Sunday, December 21, 2008
I would be glad to show you some photos, but I don't trust those people on my gift list to not peek, so they'll have to wait until after the big day. I was very pleased with how everything turned out.
All of the "must-do's" have been done, so for the rest of the week I'm going to be just enjoying myself. I am going to bake some more cookies, just because I want them (oh, those peanut butter kisses, how I underestimate their power!). The poor blog has been feeling neglected, after it's November pampering, so I have to get it back on track, too.
Hope your Christmas preparations are moving along as nicely as mine are!
Monday, December 15, 2008
Last week nearly did me in. There was Christmas cheer every night for seven nights straight, and it was supposed to be eight, but I had to wimp out on the last one. (Sorry, Bryan!) I also wimped out on half of my work day today and spent the afternoon and evening vegged out on the couch doing absolutely NOTHING to prepare for Christmas, which is now not even ten whole days away.
I cut out the contract knitting for Santa almost entirely, but added contract sewing, and lots and lots and lots of baking. So far, the Lewis household has the following waiting to be packaged up for gift-giving:
dark chocolate and walnut toffee
German chocolate fudge
peanut butter fudge
milk chocolate walnut fudge
Still to come are Ina Garten's pecan squares, chai snickerdoodles, chocolate crackle cookies, and peanut butter kisses.
Sheesh. The contract sewing won't be done until the weekend, which is cutting it mighty close. Mighty close, indeed.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I told a few friends and family members about this concert over the past few weeks, but let me tell you, if they come back to my church next year, I will be DRAGGING everyone I know to see them. They were that good.
This group, fronted by Peter Mayer, an extremely talented guitarist who plays for Jimmy Buffett as his day job, also includes a Native American flute player, a piano player, drummer, and bass player who could each hold their own as solo artist, and my personal favorite, an eighteen-year-old fiddle player from Kentucky.
The music ranged from various influences, sometimes sounding like jazz, sometimes bluegrass, and occasionally hard rock. There was a smidge of traditional Christmas music that would always morph into something even better, and lots of original music.
So, guess what -- you missed out this year, but write it down for next December, because I'm SO not kidding about the dragging you there. You won't be sorry.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
When I was ten, Ann Gotlib was twelve. My mom used to take me shopping at Bashford Manor Mall. I liked it because there were sunken-in TV-watching areas, and some stationary carousel horses I could "ride."
Ann Gotlib frequented that mall, too; one day her bike was found leaning against the front wall, and Ann herself was never seen again.
It's funny how much I've always remembered this event. In my mind, it was the dividing line between when kids in this area could go anywhere safely, and when they couldn't. Maybe because she was a kid, like me, and about my age, but it stuck in my head.
So today it was announced that the police have a prime suspect in the case. Unfortunately, he's dead, so the odds of any real "closure" to the case these 25 years later are pretty slim. I can't imagine what her parents have felt all these years; what they feel now. I don't know if this will feel like reopening an old wound, or if they will be glad for people to be thinking of Ann again.
I, for one, am glad that Ann and her case have not been forgotten, after all.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tonight Little and I went to an event organized by Big Brothers Big Sisters, where we blew our own Christmas ornaments at Glassworks. I've always wanted to do one of those, and it was fun and interesting, and as always, we had some great conversation. (Largely about Twilight these days, we're a tad obsessed, I admit.)
But what struck me about the evening was a brief conversation we had with the artist who was doing all the real work on the ornaments. He introduced himself to us, then introduced his own Little Brother, who was assisting him. I asked the Li'l Bro how long they had been matched, and he said, "Three years."
So I asked the artist if it was because of him that Glassworks began doing this event with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and it turns out that is the case. He told us that he had made a few ornaments with Li'l Bro, and just decided it was something he could share with the whole organization. He said he just wanted to give something back to the community.
I was impressed. This guy seemed like just an average, really nice guy, with a super cool job, who decided to share something he had, not only with a person he has a relationship with, but with everyone else, too. We could use more people like that in the world. I fervently wish that I could remember his name to give him some good publicity, seeing as how he's an artist and all, but I can't, so . . . "Way to go, Glassworks Big Brother guy!"
[Oh, just an update on yesterday's rant: it seems that the state is interested in some sort of arrangement to take over Otter Creek Park. Keep your fingers crossed that the arrangement is a good one, and that it actually comes to fruition.]
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Today's post is about budgets. And parks. And mayors who should step back and give somebody else a shot.
If you follow Louisville news, you will already have heard about the fajillion and one dollar budget shortfall that has some people getting forced "furloughs" from their jobs, and others biting their nails lest they be permanently "furloughed." So yesterday, the Mayor-who-has-worn-out-his-welcome announced his latest plans for making up that shortfall. None of it is pleasant, of course, but one really sticks in my craw.
(No, I'm not really sure what a craw is. I hope it's nothing dirty, because this is really stuck in mine.)
The one that really gets me is the abrupt and unprecedented closing of Otter Creek Park. The Mayor-who-has-really-crap-ideas-about-budgets announces that it is losing $500,000 per year, and in the same breath, informs us that the park has 500,000 visitors each year.
I'm no math expert, for sure, but even I can see at least one way to stop the park from losing money . . . CHARGE A DAMN DOLLAR ADMISSION FOR EVERYONE TO VISIT, STUPID-MAYOR!
A few other ideas: 1. Open the lodge that has never been open as long as I remember. 2. Offer seasonal memberships. 3. Host a mountain bike race. 4. Promote group hikes and dog-walking events. 5. Offer special city-wide fishing licenses. 6. Charge for all-inclusive wedding packages.
Etc., etc., and all that. I'm sure there are other people who can think of better ideas. The point is this: No one was given the opportunity to come up with better ideas. No one was questioned about whether the park matters to them.
It's no small irony that the His-craptacular-ness holds himself out as being the bigtime "fitness-crazed" Mayor, the great chosen promoter of the "Healthy Hometown." Yeah, well, this doesn't really fit into those ideals very well, does it?
At a bare minimum, the Mayor-who-hopes-we-are-all-asleep should be forced to provide a plan for the park's future. One can't just ignore a vast swath of land and hope people forget about it. Does he plan to build a wall around it? Lock the gates? Donate it to the state?
Hmm . . . that last one's not a bad idea. How 'bout it, Governor Gloomy-pants, want to come bail out a poor park?
Sunday, November 30, 2008
I know, that sounds like a total cop-out. It's true, though! Hope can't be summed up or boxed into a little greeting card sentiment. It's what gets us through all the badness of the world and tumbles us right into the good stuff. It's what you try to hang onto when you don't have anything else.
It's why we make plans for a career.
It's why we get married.
It's why we adopt pets, and learn to knit, and have babies, and set our alarm clocks, and go to church on Sunday, or skip church to go kayaking, and watch sunsets, and write bad poetry, and tune into our favorite new show even after we know it's been cancelled, why we fill up the crockpot before work and buy tickets to a play and start blogs and say "I love you" before going to sleep.
Because we hope.
Hope is everywhere and all the time, but ESPECIALLY at Christmas. I hope that you're hoping something right now.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Phew! This relaxing is hard work! We at the Lewis house are pooped, but it's a good pooped.
And yes, now that you mention it, I am a teeny bit tired of every-day blogging. My life, while quite interesting to me, is not full of general-interest stories, at least not EVERY SINGLE DAY. Come December, I will stop boring you with the dull bits.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Now we're hanging out, watching Star Wars, and Darth Vader is just getting ready to take out poor ol' Obi Wan. So, for now, I'm outta here . . .
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I'm still totally stuffed from Thanksgiving "dinner" (more of a late lunch), but we are comfortably ensconced in our Dale Hollow State Resort Park Lodge room, and the olives, cheese and crackers are starting to look almost yummy.
I'm really thankful for Thanksgiving, to remind me of all the wonderful things in my life . . . and to let me eat pecan pie while I'm thinking of them!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tonight I did something one should never do on the night before Thanksgiving -- went to Kroger. Luckily, I only needed a few things, but boy howdy, there were some men there who were obviously on a Mission From Their Wives. One guy was leaning on his cart with his elbows, wondering loudly to anyone around, "Where are the freezer bags?" Then there was the guy who was all cheesed off at one of the Kroger employees, "Well, this is a FINE TIME to run out of WHIPPING CREAM!"
