Foolish? This isn't Foolish!!

that's a Dumb and Dumber quote.  Ask me sometime about quoting that movie end to end. My brother-in-law Jared and I could do a little show for you. Mostly at weddings or holiday parties. 

But I am actually foolish.  In my excitement to be an adult/wife/new-in-law, I enthusiastically volunteered to make a couple pies for the Thanksgiving Feast that will be had with Dan's family in Kanab.  From the onset this whole thing smacked of "See? I cook! I'm totally domestic and whatever? Look! I can WHISK!"  and it was about that point when Dan took the potato masher out of my hand and asked me if I'd ever done this before.  (For the record, the potato masher breaks up the butter just fine, thankyouverymuch.)

I had to make the Pecan Pie twice before I trusted myself to make the real thing. The first time, I used "the easy recipe" which pretty much said -stir these 5 ingredients together and go nuts.  It was nuts alright. watery, milky chocolate bits and some nuts.  The second time, I used the much harder recipe it came out PERFECT in the pre-bought crust.  But of course, I didn't want a STORE BOUGHT CRUST for thanksgiving! I needed to MAKE A CRUST!  REAL WOMEN MAKE CRUSTS!  GODLESS CAREER WOMEN WITH NO CHIDREN BUY CRUSTS!!!! (pant pant pant) and three hours and 4 panic attacks later, I think that I have a decent pie. 

The second pie was a piece of cake (har har), just a simple recipe stolen from The Pioneer Woman for a Cranberry Pie, to which I added a few sliced blackberries (the fruit, not the phone) to give it a little extra sweetness. I feel good about that one.

But my poor housemate can attest to the AWESOME attitude that I had while doing it.  Because I am bored and bitter at my job for making me work today, I will try and make you up a little illustration. 

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone.


Walking in a Winter Wonderland....Indoors?

Forgive this slightly self indulgent wife post that could probably be a page right out of seriously so blessed. I promise not to do this more than a couple times a year.  Unless I'm having an especially good wife month, and then it could be more.  Or if I'm having an especially poor wife year someday, you might luck out and just get ramblings about corn dogs and my thoughts on global warming. LUCKY YOU!!!!!

My twisted wife weekend began with my first attempt at a chocolate pecan pie. It's a first attempt because I am hoping to take said pie to the Jackson Family Thanksgiving in Kanab, and I will not take a first attempt pie to such a grand occassion.  I have standards to set. 

Thank heavens it was a first attempt. Despite following the recipe exactly, it was terribly eggy and watery.  The evaporated milk didn't set up, and my whisking apparently left much to be desired.  And, I couldn't taste the chocolate at all. Terrible recipe, and even worse whisking.  I hope to have that sorted out before this Thursday :S

I took a break from domesticity Saturday morning and audited a horse training clinic with my friend/employer Rebecca (who owns Gwen) which was a wonderful opportunity to brush up some of my old Dressage skills, meet and see some of the big players in the Utah dressage scene right now, and garner some new techniques, as well as talk horses with my new horse friend (you don't know how valuable these are in a shrinking horse world!)  It was very motivating for some of my future ambitions- some top secret plans that are still in the works!  More on that later in the month, I think. 

I returned in the afternoon, and le Husband and I decided to start a puzzle someone gave us as a wedding gift.  Thinking this was a good alternative to a game in which Dan and I compete against each other, I soon come to hear the tale of how the Jackson siblings used to time each other doing 100 piece puzzles, and I soon realized there are very few activities that come in a box that aren't considered competitive in this clan.  The good news is, I think I am winning at the puzzle.

Sunday we woke up post blizzard/harry potter trauma (yes, I find the entire HP franchise to be basically traumatizing; "let's introduce you to some characters that you will learn to love and then write 6 more books that tortures, manipulates, drives apart, and breaks down all those nice people while you helplessly read/watch on.  have fun!!!" but I still read/watch anyway.)  to discover that the power was out.  We called the power company, whose automated message informed us that there were 19,000 people without power in the salt lake valley, and we settled in for a long frigid day.  Actually, it was lovely.  turning off TVs, records, and distractions for a day led to le Husband and I having many the nice chat about our lives, our dreams, our best stories.  It was nice to have a day essentially devoted to how happy we are together, how much we get along, and how good we've got it.  We've each weathered storms before now, and there's undoubtedly storms ahead. But in the midst of a frigid power outage and a foot of snow, I felt like I'd found my oasis, drinking up the good times that I will rely on in the hard times.

The power came back, and we returned to the regularly scheduled lazy Sunday of HGTV and football highlights, microwaving leftovers and brewing tea,  but a little better for the quiet snowy morning. 

Happy Monday.


Humans are Splendid.

It's photos and stories like this that make the art of sport great:

Wong Wan-yiu of Hong Kong was competing in the last 40 laps of an epic indoor cycling finals at the Asian Games, and came down in a horrific pile up.  She was run over by other bikes, and in the end was determined to have broken a rib and dislocated her shoulder, not to mention road rash that would be enough to put me to bed for a month.

And this woman gets up, gets on a replacement bike, and rides 37 more laps to win the Silver Medal. 

As it appeared on CNNgo:

Wong was determined to finish the race as this was her last chance to gain enough points to qualify for the London Olympics. She said to Apple Daily that "you have to be willing to sacrifice in order to achieve anything; it's all give and take."

Read more: Wong Wan-yiu wins silver at Asian Games
CNNGo.com to see the whole article


Love and Basketball.

