Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Breaking Political News

John Edwards and Rudy Giuliani drop out of race for the White House.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

So long Project Runway...

I woke up this morning and decided today would be the day that I would teach myself how to sew. Yes, you read that right. S-E-W! Anyway, to kick off my "designer" adventure, I headed to the local fabric store and made a bee-line for the sale rack. Truth be told, I had no idea what I was going to try and make... I thought I'd let the fabric dictate that decision. And it did. I found this cute, harvest colored sweater fabric. It was funky, kind-of 70's-ish. And while it was not something I would ever wear, dress Mike in (ha) or hang in our home, I thought it would look adorable on my sweet Addie. I bought 3 1/2 yards, some thread and headed home.

That was at 3:30pm and I am still without a quality finished product. It took me a good two hours to figure out how to thread the bobbin, the lower and upper needles - this stuff is freaking complicated! Then I made two serious attempts at a doggie sweater - results are above. One looks like an oddly shaped placemat. The other was a little closer, but it turned out so miniature that it wouldn't even fit over Addie's head. Guess I am a lot further away from Project Runway that I thought... Sad.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Clinton vs. Obama Conversation

This Saturday will mark one of the biggest Clinton/Obama showdowns to-date. So in light of the SC Primary, and all that rides on a victory there, I thought you might enjoy this ad.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Since I started down the "political" topic...

Due to the climate of political correctness now pervading America the following are good rules of thumb to follow:

When speaking about certain women:
1 She is not a "BABE" or a "CHICK" - She is a "BREASTED AMERICAN."
2. She is not "EASY" - She is "HORIZONTALLY ACCESSIBLE."
5 . She does not "NAG" you - She becomes "VERBALLY REPETITIVE."
6. She is not a "TWO-BIT HOOKER" - She is a "LOW COST PROVIDER."

And when speaking about certain MEN
1. He does not have a "BEER GUT" - He has developed a "LIQUID GRAIN STORAGE FACILITY."
2. He is not a "BAD DANCER" - He is "OVERLY CAUCASIAN."
4. He is not "BALDING" - He is in "FOLLICLE REGRESSION."
5. He does not act like a "TOTAL ASS" - He develops a case of RECTAL-CRANIAL INVERSION."
6. It's not his "CRACK" you see hanging out of his pants - It's "REAR CLEAVAGE "

Friday, January 18, 2008

Sold Out Darkness

I know it’s 7:00 on a Friday night. And yes, we have plans so I’m not some uber computer dork who likes to sit at home and blog on the weekends. But I had to share an “urban legend” that I just confirmed to be true…

To give you a little background on how this all came into being; I love Amy's Roasted Vegetable & Cheese-less pizza. Every couple of months Harris Teeter will put these particular pizzas on sale (buy one, get one free) and because of this fantastic deal I can never actually bring myself to buy them at full price.

However, and herein lies the problem, someone else in Charlottesville also loves Amy's Roasted Vegetable & Cheese-less pizza. Every time I go to the grocery store, I go straight to the frozen food section to check if they are on sale (yes I admit this is a little obsessive). But without fail there is always an abundance of the darn things (which means they are full price) or there are none (which means they are on sale and my arch pizza nemesis has bought them out).

Anyway, I was explaining this very troubling situation to my mother in law over Christmas break and she looked at me confidently and said, "Oh, just ask for a rain check." A rain check? This was not a term I was familiar with - at least not in relation to anything that has to do with grocery shopping. Still, Eileen was very sure of herself and went on to tell me that if something is on sale and there are not any left, the manager will give you something called a "rain check" (which means you can come back and buy them at the sale price any time you feel like it.)

I must admit I had serious doubts about this whole thing. I thought the reason things went on sale were to get rid of them... The idea of selling products at a discounted price post stock-adjustments just made no sense. Still I tucked her little tid-bit away in the back of my mind.

Well wouldn’t you know, on my first Harris Teeter visit since we’ve been back in C-ville Amy's is buy one, get one free. And (of course) the pizza nemesis is back too and has made his/her rounds.

Eileen’s “rain check” immediately popped in my head.

Nervously I approached the girl at the checkout counter thinking for sure she would look me straight in the face and laugh... But she didn't. She acted like people ask for these things all day long and told me to stop by customer service on my way out. Holy smokes, it worked! Even better, the girl at the service counter asked how many I wanted. Again new to this whole thing I shyly said "three." She offered six saying this way I could have a total of 12 (for the price of six of course) and with no expiration date on their offer. WHAT! WOW! Eileen’s “rain check” immediately catapulted to the most brilliant piece of shopping advice I had ever received! Please tell me I'm not the only person who has lived in the “sold out” dark for 27 years…

"I Voted"

My attempt at making the 2008 Presidential Campaign a little easier for everyone starts here. This list summarizes where (top) Democratic and Republican candidates stand on key issues…

