santa cruz wharf

31 January 2007

Thursday Thirteen ~ cuatro

desired male attributes
(working my way backwards thru the alphabet)

Financially sound
Freaky (just a little bit)
( I was going to incorporate another “f” word…but decided to keep it rated appropriately)

wordless wednesday ~

28 January 2007

Manic Monday ~ "Cruzin"

Santa "Cruzing…. "

At the very end of the list of definitions for cruising, was noted the derivation of the word’s origin, “cross”. I live in Santa Cruz…actual translation…Holy Cross.

It is a town of incredible beauty. You may know it as one of the all time greatest surfing communities in the world.

And while our City Council is so far left their decisions frequently boarder on acts of communism, there is a strong underground of fiscally republican, socially democrat, capitalists….many with a significant collection of tattoos and piercings. We are located a mere forty-five minute commute from the Silicon Valley. In case you haven’t heard…high tech is back.

We are the home of the ninth campus of the greatest research university in the world. (see miscellaneous UCSC stats below)

The giant redwood forests grow right up to the phenomenal beaches of the Monterey Bay. The PGA is gonna be here next week…you can all check it out on the television. Speaking of sports….we are an hour away from the Giants, the A’s, the Raiders and the 49er’s. We are just a few hours drive from Lake Tahoe an amazing snow sport destination.

A wide variety of well-knowns have owned (or still own) homes here….from Alfred Hitchcock to Howie Mandel to Thomas Kinkaid to Carlos Santana. (I am sure younger well-knowns hang out here too…they just don’t stand out in my memory at the moment.)

The earthquake in 1989 which most of you thought was in San Francisco, with their nationally televised buildings falling and freeways collapsing…was actually centered here. Our downtown still has empty lots remaining from the destruction.

The Spanish established three civil settlements known as pueblos in California. They were located in Santa Cruz, San Jose, and Los Angeles. Spanish explorer Don Gaspar de Portola discovered the land now known as Santa Cruz in 1769. In 1791 Mission Santa Cruz was founded…the twelfth in the series. Mexico governed California by the 1820’s and over the next twenty years Americans arrived in huge numbers. California became a state in 1849, which was the same year as the Gold Rush. (obscure note: the gold was actually discovered on 24 January 1848)

Miscellaneous Stats for UC Santa Cruz
UCSC ranked 11th in the nation among public universities for the quality of its research productivity.

UCSC ranked 1st in the nation among public universities in the Social Sciences in the quality of research productivity.

UCSC ranked 6th in the Arts and Humanities index.

Shakespeare Santa Cruz has been named one of the top Shakespeare Festivals in the country.

UCSC ranked 1st in the nation for its academic research impact in the field of space sciences.

UCSC is headquarters to UC Observatories/Lick Observatory, which operates Lick Observatory and is a managing partner of the world's largest ground-based optical and infrared telescopes at the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii.

UCSC ranked as the 2nd most influential research institution in the world in the physical sciences.

In a survey of 60 elite Association of American Universities member schools, UCSC ranked 15th for the percentage of its students whose bachelor's degrees led to doctorates.

U.S. News & World Report's rankings for 2007 place UCSC in the top 20 percent of national public universities.

In economics, International Finance was ranked 9th in the world in 2005.

I could go on and on….

27 January 2007

Photo Hunting ~ week two ~ "silver"

I am celebrating my forty-eighth birthday this week.

25 January 2007

Feast One Hundred & Twenty Eight - tres

If you could take lessons to learn any musical instrument, which would you want to learn?
Assuming the voice is indeed a musical instrument…I would like to take lessons to learn how to sing. My Mama and my daughter both have incredibly beautiful voices. I love to sing...but have not been blessed with that natural gift…

Have you ever mistaken a person for someone else?
I have not.

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how well do you keep secrets?
Secrets which people have entrusted to me = 10
Secrets I learn of my own accord = 7 (ouch)

Main Course
What's the closest you've ever been to a dangerous animal?
When I was just a little girl, whenever we were visiting my Grandparents in Indiana…my father would take me very early in the morning to the zoo at Columbia Park to watch them feed the Lions. We would go inside this stone building where the Lions slept at night. We would be the only visitors there and the employees would let us stand right outside the cages. We were within three feet of them.

