Happy (really late) Birthday, Steve!!

In all of the Christmas chaos I forgot to post on Steve's birthday, which was last Sunday. I'm going to blame Steve for this partly, since he wouldn't let us celebrate his birthday at all this year.

Steve, being the middle child in our family, has always been kind of a joker and entertainer. I know that he and Dave have always thought I was spoiled (don't deny it, guys), but I think that they both got away with WAY more than I did. And Steve got away with it all right in front of everyone. For instance, if I belch in public, my mother gets this horrified look on her face and says "Kristin!" in shocked tones. Steve, on the other hand, can say and do anything, and he gets away with it because the way he does it is just so funny. He has actually used the word ass in front of my parents, and mentions the planet Uranus every chance he gets. And then last night Zoe gave him his Christmas present, which was a set of meditation balls she'd bought him in China. So Steve spent the rest of the evening talking about them, saying "Where are my balls?" many times. I caught my mom laughing. Steve blames his belches on me and his farts on Zoe. And we adore him for it. Because he's funny!

Steve, you're one of the hardest working, most patient men I know, and a wonderful father to your girls. I have enormous respect for you. Even though you were making crude jokes about the summer sausage yesterday. Happy birthday! I love you!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Judah's first Christmas. It was kind of a marathon, as our holidays tend to be since we live near both of our families. But it was so much fun. We spent Christmas Eve celebrating with my side of the family at Dave's house, eating turkey and prime rib. Judah had a good time playing with all his new toys, and a better time ripping the tags off of everyone else's presents, so there was some confusion as to what gift was supposed to go to who. My newest niece, Leah, was there with Steve and Arla, and she's only three months older than Judah, so the two of them had a great time together. The only mishap came when Morgan was trying on her new roller skates and begging to skate around the house. Dave told her no, and my dad said, "We don't want you to fall, because you'd fall right on the back of your head." Morgan wailed that she wouldn't, and then seconds later her feet rolled out from under her and she fell and smacked her head on the wall. Hmmm..... But an ice pack can fix just about anything in Morgan's world, and soon she was back to partying with Lindsay and Zoe.

This morning was the Christmas service at church. Because Christmas fell on a Sunday this year our church opted to do a Christmas morning service instead of the usual Christmas Eve services. I was disappointed because the Christmas Eve candlelight service is my favorite of the year, but today's turned out to be really good. We sang a lot of traditional hymns, which I love, and our pastor spoke on the gifts of the magi, giving out a lot of good facts I'd never heard (if you had a gallon milk carton made of solid gold it would weigh 150 pounds). Saw some old friends at church that I hadn't seen for a while (hi Amy, Gretchen, and Chummy!), and chatted a bit before running off for Christmas at Nathan's parents' house. More delicious food and great presents there, then off to my parents' for a little while to end up the day with a leftover turkey sandwich and a piece of cheesecake. Yum!

Nathan and I had our own present-opening time on Christmas Eve. I was so excited, because Nathan bought me the first season of Gilligan's Island on DVD!! And Nathan's favorite present from me was a big silver ring with the V8 symbol (like the engine, not the drink). And guess what? I finally got the false teeth in my stocking! See, my family has this really disgusting tradition of passing around a pair of super old false teeth (they belonged to my great-great-grandmother or something) at Christmas as a gag gift. Nathan got them the year we got married, and Judah got them last year BEFORE HE WAS EVEN BORN. I have never gotten them in my life, but Judah gave them to me this year! Finally!

Well, the day's about over, and I'm off to bed after I post one more long-overdue entry...


The end of the British invasion

Every year on Christmas Eve Nathan and I go the the Olde Ship for a traditional British meal and celebration. They give us crackers at the beginning of the meal, and we pop them, groan at the stupid joke, play with the toy, and wear the paper crowns while we eat. This year we couldn't go on Christmas Eve, so we went tonight instead. We dressed Judah up in his little Santa outfit and took him with us. It was very cool. We love the pub feel, and all the drunk people you could ever want. We sat at our little corner table eating our tomato (toe-MAH-toe) soup and lamb shank and chicken pie (veggie puffs for Judah). It was perfect. The only thing we missed this year was the British servers. The Olde Ship used to only hire British ex-patriots, and the women who used to wait on us had great accents and called us "Love" and "Dearie." Our waitress tonight was about 22 and about as California as they come. I suppose that accounts for the confusion at the end of the meal.

She was clearing our plates and Nathan said, "I know it's a little early, but do you think we could get some crackers?" She said, "Yeah, no problem." And I got all excited, because I love me them little paper crowns. A minute later the waitress swung by our table again and dropped a bowl full of individually packaged Ritz and Saltine crackers before speeding off to the next table. We stared at the crackers for a second before Nathan yelled at her back, "No, not THAT kind of cracker!" But she was already gone. For a minute we wondered what to do, and then Nathan said, "Quick, put those in your bag." So, feeling like an 85 year old woman living on social security, I swept the whole lot into Judah's diaper bag and we stood up to leave.

At the door Nathan turned to the hostess and repeated his request for crackers. She said, "Sure, I can get you some. Like, just regular eating crackers?" No, NO! Like popping crackers! Dumb jokes and stuff! Where have all the British people gone? She headed back to the kitchen and finally returned with two crackers (the popping kind) wrapped in red and green foil paper. Ah! At last. I was ecstatic. And I'm wearing my crown as I type this. Just kidding.


What does Christmas smell like to you?

They (you know, "They") say that smell is the sense most linked to memory. This is totally true for me. Certain smells trigger instant memories, and sometimes they just bring up a general feeling, even if I can't tie them to specific happenings. My grandparents' house smelled like damp earth, pepper trees, dust, and something sweet baking. The smell of leg of lamb cooking also reminds me of the house in the heights. Lagerfeld Photo cologne always reminds me of a summer trip to Pennsylvania. Night-blooming jasmine for some reason reminds me of Halloween. Victoria's Secret's Amber Romance lotion reminds me of a first date in Laguna. Tonight I caught a scent while driving that smelled like cherry-flavored slush puppies, and I was instantly transported back to Skateway, the long-gone skating rink where I spent some of the most important nights of my junior high life.

Christmas is one of the best times of the year for smells. Hot cider and hot chocolate, peppermint candy canes, and of course the Christmas tree pine smell. Brewing coffee always reminds me of Christmas parties, because they were some of the only times my parents made coffee. Certain types of candle wax, and the smell of the house right after all the candles had been blown out. Also, a perfume my parents bought for me one Christmas when I was about ten, called Sweet Honesty (I suspect they bought it more because they liked the name than the smell), and the plumeria lotion Christi bought me one year. This year I feel like the smells are what's holding it all together. The old traditions, which have been slowly changing over the last few years, are just about completely gone this year. But we still have memories, and some things never change. Turkey roasting has probably smelled the same since time began.

Merry Christmas!

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Overheard recently

Or: Reasons I'm a bad, snobby person.

In Starbucks: "Did you know that Marilyn Monroe sang, too? Yeah, she sang "Santa Baby." I just heard it. She's good. I think she's better than Madonna."
(Weird, Madonna's usually my standard for judging singing voices too! Uhhh.....yeah.)

On a TV show about tattoos: "So, I'm getting a tattoo on my wrist. It's the Asian symbol for happiness."
(Chinese? Japanese? Thai? Philippino? Korean? What Asian are we talking about here? I didn't even have to turn around and look at the TV to know what this girl looked like.)


Poetry Sunday

Maybe a new tradition? Don't know. I've been playing around with the idea of posting old journal entries every Friday, but I can't really bring myself to make fun of them publicly yet. My poems are another story. Most of them are embarrassingly bad, so I'll post them from time to time. However, for tonight, I'm posting one I've actually always liked. I can't remember if I've posted it before. Forgive me if I have.


The goosebumps rose on my arms
every time the door opened,
the rain-wet air sending coffee smells
swirling around my head.
Your jacket hung tantalizingly
on the back of your chair -
you weren't cold -
and at a glance from me
you handed it over.
I wrapped it around me -
it was still warm from your body
and smelled of your skin -
and rubbed my cheek on the olive-green corduroy.
I fell asleep with my head on my arms,
forehead against my coffee mug,
listening to jazz
and you turning the pages of your book.
When I woke it was to your smile
which I mirrored sleepily,
and you laughed softly as you reached out
to touch the imprints
your jacket had left on my skin.

16 February 2000


Surprise, surprise

You speak eloquently and have seemingly read every
book ever published. You are a fountain of
endless (sometimes useless) knowledge, and
never fail to impress at a party.What people love: You can answer almost any
question people ask, and have thus been
nicknamed Jeeves.What people hate: You constantly correct their
grammar and insult their paperbacks.

What Kind of Elitist Are You?
brought to you by


Happy Birthday, John!

John just dropped Naomi off for the afternoon, and I was reminded that today is his birthday. So here we go again.... Do you understand now what Nathan and I have to deal with in the present-buying department at this time of year? It's completely out of control. If we ever have a kid between September and December we're lying to it and telling it that it's birthday is in April.

John is married to Nathan's sister Jenna. Strange story, though. He's from Texas and came here for college, and I met him long before Jenna or anyone else in her family did. I think I was 14 when we met. And before John ever came here he talked to my mom in the music department at Biola, since he was going to be a voice major. John and I ended up singing together in a youth choir when he got here, back when he had really big hair. Feathery, too. :) John says he always knew that he'd be connected to my family forever somehow, and now here we are. Married to siblings. Ain't it a small world? Hey John: Yant to grab some coffee sometime? I'll wear my toboggan. (Those last sentences were in Texan, for those of you that don't speak it.) Happy Birthday!