Clinton: Clinton wants to lower taxes for middle class families. She opposed Bush tax cuts and does not support the extension of them through 2010.
Obama: Obama's supports eliminating the marriage penalty. Wants to re-examine tax benefits for the top 1% of earners… His plan would give 150 million workers a $500 payroll tax credit, expand relief on mortgage interest, eliminate income taxes for seniors making less than $50,000, and simplify tax returns.
Huckabee: Supports the "Fair Tax" proposal, which would repeal income taxes. This plan would abolish the Internal Revenue Service and replace them with a national retail sales tax. Huckabee signed a pledge not to raise taxes if elected President.
McCain: Says he would sign the "Fair Tax" proposal into law. Again this would repeal income taxes and abolish the Internal Revenue (replacing it with a national retail sales tax).
Romney: Would eliminate estate taxes and the taxes on interest dividends and capital gains. He signed also signed a pledge not to raise taxes if elected President.

Clinton: Wants to immediately start withdrawing troops. She supports the identification of a high level UN official who would broker peace within Iraq. Clinton would also gather a group of key leaders to devise plans for non-interference, mediation, and reconstruction funding in Iraq.
Obama: Will immediately start bringing troops home (he has a goal of withdrawing all combat troops within 16 months). Obama supports a UN led dimplomatic reconciliation process, both within and around Iraq. His goals are to see Iraq’s borders secured, Al Qaeda isolated, and financial provisions made to help with reconstruction.
Huckabee: Disagress with setting a timetable for withdrawal. Says he will create a regional summit so that Iraq’s neighbors become militarily and financially committed to stabilizing Iraq.
McCain: Feels a greater military commitment is now necessary. He says we must “clear” problem areas and then remain in those areas long enough to insure they remain peaceful. McCain wants to use American forces to help give the Iraqi people the ability to govern themselves.
Romney: Supports current Bush plan of increasing the number of troops in Iraq.

Same Sex Marriage:
Clinton: Opposes same-sex marriage; Supports civil unions
Obama: Opposes same-sex marriage; Supports civil unions
Huckabee: Opposes same-sex marriage
McCain: Feels it is a state issue; Opposes constitutional ban of same-sex marriage
Romney: Opposes same-sex marriage; Opposes civil unions

Clinton: Says she will focus on securing borders and ensuring employers comply with immigration law (through use on a new, universal employer verification system). Opposes any type of a guest worker program that undermines minimum wages of US workers (meaning one where we are allowed to pay immigrants below minimum wage). At one point Hillary supported building a 700-mile fence along the US-Mexico border, but I am unsure as to whether or not she still endorses this idea.
Obama: Supports stronger enforcement on the border (better technology, more personnel, new infastructure). He feels we need to crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants. Obama supports a system that allows (current) undocumented immigrants to identify themselves. If they are in good standing, they can pay a fine, learn English, and go to the back of the line for citizenship processing. Obama also promotes economic development in Mexico in order to decrease the attraction of illegal immigration into the US.
Huckabee: Says immigration is one of his top priorities. He supports stronger enforcement (better technology, more personnel, new infastructure). In his own words he says he will “take our country back for those who belong here.” Huckabee says no to open borders, amnesty, sanctuary cities, false Social Security numbers, and driver's licenses for illegal immigrants.
McCain: Would focus on border security, improved relationships with Mexico, and a stronger effort towards assimilating immigrants (which includes having them learn English, American history, and the values of a democratic society).
Romney: Will secure the border, implement an enforceable employer varification system and punish “sanctuary” cities. He regrets giving amnesty to anyone who has come to the country illegally. He wants to encourage legal immigration by streamlining the system to recruit and retain skilled workers.

Clinton: Will invest heavily in early childhood education. She wants to end the “unfunded” mandate of No Child Left Behind. Clinton says she will start a public/private summer internship program for K-12 grade education and focus on the recruiting and retention of teachers and principals (particularly in rural areas).
Obama: Supports a focus on early-care Education (zero-five years of age). He says he will dramatically expand Head Start. Obama wants to support schools that need improvement rather than punish them so he will put money behind No Child Let Behind, make science and math a national priority.
Huckabee: Places heavy importance on music and the arts because he thinks the future of our nation depends on the “creative generation.” He supports home schools, the creation of more charter schools, and public school choice. Huckabee feels states should be entitled to set their own benchmarks.
McCain: Interestingly enough, McCain does not have an Education agenda listed under “issues” on his official campaign website.
Romney: Doesn’t believe the federal government has the right to tell parents, teachers, kids and local authorities what to teach or how to run their schools. He believes everyone benefits from free (school) choice - that competition and choice in educational opportunities makes traditional public schools better. He supports performance based pay incentives for teachers and supports increasing our focus on subjects like science and math.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

That Darn Freedom of Speech...

