Sunday, December 17, 2006

Tater's First Birthday

We had a party for Tater's first birthday today at Lexi Dog Boutique on Macadam.

Some 0f his closest friends showed up to help us celebrate!

They went bobbing for hot dogs.

And Bailey busted open the Snowman pinata so that everyone could eat the treats inside.

Later they went hunting for pupcakes and played some more. Thanks to everyone who came and helped us have a great day! Hope your doggies are as tired out as ours are :)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Christmas Spirit for a First Timer

G is not really into Christmas trees, but I think it may be the most magical part of the holiday. There is something truly special about going to the lot on Wankers Corner and picking out the "one", cutting it down yourself, stuffing it into your car, taking it home, and getting it to stand up straight. G let me do it all myself this year.

I also love adding the twinkly lights, especially white ones because I think the add such warmth at this cold and dark time of the year. (Ugh! I hate the cold and the dark. So I really look forward to all the holiday decorations that brighten up the world for a few weeks.)

But my most favorite part is pulling out the box of ornaments from the garage, opening it up and unwrapping each one individually letting my memory take me back to the story behind each one. There's Jack from Cinderella, with his little whiskers and orange jacket, which I got from a McDonald's Happy Meal. I had really wanted Gus. Then there's the gold and red candy cane with my name engrave in it that my mom got for me in 5th grade. That was the beginning of the traditional annual ornament. I even still have the tea pot that says "Friendship is a special gift" that I got from Evie in 6th grade. There's Gabe's blown glass icicles that he insisted on buying a couple of years ago. But the one that really gets to me is the ceramic totem pole of teddy bears that my dad and mom carried with them to Paris in 1999. Each one marks a special stage in my life and it's fun to remember them and all the people who touched those steps along the way.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I Set it Up and I Made it Secure!

I acutally set up my wireless router last night! By myself. And that's not all! I even made it secure. Using WEP keys. The router didn't come with directions to do this, or at least I couldn't find them so I did a google search and got the instructions off the internet. I had to modify them a little bit to make it work for me, but I got it to work. Yahoo!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Wireless Router

I purchased my first wireless router yesterday! I'm becoming so high tech! It was a bit intimidating. Who knew there were so many kinds, but the guy at Radio Shack said it would work and my friend Johnny said that it was a good brand so we'll see. I have to hook it up now so I can use it at home.

Next, we want to get rid of our old desktop computer, but that requires saving all of our files to CD. A daunting task. I'd better get started!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

It's Been Months

Most of you have probably given up on me. I'm sorry. I just got a new laptop with wireless and I can now blog from anywhere, so I'm back!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

HTML Class

I started an online HTML class through PCC last week. Today we wrote our second simple web page using Notepad and HTML.

I never would have thought I'd be doing this! It's intimidating, but most of the stuff we've talked about so far I'm pretty comfortable with. I'm so used to being able to see what my creations look like as I make them, but this is so much different. You can try to imagine what the web page will look like as you type simple black code on a white screen, but it's hard for me to do right now. I find myself getting antsy, waiting to test my page in the browser window to see how the combinations work together.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Complaining Is the Best Conversation Starter

Have you ever gotten together with your girlfriends for a cocktail or a pedicure and before you know it you're all "venting." I find myself leaving these situations more depleted than when I went in and wondering "Am I really so pessimistic that I can only talk to her about the bad things?" Apparently I'm not alone.

According to Robin Kowalski, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Clemson University, in a recent article on "We use complaints as icebreakers. We start a conversation with a negative observation because we know that will get us a bigger response than saying something positive would." The article goes on to say that women use complaining "in a ritualistical way, as a means of bonding."

As such it seems that constructive complaining is an essential life skill. Some rules for performing the ritual properly:

1) Be up-front about your need to complain (rather than try to pretend you're just having a regular conversation)
2) Limit your kvetch time
3) Don't act as though your gripes trump everyone else's
4) Select an appropriate listener

The article goes on to say, "Bad complainers are annoying at best, depressing at worst. They spread negativity and give griping a bad name. But if you really need to complain, go ahead. Because for most of us, behind the grousing is a basic human need: We're looking for connection."

Overweight Babies? I thought that was a good thing.

According to a recent article on the number of overweight babies has increase 74% since 1980. I was always told that being a chubby baby was a good thing and had no bearing on how much you would weigh as an adult. According to the article, it may actually lead to obesity in the future and all the related health problems. Yikes!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Mommy Wow! I'm a Big Kid Now...

I learned how to do something technical by myself. What I mean by that is I didn't ask our help desk coordinator or our IT department. I did my own Google search and successfully found my own solution.

The problem: I wanted Photoshop CS2 to be my default photo viewer, because usually when I veiw a photo I also want to edit it. However, I had some other viewer opening all my images on both my home and work computers. Not any more!

