Wednesday, December 20, 2006


As if I'm not feeling incompetent enough...

Virgin Komodo dragon is expecting
December 20, 2006
LONDON, England -- Flora, a pregnant Komodo dragon living in a British zoo, is expecting eight babies in what scientists said on Wednesday could be a Christmas virgin birth.

Flora has never mated, or even mixed, with a male dragon, and fertilized all the eggs herself, a process culminating in parthenogenesis, or virgin birth. Other lizards do this, but scientists only recently found that Komodo dragons do too.

"Nobody in their wildest dreams expected this. But you have a female dragon on her own. She produces a clutch of eggs and those eggs turn out to be fertile. It is nature finding a way," Kevin Buley of Chester Zoo in England said in an interview.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

But... I knew his name.

It's totally wrong, but also very human, to someone assign other people's tradegies to your own life. On Monday morning when I arrived at work, I was informed that Henry, a man who had worked at my company for 12 years, had died that morning of a heart attack. He was 46 years old. And he was one of the few people here whose names I know.

He had been experiencing some shortness of breath in the past week and was at his doctor's office getting a clean EKG just last Thursday. He was a BIG man.... not heavy, just really tall and muscular. He had felt mild chest pains and shortness of breath the day before, but figured it would pass. The morning he died, he got to work at 4:30 AM and soon was telling co-workers that he didn't feel very well and was going to sit down for a little bit. They all encouraged him to go home to rest. He sat at his desk, with 2 colleagues in his office with him, and picked up the phone to call his superior to let them know he would be going home. And before he could dial, he slumped forward and died. His colleagues did CPR until the medics got there, but he never regained consciousness. Even his wife got to his office before the ambulance took him away, but he was gone.

Everyone at work is in total shock. As one person said, "if you had told me 30 other names of colleagues who had died, I'd believe you. But not Henry." We have a lot of smokers here and one woman who literally sleeps with an oxygen tank at night. His daughter works here too -- she's 22 years old, and she and her Dad were *really* close. I can't imagine how she'll ever come back here.

I've worked here now for about 15 months, and of the 100 employees here, I think I can name about ten of them on sight. Henry was one of those guys I could name. He was somebody that you remembered meeting and who you wish you could know a little better.

My heart goes out to his family... and to my colleagues who are grieving.

And to everyone out there who ignores random pains and thinks "oh, it's nothing"... please just ALWAYS get it checked ASAP.

Monday, September 11, 2006

1,826 days...

Not a day has gone by since September 11, 2001 that I haven't thought about it. That the towers haven't flashed through my mind and a wave of a burning sadness runs through me. But it has certainly gotten easier. 2002, 2003... were hard. I was filled with anxiety for weeks before and after the anniversary. I suppose moving to Columbus has made it a little easier by giving me some distance. But in some ways it feels like a betrayal to my city.

My heart is in New York today -- and I wish I were there today. I'm working from home today -- I just couldn't bear to go into the office here -- where people just don't understand what 9/11 was like in NY. They use the day to be "pro-Bush", instead of what I need, which is to remember what happened. I got email responses from my executives at work this morning saying "have a nice day, see you tomorrow". *sigh* A nice day. Yeah. That Tuesday was a beautiful day... until it wasn't. I'm still heartwarmed and heartbroken by how amazing NYC was in the months after... We were all scared and hurting and sad beyond measure... but there was so much love and so much strength. I hope you're feeling that in NY today.

I miss the WTC lights. But I can close my eyes and imagine them... and that somehow makes me feel safe.

I wish us all peace... today and always.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Juicy & Ripe!

Yummy tomatoes I picked last week from our garden... there's a beautiful deep red inside and juicy and delicious. We've got bugs all over the apple tree, but the tomato plants are just PERFECT!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Fight Scurvy!

Ok, and I just sent out my letters for the Lymphoma & Leukemia Association. That's important too. But what I didn't know until just a few days ago is that September is Scurvy Prevention Month. How crap, if you just watched HOUSE the other night, you know you do *not* want to get Scurvy. It's nasty and it's really just for pirates. And not of the Johnny Depp variety. It's also really useful to be prepared in case of a Swashbuckling Emergency. Really, you never know. Check it out.

Because friends don't let friends get scurvy.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


So, you know when you have an itch, and you itch it. And then you think for a split second, "ew, what if that was a bug?" and then you check your finger to make sure it wasn't? Yeah, so that happened to me just now when I had an itch on my collarbone. Except when I looked at my finger, there was a smear... and then a wriggling, smushed winged black bug. Eeewwwwwwwwwwwww.

Oh, and by the way, "ew" isn't in the official Scrabble dictionary. But it *should* be!

Thursday, August 31, 2006


So, suddenly I'm surrounded by all things Wizard of Oz...

I just finished reading (and discussing) the book WICKED in my book club. Ok, this book is amazing! I loved it so much and just fell in love with the character of Elphaba (the future "Wicked Witch of the West"). She's green and she speaks her mind and knows her heart and she's honest and she fights for what she believes in and she won't conform... I love this green woman. The book is full of political and human rights issues, as well as animal rights. (What's an Animal vs. an animal...?) It's beautifully written and so imaginative.

I actually listened to it on TAPE, rather than reading it, however. And the 14-tape, 20 hour Audio Recording is marvelous.. the narrator is this wonderful man with a great storytelling voice and he voices all the parts and just really brings it to vivid life. I was so sad when I finished... I never wanted it to end, and I foolishly hoped that the Witch would survive somehow... I can't say enough... read it, or listen to it in the car... and then tell me what you think!!

