Tuesday, November 29, 2005


OK, it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. The temperature here in Houston, Texas has dropped about 20 degrees since yesterday. Brrrr! Oh, I saw a t-shirt in Foley's yesterday that said "Everything I need to know I learned in Texas"- will I ever have enough sassy-phrased t-shirts? I think not. (Shelly, I don't know you, at all, but don't you need this shirt?)

We watched Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkabahn last night, in order to get J.T. all ready to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire... and dude, I forgot how much that movie ROCKS. Sandy, I think I told you I might like #4 the best? WRONG. The third one is by far the most superior installment to date, and in fact, I couldn't even let J.T. watch #4 last night because I knew he would be disappointed after #3. The characters are great, the story is funny and serious in all the right places, the filming is just AWESOME, those Dementors are exceedingly creepy, and the fact that the story includes time travel just kicks it all up a few notches.

Soooo, I bought some books yesterday. TEN BOOKS, to be exact. I was asked "they're mostly Christmas gifts?" and I had to say... no. Not a one. They're all for me. The SHAME! I'm Jamie and I'm a bookaholic.

In no particular order:

  1. The Stand, by Stephen King- can you believe I've never read it?
  2. The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell- one of the most interesting books I've ever read; I checked it out of the li-berry but I want my own copy
  3. Blink, also by Malcolm Gladwell- his new book; I hope it's as good as The Tipping Point
  4. Beach Music, by Pat Conroy- my friend Keri told me this is her #1 favorite book of all time, and anytime someone tells me that, I feel compelled to read it
  5. Searching for God Knows What, by Donald Miller- I'm about halfway into it but I left it on Continental 604 from Las Vegas to Houston, so, hopefully someone else is getting something out of it
  6. The Planets, by Dava Sobel- a non-fiction book about the science and mythology of our lil' solar system (fun and random fact from the book I'm currently reading [link to the left]- do you know how off-scale every solar system map you've ever looked is? If you were to draw a true to-scale map of our solar system, and the earth was the size of a pea, Jupiter would be over a thousand feet distant and Pluto would be a good mile and a half away. Kinda gives new meaning to the term SPACE, eh? Yeah, I'm a nerd. Shut up.)
  7. On Writing, by Stephen King- I love his articles and essays
  8. Bohemian Manifesto: A Field Guide to Living on the Edge, by Lauren Stover- a self-proclaimed "playful anthropology of Bohemian culture" which I saw in a store and looked witty and fun. Great art, so it'll probably end up on my coffee table. When I get a coffee table.
  9. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders, by Vincent Bugliosi- Bugliosi was the prosecutor on the Manson case... and with Polanski's new Oliver Twist coming out, I wanted to know more about the story. Sharon Tate (she of Valley of the Dolls fame) was pregnant with Polanski's child when she and the rest of a Hollywood dinner party were brutally murdered by Manson followers (it's believed that this event kicked off his insanity that led to the events that got him deported). Widely touted as the best true crime novel of our time.
  10. Wacky Chicks: Life Lessons from Fearlessly Inappropriate and Fabulously Eccentric Women, by Simon Doonan- because I aspire to be a fearlessy inappropriate and fabulously eccentric woman. Also because I liked Doonan's book about Andy Warhol that I read in the MoMa bookstore.

Sooo, I'll keep y'all posted on the reading. First I have some more movies to watch. I just realized that on Sunday I have to go back to work and now I am suitably depressed. However, it's only Tuesday, so for now I am going to maintain my woman of leisure status, and roll out of bed and toward the shower, so I can be ready for my ladies-who-lunch date at 1pm. I kinda like this life. Anyone want to be my sugar-daddy? (Is it totally disturbing that when I went to look for a link to the yummy caramel goodness I got some dating websites where the "classy, attractive, and affluent can meet"? There was also one whose tagline is "Married men will spoil you discreetly." I'm not kidding. The answer is YES; it IS disturbing. Not that I didn't totally fill out the questionnaire. *wink*)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas...

