Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sometimes if I'm having a bad day, I imagine Ira Glass doing the narration. Then it seems at least interesting, if not better.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I feel ambiguous about Thanksgiving week. I only get one day off, and on that day I get to clean and cook, and have people over who don't have to get up the next morning (like I do), and who always seem to bring more people than anticipated. And Brett gets half the week off, as usual. On the upside, I do get a day off. And a few glasses of wine make everything all better.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Making rosemary pesto crackers to have with some chevre we bought. There's something addicting about these freshly made crackers.
The Mad Men folks watching the Giants game on Twitter is the best entertainment of the weekend! Big props to all, esp. @Sal_Romano!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dark days, but good

Once again, I should apologize to the four or so people who read my posts; I've been lax about writing about what's going on in my life. But I have been spending a lot of time living it, so I know you'll understand. Here's a summary of the last few weeks.

I've finished the current quarter of teaching at SVC, and have decided that in January, when classes start again, I'll be a student for a while and not a teacher. I want to hone some of my design skills; I'm starting to think it's something I can grow into, and I have a lot of amazing people at work that I can learn from.

Brett had a good trip to Dutch Harbor last week, for his job, leaving me and the dog and two cats to fend for ourselves. We did fine, though. I know that Mina will scare the crap out of anyone that comes near the front door, and I feel safe when I'm walking her, since she does growl to warn off what she thinks are dangerous-looking people. The cats, on the other hand, continue to be merely ornamental. I'm not sure they even noticed Brett was gone. He brought me a Dutch Harbor baseball cap to wear on dog walks. Never thought of myself as a baseball-cap person, but age and practicality have won out over vanity.

A week ago we went to a pleasant scotch tasting event at the Rainier Club. I tried to take some photos with my iPhone, but it was too dark to get much detail. We tasted some very fancy scotches; it's no surprise, I guess, that the older and more expensive ones turned out to be the ones I liked best. My recent discovery that scotch is not the most vile liquid on earth (you just add some water to it! Why didn't anyone tell me?!) probably both amuses and worries Brett, though I haven't raided his stash just yet.

We've been walking a lot, of course, and I have gotten to really look forward to our after-work dog walks, even in the dark and the rain. It's been pretty nice out for the last few days, though; this weekend we made a couple of trips to the park for as much frisbee-throwing as the dog could take, and took plenty of long walks in the fresh air. I know it's going to change soon, and I know I really should be out there doing yard work or something, but all I want to do is walk with the dog. The yard is ok. This spring I plan to re-do a lot of it, but in the meantime, nature can have its way and things can grow as they see fit.

Another nice thing that happened just recently was re-uniting with a friend I'd been very close to in my 20s, but hadn't seen in many years. It was great to find that even after this long, we still have a lot in common, and get along really well. We've both grown and changed, but the girls we were are still there.

I haven't been drawing as much as I'd have liked, though I did some sketches for a project at work. My concepts weren't picked, sadly, so here's one in an early stage. It was an idea for a Fall tumbler. I thought it was nice, but they went for something more graphic and design-y. That's ok, and as I said, I'll be taking some classes soon so I can keep up a little better with design trends, and hopefully still use drawing and painting in my work.

That's it; certainly nothing earth-shattering going on, but it's been a pretty good fall so far, economy and work stress aside. Life goes on, as it always has, and hopefully will continue to do. Someone is going to have to walk that dog, after all.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My letter to Barack Obama

Just days after the election, the Obama campaign has set up a website asking what we would like to see change in the upcoming administration. You can see it here: http://www.change.gov/

Here's my lengthy submission:


When I saw that a younger, well-educated man was a presidential candidate, way back in the summer of this year, I thought, "I wonder if he will embrace the internet the way the rest of us have? Will he use it to communicate, promote transparency, and learn about the cultures that have developed in this new world?" When I saw the Obama Twitter feed, I knew he would. So first I'd like to congratulate the Obama staff for setting up this site! It's exactly what we need.

My vision for the country includes all people, especially those who have been poorly treated by the religious right. I believe everyone should have the same rights as a couple that straight people currently enjoy; I don't care if "marriage" is redefined as a solely religious concept, as long as everyone, gay and straight, can be united in the eyes of the law with all the benefits I currently enjoy as a married woman.

I hope that women will always have the right to choose their reproductive methods, and I'd like to see contraception made available at little or no cost to any fertile woman. Education should be provided to all young people as to the seriousness of raising kids, and how they can make an informed choice when and if to reproduce.

I'd like to see more support for the arts, no matter if they are controversial or popular, and more emphasis placed on educating kids to be creative and confident, not just popular and conforming.

And schools should also include mandatory courses on critical thinking, so all American citizens have the tools to make decisions for themselves. Education should be one of our first and largest priorities, and even though I do not have children, I would never object to paying more of my income towards a more educated America.

I believe religion should be completely separate from government, and while everyone should have the right to choose and practice their religion, that choice should at no time affect my right to be free of religion.

I would like to see protections for animals wherever possible, because unlike humans, they often have no choice in how they are housed and treated. Animal testing is often necessary in the sciences, and some animals do indeed taste good, but we have to take every step to ensure that they do not experience pain or fear or disabling forms of breeding while we are caring for them.

I believe that homelessness is a serious problem, and is closely tied to a lack in mental health care for a large segment of the population. I'm not sure how this can be solved, but it's time a serious effort was put into determining how we can help the mentally ill who cannot care for themselves.

Personal privacy needs to be a constant goal of the government; inappropriate wiretapping and internet monitoring must be ended. Corporations must also be responsible for protecting the privacy of their customers.

Finally, I thank you so much for taking the time to make this site available. I couldn't believe it, the night the election results were announced; we were so very happy to hear that all we'd hoped for was true. That night, my husband and I both decided that since this country finally had lived up to our dreams, we would put more effort into doing whatever we can to pay it back. We will be donating more than ever to our favorite charities this year, and into finding ways we personally can make a difference in the lives of people with less than we have.

Thank you, thank you for caring. I'm sorry this is so long, but I do care, too, and I truly believe that this administration can make the changes that have been so long in coming.


P.S. Please consider a rescued dog from a shelter for First Dog! Inbreeding is a big problem among purebred dogs, and setting a good example by adopting a shelter dog would be a perfect example to set for all those other dogs.
(Signed, Mina - Sonya's rescue dog and best friend)