Schools?

A topic to ponder over the weekend:

Nicholas D. Kristof the author of Half the Sky and a New York Times columnist wrote a very interesting article about Afghanistan. He proposes that we should be starting schools instead of sending more troops to the region. I appreciated his thoughtful points. What do you think? Where are our resources best invested?

29 October 2009

My Current Crush

After Game 1 of the World Series, I have myself a crush. Phillies' starting pitcher Cliff Lee is the new object of my affection.

I loved the catch behind the back!

How adorable are they?!? I have crush on his entire family. I double dog dare you not to smile while looking at this picture. (Yep that was a DOUBLE dog dare.)

I knew you couldn't do it. Don't feel bad; Nobody stands a chance against this level of cute.

28 October 2009

Full of Wonder... Wonderful

As an North San Diego County local (born and raised!) sometimes I take the luxury of living by the beach for granted. Recently, after running some errands, I parked by the ocean to eat my dinner (In N Out BABY!). As I sat watching the waves and listening to the birds, a family in an SUV pulled up and piled out. They laughed as they threw sand at each other and flew kites. Mom pulled out a picnic dinner. The kids started tossing around a football. The father was snapping pictures without a pause; wanting to capture each and every memory of their Day at the Beach. I am pretty sure that they weren't locals. It seemed to me that this was a rare and special day... an out of the ordinary adventure.

Their excitement reminded me that my daily experiences are truly extraordinary. I can see the ocean from my office! (I may have to be on my tip toes but I can see it; and people of normal height don't have to stretch at all.) My mornings and nights are filled with salty breezes and palm trees. People dream their whole lives of seeing the ocean one day and I was raise in it and around it. I took a second look at what was before me... The sand was literally sparkling like miniscule stars reminding me that magic is still around; that life is still exciting. The pelicans swooped and fish jumped. Waves rolled in and I was carried away with them as they returned with the same mysterious force that sent them to shore. My head may know that the wind, the moon, and earthquakes make waves, but today my heart saw only magic. I wanted to believe that the sand before me wasn't broken rocks or shells but that it was in fact stars dropped from the heavens to decorate my seashore. This was a day that wonder won. Tomorrow who knows?

Don't worry I snapped a shot myself.

26 October 2009

Daydream Believer

Today's daydream is brought to you by Theraflu and the sinus congestion that isn't allowing me to focus on the real business at hand.

Instead of taking care of the tasks on my mounting To Do List (T-20 days until official Moving Day and T-25 days until I am Costa Rica vacation bound!) I have been solving a potential future problem. I am sure many of you have found yourself wondering, "What to do? What to do with all of my extra money?" At some point in every one's life we find Scrooge McDuck-style piles of money and have no blueprint of how to spend it. I refuse to come to that point without a well-laid plan! So I have devoted many hours developing (read daydreaming) the following solutions to a very serious future issue.

If I were to run into an abandoned pile of thirty government issued Franklins, I would not panic and run to deposit them into the nearest bank. Oh no, my friend. I would not be left without a clear course of action. That money would serve a noble purpose. It would provide me with my dream computer. The Apple Store would be destination number one. Destination number two would be anywhere and everywhere. I would travel and write all about how much I love my computer. I would sleep with it and drive with it in the passenger seat all buckled in, safe and sound. I know some of you might think I'm a little (or a lot) crazy. Think what you may, but I will be the one prepared in case of sudden cash flow. Where will you be when the money comes? What will you do? Think fast!

I hear your question before you even ask, Dear Reader. I know your concerns. "Melissa, what will you do if more money comes? You could not possibly have a clear path laid out for an influx of thirty thousand dollars." Now this was a harder task. I admit that many of the options were tempting. After much thought and consideration the difficult decision has been made. If I find a bag of gold on my windshield tomorrow, I will be driving straight to the local Honda dealership. Once I have my fancy computer, I'm going to need to travel and find inspiration for my writing. I will need something practical that can take me from coast to coast and maybe even across a few borders. Now I know that this is not a standard issue Honda Element pictured. I will have to get my customized camper shell from someone else, but the Honda dealership is my first stop in the plan. After we're all decked out and ready to go, I will have to camp across the country, perhaps the continent. There is room for two... so if there are any volunteers please let me know. I like to be prepared, so notify me BEFORE I find my bags and piles of money that you are up for sharing in the adventure.

