25 November 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Each moment a blessing of abundance,
Each breath a prayer of thanksgiving.
--Michael Rawls

Each year as Thanksgiving comes, I am overwhelmed with all of the things that I have to be thankful for. Below are just a few...

I am thankful to live in (and have grown up in) a place of beauty. Southern California, with your salty air, clear blue skies, and happy palm trees, I am thankful for you!

Outside of my office. :-)

I am thankful for my super fun roomie Esther (and sweet Bella too!). Yeah for Wheel of Fortune, Law & Order, and weird vegan cooking! You make coming home fun.

Beer Festival = Our kind of fun.

I am thankful for the most incredible family on the planet. I never laugh harder or feel deeper than when I am with my family. Game nights! Hurricane parties! Camping! Disneyland! Picnics! I love you all and am thankful for you each and every day of the year.

We take Disneyland seriously.

I am thankful to have a wonderful man in my life. He treats me like I'm a precious gift, listens to every silly detail of my day, and makes me laugh until it hurts. Thanks for making my fantastic life even better!

Me and my delightful manfriend on a doggy walk.

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
--William Arthur Ward

23 November 2010

Brittany is my favorite!

I know that this doesn't count as a "real" post, but I've been busy. Please don't worry, dear reader, because as a Thanksgiving gift, I've scheduled a legit post and not just a video that makes me laugh so hard I cry. Until then, you will have to just sit back and enjoy this wonderful montage over and over and over again. That's what I did with it!

09 August 2010

Christmas Music... how soon is too soon?

The debate rages in most offices and homes; How soon is too soon for the Christmas carols to start playing? Some people say not until after Thanksgiving... Some people are wrong!

I say, "ALL YEAR LONG!!!"

Thank you iTunes shuffle for reminding me that I LOVE Christmas songs all year long!

07 August 2010

Happy National Mustard Day!

I once confessed here on this bloggity blog that I have a very, VERY deep fear of mayonnaise. It really and truly gives me the creeps, BUT my fear does not extend to all condiments. In fact, I also have a VERY deep love and appreciation of mustard. I adore its yellowy goodness in just about any and every type it can be found. I have, at this point in my life, never snorted it in its powdery form... but I never say never about anything... so there is still a chance I might find the opportunity and take it.

Fact: The more mustard, the better!
This statement remains true at all times and in all situations.

My favorite brand of mustard is Inglehoffer. I normally have three bottles in my fridge, just in case I want to send a guest home with a bottle after they have fallen head over heels in love with it. (Quit snickering at my melodramatic ways! It has happened before and I refuse to be found unprepared when it happens again.) One of my new life goals is to visit the Mustard Museum and Poupon U. On this most holy of days, I would like to wish my dear readers a delightful day of mustardy decadence. I leave you with the fight song of the auspicious Poupon U.
On our hot dogs, on our bratwurst, mustard is so cool.
Never mayo, never ketchup; they're against the rules.
Gleaming gold and mellow yellow; smooth, rough, sweet and hot,
Fight, POUPON U! We'll fight and eat some lunch.

04 August 2010

CA Prop 8 = Unconstitutional

Judge Vaughn R. Walker's conclusion:

"Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional."

My Thoughts:

Your church can make any judgements it wants to about peoples' lifestyles. It can decided to offer them membership or not based on their sexual orientation. That is your right. You personally can have any opinion you want to about who I have sex with and who I choose to make a commitment to. You can decide to be my friend or not. That is your right.

BUT GUESS WHAT? OUR government cannot! OUR government cannot offer benefits to those who are married, at the same time limiting who can enter into a marriage contract. OUR government is called to "establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity" for ALL citizens of the United States of America. So on this day I celebrate that the rights of ALL citizens have been defended... that justice has been served... that domestic tranquility can and will exist. I raise a glass to liberty!

Why I care:

I cried when the ruling came down this afternoon... I cried, because I knew that equality had won... I cried, because I believe that love has triumphed. I believe in a lot of things. I believe in a god who doesn't make mistakes and who loves more than I can imagine. I believe that freedom is not just about eagles and stripes... but also about living and loving with no limits. I believe that truth will always win... given enough time and enough appeals. I believe that we will look back in shame at our close minded attitudes in dealing with others. I believe that tomorrow will be an even better day. I believe in love.