Now I have the Judy Garland film in my house, waiting for viewing, so I can root against Dorothy this time... LOL.

And earlier this week... what did we have here sweeping through Columbus? A freaking tornado. Yup. A TORNADO. I'm sitting here working at around 7:00 PM and Peter calls to tell me about the sirens going off (I have no windows) and a parade of naked people could go down the street and I'd never know. So... I call the one other person left in my creeky old, dirty, totally-unsafe building... and he says he'll go outside to check it out. 10 minutes pass and he's not back. Oh great, I think... he's blown away!! Eventually he shows up... and we know we're supposed to go into the basement (meanwhile, Peter is driving himself home...!?!?), but the basement in THIS building is truly the least safe place to be. If the building crumpled, we'd never ever ever ever be found. So we wait it out until around 8:20 and then decide it's time to just leave and risk it. It was so eerie outside... completely SILENT, dead calm with no wind whatsoever, and dark, yet light at the same time. For a moment I wondered if I was standing right in the eye of the storm.

Lucky for me, I'm still in Kansas, uh... Ohio.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

3 years, 5 years

Ok, this is really cool. Apparently this woman took a picture of herself every single day for 3+ years, from 2001 through 2004. Check it out...
Is it weird that all I could think of was "which day is Sept. 12, 2001?" And would I notice? But then at the end, you read that she started the photos in Nov. '01. I can't believe it's been five years already. Has anyone see WORLD TRADE CENTER or FLIGHT 93? I feel the need to see both, but haven't yet...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Patti Coming Up Roses

I was in Chicago for just 22 hours last Saturday/Sunday, to see Patti LuPone starring in the role she couldn't be more perfect for... Mama Rose in GYPSY. The Ravinia Festival production, directed by the hugely talented (and nicest guy ever) Lonny Price, was not just a concert reading, but a full-blown production that rehearsed for only 2 weeks before playing for a mere 3 nights. It was magical...
The reviews were all glowing to the point of blindness...

While in Chicago, I was also able to spend time with my In-laws and neices and kitty cats, and that was such fun...

Thursday, August 10, 2006

PSA: See a Broadway Show

This is hilarious... and how cute is Patti's son? All grown up... he was a wee babe when I babysat him... *sigh*

Patti LuPone and Josh Johnston's PSA commercial:

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Monday, July 24, 2006

Chicks Rule

I've been loving the Dixie Chicks this summer... they're talented, their new album is fantastic, and they're fearless, smart, and fun. And because they introduce me to keychains like this one. Their new "Accidents and Accusations" Tour kicked off last weekend and they were here in Columbus on Sunday. I wasn't able to go, but the review in today's paper is raving and apparently the stadium was full of screaming/singing fans. Please, oh please... will someone buy me this t-shirt? Or any Chicks shirt??

Friday, July 21, 2006

You mean there are other people out there?

So, I'm trying to get more involved in my community and more importantly, meet new people...

My neighbor/friend convinved me to join the neighborhood association board and so 5 minutes later, I was Secretary. Now she's moving away and I'm interim President. great. I get to hang with a bunch of older ladies every 6 weeks and discuss whether the flowers in the entrance are the right color. *sigh* But I will try to make some "changes" and create more little events for neighbors to get to know eachother. Otherwise, what the hell is the point??

I've joined a Book Club, with a group of "relatively newly-weds" here in the Columbus area. It's been good so far and I've met a couple of women that I can imagine becoming friends with. Plus I'm reading, which is always a good thing. So far, we've read: "My Sister's Keeper", by Jodi Picoult and Lance Armstrong's "It's Not About the Bike". (Sure Lance, that's because it's all about YOU... You know, I hugely respect his talent and what he overcame. It's a miracle and a testament to willpower, blah blah blah... but I just don't LIKE the guy very much, especially after reading his book. Ah well.).

Next, we're reading "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West" (can I just listen to the Broadway Cast recording??), and then in Sept, Those Who Love, by Irving Stone, which I'm really excited about.

And since I'm President of my neighborhood association, I've also launched a neighborhood book club... and will host our first meeting in Sept. First book will be: The Tenth Circle, by Jodi Picoult.

What else... things I want to do, but keep putting off because "I don't have time" or "I'm tired"...
-- Volunteer again at the local Humane Society (where Sammi came from)
-- Volunteer at Ohio Citizen Action (I've done letter-writing campaigns for them so far)
-- Take Sammi on walks in more public places
-- Go to the Gallery Hops downtown
-- Go to Columbus Clippers baseball games

... and more... ?!?!?

Friday, July 07, 2006

See this film

We saw it on July 4th, instead of our city's big fireworks display. I felt it was an appropriate choice.

An Inconvenient Truth
It IS backed up by scientists, 100%.
It is NOT a boring film... it's fascinating and it's OUR REALITY.
Yes, there are some long lingering shots on Gore that get annoying, but you know what, he's out there and he's telling this story and he's been trying to get people to listen for over TWENTY YEARS... and in that time we've already caused so much damage, it's insane.
  • I don't care what your politics are, SEE THE FILM or buy the book. See the trailer...
  • Drive a hybrid.
  • Recycle.
  • Donate to organizations that are helping supply water to countries who are running out.
  • Beg your gov't leaders to force the auto industry to increase efficiency standards.
Because it's not just your grandchildren's future we're talking about...
it's YOUR lifetime too.

