Wednesday, November 28, 2007


OK I am just going to say this without any kind of disclaimer.

I really, really like John Mayer.



Yeah I can't seem to just let that stand, I feel the need to justify that he's a really great musician and your mom would love him but he's still plenty sexy, his blog is really funny and he's dating one of the actresses from "Friday Night Lights" so really, what's not to love?

Mr. Mayer has a free video on iTunes right now for his new song "Say" and I'm pretty much in love with it. It reiterates one of the best things my mother ever told me which is, "no harm will ever come from being honest about the way you feel". Whether it's an apology, or a worry, or a declaration of feelings, my experience is that feelings genuinely expressed can change everything. I had a discussion with some of my siblings Saturday night that was one of the most tender, heartfelt chats I've ever had and it all started because someone was brave enough to start talking.

So go download the video-even if you hate the song, you might still want to kiss John Mayer on the lips by the end.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I have writer's block.

I don't have talkers block though, I can't shut up lately.

Monday, November 26, 2007

8 Seconds

The previous entry gives you a little glimpse into what 72 hours with my family is like. Here's another piece of our somewhat goofy puzzle...after my sisters and I spent almost 2 hours at breakfast with my dad (we are no good at leaving restaurants in a reasonable amount of time), Emily and I went back to her house and spent probably another hour and half combing our iTunes and playing songs whose first 5-8 seconds are so recognizable and so indicative of the awesomeness to come that we would sigh out loud after one. "Jeremy", "Brown Eyed Girl", "Billie Jean", "Good Vibrations", "Is this Love", "Let's Stay Together", "Sunday Bloody Sunday", "Beast of Burden"-this list obviously went on and on.

I ran across the song tonight that is nowhere near as second nature as any of those but I get a chill through my whole body when it starts. I think it's partially that it has lyrics that melt my brain:

There was a child who was born to be the one who comforts me
Who grew up strong and brave and holy, loves me rough and tenderly
Can it be understood the reasons why you belong to me?

I need the steady of you and I'd give you anything
That I could cut with sweet precision from beneath my tender skin
There is a way, there is a way that you can save me from this

Would you promise to be kind?
Promise to be kind

The wind is ever faithful and it carves a solemn sword
Right through the hearts of the ungrateful who are always wanting more
There is a way, there is a way that you can help me

With the ramparts built so high
All the soldiers stuck inside
But this will fall away with time
If you promise to be kind
Promise to be kind
Promise to be kind

Promise to Me

While we were playing our game we had also been talking a little bit what you should probably feel about someone you decide to marry and she used the phrase "light your soul on fire." I haven't been able to get that out of my head, I feel like it very succinctly addresses all the emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual intersections two people ought to share. The lyrics of this song seem to fit perfectly with that sentiment.

"...Strong and brave and holy, who loves me rough and tenderly". Ka-pow!

Sunday, November 25, 2007


These are my adult brothers, one married and one engaged, and this is what happens when we take them out in public.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Ten Things for Which I Am Grateful

1. A healthy relationship with God
2. My awesome family
3. My embarrassingly large circle of friends
4. My job that sometimes makes me crazy but that ultimately I know I am blessed to have
5. My sanctuary of a bedroom
6. The internet and all the attendent technologies
7. Airplanes that fly on Thanksgiving Day and the crews willing to make that happen
8. A fully funtioning body
9. HB, the beach and my house
10. That it's time to start playing Christmas music!!!!

I'll try to post one of these every day until Christmas.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

New to You

So it was what? Two weeks ago that I was feeling a little bored and restless? And just a little before that when the Santa Ana's were making me feel out of sorts?

Apparently the universe has been reading my blog. Monday morning I got a call from my boss telling me that had resigned over the weekend. Just to give you an idea of how great I am at keeping my professional cool, I calmly asked if she would call me back on my cell phone, went into a quiet room and burst into tears. We have only been working together for 18 months but she has been an amazing leader. She has a great vision for our brand and is absolutely unafraid to stand up for it but at the same time, she is a kind and compassionate manager. I have gone back and forth a million times this year as to whether it is time to move on from this job but "working for C" has always been in capital letters on the list of reasons to stay. So it was a huge blow and I spent most of last week trying to get my bearings. Monday afternoon all I could think was that I had to find a new job, by Wednesday I had calmed down a little and then Friday I got yet another phone call. Our office in Portland, where my boss and the product team work, is closing and half of them were let go.

Theoretically I like change but it can also be really scary. Whether I stay or my job at not, things are going to be different. A few of my coworkers were offered jobs down here and I find myself half-desperate that they take them. I work with a talented team and we all know that our little brand has some serious potentional. The overdeveloped sense of loyalty that has kept me here through two cross-country moves, the departure of three General Managers, one CEO and a CMO has always been my passion for the product and the consumer.

