...feeling a bit like this:

I Now Prounounce You Chuck & Larry...

Everybody loves a wedding right? Not necessarily. Did you know that over 75% of our country does NOT support gay marriage? They might support civil unions and gay rights, but NOT gay marriage.

I am in the minority on this issue. I am perfectly fine with gay marriage and I think it should be legal.

I think that being gay is not a choice, and I don't think it's a sin. I don't believe in ostracizing someone because of it. Why should someone have to live a lie, or feel horrible about themselves if this is who they are? If two people love each other and want to commit to spending a lifetime together, and their church is willing to perform a wedding ceremony, why not?

Here are some arguments AGAINST gay marriage:

Marriage is an institution between one man and one woman.

Marriage is for procreation.

Same sex marroages aren't the ideal environment in which to raise children.

Gay relationships are immoral and violate the sacred institution of marriage.

Marriages are for ensuring the continuation of the species.

The following excerpt pretty much sums up our President's view on the subject:
Although Barack Obama has said that he supports civil unions, he is against gay marriage. In an interview with the Chicago Daily Tribune, Obama said, "I'm a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman."

Barack Obama did vote against a Federal Marriage Amendment and opposed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996.

He said he would support civil unions between gay and lesbian couples, as well as letting individual states determine if marriage between gay and lesbian couples should be legalized.

From the White House Web site: President Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.

Here is an argument FOR gay marriage, that I agree with:

Our government was set up from the very beginning, as an institution whose goal was the preservation of the rights of its citizens. Nowhere in either the constitution or the declaration of independence is there outlined a governmental responsibility or power to reward behaviors the government or the masses like. Our government’s job is to protect the rights of all of us, including those that are gay, not to uphold the prejudices of the masses, as it is doing in this case. It is the government’s responsibility not to uphold in this case the prejudiced will of the people, no matter how much of a majority they constitute but to defend the rights of its people. Period.

The fact of the matter is, since our elected officials' job is to represent the citizens of the United States, and most of our country does not support gay marriage, chances are, it will not be legal in most states. At least not for now.

What do YOU think?

Footnote: If this sounds like an essay for a 10th grade political science class, it's because I'm trying to be RATIONAL and STICK TO FACTS. I know flying off the handle is more entertaining. But I'm not going to do it. (At least not today.)

As Olivia Newton John would say...

"Let's get political!" Or was it "Let's Get Physical?" Whatever.

The point is, just when you thought it was safe to read Caffeine Court, I'm going to get all political on you.

Ever since the Presidential elections, I've noticed that bloggers have been getting really fired up when they discuss their political beliefs.
Justify Full
I've heard alot of name calling. Some of the phrases I've heard include, "Kool-Aid Drinker", "white privileged mentality," "Nazi" and "ignorant redneck." OUCH!

These kind of over the top rants puzzle me. I know blogging is all about self expression, so if what you want to communicate, is that you're an angry, emotional, irrational person, go for it.

If you're trying to reason with readers' who don't agree with your views and would like to, influence their position with your intelligence and sense of reason, name calling probably isn't going to work. Believe it or not, if you have a good enough argument to back up your position, some people, who might disagree with you, might just change their mind BECAUSE of you.

If you're goal is to get a pat on the back from people who already agree with you, and, like you, love to attack and stereotype large groups of people, then kudos to you.

I really enjoy discussing politics or controversial issues, WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE.

I am always open to others opinions, even when they don't agree with me. I love hearing different takes on important issues. I know I can learn something from just about everyone.

What I don't enjoy is when people start getting out of control with their anger or emotion and then start up with the personal attacks. That's when the conversation ends for me.

I'm not going to go there.

We all have passion about subjects like healthcare reform, abortion, gun control, and gay rights. It's the ability to discuss these topics rationally, without getting vicious and hostile that separates the civilized from the crass.

This week I'm going to try a little experiment. (Time permitting, school starts Wednesday!)

I'm going to do some posts on some controversial issues. I'll give my take on them and then if you are so moved, we can discuss them. We will try to stay calm, cool and collected, and stick to the issues.

Those who don't play buy the rules have to sit in the penalty box.

Are you in?

Happy Day

I can't take all the credit for how great my photos turned out from Tara and Shawn's wedding. I must first thank Karen Russell for the wealth of knowledge I received in taking her Photographers' Workshop class, I can not say enough good things about this class and how talent she is. And because I knew a bit about how to set my camera up, all photos are SOOC, no Photoshopping!
Secondly, the photographer, Andrea Blair did all the work, set the subjects up, and did her magic, and then I stood behind her and took my shots along with the others in the bridal party. I can't wait to see her photos.
And last but not least, the bride and the groom! They were so cute! Tara's friend brought balloons for a totally different reason, but they made great props for the photos on Knox Mountain.Our bouquets were beautiful.

Shawn's groom's men were great, Nathan is so funny!
They said their vows on the beach at Lake Okanagan Resort. It was a tad hot, but such a great setting.
Kerry took this one. I had only brought the one lens, 50mm f/1.8 and set it on AUTO for him. He got some decent shots. I look a little tense, I don't like wharfs, I don't like deep dark water or sturgeons.
And then we went on a nice little cruise around the lake on a houseboat, had a great meal, danced and I got a little sea sick.
We had a great time. Met some wonderful people. And we wish the couple many, many years of happiness!

