Sunday, December 02, 2007


GAAHHH!!! I'm supposed to MOVE today!! Who gave permission for it to snow?

I friggin' love snow. LOVE it. This has to be the first time in my life that I'm unhappy to see snow that is sticking. I mean, snow NEVER sticks, here. It always melts as soon as it hits the ground (which is usually wet from rain). But on the day I'm supposed to move, it snows and sticks.

Granted, it's probably less than an inch (so far! it's still going strong), which would be a joke to Midwesterners. But this city all but shuts down for half an inch. Probably has something to do with the fact that the Midwest is flat, and we are nothing but large hills around here. As icing on this snowy cake, my tires are nearly bald and I haven't had the money to get new ones. Yay for driving in snow with no traction! I think I must have done something to upset The Big Man Upstairs.

On the other hand, it's so pretty! I really do love snow. Everyone else in this city hates it, which I've never understood. They're all Grinches. I guess now I'm a Grinch, too.

I'm moving to the city, and I'm REALLY excited, but I'm also nervous in a "girl who has lived her whole life in suburbs" sort of way. Seriously, I'm 25 years old and I've only ever lived in suburbs (even in France), except for a three-month period when I lived in a tiny town on an island (three bars, two grocery stores, one bank, no fast-food chains). Actually, I didn't even live in the tiny town; I lived just outside of it. Basically, I'm totally soft. Should be fun! I should probably try to get comfortable living in a relatively safe city before I up and move to London, right? I thought so.

Oh, it stopped snowing! (for the moment) Maybe it'll all melt in a couple hours! (I can't believe I just said that...)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

"On The Radio"

This is how it works
You're young until you're not
You love until you don't
You try until you can't
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath

Monday, October 08, 2007

Leave It To Beaver

I've never watched "Leave It To Beaver" before, and I stumbled upon it today.

I don't think I'll watch it again.

Here are the old-fashioned family values I learned from the 15 minutes that I watched:

  1. It's perfectly okay for mom and the kids to lie to dad. What he doesn't know can't hurt him.
  2. It's perfectly acceptable to answer the telephone in the middle of dinner.
  3. A man is well within his rights to sit comfortably in an easy chair and read his newspaper while his wife frets over a missing child, and then passive-aggressively question the way she is raising their child.
Here is a quote I found particularly amusing:

Beaver: “What if you and mom had a fight, what would you do?”

Ward: “Why, Beaver, you know your mother and I don’t fight.”

(My eyebrows are raised at this point.)

Beaver: “But what if you did, what would you do?”

Ward: “Well, I’d probably stay at the Y until she came to her senses.”

Ah, yes. There's that old-fashioned male-chauvinism. A minute later, Ward says, "I'd apologize, even though I was probably in the right." I would assume the writers were trying to be funny, but the laugh track didn't come on and the actor looked serious.

Ah, yes, the world was so much more wholesome back in the 50's, when women knew their places, men were never wrong, and racism was totally acceptable. Those were the days...

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Lazy Day

I'm really excited. I applied to be a volunteer at a local organization for refugees, and I went for a tour and informal interview yesterday. I'll be volunteering with an after-school program for kids aged 10-16 or so. It'll be like study hall, and I'll be there to answer homework questions and stuff. I start next Thursday! Yay! I can't wait!

Oh, I just looked down at my kitty (cuz he sighed very sweetly) and he is actually sleeping on the pet pillow that R and S got him! That's like, the first time, ever, and he's had it for nearly three months.

Websites I've been reading today ('cause, let's face it, that's all I ever do):

I've never done this before, but I've actually started my Christmas shopping in September. I'm a little ashamed of myself, to be honest. Anyway, there were tons of awesome artist booths at Bumbershoot, and I've been checking out some of their websites.

"Your place to buy and sell all things handmade." I like the idea of buying handmade stuff for several reasons, but a big one is that I know there won't be any sweat-shops or child labor involved, which is scary stuff. The problem is, this stuff tends to be more expensive than the sweat-shop J.C. Penney's t-shirts I'm accustomed to buying. But this website features all sorts of products that are great gift ideas. There's even a virologist who crochets HIV viruses and gives a portion of sales to Blood:Water Mission (see below).

ex libris anonymous

What do you get when you take the covers from an old book and bind them around blank white sketchbook paper, with some pages from the original book mixed in? The best idea ever! I wish I'd thought of it...and had all the tools necessary to make these journals.