More info at:

Monday, July 03, 2006

Soccer, Prejudice, and Naked People

Not much new to report... just a few random things...

I've been watching all the WORLD CUP SOCCER 2006 games and it's been fun, especially when I record the games on Univision, the Spanish channel. There's nothing like the excitement of the announcers on Univision! Watching these games always reminds me of when I was a kid and I'd watch them all summer with my Dad. We'd get so into it and everytime the Spanish announcer would shout " Goooooooooooooooooooool...! ", we'd turn the volume up REALLY high... It's not the same watching most of the games alone, but it's still one of my favorite sports to watch. It always amuses me how much most Americans hate the game. In the U.S., sport is all about scoring and points and goals... but that's not what athleticism is really about. Whatever. I can enjoy it along with 4 billion other people in the world.

I've mentioned before how I'm a "closet Democrat" at work, right? Well, two weeks ago, it got really bad again. Certain conversations were happening IN MY OFFICE that I seriously cannot even repeat here. It made me feel physically sick to my stomach -- the hatred and prejudice that some of these religious-far-right crazies feel for other human beings. It just doesn't jive with what Jesus was all about. But I guess that's no longer what they base their thoughts on. And then just this morning, one of my coworkers walked into my office holding the new book by that Ann Coulter-witch. Bleh. How can anyone read something so filled with hatred and think it's "so right"!?!? It blows my mind.

And now for what you've been waiting for... Naked People. This morning two of my female colleagues... young, innocent, midwestern farm girls who've never been anywhere except Ohio, Indiana and Florida... came in all excitedly to tell me a story that happened over the weekend. One of the girls was driving with her husband, and all of a sudden, there was a naked man running across the grassy area on the side of the highway. He ran up to the edge of the road and then got on all fours and proudly displayed his ass for world to see. She then got all quiet and mentioned something about there being a "toy" of some sort visible as well... hmmm... they were so disgusted they don't think they can eat today. I sympathized and agreed with the horror of it all, and then they left, and I'll I could think was.... *sigh* That's nothin'! I miss New York!

Alright, I tried for 20 minutes to upload a photo of the Naked Cowboy in Times Square, but something's wrong with Blogger today... You'll just have to imagine him... ; )

Monday, June 26, 2006

The least we can do

Last week, I watched a 2-hour program on CNN... and it has had a PROFOUND effect on my psyche ever since. I hope I am able to maintain this level of interest and horror and desire to help... and I really want to share it with you, if you haven't seen it...

The show was CNN "Anderson Cooper 360" and it was his interview, on World Refugee Day, with ANGELINA JOLIE about her experiences with the UN and on her own as she has travelled the world visiting refugee camps. There is a little bit of fluff and repetition in the 2-hr presentation, but WOW, how it all hits home. We've all heard about and read about and seen glimpses of the horrors that occur around the world, but this piece really presented clearly and effectively what is happening and what we CAN DO ABOUT IT. I am hugely impressed with Jolie and her intelligence, diplomacy, and passion about this. Did you know she donates 1/3 of her income to these causes and she pays her own way for all of her UN-related travel?

(Say what you will about her as a celebrity or politically, she is doing more in this world than any of us will probably ever do -- and no offense to those of you who volunteer and give on a regular basis!)

One comment Angelina made has really stuck with me:
"But you think, Jesus, the things these people go through. I owe it to all of them to get myself together, to stop whining about being tired, and get there and get focused, and, because God, it's the least I can do."

I highly recommend you try to watch this program -- as a human being, I feel like we can't afford not to inform ourselves about what's happening. You can view videoclips of the interview online, and I believe they are repeating the entire 2-hr program this weekend on CNN. You can also read a transcript (which of course, doesn't do it justice) here: , and you can purchase a tape via CNN as well.

I truly believe that this should be REQUIRED viewing in schools, ages 13 and up... We need to be exposed to this stuff and we need our future leaders and world citizens to CARE about it.

Lastly, you can give to the causes to try to make a difference. Peter and I are struggling to save money and stick to a budget, but there was no way we could NOT give something. Our excuses would all be pretty lame when you consider what millions of people around the world are enduring. Please give if you can. After all, we are --all of us-- so fortunate for what we have.

Click to donate online:

It'll make you feel good... I promise.

More information about CNN's Refugee Day programming and the Jolie interview:

More information about the UN's refugee program and actions around the world:

Because it's the least we can do...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Good times in bed

Did I ever tell you about the time I woke up in the middle of the night and Peter was doing *this* to me?
He claims he was having a very intense dream, and my head was just a stand-in for whatever he meant to be squashing. Let's hope so...!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

One Ton and a Fire!

Peter's inspiration and research followed by several weekends of hand-breaking work with literally ONE TON of stone... and our firepit is complete! Let the s'mores roasting begin!!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Rating my life @ 33

Happy Birthday to me!
I would rate myself higher in several categories... but thought I'd share this...

This Is My Life, Rated
Take the Rate My Life Quiz

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Everything is pink

We're getting ready to plant new trees and shrubs in our backyard, so I've been scoping out other people's yards to get ideas for what we'd want. What has pretty flowers, what makes a MESS with those pretty flowers two weeks later, which ones have annoying or sticky seedpods that mess up your lawn and your shoes, which ones grow UP and which grow OUT... It's all very fascinating and I've come to like way more plants that we'll have room to plant. But the weird thing I'm noticing is that everything seems to be about PINK. Most flowering trees (they only bloom for a couple of weeks, if that long) bloom either white or pink... There are about 10 different shades of pink from delicate and light to a dark rosy wine color. All very beautiful. But why Pink? Why not yellow or red or purple? hmm. We already have a beautiful pink-blossom cherry tree in the backyard, and a white blossom tree... so is it too much to have more PINK? I think it will come down to sizes and also what they look like the other 50 weeks of the year... I'll post picts in a few weeks after we've chosen and planted. In the meantime, here's what we already have blooming in our garden....