The sunshine state

The weekend has been blessed with good weather, which is a good thing as I become very crabby when faced with the possibility of bad weather. In fact, my functioning generally only occurs during optimal temperature and weather conditions. If it's below 20 degrees, or over 27 degrees, I am out of there.

As I live in the Sunshine State (also known as the Sweaty State), this optimal functioning temperature is given a very small window each year. At the moment, mornings are warm and pleasant, while the days are uncharacteristically 30 degrees and higher. This is very strange for August, my friend Kirra did a weather search for temperatures during previous August and found out that last year the highest August temperature was 26 degrees.

But that's climate change for you, and if there's anything I hate more than climate change, it's getting dehydrated while out in the bush on your mountain bike, and seeing spots. Which is exactly what happened yesterday.

What's even worse is being lost in the bush on your mountain bike when it's 32 degrees and you're dying of dehydration and heatstroke. But such is life.

What was even less exciting was riding my singlespeed this morning without changing my gear from an 18T to a 20T (it's a 29er, and the 18 was put on for a really flat racecourse some time ago, and the 18T just doesn't quite cut the mustard up steep singletrack, unless you're riding in front of me and looking back to see my eyes pop out of my head as I blow up). However, it was a fun ride, with all going back to the Xmas' for several (ie: 4) coffees, lovely fruit platters, toast and brekky. I was much impressed—thanks Kathy and the Xmas'!.

I have come to the conclusion that as the human body is made up of about 80% water, and most of my fluid intake is coffee, I am probably at least 75% caffeinated.

Does the pain in my butt make me stronger?

It has been a whirlwind week, which is good because not being busy doesn't work well for me.

Highlights include riding my mountain bike...a LOT, and perhaps even letting my road bike get a bit dusty and grime-y (well...the grime was already there).

I have rediscovered the joys of going out, well not quite. Perhaps the joys of drinking too much wine, cointreau, champagne and schnapps in an evening, going to bed at 2am then having to be at work at 6.45am the same morning.

How did it go? Well after I sobered up (by about 9.30am, after a couple of hours of holding the coffee machine for dear life to make the room stop spinning) it was okay. Those first couple of hours were very interesting, however, and I would have given anything to have been able to take a power nap in the kitchen. But alas, I had no sympathy from my comrade Brigitte, who stated that it was self inflicted.

I pondered that for a while, trying to think if anyone else was responsible for my pounding head. I came to the conclusion that drinking too much probably was my own fault.

OK, it was my own fault.

Needless to say, after such a good boozing campaign, the gym the next day hurt like hell. Actually, everything hurt like hell. But that pain remains, particularly round my buttockular region. Hot damn! Leg press hurts my butt!

I am reminded of why I only ever get into such a state once a year or so, yikes!

Maybe this will interest you...

Okay, obviously no one but Connie (Mrs. K.) cares about my field trip to the Lawn Tennis and Cricket Club. I have some good stories about the place that aren't so positive, but I'm not going to tell them. I'll bet you're disappointed. Sorry.

Anyway, Connie tagged me on a little meme, so here goes:

Seven things you don't already know about me.

1. I love Woody Allen movies, and still watch them even though he is officially a perv. I also love Pee Wee Herman, another perv. I guess you could say I'm a huge fan of perverts.

2. Sometimes I think I'd like to be a hippie and live in a cabin, with lots of dogs (no duh!). I could knit and garden and commune with nature. Too bad my kids would never go along with that. (Although my husband would!) (It would have to be a nice cabin though, with heat and a washer/dryer.)

3. I've never officially felt like a "grown up" even though I'm 44 years old.

4. I'm trying really hard not to label people when I see them. I know we all do it, but it's a really bad thing to do.

5. One of my old friends recently posted some really shocking pictures on Facebook. He removed them pretty quickly, but I was floored when I saw them.

6. I never dreamed of having a big wedding or wearing a wedding gown, but I am so glad Brad and I had one. I loved my dress and everything about that day. It was incredible to have all the people we love gathered together for a really fun party!

7. I am really close with all my nieces and nephews and love them like they were my own children. I used to be the "fun aunt" before I had kids and they would jump up and down when I would come to visit. I would take them to Chuck E. Cheese (back in the day when I looked forward to going there.) and buy them fun toys. We still have so much fun together and they come visit all the time.

If you need some material, you are tagged! Make sure you let me know if you do it.


and now for a Special Program

Yeah, it's official!

I played on grass (and I liked it!)

Yesterday, I had the most amazing experience. My friend Victoria invited me to play tennis at her club, and I fell in love. (Not with a pro, or anything, I'm not THAT much of a cliche!)

No, I didn't fall in love with a person, I fell in love with a PLACE. You see, Victoria doesn't belong to your regular, run of the mill tennis club. She belongs to The Seabright Lawn Tennis and Cricket Club, one of the oldest tennis clubs in the country.

I've got to be totally honest with you. I felt like I had died and gone to tennis heaven.

I drive by this club every day, and marvel at it's beauty; the perfectly manicured courts, the cedar shake clubhouse, the rose trellises and perennial gardens, all absolute perfection. The cherry on the top of the cake are the players, all decked out in their tennis whites. It's like something out of "The Great Gatsby."

I'm not into the whole country club scene but this club just might change my mind. I felt so in my element. Not because I'm some rich, old money WASP, which I definitely am not, but because everyone at that club shares a common love, the game of tennis.