I can't help it, I love these things!

I'm addicted to these "have you ever" things. Seriously. I've had to pass on posting some of them here, though, as some of the questions were too incriminating. :) But I like this one. Thanks, Barbara, for the steal!

Smoked a cigarette or tried it: Yep....that's what college is for.
Crashed a friend's car: Nope, but I came THIS close.
Stolen a car: No.
Been dumped: Yes. Hard. But I totally deserved it, for reasons I won't go into here.
Shoplifted: No.
Been fired /laid off: Yes, after student workers at the Biola Health Center became "superfluous."
Been in a fist fight: Not a serious one.
Snuck out of your parents' house: Yes (sorry, Mom and Dad). I had this friend who used to come over and stand outside my window until I took the screen off and came out.
Gone on a blind date: Unfortunately, yes.
Lied to a friend: See above answer.
Skipped school: Yes. I had the football coach for history in highschool, and my best friend and I used to tell him we had to go work on the yearbook. Since I was the editor, he bought it every time. So we'd go for frozen yogurt. But we always made sure to talk about the yearbook at least for a minute, so it wasn't a total lie....
Seen someone die: No.
Been to Canada: Yes.
Been to Mexico: Yes. I'm trying to forget that one trip, though.
Eaten Sushi: Yes.
Met someone in person from the internet: This is how I made most of my friends in college. Hi Dave!
Taken pain-killers: Yep.
Had a tea party: Yes.
Cheated while playing a game: I don't think so...
Fallen asleep at work: Yes. I used to fall asleep while I was talking to shareholders on the phone because they'd take too long to find their account numbers. What else was I supposed to do in the lag time?
Used a fake ID: Nope.
Felt an earthquake: Duh, this is California!
Touched a snake: Yes.
Been robbed: No.
Petted a reindeer/goat: Yes. A goat.
Won a contest: Nope. Except at wedding showers, and I don't think that counts.
Been suspended from school: No.
Been in a car accident: Yep.
Had braces: Yes. And consequently I have years worth of pictures of me smiling with my mouth closed. And one terrifying one with my mouth open.
Eaten a whole pint of ice cream in one night: No. But Heather's vacuum cleaners are a different story.
Witnessed a crime: Three in one day once. In New York. Where else?
Swam in the ocean: Yes. Night time is best.
Sung karaoke: No way.
Paid for a meal with only coins: Umm....yeah.... I did that this morning at McDonald's....
Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose: No.
Been kissed under mistletoe: Can't remember. Probably.
Crashed a party: Not really, but I did encourage Barbara to crash one. Check out her account of it here. :)
Worn pearls: Yes.
Jumped off a bridge: Nope.
Ate dog/cat food: Yes, dog food when I was little. It was so good and salty!
Kissed a mirror: Yes. And I discovered that if you do that, and you have lipstick on, you better clean the mirror soon after, lest the kiss become permanent (sorry again, mom).
Glued your hand to something: No.
Done a one-handed cartwheel: Yes. But I never did master the no-handed cartwheel.
Talked on the phone for more than 6 hours: No. By the six hour mark we'd long ago hung up and just decided to meet somewhere in the middle.
Didn't take a shower for a week: No. But that one trip I took to Mexico, that came pretty close.
Picked and eaten an apple right off the tree: No. Don't like apples.
Been told by a complete stranger that you're hot: No, but I once had a complete stranger (some surfer type guy) jump off the wall at Huntington Beach, kiss me, and then run off. Very weird.


Happy Birthday, Thomas! (one day late....)

Barbara pointed out that all I ever post about anymore is birthdays. I know. But I can't help the fact that my entire family (including extended) was born between September and January (with a couple people outside those months). Nathan and I, both being born in June, are the black sheep (as usual). So here's another one.

I always have joked that I half-raised Thomas. He's ten years younger than me and is my first cousin once removed, but we kinda grew up like brother and sister. I babysat him a lot, particularly in the summers when I sometimes watched him five days a week. When I got my licence we'd go all over the place together, and it was then that I started influencing Thomas's taste in music. I started him in easy with the Beach Boys, then progressed to the darker music as he got older. I like to think that it was my guidance that allowed him to avoid the Britney Spears phase that most boys go through, and some never get out of. Thomas is now possibly a bigger Cure fan than I am, and one of my favorite memories is going to the Cure concert with him last summer and standing in the pit, two rows from the stage, for SEVEN HOURS. Earlier this week I realized that it's coming back around: Thomas is now bringing new music to my attention. In China last summer he pointed me to a Cure remix I'd never seen, and a few months ago he introduced me to a group called The Album Leaf. Very cool. And then, on Tuesday, he gave me a CD he'd burned of our cousin's friend's group, a little garage band that just got signed by EMI/Credential. They're called Lost Ocean. So awesome!

Happy Birthday, my dear cousin. I hope that this next year brings you all that your heart desires, no matter what you decide to do.


More pain and suffering at the hands of Michael W. Smith

Tonight at rehearsal we practiced another piece from Project Trainwreck (otherwise known as Agnus Dei). After working on the same song for upwards of half an hour I began to wonder, will this piece ever end? So I counted. TWENTY EIGHT PAGES. The audience is gonna demand their money back at the end of this thing. And I won't blame them.


Happy Birthday, Dave!

Um, one day late. Sorry about that.

I think Dave missed his calling, maybe. When I think about growing up with Dave two things come to mind immediately. The first is his fabulous Lego creations. Dave was forever building, and some of his structures were really cool. I remember one time he built this really elaborate old-fashioned car, with a chauffer in a little cap and everything. I preserved that car and tried to build additions to it for a long time. But I kept breaking it, and had to beg Dave to repair it all the time. The other thing I think of is Dave's art. He drew the most wonderful pictures, many of them to go along with stories he'd written (in perfect handwriting) for school. So I'm wondering if maybe Dave should have been an artist instead of a financial planner. But maybe that's just a different kind of art.

To Dave, one of the most talented, creative, patient, funny, thoughtful people I know. You have so much to offer, and you deserve the very best. Happy birthday. I love you.


Forgive me for that there, Lord, and be with the Pygmies

And forgive me, Grandma. I know how you feel about the Gaithers. If you're reading this, you should probably just stop right now.

My choir's doing some selections from a musical-type-thingy for Christmas this year. This isn't unusual, but we've never done this one before. And I'm so sad. The Christmas Eve service is my favorite one of the year, and I'm the kind of person who likes things pretty solemn and reverent and beautiful and dignified. This year's musical-thingy features the music of Michael W. Smith. I almost cried just seeing that on the cover, because I knew what was coming. And I wasn't too far off in my predictions. Here's a sample for you: one piece consists solely of these lyrics: "Alleluia, for the Lord God Almighty reigns. Worthy is the Lamb, You are worthy, are you Lord God Almighty." All well and good, but these are (I kid you not) the ONLY words in the whole song. And the song is TWELVE PAGES LONG! With many, MANY repeats. Basically, it's musical hypnosis. Oh, and we sing that song a couple times. Michael W. Smith gets paid for this stuff? Please. I'm in the wrong business.

And then there's this piece. With words and music by MWS and Gloria Gaither. Here are the beginning stanzas:

In the space of the beginning
was the living Word of light,
When this word was clearly spoken,
all that came to be was right.

All creation had a language,
words to say what must be said.
All day long the heavens whispered,
signing words in scarlet red.

Still some failed to understand it,
So God spoke his final Word
On a silent night in Judah's hills,
a Baby's cry was heard.

Why does this irritate me so much? First of all, there are so many assumptions in those lyrics that it's not even funny. Secondly, God's "final word?" I guess He's not speaking anymore, huh? That was it? And then there's the feeble attempt at being poetic and artsy, with the "signing words in scarlet red" line. That doesn't even make sense. And how stupid do I feel singing that? This is the kind of poetry I was writing in sixth grade, where I was making up stupid phrases just to fit the rhythm and take up space. They're empty words. They don't really say anything. Filler. Mileage, as my freshman year english teacher would say.

And why is it that the words above make me want to scratch my eyeballs out, while this verse gives me chills and makes me wish I had the kind of talent the composer had:

Crown Him the Lord of years, the Potentate of time,
Creator of the rolling spheres, ineffably sublime.
All hail, Redeemer, hail! For Thou has died for me;
Thy praise and glory shall not fail throughout eternity.

God save us from contemporary composers. It seems like the last twenty or thirty years are just a wasteland of cheesy praise songs and poorly written anthems. Bryan Jeffrey Leech is the worst offender. The only two exceptions I can think of at the moment are John Rutter and Ed Childs.

And then, just to rub it in, at choir tonight we went straight from the MWS train wreck to rehearsing The Messiah. From the ridiculous to the sublime.

I'm going straight to hell for this post. I know it.


I'm surfing Quizilla on a Saturday night?

'Doubt thou the stars are fire; Doubt that the sun doth move; Doubt truth to be a liar; But never doubt I love.'
Ah, of course, the Shakespeare quote. No duh this
would be yours! You know you love, and you
know why as well. You are so confident of your
decisions because you are so sure of yourself.
And the best part is that, you're normally
right (not always, but normally). Some other
people may not believe you, but hey, they
probably just don't understand. However, if
you aren't normally right, then it may be wise
to listen to your peers. Pretty please rate,
okay? Thanks so much for taking the quiz! ^_^

Okay, normally these quizzes make me nuts. This one was no exception (Which Love Quote fits you best?), but I had to post the results because the quote it came up with for me is the one we used on all our wedding favors. Weird, huh?