Now I would like to encourage each of you to set aside some time today to plan out what you will do when the money comes. Don't let yourself be caught off guard. Money lurks around every corner. Be prepared people!

05 October 2009

Goodbye My Dear Friend

I know that Diet Coke is bad for me.
I have known it for a long time.
But most of that time I have still loved it and chosen to drink it; and to drink it often. Last week I did a little detoxing experiment. I went the whole week without drinking a single Diet Coke (Friday I made a small exception to drink Diet Coke and Bacardi, but in my defense it was mostly Bacardi). This afternoon, at lunch, I decided to break my fast with a delicious ice cold Diet Coke. The first sip tasted weird... like it had when I was in high school and "hated anything diet." I kept drinking and it tasted a little better. After about a quarter of the can my head started to feel tight at the base of my skull... like the onset of a migraine! WHAT?!!? I was so excited to drink Diet Coke again and it turns out that I don't really like the taste and it causes my brain to swell. So D.C. and I are breaking up. I think I really mean it this time. It's over. Goodbye.

02 October 2009

Deep Thoughts with Meli La Gringa

I’ve learned a lot in the past week and thought I would share:

1.) Pandora's Paula Abdul station always results in a good work day.
I'm just saying that Pandora connects a lot of AWESOMENESS to Paula. Some examples that made me dance in my office chair: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (Cyndi Lauper), Hit Me With Your Best Shot (Pat Benatar), Call Me (Blondie), Like a Prayer (Madonna), Every Little Step (Bobby Brown), Billie Jean (You Know Who… and if you don’t know who then I’m re-evaluating our friendship as of now), and Cold Hearted (by Ms. Abdul herself). I have a great job, but I need the tunes (or NPR’s Fresh Air podcasts) to keep me going throughout the day with a smile. I’m pretty sure that this one station choice has brought me more joy than any other and I have some other GREAT stations (Vampire Weekend, Motown, Jack Johnson, etc.) but my heart connects to the early 90s and a little late 80s. I can’t help it, it’s just who I am.

2.) Even smart people can do stupid things.
Wednesday morning I was getting ready to leave for work and couldn't find my keys anywhere. After a good eight minutes of hunting (purse, couch, bed, fridge, freezer, etc) I realized with dread that I may have lost my keys. I opened the door to see if I had dropped them outside… nope. As I turned around to go inside I saw my keys dangling from the deadbolt on the front door… where they had been ALL night long. The best part of this story is that I had been in and out of the house at least two times since unlocking the door.

… and the Luckiest Absent-Minded Moron Award goes to….
Drum roll please)


“I’d like to thank Diet Coke for killing the brain cells necessary to remember simple things like that when you lock the door at night and leave the key in the exterior lock you are not, in fact, locking anyone out of the house… I would also like to thank my kind neighbors for not using the key I left ready and available for them. I couldn’t have done any of this without all of your contributions. (Hand covering mouth, tears welling up) Thank you all.”

3.) Boys fart often; girls need to allow that venting. Women talk often; men need to allow that venting.
I was pretty proud of myself for coming up with this today. I was talking to Esther about if women are neurotic… actually about if WE, in specific, are neurotic. I came up with "No, we’re not, we just think a lot"… about things we can’t change, but how we would change them if we could… about what he meant when he said that… and what she was thinking when she did that… and well okay so maybe we’re all a little neurotic, BUT verbalizing those thoughts is part of how we process life. Men fart. Women process life in another way. It’s okay. It’s just how it works.

4.) Yes, I know that I owe pictures and updates on other things like weddings, trips to NYC and Seattle, but right now this is what you get. You’re welcome.