I wasn't sure if I would like playing on grass, but it was amazing. (If you're into tennis you know what I'm talking about, it's such a serve and volley game, which is my specialty.)

We all have our idea of a perfect evening, and for me, and for me, this was it. Getting together with a great group of people, playing my favorite game in the entire world and then sitting down on the sprawling front porch of the clubhouse and drinking a cold glass of lemonade.

The only thing that could have made it better was if we had a little home grown to smoke behind the paddle courts. ;)

But hey, you can't have everything!

A blessing in disguise...

I took a nice little vacation from technology the past 36 hours. I didn't talk on the phone, I didn't go on the Internet, I didn't use my Blackberry and I didn't watch TV.

No, it's not because I'm becoming Amish, or anything extreme like that. It's because I forgot to pay Verizon. And Verizon runs my world.

Once they turn your service off, it's impossible to speak with human, and if you don't have a copy of your bill and the 3 digit number after your phone number, you're screwed.

I spent at least 2 hours trying to get a human to speak with me, and when I finally did, she tried to transfer me to a voice activated computer system that reacted every time someone in my house put a cup down on a counter or breathed too loud. I made a valiant attempt to find a silent corner of my house to attempt to pay my past due amount through the system, to no avail.

This morning, I succeeded in snagging a human being in the billing office who was willing to speak with me for 30 seconds and give me my secret code. I paid my bill, and order has been restored to my world.

Why, you might ask, was this debacle a "blessing in disguise?" Well, without the distraction of my computer and Blackberry, I spent some very nice quality time with my sister and her family, we watched the kids put on a puppet show and talked. I even managed to read a couple chapters of a book. I felt like a regular Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Yes, that 36 hours without technology was a time in my life I will cherish.

In the meantime, I'm putting my Verizon account on autopay so I never, EVER have to go through that again.

Dear Bonnie...

Dear Bonnie,
My mom says you love me.
Can I please come and live with you?
Today I was so embarassed. I had to go, real bad. I went but as you probably know, veggies make poop a little stickier than normal. I love my veggies. So after coming in the house, mom yelled at me and then made me run around the yard, yelling something about "run that turd off your ass". She then took a stick to my bum and removed the very sticky cling-on from my bum. And then she got out the wet wipes, I'm not a baby! I think the neighbours saw and now I don't think I can show my mug in the back yard anymore.
And mom says I smell bad, Emily says I smell bad. I heard mom on the phone, she said something to Kelly-Next-Door about bath, and then I heard trim the back end, and smells bad. I know she was talking about Sally, I wonder what she has planned for her at 3 pm today?
Anyway, I'll be waiting with my box of dog bones, and my blankie.

Linus Lo Williams

It's great to be missed!

I had an email from one of Linus's biggest fans! She was worried something had happened to me, although I'm sure she was more worried about that big lug.So just for Bonnie, here's what Linus has been up to the last couple of days...

Posing for photo shoots because none of my humans are participating. It's very hard to get the assignments done when no skin toned subjects will sit still. Here's the front shot of Linus. This is the back shot.This is Linus's dad after tearing off most of the tar and gravel from the carport roof. He's so hot. Linus trying not to pay attention to what dad is doing.
Sally, happy that Linus is no where near her!
And the bad thing I taught the dogs to do...Pick their own carrots and radishes. Now they can live self sufficiently in the garden. And I can watch Y&R in peace!

Busy times

We did some of this....
And some of this...

And both of us did this, but I did it from down below...

Some of us practiced lens flare shots...

And some of us did this... but without the chewed up potato on our necks.

Fit for a Queen

Today, I observed the gems collection at the Smithsonian. Among the pieces I liked were ones that had belonged to royalty.
1. Owner: Marie Antoinette

Piece of Jewelry: Earrings

These were her favorite pair, and they were a gift from her grandfather-in-law, Louis XVI. They were taken from her when she and her family tried to flee France, and ended up in the hands of a Russian grand duchess sometime later. Cartier bought them in the 20th century, replaced the silver settings with platinum ones, added the triangle tops, a member of the Post family bought them, and they were finally donated to the Smithsonian in 1964. Supposedly the original silver settings were reinstated at that time.

2. Owner, Marie Louise of Austria, Napoleon I's second wife and double grandniece of Marie Antoinette.

Piece of Jewelry: Napoleon Diamond Necklace
Napoleon I commissioned the making of this necklace after Marie Louise gave birth to their son. She took it back to Austria with her after his regime collapsed, and it was passed down through the Habsburg family. It was sold to an industrialist and eventually resold to Harry Winston. The same member of the Post family bought it and donated it with Marie Antoinette's earrings to the Smithsonian.

Piece of Jewelry: her Tiara
Originally the tiara had emeralds instead of Persian turquoise. And yes, the Post woman bought it off of Van Cleef & Arpels.

Sunshiney goodness

The weekend is now over. It's Monday and it makes me very sad. However, I am not working anywhere today, which makes me slightly less sad.

Finally, Aido and I got up to the Sunshine Coast for a weekend of relaxing and riding bikes. Simon and Kirra came up to also chill out/study animal muscles/ride bikes/drink wine and go running.