Earlier today I took part in another Thanksgiving Eve tradition: the annual Get Your Client Out of Jail for the Holiday Day. I was feeling pretty generous, and let a couple out. It was the earnest little newbie public defender that got to me. I remember that day from my first year . . . one bad-check-writer chick was so grateful that she hurled herself into my arms and yelled out as I was walking away, "God BLESS you, PD Lady!" It's nice to be appreciated, you know.
Tomorrow we're heading out for Thanksgiving dinner, then a few days away. (There will be blogging, though, because Novemember STILL isn't over.) I'm packing up my knitting, the fantastic-book-I'm-reading-that-I'll-blog-about-later, and my violin, and that's all I need (plus my sweetie, of course) for a few days of quality thankfulness.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Monday afternoon, 4:00 PM: Begin packing up to leave work. Put on coat, look for car keys and bus pass. Find bus pass. Do not find car keys. Dump out contents of purse. Take deep breath. Curse.
4:15 PM: Arrive at bus stop moments after bus pulls away. Realize have forgotten scarf and gloves and worn Spring jacket. Estimate wind chill at approximately 30 degrees below zero.
4:18 PM: Enter bank lobby to wait for next bus.
4:19 PM: Get annoyed at bank employees staring at me, go back to bus stop.
4:20 PM: Call husband to complain re: missed bus and lost keys. Hang up when face is too numb to talk.
4:25 PM: Am grateful for dude lighting cigarette at bus stop, think flame might give off enough heat to ward off frostbite.
4:45 PM: Board bus. Stew re: lost keys.
5:00 PM: Arrive at car. Open unlocked hatchback, crawl into backseat, unlock doors. Search car. Do not find keys.
5:05 PM: Start walk home with purse, lunch bag, violin, and music. Call 411 for number to music school. Get three wrong numbers. Curse.
5:15 PM: Arrive home. Break into basement. Cancel violin lesson.
5:30 PM: Call car dealer to inquire re: cost of replacement key. Replacement cost $230. Remember that at least saved $7 parking fee.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
"What if that was God, and I MISSED HIM?" she wailed.
Here are my thoughts on the matter:
1. God doesn't go around disguising himself as the homeless (or the gassless), hoping to trick us into condemning ourselves to hell.
2. God doesn't send anyone to hell.
3. If God WERE going to send me to hell, it would probably not be JUST because I didn't give money to that guy who stand outside the courthouse with a walker, asking for change. (Especially because that guy is totally a faker; I've seen him CARRY the damn walker.)
4. I should probably be nicer to people, just in case. I might need all the help I can get.
I wonder, does it count in my favor that I always dismiss the charges against people who are charged under the "panhandling" statute?
'Cause I do. Every time.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Well, we did it -- Little and I went to see Twilight today, along with just about every female between the ages of 10 and 35.
I've been thinking way too much about the popularity of these books. They are not classic literature, for sure, but oh, so compelling. This boy is quite simply the fantasy boyfriend, the boy that every adolescent girl dreams of. One who loves you obsessively and protectively, who would face down beasties and meanies and even PARENTS for you.
Oh, yeah . . . and he's a bit stalker-ish. I said he was the fantasy of ADOLESCENT girls, didn't I?
Anywho. If you are a girl who's an adolescent, or a woman who used to be a girl who was an adolescent, go see the movie -- better yet, read the books. Books are ALWAYS better than the movie, don't you know.
Friday, November 21, 2008
No, (in case you DON'T know me) I am not exagerating, it's been two years, and she really is stalking a priest. Anyway, you should also remember that this woman is bat-shit crazy. Recently, she began leaving irate messages for my boss, complaining about my overzealous prosecution.
Yesterday, one of her messages, which had the "Young and the Restless" theme song playing in the background, included this tidbit:
" . . . and THEN, Ms. Lewis CONVIENTLY kept me in jail past the inauguration, because she KNEW I was planning to go."
You're welcome, President-Elect Obama. You're very welcome.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
"I haven't seen either of you for a few days, but I wanted to let you know . . . "
[dang, I thought, Penny's been barking and got the animal cops called on her again, or Sam broke out of the pen again . . .]
" . . . we had to put Molly down."
Molly was the next-door-dog-that-we-liked, an old golden retriever who would slooowly come out into the yard a few times a day, and if we were outside, she would come over to the fence and Sam and Penny would bark wildly at her, like she was the cool-older-kid-next-door, and we would pet her through the fence. She never barked, she just looked at you with her great big golden retriever eyes, and you couldn't help but like her.
So Becky and I stood outside in the cold, both of us tearing up over Molly, and when I drove away for work, I had to do some serious blinking and gulping, and was very thankful for my new Maybeline waterproof mascara.
It's been many months ago that our very good friends had to put their little Alice down, and I remember tearing up over that, too. This is an event that I've never had to endure, and boy, am I hoping for a miracle that lets me never go through it. These silly animals, that come into our lives, and pee and poop and puke on stuff, and eat our books, and lick our chins and never once care that we need to lose some weight or that we lost our temper over something silly the other day . . . what would we do without them?
Man, I need some Friday fripperies soon.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Now that I'm on the other side, I still get those questions occasionally, "Don't the horrible things you see keep you up at night?" Usually, the answer is no, except that sometimes I stay up late telling funny stories.
Then there are the not-so-funny stories. Some are pretty damn bad.
Like the three year old victim I heard about this week, whose horrific injuries just won't leave my mind; the victim I would seriously consider bringing into my home to live, just so I could be certain he wasn't hurt again.
Like Marco David Chapman, who committed a terrible, heinous crime, but was a victim himself. I can't bear to think of forgiving him, but I can't bear to think of the state allowing his suicide-by-execution. It is for people like him that I am so grateful I believe in God, for surely only the God I believe in could offer him forgiveness and healing.
I don't think my job gives me any more access to horrible stories than the average person has; maybe it makes me notice them more. And on those days, the days that the stories hit me the hardest, I fervently wish that I had decided to be a librarian.
I don't have kids. If you do, please give them a hug. It could change their lives.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
So, while Todd was filling in as blogger yesterday, I started Christmas shopping. Because I am a sadist (or sado-masochist, I can never remember the difference; nor do I actually know how to spell sado-masochist), this Christmas shopping entailed buying supplies for some Christmas present crafting. (Seriously, what is it about Christmas that makes me want to MAKE stuff?)
I would love to tell you all my crafting plans, but you might be someone who will be the recipient of such plans. Here's what I can tell you: I got some really nice ______ that I'm going to _______ with ________; and some ___________ that I'm going to make into _____________ for __________, _____________, and probably _______. I also got some _______________ to fill up with _________.
Oh! and I'm going to make some _______ and some _________.
There. Merry __________ to ya.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sara Palin: Ruined the word “vacuous”
John McCain: Who?
Barack Obama: Pretty cool. Smart. Kinda nerdy
Joe Biden: Uhm, clean?
Jennifer Moore: No idea. She’s the head of the Kentucky Democratic Party, and clearly did something to piss off that guy at pageonekentucky.com. Thought she deserved an honorable mention.
Daniel Lewis: OK, I was thinking about that red-head guy from Band of Brothers, and now “Life”—but it also happens to be my brother’s name. Both pretty cool. Not the Last of the Mohicans (he had a cool name, then put the word “Day” in as some kind of consonant middle name. A marketing ploy in other words).
Junk food: Pure evil. Evildoers brought this evil evildom upon us.
Wheat bread: Cool. Mavericky, even. Also Clif Bars. I can live entire weekends on Clif Bars.
Flyfishing: It’s actually fun. Makes the phrase “high class fishing” not a contradiction in terms. Will not, however, lead to “an understanding of life,” or cure mid-life crises. I will not write a book about it.
YMCA: OK song, even better place. Even if you’re not a Christian, or a young man.
Flyleaf:This is a band my “Little Brother” introduced me to. I don’t get it, find it a little scary, and so that makes me an old dude.
Kara: My wife. Great lady. Way hipper than me, as you can tell.
That is all, and thank you for your support.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I woke up this morning at the appropriate time, went downstairs, had some breakfast, shifted around the paper, etc., etc., and decided that I might skip Sunday School and go to just church instead.
Then, I putzed around a little more, and decided that I'd just skip church altogether.
I know, I know, shocking. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if they don't dock my Presbyterian elder pay.