16 June 2010

Holy Crap

This kind of stuff drives me crazy...
The mispelling is priceless. If we follow Mayor Chester Stranczek's rule, he has to leave too. Works out well for everyone.

26 May 2010

Things that I LOVE on this lovely Wednesday

This drawer set (which I found on my new favorite website apartmenttherapy) is BRILLIANT!

2.) The "Time After Time" duet with Cyndi Lauper and Sarah MacLachlan is rocking my world. Isn't it the best when iTunes shuffles to a song that you forgot you were in love with? :-)

I flipping LOVE it! Two magical voices in one timeless song.

3.) Glee and all things Gleekalicious...

Last night's Theatricality episode was wonderful. I laugh. I cried. I screamed in shock. ***SPOILER ALERT*** The vampire scene was HYSTERICAL. "Asian vampires are the most vicious of all the vampires!"

4.) Life. I just love life.

01 May 2010

A Thought for the Month...

“Even where you are sure, seem rather doubtful;
represent, but do not pronounce,
and if you would convince others,
seem open to conviction yourself.”

- Lord Chesterfield

...A lesson in humility and effective diplomacy.

As a result of running into this quote the other day, my goal for May will be to speak with humility and to listen more often than I speak.

30 April 2010

Say┼Źnara Wisdom Teeth

Today is the day...

I'm going under the drill to get my wisdom teeth removed this morning. Here's to hoping for being greatly affected by the anesthesia... I've charged the camera battery and given my mother clear instructions to capture anything that may be YouTube worthy... perhaps if all goes well, I'll be the next David After the Dentist...
(Oh man, my life would be complete if my dental surgery was such a hit that people autotuned it!)

Truly though, I'm just hoping for a quick recovery and to not end up in a similar situation to this poor fellow.

Something more like this will work just fine for me...

I'll see y'all on the YouTube...

28 April 2010

Bucket List

So my skydiving adventure has inspired me to share some other entries I have on my bucket list...

- Drive Route 66
My sister and brother-in-law leave this weekend on a cross-country adventure. (Follow them on their blog!) Hopefully one day I'll be able to follow in their interstate tracks and make the trek myself... If anyone has an extra Airstream hanging around that they want me to take with me, please don't hesitate to send it my way.

- Soar in a Hot Air Balloon
A little more sedate than skydiving... but I imagine it is breathtaking!

- Walk on the Great Wall of China
Part of me wants to walk the length of the Great Wall of China... but then I think, "Melissa, quit it with all of your crazy talk." It's not that I don't want to walk that long of a distance... it's more like, I don't think I'd want to devote that large of a portion of a trip to China on walking. I'd rather visit more places and eat more food. ;-)

- See the Northern Lights
Ummmm HELLO! If you have ever seen a picture of the Northern Lights and not wanted to see them in person... well then I don't think I even want know you! I am pretty sure that when I finally see them it will blow my mind, my heart will swell and I'll cry... In fact, if we're going to be honest (and I think we're at the point now where we should be honest with one another) I sometimes get misty in the eyes just thinking about seeing the Northern Lights. Perhaps that should be next year's big trip...

There are so many more things on the list, but that's enough sharing for me for today.

What's on your list?

23 April 2010

'Why would you jump out of a perfectly good airplane?'

This is why!

The most common response people have when I tell them that I went skydiving to celebrate turning thirty this year is to incredulously ask, "Why?!? Why would you jump out of a perfectly good airplane?" Well the simple way to answer that question is to show them the picture that I have posted above. Ummm OBVIOUSLY it's fun! ...So that's why I did it (and why YOU SHOULD TOO!).

But there was more involved in the decision than simply wanting to have fun. I have always wanted to fly... I pick window seats on airplanes and longingly imagine that I can feel the moisture of the clouds on my face. I watch birds soar with ease and wonder, "Why not me?" When presented with the question "Which superpower would you want to have?" the answer has always been easy. I would want to fly! (Invisibility would lead to too many problems... you'd get stepped on and bumped into a lot. Super Strength could lead to accidentally hurting someone whom I loved. That would be horrible... And the people who would choose to be able to touch things and have them to turn to gold... well that's just plain stupid. How would you eat? Think it through people! Nope... Hands down, I would choose to fly.)