What we've planted... : )

Friday, April 21, 2006

Magnificent demons

I love this image!
NEW YORKER Magazine art in their review for Broadway's revival of SWEENEY TODD.

The cast of the show... This is truly one of the most incredible theatre experiences I've ever had. We went to see it in March because Patti LuPone is starring, and left feeling transformed. It's a very unique production -- with the cast of 10 also acting as the orchestra and stage hands. They have no conductor, every note and movement is memorized and critical, and each person is on-stage and *involved* every second of the show. It's a an ensemble in the purest sense and they all produce magic. The show is dark and complex and the intimacy of this production makes it all the more powerful... you feel part of it -- you feel complicit somehow. Michael Cerveris is mesmerizing...

If you get to New York City... see SWEENEY TODD... it will surely walk away with a bucket-full of Tony Awards in June...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Speaking of beheadings

There's a fascinating discussion brewing about Islam and The Koran, on the Dilbert site of all places... The blog post is funny and raises some valid questions, but the really interesting part is the reader comments that follow...
Dilbert seems to be on a religion streak lately... he recently wrote about the book "Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why", and has certainly made me more curious about the history of the Bible. Based on what he's saying, I really don't understand how anyone can really believe it's validity anymore...

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Happy Easter

Easter hasn't meant much to me for years because I haven't formally celebrated it since I left home for college. I usually forget it's on the calendar until I see chocolate eggs and furry bunny things for sale at the grocery store. But I have wonderful memories of Easter from when I was a child. We always went to my Oma's house in Pacific Palisades. She was living then with a man she was working for, as a live-in caregiver. He'd been wounded in a war (WWII?) and had lost his legs. We all just called him "The Mister". I felt very special when I'd be allowed in on their Dominoes games. Anyway, Easter was always at that house with the big yard and the pool... and every year that I can remember, we would see wild bunnies hopping around the yard on Easter. And ONLY on Easter. I really believed it was magic... (not the same kind of magic that gives our TV the 40+ secret HD channels)

Sammi actually caught a baby bunny a few days ago... Peter was home and heard the "screaming"... ugh. He got Sammi out from under the deck, but we don't know what happened to the bunny, or if it's still alive. I'm hoping it survived at least long enough to get out from under our deck... ewwww.

And now we've also discovered that we have hedghogs living under the deck... lovely. We have to get rid of them though -- they're dangerous for Sammi and they could cause lots of problems in the yard and even to the house... ugh.

In honor of rabbits everywhere... HAPPY EASTER!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I'm in love

I haven't posted in awhile... I've been distracted by the new love in my life... TiVo.

Yes, we finally got one and it's amazing... and it's especially amazing with our new Sony 50" LCD projector TV. I admit I have a TV addiction and my racing around to record multiple shows on our 2 VCRs was getting insane. There were VHS tapes everywhere. Precious time was being wasted. With TiVo, those shows will be recorded and I do nothing. I do nothing but live my life and work in the garden and enjoy time with Peter and Sammi... and I can watch when I want, with no stress. It's a lovely concept. But it's one I'll have to get used to. Last night I was up until 2:00 AM because... hey, there were shows Tivo had recorded for me that I could watch. I finally realized... they're not going anywhere, I can go sleep!

And after all the rebates, Tivo is only costing us about $9/month for the next 2 years. Not bad for major peace of mind. The TV, well, that's a different story - but man is it beautiful. We HAD to buy a new one because our old, 300 lb tube just DIED one morning. So, we upgraded. And the cool surprise is that this TV is somehow magic... we get an additional 40 digital channels that we don't pay for! Very nice. The downside is that we can't get those channels via VCR or TiVo, so we won't be able to record The Daily Show, but thank goodness we'll be able to watch it again.

So, that's been my life lately. Oh, and gardening... we chopped down another big tree in our yard.
It was needed, but the birds are all very upset about it. It was a favorite hang-out and even seemed to be a big "dating & mating hotspot" and we even had doves nesting in it last Summer. I'll miss seeing the birds jumping around our deck... Hopefully we can plant a new tree that they'll like.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Wha--? (there's more)

I emailed the link about black hockey players to my co-worker... and he replied, with this link:

*sigh* I look forward to pointing out to him that physical abilities are different from "fear of water"....


I'm sort of in shock right now. I don't even know how to talk about this except to just share what happened. I just had a conversation with an executive co-worker that went like this...

(about a character on the show LOST...):
"It couldn't have been his hot air balloon, because black people don't like heights."
They don't like water, either. They're afraid of water.
(chin hits desk on way to floor...) What are you talking about?
They don't like ice either. That's why they don't live in cold places.
(head spinning) Ok, stop.
Or play hockey.
uhm, we're not having this conversation.
But it's true!! Have you ever seen a black player in professional hockey?
You've got to be kidding me.
They don't play hockey, because they're afraid that if the ice melts, they'll drown.