Oh, right . . . there is no pay. Anyway, I don't expect to be fired.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
1. If you were afraid of an ex with whom you might have children, would you track him down at the club and spit on him?
2. If your ex with whom you might have children spit on you, would you knock her over and kick her?
3. If you ex with who you might have children knocked you over and kicked you, would you bust out his windshield and headlights?
4. If you were either of the above people, would you run to the courthouse to file charges on the other?
5. If you were on a jury, would you convict either of these people?
6. Would you convict both?
In the words of one of our illustrious judges, "Don't start nothin', won't be nothin'."
Good advice, I think.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Here was tonight's menu:
Guinness-braised beef short ribs
Horseradish mashed potatoes
Southern-style green beans
Doesn't that sound nice and fattening and yummy? Chess pie, in particular, kind of amuses me. Somewhere along the line, someone decided to dump a bunch of sugar, butter and eggs in a dish and call it pie. Tasty pie.
So we had a nice relaxing dinner, and I sent my dad home with his birthday presents -- a second, whole pie, fair trade coffee, homemade smoked trout and beef jerky.
Because everyone should get to eat pie for breakfast for their birthday stretch-out month.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
This has been one long week. I've had church meetings three nights, and a fantastically-expensive-face-care-product party tonight. AND tomorrow night I'm cooking a birthday dinner for my dad, AND I have to work Saturday, AND I have plans with Little on Sunday.
So, while I had been pondering a nice, thoughtful post about how we all have special gifts and how we use those gifts to enrich one another's lives, I'm just too dad-gumbed tired to think about any gifts right now.
Instead, you get this mildly amusing tidbit:
Tuesday night, at one of the church meetings, we listened to a presentation on how to attract new members to the church. It was actually a pretty fun presentation; he suggested a nickname, HBPres.net, rather than our actual church name, Harvey Browne Memorial Presbyterian Church. And he told us about a bumper sticker campaign, with some suggested bumper stickers.
They were all nice and light-hearted; for example, "Feel Good: HBPres.net" and "No Steeple, Good People: HBPres.net" (my church doesn't have a steeple, get it?).
Another odd little physical fact about my church is that the main entrance doesn't face the street, instead, it's around the back, facing the parking lot. So, he suggested the following bumper sticker:
"HBPres.net: Our back door's our front door."
I have maybe been hanging around the courthouse too long, because that has a decidedly non-churchy connotation to me.
(And Mother, if you don't get it, I'm not explaining this one!)
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Dude: Man, can't I just get a fine or somethin'?
Me: No, you could go to jail. You're on probation, and you're charged with Carrying a Concealed Deadly Weapon and Possession of Marijuana.
Dude: That wasn't a weapon, it was a stick! A stick, to keep the dogs off me!
Me: Oh, because they were attracted to the smell of the pot?
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
So, anyway, this got me thinking about what I will demand in my own green room when I am touring with the Led Zeppelin cover band, because, you know, it's never to early to hammer out such details.
Here's the list I have so far:
1. Canned diet cokes, iced down, with cups and crushed ice
2. Bagel Bites, three-cheese variety, slightly overcooked
3. Brownies, fudgy type, with dark chocolate chips
4. One pitcher of beer-ritas, on the rocks, with salt
5. "Everything" flatbread, with Capriole goat cheese
6. Mini ham and cheese quiches
7. One large fleece blanket
8. Assorted magazines (Rachel Ray, Martha Stewart, Eating Well, etc.)
9. Buffy the Vampire Slayer DVDs, seasons one through seven
10. One de-clawed cat who likes to be petted and doesn't bite
Yep, I think that would make for one quite cozy green room. Actually, I could just live in such a room if it had maid service as well.
Monday, November 10, 2008
2. I'm very, very pleased with our First-Lady-Elect, largely because she appeals both to my girly side and to my career woman side. Both sides of me are willing to overlook the fashion faux-pas of a dress she wore on Election night, largely because the dress she wore to the meeting today with the Bushes was so totally FIERCE and made Laura Bush look like Ms. Frumpy McDowdypants.
3. Has anyone noticed how much Laura Bush is starting to resemble Queen Elizabeth?
4. The socks I wore to work today, while very fun, what with their glittery leopard print and all, were also very itchy. Itchy socks make for a long workday.
5. I confess that I used a can of cream of mushroom soup in dinner tonight. I am so ashamed. I blame the long Presbyterian meeting and the itchy socks.
6. If dinner involves cream of mushroom soup, it is smart to forego dinner and skip to the biscuits and elderberry jelly for dessert. Actually, you can skip the biscuits, too, because elderberry jelly just freakin' rocks.
7. My violin teacher told me today that I trill better than she does. Apparently, all the trilling angst I went through as a middle school piano student paid off. I will be incorporating lots of trills in my upcoming debut with the Led Zeppelin cover band.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Why do elephants wear sandals?
So they don't sink in the sand.
Why do ostriches stick their heads in the sand?
To look for elephants who forgot their sandals.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
But I love my lame weekends. Especially ones like this one, with summer gone for good and autumn in full swing. Perfect weather for traipsing through the Farmer's Market, buying brussel sprouts and butternut squash and salad greens and cooking them all for dinner.
Perfect for spending way too long in the sci-fi/fantasy section of the library, loading up on escapist books.
. . . for lying around watching DVR-ed episodes of Doctor Who and falling asleep on the couch before the plot even gets going.
. . . for taking a crunchy, leaf-filled walk with Sam.
. . . for baking chocolate chip cookie dough so it doesn't "go to waste in the fridge".
Ahh . . . autumn.
Friday, November 7, 2008
You know how I said the other day that I've been thinking alot about whether God has a plan for me?
Well, I figured it out! Monday morning, I'm going to quit my job and get started on my new life goal . . .
. . . to play electric violin in a Led Zeppelin cover band!
Seriously, it's going to be so cool! I'll grow my hair out kind of like that super cool chick that used to be in the band on the Happy Days, and I'll get a tattoo, and I'll wear leather and stuff, and I'll pierce something else, like maybe my lip or my eyebrow, and I'll sleep late every day and play smoky dive bars every night and probably get to meet Barack Obama because he's cool, too, and man oh man, will it be cool!
I'm so not kidding, people.
[And lest you think that there is no such thing as an electric violin player in a Led Zeppelin cover band, I saw one tonight, with the Louisville Orchestra, so it's a totally workable plan.]
Monday morning. Quittin' my job.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
We have a mouse.
Like, living in the same house that we live in.
Oh, the horror. Tuesday I was lying on the couch, watching The Lost Room, and I saw a little black shape dart from the door to the TV stand.
"Odd," I thought.
A while later, I saw it dart back. That's when I called Todd at work.
"There's a mouse. In our house and I'm scared."
"Go get Tom and tell him to catch it."
"Tom doesn't like me, he only catches things for you, remember?"
So I went out and got the dogs, and they sat around and stretched and yawned and played rope, and didn't catch the damn mouse, which is apparently smart enought that when it saw Penny come into the room, it thought to its mouse self, "holy crap, that dog is CRAZY and I'm staying right here under the cozy TV stand where it's safe."
It hid out all day until just before the wondrousness that is Barack Obama was declared King of the World, and just as the TV was announcing that news, the damn mouse ran across the floor again, and all of us -- me, Todd, Dan His Brother, and Kelley Dan's Wife, AND Tom the Cat -- freaked out and didn't know where to look. We all pretty much agreed on the king declaration, and the mouse stayed hidden some more.
This morning I was sitting on the couch, eating some cereal, and that mouse came out from under the TV stand, and I SWEAR, he stopped, looked at me, said, "Oh, having some breakfast? I wouldn't mind having some myself, and by the way, when you go to work, can you please leave the TV on CNN so I can keep up with any Cabinet appointments?"
I'm not kidding. If this keeps up, I'm coming to live with you.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
It's been just a surreal day! All of the displays around the world of sheer joy are just amazing. So many people in so many different places who are finally smiling and laughing with us, and PROUD of us again . . . it's just wonderful.
I will never forget that moment when President-Elect Obama and his family emerged onto the stage, to take their place as our future.
Hope is a wonderful thing.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
As in, when the totals start coming in.
As in, when hopefully we can wave goodbye to the last eight years.
As I type that, though, I'm reminded that the last eight years haven't been ALL bad. During those years, I became single, graduated from law school, and got oh-so-happily married again. I became a public defender, and later switched sides to be a prosecutor. I saw my mother get oh-so-happily married. I adopted two loveable mutts. My husband became the first Division Chief of the first ever Elder Abuse unit of the Commonwealth's Attorney's office, and later moved onward and upward to the Attorney General's office. I read a lot of good books, saw Hedwig on stage, and learned to play the violin (sort of).