So as my best friend Lauren and I started to talk about the things we wanted to do to celebrate ending our 20s... Skydiving was the one idea that truly made my heart skip a beat. Sure it sounded a little frightening and every so often when I thought about it I would start sweating more than is socially acceptable... but the reality is that my goal was to conquer that fear and start living out loud. You can't miss out on the adventures because you let the what-ifs get in your way. The new older, wiser Melissa is ready to take some plunges... literally.

A quick summary of events:

Sure, looking out of the open door and down 15,000 feet to the ground is a little scary... but before the fear could even truly register I just screamed it out and jumped.

Literally as soon as I was moving out... as soon as there was no option to turn around... the fear was gone and pure ecstasy took its place... sheer exhilaration! I can't even begin to tell you how awesome it is to fly!

After the 60-90 seconds of free fall there were five minutes of paragliding over the most beautiful view I've ever seen. I could see the curvature of the earth. I looked out over the ocean, the hills, the valleys, and it was all I could do to remember to breath. I just smiled and smiled.

And we made it out of the entire experience safe and sound and ready to go again! I can't think of a better way to celebrate 31 next year.

22 April 2010

Bookworm? Damn right!

So what if I always have my nose in a book... is that really so bad?

So what if I take books into the bathroom with me and keep them in every purse I own... is that wrong?

I say NO! It is good and it is right!

Bookworms of the World Unite!

Jayma started calling me Bookworm this weekend while we were away... I have to admit that I earned the title. I managed to read most of the book (Ender's Game = SO GOOD!) I brought with me and a good percentage of the New York Times articles on my iPhone app in the short 44 hours that we were up on the mountain. I love books. I will read just about anything that I find in front of my face. Some people craft (Jayma). Some people take and edit photos (Lauren). I read books... it's my skill set. I just need to figure out how to get paid for it... I suppose I could read books for students and summarize them, but CliffsNotes seems to have that market cornered... hmmm... I'm not sure I'm the caliber of reader required for book reviewing... but perhaps. Will they hold it against me that I have been known to read a People magazine or two? I should hope not, because that information is even more practical than reading Moby Dick. The Lohans and Larry King come up in many more conversations than good ol' Ahab. I can't help it that I live in a fickle culture. I am just one of many and I need to assimilate somehow... so keep the People magazines coming my way! I'll sneak in the classics waiting in line at the Post Office or on my lunch break. When it comes to reading, I seriously believe that I can do it all.

So what have you been reading lately?

21 April 2010

Palomar Mountain - Sunday Funday

It was difficult to leave the confines of our adorable cabin.
(Lauren's grandpa ordered the cabin as a kit and built it in the 1960's.)

But by Sunday midday we pulled ourselves away from crafting/reading/editing and went on a Geekspedition to the Palomar Observatory.
I do not mean to imply that only geeks go to observatories...

BUT I do mean to imply that we might be geeks...

Exhibit A.

...or possibly even tree hugging dorks.

Exhibit B.
We each loved our time spent at the Observatory. There were incredible pictures and stories of how the Pyrex for the telescope was transported and then meticulously refined and polished to be usable. All of the talk of stars, solar systems, and galaxies made me think back to the days of the Starlab in elementary school. I loved piling into the weird igloo shaped balloon and listening to stories inspired by the night sky. We would sit with our little legs crossed soaking up tales of how the stars came to be and how the Earth was made. There were sailors' stories from ships long ago... We'd look at Orion's Belt, Ursa Minor and Ursa Major. It all made the sky seem so... well magical. Currently, it's a miraculous event if I can see any stars above my house. The suburban lights conspire with the marine layer to block the ancient stories that the heavens have whispered. This weekend up in the mountains helped me to remember to look up... and make an effort to get to a place where I can see the heavenly bodies that have inspired all generations to awe, creativity, and fear... and to keep my eyes peeled for new stories to be told.

Please note that these pictures are courtesy of JaymaLew.

*Editor's Note: Apparently we made it up to the mountains just in time.

20 April 2010

Palomar Mountain - a Saturday delightfully spent.