It was awesome! On Saturday, Simon, Aido and I went riding up Kiel Mountain rd, and I did four Palmwoods-Montville repeats and went home. A good four hours, though a little less exciting once I had run out of water—it was 31 degrees! Not very coherent for the last, dry hour. But nothing a Wimmers Raspberry Lemonade from the local fish and chip shop can't help (even if it was an hour in arrears!).

The Palmwoods-Montville climb is about 7km long, averaging probably 7%. Nice and gentle as you weave from agricultural bushland, to covered rainforest-y sections, back to broad, open panoramic views.

I found a picture of the climb on the interweb:

Which is from 1935, when all cars were old and kooky looking.

That afternoon, we chillaxed, went to see the celebrant briefly, then came back to HQ (Twin Waters) to walk the Mondogg, down some more food and drink wine while watching Flight of the Conchords. Love it!

Sunday was equally as fun, three hours of sun-time riding followed by coffee, food, walking, relaxing. It's all good really. The only downside to the weekend was that I forgot my phone and wallet and couldn't do any driving due to lack of license. Perhaps that's why I felt relaxed...

Looking for a Sense of Purpose...

Thanks to a recommendation night from Keeks and Brie, Brad and I went to see the movie Julie & Julia on Saturday night.

When I first saw the trailer for the film, I really wasn't that interested in seeing it, but I am so glad I did! I loved the film so much that we went straight to Borders after it was over so I could buy, Julia Child's book, My Life in France and Julie Powell's book, Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously.

If you don't know anything about it, I'll give you a brief synopsis.

The film depicts events in the life of chef Julia Child in the early years in her culinary career, contrasting her life with Julie Powell, a woman who's life has no goals or direction.

Julie, an almost 30 year old secretary who works in dead end job in a drab cubicle near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. She lives with her husband in an awful walk up apartment in Queens. She longs for some purpose in her life, so her husband suggests she start a blog. (Which he later regrets!)

Julie decides to combine her love of writing and cooking sets a goal. She vows to cook all 524 recipes in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I, in a period of 365 days and to chronicle her journey in The Julie/Julia Project. You can read the blog from start to finish here.

One of the things that struck me about Julie is that she embarks on her project partially because she believes she has ADD and longs for FOCUS. Sounds familiar!

As it turns out, Julie's project takes over her life. Her husband accuses her of becoming completely self absorbed, and her mother can't understand why she would embark in such a strange hobby, writing a blog, that her mother feels has absolutely no one reading it. (Hmm, sounds familiar again!)

Despite her frustrations and the obstacles, Julie reaches her goal, her blog is a huge hit, they turn it into a book and movie and all her dreams come true.

Which of course, got me to thinking. What could I do for 365 days that I can blog about?

My friend Doug and his wife Annie had sex for 101 days straight and chronicled it in his book, Just Do It. Since that's already been done, I'll have to pass on that one. (Much to my husband's displeasure.)

My blog bud, Dr. Zibbs thought it would be inspiring to clean the house using all different methods for 365 days. Great idea, for someone who has a PASSION for cleaning. Which I don't.

Tennis, as you know, is a passion of mine. Maybe I could try a new tennis racket, (provided by the manufacturer) every day. And blog about it.

Ben & Jerry's has about 60 flavors of ice cream. Perhaps I could try a new flavor everyday, for 2 months. and write about it.

After I gain 50 lbs eating all that ice cream, I can try a different exercise every day, to get into shape.

Maybe I can do a good deed everyday, a "random act of kindness." That would be good. I could give my blog a sense of purpose AND help others in the process.

Damn, I am just chock full of great ideas!

But seriously, it would be nice to have a purpose for my blog.

I'm open to suggestions. Just click the little comment link.

Operators are standing by to take your call.

Saturday Art Show

An announcement:

Some folks from the studio and I are holding a sidewalk sale of our student artwork this saturday from 11a-2p at the studio:

Bitter Root Pottery
7451 Beverly Boulevard (at Vista, a few blocks east of Fairfax)

There's a lot of really good work and talent at the studio. I will have lots of jars and a few gaiwans and sake bottles with me.

Come by and see us!

Gradient Changes

Lara Stone's beauty becomes more understated and eloquent with new brunette hair.

Freaks and Geeks

It has come to my attention, that some people from my high school days have been lurking on my blog. I did tell a few of my friends about this, and I guess word spreads quickly.

Anyway, since I know some of you out there went to high school with me, I thought I'd talk about high school, and maybe you'll come out of hiding and say hello.

Here goes.

I went to high school in West Chester, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia,in the early 80's. Looking back, high school was alot of fun, but I definitely have some regrets. One of my biggest regret is that I didn't APPLY myself. (Are you noticing a trend in my life?)

Everything was about getting away with something. I skipped school, talked in class, passed notes and generally goofed around. I didn't look like a trouble maker. But I was one.

I was a classic underachiever. I was in the "gifted program" but I usually ended up in summer school.

Don't get me wrong, I wasn't a total slacker. I was on student council, I played tennis and was a cheerleader. But I definitely put in minimal effort. I swear, I think some of it had to do with my self diagnosed ADHD. Sitting in a classroom all day listening to a teacher lecture DROVE ME NUTS!

On the weekends and on some school nights, I would jump from party to party and drive around in my friend's Chevy Nova or GMC Gremlin listening to Journey and The Rolling Stones. Beer was usually involved in our outings. If it wasn't we found a way to get it.