I did a ton of thinking this weekend about what I think this all means for me. I got some invaluable advice from some dear friends and then last night I danced until 2 at a club in LA because I am young and single and I can. This morning I got a new job at church as the coordinator of Humantarian Aid projects for my congregation which fits in well with some personal goals I have for 2008. My Bishop gave me some lovely words of encouragement that apply to all this work stuff too. God does a good job of letting me get near manic thinking He's forgotten all about me and then swooping in with twleve reminders that he's right there.

I don't know what is going to happen this week. I have a pretty good picture of what I'm hoping for but I know that the reality-and maybe even a better option-might have a different thing in mind. Now that the initial panic is over I'm just plain excited about the myriad of possibilities.

I'm also excited that my friend gave me a mix tonight that reminded me that one great thing about being 31 is my deep and abiding appreciation for early Madonna. I urge you to download this and turn it way up. I don't remember the last time I listened to the first eight seconds of this song but if you remember the eighties at all you will feel a flutter in your tummy.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I got to spend the day with my Baltimore brother and his wife this weekend. They were in San Diego for a wedding so I drove down and we went to see a National Monument-part of Megan's goal to fill her National Monument Passport with stamps-and then laughed ourselves mostly silly at a Mexican restuarant in Old Towne with some of their friends.

My sister-in-law is in the Coast Guard and her assignments have been on the East Coast for the last five years. It was nice to have them there when I was living in Boston-they adopted me for several Christmases and I was able to weasel some work trips to visit a few times as well. Sterling even braved a Friendsgiving in Boston once which thrilled me to no end. Showing off my siblings could be a full time job if people paid for such a thing.

We are a pretty close family. Ridiculously close actually. My mom loves to tell the story of the time we sat down to sunday dinner at about 5 and did not get up from the table until 1 in the morning. So I think marrying into us could be intimidating. I thought for the millionth time this weekend that we have gotten absurdly, awesomely-and perhaps even unfairly-lucky, when it comes to the women my brothers have brought into the fold. My brothers are all really different and their wives/fiances are all such great complements to their personalities. It's been so fun to watch my them end up with partners who appreciate the same things about them that we all love so much. All three are women that I see not just as family, but as friends that I'm delighted to hang out with even when the boys aren't around. They make boys who were already plenty good just kinda better. I feel like the pressure is on the girls now to come up with good brothers-in-law. I'll admit that on several occasions my feelings for a boy cooled when I imagined him being eaten alive at family dinner. People say that in a big family you always get one weird in-law but I'm not sure any of us could stand to be the one responsible for THAT.

Next week is Thanksgiving and I'm making plans to just sit on my mom's couch and eat guacamole and make candles and talk about going running several times but maybe only do it once. We'll be down one soon-to-be sister and the east coast cliffs but I'm already predicting that it will be epic. (Epic for us, boring for anyone who hears about it I'm afraid!)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Apparently I'm operating under the assumption that calories don't count in times of upheaval.

Meals eaten at In 'n' Out since Monday: 3
Sprinkles cupcakes inhaled since same: 2
pounds of See's Candies consumed: .5 (corey, you are fired)

Which is why tonight I let my roommate put me through a ridiculous workout that made me sweat OUT OF MY EYES. I wish I was making that up.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Costa Rica

This is turning out to be one of those weeks where I would like to go to sleep, wake up in a month and see how it all turned out without actually having to figure any of it out.

It work stuff and I won't bore you with it. There are certainly bigger problems in the world. It's just that right now I'm staring at the wall and listening to stuff like this more than I'd like. So a 30 day nap seems like a really great option. Let someone else run my life for a bit, I want a vacation!

Monday, November 12, 2007


I like this song.
Orange Sky

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I don't think I have ever experienced what some women call "baby hunger". I like children, I want to have a few some day and I love playing with the ones that belong to other people but I don't think much about them in my day to day life. For the most part, my life doesn't put me around kids much. I work with adults, I live with adults, until recently I went to church exclusively with adults. I have no nieces or nephews and all of my close friends with kids live far away.

Given my situation, I'm a little fascinated by a couple of experiences I've had over the last few days. Saturday my roommate and I went up to Moorpark to visit our friends and their four week old little girl. It's always fun to hold babies but I honestly couldn't let the child go. When Mariellen wanted a turn I was almost bugged. She had been sleeping on me for the better part of an hour, which is way longer than I usually want to do anything, and I still wasn't ready to give her up. The whole rest of the evening I was just plotting how I could get her back, I even took her while she was crying during dinner-playing it off that I was giving her parents a break.