Yay for me!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I Can't Believe It's Been a Month

Summer time is soooooo busy, isn't it? Work is busy. Evenings are busy. Weekends are busy. I've been so busy, I've forgotten to read blogs let alone write my own.

Most of you know we just got back from a whirlwind trip to NYC a couple weeks ago. We had a good time. Saw a lot of the classics. (Pictures to follow.) I could shake the thought that I was supposed to be so excited and yet it was really just another city with another china town and another park and another metro system. Didn't really seem like the same thing I've seen in the movies. However, I did call my Mom as we stood outside Macy's on 34th street and Broadway. (I'm named after Natalie Wood who was the little girl in my mom's favorite movie Miracle on 34th Street.) And Times Square was pretty impressive. I got dizzy trying to look at everything.

Thanks again Paige and Ben for watching the doggies. We all appreciate it.

Friday, July 07, 2006

More About Love: A "New" Approach

I'm always interested in new theories that claim to create stronger healthier romantic relationships when implemented, so I was immediately drawn to this article on The basic premise is "The old paradigm is 'Oh, look at our conflicts and what we’re disagreeing about.' With Big Picture Partnering, there’s a totally different mindset: 'We’re in this together. What are we going to do about this?'"

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

More Proof That The Middle Class Is Disappearing

InmanNews published this article saying essentially that the middle class is on it's way out. In summation the article said, "'Suburban middle-income neighborhoods were replaced in roughly equal measure by low-income and very high-income neighborhoods,' the report states. In each of these 12 large metro areas, the share of middle-income neighborhoods shrank faster than the share of middle-income families from 1970 to 2000." Personally, I find this terrifying every time I read it.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Religious Right Republicans Ruining Faith

Finally, someone from the religious world is saying it, "this Religious Right Republican movement I keep hearing about is not very Christian." Without further ado, I introduce the article from NPR.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Suburbia Linked to Obesity

News flash: "Urban sprawl is a major health risk for Oregonians," according to the Daily Journal of Commerce (Portland, OR). People who live in wide spread suburbs are more likely to be overweight and get in car accidents than people who live in compact communities. While this may be simple "common sense" as C says, I think it's about time someone said it outloud. We need exercise. Obesity kills 1500 people in Oregon each year.

I've often marveled at all the traffic that commutes too and from Portland each day. I admit it. I commute 40 minutes one way each day by Max. However, this requires walking to and from my stops and often standing, which I feel is a little bit better for me. I've been wearing a pedometer off and on for a few months now and I find that days that I ride the Max to and from work I easily add 2,000 to my daily total.

If only we could all live in "walkable communities." That's one thing G and I miss from good old Forest Grove, walking everywhere. We used to walk to the bar, walk to school, walk to work, walk to the Laundromat. I weighed 30lbs less then. Go figure.

Doggies at Work

Tomorrow is Take Your Dog to Work Day sponsored by Pet Sitters International. Unfortunately, I won't be able to bring either Tater or Bailey because the company that manages our office building won't allow it.

However, a recent article in The Daily Journal of Commerce (Portland, OR) says more and more companies are going pet-friendly. According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, the article said, "millions of Americans believe pets on the job lower absenteeism and encourage workers to get along."

Further, many companies are finding that having a pet friendly corporation can be a big bargaining chip in a competitive job market. It referenced a survey Simply Hired and which stated that "a third of dog-owners would take a 5 percent pay cut to take their pets to work, two-thirds would work longer hours and half would switch jobs."

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


G started his new job on Monday, which means he is now an office monkey like me and he works 8am to 5pm like the rest of us yahoos! Who ever thought normal would be so exciting?

I have to tell you, waking up with him in the morning and having him home when I get home is absolutely the best thing that's happened to me in a while.

I wanted to be a stronger more independent woman who didn't need a man, not even my husband to make me happy, but having him around is like a sunny day after the long rainy winter here in Oregon. And you know what? I'm ok with my new found co-dependency.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


noun: acting in bad faith; deception by pretending to entertain one set of intentions while acting under the influence of another
noun: a fraudulent or duplicitous representation

Thursday, May 18, 2006


  • noun: maximum clarity or distinctness of an image rendered by an optical system (Example: "In focus")
  • noun: maximum clarity or distinctness of an idea (Example: "The controversy brought clearly into focus an important difference of opinion")
  • noun: the concentration of attention or energy on something (Example: "The focus of activity shifted to molecular biology")
  • noun: a fixed reference point on the concave side of a conic section
  • noun: a point of convergence of light (or other radiation) or a point from which it diverges
  • noun: a central point or locus of an infection in an organism (Example: "The focus of infection")
  • noun: special emphasis attached to something
  • verb: cause to converge on or toward a central point (Example: "Focus the light on this image")
  • verb: put (an image) into focus (Example: "Please focus the image")
  • verb: become focussed or come into focus (Example: "The light focused")
  • verb: direct one's attention on something (Example: "Please focus on your studies and not on your hobbies")
  • verb: bring into focus or alignment; to converge or cause to converge; of ideas or emotions

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Forward Thinking

When G messaged me today to tell me he was selling my golf clubs on Craigslist I felt a deep sense of loss. Albeit, we golfed once last summer. I was still mourning for the summer before when we golfed often. During that time we met some fun people. It was also a fun activity that helped us get to know some of our friends better. Plus they allowed us to drink beer and get exercise two of our favorite activities. What could be better?