As my good friend Jenny puts it. We were derelicts. (Undercover derelicts)

The good news is, I'm still friends with alot of my friends from the good old days and we have all grown up to be very responsible (kind of), respectable adults with families, and homes, and nice husbands or wives. We got our ya-yas out when we were young, and it appears that none of us are having any mid-life crises.

If you ask some of our high school teachers, they would tell you that it's a miracle.

So, how about you? Tell me about your high school days. Were you a freak, or a geek? Or were you in the National Honor Society and captain of the lacrosse team?

Write a post about it and send me a link. If you're lurking, share a memory and let me know you're reading. Or shoot me an e-mail at

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go do a Jello shot.

Progress Report

It's time for a little progress report on my ADHD. A reader suggested that I get a prescription for a drug called Adderall. Apparently it is life changing for those of us afflicted with this horrible disorder. I love the idea of taking a pill and curing my ailment, (f-you Tom Cruise) but I'm too lazy to see a doctor right now, so I'm taking steps to overcome my disorder without meds.

Here are some steps I've taken to increase my focus and productivity:

One of the techniques I've been using is to put my Blackberry in a difficult to reach spot. If I'm downstairs I leave it upstairs, and visa versa. This has been very effective, not only in cutting down on distractions, but also in getting a better night's sleep.

I used to sleep with the Blackberry next to the bed, and I was always tempted to look at it when I saw the red light blinking. Now, I leave it in the kitchen, and eliminate the temptation to take a peek at Facebook or Twitter.

Another motivating factor in my quest for focus, has been my husband/life coach/drill sergeant. God bless the guy. Last week he not only put down hardwood floors in both my kids bedrooms (after working 8 am until 7 pm). He also succeeded in getting me to organize and purge MASSIVE amounts of books, toys and clothes. I fought him tooth and nail, but he managed to get me to FOCUS and get the job done. (Almost.) The weight that has been lifted off my shoulders is massive.

I felt overwhelmed by all the crap my daughters and I have accumulated, and now life seems so much more manageable.

That's all I'm going to say about that. For now.

On to tennis.

This summer was a good one for me. I went 6-0 in my team doubles matches. My team came in first place out of 10 teams. I had fun. I loved my teammates. What a difference from my pitiful singles season this spring.

Finally, if you're not Twittering. Do it. It's like a party on my computer. And make sure you follow me. My tweets are top notch. Believe it or not, they might even be better than my 2 year old blog.

Hard to imagine, isn't it?

Congratulations to Imen Shan & Tea Habitat

I wanted to send a message of congratulations to our LA tea sister and proprietress of local tea house Tea Habitat, Imen Shan, for her front page writeup in The Los Angeles Times Food section:

I hope the feature brings her many more tea-loving customers and greater success in the future. It's well deserved!

Hmmm....still doubting

I slept all day yesterday, and I am a bit dizzy at times, but I think I have a sinus infection and not the flu. Nothing has exited my body with any force, although I have cleaned toilets thoroughly, just in case I have to put my face near any of them. But I do have a headache, sore teeth, and sinuses. And I still can't hear everything out of my right ear.
The dr. did say to wait 3 days and if nothing happened then it wasn't the stomach flu. Not too sure about her skills as a dr. "If your arm turns green, smells bad, and falls off then yes, it was gangrene."
I will stay home another day. But maybe today I will be able to scrapbook. I have some deadlines.

I have doubts

I had to get Kerry's mom to drive me to the clinic because I'm nauseous, and in pain. The dr. at the clinic said if she didn't know better she say I was pregnant. Nice. But I'm not.
So then she says my ear is fine, no fluid, no redness, nothing. That didn't make me feel any better. She pushed on my tummy, how rude, and then said I had the stomach flu, most likely, because it's going around. She said I'd have 3 days of vomiting followed by days of blow out diarrhea, that's what she said. Then she said lay low, it's highly contagious.
I'm so not impressed. I have stuff to do.
So now my morning consists of finding food to eat that won't be so disgusting when I puke it back up. Butter chicken is out, and so are pakoras, samosas, potatoes, tomato based things, spicy things, bread, you get the idea.
So not impressed.

Maybe it's an ear infection

I guess today I should go to the clinic. I woke up with a headache on the right side and some ear pain. I don't want an ear infection and I can't take penicillin. So I shouldn't have an ear infection. Makes sense to me. As I sit here typing it's getting worse. Maybe my eardrum will blow and a money tree will grow out of it.

Weekend Shots

And I don't mean the alcohol type.

I still can't hear out of my right ear, I'm getting used to it. I'm finding it so very quiet. Kerry was talking away in the other room and I can't hear a word he's saying.

But he doesn't seem to mind.Kerry didn't have anyone to go riding with so I went with him as 'personal paparazzi'. On the way up, we saw a baby moose. He stopped and posed for me, see even a moose is more cooperative than my family. Not too bad for my 50mm, and my hanging out the window of the truck.
I took a few pictures, but I realized that as my skills are improving, I hardly ever use the burst mode, and therefore take 70% less photos. But I end up with 87% more decent shots. Thank you, Karen Russell!
This bridge, made by a handy guy and his kid, but not my handy guy, is about 8 feet off the ground. I crawled half way across to try to get some pictures, but had the wrong lens on.
This kid posed for a few shots before we had dinner with him and his family. I'm learning a few things, like the fact that he's got a cool skin tone, I'd like it warmer, I should have changed some settings but it's still decent. And the fact that he was under a play structure didn't really help much.