Non-profit sites:

Blood:Water Mission
They ask everyone to donate one dollar. One dollar provides enough clean drinking water for one African for a WHOLE YEAR!

Lifelong AIDS Alliance
The Pacific Northwest's leading AIDS service organization.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Ashes, ashes, we all take a bath

When I got home today, I was greeted as usual by my darling kitten, who is, may I say, quite the porker. He had acquired, while I was at work, some new spots. Grayish ones, in fact. Someone has been frolicking in the fireplace, again! Which of course means, someone gets to take another bath! Oh, how he loves baths! No wait, what's that other word that sounds like "loves" but means the opposite? Oh yeah, loathes. Well, that'll teach ya to go exploring in ash-filled caves.

Displaying his manliness

Displaying his kittenliness

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Hey, who's sick of Kusems whining about her sleep disorder? No one? You sure? Alright, then, let's proceed.

Oh, let's recap. Back in March, I went for a sleep test to figure what the pho was wrong with me. Apparently, I have sleep apnea. I'm still not convinced, and here's why: my doctor put me on a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine (ce qui pumps air into my lungs while I be sleeping). It's icky. I think I look like an elephant, but I don't know for sure because I refuse to look in the mirror while wearing it because I'm afraid of what I'll see.

Anyhoo, machine is supposed to keep me from choking during sleep (supposedly, I stop breathing once a minute during REM sleep). Because I'm not choking anymore, my sleep isn't being interrupted, and therefore, I wake up feeling refreshed and energized. Right?

Wrong! I've been using the horrible machine for two months, and haven't felt a blasted thing. Not even a minor improvement in either sleepyness or tiredness. So I went back for another overnight sleep study, complete with traumatizing cup-peeing incident. Haven't received the results back yet, but I don't even care anymore what they'll say. I think I've decided to explore other possibilities. The internets must make doctors' lives harder, because now they have all their patients coming in saying, "Are you sure it's not this other thing I read about on the Internet?"

Last week, I had a second-opinion appointment with a new doctor, and he said, "They've followed the right protocol and there's nothing I can do that would be different." Thank you, sir. Fifteen dollars down the drain. Of course, that's nothing compared to the $800 I'll be spending to pay for all these doggone sleep tests. Arrrgghhhh.

*Happy Place time*

Ahhh, much better.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Thursday night, I had a vivid dream about being in an earthquake. Interestingly, I was in the bathroom of a fast-food restaurant when it happened. Becky and Jody were there (not sure why Amy wasn't), and we seemed to be the only three people who knew what to do (stand in the doorway, of course).

Friday morning, I got to work and started reading newspaper headlines only to discover that Peru suffered a massive earthquake on Wednesday. How very sad. I just finished a book about Dr. Paul Farmer (called "Mountains Beyond Mountains") who has spent all of his adult life providing free health care to the world's poorest people in Haiti. He and his organization, Partners in Health (, campaign for AIDS and TB treatment for the world's poor, and they have a large TB program in Lima, Peru, which isn't far from the area of Peru most devastated by the earthquake. Furthermore, Hurricane Dean is predicted to pass over Haiti soon, where it will dump floods of water on the mountain regions where Haiti's poorest people live. Erosion and mudslides are inevitable given the lack of trees and plants. Needless to say, this concerns me. At the very least, I hope PIH's facilities and peeps survive. Hospitals are gonna be in high demand. Part of me is tempted to look to God and ask why these things have to happen to the destitute, but then I'm reminded that it's my responsibility to: 1.) help rebuild, 2.) make sure they don't remain destitute, and 3.) make poverty a thing of the past. The problem is, I don't know how to do any of these things.

I've been really frustrated lately because I feel a calling to get out there and try to solve these problems, but I don't know where to begin. I don't know how to start, or what direction to head in. All anyone really asks for is money, and unless I sell all my personal possessions, I don't have any money to give. Unfortunately, I know what Jesus has to say on this subject. Like the rich young man who asks what he must do to follow Jesus, I find most of the Way easy to follow, but I balk at the last little bit: "Go, sell your possession and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." (Matthew 19:16-30) I want to do this. My conscience and my conviction are all for it. But I am weak, oh so weak. In the end, I do nothing.

On a brighter note, here's a comic from about dreaming:

Monday, July 30, 2007

Nine million faces. Nine million names. Nine million stories.

Nine million children are refugees right now. is a UN Refugee Agency led campaign to raise awareness and funds for education and sport programs for refugee youth, many of whom are forced to spend years of their young lives away from home with little hope of returning. What happens to them now, during their years as refugees, is up to all of us.