However, golfing together was not always fun. Sometimes we get paired up with people we didn't want to know. Other times we were followed by a group of pushers that had no patience for the nine shots it takes for me to get to the green. Sometimes I found myself just plain frustrated because I had no patience for the nine shots it took for me to get to the green. So I declared that I wouldn't go again until I could take lessons. However, lessons never happened and therefore, golfing didn't happen for a long time.

Then I changed my tune. I started asking G to go with me, but he wasn't interested. However, I did finally get him to take me to the driving range where he recently helped me get my swing back. It was fantastic! By that time he had already made up his mind to sell our clubs though.

He's been on a crusade to sell everything in the garage that we don't use. The rock climbing shoes that never got to try their feat at Smith Rock. The tennis racquets that were only used once in the last two years at Gabriel Park. The charcoal BBQ that we used to use all the time until we ran out of charcoal and bought a George Foreman grill instead. All of these remind me of how it used to be or how it could have been. I've been having a hard time letting them go.

I've recently realized that I seem to be either stuck in the past longing for the way it was or floating in the future hoping for "better time." A walk with a good friend helped me realize that I aught to be living in the here and now. As Eoin Finn says in Power Yoga for Happiness "focusing my Gandhi laser there."

Now That's True Love (I Think)

A nice little story about a couple in India that got married over the telephone. No it's not a joke. Click here for more.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Is It Really Stealing?

It's 2:30pm on Wednesday afternoon. My boss is out of the office today and I'm on my third cup of decaf Chai. The requisite International Coffees French Vanilla creamer and the two packets of Splenda in each cup have coated my tongue and my teeth. My eyelids start to droop.

Being on what I refer to as the "undiet", which means you listen to your body and eat what you want when you're hungry until you're satisfied, I decide that rather than eating some sugar laden snack that would only weigh me down more I would like to go for a walk.

Working in a building that is attached to one of the largest malls in the Portland Metro Area has it's advantages. One of which is easy access to Barnes & Noble. Whenever I'm craving creative impetus I head in their direction.

As I walk I promise myself that I will look at the writing journals. I know exactly where they are and walk directly to that section. Unfortunately, there is a waify librarianesque B&N employee with hippie roots lurking in front of the stand scanning all my precious magazines and literary journals.

I reach around her for the newest copy of TinHouse a local "quarterly which publishes fiction, poetry and essays by new and established writers." I browse through it briefly until a copy of Writer's Digest catches my eye. I decide to hold on to this gem as I look for more mental nourishment.

The employee is still scanning the magazines in my section so I decide to move to Current Events. There's a new issue of Utne. It's stories are intriguing, but not enough to spend the $5 it costs to actually buy the magazine and take it home to read it. I've only got $20 in my purse and I'm saving it for something really special.

Knowing Utne relatively well I begin my search for the free online access password. I find it within the first 20 pages and quickly commit it to memory. I put both magazines back and shuffle out of the store before anyone can catch on to what I've done. The sensors don't go off. No one comes running after me. I'm home free.

However, as I take my first step toward Old Navy to look for a new shirt for Tater it dawns on me that Utne is about social consciousness and responsible citizenship. That's what I like about it. I've even thought about trying to work there some day.

I decide not to compromise myself by using the password. Instead, I will try and remember the password until the next issue comes out and tell everyone because I think what they chose is funny, although it won't really be funny then. At least I'll get some use out of it that way.

Too Cute to Keep to Myself Any Longer

Poor little sick doggies. Hope you feel better soon. We love you.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Why is it that the more we become women the smaller our shoes get?

When I was younger I could get away with wearing a chunky heel that was supportive and relatively comfortable.

but as my body begins to fill out and break down fashion no longer supports that. Rather it requests a higher, thinner heel in a narrower shoe with less support.

Even the shoes that look comfortable but professional are secretly uncomfortable.

And the ones that are comfortable don't look professional.

Why is it so difficult to make a shoe that is comfortable, but looks stylish and professional.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


A quote from Appetites by Geneen Roth:

"We need to build our friendships on truth and wholeness and expansiveness. We need friends who can be with us in our loneliness, not people who will cheer us up so that we don't feel it. We need friends who get furious with us when we are not being real or true to ourselves, not who get angry when we don't do what they wants us to do. We need friends who are not afraid of our pain or our joy. We need friends who are not invested in the way we look, what we do or what we feel, who are willing to see us without reference to themselves. We need friends who are willing to break out of gravity-bound orbits and sin with us into the unknown.

And we need to become those friends ourselves."