My sister and I were once about twenty feet from a brown bear while camping at Yosemite. She was just a I was probably nine or ten. I remember calling out to my Dad who thought I was joking ...and told me to stop fooling around....until he looked up. The bear was going for the garbage dump and had no interest...but my sister was just about to chase him when my Dad scooped her up.

When was the last time you lost your patience?

Thursday Thirteen ~ tres

desired attributes in a man
(working my way backwards)

God Praising
Good hearted
Good looking
Grandfather material

23 January 2007

Wordless Wednesday

tonight's State of the Union horrified me.

I am horrified.

I got home from work and flicked on the television to catch the State of the Union Address…already in progress. The camera had cut to the audience, focusing on General Peter Pace applauding his (and our) Commander in Chief.

Now I don’t want to get into a blogging debate on the pros and cons of the war…or any Republican – Democrat – Independent – Green discussion whatsoever. I know what I believe. I know what I care about. And while I sorta care what you think…I’m not dying to chat you up about it. If you go there….I will ignore you and quite possibly delete you.

I was a bit surprised to realize that until that moment, I had no idea who our Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is. What truly horrifies me is what I do know instead.

I know who General Percy “Fitz” Fitzwallace is. Yep. He’s the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs on West Wing. (what’s wrong with THIS picture) I know that the Chief of Staff is Leo McGarry and that his deputy is Josh Lyman. I know (and am strangely attracted to) Toby Ziegler, Communications Director. Isn’t he a great writer? (rolling my eyes) I know the Press Secretary CJ Cregg succeeded Leo and I know that her real name is Claudia Jean. Sigh.

Leo. I know him so well…we’re on a first name basis. When Leo had his heart attack and was left alone overnight in the cold, dark forest…I was almost as sad as when John Spenser had a heart attack and died in real life. The difference was the Leo was pretend and Mr Spenser was the actor whose talent made Leo beloved. Damn.

I am horrified that I know a whole lot more about the personal lives of Sam, Mandy, Donna, Ainsley, Zoey, Joey, Danny, and Amy than I do about most of my coworkers with whom I spend hours….just about every day of the week. Not to mention Mrs Lanningham. I am sad I never got to meet Charlie’s sister. See…this really IS horrifying.

It is truly horrible that I do not know who the Chief of Staff…or their deputy…is. Do we really have a Communications Director in the White House? I might be able to pick out the Press Secretary in a lineup, but I have absolutely no idea what his name is. Sheesh.

Ya’ know…I’m a bit smarter than the average bear. I know what’s going on in the world…and why. I am well read, and reasonably well informed on issues foreign and domestic. I have an educated opinion. I vote my consciousness and what I know is right for me and mine.

How is it that I know more about a former television show’s fictitious depiction of the inhabitants of the West Wing…than I do about the real life players? I am horrified.

I gotta go Google now.

By the way, I like Laura way more than Abby…and I actually had Martin arrested once.

21 January 2007

my ink

I have become fascinated with "Body Art" and other ... um... modifications. I very highly recommend the book reviewed here:

While I am not at the place where I want to personally pierce body parts other than my ears (four in my left, two in my right) ...both of my girls have piercings elsewhere.

No place bizarre. SugerCookie pierced her navel...and LittleMissy her nose. LittleMissy has a few extensive cartilage piercings in her ears. TheCub had his ear pierced...but he let it close up a couple years ago. Come to think of it...J-Boy has a nipple pierced. He and a couple of his buddies each pierced a nipple when one of them, Travis deployed to Iraq. The deal being they would all pierce the other nipple when he came home. I suggested they just unpierce when he came home. Travis is home (praise God) ...hmmm...I don't know what they decided...I'll have to ask SugarCookie. Without telling her why. I would be in so much e-phn trouble if she ever saw this blog.


Several years ago I realized I really wanted my own tattoo. In my part of the world a significant percentage of the population is inked. I suspect reader reaction is divided in a similar manner to that of my friends and family. Gasping in shock at the sin. Tsking-tsking in disapproval of the concept. Eye-rolling at kat's behavior once again. Shrugging in apathy...after all everyone has a tat.