Old Tennis Shoes at Doc's

"Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream."
~John Steinbeck

I spent so much time when I was younger trying to get my brothers to think I was cool. Ah, the plight of the little sister. Probably that was the reason I burned through all 1,036 pages of Gone With the Wind when I was nine after Dave had to watch the movie for a class, and definitely it was the reason I became a bona fide Steinbeck fan at twelve, after picking up the copy of Cannery Row that one of my brothers had left lying around. I was instantly addicted. Over the years I've been to Monterey and Cannery Row many times, and Dave and Nathan and I visited the Steinbeck museum in Salinas once. Generally if either Dave or I is in Monterey without the other we call each other from Cannery Row. Dave called me one time so that I could hear the trumpeter playing in the background, swearing that it was Cacahuete. And always we go to the building that used to house Ed Ricketts' laboratory, that was Doc's lab in the books, and we take a picture standing on the stairs out front.

A few weeks ago Nathan and I and Judah were camping in Pismo Beach with the whole Cowell clan. On a whim, Nathan and I decided that Friday was a day to drive up to Monterey and look around a little. I couldn't bear to be so close without going. We got there around noon and headed to our favorite chowda place on Fisherman's Wharf, Old Fisherman's Grotto. We ate chowda in sourdough bowls while Judah tried to tear the joint down, taking breaks now and then to watch the otters and sea lions in the bay. Later on we strolled down Cannery Row, stopping to buy toe socks and browse in the charms shop.

I was going to break tradition. I wasn't going to go all the way down the Row to Doc's, because our time was limited. But tradition won out. As we got close to the building we noticed that the door to the lab, at the top of the flight of stairs, was open. And then two old men came out. We wandered into the souvenir shop next door to wait for the old men to go away. But they didn't. They went to the bottom of the stairs and then stood there smoking for a long time. Finally my mother's genes asserted themselves and I decided to go talk to the men and see if they would mind if we took our picture on the stairs. So I approached them with Nathan and Judah in tow. I asked them, "Do you live here?" Dumb question, I know, but how else was I to start the conversation? One man immediately said yes, and the other said no. The one who said no then laughed at the other. Then one of them said, "Let me tell you about Ed Ricketts." And I replied, "Oh, I know all about Ed Ricketts! That's why we're here!" They were surprised and delighted (I think), and told me that they'd just been having a barbecue in the old lab. And then one of them said, "Would you like to go up and look around?" I thought I was dreaming. Of course I said yes, and they sent us up, instructing us to say that Bill had sent us.

We walked into the lab, and I felt like I was entering a shrine. It was the place I'd read about for years, where Doc sat and thought about the octopi, where he brought women and played "church music," where the infamous parties were thrown, where Doc and Mack talked philosophy. I know it's all fictional, but since Doc was based on Ed Ricketts, I would assume that most of those things really did happen. We walked through the front room and into the back room, where a bar had been set up. A group of older men sat around drinking and talking, and they joked with us when we walked in, as if we were regulars. One of them got up and gave us a tour, taking us out back and showing us the old collecting tanks and the tidepools. Back inside, we explored the two rooms a little more. In the front room a large round table was set up, and the men were getting ready to play some games. Don't know what they were playing, but they were throwing dice and there was a pile of money in the middle of the table. They were loud and friendly and happy, and more than a little drunk. And it was still early in the afternoon. I got the feeling that it was all exactly as Ed Ricketts would have wanted it to be. I half expected him and John Steinbeck to walk in and take their places at the table, with a pint of Old Tennis Shoes, naturally.

We took our pictures on the front stairs as we left. We couldn't believe our luck that day. I still can't. And of course I called Dave to share an experience I knew he'd appreciate. And, I admit, to brag a little.


The Continuum....uh.....continued(um)

I thought the continuum was just a weird thing that Barbara and I liked to talk about when we were bored. And I thought it was done. But since I posted about the continuum, two brand new candidates were brought to my attention. Both by my brother Dave. Seen side by side they look nothing alike. But if you put them in the right order.... Bono fits in between Robin Williams and Phil Collins, and I think that Daniel Radcliffe fits in next to Elijah Wood. What do you think?


Bring back Shoeless Joe!!

Maybe then I'll be interested in a World Series involving the White Sox. The Angels TOTALLY got robbed in the second game, and I think it broke their spirits and that's why they lost the rest of the games. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Happy (belated) Birthday, Freak!

My friendship with Christi began with an attempt to walk from the Newport Pier to the Balboa Pier and back in under 20 minutes (we TOTALLY didn't make it), and most recently had us both participating in a Greek wedding (of the big fat variety), she as the bride and me as matron of honor. She has been one of my very best friends for eight years now. We've had so much fun together, and have always encouraged each other to be more daring than we'd normally be, usually with good results. We have so many good memories together that I don't even know where to begin. We've had no end of fun sharing the same name, and we've actually had people ask us quite seriously, after we had introduced ourselves, if we were twins. "Yes. Yes, we are." Christi and I have racked up thousands of hours driving together, pulled many all-nighters because we couldn't take the time to sleep, talked our way out of tickets together, shared numerous pints, sung at Disneyland and the Hollywood Bowl, beaten hell and high water to get backstage (kind of) at a Cure concert, performed very funny renditions of Shakespeare Man's "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (but only when we're alone), and practically owned our own table at the Denny's in Orange.

Happy birthday, my favorite freak! I hope this year is a better one for you than last year was. Thank you for always standing by me no matter what. You're a supergreat friend, but remember: I'm the Mary, you're the Rhoda. Oh, and you still can't groove to organ music.


Operation: Waiting Room Take Over, Stage One

Last week Nathan quite innocently asked me to burn him some mix CDs for his waiting room, so that his patients don't sit politely avoiding each other's eyes in dead silence while they wait for Nathan to see them. Little did he know. Music is my weapon, and I will use it to subtly infiltrate his office and claim it in the name of all that is good and 80s and alternative. Sadly, I can't go the whole nine yards, because some of what I love just isn't waiting room appropriate. The Cure's Hot Hot Hot and Why Can't I Be You? for instance. But I managed to get some good stuff in. A good amount of U2, the more palatable and popular Cure songs, a lot of Toad the Wet Sprocket, some Ivy (Nathan will kill me for that), even some John Mayer (my guilty pleasure: his music makes me feel like a 14-year-old). And then there are some of the things I snuck in.... I'm going to have to move to the next county when Nathan realizes what's playing out there. Songs like Toto's "Africa,", James Taylor's "The Water is Wide" and "Copperline" (which I included purely because it has a line about copper kettles sitting "side by each"), The Smiths' "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side," and especially Taco's "Puttin' on the Ritz." I'm gonna be in so much trouble, and Nathan is gonna take it from some of his patients. Oh, and I also included Erasure's "Oh l'Amour." Just for good measure. But I did exercise some restraint. I skipped over the Pet Shop Boys completely (*sniff*), and I finally decided that it wouldn't be a good idea to add in David Wilcox's "Mango" (Clint!).


Take THAT!

Praise the Lord, we're having a world series this year where we don't have to worry about the stupid Yankees!! I'm so tired of them being in the playoffs every single year. And wasn't it great to see that part tonight where the two Yankees players both tried to catch the ball and collided with each other in mid-air? I happened to be walking through our apartment complex when it happened, and I could hear laughter and cheers from all sides. Very cool. Go Angels!!

On another note, I was hoping to include pictures on my blog tonight, but the disk that our friends gave us won't work on our computer for some reason. The three of us went last week to the house of some patients of Nathan's, and the guy took a lot of pictures while we were there that are probably very cute. They have a Newfoundland that weighs about 180 pounds, and an Alaskan Husky that's almost that big. Judah had the best time crawling around on the floor playing with the dogs, grabbing their feet, and laying his head on them. It was so fun to watch. Hopefully we'll be able to get the pictures from them another way and I'll post them here later.


Damn Yankees

I don't think I can bear another World Series that involves the Yankees. I'm so sick of them! The Angels bit it tonight, but they have four more chances to bury them. Go Angels!

More Naomi

Today Naomi promised me that if she ever finds a dinosaur egg she'll fry it up and invite me and my family over to eat it with her. I'm so excited! I ain't never ate dinosaur egg before!


Stubborn, just like all the Kimbers

"The impossible becomes possible when we relinquish control."
~Verl Lindley

My family has a decidedly stubborn streak that runs through it via the Kimber blood. And I am half Kimber. My dad's side of the family I would say has the characteristic of perseverence, which is pursuing a goal until it becomes clear that it's an unreasonable goal, and then changing direction gracefully. But my mom's side of the family is just plain stubborn, which means beating our heads against a wall, sometimes even after we realize we're only hurting ourselves (and often times irritating everyone around us). Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn't. But it did spawn a saying: "Where there's a Kimber there's a way." This stubbornness gets blamed on the Kimbers, but I think it may be just as much Cope, which was my grandma Kimber's family. Anyway, like I said, sometimes it's a good thing. Over the years I've seen amazing things happen because of stubborn people. My grandparents' ramshackle old house stayed standing as long as it did simply because they WILLED it to stand, I think. My grandpa drove himself to the hospital while he was having a major heart attack because he was too stubborn to call 911. And my mom and I have the ability to make things appear because we refuse to stop looking for them until they do. Or else we substitute. Cleverly. :)

However, when it comes to the heart, being stubborn is probably the worst thing that can happen. And I've been stubborn. Over the last couple of weeks I've been hanging on to anger and my own wrong feelings. I know that I need to let go, but I haven't been able to so far. I can't go into details about the situation, but it's bad. I've been trying to pray the right way, but it's hard when I know my heart's not right. Nathan promises me that my prayers aren't bouncing off the ceiling because I can't feel what I'm asking for, though. And then came church this morning. The entire service was like God telling me to shape up and change my attitude. But, as always, He didn't scream it at me. He just showed me. And promised help, so I don't have to try to do it alone. We started out by singing a choir anthem called "Create in Me, Oh God, A Pure Heart." Then we sang "Spirit of God Descend Upon My Heart." Then our pastor, Ed Morsey, gave a sermon from Romans. And then we took communion, which is a somewhat unusual occurence since I go to a Friends church. By the end of the service I was quite clear on what I should be doing. And I hope I can do it.

