Birthday Cards

I have to admit, I am a fan of funny cards. This doesn't mean that I don't like serious they do mean a lot to me. BUT, funny cards are all the rage in my eyes! Here are a couple of my favorites from this birthday season.

Card One:

Card Two:

This one played the Friends theme song when opened....obviously whoever got me this card knew what a great fan I am!

Now all that is left is you figuring out who got me the cards...especially the sister have a 50% chance of guessing right!

The Birthday

It's my birthday and I'll smile if I want to, smile if I want to...

I had a great birthday, in case you were wondering! I worked in the morning...with another American who was also celebrating her birthday. How weird is that?!? Now everyone thinks it is like the official birthday of Americans! Oh well. So, work went well and went by fast. Then I went home and baked myself a cake...don't feel sorry for me...I got to eat the batter AND have home made birthday cake after dinner! Then Ian and I got all goozied up and went out to dinner. We went to this restaurant in town that has a view of the castle. It is a modern restaurant. And, it had really good food. I would definitely go back. Anyway, after dinner, we took a taxi home...this is always a treat for me. I know, I am a dork! Then we ate my wonderful cake (with vanilla icing, in case you were wondering) and went to bed...I had to get up early for work this morning! All in all, it was a good day.

Red Bull Cola

Being the great husband that I have, Ian arrived home from being out of town with a present in hand for me...a Red Bull Cola!!! How weird is that? Not as a gift, but as a product...anyone that knows me, knows that I am seriously addicted to Red Bull! But a cola? Craziness?!? The best part is, the can advertises it to be "strong & natural". Natural? Looking at the ingredients, I notice that all of the ingredients are in fact natural - water, sugar, vanilla, mustard seeds (what?), lime, cocoa and more...I am impressed.

At first swig, this cola tasted of black licorice with a cherry taste. Who knows? Ian tried it and isn't sure if he likes it. He refused to describe to me what he thought it tasted like. All I know is it tastes nothing like cola (of the coke or pepsi kind). But for being all natural, I must give it props. Go Red Bull!

What Has Become of the First Amendment?

NOTE: Please don't read this if you aren't in the mood for something serious and political. I promise to make my blogs in the future more lighthearted. This was just something I have been thinking about for the past few days.

We (well, not me right now), live in a country that was essentially built on certain "rights". One of those rights being, the right to free speech. But, when is free speech not a good thing? Does there come a point when someone's right to free speech is harming others? If so, what do we do about this? In the past week I have come across two very different stories that evoked two different emotions in me, but they both beg me to free (and I mean completely free) speech a good thing?

Story Number One - NYC Cabbie Who Runs Anti-American Islamic Website...

It is hard for me to understand how people can persecute others who are different than them. It is even harder for me to understand how they can do it in the name of their god. I could never serve a god who told me to kill, rape or beat someone for such things as being from a certain country, being a woman, being homosexual, believing in another god and more. On a website that an American citizen made (though I notice he is referred to as "American-born" in the article, and not a citizen), this guy mocks Americans killed my muslims. But what is even more baffling than this, is that this guy is protected under the first amendment! He can keep posting all the stuff he wants and no one can do anything about it!

Story Number Two - Student Abortion Art

This story baffles my mind so much I don't even know where to begin. This girl's art project is a slap in the face so so many people (in a nut shell, she artificially inseminated herself and then self aborted using "herbs"; she did this numerous times). People's lives are hell when they go thru miscarriages and abortions, but she is making a light of the subject. She is even putting the evidence on display for people to go look at...what part of that is not wrong? But what really go me was the comments people posted about this story. The interesting thing is that people who are Yale alumni, artists and even pro-choicers are speaking out against what this girl has done. Of course, there are crazy people that back her, but that is definitely the minority. Here are a couple comments I grabbed from Yale's Daily News site:

This entire event serves to remind us of what post-modern "art" actually has become... an anti-social behavior that has become intolerable, insenstive, and inhumane. Of course the University is concerned... it should be... there are many of us educated people, and alumni, who believe funding should be cut until the institutions return to education and abandon their intentions to destroy the very fabric of the society in which they thrive. The art faculty and deans should be held accountable for their encouragement of such projects, just like they would be if they held a real professional position in society. The reason they are at Yale is that they could not survive elsewhere.