Then yesterday, my friend Rebecca was in town for a family party. I went with her to a rehearsal for the musical number she and her sisters were performing and one of them had her one year old with her. When the girls started practicing the only baby holding choices were me, two husbands and a couple little cousins under 10. So I took the baby. This child was a snuggler and she immediately burrowed her little face into my shoulder. I melted. I had been holding her for about 15 minutes when her cousins realized she was there and suddenly they were desperate to play with her. I'm not proud of myself but I sort of pretended that the music was too loud and I couldn't hear them asking for her. Then when that didn't really work I tried to move across the room-I just couldn't let go. After a few minutes I realized what a jerk I was being and I put the kid on the couch between the girls. Then I watched like a hawk, hoping they would get tired of her. They didn't, the rehearsal ended and I headed home terribly disappointed at the brevity of my baby-holding time.

I am nowhere near close to having kids. There is no one in my life I'm remotely interested in having kids WITH. But I cannot shake the feeling that even if my brain is not there yet, something in my physical self is saying "come ON, let's just do this already!" I already have a pretty healthy appreciation of the body and the fantastic things it is capable of-there is something extra awesome about it's ability to hijack my brain.

So don't worry, I'm not going to go "Raising Arizona" and steal a baby or anything. But I guess I won't roll my eyes about that "biological clock" anymore. I'm pretty sure it's real. Girl bodies want to make babies whether the owner is on board or not. Who knew?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Youth Group

I am a sucker for a good cover. "Forever Young" by Alphaville is a song I'm pretty sure every single person my age can associate with some high school dance experience.

So it makes sense that I pretty much love this. I don't even remember where I got it but this version has my time in Boston's greasy fingers all over it. Man, that was a wacky couple of years.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Donkeys and Elephants

The U.S. presidential election is now less than a year away. If I had one wish over the next twelve months it would this: that everyone could please remember that your political opinions are just that, opinions. There are smart people with good ideas on both sides of the fence, to completely demonize the "other" party is both childish and naive. Neither party has all the answers, no candidate can possibly be everything to everyone. I get so tired of reading blogs and having conversations where people behave as though they have PhD's in Political Science when most of what they know comes from John Stewart or Bill O'Reilly. Read, research, LISTEN. If you are able to completely dismiss the party you don't support, then you need to keep researching. No one is right about everything and it's dangerous when you start thinking they are...

I guess I'm all fired up about people popping off about things they don't understand as I read about this writer's strike. In a nutshell, the writer's are striking to get a fair percentage of the residuals that come from online/DVD/various other new ways we will figure out to distribute entertainment in the future sales. I have read over and over, "hollywood writers make plenty of money doing a job that is mostly fun, why are they whining about this!". They are whining about it because lots of people are making lots of money off their work and they would like to be fairly compensated for it. So in a way, when you tell the writers to shut up about residuals, you are telling the studios you would like them to keep a bigger part of the pie than they already do. And I have this sneaking suspicion that the same people who think Hollywood writers (who live mostly at the bottom of the pay scale in that town) already make too much, these are not people that are super excited to be putting more pennies in Sumner Redstone's gilded coffers. But I guess if as far as you get in forming your opinion is "hey people with fancy jobs want a raise! not fair!" without doing an ounce of research into what the situation really is, I get why you might get heart palapitations. Too bad that's not the whole story though isn't it?

Maybe a strike isn't the best way to solve a problem, and maybe it's hard to muster sympathy for WGA members who have chosen a career path that isn't exactly akin to feeding orphans. But when you boil it down, there is an unfair situation happening that needs to be addressed. I usually feel guilty when I ask for a raise because hey, I'm not curing cancer and my salary takes good care of me. But my company benefits from my talents in a way that gains revenue. It's only fair that I get to see a reasonable share of that revenue. This is one of the best quotes I've read about what the writers want:

A residual isn't a handout or an allowance or Paris Hilton's trust fund. It's not a lottery payout, or alimony, or an annuity from a slip and fall accident at a casino.

A residual is a deferred payment against the lifetime value of a script.

It's not a perk.

It's okay if you didn't know that. It's in the best interests of a lot of fairly large corporations that you don't.

Obviously I'm in support of the writers, even if it means TV might start to stink here in awhile (maybe I can finally catch up on the PBS documentary The War that has been sitting in the DVR for weeks), I understand if you aren't. But get some facts in your pocket before you tell me why you oppose it. I still may choose to disagree but I promise to listen and consider.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Brown Eyed Girl

Some girls fantasize about their wedding dresses or their bouquets or their centerpieces. Guess what I like to pick out?