Teach me to feel that thou art always nigh;
Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear.
To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh,
Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.


Happy Birthday, Mom!

My parents have sung in our church choir ever since I can remember. This meant that every Sunday morning they would wake us up at a ridiculous hour, get us dressed, get themselves dressed, pile us all (and sometimes our friends) into the station wagon, stop at Yum Yum for donuts, and get us all to church by 7:30. 7:30!! I think my parents are secretly superheroes. My brothers and I would always sit in the second row, and I remember sitting there and smiling up at my mom and waving. And no matter what, she would always smile back and wink at me, even in the middle of serious moments. It meant the world to me. My mother has never failed to acknowledge me, and that has been so important to me. To this day, if I walk up next to her and she's talking to someone else she'll reach out and put a hand on my arm or her arm around me to let me know she's glad to see me. And it still makes me feel so special and secure and loved.

I love you, Mom, and I think you're the best mom in the whole world. I always have. Thank you for always loving me, and for the many, many ways you've shown me love over the years. I'm so glad to have you as a mother and a (second) best friend. Happy Birthday!


The debate of the continuum

So, in college Barbara and I developed a continuum of people who look alike. It just sort of happened. And it turned out we'd been working on it separately before we even became friends. But then we started talking about it, and we put together a list. I think it started because of a picture of Phil Collins that our professor, Todd Pickett, had posted on his office door. The list has grown over the years, and I think at the most recent incarnation it went something like this: Phil Collins, Robin Williams, Todd Pickett, Tim Weed, Steve Zahn, Elijah Wood, Tobey Maguire, our friend Corey, Jake Gyllenhaal. In that order, more or less. Nathan and I have had this debate for some time. He says the continuum is nuts and that the people in it look nothing alike, except for Robin Williams and Phil Collins, and Tobey Maguire and our friend Corey. But I think these people all look alike somehow. I think it's the mouth. Here are some pictures so that you can weigh in. Sorry they're a little out of order, Steve Zahn should go between Elijah Wood and Tim Weed. And I couldn't find pics of Todd Pickett or Corey. Let me know what you think! And Barbara, let me know if I've left anyone out.


Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John meet Mother Goose

Nathan and I babysat two of our many nieces last night for a couple hours. While they were here we fed Judah dinner, which consists of a truly disgusting mixture of oatmeal and mashed up banana. Rachel and Naomi both asked to feed him, and I let them do a couple of bites each. Judah makes a mess when he eats, but it was nothing compared to the mess that ensued after I handed each of the girls the spoon. After Naomi handed the spoon back to me she stood there and watched Nathan and me finish the feeding, and we all had a deep theological conversation. It went something like this.

Naomi: Babies are messy.
Me: Yep. Were you messy when you were a baby?
Naomi: Uh-huh.
Nathan: What about Jesus? Was he messy when he was a baby?
Naomi: No.
Nathan: Why not?
Naomi: (with expressive hand gestures) Because he wasn't born!
Me: Who told you that?
Naomi: My mommy.
Nathan: I think you need to ask your mommy again.
Me: How come the Bible says Jesus was born?
Naomi: Because the Bible just says that to trick you.
Nathan and me: No Naomi, the Bible never tricks you.
Nathan: Did Jesus have a mommy?
Naomi: Yes.
Nathan: Who?
Naomi: Mary.
Me: How was Mary his mommy if he wasn't born?
Naomi: (looks at us like we're idiots) What I DO know is that Mary had a little lamb.
Nathan: (choking on laughter) I think that's a different Mary, Naomi.
Naomi: I KNOW that!


Sometimes Bono says it better than I can

by U2

Take these shoes
Click clacking down some dead end street
Take these shoes
And make them fit
Take this shirt
Polyester white trash made in nowhere
Take this shirt
And make it clean, clean
Take this soul
Stranded in some skin and bones
Take this soul
And make it sing

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahweh, Yahweh
Still I'm waiting for the dawn

Take these hands
Teach them what to carry
Take these hands
Don't make a fist
Take this mouth
So quick to criticise
Take this mouth
Give it a kiss

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahweh, Yahweh
Still I'm waiting for the dawn
Still waiting for the dawn, the sun is coming up
The sun is coming up on the ocean
This love is like a drop in the ocean
This love is like a drop in the ocean

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahweh, tell me now
Why the dark before the dawn?

Take this city
A city should be shining on a hill
Take this cityIf it be your will
What no man can own, no man can take
Take this heart
Take this heart
Take this heart
And make it break

Temporary pessimist

I've come to realize that everything in this world is determined to tear us apart, even (maybe especially) the things that look like they're trying to keep us together.


Fitting in many ways

Rain in Summertime
by the Alarm

Under the anvil of the sun
Sweat, like a train
I come, I come,
My body to dust
Scorched by the might of the sun
Burning light, burning white heat
Like wildfireI sweat a fever
My body screams
Disintegrates in the heat
Our love is the FAITH that keeps on burning

I love to feel the RAIN IN THE SUMMERTIME
I love to feel the rain on my face
I love to feel the RAIN IN THE SUMMERTIME
I love to feel the rain on my face

Burnt at the stake, on a bed of fire
My body rises
Taking me higher
My loves desire
Is pure ascension fire
And love is the FAITH that keeps on burning

I love to feel the RAIN IN THE SUMMERTIME
I love to feel the rain on my face
I love to feel the RAIN IN THE SUMMERTIME
I love to feel the rain on my face

And then I run 'til the breath tears my throat
'Til the pain hits my side
As if I run fast enough
I can leave all the pain and the sadness behind

I love to feel the RAIN IN THE SUMMERTIME
I love to feel the rain on my face
I love to feel the RAIN IN THE SUMMERTIME
I love to feel the rain on my face
(I love to feel the rain on my face)
(In the summertime)


Happy Birthday, Becky!

As you can tell, September is the month for birthdays in my family. Three in four days!

Becky was my first sister-in-law. Dave started bringing her around when I was fourteen, in my first year of highschool. So she's seen me go through A LOT, including the phase where I wore a lot of black and stayed in my room all the time and thought Robert Smith was the only person who knew how I felt. She saw me through several boyfriends and bad breakups and crazy friendships. And she's never judged me for any of it. I've never been afraid to reveal anything to Becky, never been afraid to tell her about my mistakes and bad decisions and insecurities. She has always been willing to listen to me and to tell me it's okay to feel whatever way I do. Also, she always helps me commandeer the olive bowl at family gatherings so that we can eat them all. :)

Beck - thanks for being such a good friend to me for so many years now. I love you, and hope that you're having the best birthday ever!


Happy Birthday, Ashlee!

Ashlee is my go-to person. When I need to know anything about anything I call Ashlee. She has taught me how to make a purse, a flourless chocolate cake, baked Alaska, and the perfect fondue. She can make a rabbit out of dough, perform alterations on bridesmaid dresses, and create fabulous diaper bags that look just like Petunia Pickle Bottom ones. She has been all over the world and was a wonderful ballerina, and I hear that she can replace the ignition on a 1954 Ford truck, though not without getting stuck under it. :) She's the person I called with all my insane, paranoid questions after Judah was born. She's like a really, really super nice version of Martha Stewart, except she's not a criminal. So far the only thing I've found that has stumped Ashlee is the tree skirt we tried to copy from a magazine last year, and given enough time, I'm sure she'd figure that out too.

Ashlee, I'm so very glad we're sisters (in-law). I couldn't have asked for better. I feel like we really are sisters, and it makes me smile every time Grandma and Naomi confuse one of us for the other. What a compliment to me! I love you, and hope you have a wonderful day and year.


Happy Birthday, Dad!

When I was little we had a darkroom at our house because my dad was the printer at his office. I used to love hanging out in the darkroom with him while he photographed layouts on the huge platform camera, then developed the negatives, sending them through the three different trays of chemicals. I've forgotten what the chemicals were, but when I was eight I could've told you everything about the process. My dad patiently explained every detail to me and showed me how it all worked. I was so interested in it all, but mostly I just liked hanging out with my dad and asking him questions.

To one of the kindest, most upstanding, patient, faithful, loving men I know, Happy Birthday. I love you.


Tidbits and a poem for fall

Currently listening to: The Cure's Wish album
Reminds me of: Among other things, singing "A Letter to Elise" at the top of my lungs with my friend Gina to our friend Elisa in high school.

Well, it's not officially fall yet, but for the past few days there's been a tiny hint of fall in the air around here. You'd have to be a native southern Californian to sense the subtle difference between summer and fall, but it really is there. I actually got to put on my toe socks the other night! We've begun to sleep under our comforter again instead of just the sheets, and there's a tiny hint of red in the leaves on the liquid amber trees. To celebrate, I made pumpkin bread the other night. Pretty soon it'll be time to break out the Cocteau Twins albums, which I can only listen to in the fall and winter. Weird, huh? I'd love to start playing my Siouxsie and the Banshees Superstition album as well (another fall album, especially the song "The Ghost in You"), but my current copy is wrecked. I think it's cursed or something. I've bought the album three times now, and every time I buy it it gets ruined somehow.