I swear to God... this was a real conversation. And he wasn't joking. OHMYGOD. I live in Ohio. I feel like I need a shower. NOTE: Of course, there are plenty of great black athletes in professional Hockey. Check it out if you're thinking that was a sane conversation...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Whew!! My Blog is all fixed! Thanks to the Blogger Help Group on Google's message boards! An image on my "Countdown" post was too wide and threw off the formatting. I've replaced it with a smaller - and actually more relevant - image. Now I can go back to worrying about more important things...

Friday, March 24, 2006

Touching tennis story

Ok, I read Dilbert's Daily Blog because it almost always makes me laugh out loud. Well today, it really touched me and I had nice warm-and-fuzzy tears in my eyes at the end. It's about Tennis. It's about James Blake (I had never heard of him) and Roger Federer (I am now a huge fan). Read it to the end, and I promise you'll be inspired.

("Winning" dated 3/24)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I broke my Blog and I can't get up

Not sure what's going on, but the right-side menu with links, etc, is all messed up. Argh... Anyone know why?? I don't think I did anything to the template. *sigh*

Anya's Public Service Announcement...
If you ever need a laugh and you've ever had a job or read the paper or you know, been outside, you'll get some good giggles reading the DILBERT BLOG. I had to close my office door today because I wanted to laugh out loud... His most recent 5-6 posts are just hilarious! Trust me. Read them.

1,095 days

Today is my 3rd wedding anniversary to Peter....
I love you, Peter!!!
Here's to 77 more years!



Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Hello Knees

It's amazing how we take things for granted... like our body parts that we usually are not at all aware of.

Over the weekend, I had yet another ungraceful display of ankle twisting, sprawling to the ground action last weekend... and now I am once again familiar with my knees. Hello knees. What is this, the 30th time I've sponaneously sprained my ankle while standing or walking on a completely flat and safe surface? *sigh* Do I need to start using a cane? Wearing a splint? Seriously, what am I supposed to do? Lift little weights with my feet to make my ankle muscles stronger? That's probably the best bet to reduce the number of ridiculous falls.

This one on Saturday was particularly embarrasing. I really ate it... my right ankle (it's always the right one) just gave out and I went flying forward... landing and skidding on my knees and palms. I had my reading glasses in my hand (no case) because we were headed to the movies after a stop at the bar, and they got nice and scratched across the lenses. I turned myself around to a sitting position and didn't move for about 5 minutes. People were walking by me without comment, and my friend who was with me looked confused and sympathetic and wanted to help me up. Were I not an adult on a public sidewalk, I would have just started bawling... Body parts were hurting... I could feel my knees bleeding, and I couldn't decide yet whether my ankle would be walkable. And finally I got up because we were late meeting up with our friends inside the bar (10 feet away, on the other side of the floor-length window through which they could all watch my sprawl).

Overall, not a huge catastrophe, I know. But it was a sucky way to start a fun night out. I was painfully aware of my minor injuries throughout the evening, despite the 8-9 drinks I consumed to dull the sting. Dancing was out, but I did attempt a game of pool.

Now I kinda wish I had it on film... I'm sure it was hilarious to see... ; )

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Our trip to New York City... we saw a Broadway revival and we were revived by the city... It's hard to see in this small picture, but the sunlight was just sparkling all over that white building in the middle... like magic!
Peter and I were in New York City last weekend, primarily to see the new revival of SWEENEY TODD on Broadway, but also to see old friends and soak up the energy of the city we both love. I'll post separately about the show, because it was an incredible theatre experience and deserving of its own post...
Our first night in town, we were delighted to meet up with our former landlords at a small cafe. We adore this couple and their love for eachother and for life and adventure inspires us. We feel like their adopted children (no offense to our own families, of course!)

I still get terrified and sick riding in taxis, but I love seeing them in the streets!

On our last day, we visited my old favorite little hole in the wall mexican restaurant... 879-TACO. It's under new ownership, so I didn't see my "boys", but the menu was the same and am still giddy when I think about my Nachos with the Works... perfection! And how's this for karmic significance... the star light in the window is the same as the one that was in our home when we bought it! : ) mmmm... nachos!
And, here's the lamp in my house...

We also went by my old apartment on E. 68th Street... those were good times...

Our lovely accomodations were my friend Vik's apartment. I've always loved the feel of her place... warm, open, and creative.

It was a bit of a bummer to come home again, but Sammi was pretty happy to see us. I wouldn't want to move back at this point, but it's a part of me and I need my NYC-fix from time to time... I'm just happy to know it's THERE.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Cars (3), Anya (0)

Ok, something about my vibe seems to cause malfunctions in the cars I drive. After a hectic morning trying to get out the door at home, I actually became trapped inside my car for a good 40 minutes. Yes, it was just as pathetic as it sounds. No, I didn't have to be rescued by the jaws of life, but any attempt to open my door, would trigger the car alarm and I and all the nice people parked around me (sadly all old people in handicapped spots) got to enjoy BA BA BA BA BA BA BA BA BA BA BA for 30 seconds. Loud honking. It's not nice honking. Now THIS would be nice honking:

Somehow the key buttons were setting the alarm, but failing to lock the driver-side door. So naturally, I'd open it... trying to "reset" the system. It would be too convoluded to try to explain exactly what happened, and in my deaf and panicked mind, I'm no longer too sharp with the details either. Suffice it to say I WAS LOCKED IN MY CAR FOR 40 MINUTES. Go ahead... it's okay... laugh at me...

*sigh* Another reason to miss Manhattan...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

You smoke. You die.