I'm very pro-choice, but I think the YDN needs to stop calling Shvarts' actions "miscarriages." The term miscarriage implies an accidental, natural event, as well as an intent to carry the pregnancy to term. It's clear that Shvarts' actions do not fit either of these criteria.

While I pity this poor misguided person, a much larger shame here belongs to Yale. In their fervent attempt to make this whole thing "disappear", they take it upon themselves to state that this is performance art, and, had it been real, would have raised concerns about the student's physical and mental health. Guess what, Yale? What you have here is the DEFINITION of someone with a mental illness, regardless of what is true or false.


I have to admit, up to this point, I really haven't been homesick. And, even now, it isn't like I am crying myself to sleep...sorry folks, if you thought I missed you that much! But, I did seem to wake up on the "homesick" side of the bed this morning. For some reason, all day I have just been thinking about everything I was missing. So, on my break at work, I decided to make a list of some of the things I miss.

* Talking to my best friend on her way home from work every day
* Lunch time with my peeps
* Coffee with little vanilla creamers
* Getting wonderful candy (Lindor Truffles) during the daily mail run...thanks JP!
* Driving up the 2, the sun in my face, talking on the phone to my mom
* Santa Monica
* Pizza from BJ's...dipping the crust in ranch dressing
* Beach days
* Driving home for the weekend
* Seeing people I know at church
* Walking at night with Ian & Riley
* Poker nights
* Bagels from Noah's on Saturday mornings
* In 'n Out after church...and after work at Pottery Barn
* Tank tops
* The Pottery Barn discount!

Oddly enough, just writing some of the things I missed down made me feel better. I think what is hard is that I realize when I go back, my life won't be the same. It isn't like I will ever have the same job, working with the same people and have the same friends to hang out with. My friends will always be my friends. But, since I have moved a few of them have moved out of California. Life changes. But, it doesn't mean I can't look back on how great it was!

One of THOSE Days...

You know, the days that everything seems to go wrong! First a note about myself...I am a rather responsible person. I am always early to work, just to be safe. Well, this morning I managed to turn off two, yes TWO, alarms and sleep in. The only thing that saved me was that I called a taxi last night to pick me up. So, at 5:40am, my door rang. I sprang out of bed quickly, threw the toothbrush in my mouth, threw my clothes on and ran out the door. I ran out the door without even brushing my hair...not one of my finest hours!

Then at work...we are training this new girl who doesn't speak English very well (and it is nice to even say this). She doesn't seem to understand anything of what I say to her, but always says "yes" to me no matter what. So, we are at work, weighing the coffee when she makes a mistake and I correct her. Nothing big, but I wanted to make sure she got everything right. All the sudden she says, I am so f***ing stupid! Now, I am standing there stunned. All she did was over weigh the coffee; not a big deal. She can barely speak English, but can obviously say f*** easily. AND, she just said it in the middle of the store; not allowed people! Needless to say, it was an interesting morning.

This afternoon I had my shift supervisor sign off with my district remember back to the fact that I ran out of the house this morning without even brushing my hair! I was feeling a little self conscious about my appearance, but regardless of the appearance, I passed with flying colors...go me!

Well, here's to hoping I get up tomorrow morning because there ain't a taxi coming for me...I gotta catch the bus at 5:25am along with the rest of them...or lack of "them". No one is out that early!