Songs for a wedding CD. Which probably explains a little bit why there still hasn't been one.
But probably every wedding CD on earth has this guy on it somewhere right?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

All The Real Girls

It has been a long time since I have a seen a movie that has managed to both break my heart and fill me with hope. Big words I realize but "Lars and the Real Girl" was just such a film.

I'll tell you the plot but it's going to sound like a sort of sick SNL sketch. A shy, socially inept man in a small midwestern town buys a sex doll and proceeds to fall in love with her and treat her like a real person.

I know. Sounds kind of creepy doesn't it? But will I tell you that it was an incredibly sweet, tender movie that I can't stop thinking about. Anyone who knows anything about being lonely will be in a hurry to treat Lars' "delusion" with the same sort of patience and kindness he gets from pretty much every character in the movie.

There are a whole slew of fantastic performances in this movie-starting with Ryan Gosling as Lars (who, if he ever decides to stop dating famous actresses and return to his Mormon roots, has my permission to call me), Paul Schneider as his brother, Emily Mortimer as his sister-in-law, Patricia Clarkson as the therapist and Kelli Garner as the flesh and blood female with whom Lars can't quite seem to connect. The soundtrack is enchanting, the writing is clean and deliberate and the cinematography feels really familiar and comfortable. It has a happy ending that it comes by naturally-it's not contrived or cheesy.

The thing I loved most about the movie though was that it reinforced a concept that is becoming more and more important to me the older I get and the more people I know and care about. Everyone has their own little path and it does no good to expect everyone to be on the same one you've chosen. I am not sure it would be the case in real life, but the people around Lars are so understanding and patient with him. The situation is odd and it's hard to see how any good could possibly come of it. But it does. Lots of good, lots of learning, lots of healing. I really believe that people are inherently good, and they want to live quality lives. People we care about don't alway make choices we understand or even approve of sometimes but showing kindness and love anyway is so rarely a bad idea. As the scriptures say "charity never faileth, and is kind." What a delightful way to live don't you think?

It's in limited release so you may not find it at the mega-plex. But I promise it's worth searching out.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Hey Baby

Here's a little tip-if you wait until your new parent friends are really exhausted to come meet the baby, there is a good chance that mommy will let you spend as much time as you want doing this:

Since she won't be waking me up at 2:00 a.m. tonight I was more than happy to just let baby Kate snuggle into me while I caught up with her mother. I am far, far away from having one of these of my own but seriously, this pretty much made my weekend.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Two Cents

Awhile ago I wrote a post about a book that really changed the way I think about the world and how to help save it. I have a few ideas percolating as to how I am going to ACT on that changed thinking but in the meantime, my friend Judy has a project I wanted to bring to our collective attention.

I will preface this by saying that I don't think that all of the world's problems can be solved by check writing, with little sacrifice on our part. However, there are lots of issues in third world countries that actually can be seriously improved by throwing money around. Judy has been working with an organization called CHOICE Humanitarian:

CHOICE Humanitarian is ending poverty by focusing on sustainable village development. Our goal is to connect motivated villages to resources and tools to change their lives. By building skills, capacities and leadership of the villagers – the entire community brings itself out of the cycle of poverty.

She is currently working to finish a community water system in Nueva Concepcion, Guatemala. It will bring fresh water to 367 people in the village. As Judy explains, "access to fresh water will eliminate a lot of diarrhea and disease that causes children to die prematurely. In most of these villages, women and children are required to walk a mile and sometimes more to a water source that isn't always sanitary (because of stagnant water and contamination from animal poo) Lives can be saved by education about hygiene and access to clean water. It is a first step on the pathway out of poverty."

The cost of this project is $2500. If 100 people donated $25 each, Nueva Concepcion would have it's water system. I know the holiday season is approaching and we all have a lot going on, but most of us won't even notice $25.

Judy has set up a blog to explain the project which includes a donation link. It's called Thanks For Water. I just made my contribution this morning. Maybe none of us will ever be Bill Gates or Warren Buffet, with the ability to spend billions and billions to change the world, but this will make a real difference in the lives of the folks in Guatemala. Won't that feel so good?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Celebrate Good Times

Just for kicks, here is my frog costume from yesterday.

The best part is that my friendCristin's toddler was wearing pretty much the same thing last night. Awesome.

I haven't really posted anything about the Red Sox winning the World Series. Unfortunately it was kind of a dull series for anyone not living in Denver in Boston. I watched the Games and I'm thrilled of course, but it just doesn't have the same magic sitting in your couch in HB as screaming in a pub in Sommerville.

So I was delighted with this EPIC post my friend Whitney put up last night describing the Victory Parade and her fantastic Jacoby Ellsbury story. It made me a wee bit homesick but mostly it just reminded me of why sports are so awesome.

Check it out, her best-day-ever feeling is infectious.