Ok, this post started as a response to my friend's Blog post today (3/1), but instead I've deemed it worthy of my own post because it's something I feel so passionately incredulous about. (ooh, fun words!)

I can't believe I'm actually sort of "defending" smokers here, but I would say my friend John is an exception in that he was able to quit so easily. For most people, it's extremely extremely difficult and nearly impossible without help. I've known people who have WATCHED THEIR LOVED ONE DIE a painful death for months... and they still smoke. I don't get it either. I can't imagine being so weak and so stupid that I would keep smoking with all that we know about it today. Perhaps people who seemingly quit smoking easily are actually transferring their "addiction" to something else? I don't necessarily mean something negative or destructive, but just SOMETHING that can consume them in a similar way or be an outlet.

What is truly incredible to me is that if cigarettes were invented TODAY, there's no way in hell they would EVER be made legal. They are toxic, they are poison. They cause cancer in the user AND IN EVERYONE ELSE AROUND THEM. No way would it be approved today. But it's still legal because everyone's addicted AND of course... it brings in billions of dollars to tobacco companies, the federal government, and the health insurance companies, the cancer drug companies, the cancer specialists, etc.

I mean, god forbid we prevent all these illnesses... the country will slip into an economic depression!

(and then people will want cigarettes again...)

Ah, the sweet cycle of stupidity.

Employers are now able to compell their "at will" employees to quit smoking or be fired. On a moral/emotional level, I say "good riddance!" and go for it. But I don't know what the exact legalities are, and it confuses me. Because for instance, if they can justify firing smokers because they cost the company money in health care and lost time/wages if they get sick... then how come that same logic doesn't apply to say... pregnancy? Or eating lunch at McDonald's everyday? Or not exercising for 10 years? Each of those actions are choices made by the employee and each can impact cost to the company.

It's a fuzzy line because I'm all for personal freedoms and if you want to trash your body, I don't care as long as it doesn't effect me. But higher insurance costs do affect me. Higher taxes (for such stupid things) affect me. My thinking would actually be that companies should be able to refuse healthcare plans for smokers. Let smokers (or smoking spouses) get their own individual insurance. Then it won't cost the employer or the other employees via higher rates across the company.

But really, politicians need to stand up and ultimately BAN smoking all-together. Someday we'll be ashamed it was legal as long as it's been.

Here's a fun little story... A colleague here at work told me that his 11 year old son came home from school last week and got right up in his face and said "YOU SMOKE. YOU DIE!" And he said "What?" and the kid kept repeating it... "YOU SMOKE. YOU DIE!" Apparently, he'd had a health lesson about smoking at school that day and wanted to convince his Dad to quit. This brought me to tears. It really did. And I said to the guy "Please go home tonight and THANK your son for saying it and tell him to KEEP saying it until you quit". He told me he once quit for an entire year, and then eventually started up again. If his son's pleas can't motivate him to stop, I don't know what can. Just wait until the poor kid learns about second-hand smoke.


Tuesday, February 28, 2006


I've spent the last week fighting with my CFO over content and communication style for our Website. It's totally ridiculous. And, I'm sorry... what's my job again? *sigh*

Monday, February 27, 2006

My library card

So, Peter and I have (finally) discovered the marvels of our Public Library system and I have a library card for the first time since about 8th grade. We can borrow DVDs! We can reserve them online and be on waiting lists and get email alerts when they're ready to be picked up! They aren't delivered to our mailbox, but hey, they're FREE!! So, it's all very exciting, and though we can only have an online reserve list of 5 films at a time, we're slowing emptying our Netflix list.

This weekend I watched two films that I really enjoyed. Neither was what I expected, so the surprise factor was fun.

Yup... Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford. I had never seen this film and so many people declare it to be their favorite (well, no one I actually know personally, but...), so I felt that before I could make judgements about people actually liking Barbra Streisand, I had to see it for myself. I expected a gushy romance movie, and that is so NOT what it is! It's about politics, about will, about the Bill of Rights and McCarthyism, war vs. peace, men vs. women, and whether love can survive passionate differences of opinions and priorities. It was quite a fascinating movie and very interesting after having loved GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK just a few months ago. The actual love story is a slow build and not at all mushy, but the character development is deep and believeable. Both characters are wonderfully flawed and they don't have a perfect ending. Yes, I did cry at the end, but it wasn't my regular "sappy movie" cry (because I'll cry at anything sappy), it was a very true feeling of pain and sadness because it was recognizable and it was real. Kudos to Redford and yes to Streisand too, for wonderfully layered performances. The other (annoying surprise) is that THAT DAMN SONG is played in the opening credits already! But, honestly, it works, and I didn't hate it so much by the end.