Ahhh...Kerry and his 3-D mountain bike magazine, and his Alcatraz Psycho Ward shirt. Just another day at the Williams' house!
And because no one, Emily, will pose for shots for my class assignments, I have resorted to getting the dogs to pose for practice runs. I need skin toned subjects, so I can't submit these shots. Sally was so accommodating, she always is if a treat is involved.
Linus, on the other hand, said there was no way his fat @$$ was fitting in that little seat.
Happy to say all shots are SOOC. No post editing needed! (Except the Moose shot, I had the door frame of the truck in the shot.)

Hey I almost forgot!!

Today is my 2 year blogoversary.

In honor of this momentous occasion I thought I'd do a little video montage of "very special" Caffeine Court moments. Unfortunately this is a blog, so that's not possible.

Then I thought it would be fun to get all my blog friends together and drink gallons of margaritas. I could get really wasted and throw up in a sombrero. That would be awesome. But it ain't gonna happen.

Another idea would be to post some links to my favorite blog posts over the past few years. That would require time and effort, and I really don't feel like doing it, so screw that idea.

My final idea was to set up a really fun political debate, to make my blog somehow "relevant." Unfortunately, whenever I get fired up politically all the BlogHer chicks think I'm a neanderthal, uneducated, redneck. I don't want to tick anyone off, on my special day, so I'll postpone my next political post for another day.

So, I'll keep it simple. If you're reading this, it means you actually took a moment of your day to look at my blog. I consider that an honor.

If you feel like this post just isn't enough, and you'd like to send me an blogeoversary gift, I'm registered at Williams-Sonoma and Tiffany's under Caffeine Court.

Love ya.

chaos and kind of grumply post. I can't be all sunshine and lollipops all the time.

The next few weeks to a month are going to be chaotic.
And to start it off, I woke up yesterday with a plugged ear. I can't hear much out of my right ear, it's like someone stuffed a cotton ball in it. I hope I'm not getting sick. At least it doesn't hurt.
So besides that, these are the following things keeping us busy...

1. Our fence gets started this week, this means making a temporary fence across the yard so a certain big, red dog doesn't escape.
2. I'm making someone's wedding album and am confident it will be finished before the wedding. Minus the pictures, but finished at my end.
3. Back-to-school crap.
4. Tearing off the carport in preperation for the garage.
5. My Art Freckles kit is calling me, and needs to be done before the 1st of Sept.
6. 2 weeks left of photography class and the last weeks assignment was posted today and I haven't looked at it for fear it must be big and that's why it's been send early!
7. Getting my hair cut and coloured for the wedding, picking up my dress, hoping like crazy that it fits and wasn't ruined.
8. Removing brand new steps off deck to make way for the garage construction. Moving them so that we can still get off the deck. Should be fun!
9. Taking down the pool that was hardly used.

10. All the other stuff that has to be done on a daily basis! Weeding, laundry, house cleaning, meals, etc.

I'm thinking if I could hear properly, I might be in a better mood about all the new things coming our way, and maybe if someone else was paying for them.

Cupcakes, bike racing, riding and muchos coffee

Today is the official RSPCA cupcake drive, aka: 'cupcakes for puppehs'. So to help the puppehs, I decided to have a bake-a-thon to be held on a Sunday (which is much more social!) with cupcakes, choc-banana bread, assorted lollies, fruit, tea and coffee, and of course—beer and wine.

We had an ample amount for our guests, when Anna and Kirra show up with three-dozen mini-sticky date cakes with caramel icing, and a zucchini cake with pistacio's and lime icing.

All in all it was a sugar overload, and I found out that trying to 'neutralise' icing sugar with fruit sugar didn't really work too well. I just ended up in hysterical fits of giggles.

The puppehs also got involved, with Jarv and Mondo being the guests of honour. No cake for them, though.

I had envisaged awesome cupcakes with miniature dogs on them, small towns and showing the likeness of the people attending the cupcake-a-thon. But instead I put some smarties and lolly snakes on top and that was enough.

But I did find some more examples on the www of some totally awesome cupcakes:

This is way cool, *sigh* I was definitely born in the Nintendo generation.

Who doesn't love lego?

everyone loves Garfield...and friends (only because he's a cat that ACTS like a dog, okay?)

And my personal favourite, the iPhone cake. Priceless!

We raised over $150 of generous donations (that's a few cat spays or euthanasia's...sorry cat people) and we are continuing today, to see if we can get that number over $200. Totally awesome, and much better then setting up a lemonade stand on the side of the road selling cupcakes. Especially when the evening concludes with a trip to Grill'd.

All in all a great weekend, with not too much angst dished out by me on either the road or MTB (see previous post), which has eliminated the need for me to turn this post into an angry rant.

I raced a crit at Murrarie, which is a scary experience indeed. I am sure that with my level of experience racing on the road, I may come across as not really knowing what I am doing, because I don't really know what I am doing. I did launch a half-arsed solo attack, which lasted about...half a lap. See previous comment about not knowing what I am doing. Girls racing is a bit gay.

Wasn't near the front at the end so I didn't contest the sprint. And that's my story.

MTB on Sunday was also a hoot. MTBing is great. More people should do it. And that's the end of this post.