I LOVE Christmas music.

Christmas music makes me happy. Think if I listened to it year-round I'd be happy all the time? It's worth a shot. Today I told J.T. that I was going to blog about Christmas music and he said I always stole all his good posts, which is a lie; I've only done it once. BUT, I'm doing it now before he does. So HA!

My favorite religious Christmas songs are "O, Holy Night," "O, Little Town of Bethlehem," "We Three Kings," and "The First Noel." My favorite secular Christmas song is "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," no matter who sings it. I also love Vince Vance and the Valiants' "All I Want for Christmas Is You," The Eagles' "Please Come Home for Christmas," The Carpenters' "Merry Christmas Darling," John Lennon's "Happy Christmas (War is Over)," Etta James' "Merry Christmas Baby," Joni Mitchell's "River," U2's "Baby Please Come Home," Nat King Cole's "I Saw Three Ships," The Vienna Boys' Choir's "Still, Still, Still," Rosemary Clooney's "Let it Snow," Frank Sinatra's "Jingle Bells," Dr. Demento's "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas," Harry Connick, Jr.'s "Ave Maria," Nat King Cole/Dean Martin's "Buon Natale," Diana Krall's "The Man with the Bag," The Vince Guaraldi Trio's "Christmastime is Here," Brian Wilson's "Christmasey," Johnny Mathis' "We Need a Little Christmas," and The Beach Boys' "Little Saint Nick." [whisper]I also like Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You." Yeah, I said it. Shut up. [/whisper] I love those Ultra-Lounge Christmas Cocktails jazz cds. I hate Rudolf and Frosty and that pesky Little Drummer Boy.

That's all. I don't have anything else to say except that Christmas music makes me all warm and fuzzy and I'm soooo happy that I can listen to it now. What? I don't care. My name is Jamie Hawkins and I am a Christmas music ADDICT.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Giving Thanks

I can't describe how much I love this house, this family, this home. For one thing, no one ever wakes me up. For another, there is always fresh coffee. We go see a movie every single day. At any given hour, as few as one of us and as many as four of us are on our laptops in the den because the house is wireless. I can spend a couple of hours a day reading if I want, uninterrupted, and we eat out every night, and then come home and have a round of cocktails while we watch another movie or something that we TiVoed, like LOST or I Love 1976. There's been talk of playing a board game, but we're really too lazy to pick one. I mean, seriously. This place is my Utopia! It also helps that I am extremely fond of my family.

So yesterday, Julia and I went to see Rent (which I LOVED) and the bookstore. Borders, I believe. We were killing some time before the movie (I also love that everyone in this family is a Nazi about getting to the movie early, sits exactly where I like to sit, and doesn't believe in going to the theater and not buying snacks), and picking out things we are going to buy at Half-Price Books later today. I didn't pay attention when the first male bookstore employee offered to help me find something. It is, after all, the day before Thanksgiving; there are lots of shoppers. I didn't really notice when the 2nd one stopped me with a big smile. On the 3rd, I fleetingly thought that my new haircut must really suit me, but on the 4th, I realized that I was wearing my "Reading is Sexy" shirt, which is just about as embarrassing as going shopping at the Gap in head-to-toe Gap clothing. I grabbed Julia and ushered her out of the bookstore immediately.

OK, *yawn*, so we're going out to get a hamburger (my favorite food) and then I'm going to spend the afternoon stealing, er, borrowing music from my family (they also have good taste in music), and watching JAWS. Rock! And then buying books and watching "Walk the Line." And then going to see Roz's band play. Today RULES.

Love, Jamie.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Batgirl_ipod From Kiddo, Gen, et al... Go to the 20 Most Listened Songs on your iPod... type in the first lyric, cross out as readers guess correctly.