In retrospect, it's only the parts of the last eight years that George W. Bush had control of that sucked all kinds of ass. Like money, and gas, and religion, and the environment and stuff. So I guess I'll keep the proverbial baby and throw out that icky Republican bathwater.
It feels like New Year's Eve around here. Like the night before Christmas. Aren't you excited?
Monday, November 3, 2008
I've been thinking alot lately about God's plan for me, because I believe whole-heartedly that he has one for each of us. And I've been thinking that while not everyone is destined for greatness, maybe those not-so-great of us are destined to help someone else on their road.
And isn't that a pretty big form of greatness all of its own?
If I didn't believe in God, I would be just too heartbreakingly sad to think of this woman missing out on the history she helped to create. And since I DO believe in God, I admit to shaking my head a little at what seems to be just not quite fair -- that just like Moses and his Promised Land, Mrs. Dunham ALMOST got to see a dream come true.
Then again, since I believe in the KIND of God that I do, I have to laugh a little at the humdinger of a victory party she'll be throwing in heaven.
For those of us still muddling along down here on Earth . . . don't forget to vote. It's important.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
It was easier than I expected, what with the script and all. The worst problem was the automated calling system, which I think gave itself away as soon as the person answered the phone, because most people just hung up before I could even say hello.
Then there were the people that managed to listen to, "Hi, I'm Kara from the Louisville Democratic Party," before they hung up on me. I tried talking faster -- hii'mkarafromthedemocraticparty -- but they usually still hung up before I got out the whole spiel, which is a shame, because people, I was going to offer you a RIDE, for fuck's sake.
Seriously. I'm tempted to call and request a ride to the polls myself, just because I don't like to drive, you know. I mean, the polls are just around the corner from my house, but maybe they could be persuaded to take me to the store, since they were already out and about.
The calls did get a bit dull after awhile, so some improvisation was tempting:
Me: Hi, I'm Kara from the Democratic Party, calling to remind you about the election this Tuesday. Can the Democrats count on your vote this year?
Callee: No, I'm going to be voting Republican this year, actually.
Me: Oh, well don't forget, they've moved the election to Wednesday. That's WEDNESDAY -- we wouldn't want you to miss out.
Just doin' my civic duty.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Dang! It's just a smidge after midnight on November 2, but since I'm making the rules around here, we're calling it November 1, okay?
So, yeah. I'm going to blog every day this month. Some days will probably be better than others, just to give you fair warning.
There's been a lot going on in the past week around here. Wednesday was my third wedding anniversary. All I have to say is, I STILL think I married the right guy, and how cool is that?
Last night we hosted our annual Pass Out Candy and Have General Fun Halloween Party, and a good time was had by all. I think I'm quite fortunate that I can have parents, in-laws, step-parents, siblings, and friends, all in the same house, and everyone gets along swimmingly! Even the Republicans were on pretty good behavior, outnumbered as they were.
I didn't really want to go all out in a costume, but I wanted to wear a blue wig, and since it was my party, that's just what I did. I love my snazzy blue wig. I wish I could wear it to work. Heck, I wish I could just post a picture of it, but since we've still got those two broken cameras, there are no blue wig pictures in the foreseeable future.
Tonight, I knitted my poor fingers to nubs, but more on that tomorrow . . .
Sunday, October 26, 2008
So, instead of cleaning, I finished up Breaking Dawn, which concluded my whirlwind reading of the ENTIRE Twilight series, which I started on Tuesday. As in, five days before I finished them. All four books.
I feel vaguely embarassed by this, like I spent the weekend doing something shameful. Like surfing the 'net for porn, or campaigning for McCain or something.
But I have to say this: I loved, loved, LOVED those darn books. The teenage angst! The overly dramatic heartbreak! The barely-hidden message of morality! The vampires! The werewolves!
Oh, and I wish I was named Bella. I may have a child soon, just to name her Bella.
Now I'm totally all geeked-up and anxious for the movie, which comes out November 21, not that I checked or anything. I am SO making Little go with me for opening night. I might even wear fangs.
And in case you thought I spent the whole weekend with no intellectual stimulation, never fear, I rounded out my Sunday with The Incredible Hulk, Edward Norton version. And as much as I love me some Edward Norton, it still doesn't stand up to the wonderful Eddie's father himself, Bill Bixby.
Crap, I guess I have to go back to being an adult tomorrow.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Well, no more.
It's not that I didn't see it coming. Some months ago, I started riding the "19" bus because the "31" was getting a little crowded.
This morning, I arrived at the bus stop with time to spare, (I didn't even have to drive my car to the stop and screech into a parking spot next to it) and sat for a minute, then saw my bus coming toward me.
Unfortunately, my bus had a sign flashing, "Sorry -- Out of Service." That sucker just drove right past me without so much as a little slow down or wave. And there were people on it! I know they were there, those tinted windows can't fool me.
So I waited, and before long, here comes the "31." It stopped, and I got on . . . along with approximately five hundred million and three other people. There might have been five hundred million and four, or five, but I couldn't see all the way to the back of the bus because around four hundred million of the passengers were standing up in the aisle.
I scrinched myself into a spot where I could balance on my left pinky toe, as long as I lifted my right foot four inches off the ground and mushed it into my left leg, reached my left arm over four people to grip the pole about nine feet off the ground, perched my right arm approximately seven inches behind and to the right of me, and draped my purse, gym bag, and lunch bag over my right index finger.
Oh, and held my breath.
Every time we stopped, started, or went around a curve, I had to tense every muscle in my body, shift my weight to the toe next to my left pinky toe, and pray that the polish from my last pedicure would hold me up.
I knew things were getting bad when the young girl in a wheelchair said, "Heck, all we need now is some BLIND person to try to get on with a DOG!"
AND . . . the next stop was the blind school, where, indeed, some poor blind person (with some super-cool facial piercings) and his dog got on.
As soon as the people in front saw him, someone yelled out, "We can make room for the dog, but not you!"
Yeah. Maybe Todd was on to something with the whole bike-riding thing.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Read at least 4 non-fiction books in 2008. I read The Center Cannot Hold, which was absolutely fascinating if you are at all interested in mental ilness. Persepolis was quite a departure from my normal reading material, since it was not only non-fiction, but was in a graphic format. I liked it, and it went very quickly. The Nine was an excellent picture of the Supreme Court which clarified a lot of issues for me. Mockingbird, a biography of Harper Lee, made me very sad, and I think I'm going to have to read a biography of Truman Capote next. I could recommend all four books.
Read a book to learn more about US history. I'm going to count The Nine as fulfilling this category, although I think I'll try to read something else, too. This book really cleared some things up that have been confusing for me since law school, and I think it would be equally interesting for a non-lawyer. It's worth reading for the insights into Sandra Day O'Connor's personality.
Enter something in the State Fair. Well, I entered three somethings. That's all I have to say about that.
Make mint julep liqeur. It's finished and sitting in my liquor cabinet. I'm trying to wait until Derby next year to drink it, but it's very tempting.
Play in my church orchestra. Yay! I've done this twice, which I think makes me a regular member. It's fantastically fun for me to pretend to be a real violin player.
Be a Big Sister for at least six months. Little and I are still truckin' along, having a good time. She has been a wonderful addition to my life.
I was feeling like a 101 Things slacker, but that's actually quite a few things marked off. Honestly, though, I think I've done all the easy stuff, and I'm going to have to put some more effort into the next 100 days . . . especially with those pesky 10 weight loss items.
You're going to see a return to regular blogging around here in the coming weeks. I decided that while I'm not ready this year for NaNoWriMo, I'm going to do the blogging portion of the contest, which means I have to blog EVERY DAY in November. You may get tired of seeing me by the end of the month!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
For some reason, ever since I was about high school or maybe college-age, I had just KNOWN, deep in my heart, that Seattle was a very cool place to be. Turns out, I was totally right, and I still say that if I ever win the lottery or otherwise become suddenly wealthy, I am moving there, STAT.
But -- this post is not about the many cool things about Seattle, it is about one very uncool thing that we encountered there.