On Saturday night Dave, Becky, Steve, Arla, Zoe, Nathan, and I went to the Hollywood Bowl for the John Williams concert. The evening was almost a disaster, but it worked out. I was in charge of buying the tickets, but the guy at Tower where I bought them gave me tickets for the Friday show instead of Saturday. I didn't notice until the person who scanned our tickets pointed it out. I thought we would have to leave, but a very cool worker named Fernando talked to the ticket office and found us a bunch of seats together, then traded us tickets. So nice of him! The show was pretty good, but there was too much Star Wars music, as usual. Four songs! They did play Schindler's List, which was great, but most of the pieces were the same ones they do every year. I'd love to hear them do some different things, like the theme from Saving Private Ryan, or some things from Catch Me If You Can, some of the lesser known themes. But no matter what the program, Williams is always great, so we had a good time.

And now, a poem to celebrate this month. I wrote this ten years ago, and it's one of my only poems with a rhyme scheme. It's rough and pretty cliche, but I still kind of like it, even though it was about a sad event in my life.


The leaves are falling on summer
The world is shedding summer
There's nothing left of summer
But a discarded, tattered dream.

Yesterday the world was bright
With golden light of summer's glow,
Yesterday we played together
Loving each other in friendship strong.
Yesterday our hears were full
Of summer's soul and childhood's dream,
Yesterday the days were long
A carefree song was all we knew.

Today I walked an autumn world,
Late daylight swirled in fading haze.
Today the wind held a bitter note
As summer wrote its first farewell.
Today a coldness touched my face,
Began to erase the summer's warmth,
Today the first frost twisted my heart
And froze the part that once held you.

Summer is gone from my grieving eyes,
Our closeness dies with shortening days.
Your heart is now so far from mine,
Where once entwined there stands just one.
An emptiness comes to consume my life
With all its strife, and you're not there:
I need you now, but I'm all alone,
The bond we've known is far behind.

And now we've reached our summer's end,
The cold sets in and chills me through,
And so, my friend, when all is done,
Your heart is gone at twilight's close.
I watch in silence with slipping tears-
It's lonesome here at the summer's end-
As the brightness pales and darkness falls,
As memories call from the deepening dusk.

The leaves are falling on summer
The world is shedding summer
There's nothing left of summer
But a discarded, tattered dream.

13 September 1995

Still reading? I didn't realize how long it was. Like I said, pretty trite and immature (I have always hated the lines where I rhyme life with strife, how melodramatic!), but it still has a special place in my heart.



I hate people who think that they're independent thinkers and they're all analytical, but really they're just repeating what they've heard other people say, and they haven't even really thought about it themselves, so when you ask them to back up what they've said they can't do it at all. Stupid phonies.


The longest pregnancy in history

Is this the cutest baby in the world? Besides Judah, I mean. :) Her name is Wen Chun Zhan, and she's my new niece! Steve and Arla just got her picture today, which means they'll go to China to pick her up and complete the adoption papers in about 6 or 8 weeks. They've been in the process of adopting her for well over a year now. She was born last December 28th, which is Arla's birthday and just makes it that much more special. We've all been waiting for this day for so long! I talked to both Steve and Arla earlier today, and they were both so happy. I can't wait to meet her!


Actual words that I spoke in my actual kitchen just now


This, of course, because Nathan was holding the cat and looking for somewhere to put her. How have things gotten to this point? And when Judah's two I'll have to deal with them BOTH.


Hey! This is THE LAND OF GRACIOUS LIVING!! Or did you not get the memo?

Land of cranky ugly old people and their cranky ugly offspring, is more like it.
Tonight Nathan and Judah and I went to Mimi's for dinner with my parents. Mimi's, people. This is not fine dining. Judah was being kind of whiny, so we were taking turns holding him and keeping him entertained, and several times my mom and Nathan took him outside when he got too wound up. He wasn't screaming or anything, just kind of crying. At one point I noticed the people in the booth behind us looking over their shoulders at us, but didn't think it was a big deal. Then, when we were getting the bill figured out, Judah was crying and the old guy behind us goes, "You'd think they'd get up and take that kid the hell out of here." And he said it loud. Nathan turned around and said to him, "Nice. Real nice." They all ignored him, of course. Because people like that are cowards and can't take what they dish. They got up and left pretty fast after that, and we followed them out a second later. My dad was the first to reach the front of the restaurant and he heard the younger lady complaining to the hostesses about us! The hostesses were like, "Yeah, whatever," so good for them. Nathan and I were walking behind the old guy outside the restaurant and he was walking slow and Nathan said, "You'd think some people would walk a little faster." And we passed him and I turned around and glared for a while, and we left.

People like that need clubbing with heavy blunt objects. Next time somone makes a comment like that I plan to turn around and say, "I'd rather hear him cry than you talk. So do us all a favor and SHUT UP!"


Quote of the day

"He roars like a lion and swims like a tiger."
Don't know why, but I thought it was hysterical when I read it. Maybe it was the context. Thanks to Barbara for this site, which totally made my evening. My faith in science is renewed because the lovely scientists create things like this seemingly just for fun and to amuse us. A friend of mine from high school lived next door to a scientist. He had bred a cabbit by mating a cat and a rabbit. No joke. It looked like a rabbit with a cat's head, and it would hop around and meow. I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen it. I have a cat who says "Yum yum yum" when she drinks, but as far as we can tell it's not the result of any cross-breeding. She's just crazy.


Judah's first SUV

My first picture on my blog! This is Caleb and Judah (Judah's in the black stroller) on one of their Monday outings. Judah and I walk with Caleb and Aimee once a week. We don't think that the boys have realized that the other exists yet. Hopefully they'll be friends some day. But aren't they cute? You can't really see it in the picture, but Judah's hanging out with his foot up on the "dashboard" of his stroller. Is he my kid or what?


Feeling human again

It's been a while since I wrote about Judah and how things have been going with him. So I guess it's time for an update. I think things were looking pretty dark last time I wrote about being a mother. After Judah was born, things were very very ugly for a while, like two months or so. Post partum hit me really hard, and I had a bad time of it because of my pride. Even though I don't generally see depression in others as weakness or anything like that, that's exactly how I saw it when it came to me. In the past I've always been on top of my feelings and I haven't let things get me down. So I was really frustrated and angry that I couldn't get on top of the depression, and I felt like I was a failure because I couldn't. I felt like I should be strong enough to handle it, and I should be able to think my way through it. Guess what? Sometimes that's not possible.

We have a friend who says, "When in doubt, medicate." I never thought I'd need it and I didn't want it, but thank the Lord for Zoloft. My wonderful, understanding doctor prescribed it for me when I went in to his office and couldn't even work up the strength to really even tell him what I was going through. So he said it all for me, better than I could have. He said, "You've been looking forward to having this baby and thinking it would be wonderful, and now he's here and you feel like it's not such a good thing and your life is over." And I started crying for about the 18th time that day. I had been going through hell, and the guilty feelings were killing me. I'd look at Judah and feel like he deserved so much better than me, like he deserved a mother who would love him more and be less selfish. Honestly, I think all the weight I lost after he was born was water weight from all the crying.

Things have gotten SO MUCH BETTER. I feel like a normal person again. I can laugh, I can be with a group of people without feeling isolated, I can be content to stay home with Judah and not feel trapped. And I can love my baby so much it hurts sometimes. I enjoy him so much more now. He's so cute! His personality is really developing, and I think he finally is getting used to being in this world. He's sleeping through the night most of the time now, and that's a huge deal. Until about a week ago he cried literally every time I put him down and wouldn't stop until I picked him up again, and he couldn't sleep on his own during the day. I had to hold him for every nap. People thought I was exagerating when I told them this, but I really wasn't. I honestly held him ALL DAY for three months. I have tendonitis in my left arm to prove it. But last week Judah passed the milestone of being able to roll from his back to his front (he's been going from front to back since he was 5 weeks old), and it's made all the difference in the world. He's content to play on the floor with his stuffed animals and books now for a while, and he's been taking LONG naps in the afternoons in his crib. Such a relief! He smiles at us a lot, and the other day he began laughing, and he talks all the time (but only in the language of vowels). We've taken him swimming several times, and he's been to the Orange County Fair twice and was an angel both times. We're having so much fun with him, finally.

I'm not sure what prompted me to share all this, rather than just giving a quick "things are fine and I'm better" update. I think it's because I've seen others around me suffer from post-partum depression and not get the treatment they need soon enough. I guess I feel like I should share my experience if there's even the slightest possibility that it will help someone else. Thanks for praying for me, those of you that have been. I appreciate it so much, more than you'll ever know.

Guilty Pleasures part 2

Everybody has those songs that they're kind of ashamed of liking, don't they? You know, something by Celine Dion or Kenny G that you really secretly love. I heard one of mine the other day, and I cranked it up and sang along while one part of me cringed in embarrassment and shame. Here are some of my songs that I'm blushing to say I like, and why I still like them.

"Something to Believe In" by Poison
Dave and I used to drive around in his Mustang convertible with the top down on cold nights and sing this song at the top of our lungs. It was especially funny when we'd hit a bump and the CD would skip and we'd both be shouting in the sudden silence. Incidentally, Dave sold that car before I was old enough to drive it. Thanks, brother.

"The End of the Innocence" by Don Henly
Another Dave story, for some reason this reminds me of his blue Oldsmobile, the 442. Another car I never got to drive....