1. I can't believe you; you bend your words like Uri Gellar's spoons....

2. Let us turn our thoughts today to Martin Luther King.... (Krysten)

3. She ain't got no money, clothes are kinda funny, hair is kinda wild and free....

4. Celia, you're breakin' my heart; you're shakin' my confidence daily.... (J.T.)

5. La la la la la la, la la la la la la... my cherie amour, lovely as a summer's day.... (Gen)

6. We come on the sloop John B, My grandfather and me.... (apparently a lot of mine have the song title in the first lyric, you may eat your candy NOW *wink*) (J.T.)

7. If I could make a wish, I think I'd pass, Can't think of anything I need....

8. Was it you that spoke the words that things would happen but not to me? Oh things are gonna happen naturally.... (Gina)

9. The sun has left and forgotten me; it's dark, I cannot see... (Sandy)

10. The evening fell just like a star, left a trail behind....

11. When the moon is in the seventh house, and Jupiter aligns with Mars.... (J.T.)

12. You ask me if there'll come I time when I grow tired of you....

13. Standing in the dock at Southampton, trying to get to Holland or France.... (Krysten)

14. We know of an ancient radiation that haunts dismembered constellations.... (Scott)

15. Mrs. Brown, you've got a lovely daughter.... (seriously!) (J.T.)

16. How many roads must a man walk down, before he is called a man....? (J.T.)

17. She knows your mind alright, your Auntie Grizelda... (J.T.)

18. So I'm walkin' down the street somewhere outside of San Francisco.... (J.T.)

19. I look at you all see the love there that's sleeping.... (Krysten)

20. Well, I'm finding the green cleared from my eyes, I am young and I am deep within the woods.... (Krysten)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Does Pokemon make you want to vomit?

OK, so, I went to see Mystere (Cirque du Soleil) at Treasure Island the other night. It was my first Cirque show, and it was amazing- unbelievably eerie and so cool and weird and I just loved it. But the oddest thing happened... it was the late show (started at 10:30p) and I had just had a huge Italian meal and it was really warm in the theater, and I kept nodding off (shocker), but I was loving it so much that I was forcing myself to stay awake. I practically had to prop my eyelids open with toothpicks. Anyway, the big finale was, of course, huge, and full of sweeping lights and music and flying people and craziness, and all of the sudden, this wave of dizziness hits me- hard, fast, and out of nowhere. I've never passed out, but I swear that's what was about to happen. I was nauseated and I really thought I was going to vomit. I closed my eyes and leaned back, and all I could think about was when that one Pokemon episode came out in Japan and hundreds of people went to the hospital with seizures. The room was literally spinning and my heart was fluttering and I honestly thought I was going to pass out. After about 3 minutes of gripping the arms of my chair, the finale was over and the house lights came up and it went away immediately. It was the craziest thing!! I have NO idea what happened, but I did a little internet research and think it was photosensitive epilepsy, or television epilepsy, which apparently can be triggered by flashing, colorful lights. Weird, huh? You know, come to think of it, I think Spy Barbie knocked out a planetarium full of scientists with a strobe light once.

If something similar ever happens to you, they say to cover one eye and turn away from the light (or screen) at an angle. This PSA was brought to you by the letter C and the number five.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Because it's all about me... and memes.

So, I saw my first Cirque du Soleil show last night- Mystere, and I will blog about it soon, but first: I got this meme from this hilarious blog that I read sometimes, as introduced to me by Gina. And since we all know how much I love this particular brand of pointless drivel... on to it.