Go to Do it!

Also, you should check out my friend, R's, blog. She spent this summer interning for the UN at a refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya. See:

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Can I Keep Him?

Phew, the bridal shower went perty doggone well. Michele is my super-hero for making all the food (and boy, was it delicious). I handed the plates over to Amy (who was able to make it after-all, thanks to my dad). She took the scissors and cut the scalloped edges in half the time it took me to do it, mainly because I'm a perfectionist and she's not. In the end, no one cried out in horror, "But these plates have uneven, ripped edges!!" so I suppose she did a good job. The one game I tried fell a little flat, but I got lots of positive feedback, so I'd stamp it a success. Of course, I can always nitpick the things that could have been better (I'm sure I could come up with a substantial list), but I think that, for once, I'll give myself a break. It went well.

I had a slightly traumatic experience when I came home, though. I parked next to the dumpster and, as I got out of the car, I happened to look to my left, where I noticed something sitting in front of a recycling bin. It looked like a discarded toy, a stuffed cat with something around its neck. It's paws didn't look quite right, either, but I couldn't figure out why not. What was that thing around its neck? It looked like one of those cones that people put around dogs' necks to keep them from scratching their heads. Except it wasn't one of those cones; it actually looked more the neck of a broken bottle. A very realistic-looking kitten with its head stuck in the neck of a broken bottle. There was a large piece of the bottle in front of the thing's face. As I was processing this information and wondering what kind of person would put the head of a stuffed kitten through a broken bottle, the horrible thing MOVED. Then made meowing noises. I was completely weirded out at this point, so I climbed back into my car and shut the door (in fear, just to clarify). When I looked back, the thing was gone, but I could hear meowing. I was sure that someone nearby was laughing at my reaction, that I'd be on Candid Camera next week. After a frantic phone call to Jacque, I gathered my wits and started unloading my car. I went upstairs to the apartment, then back to my car to get the rest of the stuff. As I approached my car, I realized the wretched thing was hiding behind one of my tires, and he was just a little baby. My heart seriously breaks every time I think about this, and I've been thinking about it all day. I can't get the image of him out of my head. It was so disturbing! How did a kitten get its head stuck in a broken bottle? Or was the bottle whole when its head got stuck? If so, how did he get it broken? How long had he been like that? With a big piece of glass in front of its face, it probably couldn't get to any food.

When I saw him under the car, I freaked out afresh, but this time it was less because of the surreality of it all, and more because he was a helpless little baby in serious need of help. He could not have been more than 8 weeks old. I went to get Jacque and find a phone number for an animal hospital, but it was 8pm on a Sunday night so few were opened. Plus, our phone book is USELESS. Most of the listings were for a city 20 miles away. I grabbed a towel and we managed to catch the poor kitty (his reflexes weren't very quick), then we took him to an emergency animal clinic. His fur was completely matted and filthy. He smelled like oil and grease, and one of his eyes wouldn't open. The veterinarian pulled the bottle off without a problem, but found that a fly had laid eggs around the kitten's neck, and they were hatching into maggots. Jacque had held the kitten (in the towel) for the 20 minute drive, so she was more than a little grossed out to learn that. They couldn't be sure at first glance what was wrong with his eye, if it was just infected or if the eye was missing. I cringe to think that it might have been poked out or scratched by the glass bottle.

Jacque has wanted a pet for a while, but I have resisted because there is a large chunk of ice where my heart should be. But this little guy melted my cold, cold heart. I guess I have a bit of a savior complex, because I just want to coddle him to make up for all the crappy things that have filled his short life so far. Anyway, the vet said that our two options were: 1) Claim him as ours and pay $500 for his vet fees, or 2) claim him as a stray, in which case he'll be turned over to Animal Control, at no charge to us. Neither of us were prepared to fork over that substantial a sum of money (he may have melted my heart, but he hadn't melted my vice-like grip on my wallet). The vet said we could call Animal Control tomorrow to ask for information on him and put our names in to adopt him, but I don't really know what the chances are. He is probably still young enough to be domesticated, but because he was feral, he'll probably never grow to be a social, friendly cat. Then again, how many cats are social and friendly? (I should probably explain that I don't generally think very highly of cats. They remind me too much of me.)

Sunday, June 03, 2007


Oh my goodness, planning a bridal shower is HARD! Especially if you're both a perfectionist and a procrastinator. Martha Stewart rocks my world and all that, but how are normal people supposed to be able to do all the adorable crafts she does? "Why yes, let me just go grab my soldering iron..." Who has the money? Or the time, for that matter?