To my friends...this is a declaration that I am a work in progress toward being this kind of friend.

Aren't they cute?

Happy Easter Bailey and Tater!

Tobacco=Fast Food

It has long been my humble opinion that grocers, restraunters and other food purveyors have an ethical and moral responsibility to provide products that are "healthy" for their customers. I am inarticulate this morning, but I provide the following like to "Junk Food Jihad" and article I found on Hopefully, they explain my sentiments better. I'm just happy to see that someone else agrees with me and that perhaps some day things will change.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Gaining Ground Farm

I found a flyer for Gaining Ground Farm by the mailbox yesterday. I would really like to be a subscriber. I really think the Mike, Jill, Kamili and Izzie sound like a wonder family and wonderful farmers.

I also really believe that what they are doing is not only better for our bodies, but better for our communities and better for our environment and economy as a whole.

BUT, I can't justify paying $500 for 20 weeks of fresh veggies and eggs up front. What if I don't like it? What if it's too much and it goes to waste? What if I can't arrange to make it to the pick ups on time?

I don't think $25 a week for produce and eggs is unreasonable. I just wish I could pay as I go.

I Am Lame.

I've officially entered the land of Lamedom. Today a bunch of people from work are going to a Thirsty Thursday game at PGE Park. While I appreciate that I was invited, I declined.


Well, one, I need to go home and let little Tater out to pee. His bladder just can't hold it that long. Two, it's cold and windy outside. Burr! Three, I just don't feel like drinking to get drunk and spending a lot of money to do it. Which is what these kinds of events always turn into for me. Four, I really want to go to the library and pick up my books that are on hold waiting for me. It will be much warmer in there.

Interestingly, I'm not horrified by attaining residency in Lamedom. I'm rather pleased about it actually.


One, I said no to something I really don't want to do, despite the fact that these people may reject me and never invite me to something again. Two, I won't have a hangover in the morning. Three, I'll still have money in my bank account in the morning. Three, I'll be warm.

The only downfall: missing out on some fun bonding time with my coworkers. Ah hell! I can do that tomorrow at work.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Last night I made chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. I told myself I wouldn't eat any of the dough while I was making them...that I would just wait until the cookies were done. Naturally, that didn't happen.

Today on my way to work I realized that I don't like chocolate chip cookies after they are cooked. *laugh* Not even when they are fresh out of the oven. I just like the dough. Ha! Ha! So from now on I guess I will just make the dough. Maybe I'll skip the eggs in the process so as not to risk getting salmonella.

Monday, April 10, 2006

per•spec•tive [ pər spéktiv ] (plural per•spec•tives) (n)

1. particular evaluation of something: a particular evaluation of a situation or facts, especially from one person's point of view (i. e. a different perspective on the matter)

2. measured assessment of situation: a measured or objective assessment of a situation, giving all aspects their comparative importance
He's having trouble keeping things in perspective right now.

3. appearance of distant objects to observer: the appearance of objects to an observer allowing for the effect of their distance from the observer

4. graphic arts allowance for artistic perspective when drawing: the theory or practice of allowing for artistic perspective when drawing or painting

5. vista: a vista or view

[14th century. Via French <>per·spec·tive·ly (adv)

Synonyms: viewpoint, standpoint, outlook, point of view, view, perception, side, angle, take, evaluation, assessment, proportion, scale, ratio, size, depth, range, distance, lookout, vista, prospect, view, scene, outlook, overlook

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

And So We Talked

I talked to my mom yesterday evening. It was pretty much a waste of time. She could sense from the very beginning that I didn't agree with her decision to leave my dad. She wanted to stop talking then. I should have let her, but I didn't want her to hang up angry. So I kept her on the line for an hour or so.

I just can't understand where she's coming from. She wants to live in town and he wants to keep their house in the country. She says that people have been suggesting she get a job or volunteer for quite some time, but that never helps because really she's just missing dad. She wants to know why I'm not mad at him.

She says she really doesn't want their marriage to end, but she's not willing to put up with "some things" anymore. Things she won't tell me about. She says he's not having an affair. She says he's not a bad man. She says he's always been a good provider. She says being away from him only makes her miss him more and I say that's exactly what I'm afraid of.

I guess she has to do what she has to do, but what if this all goes horribly wrong? What if Dad breaks down? What if she is still lonely and bored and depressed only in a dark one bedroom apartment in town instead of in a beautiful home in the country?

I did no good. I just hope I didn't make it worse.

Doing Without Doing

After my practice last night with Baron Baptiste and his Core Power session (which I scored yesterday at Ross for $3.99), there are two concepts which I am trying to wrap my brain around this morning.

The first is the recommendation that you never go beyond where you are comfortable in yoga. In this sense yoga is about accepting yourself where you are. It is not a competitive activity. Even when taking a class you are never to compare yourself with others in the class, but to do what you can do. This keeps you from injuring yourself.