"Man in the Mirror" by Michael Jackson
It seems like this song was always on when I was on my way to my piano lessons when I was ten. This was one of those songs that you could find on the radio at any time if you tried enough stations. There's a part where the lyrics go, "And no message could have been any clearer." Until I told him differently several months ago, Nathan thought this part was, "And no mustache is gonna bend any clipper." What?!?!

"Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice
My freshman year of highschool. Seemed like everyone was singing this song, and I still hear people saying, "Rollin' in my 5.0 with my ragtop down so my hair can blow." Okay, I'm the only one that says that. Sadly, this is one of those songs that you'll never hear on the radio since it got eclipsed by the song it ripped the hook off from, "Under Pressure" by Queen (with David Bowie).

"Blame It on the Rain" by Milli Vanilli
Rob and Fab. How could you NOT love them? They got a Grammy for being fakes!

"If It Isn't Love" by New Edition
I actually still love almost anything by these guys, including "Candy Girl" and "Can You Stand the Rain." So much fun. Laugh at them if you will, but this group spawned so many big names it's unreal.

"One More Try" by George Michael
When I was in junior high I thought this was the saddest song around. I think I maybe used to cry while I listened to it. Sheesh.

Alright, I think that's quite enough for tonight. Oh, one more. I really like the theme from "In a Summer Place" by Percy Faith. I feel like I'm 60 years old when I admit that. See, I told you these were embarrassing! Stay tuned for more confessions of a pop culture victim....


Beware of SPOILERS!!

If you haven't yet read Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and don't want to know what happens, stop reading this post right now. It is full of spoilers and speculation on the last book. Consider yourself warned!

So yes, I'm entirely too into Harry Potter for someone my age. But I have to admit, I love the books. Took me a long time to get around to reading the first one, but when I finally did I got addicted. So last Friday night I was at the SAVI Ranch Borders with Barbara, waiting for midnight and the release of book six. Unfortunately, we didn't get there until after 11, and the number I was issued was 355. We hung around until almost one, but didn't think they'd get to my number within the next hour or so, so we left. I went back the next morning and picked up my copy, and began reading almost immediately. I finished it earlier today, which is no small feat considering I've got a four month old baby who demands almost constant attention. In some ways the things in this book were a complete surprise, in other ways they were expected... so here are my observations and speculations for the seventh book. Last chance to stop reading if you don't want to know....

1. Least surprising: Dumbledore's death. I saw it coming before I'd even seen the book. Rowling said a major character was going to die, and it stands to reason that it wouldn't be Ron or Hermione. Their talents work together with Harry's, and he couldn't continue to be victorious without both of them.

2. Most surprising: Snape killed Dumbledore! I always hated Snape, but since Dumbledore trusted him I figured he was okay. However, I think he only did it because he made the unbreakable vow to Narcissa, Draco's mother, saying he'd fulfill Draco's task (killing Dumbledore) if Draco couldn't do it. Snape may still turn out to be a reliable member of the Order, but no one will ever trust him again. I think he might redeem himself in some spectacular way in book seven, maybe by dying to save Harry. He wouldn't allow Harry to be killed at the end of book six, and wouldn't kill him even when he had the chance.

3. Draco's a death eater. Not too surprising, but I don't think it'll last. Harry finds him crying in a bathroom and saying that he can't do "it," which is killing Dumbledore. He is only carrying out Voldemort's instructions under the threat of death, and when he faces Dumbledore and has the chance to kill him he can't do it, even though he knows it's Dumbledore's life or his. Dumbledore tells Draco he's not a killer, and Dumbledore is usually right about people. I think Draco's another person who will redeem himself in the end. Interestingly enough, this twist was predicted in a lot of fan fictions. However, Rowling has said that Draco and Hermione will never be together, so there goes my pet theory.

4. Somewhere in the last couple of chapters, after Dumbledore dies, Harry goes back to his office, which is now McGonagall's office. He sees that Dumbledore's portrait is now among the other portraits of past headmasters. In other books, we've seen the portraits talk and move and be aware of current events. They travel between locations, and carry messages, and even give advice to the current headmaster. So, does this mean that Harry will still be able to communicate with Dumbledore? It'll almost be like he's not even gone, if that's the case. I read someone else's theory that Harry will eventually get Dean Thomas (who has artistic talent) to draw portraits of Sirius and his parents so that he can talk to them. This makes sense to me, and seems like Harry should've thought of it earlier.

5. Hogwarts closing? No seventh year? Even if it stays open, Harry says at the end of the book that he won't be returning. Ron and Hermione are determined to stick with him, so I guess we won't be seeing much of Hogwarts in the seventh book.

6. Lily. She keeps coming up, and Rowling has said that her past is hugely important in understanding the whole story. What's the deal with her? I have no idea. She was from a muggle family, so I would think that Harry's dad's past would be the one to look at. There's such an emphasis on how Harry looks like Tom Riddle. Were his dad and the Riddles related? But there's also something important about Harry having Lily's eyes. Weird.

7. And last. Who took the Horcrux that Harry and Dumbledore went to find? His initials are RAB. If this person is someone who's already been mentioned, and it probably is, the only person I can come up with is Regulus Black, Sirius's brother. He's mentioned in book five when they're looking at the Black family tree. He was a Death Eater at one time, but then changed his mind and was killed by Voldemort or someone acting under his orders. I think he was trying to hunt down Horcruxes before he was killed. Regulus is a star in the lion constellation, and lions symbolize the pure of heart. Incidentally, what was Dumbledore seeing in his head when he was drinking whatever it was that was in that stone basin?

Okay, that's enough for one night. I know I'm a big Harry Potter nerd. Good book, but it raises so many questions! I can't wait to see the seventh book, and see how Rowling ties everything together. I think there's going to be a lot going on in the seventh book. And she hasn't even started writing it yet! We may have to wait for a long time. I almost wish I hadn't started reading the books until they were all written...


Seeing things through new eyes

The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays of the year. It's hot, families get together, there are barbecued hot dogs and lots of potato salad and olives and watermelon. Everybody celebrates, and there's a shared feeling of patriotism and home pride. And "God Bless America" gets blared really loudly at some point during the day. On the Fourth I'm a country fan, I love those big patriotic anthems, the ones that manipulate your emotions shamelessly. On the Fourth I like to braid my hair into two braids and wear sparkly eye makeup.

This year the barbecue part of the day was pretty quiet. We were at my parents' house and it was just my dad and mom, Nathan, me, and Judah, and my grandma. But it was fun, and later in the evening, as we have for the past four years, we headed over to a big park in Yorba Linda for the fireworks show. Our party grew there to include Nathan's parents, his brother Jeff, my brother Dave and his wife Becky and their girls, Morgan and Lindsay, and our friends Brent and Danielle and their son Joshua. There was more food and party poppers and good conversation and thousands of people around.

While we waited for the show to start we sat and talked, and Nathan's dad held Judah, who finally fell asleep. I had wondered all day how Judah would handle the fireworks. He was still asleep when they started, but of course he woke up at the first boom and started screaming. Ken had him faced into his shoulder and was covering his ears, but he turned him around after a minute. Judah saw the fireworks and immediately stopped screaming. He was wrapped up in a blanket, and Judah spent the whole show sitting quietly, his eyes wide over the edge of the blanket as he watched. He was totally entranced. I don't think he looked away even once. I love fireworks a lot, but it was very hard for me to tear my eyes away from Judah to watch them. It was so awesome to watch him experiencing them for the first time, seeing the wonder in his eyes. I can't wait to discover the world all over again with him as he grows up.

City of my dreams

"I love the rhythm of London. I love how the city just feels like one big heartbeat. I love how I can never feel lost here. I love knowing my way around, and I love how I always feel safe. I'm just completely, head-over-heels in love with London. I'll always dream about this city..."
~From my journal, July 8 1995

Ten years ago today I was in London, busy falling in love with the city. I was only there for two weeks, but they were the most intense weeks of my life. They were challenging and fun and crazy and stretching and scary and eye-opening. I would still count London as my favorite city in the world. I have such good memories of the places and the people. I woke up this morning to Nathan's radio alarm, and the news of the London bombings was the first thing I heard today. I still can't quite believe it. There aren't adequate words to express my sadness and anger. Pray for the people of London, the families of the dead and injured, and for the leaders. I fear that there are harder times ahead.


Lucky 13

Currently listening to: Ivy's "In the Clear" album

Stole this little gem of an idea from Barbara. Thanks Babs! Here are thirteen of my favorite song quotes, in no particular order. This was harder to do than I thought it would be!

If only I'd known all the right words
I could've held onto your heart,
If only I'd known all the right words
I wouldn't be breaking apart...
~The Cure, "Pictures of You"

It's not always easy and sometimes life can be deceiving,
I'll tell you one thing, it's always better when we're together.
~Jack Johnson, "Better Together"

And if we can never see the sun,
There's still light with you
~Siouxsie and the Banshees, "Rhapsody"

The more skin you shed,
the more that the air in your throat will linger
when you call him your friend
~Toad the Wet Sprocket, "Crowing"

The sanest days are mad
~Morrissey, "Why Don't You Find Out for Yourself"

We'll shine like stars in the summer night
We'll shine like stars in the winter night
One heart, one hope, one love...
~U2, "With or Without You" (Rattle and Hum recording)

How can I tell you of life's sweet carress
Without showing you scars?
~Robert Deeble, "Rock a bye"

It seems reality destroys our dreams
~The Cure, "Strange Attraction

My nerves are all jangled
But I'm pulling through,
I hope I can handle
What I have to do
~Pet Shop Boys, "Only the Wind"

Tear out the pages with all the bad news
~The Cure, "Doing the Unstuck"

And I must be
An acrobat
To talk like this
And act like that
And you can dream
So dream out loud
...don't let the bastards grind you down
~U2, "Acrobat"

I don't know if we could get lost
in a city like this
if we wanted to,
And I don't know if I could survive
without seeing you,
And every time I see your face
I feel out of place
~Electronic, "Some Distant Memory"

We're too young to reason,
Too grown up to dream
~Bryan Ferry, "Slave to Love"

Phew! Done. That was tough. There are so many more that I love. Here's one more:
Every jumbled pile of person has a thinking part that wonders what the part that isn't thinking isn't thinking of.
~They Might Be Giants, "Where your Eyes Don't Go"


Moose tracks or vanilla?