Three screen names that you’ve had: Free Toby!, Farewell, Bluth Family!, and Vegas, baby, VEGAS!
Three things you like about yourself: my hair (not with this particular haircut, but in general, I'm fond of my locks), my smarts, and my sense of humor.
Three things you don’t like about yourself: my desperate need for immediate gratification, my tendency blow up immediately and wish I hadn't soon thereafter, the way my face tells everyone exactly how I'm feeling inside.
Three parts of your heritage: 33% smarta$$, 33% old soul, 33% great friend. 1% genius!!
Three things that scare you: clowns, enclosed places, centipedes.
Three of your everyday essentials: coffee, laughter, music.
Three things you are wearing right now: Gap jeans, Chuck Taylors, a snarky t-shirt.
Three of your current favorite songs: Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered, by Ella Fitzgerald, What Can I Say, by Brandi Carlile, Are You Sure, by Willie Nelson.
Three things you want in a relationship: communication, respect, humor.
Three things you can’t live without: books, music, friends.
Three places you want to go on vacation: my bed, the beach, Greece.
Three things you just can’t do: throw a football, sew, keep my mouth shut.
Three kids names: Barclay, Jude, Quinn.
Three things you want to do before you die: find a job I really love, buy my dad an airplane, publish something.
Three celeb crushes: Matthew Broderick, T.R. Knight, Ethan Embry.
Three of your favorite musicians: Billy Joel, Elton John, Van Morrison.
Three physical things about the opposite sex that appeal to you: grin (not smile, GRIN), height (I don't do tall dudes), crinkly eyes.
Three non-physical things about the opposite sex that appeal to you: intellect, humor, the ability to take control of a situation without telling me what to do.
Three of your favorite hobbies: wasting my time on the Internet, watching TV, cooking/eating.
Three things you really want to do badly right now: put on my pajama pants, have a no-boys-allowed night with Sandy, Amy, Angela, and Madison, and have a freakin' day OFF.
Three careers you’re considering/you’ve considered: yoga instructor, chef, full-time volunteer.
Three ways that you are stereotypically boy-like: Taking shorter showers than some boys I know, knowing how to get somewhere if I've only driven there once, enjoying math.
Three ways that you are stereotypically girl-like: crying, getting huffy for no apparent reason, plucking & tweezing.
Three people that I would like to see post this meme: Kiddo, Krysten, Bill Freakin' Chandler.

Friday, November 11, 2005

There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away.

Books This post is for Keri Metje, and indeed, any reader.

For books are more than books, they are the life
The very heart and core of ages past,
The reason why men lived and worked and died,
The essence and quintessence of their lives.
~Amy Lowell

I've decided to compile (or rather, recompile,) my Top Ten Favorite Books of All Time. It's a hard list, for I am a voracious reader, and could name at least a hundred titles that are near and dear to my heart, and at least half of those that have changed my life. I confess I've never understood a person who doesn't want to read a book more than once; although I understand the number of great books I will never read is infinite, my favorite books are like good friends. I love to revisit them because they are comforting and I always learn something new.

Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life. ~Mark Twain

This list contains only novels; when I started adding nonfiction it got too hard to narrow it down to ten, so that list will have to be made separately at a later date. So, without further ado, and in no particular order, Jamie's Top Ten Favorite Books of All Time:

  • Pride & Prejudice, by Jane Austen. One of the best opening lines in literary history: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." Besides that, there's a lovely ensemble "cast," a complex love interest, a spunky heroine, and lots of quirky family. Classic Victorian and beautifully-written prose.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis. I'm a complete sucker for children's literature in general and British children's fantasy in particular. It was so hard to pick from the likes of His Dark Materials, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and The Hobbit, so I couldn't make a favorite list without The Chronicles of Narnia because I've read them the most times and I think they are, as a unit, probably one of the most formative literary works in my childhood reading. I even did an honors research project on them in college colloquium. I can't possibly pick one of the seven so I'm cheating and lumping them in as one. My favorite would probably be either The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe or The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. These stories are so layered-- My child-eyes read them as fantasy, my teenage-eyes as allegory, and my adult-eyes as truth. Many of you know that one of my own personal soap-boxes is that the American press Harper re-ordered the books in chronological order as opposed to the order in which they were written (and meant to be read by the author). It takes away so much of the magic to know where the lamp post came from before you realize its significance. If you've never read them: first, go to the bookstore right now and buy them, before you even finish reading this list, and second, make sure you read them in this order: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Horse and His Boy (which is actually a story someone tells INSIDE of one of the others; I think it's the 1st or 2nd), The Magician's Nephew (or Genesis), and The Last Battle (Revelation).
  • Brave New World, Adolus Huxley. This book was in a string of social commentaries I read (or re-read) fairly lately, which included 1984, Anthem, Farnheit 451, Animal Farm, We, and Oryx & Crake (which might actually be a superior book on the subject but not as formative in my personal reading history). It's a bewitching story of a post-modern society (A.F. 632) in which society has been divided into a caste system of leaders (Alphas and Betas) and workers (Deltas and Epsilons). Babies are born in hatcheries and conditioned in the "womb" to crave heat by subjecting them to colder temperatures, so they will never stray from their government mandates, which have dominated and practically eradicated the soul of mankind. One man resolves to find out what life has to offer besides Utopia. It's a searing commentary with a grippingly prophetic plot. One of my favorite things about this book is its title, which is ironically taken from my favorite Shakespeare play, The Tempest, when Miranda lands on the island and is confronted with Calaban for the first time, and gasps, "O brave, new world, that has such creatures in't!"
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving. Another fantastic opening line that grabbed me right from the start: "I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice, not because of his voice, nor because of he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was an instrument of my mother's death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany. Irving is unparalleled in creating real characters-- interesting, flawed, and completely sincere characters. This is a book about faith, and Owen Meany is one of my favorite characters ever, not because he is heroic, which he is, or because I want to know him in real life, which I do, but because he is true and faithful and unwavering. I've read this book at least 10 times and it never ceases to make me laugh and cry (but not at the same time).
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee. This book can truly be labeled "The Great American Novel" in my mind. Set in Depression-era Alabama, it chronicles both toughly and tenderly race, class, justice, and the pain of growing up, all seen through the eyes of a child, as it follows the trial of a black man's alleged rape of a white woman. Our heroine, Scout, is a rugged and innocent narrator, always simultaneously funny, wise, and heartbreaking.
  • Life of Pi, Yann Martel. This book was so imaginitive and unforgettable that I almost skipped an $85 dinner cruise in the San Diego Bay. It's about a young Indian boy named Pi, who observes the religious practices of his native Hindu, as well as Islam and Christianity, "attracting religions the way a dog attracts fleas," because all he wants to do is love God. Pi's parents sell their zoo in Pondicherry and set off to find a better life in North America. On a Japanese cargo ship bound for Canada, the ship capsizes, leaving Pi on a 32-passenger lifeboat with a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan, and a 450-lb. Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. What happens next I shall not unfold here, but it's a tale of adventure, survival, and faith that will keep you turning pages until there are no more to turn, and then you will probably cry, like I did, not because it is necessarily sad, but because it is over.
  • Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding. This book, pre-Renee Zelwegger, (although I adored her in the role), introduced me and possibly the world at large to an entire new genre of fiction: chick-lit. Like most genres, some of it is smart and well-made and some it is cheap and horrible, but Bridget Jones is warm, funny, human, completely likeable, and infinitely relatable. It's a loose remake of Pride & Prejudice (see above), even down to the male lead's name (Darcy). This is a sincere and enjoyable book for anyone who has ever had a mother, a boyfriend, or a boss.
  • Jitterbug Perfume, Tom Robbins. I've read all seven of Robbins' books and I'm crazy about his work in general, but this was my first and absolutely my favorite. It's about immortality, and perfume, and hosts a memorable cast of exotic and real-life characters, including an ancient king, a pagan god, and a Seattle waitress. Robbins is a beautiful writer; each sentence could be a poem. He weaves intricate tales with interesting characters, but always comes back to stun you with a really great line of truth like "a truly great teacher knows that life's lessons can never be taught; they can only be learned." My favorite line in the book (and the time you can open your candy~ *wink*) is as follows: "Philosophists have argued for centuries over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but only a true materialist knows that it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek-to-cheek." Robbins is a reader's writer.
  • The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver. Kingsolver writes a beautiful and terrible tale of a fiercely evangelical Baptist preacher who takes his wife and four daughters, incredibly unprepared, to Christianize the Congo in a time of political instability (late 50s, right before the Belgian sieze). Kingsolver tells the story alternately through the eyes of each character except the father (which is important to note) and it spans many years. The language is beautiful (the mute daughter says "It is true that I do not speak as well as I think, but that is true of most people, as far as I can tell") and the story is a compelling tale of morality.
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkabahn, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and the yet-to-be-released untitled seventh in the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling. There's not much I can say here about these imaginative, heroic books, because if you are interested you have already read them and if you're not then I probably won't change your mind. But Harry Potter and friends have held my heart and mind for several years, and I have a feeling I will never tire of reading them, not even after I've read them to my children and my grandchildren.