French State of Mind

Eight years ago, I traveled across western Europe by train. The Chiemsee at sunset, full orange moons over Lombardy, waking up in Milan in its beautiful station. This video depicts just how magical an overnight trip can be.

I really like the main singer's outfit. It's also always interesting to hear how foreign musicians use harmonicas.

Truly a legend.

Jean-Philippe Rameau is one of my favorite composers. Fun fact: the 'national' Scottish Highland Dances were heavily influenced by early French ballet. Much of the footwork the ladies are performing in the video resembles steps I used in the Scottish Lilt, Flora MacDonald's Fancy, the Earl of Errol, and others.

Whose heart doesn't swell when Lazlo cuts off the German soldiers' "Die Wacht am Rhein" with La Marseillaise? Granted, the German song is far less violent than the French...

And of course for those of us who couldn't hack the language in high school...

Camera Envy

Thanks to Terry, I now have major camera envy and the need to rob a bank. Heck with the finding seeds for the money tree.
She let me try out her Mark II camera with a couple different lenses. Right away I noticed two things, well, make that three...
1. It's super heavy.
2. It's super fast.
3. Terry needs to adopt me.

I can now see why all the major mountain bike photographers have a Mark of some kind or another. The speed! The speed! I need the speed!

So I came home and checked out the details. Kerry knows what I'm talking when I talk about the Mark II because he checks the deets on the mountain bike photographers too. And so when I told him about this and how it's 50% off and that's always a good reason to buy camera stuff, even if you don't have the money, he looked at me like I was insane. And when I told him the 85mm f/1.2 lens for this camera that Karen recommends for mountain biking photos is $2600 Canadian he stopped dead and said "26 HUNDRED!" And I figured it was a good time to change the topic.
But then again, maybe it's a good time to tell him that the 85mm f/1.8 lens for my camera would ONLY be $600. Although I'm not sure if I even need that one now...

Iconography: Edie Sedgwick

The sharp, contrasting style of Edie Sedgwick is not unlike her own life in which she went from Californian socialite to the star of Andy Warhols's underground cinema. Her style is the likely origin of the mixing of high end pieces with more affordable accoutrement. This was a woman who wore heirloom jewelry and furs with leotards after all.

The way Edie paired short, bleached hair with delicate chandelier earrings, dramatic eyeliner, bat lashes and natural brows with pale lips, a thin frame engulfed in flowing fabrics reflected a vibrant sense of style that did not adhere to the etiquette and expectations of the time. Instead, her style was free spirited and truly do-it-yourself-throw-on-whatever-still-look-fabulous. Of course, this all worked out swimmingly thanks to Edie's delicate bone structure and forever-long legs.

She is the supernova of the Warhol Superstars, the most well known due to her beauty, charisma, and rapid drug-induced demise into anonymity. The relationship between Edie and Andy is one that has been romanticized and idealized by many ranging from aficionados of the Silver Sixties to editors of fashion's most elite magazines; what is surprising is the brevity of their relationship (merely a year) still echoes through fashion and art four decades later. Her life was fascinatingly complicated, truly the quintessential poor little rich girl who shone so brightly in her brief life.

My New Neighborhood!

I can truthfully attest that yes, all those guys DO wear brown flipflops.


Some strapless dresses are gorgeous, some are hideous, but why is it that the strapless is now the standard for wedding gowns? If it's just about the most important day in your life, when EVERYBODY will be looking at you, I'm not sure that it's very wise to wear a dress that could so easily lead to disaster if someone stepped too hard on your train. Especially considering that about half of the girls who wear strapless dresses spend most of their time tugging on them so they'll stay up..

Does this scare you?

Apoliva is a line of skin, hair, and body care products offered by Adara, a subsidiary of the Swedish pharmeceutical firm Apoteket. They launched this ad, with unexpected results. Swedes all over have been creeped out by the model and her freaky eyes (Those eyes! Oh Sweet Lord, those eyes!); there's even some Swedish facebook group for those who are genuinely disturbed by the ad. What do you think? If I were alone at night, I'm not sure that I wouldn't be afraid that she was standing in the corner waiting for me to turn off the light so she could suck my soul out.

A lilttle visitor

Twinkles made it safe and sound to our house this week. I'm hoping he has a nice visit full of fun outings.

The Summer Reading I DID Do

By now, some of us are freaking out over the books we didn't read for law school. Or maybe that's just me. But anyways, I thought I'd write about some of the awesome books I actually did read and thoroughly enjoyed.

1. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (1930)

The fog rolls into a black San Francisco night. You can hear the ships' bells clanging in the harbor. You trust no one, and no one trusts you. The Maltese Falcon, in addition to being the classic detective story and heavily influential on the genre, creates an incredible, dangerous, seductive ambience. Hammett keeps you on your toes and guessing whodunit as P.I. Sam Spade finds out 1. who killed his business partner 2. can he trust the alluring Brigid O' Shaughnessy and 3. where is the Maltese Falcon - just some of the answers to life's peristent questions.

Theme Song(s): "Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law" intro, "Poirot" intro

2. The Night Villa by Carol Goodman (2008)

If you love intrigue, travel, and the Classical Age, this might be the book for you. In The Night Villa, Dr. Sophie Chase joins an archaeological project in Herculaneum; she and her colleagues are restoring Villa della Notte (The Night Villa), which suffered damages from Mt. Vesuvius's explosion in 79 AD. More importantly, however, they are trying to recover ancient texts, which promise to discuss the cult of the Eleusian Mysteries. Goodman advances the plot and excitement by bouncing back and forth between the modern day action and the events described in the scrolls. As the texts get nearer and nearer to the day of the volcano explosion, you keep reading faster and faster in anticipation.

