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14 posts from February 2009

February 10, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

I've been tagged many times by friends on Facebook and even though I usually resist the urge to post to these sorts of memes, I finally just gave in.  I'm tagging the bloggers who show up in my top 25 list of referrers (see left side menu .... way at the bottom of the page) and I'm eager to see what you guys come up with for this!  Since I know those folks probably won't respond, I'm also tagging anyone else who feels inspired to do so.

Here's my list of 25 random things about me:

  1. I disapprove of creative narcissism so I'll do my best to not descend shamefully into it.  Failing that, I absolutely promise to not be funny.

  2. I've visited the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Big Ben, and the Great Wall of China (twice) but I've never been to the Grand Canyon.

  3. I love analogies and envy people who can quickly come up with interesting or funny ways to compare things.  If you ever catch me being clever here or anywhere else, rest assured that I'm just committing plagiarism.

  4. I was a commercial pilot for five years and never got lost but I have a terrible sense of direction on the ground and can't drive my car through my own neighborhood without using my Garmin.  (An especially weird personal flaw when you consider number 17, below.)

  5. I can't sleep unless I have a pillow between my knees to keep them from touching.  

  6. My cousin was one of the 168 people who died in the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.   I thought that was the last time this sort of thing would touch me personally but then ...

  7. My 40th birthday was commemorated by the destruction of the WTC's.  Yes I turned 40 on 9/11/01.  I don't even feel right about feeling bad about that since others remember that day with much more emotion than I ever will (thank God).  To me, it was just a screwed up birthday.  

  8. I can effectively ask directions to the bathroom in five languages but can only understand the corresponding responses in three of those languages. 

  9. I hate cilantro.   No matter how you prepare it or what you put it in or how small you chop it, it's putrid.  I wish I could (at least) just tolerate it. 

  10. I chew the inside of my mouth.  Always have.  Probably always will.

  11. I'm related to my own son in two ways:  Mother and 36th Cousin.  

  12. With the help of my fertility doctor, I've done things most people would certainly disapprove of.  Fortunately, we didn't have 8 babies so our secret is safe.  Oops... did I just say too much?

  13. All of my Christmas Tree ornaments are cats.  Yep, cats.  Purrrfect if you want to collect something but only want to look at it 1 month each year. 

  14. I have a little bit of an obsession with bags, purses, wallets, etc and I'm always looking for the perfect style and color to organize my ever-changing collection of personal "stuff".  Baggallini is my current favorite.

  15. When I shave my husband's back, he purrs like a walrus.

  16. I still get choked up when I read General MacArthur's 1962 speech about "Duty, Honor and Country".  Google it.

  17. I have a freaky talent for being able to remember exactly where I sat in every restaurant I've ever eaten in.  I can also recall the floor plan of every house I've visited. 

  18. The single greatest choice I ever made in my entire life was to fall in love with my husband.   

  19. My maiden name rhymes with "diaper" and "hyper" and absolutely nothing else that is even remotely positive.  This made me a popular target of poetic antagonists in 5th Grade.

  20. I love German beer.  Especially a nice crisp pilsner. 

  21. I love German food.  Especially a nice jager-schnitzel.  

  22. I'm, ethnically, mostly German and I guess my taste buds know it.

  23. My favorite movie is "The American President" (1995) but I can't really say why.  I've seen it more times than any other movie and can actually recite lines from it.  I get such a giggle out of the relationship between Michael Douglas and Annette Benning.  Makes me smile just thinking about it.  But I'm not a Democrat.  

  24. When I was 20, I was in a Folgers coffee commercial.

  25. When I eat a Reese's, I nibble off all the chocolate until I'm left with just that blissful little patty of peanut butter then I pop it into my mouth and close my eyes and dream....  

February 07, 2009

Xin Nian Kuai Le!

Xin Nian Kuai Le 2009-blog 
(click image for larger view or look at our entire Flickr set here:  Gwen & Maddy's Chinese New Year 2009)

Another beautiful day in San Francisco.  This time, we grabbed breakfast and headed straight to Golden Gate Park and lucked into a perfect parking place in front of the most perfect sunny playground.  Those of you with small kids will also appreciate how excited we were to find a clean public restroom about 50 yards from the park.    We played for about an hour then walked to the San Francisco Botanical Garden (Arboretum) where our little girls chased squirrels and seagulls  while we basked in the beauty of all the splendid plants, trees and flowers.    Once, we saw a fantastic fancy orange flower and Gwen stepped closer to investigate while Maddy just gasped at it with her mouth wide open.  They willingly posed for pictures and spent the best part of two hours climbing trees and being the "leaders" as we followed them up and down every path in the place.  We'll absolutely come back here again!  When we walked back to the car, we stopped to pose for a quick photo by a magnificant giant old (Oak?) tree.  I love taking pictures in places like this because I know this tree has been around since for several hundred years and will likely be around many more.  My girls will probably visit here as adults and it'll be so amazing to look back at these old photos from their childhood.  I get shivers just thinking about it.

After the Arboretum, we drove to the Chinese New Year Parade and immediately regretted not arriving more than an hour before the parade started.   They estimated about 500,000 spectators and with the sudden break in bad weather, we're pretty sure they had at least that many.    Every part of the parade route was 10 rows deep in people and there really wasn't any way we were willing to be in the 11th row.  But, again, we got incredibly lucky and happened to be at the intersection of Geary and Powell when the police closed off the street so we were able to snag a prime spot right in the front and watch the entire parade as it marched straight toward us and turned the corner.  I asked one of the police officers to take our photo (lower left corner photo, above) so you can see how quickly ten rows of people formed behind us.  Really, I can't even start to imagine why would anyone want to see a parade like that?    

Anyway, the girls were very excited about the parade.  They've been practicing saying Xin Nian Kuai Le for many weeks and they were thrilled to get to put their new language skills to use.   As far as they were concerned, the highlight of the parade was the great big dragon so when he passed, it was pretty easy to convince them that the parade was over (even though two more hours remained).  We stopped for a quick bite to eat on the way home and still managed to get into bed by 9:00 PM.  All in all, a totally perfect day in nearly every way! 

February 05, 2009

It all started with an itchy ear (not for the squeamish)

A few days ago, Maddy complained that her ear was itchy.  Since she has tubes in her ears (that I can actually SEE when I look in there!), I warned her that she shouldn't poke her finger in and start scratching.  But did she listen?  Nope. 

Within 24 hours, she had a slight fever then the dripping started.  Yes, something nasty started dripping out of her ear and running down the side of her cheek!  The Doctor says it's an ear infection so now we're on a ten day ritual of three big swigs of this horrid pink antibiotic per day.  Really, I can't understand how even one single child likes the taste of this stuff but it seems they ALL do.   If God is really all knowing, then why didn't He make asparagus taste like Amoxicillin?

Anyway, four doses down and 26 more to go (26,000 if you're Nancy Pelosi). 

February 04, 2009

My school pictures never looked THIS fancy!

Pretty cute, huh.

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