We stayed in a cool (of course) hotel in the University District, which had a breakfast buffet every morning in the room that turned into a jazz club at night (cool, huh?). One morning, I was sitting there, eating my hard-boiled egg, and waiting for Todd, who was doing something obscene, like jogging, or something. I'm sure I was reading a book, and was in no way looking to make friends with anyone.
Unfortunately for me, I chose a table next to some woman from Idaho who was in town visiting her son at the University of Washington. She was, apparently, looking to make friends, and chose me.
"So . . . where are you from?
"Kentucky," I replied, in what I hoped was my not-quite-unfriendly-but-definitely-not-friendly voice.
"Oh." (reflective pause) "Do you have JOBS?"
Seriously. Do we have jobs? Like, where we wear shoes?
The conversation did not improve from there, and in fact deteriorated to the point at which Idaho lady very earnestly inquired as to whether we expected to suffer damage from the hurricane which was, at that time, pounding the East coast. You know the East coast, right? The one that ISN'T ANYWHERE NEAR KENTUCKY? (Actually, through the whole trip, we encountered similar people who, upon hearing we were from Kentucky, would say things like, "OH! I have a friend in Atlanta, do you know her?")
I'm sure by now, if you're even still reading, you're wondering what the hell this has to do with anything at all. Well, believe it or not, it is TOTALLY relevant, because last week, Hurricane Ike completely lost it's little hurricane mind, and blew all the way up to KENTUCKY, into Louisville, and through my little street, and knocked my power out FOR A WHOLE WEEK. That's seven days, folks, and I had to count them all without the benefit of lights, air conditioning, or a COMPUTER.
So, Idaho lady, I humbly apologize for making fun of you and your silly hurricane question for three solid years. That was TOTALLY my bad.
Monday, September 8, 2008
For instance, I learned that Miley Cyrus made 2.1 million dollars last year, and the only reason that she didn't make the 7 million that the kids from High School Musical made is that unlike those ho-bags, she doesn't debase herself doing endorsements and ads for various products.
I also learned that it has now been comfirmed -- CONFIRMED, I tell you -- that "7 Things I Hate About You" is, indeed about Miley Cyrus' ex-boyfriend Nick Jonas. This is obvious, of course, to anyone who has seen the video and noted that the dog tags she is wearing are actually Nick's diabetes alert tags.
I learned that thinking about a teenage singing sensation wearing the diabetes alert tags of her singing sensation boyfriend, in lieu of something passe like a class ring, just gets funnier and funner the more you think about it.
I learned that when hanging out with a 12-year-old friend, sometimes you will go see movies that you wouldn't ordinarily see, like maybe, oh, I don't know . . . HOUSEBUNNY . . . and you will find that the movie is actually hilarious (even funnier than diabetes alert tags) and that you laugh longer and louder than the actual 12-year-old.
I tell you what, I can feel myself getting cooler the longer I hang out with that kid.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Hated Hillary's speech, loved Bill's, thought Michelle's was very solid (and her family frighteningly Camelot-like), and teared up to Joe Biden's son. Right now, I'm listening to poor ol' Al Gore while blogging.
Poor ol' Al. I can't seem to say his name without putting "poor ol'" in front of it. (Kind of like I can't talk about my niece Maddie without adding, "Bless her heart." She just seems to require a bit of extra blessing. Bless her heart.)
Poor ol' Al is that quintessential uncle that everyone has -- the one who is just so damn nice, and gives you such nice presents, that you desperately WANT to be interested in what he's saying, but blast it all, he's just . . . well, boring. Bless his heart.
One of the reasons I think of him as "poor ol'" is that for him, it must be extra heart-breaking to think of how close he came to winning, and how close we all came to NOT being in a senseless and endless war, to NOT worrying incessantly about gas prices and budget cuts.
Seriously, it'll still break your heart if you think about it too much.
Something else that broke my heart today? The elderly lady with dementia who was in court trying to get back the money she posted for her granddaughter's bond. I'm sure you can guess that granddaughter skipped out and left her high and dry. The worst was when the judge asked her how much it was, and she said, "One hundred and FOUR dollars," in such a reverent and awe-stricken voice that you just knew that $104 meant something necessary and unattainable to her.
I guess that's the place we're all in now, where a lost $104 dollars may mean not having luxuries like dinners out, or it may mean not having necessities -- like dinner.
It's a fascinating and exciting time; tonight we will see the first African-American presidential candidate nominated by a major party. Tonight is the beginning of our chance to make up for the past eight years. I hope everyone is watching. I know I will be, and I will be thinking about that one hundred and FOUR dollars the whole time.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
1. Whoever's idea it was to shut down the MAIN GATE to the fair at 5:00 p.m. on what would probably be the busiest day of the whole shebang is going straight to hell. I am so not kidding.
2. Bunnies are universally cute, but ANGORA bunnies -- with their slightly disheveled, prom-queen-the-day-after look -- are the absolute cutest.
3. Some people, although they deserve at least an Honorable Mention for their Caramel Banana Jam and their Tawny Port Wine Jelly, AND their fair isle knitted Christmas stocking, get nothing, and that is sad.
4. Other people, who sweep ALL the jam and jelly and fruit and vegetable categories, might want to give someone else a chance at some point. And I don't care what the rules say, if your address is Charlestown, INDIANA, you might REALLY want to step aside.
5. While we're on the subject of Christmas, I have seen what I want from Santa next year, and it is a Nigerian Dwarf Goat. I will love it and pet it and call it George.
6. In some parts of the state, mullets are still in, as are mohawks.
7. Babies, by which I mean those folk under the age at which they can stand unassisted, really should not be at loud beer tents, performing their first table dance to "Brown Eyed Girl" at 11:00 p.m. Nor should they be encouraged to raise their tiny little fists in the air to ANY tune by Hank Williams, Jr.
8. If I can see your ass poking out from under your clothing, and you are standing straight up, you are not wearing a skirt. That is a belt.
9. Gold lame dresses and gold high heels are NEVER appropriate for a state fair. On the other hand, RED COWBOY BOOTS have been confirmed to be most fashionable, even in August with a mini-skirt.
10. I'm serious about the cowboy boots.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
John Edwards, was that piece of ass really worth everything it cost you?
Yeah, I didn't think so.
I was SUCH a fan of John Edwards. For months, I walked around whining that Edwards was totally getting the shaft, that the only candidates anyone could focus on were those spotlight hogs, Hillary and Barack, and that we were going to miss out on the best candidate.
And boy howdy, was I wrong.
I keep hearing things like, "Well, his wife was in remission when he had the affair," and "Well, the baby isn't his," and my personal favorite, "Well, she's forgiven him, so we should too."
And all I can think is this: what if Edwards had won the nomination?
We would lose the presidency. Again.
We would lose the country. Again.
Maybe if I were married to John Edwards, I would have enough love for him to forgive him for such a devastating betrayal. Maybe I could forgive his risking our marriage and our life together.
But I can't forgive his risking my country. I can't forgive his taking such a chance with MY future.
I wonder if he thinks it was worth it?
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
1. Dropped off my Ky State Fair entries on Sunday, and am anxiously awaiting the results. I have high hopes for that blasted Christmas stocking.
2. Been totally captivated by the Olympics in the past few days. Seriously, is there anything cuter than that men's gymnastics team? So wholesome, so disgustingly all-American.
3. Changed my haircolor. Again. This change prompted the following conversation with one of my Sunday School students:
Him: Didn't your hair used to be black and white?
Him: Do you know that now it's black and purple?
Him: Why don't you have kids?
4. Signed up for Facebook. Apparently, I don't have any more high school and college friends than I did . . . well, when I was in high school and college.
5. Saw The Dark Knight and it was totally depressing. Heath Ledger's dead, Morgan Freeman's divorced, and Christian Bale is a DV perp. Saw Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants with Little, and it was much happier.
6. Finally gave into the summer reading temptation of the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novels. And, now I'm hooked. Darn those fascinating vampires!
7. Broken things around here are multiplying at an alarming rate: Both digital cameras -- broke. Laptop -- broke. Car -- broke. Sunglasses -- broke. (Okay, so that last one I broke myself in a snit when I lost my car keys AGAIN. None of the rest are my fault.)
Monday, July 28, 2008
I'm back! Did you miss me? Did you notice I was gone?
It seems like it's been forever since I've clicked on "new post" around here, but I guess that's what vacation will do to you. Given the state of the Lewis family computer (half-broke) and both Lewis family cameras (also half-broke), I wasn't able to do my usual trip play-by-play for the blogosphere, but rest assured, we did indeed go on vacation.