One of my dear friends sent me an email the other day asking for thoughts on a letter she had received stating that Barack Obama used the Koran (instead of the Bible) when he was sworn into the Senate. Now as most of you know, I am a fairly liberal gal. Still the idea of a United States President being sworn in with the Koran was disturbing to me. I had to investigate...

Quickly (and easily) I uncovered that every bit of the email was a hoax. Obama went to Catholic school, he grew up in a secular home, he is a committed Christian man who attends United Church of Christ in Chicago. He did not use the Koran when being sworn into office, he used a Bible. He says the Pledge of Allegiance (and has led the Pledge in the US Senate on numerous occasions).

Anyways, the reason I’m even writing about this is to comment on how scary it was to see an internet rumor reach so many people, so quickly. Above and beyond that, it was actually swaying voter minds! An educated, independent, and dear friend of mine sent this comment to our group “Fact is he chose to use the Koran to be sworn in. This is where you get into how important you think it is for the leader of our country to believe in the Bible.

YIK! Does this not scare the dickens out of anyone else?

So in light of this incident I’ve decided to come up with a way to help educate my friends on their options in the 2008 political arena. I need some educating too, so it will be good for all of us. If you’re interested, stay tuned. This could get interesting...

P.S. I promise I won’t turn this blog into a regurgitation of headline news. I also promise to be as politically neutral as humanly possible.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Wedding Pics - Cool

I thought I would borrow a technique from my father in law (Kiyosi). Whenever he gives us pictures he categorizes them based on certain qualities. His standard nomenclature is "best/good/ok." Same concept, but these will be a little different...
Here are my Cool, Candid, and Crazy from Nicole's wedding weekend.

The beautiful centerpieces at Nicole's rehearsal dinner.

With a Best Friend - Mollie Perez

The RHS Spicegirls have grown up!

Brent (the groom) with his father-in-law and grandfather-in-law.

Sweet Lynne Patterson and Nancy Williams. Thanks for a beautiful lunch.

Nicole and Christie at the bridesmaids' luncheon.

Me and "Hilda Mommy"

My madre and padre. I love you!

Awe, the Perez family... dinner with the love of my life.

Nic's girls. Anne Marie, Breanna, Carrie, Brit, Nic, Mollie, Christie, and me.

I had to include a Sammy P photo...

I love me some Gina... (The same stylist that did all of my bridesmaids' hair.)

Wedding Pics - Candid (on the way to crazy)

An old friend, Stacy Walker

Hot Rebecca. (Bac, what number were we on here?)

I used to cheer with Emily and had no idea she would be at the wedding. It was a great surprise. Lindsey (Cash) Turner, Emily and I were in the same All-Star stunt group... One more person and we might have attempted some tricks!

The father of the bride and his beautiful girl.

Nic's brother Andrew and his girlfriend. Andrew is a good friend of Dustin's.

Mollie and Candice (Mols, Revlon still loves ya.)

Lindsey and Shawn Turner, Mols and my Sweet Honey Bunches (with his special tie)

Happy Feet Bucy with Candice on the dance floor. Apparently the more I drank, the more I auctioned Mike off to dance. It started with Mollie and Candice. Then it was Nicole's little cousin and an attept at my (married) hair stylist. Understandably, Mike raised a slight objection to that one. Sorry babe. You're just so much fun when there's music on!

Christina and her hubby. Had to use this pic because I just loved her hair!

Three words for you Tony: "Kentucky Fried Chicken"

Wedding Pics - Crazy

Get it Mr. Williams (With the M.O.B - Hilda Brannan)

Mike discovers the tie my father has loaned him is covered in small Viagra pills. Sexy, sexy!

Mollie gets on stage and introduces a new dance called "Ghetto Booty." (Mols, I looked this term up on urban and found that ghetto booty is defined as: 1. (n) junk in the trunk 2. (n) bubble butt ba-chunk-a-chunk)

Nic gets on stage to show her version of the dance I have recently renamed "ba-chunk-a-chunk"

Who knows... Megs and a mic; always a scary combo!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Globetrotters 2008

We are getting ready for the 2008 Dustin's GreenHouse Globetrotter trip. The location is set, the details in the works, and applications coming in daily. If you have any student recommendations (students need to be between the ages of 16 - 19) please fill out a nomination form. You can find a copy on the Greenhouse website.

Here is our proposed itinerary:

Days 1-5: Fly to Iquitos, Work with the People of Peru, Explore the Amazon River.

Days 6-9: Fly to Cuzco, Work on Cuzco project (Casa de Milagros).

Days 10-15: Camp in Andean Community, Pass of Ipsay, Ipsayqocha, Patacancha, Aguas Calientes.

Day 16-21: Flight to Puerto Maldonado, Explore Sachavacayoc Lake on a Catamaran, Night Hike