My first foray was just a simple kanji...which was my original concept. No big deal. Although I knew I wanted more....I first needed to figure out exactly what I wanted permanently on my know...the rest of my life.

side note: being a single, born-again woman, in her late (very late) turns out having a tattoo is a deterrent to potential suitors. who knew? Turns out to be a blessing. A man's reaction to my ink is a great indicator to how he will react to other situations.

The image above is "Magnolias and Irises" the stained glass panel by Louis Comfort Tiffany which hangs in the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I love Glass. I love the creations of Tiffany. I think his middle name "Comfort" is right on. And this piece is my all time favorite.

So...I took several examples of Magnolia's and Irises, as well as other Tiffany Iris examples, to Theresa ~ my tattoo artist. A couple weeks later I went back to see what she had come up with. Wow. They were unbelievable. Unusual color shading. Artful interpretation of the original without being identical. Perfect incorporation of my kanji. And the really cool part....her tattoo designs were round. Kinda like a paperweight. She had no clue I collect paperweights. They were all so amazing, I had a difficult time choosing which one I wanted.

My body art is located on my back....just below my right shoulder blade. It is about three inches in diameter....and hidden by most clothing. The session took several hours. The shading was somewhat painful...however the outling (which gives it the 'stained-glass" look) was really painful. But absolutely worth every wince.

I am very fond of my tattoo....
it holds a great deal of significance to me.

I cannot promise you it will be my last.

I can not f-ing beLIEVE I am blogging ! !

I don’t know much about blogging…or bloggers…I am the quintessential rookie.

Since I am very, VERY fond of my privacy signing up is something akin to stepping through the looking glass…(stepping through the monitor? Sorry Carroll) Who are these people who post two and three times a day? sheesh. And how in the world do they find time to maintain more than one blog? (rekabek asks how many personalities do they HAVE anyway ??)

I hesitate to jump into the fray. I’ve had an experience…or two….with online communities. A Boxster group and a Christian dating site….picture me rolling my eyes…it was the best of times and the worst of times…sorry Dickens.

I sat down to post to my own blog and got all caught up in hitting the random button off the Bestest Blog for the past couple hours. (well I did do two loads of laundry, sipped halfa dozen cups of coffee, cleaned the coffeemaker and dried my hair at the same time…but still) Who knew people used blogging as a source of revenue? Curious.

Perfectly suited for someone who has an opinion on everything and an unlimited supply of soapboxes. The downside is a required relationship with paypal. I think paypal is a dangerous harbinger of things to come.

I confess I have found several blogs worth going back to. A few which were an embarrassment to the human race. A couple are written by total freaks of nature. But for the most part I am finding the blog world incredibly entertaining…and somewhat addicting.

20 January 2007

Photo Hunting ~ week one ~ Wild

Wild. Right now I think my life is a bit wild.... not so sure how to upload a picture of THAT…..not so sure you’d all want to see a picture of that. So I’m opting for the most recent picture I’ve taken. This is last night’s sunset on the beach which is just about a 45 second walk from my home. (it took some doing to get pictures without the three dozen people and two dozen dogs sharing the sight)

While I can not see the ocean from where I live, I can hear it… especially in the morning when I am awake and the neighborhood is not.

How did we get to the place where we call the sound of waves on the sand “crashing” ??? sound is NOT crashing.

Crashing is that painful sound of torque-ing metal and breaking glass. Often preceded by the breath holding sound of screeching of brakes and burning of tires. That is crashing

The sound of the waves on the sand is the perfect combination of the peace and power of God.

the new black

I've always looked really good in brown...but great fashions have been difficult to come by.

Not anymore. Brown is "the new black" and it is just about everywhere.


But do you know what the best thing about wearing brown is?

You can slosh coffee all over the place....and it doesn't even show!!