Last Sunday we scooted out of town and headed for Asheville, North Carolina. I had never been there before, and I can give it an only slightly qualified thumbs up. The thumbs up is due to lots and lots of fabulous restaurants, really cool shopping (if I were an "alternative smoker" I would have found lots of shops for my "alternative smoking" needs, if you get my drift, wink, wink), and a serious micro-brew beer scene. The slight qualification comes from the fact that I was TOTALLY a crime victim while in this town.
Yep, my wallet was "lifted," as they say. I was a might peeved (read: fucking pissed off), and even more so as the charges started to roll in on my checking account. I am quite the considerate crime victim, as my wallet was full of the following: my checkbook, a check written from Todd to me, my debit card, two credit cards, my driver's license, and my social security card. Not to mention my Qdoba card, which entitles me to a free chips and salsa on my next visit.
We got stuff mostly taken care of, meaning the bank and both credit cards have refunded all the money that was spent. Oddly enough, a detective called me before we got home on Saturday, and said that the wallet itself had been recovered, so it's being mailed back to me and I'm hoping my ID is in there. Even odder -- today, in the mail, I received my checkbook, stamped "found loose in mail." Weird, huh?
So, anyway, we left Asheville for less crime-ridden pastures of Bryson City, where Todd did a lot of fishing, and I did a lot of loafing around the little town.
And for those of you wondering what crazy thing Todd got me to try this time, I have three words for you: white water rafting. Yeah. All I can say is, I did it, and the fact that I cried for the first two miles doesn't discount that fact in the slightest. I did it, and I don't ever have to do it again.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
This dude comes up to me yesterday with a charge of Possession of Marijuana -- not the most exciting crime in the world, and really, for how easy we are on that crime, we should all be out smoking a big ol' doobie on our lunch hour, because we can all totally afford a $25 fine and court costs, and hey, marijuana might just make us all nicer to other people, thus obviating the need for be-nicer-to-people resolutions.
So I offer dude his fine and costs, and he says to me, "I don't think I'm guilty."
Fine. In the interest of being nicer, I will not point out how your not THINKING you are guilty wastes my time, when you in fact ARE guilty. I will instead say, "Okay, today is your arraignment and we will enter a plea of not guilty for you and set your case for a pretrial conference."
Dude: "Well, see, I found it."
Me: "Found it?"
Dude: "Yeah, I was just walking down the street, and I found it. Somebody else's pot, just laying there, so I picked it up and then right after that I got arrested. I just found it."
Now, this, as we all know, is a lie. Seriously, raise your hand if you believe this dude.
That's what I thought. But, instead of pointing this out, I nodded sympathetically, sighed dramatically, and said to Dude, "I know. Happens to me ALL THE TIME."
Ten minutes later, Dude comes back up to me and says, "You know that fine? I think I'll just take that. It'll be easier. Even though I JUST FOUND IT."
I didn't even hit him. I just said, "You know . . . that's actually NEVER happened to me."
Dude: "Yeah, I know."
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
"Things" I completed in the past 100 days:
Finish writing my list of 101 things. Yeah, this one's pretty self-explanatory.
Take a sewing class. This was a big success. I took a simple four-week introductory sewing class, but it really helped to get me over the hump of feeling like I didn't know what I was doing, to sitting down at the machine and sewing anyway. It's a hobby that I really want to keep up with and hopefully someday, be good at. I've discovered that unlike knitting, sewing is an activity that can keep me engrossed for hours at a time, and sometimes a whole day.
Go to the planetarium. I used this as the first activity that Todd went along with Little and I, and it was big fun. We saw the very educational show about the planets (in which they STILL talk about Pluto, thank goodness -- poor, poor downgraded Pluto), then the not-educational-at-all-but-more-fun laser show. I liked it tremendously and hope to go back for some more shows.
Go to Shakespeare in the Park. This year our local Shakespeare company did a version of Julius Ceasar in which they dressed as samauri dudes, but didn't change the original dialogue at all. Quite honestly, if this hadn't been on my list, I would have skipped it, because that sounded just dumb to me. It turned out to be quite the opposite, in fact was one of the best productions I have seen our company do.
Learn to use liquid eyeliner. What a bust. I discovered that purple eyeliner looks fabulous on me, but also discovered that liquid eyeliner is LIQUID and therefore must DRY before you can do crazy things like, oh, I don't know . . . BLINK! I have happily gone back to my Cover Girl self-sharpening pencil.
Wear black fingernail polish. I loved it a lot, but then I started violin lessons, and have to keep my fingernails too short now for the black polish.
Go to a Red's game. We had a good time at this one (two-hour rain delay notwithstanding), but it mostly gave me a better appreciation for our little local team and stadium. At the Riverbats, it's a LOT cheaper; parking is easier; beer is better.
Give someone a homemade present of food. After Penny got a wild hair and broke into the neighbor's yard two days in a row, I think the homemade banana jam helped to smooth things over. It's fun when people are surprised that you can make something yourself.
Give something to someone who needs it. We needed to get rid of some furniture in the garage, and Little's cousin, Littler, needed a new dresser. It was a win-win.
Some of the Things for the next 100 days are already in the works. I've started violin lessons, made a bit of progress in the "It" dress, and have completed the registration forms for my State Fair entries. I also have taken two of the three yoga classes, have done the first half of the mint julep liqeur process, and lost the first two of the first ten pounds. (I also gained them back, but I'm calling that a minor setback.)
I know it's been a long time since my last post, and posting may still be a bit sparse for the next few weeks. Our laptop is on the fritz, and the old dinosaur computer is so slow that posting isn't as much fun as it could be.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Cooked this for dinner tonight and it was delish -- really, tofu is fantastic when cooked correctly. You should try it. Come on, don't be a hater. Plus, having tofu for dinner means you can also have this, made with fresh blueberries and frozen strawberries from the dad's patch. Also delish.
You can SO be a hater when it comes to James Dobson. I suffer no qualms from emphatically EXcluding him from . . . well, whatever I can exclude him from. Narrow-minded git.
I hope someone else out there is as excited about all those little (well, not really so little) Earth-like planets out there as I am. E.T., phone home, already, dude! We've missed you!
Monday, June 23, 2008
I probably shouldn't think like that. In fact, I'm wondering if my minister has been listening in on my thoughts and directed that sermon directly at me.
Come on, you know I don't REALLY think non-liberals are Satan, don't you? I mean, you read that post down there about my great dad, who is decidedly non-liberal, right? I'm inclusive, aren't I?
(I know at least one person doesn't think I'm very inclusive. But that dude was SUCH an annoying defendant, and he drove everyone crazy in court today, not just me, and anyway, I refuse to believe that I am an "oppresser" who is going to hell, like he said. At least not for oppressing, anyway . . . but I digress.)
So, today, I overheard a co-worker on the phone (paper-thin cubicle walls, you know), and her side of the conversation went something like this:
"So, honey, I was wondering, did you call the coach to add Little Billy (names changed to protect the innocent) to the roster? . . . Oh, good, because I happened to think, you can't do that. . . . Well, because he's not Catholic. . . . I know, they ATTENDED, but he was never BAPTIZED, and I just don't think we should even GO there. . . . Well, I'm glad I caught you before you opened that can of worms."
Huh. I suppose we should all be grateful that the trauma of some heathen non-baptised kid playing summer ball with good little Catholic kids was avoided. I mean, really, would you want to GO THERE?
I didn't think so.
Inclusivity's a bitch.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
In an oh-so-fortuituous move, my YMCA added to its current lineup of Yoga I and Power Yoga a new class, Remedial Yoga for Dummies. (Okay, they call it Yoga Foundations, or something boring like that, but we all know it's Remedial Yoga for Dummies.)
I was pretty stoked when I walked into a dimly-lit room with new-agey music playing, and the instructor informed us that this was OUR yoga practice, that the next 45 minutes were OURS, and ordered us to let go of the stresses of the day . . . cool. From there, though, while I was still waiting for someone to come along and offer me a pedicure, and a nice cup of tea with milk, and oh, while we're at it, some dessert, she calmly demonstrated the downward dog, told us to try it, and FORGOT ABOUT US.
I am not kidding. That yoga instructor went outside, had HER pedicure and dessert, then a post-pedicure cigarette, and I swear, she may have had a not-so-quickie, all while I was still hanging upside down in a damn downward dog. SERIOUSLY, it was at least an hour. Maybe two.