Currently listening to: Toad the Wet Sprocket's "In Light Syrup" album

We have ice cream in the freezer. I cannot even begin to tell you how happy this makes me. In celebration of the ice cream, here is a list of things that never fail to make me feel happy.

Sunny days
Muscle cars
MXC on Spike TV
Hearing Payasa say "Num num num" while she drinks from the faucet (seriously)
Being married to a chiropractor
Hearing Judah say "Ooooohhhh" (especially if he ends it with a raspberry)
Chocolate cereal
Fanny Flagg books
My charm bracelet
My family
A warm bed on a cold night
Toe socks
The Duck Mafia at East Lake Village
Tomato soup with cheese in it
Family slide shows
Hanging out with Nathan
A hot bath and a good book
Red wine
Driving with the top down
The feeling between awake and asleep
The Basil and Josephine stories
Bare feet and hot concrete
Seeing my old cat Corduroy's smooshy face and owl eyes
Planting my new garden
Swimming in the ocean
Smells that have good memories attached to them
Dinner at Roy's or Trastavere
Planning our 4th anniversary getaway (England! Ireland!)
Dreaming up impossible schemes

And speaking of.... do any of you know where I can find fireflies to import to Southern California? I haven't been able to find a site online where I can order them. I could get some giant African rhinoceros beetles if I wanted, but no fireflies! My brother and I are working on Project Gatsby and trying to get some for his backyard. If you know where we can order some, or if you live where there are some and you can send them to us, let me know! Because I think if I could go to my brother's house and hang out with the fireflies on summer nights I'd probably be happy forever......


Blue Genes

Currently listening to: The Album Leaf's "Seal Beach" album
Reminds me of: Summer nights in Irvine, even though I just heard it for the first time tonight

The other day Nathan and I were talking about character traits that are innate versus learned, the whole "nature vs. nurture" debate. So I started thinking about where I picked up the things that make me who I am. Here are some of the things I inherited and where they came from:

My tendency to be melancholy, and to be overcome by sadness in the face of beauty (Mom)

My love of organizing and categorizing (Dad)

My infinite patience for working jigsaw puzzles and my ability to pick up a piece and know exactly where it goes (Dad)

My self-appointed job in the family of making sure everyone's happy and having a good time (Mom)

My food accidents, where I end up dropping food on myself at almost every meal (Dad) (Nathan TOTALLY makes fun of me when this happens, but I swear it's genetic)

My love of taking the prettiest road even if it's not the most direct way to get somewhere (Mom)

My habit of packing too much into a day and trying to make it work, to the exasperation of other more realistic family members (Mom)

My inability to throw out anything, including greeting cards and fortune cookie fortunes, that has sentimental value or a memory attached to it (Mom)

And then there are some things that are all my own:

My laziness (though my mom claims to be lazy, too)

My avoidance of tomatoes

My preference for being out all the time rather than at home

The bizarre part of my sense of humor

My love of going to places that aren't necessarily "safe" or "accepted" by our conservative crowd

My somewhat white trash habit of eating Little Smokies cold

And on and on.... I still haven't answered the question really. I don't know if these things are things I picked up from watching my parents or if they're really part of my personality. I think a lot can be attributed to birth order as well. Alright, enough for tonight. It's been a big day. My mom and I hosted a tea party this morning for Morgan, Zoe, and Lindsay and all their Cabbage Patch Kids. We ate at a table on my parents' patio, and the dolls hung out on the patio swing. Judah hung out with the dolls, fitting right into the lineup. He's about the same size as the dolls and looked hysterical sitting there with them. Then tonight we all went down to Corona del Mar for the first beach party of the season. So I feel contentedly tired. And I smell like beach fire smoke, which is always a good thing.


The end of our history-making status

For a little while Nathan and I were the first and only white trash family in Yorba Linda.

We moved into this apartment just about four months ago now. I was 8 months pregnant and unable to do any heavy lifting or fast moving, so I spent the day mostly directing traffic and providing food and drinks. I was dreading having to unpack and put everything away and I was wondering how to handle it all, so of course something else happened. About two days before the move our refrigerator broke. And it was the best fridge ever. Nathan bought it eight years ago for $50 and it was awesome. It kept things at just about a perfect 33 degrees. So it broke and we weren't sure what to do with it at the moment, so we moved it to our new place. But since it was leaking water all over the place from the freezer we didn't want to keep it inside. So, yes, I hate to admit it, but we put it in our backyard.

So for four months now we've looked out our sliding glass door straight at the back of the fridge. Because we've been too preoccupied and tired to do anything about it. It became a joke. Several weeks ago I brought home a plant I'd won at a church event, and Nathan put it on top of the fridge. And then, then we had the birthday party last Sunday and we were left with an ice chest full of drinks at the end. So we put the ice chest in the backyard next to the fridge, and went outside periodically to get drinks from it. I'm sure at that point someone started circulating a petition to have us evicted. I really wanted to get a goat to keep back there as well, and Nathan wanted to tip the fridge over and use it as a planter. We also wanted to tip it over and fill it with water and get our nieces over here to play in it.

But we didn't. Today Nathan borrowed his dad's stake bed truck and a dolly and carted the fridge out. As our last act of white trash-ness we drove up to the dump and ditched it there. We noticed that in one part of the dump they'd planted a pumpkin vine that had hundreds of pumpkins on it. Nathan called them dumpkins. I wanted to pick one, but Nathan wouldn't let me. I guess we're not THAT white trash.


Because I couldn't think of anything to write about tonight

Stole this from Graf Spee's blog. Thanks Dan! It's entertaining.

1. Free will and predestination
2. Our contry's legal system
3. WWE

1. I have a very bad temper
2. I have a fear of being unoriginal
3. I'm afraid of the dark

1. Movie you rented: Hitch. But we haven't had time to watch it
2. Movie you bought: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
3. Song you listened to: "Turn" by New Order
4. CD you bought: I think it was New Order's new one, Waiting for the Sirens' Call
5. TV show you've watched: No idea. Probably MXC (yes, I love Spike TV)
6. Person you kissed: Either Nathan or Judah
7. Person you were thinking of: Nathan

1. You have a crush on someone: Yes. But is it a crush if it's requited?
2. You wish you could live somewhere else: Yes and no. I love California, but some other places might be nice for a change.
3. You think about suicide: Nope. I think it's selfish.
4. You believe in online dating: I don't think I'd do it, but I am a believer. I have lots of friends who met online and are very happily married.
5. Others find you attractive: Probably some others do, and some others don't
6. You want more piercings: Nope. I used to have more, and it just became too time consuming to pick out a jewelry wardrobe every morning
7. You drink: To the dismay of my mother, yes. But not heavily at all.
8. You do drugs: No. And if I did, would I want it published?
9. You smoke: Haven't in a long time. Used to occasionally. Cloves.
10. You like cleaning: No! But I like having things clean...
11. You like roller coasters: Yes
12. You write in cursive or print: Depends on what I'm writing. I usuallly write in a kind of hybrid
13. You like soap operas: No

1. Ever cried over a girl: Yes
2. Ever cried over a boy: Oh yes
3. Ever lied to someone: Yes
4. Ever been in a fist fight: No
5. Ever been arrested: No, but almost. For hanging out on the beach after it closed

1. Shampoo do you use: Herbal Essences
2. Shoes do you wear: Any of my many many pairs, but usually flip flops
3. Is your desktop background: The Cure symbol from the Wish album

1. Of times you have been in love: 2
2. Of times you have had your heart broken: Once
3. Of girls/guys you have kissed: Too many
4. Of drugs taken illegally: None
5. Of people you would classify as true, could-trust-with-your-life type friends: Many. I am very blessed
6. Of people you consider your enemies: None
7. Of scars on your body: Two major ones, and tons of minor ones
8. Of things in your past that you regret: Way too many


Yorba Linda: Land of Gracious Living (and insufferable yuppies)

A conversation heard in the express line at the grocery store tonight:

Woman 1: Did you see my husband's new toy?
Woman 2: Yeah, he drove it by the other night.
Woman 1: Pretty nice, huh? He loves it.
Woman 2: Yeah. Where are you keeping it? Outside?
Woman 1: No, we have the five classics in the garage, and my Mercedes and his truck stay outside.
Woman 2: Oh. I finally got rid of my beemer.
Woman 1: Really? What are you driving now?
Woman 2: I got an XJ8.
Woman 1: That's a Jag, right? Do you like it?
Woman 2: Yeah, I love it.
Woman 1: That's great!
Kristy: (And this is where I live....)


I watched a show on the Mafia tonight....

Currently listening to: A mix CD I made that includes the song Iambic 5 Poetry by Squarepusher
Reminds me of: The time I made a similar mix for a friend of mine at Biola, and one night I was walking to his room in Sigma and he had this song BLASTING on his stereo. If you've never heard this song, find it somewhere and listen. I felt like I was walking into a dream.