Public Transportation

Sometimes taking public transportation can be quite interesting. Last night, I shared the bus with a group of "tipsy" old folks. They were hysterical...talking really loud and laughing like crazy. It really was entertaining. Other times, I get the pleasure of sharing the bus with obnoxious youngsters. A couple days ago six of these youngsters (about 12 or 13 years old) were being so loud, hitting each other, running up and down the isle of the bus and just being crazy. Now, I am all for people having fun, but there comes a point where you are just being obnoxious and just need to shut up! Don't worry, I do realize that people have thought this about me a time or two! Lastly, and my personal favorite, is the person that doesn't wear deodorant on the bus. I have trouble understanding why one doesn't wear deodorant at all. But, when you are so ripe you are smelling the whole bus up, you really need to give it a try. Sometimes I wonder, can these people smell themselves? Or are they immune to the smell? Whatever the case, taking public transportation is never dull!

The Scottish Adventure

Today Ian and I went on a Scottish adventure. We spent 12 hours roaming the countryside (350 miles to be exact) in a mini-bus with 12 of our closest strangers and a driver/tour guide. And, I must admit, it was worth it. We got to really see what Scotland is like outside the city. Honestly, it reminded me a lot of northern California. Well...except for the highland cows! Those things are great and I was so excited to finally see one in person! It was a hairy beast. So hairy that you couldn't even see its eyes! Ian fed it a piece of apple and ended up with slime all over his hand. Total nastiness, but totally worth it! I wanted to feed it, but didn't want to get my hand bitten off.

The main attraction (well, supposed to be the main attraction) of the day was Lochness...where the Lochness Monster (Nessie) lives. I must admit, this was actually the low point of the trip. There isn't much happening around the lake. There was this cool boat-canal lowering system, but we didn't actually get to see it in action. But I did have a good popsicle, so that made the stop worth it!

It is just amazing how old things are in this country. And, there are beautiful castles everywhere. Most of them are privately owned too. Could you imagine living in a castle? That would be so weird! During the trip, we actually drove past where the real battles from Braveheart took place (back in the 1100's) and where the movie was filmed as well. So many interesting things have happened in Scotland...more than people give the biggest little country credit for!

Here are some pictures from our journey. If, by chance, you care to see more pictures from our adventure, feel free to check them out on our picture website.

Hamish, the highland cow

Us with Hamish, the highland cow

A red deer...I don't know why they call it "red" when it really is just a normal brown deer!

Lochness - It really is beautiful, but boring too!

Us at Nochness

Month 7

This past month has offered me a lot of adventures. Here are some worth sharing:

As some of you know, I interviewed at the beginning of the month and was promoted to shift supervisor at the 'bucks. It means more power (ha, ha...not really actually), more money and more responsibility. I am in the middle of my training. I found out yesterday that I am progressing "quicker than normal", so I am going to be signed off from my training early. I do my sign off next week. I am excited about that.

Yesterday was an interesting day. First, I got up at 4:30am and didn't go to bed until 1:30am. What's the deal with that? I stayed up 21 hours! There are days that all I can think about is sleep. Then, there are days, like yesterday, where I am hyper as all get out and just want to keep living life. But, back to yesterday morning. I tried out a new early morning bus route to work. The funny part was, I was the only person on the bus the whole time. It was like being chauffeured! The situation actually made me want to laugh. Just little 'ole me and a bus driver on a huge double decker bus. The only thing was, the heater wasn't on and it was freezing. I could see my breath, inside the bus. Turn the heater on man!

There is this park that they city has been renovating the whole time I have been living here. It looks beautiful. It is hard to describe, but they added some very modern features to it, yet an old monument stands in the middle. Love it. They finally opened it a few days ago. After being open one day, I went past it and noticed rubbish all over it. People in this city are so trashy. They will litter everywhere...even all over a new park!

I have to admit, I am looking forward to coming months, when people actually come visit me. When I go do cool things, I think "so and so would probably like to do this when they come visit". It will be good for people to come...

P.S. The sun is staying out a lot longer than it had been. And, we are actually seeing it more. But, it is supposed to snow this it looks like winter isn't over yet!
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