However, at the same time yoga is about challenging yourself. Pushing yourself to go beyond your what you believe you are capable of.

I think that difference lies in the two realms of your "self" which yoga is aimed at uniting: the body and the mind. In yoga you are often encouraged to listen to your body but to quiet the mind. As physical beings our bodies have limitations. Sometimes our hamstrings are tight or our backs are sore or our abdominals are weak.

Our minds also have limitations. Fear, insecurity, anger, impatience, etc. In some poses our minds limit us more than our bodies. Mine often says "I can't." But when pushed I find that physically I can.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Mom & Dad

My mom called this morning. I couldn't really talk to her, partially because I'm at work and partially because I totally disapprove of what she's doing. She's leaving my dad.

Growing up I've always been closer to my mom, but these last few months have begun to change all that. My dad's been the only one who's been real with me. Telling me what's happening. Telling me how they're not getting along. Telling me how it's going to end. Telling me how he's going to a class.

My mom says he's going to the class to work on his anger. I don't remember my dad as being really angry. Not abnormally and definitely not abusively. He's an expressive like me though. But hell I think he deserves to be angry. The poor guy just lost both of his parents within 6 months of each other. His wife, whom he's always supported, who has never had to work, or do anything but grocery shop and watch old black and white movies is leaving him because "they've hit a wall."

When he told me that she was looking for a new place on Saturday it made me angry and sad. I just want to protect my dad. Don't get me wrong, I don't want either of them to be unhappy. But, I just really think my dad needs the most support. He's the one being left behind.

When I asked him what I could do he said "Just let me connect with you."

He told my mom that we had talked, so she called. I didn't answer the phone. She called again today. I answered because I knew she'd be worried. We didn't talk long. I said "I've been holding off because I'm not sure what I want to say." How do you tell your mom that you think she's wrong and she's making the biggest mistake of her life. She's never gonna find someone as good as my dad. And I fear that he may not be as good without her.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Off Balance

This morning in my practice I was very unbalanced. I can usually do side plank pose, at left, relatively easily. But today I was extra wobbly.

Later as I was reading Sivananda Companion to Yoga I was struck by the fact that balance is not only a recurring theme in the asanas, or postures, but in the underlying philosophy of yoga itself. While reading I was reminded of the recurring quest for balance in my own life. I remember countless conversations with my friend Tiffany which would often end with one of us saying wistfully, "it's all about balance."

As I begin to delve more into the underlying world of yoga I find that it is complex and yet very simple. Thanks to Swami Vishnu-devnanda who came to spread yoga in the west in 1957, it is even easier to understand. The book says that "By closely observing the lifestyles and needs of people in the West, he synthesized the ancient wisdom of yoga into five basic principles that can easily be incorporated into your own pattern of living to provide the foundation of a long and healthy life." The five principles he sites are proper relaxation, proper exercise, proper breathing, proper diet and positive thinking and meditation.

I used to think that we are all striving for balance in our lives, but that attaining it was hopeless because as soon as we got one area under control another area would need attention. Now I see that I may be off balance currently, but that I am not destined to remain in a wavering state. Perhaps by working on the five principles of Sivananda Yoga I can finally find my center.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Crow Pose

Lately I've been revisiting my interest in yoga and I've really been wanting to get into arm balances. Today while going through Strengthen II on my DVD with Marlon Braccia (which I bought at Ross for $5) we did Crow Pose (see left). I actually held it for a few seconds. I fell on my face a couple of times, but I actually pushed myself back up and balanced for a little while.

It occurred to me after coming out of it that I probably could have held it longer if I hadn't given into my fear and doubt. This concept excites me. I can't wait to try it again. All day I've been thinking about shutting my door and going through my vinyasas. Thoughts of back bends and forward bends have been enticing me to get up tomorrow and practice some more.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


This is my 80th post. As such it seems as though it is a good time to revisit the theme of my first blog new technological adventures. Eeek!

I have a few blogs that I like to keep track of, but I have to admit that I am tired of checking them daily to see if there is anything new. So I decided to be brave and to check into an RSS aggregator.

I didn't want another icon cluttering my desktop. Nor did I want to have to run a separate program so I decided to go with a something online. According to my techno guru, Carlos, the program I chose, Pluck, is a plugin for Internet Explorer.

So far I'm liking this program. It opens as a sidebar so I can navigate the internet without interference. I can close it if I get tired of looking at it or I can leave it open. I haven't discovered if there is a way to force it to search for new posts. Nor am I sure how often it refreshes, but for my needs it seems to be working just fine.

Friday, March 24, 2006


I don't have much to say about this other than I think it's disgusting. You can watch a video of the Roach Brooch in action at if you are curious.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Wal*Mart vs. Whole Foods

Here's something you don't see every day and truthfully it's a little difficult to accept.