Nathan came home tonight and repeated to me something one of his patients said, and my head almost imploded. Some people should have their mouths permanently duct taped shut. And I just happen to have a list of who those people are!

1. Nathan's patient. Let's just call her Gertrude to protect the stupid. Nathan was telling her about Judah and mentioned that he wakes up usually once a night to eat. Her response: "Oh, you need to break him of that." Excuse me? How do you break a baby of waking up hungry in the night?!? Nathan asked her and she said, "Oh, there are ways." So he said, "How? I'm interested!" And she said, "Um, well....my son was sleeping through the night earlier than that." Yeah, ON HIS OWN. So she didn't actually BREAK HIM of the habit, did she? Moron.

2. Tom Cruise. Anyone else hear of his criticism of Brooke Shields? Yeah, apparently he doesn't approve of her using medication to help her get over post partum depression. According to him, it's not the right way to go about it, and she should have been able to lift herself out of it, presumably with the help of scientology. Because he's the authority on these things. Please. Has he ever given his body over to the completely irrational rule of a developing human being for nine plus months, had his hormone levels increase 7000 percent, undergone hours of the most intense pain known to human kind, had his body ripped apart in very personal and sensitive places, and then been handed a person who has no regard for his opinions, needs, and wants and that has to be tended to 24 hours a day every day without a break at the same time as his body is trying to recover from all this trauma? No? Well, until he has, he can just SHUT THE HELL UP.

3. The entire jury on the Michael Jackson case. How do they sleep at night?

4. Barbra Streisand. Every time I read a comment from her I'm amazed at her stupidity. Here's the latest: "The idea of a liberal media bias is simply a myth. If only it were true, we might have a more humane, open-minded, and ultimately effective public debate on the issues facing the country. We may actually embrace the principles of liberalism..." She thinks the media's not liberal? What country does she live in? And speaking of, she promised she'd leave the US if we elected George W. Bush. So why isn't she gone? She promised!!

That's enough for tonight. I feel better now, don't you?


A Good Old-Fashioned Family Barbecue

Today Nathan and I threw a mutual birthday party for each other, since his birthday was on the 8th and mine was yesterday. Both of our families came, and as they all get along well, it was a good thing. We did the usual: hamburgers and hot dogs and chips and potato salad and watermelon and lemonade and all. I love summer barbecues. Some day we'll live in a big craftsman house with a huge back lawn with lots of oak trees and jacarandas and some kind of a pond, and I'll throw parties where everyone will be required to wear white. Seriously. Anyway, today was fun. The little girls swam, and Steve ended up having to go in for a while too, to retrieve the diving rings that none of them could get from the deep end. Not that Zoe didn't try her best. Steve even picked her up and threw her in head first once, in hopes that she'd be able to get to the bottom. No use.

Today's party reminded me of the barbecues we had at my grandparents' house in the Heights when I was little. We'd get there some time in the afternoon, parking in the long driveway however the car would fit. The grown-ups would get everything set up out on the patio, making trip after trip from the kitchen. I can remember the exact sound of the back porch door opening and closing as people went in and out; the squeak of the spring and the rickety slam. My grandpa would do the grilling and then we'd all sit down at the long ancient picnic table to eat. If you sat on the north side of the table you could look out over the valley as you ate, and on clear days you could see the ocean and Catalina Island. The food was always good (my grandma was maybe the best cook ever), and we always drank out of short, fat green glasses. After dinner we'd sit around on the patio swings, listening to the crickets and enjoying the evening breeze through the pepper tree. At 9:30 Disneyland would set off their fireworks, and we would all watch the show, seeing the explosions and then hearing the boom several seconds later. We would drive home late, and sometimes I'd fall asleep in the back seat.

Of course, these dinners had elements of the ridiculous sometimes. At some point my grandma would always stand up and say, "Anyone want some more weiners?" And us kids would try not to laugh. The lights that were hooked to the swings had extension cords that ran into the house through a window and were probably the biggest fire hazard around. My grandpa had a habit of throwing things like rolls and slices of bread down the table to the person that asked for them, instead of just passing them like a normal person. He'd also tap your arm with the tines of his (already used) fork to get your attention. And then there were the rats that occasionally ran overhead on the branches of the pepper tree. Those nights are among my best childhood memories, all of the family together and all the time in the world. I loved sitting for hours and hearing the old family stories. And I loved the moment before we ate when we'd all bow our heads in unison, without anyone saying we were going to pray, and we'd all participate silently together in a Quaker prayer.

My grandparents have both been gone for years now, and the old house was torn down several summers ago. Before it was torn down, while it was vacant, my brothers and I took trips up the hill once in a while and wandered through it, taking out various things we'd left when my grandma moved out years before. We found a mailbox, old bottles, lightswitch plates, a reflector from the front gate. But I think I get the prize. Because I carted the patio out, piece by piece, in the trunk of my Mustang.


Road Rage and Other Things That Annoy Me

Currently listening to: The Cure's Bloodflowers album
Reminds me of: The two Cure concerts I went to during the Dream Tour, summer of 2000. The shows were at the Greek Theater, and there was no opening band. Instead, they played a recording of Barber's Adagio for Strings, so ethereal under the summer evening sky. Magical.

Here, for your reading pleasure, a selection of things that are seriously irritating me tonight. It's been a very long, very bad day.

Today has been a nightmare with Judah. He SCREAMED from 9:45 to 11:00 this morning and would not be comforted. I finally put him in his crib so I could take a shower because I figured he was going to scream no matter what I did. And he did. When I picked him up he wouldn't look at me, and then he wouldn't smile at me for half the day. And then tonight, when I went to choir practice, he decided that he WOULD NOT drink from a bottle, so Nathan had to call me and I had to come home to feed the monster. Do you know what this means?!? It means that I CAN NEVER LEAVE JUDAH AGAIN FOR MORE THAN TWO HOURS. My life is over.

People on the road tonight were driving like absolute idiots. GET OFF THE CELL PHONE! You obviously cannot drive and talk at the same time without threatening the lives of people in ALL THREE LANES. Oh, and that space between the double yellow lines and the island, that's not a lane. So GET OUT OF THERE! And you better not change lanes to get in front of me unless you plan on beating the 65 mph I'm doing. And then, THEN there's the guy that has to turn into MY LANE even though there are two other lanes that are perfectly clear. Who are these people and why are they allowed on the road?

Oh, and the man in Starbucks. Already he's loud and obnoxious and hyper, and he goes and orders EIGHT SHOTS OF ESPRESSO. Are you kidding me? Why doesn't he just mainline speed? It would be faster, and probably cheaper. And then he goes and sits down by this kid he doesn't know and proceeds to start a conversation when the guy's obviously trying to study. It's a good thing he wasn't trying to talk to me, because I would have withered all the hair on his head with my evil new-mother-with-raging-hormones-and-a-crabby-baby glare.

If Judah knows what's good for him he'll sleep for ten hours tonight and do nothing but smile tomorrow. And he should probably rub my feet, too. And change his own diapers.


I almost died laughing just now

Currently listening to: Electronic's Raise the Pressure album
Reminds me of: Hanging out at Jon and Nate's place in Park Newport on summer nights (drinking with all of the Biola alums)

I don't have a lot of time at the moment, but I had to open all your eyes to this hysterical video clip. Nathan just came home from work and showed it to me. If you're one of those people who thinks that any funny video involving animals is abuse, then don't look. But I'm of the opinion that animals were put on earth mostly to nourish and amuse us, so I think it's funny. The same way I think it's funny when you spin around with a cat in your arms for a while and then put it down on the floor and watch it try to walk. Come on, like you've never done that. It's also funny to put a strip of tape down a cat's back and watch it run low. The other night Nathan put his watch around Payasa's neck (don't worry, it was plenty big enough - she's a small cat and he has big wrists) and she was our watch cat for a while. Problem was, she wouldn't walk. Maybe a smaller watch would work.....


Too Much Information

Currently listening to: The Queen is Dead by The Smiths (the song The Boy with the Thorn in His Side might be my favorite Smiths song ever)
Reminds me of: Highschool. I had a friend when I was in highschool who lived right around the corner from me. His name was Nathan (not the one I married) and we carpooled together. He was kind of a recluse, but we'd hang out at night sometimes. One night I was sitting on my bed right in front of the open window writing in my journal. I was also listening to a Smiths album. The tape stopped playing (yes, it was a tape), but the singing kept on going. I squinted out the window and there was Nathan, sitting on the ledge singing. I went outside and we spent the rest of the night wandering the neighborhood, talking. He was one of the strangest friends I ever had...

Yesterday we stopped by Borders so I could pick up yet another book about child-raising, this one on how to develop good sleep habits in a child. I read the parts that applied to a baby Judah's age, and came away discouraged because he doesn't seem to follow the patterns described, and also the book didn't outline very well how to put a sleep plan into effect. I wound up the evening in tears (again).

Who are these people that write these books? How do they know it all? And how are they all so sure that their method is the best? There are tons of books out there and they all have different ideas, and they all have all these testimonials about how their method works every time. Demand feeding or scheduled feeding? Apparently, both work equally well. So the only conclusion that I can come to is that all methods work, unless the parent is a complete idiot. I read a story of one woman who said that when her baby was eight months old he was still waking up EVERY TWO HOURS at night to eat. A couple of questions: first, wouldn't you realize that there was something horribly wrong with that schedule when most babies that age are only eating about 4 time a day and sleep 12 hours a night? And secondly, how was that poor woman not dead from keeping up with the feedings? I would be strapping myself into a straight jacket.

After last night Nathan gave me an ultimatum: "No more books. They make you cry." I think he's right. From now on, I'm just calling my mom.