Then. Then, she calmly instructs us to raise our right leg up behind our heads, then SWING it through the middle, place our knee directly below our right hand, our ankle directly below our left hand, then LAY DOWN on top of our poor right leg, which had never, ever done anything to deserve such an indignity.
I tell you what, I had never considered doing such a thing with my right leg before. And I was completely astonished (did I tell you that astonished is my new favorite word? because it is, for some reason) that my leg would do such a thing.
Well, sort of. While my legs were pretty okay with being raised up behind my head, and actually pretty excited about the whole make-like-a-pretzel endeavor, the SWINGING through the middle was more of a flop it down underneath, then use both hands to haul it through the middle and prod it into place.
Let's not even mention the whole "shoulder stand" episode, which was much less like something I remember from my cheerleading days, and more like a try-out for Cirque du Soleil.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Every time I find myself shopping for a Father's Day card, I feel a bit envious of the easy relationship that is portrayed on those cards. That Hallmark-y, starry-eyed, he's-the-first-man-I-ever-wanted-to-marry-and-he-taught-me-how-to-fish-and-hit-a-softball kind of relationship.
Because I don't know about you and your father, but that's not the kind of relationship I have with my father.
My father and I disagree on a bunch of stuff; big things like politics and religion and politics and life goals and oh, yeah, politics. But I have a tremendous amount of love respect for him. Where he has ended up is so far from where he started that it's astonishing. That journey has made him a man who just brims over with love and kindness and a generosity the likes of which I have never seen in anyone else. And while his is not the life I have chosen for myself, it's nice to get to be a tourist into it once in awhile, and invite him into mine on occasion.
That he loves me unconditionally, I have never questioned. And isn't that truly, at the heart of things, what makes a man a father?
To me, a real father-daughter relationship doesn't make for a very good Hallmark card: too many sharp edges, and corners you don't look at too closely, and fuzzy bits, and sentiments that don't fit into a neat rhyme.
But it's real. And it's better. And really, when I think about it, I'm not THAT envious of the Hallmark fathers and daughters. Softball was just never my thing, anyway.
Monday, June 2, 2008
After Todd finished a stressful trial on Friday (which he won, by the way), we IMMEDIATELY headed out of town to Carter Caves State Resort Park. People kept asking me where Carter Caves is, to which I could really only reply, " . . . um . . . East, sort of," and East it is.
Friday night we indulged in lots of snacks from Whole Foods, a dinner that I always think is going to be economical, and never is, but is always tasty. Then we went to bed and DIDN'T SET THE ALARM.
Scary, I know.
Amazingly, we didn't sleep ALL day on Saturday, and managed to work in a cave tour (doncha just love caves?), some serious laying by the pool (for me), a mountain bike ride (for Todd), an incredibly fattening dinner, miniature golf (Todd won, but I let him), and a lovely moonlit walk.
You might think that Sunday we had used up all our activities, but no! Sunday brought horseback riding, a leisurely drive home, strawberry picking, then strawberry freezing and dehydrating.
I admit, I approached Monday with a bit of trepidation after all that fun, but Monday managed to redeem itself when I settled the icky trial I was going to be starting, and had my first violin lesson in two years, which didn't suck ONE BIT.
All in all, this weekend, it was good to be a Lewis.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
No YMCA. By Wednesday morning, I decided that I could turn a few days of laziness into an overt act of defiance, and boycotted the Y altogether. Not because I have any particular anger at the Y, I simply COULDN'T FACE IT this week.
No lunch-making. Well, maybe one day I did, I think, but yesterday I had a vending-machine bag of Doritos for lunch, and today I had a crappy cheeseburger from the snack bar adjacent to the vending machine.
No sewing, no knitting, no Artist's Way-ing, no home-improvementing, no getting ready to start my violin lessons-ing. Rather than working with my hands, I spent much of the week admiring my new black fingernail polish. (Which is totally fab, by the way, and made me feel very rebellious all week.)
I think my no-doing rubbed off on Todd, because he suggested we take the weekend off, too, to celebrate his week of working-really-hard-in-a-trial, and my working-really-hard-at-not-working-too-hard. We are heading out as soon as the jury's back tomorrow to Carter Caves State Park for some serious not-being-at-home.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Such was the case when I volunteered for teaching summer Sunday School. Seriously, I thought I would show up, be told to help kids with a craft project or something, and go on my merry way.
Not so much.
This past Sunday, I found myself teaching two little kids (summer activities at my church are VERY sparsely attended) the story (which I had never heard before) of Jesus healing the ten lepers. The challenge was to somehow work a brief science experiment into that story. Weird, huh?
We ended up making "lava lamp bottles" out of oil and colored water, then we talked about how the lepers were so separated from, well, everybody else, and just like how the oil and the water couldn't mix with their different densities, that the two groups of people really couldn't mix.
Then we discussed how, if you have something to act as an emulsifier, you can actually mix oil and water, and how, with Jesus, you could bring the two groups -- lepers and everybody else -- together into one emulsified substance.
Yep, Jesus is the Great Emulsifier.
Catchy, isn't it? I'm sure a so-entitled hymn is just around the corner.
*Oh, and I totally have to give the credit for this heart-warming lesson to Todd, who came up with the whole Jesus = Emulsifier idea. I'm just a conduit, people.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Being a librarian really was my second choice for a career, and sometimes I do wonder if I made the right choice. For example, I had the following conversation today in court with a defense attorney:
Defense Dude: I can't believe you won that argument in court yesterday.
Dude: Yeah, because I gave money to the judge's campaign. I expect to get something in return for that, you know.
Me: Well . . . I think it's nice to have a judge who may not think about who has donated money to him when making a judicial ruling.
Dude: I'm sure that's how you feel, but I gave him money, and I expect to win arguments for it. He just better not send me any more campaign solicitations for donations.
Seriously? He really said that out loud? I mean, I knew that a lot of attorneys thought that way, but to hear one just out and out say it?
Then tonight, as the returns are coming in from the primary, I'm forced to accept that the largest number of votes in the District Court Judicial race went to a girl with a lot of money, a father in politics . . . and less than two years of experience as an attorney.
I was terribly naive when I decided to become an attorney, and probably not much better when I actually started working. Maybe it's TOO naive for me to cling to some idea of honor in my profession. It certainly doesn't get me anywhere to act in an honorable manner myself. Somehow, though, I can't bring myself to get down in the muck with people like that guy I quoted up above.
Man . . . I could have been a librarian.
Monday, May 19, 2008
1. Speaking of books, Todd and I had one of our rare occasions of reading the same book over the past few weeks. (Since he only reads books that are true, and I only read those that are the loveliest of lies, we don't converge in our reading material very often. The Testament of Gideon Mack turned out to be quite a thought-provoker, and I highly recommend it. But only if you're okay with feeling sorry for the Devil.
2. Little and I saw the new Narnia movie yesterday, and I highly recommend it, too. (See? You think reading this blog doesn't get you anything, but that's two recommendations in one post.) I totally jumped out of my skin a few times, and gasped, and covered my mouth and cried at the end. What more could a person ask for in a movie?
3. I had my first ever pedicure last weekend, and guess what? I highly recommend it. (That makes three.) Perfect for when you need to feel extra girly.
4. You know what else I recommend? Voting tomorrow, assuming you're in Kentucky. It's one of the few rights you have left.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Yeah, yeah, I know it's a dumb show, and I know Tyra is clueless, but I can never resist all the fashion and makeup talk. I'm not going to lie, I'm not above doing a few runway walks across my living room floor.
And then there's THIS reason to watch:
Quite the hottie, that Nigel.
On tonight's finale, ANTM finally joined the world of real live women who eat, and picked the lovely, voluptuous, Whitney as this year's winner:
Of course, they made her blonde before she could win, but STILL! The first ever ANTM plus-size winner. Putting aside the fact that this is not a woman who would be called plus-size anywhere but in the modeling industry, I'm pleased as punch.
I also loved the quote from skinny-bitch judge Paulina, who obviously was NOT on board with a winning model who has eaten a sandwich and lived to tell about it: "Whitney is the woman every man would want in his bedroom, but Anya is who the women would buy a dress from."
I think I can live with that, Paulina. I think that is just A-Okay.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
My feet ached, and my back hurt, and I got smushed and jostled, and at some point, I turned to Todd, and said, "Someday we'll tell our grandchildren about this night."