I rented (oops, I mean borrowed!) this movie because it's German and I had heard great things about it. I feel an obligation as well as a personal interest to see good German films and support not only their work, but also my own need to immerse myself in the language and culture a little bit whenever I can. I loved this movie! It's now on my "I want to own this" list because it really touched me and I did love ignoring the subtitles and enjoying the German language even when I couldn't understand every word. The title actress is wonderful and magnetic and I really related to her character. She's a bit set in her ways and becomes completely unglued when her life gets shaken up on her. Cooking seems to be her best (and sometimes only) way of communicating with other people... she's awkward and unfortable in normal social situations. The storyline isn't what I'd call an award-winning screenplay, but it's a lovely story with characters you grow to care for. The little girl, Lina, is a great distraction and you just find yourself rooting for her to get whatever she wants. And the food is rich and somehow passionate... as if it were it's own character. A lovely film.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

pizza and ice cream

Ok, those of you who know me KNOW that pizza and ice cream are two of my favorite things. I can eat them any time of day and while I might get too full to keep eating pizza, I honestly don't think I'd ever refuse decent ice cream. So I had to work this weekend and I was annoyed about that because all I wanted to do was sleep and watch movies with Peter and snuggle with the dog. But, guess where I spent my time....? The Midwest Pizza and Ice Cream Convention. Yup. That's right. I had an exhibitor badge around my neck and got to spend 15 minutes taking "official company photos", 30 minutes handing out our catalog and helping customers find their way to our cash register (because I couldn't do much else since I know NOTHING about what we sell!), and about 5 hours wandering the exhibit hall eating freshly baked pizzas and homemade ice creams and gelatos. mmmmmm. Life was good. Of course, I didn't sit down for 6 hours and my legs were falling off, but I suppose it's good I kept walking since I was eating non-stop. mmmmmm. Good times. Oh, and I *did* get too full for more pizza... or as I told people "NO MORE SOLIDS!", but there was always more room for ice cream....

Friday, February 10, 2006

Broken blog

Gah! I'm trying post, but it won't let me upload images, so.... *sigh* I have nothing to say. Except I'm so glad it's Friday. Oh, and tonight on Fox they are running the final 4 episodes of ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, one of the funniest and most original shows to grace the TV in recent memory. It's a true shame that it's being cancelled. And even more pathetic that they're running them in a 2 hour block, up against the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies, and on a different night than it's ever played on. And they never advertised it. Just throwing it up in the air and shooting it. SHAME SHAME SHAME on them. If you don't have other plans, watch it tonight, and you'll understand my sadness.... And hopefully someday my Blogger will let me upload picts again.

Oh and if you scroll down you'll see a "new" post about our trip to Vegas. Don't know why they won't let me change the date... annoying feature. Or "missing feature", I should say.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

What is Cute?

Holy crap. I just spent my entire lunch break playing around on this site Peter found...
Check it out...!
As he warned me it would be, it's ridiculously addicting. Recommended page: go to the "Coveted Cuteness Trifecta" section... and scroll down for some amazing inter-species picts... very cute!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Vegas, baby!

A couple of weekends ago, Peter and I spent 2 1/2 days in Las Vegas on an incentive trip for his company. We stayed at the Bellagio (beautiful hotel) and had a blast. We saw the Cirque du Soleil show "O", which was jaw-droppingly amazing. And ate lots of food at the buffet and played Blackjack at all hours of the night. I preferred to play it on the computerized machines, where I felt a little "safer" with my 25 cent bets... A few times I was up $20 at BJ or even $65 at Roulette... only to lose it all again. Peter, we discovered, loses when I'm in the room. But does great when I'm not. So, after I was on a plane bound for Ohio and out of the STATE... he won $500 at the Blackjack tables! Woo-hoo! Kind of sad that I can't ever witness his winning streaks, and a little sadder that I'm his "bad luck charm".... ah well... The winnings paid for my flight, so that's good.
The choreographed fountains at the Bellagio Hotel... with the Paris hotel in the background...

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Films of 2005

Okay, the Oscar nominations were announced this morning. I love watching the nominations and somehow I'm always emotional and/or crying by the end, because I can imagine the pure joy and thrill for all those nominated for the first time. Same was true this morning, except in between the happy emotional squeals were bursts of "what?!?!" when certain films were or were not nominated.

I think 2005 was a pretty damn good year for films -- I have lots of favorites and I believe several categories hold 5 very very deserving nominees. I'm thrilled about all the nominations for GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK and BROKEBACK.

My favorite films of the year:

(need to see MUNICH and MATCH POINT)

And here are my personal shocks and disappointments after reviewing the nominee list again:

-- WALK THE LINE - not nominated for Best Picture!!! How is that possible?

-- CAPOTE - doesn't belong in the Best Picture category (stole the spot from WALK THE LINE)

-- CINDERELLA MAN - should have been nominated for Best Picture, Best Director for Ron Howard, and Best Actor for Russell Crowe. I never even liked Crowe until this film! Frankly, I also think Renee Zellweger is worthy of a nod.

-- CRASH - In my opinion doesn't belong in the Best Picture or Best Director category (acting, yes; screenplay, maybe). I'm pissed that it took the spot from other more deserving films and directors, like:

-- MATCH POINT & Woody Allen were shut out from Best Picture and Best Director (I guess, despite critical acclaim, this is not his comeback afterall...)

-- KING KONG & Peter Jackson were shut out from Best Picture and Best Director (I actually really liked this film, and I kinda feel for the guy this morning, since he probably hoped his whole life that this would be his big film)

-- Only THREE (3) Songs nominated for Best Song - WTF??! What happened to the song from BROKEBACK that won the Golden Globe?? Weird

-- ERIC BANA not nominated for MUNICH? I haven't even seen the film, but I hear he's excellent. Too bad.

Those are my thoughts for now... I'm sure I'll get more worked up about it as we get closer to March 5th. By the way, I'll be taping the awards show as I'll be flying home from New York City (yay!) that night...

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Ice out to get me

Yesterday was not a fun day. It's like the weather was conspiring against me. We woke up to a snow-covered yard... which was actually very pretty and the first time in awhile we've had snow that stayed on the ground.