18 January 2007

Feast One Hundred & Twenty Seven (my second)

Which television shows do you just refuse to miss?
With the marvelous innovation of the DVR its just about impossible to miss any show you really want to watch. (Not to mention shows like LOST, Sopranos, and West Wing are available by season on DVD.) I use to feel compelled to watch Gilmore Girls….so like my life. Now I am addicted to the morning news….and Shark. When LOST comes back from hiatus…

Who did you last speak to on the telephone?
Michael – who is traveling for business in Atlanta. I’m impressed he called. Points.

How many pillows do you keep on your bed?
Six total. Two queen size for propping up on and four really wonderful down standard size for comfort and sleeping peacefully.

Main Course
Name one addition to your computer (software, hardware, etc.) that you'd love to have.

Hmmm…I just want to learn all the photo software I have. Maybe a better printer. In about six months I’m gonna want a new laptop.

What is your favorite foreign food?

(foreign desserts?)
I would say carne asada tacos from a hole in the wall tacqueria…however… being raised in this part of California…Mexican food is comfort food for me….not foreign food. So…I’m gonna have to go with Kung Pao Chicken as my fave.

17 January 2007

Thursday Thirteen (week two)

desired attributes in a man
working my way backwards

Hygienic (for you Ms Skit)
Heaven bound
Hungry (mentally and physically)
Home loving
Hand Holding
Height-weight appropriate

14 January 2007

thinking about the grands

Papa and Me
A few months ago my Mama and her sibs traveled back to Indiana to move her “Daddy” (my 91 year old Papa) out of the house he has lived in since I was five. Yeah...over forty years. Although my Gramma has been with God for years, much of her stuff…and all of their stuff…was still intact...they had been married 67 years. My Mama spent a couple weeks packing up, giving away and throwing away.

An estate sale was held….which threw me for a loop…resulting in a panic attack…manifested in my acquisition of a couple pieces of furniture which are currently being held hostage in my former friend’s office in f-ing Joliet, Illinois. This furniture has caused great consternation and division within the family. But I digress.

It was a very difficult time for my Mama, her two sisters, and her brother. I wish I could have been there to support her and stick up for her….I am grateful I wasn’t there to endure their bullshit. It was very difficult for all of them. At 91 years old, my Papa is still totally “with it”. He still drives, does his own laundry, makes most of his meals, sends birthday cards to each member of the tribe, pours his own Jack, and takes the pot at the poker table. Don’t get me wrong…ain’t nobody letting him win. It would be the family badge of honor to beat him at cards. However, the spirit of Opal Lee and the force is strong within him…and he takes everyone’s money. (ya' know she DID sorta look like Yoda)

When I tell this story about Papa moving…everyone smiles understandingly and nods solemnly…I KNOW they are assuming he is moving into a home or retirement community of some sort. But no. At 91 years old….Papa has moved in with his girlfriend.

Papa, I love you…and I think you are just about the most wonderful man in the world.

gramma's gloves

Mama gave me a pair of gloves yesterday, second hand…black kid…still smelling of leather. She asked if they would fit…the rheumatoid is taking its toll and she can’t get them on any more. As I smoothed each one over my hands….they felt like a second layer of skin, fitting perfectly. Then Mama told me they were Gramma’s. My Gramma died of a stroke in January 2001, almost six years ago. Sigh. Another story for another time.

One of the things everyone mentions about Opal Lee was how were hands were never still. Snapping green beans, stitching quilts, shuffling poker…her hands were never still. If they were empty…her gestures punctuated her storytelling. If you were sitting next to her, she was patting your knee, or holding your hand, or stroking your arm…mostly likely all three.

I have the gloves on now. They fit so perfectly they do not impair my typing. I think of all the places Opal Lee and Maggie could have worn these gloves. Of the hands they held while they had them on.
I wonder who gave these gloves to Gramma. They are not the kinda thing she would have bought for herself. I'm thinking it must have been tough for Mama to give them up...even if they couldn't be functional for her.

At a birthday lunch for my daughter Rhiannon a couple weeks ago, my mother and daughter were touting to Rhiannon’s boyfriend Jon how much alike they were. Oh yeah…it’s true. They are in many ways very similar…in those ways I am not. The whole "skip-a-generation" gig. They laughingly listed an attribute or two that I share with my Gramma. The telling and retelling of stories, a small tendency toward wanting control …a weird mind for numbers…et cetera. While each of us loved her deeply for many reasons….the similarities they listed were probably not the ones I’d include in my resume.