And why do special craft scissors work for her on thick paper plates, but when I go to use them, they don't cut properly? Hunh? They rip the paper and cause ragged edges. My world is falling to bits around me...

Martha Stewart's plates
(as the cherry on top of this fiasco,
Martha's website is down
and I can't get a good photo;
this is a b&w photocopy)

My Plates

Maybe there's a reason Martha did her scalloping on white plates...

Also, should I be freaking out that ONE OF THE BRIDESMAIDS ISN'T COMING?!? Because I am! Should I be upset that she told me she wasn't coming THE DAY BEFORE THE SHOWER? Or that she may have NEVER told me, if I hadn't called her to remind her and make sure she wasn't working that day? (Of course, I called her because I knew full well that she is the WORLD'S BIGGEST FLAKE and that she would forget the date.) Okay, truth be told, I'm not really freaking out. I'm just good, ol' fashioned furious. I'm sure it'll pass. Maybe. I'm a bit of a grudge-holder.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Mega Tattooage

I never really thought I'd see the inside of a tattoo parlor, but Sara got a tattoo for her birthday and asked me to come along for moral support. Yippee! I love living vicariously through others. When I told Jacque and Amy that I was going, they both immediately responded, "You're totally gonna pass out." Thanks a lot for the vote of confidence, guys! I assured them that I would be JUST FINE, and guess who was right? ME. I love it when that happens.

Watching someone else get tattooed is seriously no big deal. It was sort of reminiscent of going to the dentist, because you sit in a dentist-style chair, and there are machines that buzz, and everything is sterilized. They even had a mini autoclave! But they played funky music, and the walls were spray-painted bright colors, and there were pictures of Lionel Ritchie all over. All the things necessary for relaxation.

Sara handled the pain like a pro, only flinching a couple times. I was Lead Documentarian for the event.


Me looking goofy, but not ill.

Sara pretending to be in excruciating pain.
She actually looks like she was being tickled,
which is probably more accurate to what was
actually going on.

A flinch.

Ta-da! The final product:

Monday, May 28, 2007

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Sometime in April...

The ritual decapitation of tulips is still, in this
day and age, taking place on American soil.
Please do you part to help end the petal-shed.

Yes, that's right. The elusive Ninja tulip.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Two Words

Um, awesome?!

Also, I am loving Muse. Why did I wait so long to listen to them? Sara rocks for giving me their album. Sara rocks for so many things. I would even go so far as to say that she is a rock-star. Happy Birthday, Sara!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Pet Peeve

Picture frame companies that put hard-to-remove stickers directly on the glass. Hellooooo??

Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Nonsense

Apparently, you celebrate Easter in Scranton, PA, by molding The Lamb of God from butter.

I think it looks like a wolf-bear.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Cooking Skillz

One of these days, I have got to learn to cook. I just burned potstickers, and since I'm hungry and I worry about America's overconsumption of resources, I ate them. Luckily, I eat my dumplings with so much soy sauce that my tastebuds get kind of burned off, and I was watching the Colbert Report, so I didn't notice the taste of charcoal as much.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


I can never drink nor enter a nightclub or bar again! Or at least not until the year 2012, and that's a long time. We may be living on the moon by then.

My new driver's license photo is beyond hideous. I don't think I could possibly look worse. It's especially painful because my last license photo was perfect. I looked just fine. Nothing to be embarrassed about. Even my passport photo is pretty, despite the fact that I look stoned in it. But this new photo...I'm actually embarrassed by it.

*le sigh*

Also, I am feeling excessively unproductive this evening. Can't move...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

I Couldn't Sleep

The one time it really matters, and I can't sleep.

Last night and today, I had a sleep test (I wanted a second opinion). It was not an altogether pleasant experience, as sleeping with a bunch of wires taped or glued to your head and face never is, and I can’t help but feel like I might have failed. I mean, that’s absurd, I know, you can’t fail a sleep test, but I’m worried that what’s really wrong with me won’t show up in the results. Mainly because I couldn't sleep. One of my symptoms is that I sleep all the time and fall asleep immediately, but the doctors will never know, because I couldn't, for the life of me, fall asleep.

I had to stay all day today, too, so they could measure how long it took me to fall asleep for five naps (one every two hours). I didn't even fall asleep for two of them. Trust me, though, if I'd been at home, in my comfy mattress, without all those wires, I would have fallen asleep immediately four out of five times.