So there you go. As Mortimer Adler said, "In the case of good books, the point is not how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." I hope you have a list of books that have gotten through to you.

Love, Jamie.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I snark because I love.

If you haven't seen tonight's LOST, don't read this.

I present to you, LOST fans, for your reading pleasure, Jamie's real-time commentary, as typed during the show tonight, as she watched:

ok... Walt is SO CREEPY. He gives me chills and I love it.
i wonder what he said?
J.T. will find it and post it, I'm sure; he's obsessed.
Shut up, Charlie.
Maggie Grace is rocking this episode.
Do people really watch Hope & Faith? It looks HORRible. Get out of the tanning bed, sweetie.
ok, Maggie Grace has GREY eyes- they're awesome. and so unusual.
How does Claire all of the sudden have non-pregnant clothes?
SHUT UP, Charlie.
FINALLY-- Michael is FINALLY asking a question that makes SENSE.
"what happened?"
it's been effing 7 episodes.
what is this, 24?
how does GirlFight know there's only one bullet in Sawyer's gun?
John Locke rules.
ok, so, Grey's Anatomy has all these pics on the walls of the hospital that look suspiciously like Dharma Initiative logos. Also, last week in Alias, when Elodie had that teddy bear? TOTALLY the same one "The Others" were carrying in the last LOST episode. ABC self shout-out? Or lazy prop department?
btw, I figured out where I know Spy Barbie 2.0 from. it was HILARIOUS how I came to it. last night I got home, and there was a pizza flyer on my door for "Daddy's Pizza" and I said.... HAHAHAHAHAHA "You tell 'em, Daddy." -- I have NO IDEA WHY, aloud, to myself and I don't know why because normally I'd say "I hear what you're saying Daddy" (from Jerry Maguire) but the line I actually said is from Sex & the City when Samantha got Richard a three-way for his birthday, with the hostess at their restaurant .... PLAYED BY SPY BARBIE. ZAH.
are they really going to kill off Sawyer?
I just realized how much I WASN'T missing Kate.
it took 40 min. to think about her at all.
does he DIE? FOR REAL?
I mean, I don't like Sawyer, but at least he's a remotely interesting character.
how is it that on an entire plane from Australia, we only have 2 Australians?
NO flight attendants, either.
the hell?
Where did Desmond go? Methinks he might not be too well-versed in making it on his own in the jungle. Cue the CCR!
that soap girl has Runaway Bride eyes.
Maggie Grace is freaking AWESOME.
and Boone has a mullet.
WHAT THE holy hell?
it's been like, 45 days.
they killed SHANNON?
I am so pissed.

Well-played, LOST. Well-played.

Monday, November 07, 2005

You don't know me.

You should never underestimate the power of an understanding relationship.

I've had a rough couple of weeks. Actually, I've had a rough fall, and the over-work combined with the life-stress has stretched me about as thin as Jamily-possible. I have to move soon or there's going to be a suicide-patricide problem; you'll read about it on the news.

I'm starting to become friends, not friendly, but real friends with some of my co-workers. I had a great talk with my friend Keri tonight about books, (which will prompt me to revise and post my Top Ten of All Time list very soon) and we decided that I was in dire need of a night out. I haven't been OUT out in... well, a really long time. I'm always tired, or I'm not with friends, or I am, but they have to go home early, yadda yadda yadda. It just hasn't happened in a while- one of those great nights where you go out for drinks and end up talking until the bar closes.