As a relatively quiet advocate for local farmers and proponent of organic foods I find Whole Foods Market a bit like the proverbial candy store. Further, growing up in a small town with my dad always saying "we need to support local business" I've detested Wal*Mart from the beginning. That's what makes this so difficult to wrap my brain around. Whole Foods may not be telling the whole truth. In fact, they may be deliberately misleading us to make a ginormous profit off of "organic" and "local" produce, which really comes from Mexico, California and Chile.

Meanwhile, Wal*Mart seems to be jumping on the organic band wagon, which may make this style of eating and living more affordable. Does that make Wal*Mart more virtuous? Read more about it on (For some reason blogger is rejecting all of my links lately. My apologies for the inconvenience.)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Smaller Dogs Are Harder To Train?

I've been thinking about this ever since we went to the stupid vet who suckered us into buying almost every preventive treatment available in the canine medicine world. Not much of what he said stuck with me, but I do remember him saying that "smaller dogs are harder to potty train."

I found this difficult to swallow for three reasons. First, because that means more work for me and I never like the sound of that. Second, Tater is pretty well behaved already. Third, small dogs are not any less intelligent. In fact, in a recent display in a nearby field he was much more attentive and obedient that our 5 year old dog Bailey. He not only came running enthusiastically when I called for him, but even when I called for Bailey--who was pretending to be deaf apparently, because she never came when called.

It occurred to me this morning as I was leaving for work that perhaps the reason that small dogs take longer to train is because small dog owners are not as diligent and disciplined. Big dog puppies are cute, but they are also often kinda goofy looking with their oversized paws and lanky limbs. Little dogs are cute as puppies and as adults. It's harder to discipline your dog if he's cute even when he's naughty.

Apparently, I'm not the only one who has come to this conclusion. According to small dogs are hard to train because they are so cute. They go on to say that it's not really the small dogs fault, but that "The truth is that training a Pug to do anything depends as much upon you as the owner, as it does your Pug."

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Sunday Morning

Today I feel mysteriously awakened. As though, I have been in some kind of hazy dream state, which was not reality. As if, all of a sudden I have been reborn a new and improved version of me (not in a particularly religious sense). One that is more alive. Like I am re-me.

Perhaps it is the fact that I actually made it through an entire cup of decaf coffee without having to leave the house. I took so long I even had to reheat it at one point. Or maybe it's that the windows are open. It could be the addition of Tater into our lives.

Or maybe it was the walk we too through Washington Park to Pittock Mansion. We're finally getting outside again. Perhaps it is the combination of the "healthier" foods I've been eating and the decrease in consumption of alcohol. Perhaps it's the book we're reading for book club What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt, which among other things has reminded me that the process of developing an idea or thought and then finding a way to express it is a valid pastime.

Perhaps it my reconnection with one of my favorite magazines when I was in college Utne Reader, which has reminded me that while I am important there are other bigger issues out there that are also worth my time. For more on these issues visit

Or maybe it's being charge of the online movie rental account. We're trying Blockbuster this time. So far I've received three of the movies that I picked out and watched two. Both I enjoyed. The first was Garden State with Zach Braff from Scrubs and Natalie Portman a story about a man my age who finds himself and love in, what seemed to me a somewhat realistic and imperfect way. The second was Finding Neverland which is both sad and happy, also involves imperfect love.

Maybe it's the resolved conflict between my husband I, the rediscovery or our own imperfect love. Or maybe, pardon the rhyme, it is all of the above.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Am I too Sensitive?

Today I was talking with my husband on the phone and it happened again. By "it" I mean he reaches a threshold when he all of a sudden can't wait to get off the phone. There's no warning. One minute we're having a great discussion. Taking turns, listening, talking, etc. The next he's saying "Ok" in that tone that really means "Ok, I can't take this anymore. I haven't heard a thing you've said and I can't wait to get off the phone." For some reason this leaves me feeling crushed. My chest actually hurt when we hung up today. It's as though he's saying what I have to say is not important or interesting.

Is it possible that the problem the way I take it. Perhaps I take it too personally. It is not that I as a person am not interesting, it's just what I'm saying at that particular moment is not engaging him.

I'm sure I've done something similar to him before. Sometimes he talks about things that I'm not interested in or can't follow.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Watching Another Marriage Dissolve

My husband's sister instant messaged me today. She and her husband had a big fight this morning. She asked him to move out. He refused. This has been a long time coming. My husband and I both think they should have tried to work it out, got some help, but they've just been letting it build and build and build. Hoping that maybe the other person would change, I guess. Slowly their hearts grew so hard toward each other that even the way he made guacamole was cause to send her into thoughts of divorce.

Anyway, she's wanted this for a while, she's been stalling because she's afraid of raising her son all alone, I believe, although she'll tell you she does it all now anyway. But financially her husband is of some assistance and occasionally he will take care of the kid so she can do something else.

So not knowing what to say or do since she's made up her mind and talking her out of it didn't make sense, I said "Do you need anything? I'm here for you." She replied with, "I don't know. Would you and G want to rent a house with me and B?" My response: "Hmm...I'm not sure...I'd have to talk to G about it...Plus we're in our lease until October."