This past weekend I was able to get away with some friends to Palomar Mountain.
Below is the view from the porch at the cabin... not too shabby.
Is there anything lovelier than enjoying a brisk mountain morning, wrapped in a blanket, drinking hot tea with a good book in your lap? (I'll answer that for you.) No... except maybe starting your morning in a hammock with fresh coffee, ocean breezes and yet another good book in your hands... Life is full of so many wonderful things. How did I ever get so lucky as to know so many tantalizing experiences? Oh did I mention the smell!?!? I LOVE the smell of a forest in the morning... or evening... or mid afternoon isn't too bad either. Sure I may be allergic to most of the things that I was smelling, but that is NOT going to stop this Happy Camper. That is why God made Benadryl... so that I could keep on keepin' on.

After a rough day of 'working'...

It was time for a delicious dinner!

And then a quiet evening in front of a roaring fire...
P.S. I built that fire all by myself... (with some assistance from my Great Uncle Duraflame.)

All in all, a Saturday delightfully spent.

19 April 2010

Palomar Mountain - Our Thrilling Friday Night

This weekend my bestie Lauren and I went away to Palomar Mountain for some downtime. Our dear friend Jayma drove up from LA and met us on Saturday. We all had a blast just doing our own things and kicking back.

As I looked back on the weekend, I got to thinking about life... which is dangerous, but I do it for the good of my readers. Here is a thought that came my way:

Singlehood = ?
Some of my married friends like to talk as if their lives now aren't as exciting as they were when they were footloose, fancy-free and single. I hear people at work reminisce about the thrills of life before marriage and I think it's a lot like people missing the 'good ole days of high school'... They are remembering it all through rose colored glasses. Now that Lauren and I are "Thirty, Flirty and Fabulous," THIS is how we spend our Friday nights. Lauren alternates between playing Words With Friends on her iPhone and vacuuming up dead ants or spiders. I wear my Hooters jammies (They have owls on them... get your minds out of the gutter!) and read Ender's Game for book club (SUPER GOOD BOOK! READ IT!). It's not like we partied with Diddy or made out with foreign men (well not this weekend). I just want to break my married readers of the fear that they are missing out on something exciting... The single life is a lot like married life... minus the marriage part, but you get the idea.

Here we are, living the dream:

29 March 2010

Five Things I Love

I was tagged by JaymaLew to post a list of five things that I love. Here it is, a bit late... but hey it's a blog and we haven't seen one of those around here since last year, so I assume my patient readers will be gracious:

Here is my simple list (which I feel like I've already posted at some point):

I love (1) Books, (2) Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, (3) Adventures/Travel, (4) Babies, and (5) my life.

So I'm going to get a little more creative and list the Five Things That I Love TODAY:

Today I love my 'Latin America' channel on Pandora. Some ManA, some Shakira, and some Juanes and I'm all set to conquer the week. A little music to shake the hips to makes a Monday morning easier to swallow.

Today I love my oatmeal with blackberries... The perfect start to any day. A little trick for you dear readers, buy blackberries when they are on sale and freeze them... as they defrost later they are at the PERFECT level of softness (not quite mushy) to add to oatmeal or yogurt.

Today I love my outfit... I know it sounds silly, but keep reading... I made a deal with myself (aka a New Years' Resolution) that I would wear a dress or skirt at least once a week this year. So far, so good. Today I'm wearing my adorable black wedges and a flowy black and white skirt. Sometimes Monday mornings are a bit harder than the other mornings... but putting on an adorable outfit can be the extra push I need to remember that my life is good and I am cute. :-) Vanity... it can be used for good.

Today I love my clean laundry. Yesterday I was SUPER productive... and that is rare for me on a Sunday. I moved furniture and washed ALL of my dirty clothes. The only unlaundered items of clothing at my house are my pajamas from last night... those of you who know me well, know that this is a VERY RARE situation. I ALWAYS seem to have laundry that needs to be done... but tonight I have NO laundry to do. I do however need to 'wrinkle release' the clothes that are line drying and put them away... this woman's work is never done.

Today I love my book in my purse... Book Club is coming soon and I need to finish reading The Lovely Bones. I love Book Club. I love reading. I love disappearing into another world, another life, another mind... I love it all. I love that tonight I can sit in my bed (with my clean sheets!) and read for hours.

01 January 2010

Happy New Year!

Here I am with my dear Kermit's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame... Here's to hoping that this is the year that he and I finally get married.

I wish all of you and yours the very best in 2010.