Our street had not been plowed or salted when I left for work and as I approached the stop sign at the intersection... my car wouldn't stop. I pushed the brake as far and hard as I could... while the car inched forward, creeping into the intersection. I look to my left and see a big yellow school bus heading towards me... Gah! Miraculously, the car did finally come to a stop, about 2 feet into the road. In my rear view mirror, I see another car approaching.... "please let him stop, so he doesn't ram me into this bus!" I survived, obviously. Later it occurred to me that I hadn't thought of a few things... like pulling the parking brake, or ... at what point should I be bailing out of the car and running away? I thought of those stories of people stuck on train tracks, frozen in fear, and they die because they don't think to get out of their car. Later my car did it's lurching thing again and I panicked the whole way to work thinking it would stall on me again.

Flash-forward to the evening. I come home after the gym and take Sammi on a quick walk around the neighborhood. It's really cold out, but I'm still warm from my workout. Sammi is so excited to be outside and she's tugging me along... until I hit an icy patch on the sidewalk... and BOOM I'm on the ground. Ouch! I felt like an idiot, I felt mad at Sammi, and I hurt. : ( I muttered obscenities as I limped my way back home. Took a long, hot shower and sat down on the couch for the rest of the night.

Today it's in the low 50's (bizarre turn of weather), so I'm hoping for a better day...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

My Loki

Many of my friends don't even know Loki from his early years, when he would fly around my room, climb out of his cage to come sleep on top of my (still sleeping) head. He would preen my arm hairs. He did interesting things on the bathroom towel-rack... He chewed up my book spines and my antique wood dresser... He sang with me, he snuggled with me, he listened to me as I went through all the wonders and hell of being a teenager.
Losing him now is kind of like putting a lid on my childhood...
For the sake of "history" and his place in my life, I suppose I should post my announcement of Loki's death. Most of you who are my friends have already read this... And at the end are some photos of my little Loki-Lokster. *sigh*
---Dated 1/10/06 @ 11:30 PM---
My beloved Loki died tonight... in my hands. He would have been 20 years old next month on Valentine's Day. I got him when he was 9 weeks old from my good friend's Dad, who bred cockatiels. He knew all my secrets growing up -- he was a constant sound in the background... I thought he had another 10 years in him. I've always been so afraid of this day... not knowing what to expect or what would happen. I've always read and been told that birds generally don't show any signs of sickness or impending death until it just... happens. And that's pretty much how it happened tonight. All I can say is I'm sooooooo eternally grateful that we were home... that I was holding him... that we were with him and we know what happened. Peter and I had been downstairs in the basement for 2 hours tonight, taking turns on the exercise bike while watching TV. We never would have heard anything from Loki from down there. We came upstairs at about 10:20 PM, and at about 10:45, Loki fell ill. I'm thinking it was probably a heart attack, but there's no way to be sure (beyond an autopsy, which I don't feel the need for). He fell from his perch to the floor of his cage -- something he does all the time and it's very weird but normal for cockatiels to do that in their sleep. Honestly, I don't know if he was sleeping when it happened, or if he was awake... Peter went to his cage to see that he was okay, but he wasn't able to stand up. His wings were outstretched sort of to catch himself... but he couldn't stand up. Peter called me over from the computer and I hesitated in getting up. Partly because I figured it was nothing, but partly because I felt dread and denial and didn't want to know something was wrong... I picked him up into my hands and it was so strange that he couldn't stand up on my hand. He just sort of rested in the cup of my right hand, and his feathers and wings were sort of poofed out a little bit. He was breathing really hard -- panting. I didn't know what to do for him. I tried dipping my finger and a paper towel in water and putting it by his beak, but he wasn't interested. He was alert, but not moving... he was very focused on his breathing. I could feel his little heart just pounding out of his chest against the palm of my hand. At this point, I knew he was dying... I couldn't realistically see him recovering from this attack... I felt very helpless. I kept petting him gently and reassuring him. It reminded me of when I held him for 2 hours repeating "it's ok" to him after a big middle-of-the-night earthquake back in like 1988 or 89. Meanwhile, Peter was on the phones trying to track down an emergency vet specializing in birds and he finally found one. While they were talking, Loki had some sort of seizure or something. It was kind of like in the movies when someone has some weird jolt of movement and then dies. Loki stood up, sort of, and stretched his wings, and his claws gripped me tightly, and then... he just... passed away... and fell gently back into my hand. It was totally surreal. The whole thing from when he fell until when he died was less than 10 minutes. Maybe even less than 5... we're not sure. Poor Sammi didn't know what was going on, but when I started crying, she was whining and running around trying to help. After my moment of hysteria passed and Peter hung up the phone on the specialist, I just kept holding Loki for at least 30 minutes. I just didn't want to put him down, knowing I'd never hold him again. And, now he's in the refrigerator. We made space by moving out his food containers... how ironic is that?

I miss him already. I miss his little noises, running back and forth across his cage, batting his swing around, and his inane banging of his head into the ground. And of course, his singing and greetings when we'd come into the room. First thing when I walk into the house when I get home, I say "hi Loki!" and he'll chirp and sing in response. In the morning, when one of us pulls his cover off the cage, he'd always greet us with a cheerful chirp to say HI.

I know people don't think birds are much for pets, but he was my boy -- for such a huge chunk of my life. I found his name in my 7th grade history book -- "Loki: the Norse God of Fire, and a mischief maker."

Please do me a favor to honor Loki...
The next time you see a bird singing... whistle for Loki... my little mischief maker...

Goodnight Loki... I love you!