Vegas is one of my least favorite places in the country, but we were talking about going to the Hard Rock. It's a small casino, they play great music, it's kind of off the main strip, pretty much the best choice for me. We decided that's exactly what I needed: a night of music and girl talk and not thinking about all the things in life that are getting me down.

I mentioned it to the other two girls we're working with, and they launched into thjs freak Saturday night plan of a Vegas strip show, complete with naked men and lap dances. I looked at them as though they had just suggested I become an nun. They were like "Yeah! This is EXACTLY what you need!! We'll get you a lap dance!!!" I politely declined, but couldn't possibly think of something I would LESS rather do, and at that point, decided that you should never underestimate someone who GETS you. No one who knows me at ALL would suggest a strip club as an enjoyable night for me. My mind then wandered over to people that have known me for years, who know a LOT about me, but still don't get me (ie: my mother). I don't know what it is that makes people click but it's not length of time or amount of knowledge. It's something intangible that binds a relationship. I have some incredibly good bonds, and I want you guys to know that I couldn't be more appreciative of them. I told Sandy last week that she was the wind beneath my wings, and then I changed it to the couch beneath my @$$, since I'm not exactly soaring these days. But seriously, you guys are awesome. Life is short and the only thing in my life worth anything right now is a dozen people that I never see but couldn't live without. Thanks for knowing who I am and letting me be.

Dinner at Nine: $70
Drinks and gambling at The Hard Rock: $100
Hanging out with someone who understands why you're blue without having to talk about it: PRICELESS

Sunday, November 06, 2005

I can't unleash my full potential in a two-page summary!

Samseaborn_1The idealistic speechwriter is well-liked by just about everyone. He's known for his excellent writing, sense of humor, and tendency to be clutzy. He is younger than the rest of the staff, and is often treated as so, much to his dismay.

Which West Wing Character are You?

Some of my favorite Sam quotes:

Sam: (to Josh) Yeah, but one of those times she broke your heart. You know, the way women can do--way they take your heart, they throw it on the floor, then they stomp on it with their big high heels. Well, she's a very beautiful and interesting woman, Josh. I can see how a lot of guys would go for her. (beat) You know, there's nothing at all that I'm saying now of any value so I think the thing to do is, I think I should just keep writing.

Sam: You're asking me out on a date.
Mallory: No.
Sam: No?
Mallory: No, I'm asking you if you'd like to go together with me to see an internationally renowned opera company perform a work indigenous to its culture.
Sam: Right. And in what way will it distinguish itself from a date?
Mallory: There will be under no circumstances sex for you at the end of the evening.
Sam: Okay.
Mallory: So, what do you say?
Sam: Well, uh, like most people I am an absolute nut for Chinese opera--Chinese being known the world over for their soaring and romantic melodies. And what with your guarantee that there won't be sex, I don't see how I could say no.
Mallory: Good then. I'll come by and get you at about 7:30.
Sam: Yeah. And you know what's good about this? If you hadn't come along with your offer of Chinese opera and no sex, all I'd be doing later is watching Monday Night Football, so this works out great for me.
Mallory: 7:30.
Sam: Yes, indeed.

Sam: Mallory, education is the silver bullet. Education is everything. We don't need little changes. We need gigantic, monumental changes. Schools should be palaces. The competition for the best teachers should be fierce. They should be making six figure salaries. Schools should be incredibly expensive for government and absolutely free of charge to its citizens, just like national defense. That's my position. I just haven't figured out how to do it yet.

Bartlet: Morning, everybody. Anyone know what the word "acalculia" means?
Sam: It's an inability to perform arithmetic functions. I'm sorry, Mr. President. You wanted to answer your own question, didn't you?
Bartlet: Yeah, but I'll get over it.
Sam: Good for you, sir. That's very mature.
Bartlet: Shut up.
Sam: You're not over it yet, are you?
Bartlet: No.
Sam: OK.