Sitting quietly in my pajamas in a hospital room with wires hooked up to me, I felt like a convalescent child. I felt like I should be sick, but I wasn’t. It messes with your head, let me tell you, being in a hospital room and not being sick. I feel all weird, now. But nothing that a late night of shaking my groove thang can’t cure.

At the risk of scaring away the few people who still read this blog, I have a question: Is there, in reality as we know it, a way for a woman to pee into a cup without peeing all over her hand? I mean, really? Is it truly, as I suspect, physically impossible? Just wondering, no special reason.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Takin' One in the Kisser

I loved the fabric of this dress, but the cut of the top was HORRID.
What's up with clothes that are almost cute, but not quite there?
Why don't American designers make clothes that are actually cute?

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


My freaking computer won t do apostrophes! AGH! And the arrows don t work either! It s totally wigging out!

Ok, it's better now. I don't know what was going on there. I'm probably being hacked as we speak. Anyhoo, ages and ages ago, way back at the end of January, I saw Keane live! Yay! They were FANTASTIC. I mean, they're only my third favorite band (and only tied for third, at that), but Tom Chaplin sounded absolutely perfect. His voice was as good as on the album, which is more than I can say for a certain lead singer of Coldplay.

Here are some photos. The bad ones were taken by me, the good ones by John.

I sawr a ghost! Or I were a ghost.

My concert companions

That's it, Tom. Let it all out.

He was totally rocking out
on his keyboard through
the whole concert.

I really like this shot,
except for the random person's
head in the corner.

Just keep smilin'

Like an angel, complete
with round cherub cheeks

Amazing shot, clearly not taken by me

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I Don't Know What to Think Anymore

Notes on the Issaquah Brewhouse: For the women’s restroom, would you choose the door marked “barley” or the door marked “hops?”

It snowed again on Saturday, and the most remarkable thing happened. I was walking along and I happened to look down at my coat, where I saw what I assumed to be a piece of plastic confetti in the shape of your stereotypical snowflake. Everyone knows snowflakes don’t really look like they do in the pictures, with the symmetry and the points and all that, right? Right?? They’re just lumps. My whole life I thought, Sure, no two snowflakes are alike, because they’re all lumps of frozen water, that get frozen in random, asymmetrical and unpredictable shapes. I don’t know if it’s the climate around here or what, because that’s the only kind of snowflake I’ve ever seen. Even in London and Glasgow, that’s what it was. I assumed a stereotypical snowflake was just a myth, like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster. When I saw this anomaly on my jacket, I picked it up, fully expecting it to be fake. When it melted in my hand, I think my brain exploded. The world of conflict and suffering came to a grinding halt around me. You mean to tell me, snowflakes actually look like snowflakes?

I may never be the same again.

Friday, January 12, 2007

No Sense of Adventure

I just did something totally Jackass. As in the show/movies, which I loathe. It snowed here yesterday, a lot (like, three inches), and then it melted today, and then refroze. Last night, my dad and I went sledding with the local kiddies.
My dad has these old sleds from when he was a kid, like the type you see in movies about the 40s or 50s, with wooden slats for the seat and metal runners. We raced each other a few times.
What with the snow on the ground, we didn’t move very fast or very far, so when everything iced over tonight, we figured we should try sledding again. Pops went down first, in his bike helmet with a headlamp in front and a flashing red light in the back.
I'm not so great with the action
shots, though my camera
impressed me
Somehow, I had the foresight to wait until he had gone all the way down before I headed down. We both might have died if we’d tried to go at the same time. The flashing light on the back of his head distracted me so that I didn’t realize right away that he was sending out sparks. When he was all the way down the hill and halfway to the lake, I shoved off. I hate, hate the feeling of being out of control, so sledding down a hill of ice probably wasn’t a great idea. I mean, I hate skiing, what made me think this would be fun? I sent out some sparks of my own, going nearly 30 miles an hour, and the sled showed no signs of slowing. As I veered toward a pole, Amy’s spleen-rupturing sledding accident flashed through my mind. I managed to straighten out, and after a prolonged period of careening and veering, I chickened out and threw myself forward, not intending to slide across the snow on my stomach in front of a stranger’s house, but all’s well that ends well. Pops and I agreed one run was all we needed to get sledding out of our systems for the year. My heart is still pounding, though that might be from dragging the sled back up the hill. Man, I’m out of shape.

Looks like she's painting her toenails