Theme Song: "African Tango"

3. King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard (1885)

Many people today might blast this book as being racist or at least condescending to Africans. Yet I, and Alexandra Fuller who wrote the Introduction, found that the main character Allan Quartermain was actually rather avant-garde for his time. Granted, H. Rider Haggard isn't going to have him marching in a Civil Rights parade or anything like that, but I do believe Quartermain does recognize Africans as his equals. Anywho, King Solomon's Mines is a fun adventure story, written vaguely around the same time as Stevenson's and Verne's. Frankly, it made me want to put on a pith helmet, toss back a G&T, and sing "Rule Britannia."

Theme Song(s): the "Indiana Jones" music, Theme from "The Mission"

4. Goodbye Mexico by Phillip Jennings

Pour yourself a shot of tequila and plunge into this book. Jack is working for the CIA in Mexico City during the Cold War, when his friend and colleague Gearhardt, presumed dead, shows up and throws Jack into the middle of an insane, top-secret, top-important mission to upset the Cuban government. Jack must fight intra-office intrigue, a nudist female teammate who is camping out in his living room, and of course, Gearhardt's insane plans, seemingly made off the top of his head, that threaten to kill all involved. I loved this book and it's consistent wit and fast-paced fun. Jack plays an awesome straight man to the nutty but loveable and compassionate Gearhardt.

Theme Song: "Sentimental Johnny"

The Old and the Restless...

Lately, with the kids home from school and no real schedule, I've been having a hard time getting things accomplished. I jump from task to task, I have a really hard time engaging in lengthy conversation and I'm unable to do anything including unloading the dishwasher or blow drying my hair without taking a break to do something else. (Like look at my Blackberry.)

As I've mentioned before, I had diagnosed myself with ADHD. I talked to my uncle, the psychiatrist, about this and he told me that in order to be officially diagnosed I'd have to see a psychologist and take a battery of tests. That, my friends, is not going to happen. So, I've decided to take matters into my own hands.

Anyway, without further ado, I will start a series here on Caffeine Court entitled, "Focus on FOCUS." This series will chronicle my struggles with ADHD. It will offer support to those who have this affliction and perhaps we can get advice from those who do not struggle with it, but who can offer advice to the "attention span challenged."

Here's some stuff I found online:

For adults with ADD / ADHD, life can be a frustrating merry-go-round of running late, not getting things done, sleeping at odd hours, and feeling like things are out of control. Due to the nature of the disorder, even routine chores and work activities can seem overwhelming. However, there are many skills you can learn to help get your life under control. It’s a challenge, but you can recognize your strengths and use them to develop skills to work better, increase organization, and interact with people more effectively. With the right skills and support, you can counteract the effects of ADD / ADHD.

The following points really hit home for me.

If you have ADD / ADHD, paperwork to you might mean piles of paper strewn everywhere. You might not want to throw anything away, because it is too important—but when you actually need a document it is impossible to find!

Time can take on a fluid quality for those with Adult ADD / ADHD. Boring tasks might feel like they take forever, or you might get so absorbed in a diversion (like Bejeweled on Facebook) that suddenly you lose track of time and are late for an appointment.
Because people with ADD / ADHD often are impulsive and jump from one subject to another, completing tasks is often difficult. Big projects also might seem tough to tackle because of all the small steps needed to get to the end result.
Money management requires budgeting, planning, and organization. So for many adults with ADD / ADHD, it is a particular point of weakness.

People with ADD / ADHD often misinterpret the verbal and nonverbal social cues that most people take for granted. They might interrupt conversations, often with irrelevant comments or questions. They let their attention wander, making it look as if they don’t consider what others are saying as important. Or they may talk on and on, not noticing that others are becoming bored or exasperated. However, you can work on “retraining” your brain to better understand other people are communicating with their words, facial expressions, and body language.

Okay, that's enough for today. I'm bored, and I want to go over to Facebook and play Bejeweled. Pretty soon I'll find the attention span to write about some of the solutions to these problems. I might even try to apply these solutions to my own life.

In the meantime, I'll bet I sound like a really fun person to hang out with right? Let's get together for a beer sometime. I can look bored and interrupt you while you talk. Oh and make sure you bring money, because I'm not good at budgeting, so I might not have enough to pay.

Is it a date?

We Just Like To Party

So last night I was lucky enough to attend the debut party of MAC Cosmetics' Fall color collection at Perimeter Mall in Atlanta. It definitely was worth driving on I-285 during rush hour! The invite-only event was quite crowded (we had to wait in line for our time slot and then get ID'ed) but we were some of the first to try (and purchase!) the new products and colors for Fall 2009. Some of my favorites included the neon shades of eyeliner, the luminous jewel-toned pigments, and of course the MAC staple eyeshadows and lipglass in beautiful fall tones of plum, emerald, champagne and gun metal in frosty and shimmering textures. I was lucky enough to score a eyeshadow quad in photo realism which I think nicely compliments my hazel eyes. Overall, it was a lot of fun and I always love talking to MAC make-up artists who are as sweet as they are talented.

The quad I purchased, the finishes are more shimmery in person.