Sam: Well, over three and half centuries ago, strengthened by faith and bound by a common desire for liberty, a small band of pilgrims sought out a place in the new world where they could worship according to their own beliefs... and solve crimes.
Toby: Sam...
Sam: It'd be good.
Toby: Read the thing.
Sam: By day they churn butter and worship according to their beliefs and by night they solve crimes.
Toby: Read the thing,
Sam: Pilgrim detectives.
Toby: Do you see me laughing?
Sam: I think you're laughing on the inside.
Toby: OK.
Sam: With the big hats!
Toby: Give me the speech.

Sam: There are a lot of hungry people in the world, Mal, and none of them are hungry 'cause we went to the moon. None of them are colder, and certainly none of them are dumber 'cause we went to the moon.
Mallory: And we went to the moon. Do we really have to go to Mars?
Sam: Yes.
Mallory: Why?
Sam: 'Cause it's next. 'Cause we came out of the cave. And we looked over the hill, and we saw fire. And we crossed the ocean, and we pioneered the West, and we took to the sky. The history of man is hung on a timeline of exploration, and this is what's next.

Sam: Nobody got hurt at the Boston Tea Party. The only people that got hurt were some fancy boys who didn't have anything to wash down their crumpets with. We jumped out from behind bushes while the British came down the road in their bright red jackets, but never has a war been so courteously declared. It was on parchment with calligraphy and, "Your Highness, we beseech you on this day in Philadelphia to bite me, if you please."

Sam: By the way, my Princeton Tigers could whip your Cal Bears any day of the week.
C.J.: At what?
Sam: Logarithms, possibly.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Given a chance and a rock see which one breaks a window...

...and see which one keeps me up all night and into the day."

Today, I am completely and fully immersed in Derek Webb. I rarely get to work by myself. Today I spent several hours doing some really horrid data entry, but the upside is that when I do this, I get to listen to music... REALLY listen to it, which is so rare in this day of multi-tasking. His lyrics are full of angst but they get me... every single time.

I got in the Derek Webb mood today because I was reading J.T.'s post about leaving home for a new town and a new job and a big steaming pile of question marks, and facing it all ALONE. So, march in, chin up. You know at least one person who's done this before, and I turned out OK (if a little worn around the edges). Sounds like Derek's done it, too, and speaks of it much more poetically than I.

J.T., this one's for you:

As I survey the ground for ants
Looking for a place to sit and read
I'm reminded of the streets of my hometown
How they're much like this concrete that's warm beneath my feet

And how I'm all wrapped up in my mother's face
With a touch of my father just up around the eyes
And the sound of my brother's laugh
But more wrapped up in what binds our ever distant lives

But if I must go
Things I trust will be better off without me
But I don't want to know
Life is better off a mystery

So keep 'em coming, these lines on the road
And keep me responsible, be it a light or heavy load
And keep me guessing with these blessings in disguise
And I'll walk with grace my feet and faith my eyes

Hometown weather is on TV
I imagine the lives of the people living there
And I'm curious if they imagine me
'Cause they just wanna leave; I wish that I could stay

And to visit places from my past
But only for an hour or so
Which is long enough to smell the air
To tell the tale and find the door
So keep 'em coming, these lines on the road
And keep me responsible, be it a light or heavy load
And keep me guessing with these blessings in disguise
And I'll walk with grace my feet and faith my eyes

But I get turned around
I mistake some happiness for blessing
But I'm blessed as the poor
Still I judge success by how I'm dressing

So I'll sing a song of my hometown
I'll breathe the air and walk the streets
Maybe find a place to sit and read
And the ants are welcome company
So keep 'em coming, these lines on the road
And keep me responsible, be it a light or heavy load
And keep me guessing with these blessings in disguise
And I'll walk with grace my feet and faith my eyes

And I'll walk with grace my feet and faith my eyes.
And I'll walk with grace my feet and faith my eyes.