My daughter has already informed me that when the time comes I will be called “Gramma Kate” I am looking forward to the role. I have already planned "Camp Gramma." If I can be one third as beloved as Opal Lee I will be a great grandmother. (smile)

Leaning over between Rhiannon and Jon I said very softly, “of course you know what this means...” They both leaned towards me as I raised my eyebrows, shrugging at the inevitability and accepting their fate, “your daughters....will be….just…like….me”.

11 January 2007

Friday Feast One Hundred Twenty Six - my first

What comes to mind when you see the color orange?
My daughter Rhiannon (see below). Her favorite color is orange (as her father before her) LONG before it was the new pink and too trendy.

Did you ever get in trouble while you were in school? If so, what was it for?
With some regularity. I always got “A”s in the work and “U”s for unsatisfactory in citizenship. In Fifth grade I made an origami container and filled it with ladybugs. It was way cool until they started escaping from my desk in the middle of class.

Which topping(s) make up your perfect pizza?
Thin crust, spicy sauce, garlic, light sausage (meaning half as much, NOT low fat) and olives.

Main Course
Do you believe in UFOs/aliens/etc.? Why or why not?
Haven’t ruled out life in another solar system. Nothing in the Bible says we’re the only ones.

What color is your bedspread/comforter/quilt?
The colors of my quilt are
Navy Blue, Forest Green, Sage Green, Olive Green, Purple, Black, Periwinkle Blue. Not that much different than the colors of my blog.

my very first Thursday Thirteen (inspired by that skittles chick - Barb)

desired attributes in a man

08 January 2007

Superchic[k] - Pure
From the album Beauty From Pain 1.1

This is my brand new day starting now
I let go the things that weigh me down
And rob me of the beauty that’s to be found
In life all around
This is my prayer without ceasing the negative releasing
And I rise above my burden is easing

I bring the pure flow, like water around
The rocks of life won’t pull me down
I bring the pure flow, drink so deep
The river of life, my soul at ease
I bring the pure flow, like water around
The rocks of life won’t pull me down
I bring the pure flow, rising above the storms of life
To live and love

This is my brand new day in the light
Trouble rising up on the left and the right
I keep my eyes fixed on where I want to go
The rest will follow

this is my prayer without ceasing the negative releasing
And as I rise above my burden is easing

This is my brand new day starting now
Letting go of the ways that I fall down
The old can be made new,

the lost can be found,
the lost will be found
This is my prayer without ceasing the negative releasing

and as I rise above
my Burden is easing

02 January 2007


I don’t typically consider the New Year to be the time to make resolutions, turn over a new leaf, or begin again. Not that the 31st of December hasn’t been noteworthy in my life….it has. I was proposed to on New Years’ Eve. I brought my baby home from the hospital on New Year’s Eve. (not the SAME NYE…a couple years later….laughing….)

The “new” year has always seemed to start in September. Summer vacation was so fun and glorious. Summer always seemed like the grand finale. Growing up, September was where it all started afresh…new clothes….new class…new friends…all the things a new school year brought. Same in my parental roles…new school year meant ….new….year. On the other hand, most of the really horrible experiences in my adult life have happened in September. sigh. This year was no exception. (note to self: never go on a cruise in September – the ship will sink or be waylaid by pirates)

There was one year quite recently I had thought the events of New Years Eve foretold a monumental change in my life….I must’ve been in some Disney-induced fairy tale. It ended up being by far one of the very worst years of my life. Then again that could be considered the monumental change I’d perceived.

I have always used my own birthday has a time to reflect on the past and try and make honorable intentions for the future….not resolutions…almost by definition resolutions are to be broken…but most certainly intentions. Not that my intentions have any more successful….the word resolution just doesn’t resonate with me. It brings to mind politicians from the Founding Fathers to present day, “…we hereby resolve….”

Ya’ know what I mean?