We did all this to hear Barack Obama speak to us and 8,000 of our closest friends. And it was fantastic.
As I listened to him, I just kept thinking to myself, "This is where it all turns around. This is when it happens. This man will be the next President of the United States."
You know all those people who insist Obama doesn't seem to have anything to really SAY, that he's just a pretty face and a rousing speaker? I'm here to tell you, it's a lie.
He said that he will cut taxes to give people like me more money, and he'll pay for it by closing the corporate loopholes that are helping the rich get richer while I worry about gas money to get to work.
He said that he will institute tuition credits so EVERYONE can get the education they deserve.
He said that he will pay teachers more money so EVERYONE gets a higher-quality education.
. . . that he will explore alternative fuels so we can stop the continuing damage we are doing to our environment
. . . that he will end the war in Iraq so we can stop wasting the lives of our citizens
. . . that he will reform health insurance so EVERYONE can afford medical care, including our children and our elderly and emphasize prevention so we stop being the most unhealthy people on the planet
. . . and on and on, until every one of the 8,000 people in that auditorium really BELIEVED that our country can be something to be proud of again.
Rhetoric? Well, there's no doubt the man can speak. But I'm reminded of the saying, "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean no one's out to get you."
Just because he can speak doesn't mean he can't back it up.
Here's the one part of his speech that I plan to tell those grandchildren: After speaking of all the things he wants the country to do for us, he plainly stated that we have to be willing to give back. He urged each of us to "invest in our country," by volunteering our time and ourselves to what we deem to be worthy causes.
Because it's OUR country. And it's OUR government. I haven't believed that in a long time. Listening to Barack Obama, I started to believe again.
This man will be President. I believe it.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Grammar, for instance. And making up words. Today a friend and I were laughing about the time she used the word "agreeance" (as in, you and I feel the same way about something, so we are in agreeance), and I thought it was kind of funny, until I realized she was SERIOUS and then it was just hysterical.
And my oldest niece, when she was younger, really liked to go shopping for clothes, and she would occasionally pick up a single article of clothing, like a shirt or a jacket or something, and say, "this is a cute clo."
Get it? Because "clo" would be the singular of the plural word "clo(th)es?"
And tonight, Todd and I had dinner at one of our favorite neighborhood haunts, Fat Jimmy's Pizza. As we were walking out, I noticed a crayon drawing of a pizza that a kid had done, stuck up on the wall, with the caption boldly proclaiming, "Fat Jimmy's Rule!"
Get it? Like the place is named for a bunch of Jimmies, all of them fat? Hilarious!
But then sometimes, I don't think things are nearly as funny as other people do. Today, in the conference room, one of the other prosecutors was handling a shoplifting case, and they were discussing the issue of restitution. The grocery store guy was explaining how they were owed restitution because they couldn't resell the items once they had crossed the threshold of the store door.
Trying to be helpful, I interjected, "Yeah, no one wants meat that's been in someone's pants."
And the room erupted.
Seriously, people, I was talking about steaks. What THEY were thinking, I just don't know.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
1. I had a second great outing with Little, which involved a BIG breakfast at Lynn's, and a movie. I had picked out a bunch of girly movies, but Little picked the new Jackie Chan. The new Narnia movie tops our list as a must-see. Little said to me, knowingly, "I think WE like magical stuff, don't we?" Yes, Little, we do, indeed.
2. I was ordained last weekend as a Presbyterian elder, but I don't feel any different. My first meeting is next week, so I'm still holding out hope for a secret handshake. I'm almost certain that I am the first Presbyterian elder whose mother plans to buy her a diamond nose ring to celebrate the occasion. I considered a tatto proclaiming PRESBYTERIAN ELDERS DO IT HOLIER but decided to go with the nose ring, instead.
3. I took a few much-needed days off last week and did a whole lot of laying around, but also spent an ENTIRE DAY sewing. I finished my class this past Monday night (a 101 Things accomplishment), and am feeling quite in the sewing groove. Since last we spoke, I've been working on . . .
a difficult-to-photograph wrap-thingy to wear with my new sleeveless black dress,
and the top and bottom of a dress I started over a year ago (a middle is forthcoming).
4. I finally made the homemade power bars I've been thinking about making for ages. We are some Clif-bar-eating fools around here, so I thought it might make economical sense. I learned, however, that homemade power bars are WAY more expensive than Clif bars; I also learned that brown rice syrup is tasty enough to eat out of the jar with a spoon, not that I've actually done that, oh, no. These were pretty good, and I'm going to try a new batch with different tasty stuff. (What is up with the focus on this photo, I do not know.)
5. I'm following up Not Attending Thunder Over Louisville with Not Attending the Steamboat Race, Not Attending the Parade, Not Attending Oaks, and will cap it all off by Working Domestic Violence Intake on Derby Day. Quite the social butterfly, aren't I?
6. Finally, in case you need an election year pick-me-up, I was reminded by NPR this morning that on this day in history, 2003, George W. Bush declared the Iraq War "Mission Accomplished." Way to go, Dubya! Dude, your mom must be so proud.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Remember last year when I told you to watch The Riches, and you said, "what's that?" and I said, "it's totally cool, you should watch it," and you said, "I'll check it out," and then you never did?
Well, if you had, you would understand why I'm so excited to see Eddie Izzard tomorrow night. Here's a snippet. I'm not kidding -- you'll laugh, and you'll know you're going to hell for laughing, but you won't care because it's so damn funny.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
And all I could think was that this is the same book which is currently lying on the ottoman where I finally tossed it in frustration and utter boredom, after griping to Todd that the guy "needed to get over that damn robbery and talk about something interesting, already."
Yeah. And the other day, when I said to Todd that I thought I was guilty of not being very nice to people in court, I waited and waited for him to say, "You? I'm sure you're nice to everyone!" except that he never did.
So . . . since it seems I'm not really very nice, I have been making a conscious effort to be NICER to people for the past few days, and brother, am I exhausted.
It really shouldn't be that hard. I was raised better than this, truly; I wouldn't want anyone to blame my poor mother for my not-niceness. But it's definitely not easy.
For instance, every time today that I was thinking, "SHUT UP ALREADY YOU FREAKIN' DIRT BAG JUST SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD," I had to say, "Yes, Your Honor, of course, Your Honor, I'll get right on that, Your Honor."
And although the voice in my head was screaming, "HOW CAN ANY GROUP OF PEOPLE BE SO DAMN STUPID AND STILL GET DRESSED IN THE MORNING," what came out of my mouth was, "Sure, NO PROBLEM. I'd love to set aside the bench warrant you have because you're three hours late for your court appearance. Let me do that for you right now."
Best of all, when I was thinking, "FUCK! FUCKITY FUCKY FUCK!" . . . I just smiled and said nothing at all.
I admit, there was that one moment, very near the end of the court's docket, when all I could think was, "I'm really just not listening to what this attorney is saying right now AT ALL," and what came out of my mouth was, "You know, I'm just not listening to what you are saying right now AT ALL.
But I said it nicely.
Monday, April 14, 2008
I have a friend at work over whom I suffer regular pangs of jealousy, not just because she's thin and pretty, but because she was a HOME ECONOMICS major in college. Seriously! Did you know you could major in home ec before going to law school? That you could learn how to do lots of cool stuff like knit and sew and cook and probably "put up" vegetables in the summer and that could be your DEGREE?
Well, I didn't. And I am SO having to play catch up. Hence the sewing class.
Class actually started a couple of weeks ago, and I was totally unimpressed, what with the two-hour lecture on fabric and thread that was exactly as exciting as it sounds. But tonight, we made up for it by completely sewing not one, but TWO projects.
A pillow sham:
Look how plump and lovely it looks, sitting there on the couch. It's destined to live on my bed, once I make its twin.
And a pouch-thingy:
That pouch-thingy looks all sweet and innocent, but don't let it fool you. I sewed the whole dang thing and held it up for the teacher's approval, only to discover that the dad-gumbed zipper was inside out. I took it apart, and sewed it back together, and now it zips open and shut properly, but the ducks on the back are upside down.
Todd says that the upside down ducks are what make it special. That ANYONE could have a pouch-thingy with right side up ducks, but this pouch-thingy is unique. You gotta love him, that Todd.
I'm fighting a mad urge to make a sham for every pillow in the house.