After talking with G we realized that we can't just leave her to fend for herself, even if we don't agree with her. And that there could be both pros and cons to an arrangement like this. It could free up some money for us so G could have more freedom in changing careers. It could fill our often quiet home with fun and laughter and tears and all that good stuff that being with family brings. But it means having a kid in our house and helping to take care of him and keeping him away from our precious dogs and having to work for alone time.

There's a good chance that none of this will happen anyway, because that's how things are sometimes. She lives and works on the east side, we're on the west. We're in a lease so we'd have to upgrade into a bigger apartment with the same company, she wants her own backyard. (Tangent:It's funny to me that people always want backyards for their kids and their pets. We've lived in both situations and I think Bailey prefers to not have one.)

I wish that I had the clarity in these situations to know what the right thing to do or say was and then the courage to do it. But it is never black and white, is it?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Heroine or Ordinary Girl?

Growing up I read a lot. I was never one to easily slip into "the classics" although I always wanted to be. Rather, I read Nancy Drew and The Baby Sitters Club. I still read. Thanks to my book club and other external sources I am occasionally pushed to read something I wouldn't normally pick up.

Left to my own devices I tend to gravitate to the type of book you would read by the pool in the summer if you were a woman. I recently finished Whatever Makes You Happy by Lisa Grunwald. It was a fun book about a woman who is a wife, mother and author. She is trying to write a book about the history of happiness, while she finds herself caught in a quest for her own definition and to find happiness in her own life. Plus there are fun quotations from philosophers, scientists and other people who have pondered happiness in the past.

All of this is beside the point I am trying to get at. Other than to say that I think reading has a great deal to do with my thought processes; with particular regard to how I view my own life. As long as I can remember developing a rich inner life as an only child I have always thought of myself as a character in a novel. Sometimes this is comforting. For instance, when "bad" things happen I think to myself, "as a heroine in a novel this only makes my story more compelling." However, it is disconcerting when reality collides with my ideals and I realize that I am in fact, not a character in a book, but just an ordinary girl.

Friday, March 03, 2006

I Know I Haven't Been Married 30 Years, But...

I talked to my mom last night and she said, "I love your dad. He's a good man, but we've hit a wall." What does that mean? And is it really enough to give up almost 30 years of marriage? I don't think so, but what do I know. I've only been married a month.

This is not the first I've heard of my parents alleged "problems." Two weeks ago she told me that she almost left him. A month before our wedding my dad said that they would stay together for our wedding, but there were no guarantees beyond that point.

Ultimately, I want them to be happy (which I concede may or not be an illusion). They seem to think that they might find happiness apart. I am inclined to think that this would only make them more miserable. However, I'm not quite sure how to go about telling them this. "Wake up! You're both faithful. Kind. And Blind, apparently!"

Is it inappropriate to start sending them marriage skills propaganda such as Fighting For Your Marriage? Heck! It's only $1.99.

Monday, February 27, 2006

First Comes Love. Then Comes Marriage.

Then comes the baby in the baby carriage. Or at least that's how it's supposed to go, right? Well in our case we opted for a puppy instead. Say hello to Tater. Our three month old black pug.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


I'm not happy with myself. I haven't been for a long time. Not since the summer G and I got together. Before we "hooked it up" I had decided I was fed up with boys. That I was tired of trying to attract them. That I was tired of trying to emulate other women hoping to find out what secret ingredient they contained in their sweet pollen and that I would just be myself. This was not an easy decision, but it was liberating. And shortly after that G and I fell in love. They say it happens when you least expect it. However, while our love has withstood a great deal of obstacles including freedom did not last long. At the end of the summer all the other girls came back in time for the first semester of my junior year of school.

All of my friends had graduated and moved on so I was stuck with the task of meeting and making new companions. It seemed as though the new breed of students I was left with as options were either smarter, prettier or more driven then me. I remember feeling heavy and sad for the first week of school, especially. At first I thought it was the birth control. Eventually I got used to the feeling. Accepted it as normal to never feel good about myself. I look at pictures of myself then and I think what was I thinking? I was beautiful and strong and thin and smart and determined. Since then I've gained 45 lbs. With each one it is like the burden I picked up back then gets a little bit heavier and I stoop a little lower.

Sometimes I think about what it would be like to put that burden down again. To shuck off the need to compare myself with other women. To leave behind the desire to fit into their shoes. To get my nails done like Annie or my hair done like Sheila. Or to smell delicious like Kathy. Or to fit into size 4 workout pants like Tammy. But fear keeps me holding clutching the millstone around my neck. 'Cause if I dropped I might really let myself go and I can't even bare to imagine the result. Never mind that I actually lost weight and got the man of my dreams the last time I put that burden down. Never mind that stereotypes are archaic and ridiculous.

While they shouldn't matter. While they're unrealistic. Stereotypes are powerful. According to Andrea Johnston in Girls Speak Out, "Here is what can happen: Most girls silence themselves between the ages of nine and sixteen; that is, they give up a part of who they are because they think it's necessary to do so to survive. They begin to act like a stereotype, a false idea of what it means to be female. Girls play the more feminine role that is based on the mistaken belief that females are weaker than males. There is a lot of pressure on girls to fit this stereotype rather than fight for their unique differences. For example, girls want to be thin, even anorexic or bulimic, because girls of different sizes and shapes are not as easily accepted. Carol Gilligan, one of the first researchers to study girls, describes the change in many girls as losing their different and unique voices. Instead of trusting themselves, girls may become uncertain and lose self-confidence." I know this has happened to me. More than once in my life. What has it held be back from becoming or doing? Who would I be if I were uninhibited? Is being different that bad?

However, there is hope. I'm rooting for the Dove Real Campaign for Beauty and when I make enough money or manage my money well enough to give to charity they're the first on my list. I hope desperately that their concept will work and that sooner rather than later women like me and little girls who come after us can let go of our albatross and get on with our lives. Save our energy for something really worthwhile.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

It's My Birthday!

Well actually yesterday was my real birthday and it was fun. My honey took the day off of work so we could hang out and i finally got the George Foreman grill I've been longing for. As C says "it's the little things that make people happy."

Today however, was like a birthday celebration at work! I walked into my cubie to find a brand new printer. Yay! It's glorious. I used it all day. Then I learned that I have been upgraded to my very own office, where I am now sitting typinging this. And to top it off my honey came into town to go to lunch with my boss and a coworker of mine. All in all it was a good day. And I got a lot done.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

This Is It?

Last night I had a melt down. I broke into tears on the way home from the max because the book I was reading was full of short essays by prolific women authors and all I could think of was "That was supposed to be me." I couldn't even make it up the stairs.

I cried my way to the library. I cried my way home. I cried my way to the mail box. I cried my way home. I cried when I opened my birthday card from my Aunt Doc, which said "May beautiful opportunities open up for you this year." (I sure hope they do, but at the rate my life has been moving along I doubt it.) I cried when I couldn't get on the internet. I managed to stop crying for The Simpsons and to eat dinner. I cried at One Tree Hill multiple times, but especially when the coach was talking about what to do when life doesn't turn out the way you expect it to. He said we shouldn't be bitter, but just accept the hand we're dealt.

I'm not convinced. There's got to be some in between. Some retaliation. So when I wake up in the morning and see that I've become everything I never wanted to be, I can stomp my foot down and scream!

But it shouldn't just stop there. I should be able to affect change. I should be able to reroute my life. Shouldn't I? How do I know when it's time to rebel and when to acquiesce?

My life has not turned out as I imagined it would. Do I just take it for what it is? Or do I stand up and fight? If I plan to duke it out, what am I duking? Who or what is the enemy here?

Friday, January 27, 2006

I Think I'm Officially Off the List

Not that I really mind. In fact, I'm kinda relieved, but it does sting a little. A couple of my coworkers are going out after work and I was invited. In the past it's been the two of them and me that always went out together or stay out together when everyone else has gone home. I heard them talking on the phone about making sure that "she knows she's going." At first I thought they meant me, but then I realized I hadn't been invited. The only thing I had been told about my potential involvement was that now I am "an old married woman who has to stay home and wait for my husband to get off work."

Truthfully, I've been trying to get out of going out with the guys all the time anyway so it's actually a good thing, but it's kinda sad to see the end of the era.

Deep Thoughts by Me

Now that I'm married, maybe I can get back to having a real thought in my head.

Current topic: Finances.

I have had more than one discussion about money lately. Granted it's a complex issue, but I think 25-35 is an especially interesting age--excluding retirement, which has it's own set of challenges.

During this phase I find that many of us are inclined to be self indulgent. To live it up as it were. And why shouldn't we? We are living! Unfortunately there are consequences. For example: lack of savings for trips, a new home, new snowboard, etc.

So I also find myself leaning to saving and planning for the future. Retiring, buying a house, traveling. Because I have a limited budget I find that this requires some planning. However, planning is not concidered living it up.

If we save so we can do what we want later, but that limits what we want to do now, do we lose out on life in the present? But if we don't prepare for later and live it up now, don't we lose in the future?

I can't help but think that there is a way to win on both ends, but I'm just not sure what that is.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Thursday, January 05, 2006

To Honeymoon Or Not To Honeymoon

We've planned a whirlwind of a honeymoon for right after the wedding. We fly from Spokane to Reno on Sunday. Visit Tahoe on Tuesday. Fly back to Spokane on Tuesday. Drive back to Portland Tuesday night. G goes back to work Wednesday. Whew! It makes me exhausted just to think about it. *laugh*

But to cancel means to pay at least $150. Not so sure I want to do that either.