I'm missing Pioneer Woman on Throwdown with Bobby Flay on the Food Network tonight to go to a Jazz game.

Either we need to get Tivo, or we need to sell the Jazz to some wretched city without a team.  Or to Los Angeles, who apparently doesn't mind having more than one team. 

Actually, if I'm going to sit and watch a basketball game, I'm glad that I get to do it in person where there are lots of distractions and people watching and unhealthy snacks at my disposal.

I've had a real hankering for a churro for YEARS. It's time to give in.

And it's fun to go with Husband, because he doesn't care about ANY of those things, he cares about the bizniss down on the floor between those lanky mutant giant people tossing a ball around, and I can always know when to watch the jumbo screen for the replay right after he "OHHHH!!!!!"s. 

Also, I LOVE booing referees.  I don't care what the call is or what team suffered, I will always take an opportunity to boo a ref.  It's as cathartic to me as those businesses they have in Japan where you can go in and break stuff in a room for a fee.  I take it all out on that poor ref.  Every time my boss asks me to redo something because she's bored, every time my receptionist treats me like I'm her toddler child, every time some idiot cuts me off on Foothill Drive, I just think- save it for the refs, Opal. 

That being said, if anyone has Tivo, save Throwdown with Bobby Flay for me? 


Largest Sporting Event in the World??

I bet that you had no idea that such an event was going on at this exact moment, did you? 

The 16th Asian Games (their theme is year roughly translates to "thrilling games, harmonious asia" haha) are going on right now, and they claim to be the largest sporting event in the world based on the number of athletes that are actually competing, which apparently outshines the number of athletes in the Olympics by a great sum.  Interestingly, the exact numbers are hard to get.

This year the event is being held in Guangzhou, China, not too far from Hong Kong.  It's apparently the first time that China has hosted the event, because of the extreme restrictions they've had in the past about incoming persons (and horses) from a variety of countries.  As we speak, a number of very unhappy equestrians from India are sitting pleading at a border insisting that the western diseases that their horses "tested positive" for are fake results.  There is no way that these horses from India have diseases only found in in Latin America, so we'll see if India finds a way in, or if China gets to keep them out sans any sort of reprecussions.

If they are lucky enough to get through customs and borders, athletes and coaches will spend hours a day disinfecting their hands, shoes and face at various stations throughout the various complexes, getting frisked as they enter and exit every building, but otherwise having a right good time.

Here's a few of my favorite photos from the events that I thought were pretty spectacular. 

 the site of the opening ceremonies and cauldron lighting. SWEET!

Fireworks Display at end of the ceremonies.

The Lotus Aquatic Complex

The interior of the Lotus.  that's the most beautiful indoor waterscape I've ever seen.  I thought the Beijing complex was pretty cool, but this would be an amazing sight.

Team horses at the brand new equestrian complex.  sign me up!

That's your fun international tidbit of the day (with a smattering of horses, just the way I like it!)


The Paradoxical Housewife Wish List

1. I don't think that I've ever had a real pining for an item like this one, which I most certainly seem incapable of getting even if I were rich. 
I suppose if I were ACTUALLY rich, I could fly to London and go to a store and get these, but otherwise, I'm out of luck.  They're so sophisticated, sleek, but totally turn of the century.  I would wear these in July. That kind of love.

2. Gilberto Gil's Album, Nega.  Exiled from Brazil and living in London in the 70's, this album is known for the loneliness of it- he clearly sounds homesick, covering the rapturous "can't find my way home" and then an almost eerily obligatory cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Did he genuinely like the Beatles?  Or was he deferring to London's power when he chose it?  Either way, wish I had this album on a vinyl, could curl up in my giant red chair in the study with a warm beverage and disappear in his voice.

This unusual but awesome cover also reminds me of the delightsome Neon Trees take on Justin Beiber's "Baby"

3. To Kiss Dan at the top of this:

4. Went to IKEA on Saturday, and I saw this piece and immediately felt the instinctual urge to design an entire kitchen around this single piece of furniture:

I think that the version that we saw of this was slightly darker, but truly, it comes down to the fact that I am a sucker for billions of drawers, textured glass, and giant slabs of thick wood.  This is sort of my architectural nirvana, to the point that I would send my previous list of career ambitions down the Nile in order to be a housewife and make cherry pie and pickle random vegetables in the kitchen inspired by this.  So maybe it's a good thing we're renting a galley kitchen right now.  Keeps me employed.

5. To have someone truly stylish come into my house while I am sleeping, and throw away the half of my wardrobe that needs to die, and help me choose my permament, basic, classic collection.  I love a good fad, but I am tired of my single life habits of picking up things I wear once a month, matched with items I wear all the time.  I want to SIMPLIFY my life. help?

6. A Lustron.  It's a house they made in the 50's that's made entirely of metal. Metal exterior, metal walls, medal ceilings, metal built in cupboards.  It's my current kitchen, but a whole house.  They never made these in Utah, to my profound disappointment, but I wonder if moving a metal house is easier than moving a brick one?

7. A market that sells corn flour.  is that so much to ask???

8. The ability to manipulate my own physics and read a book while knitting. If anyone knows a trick other than ordering the nearest person that it's time to turn the page, let me know.


Le Fabulous Blog

I can't help myself, and this one also has a delightful untold story.
When I was in 4th Grade, I befriended a lovely girl. Somehow we always ended sitting next to each other at lunch (oh how I miss Hawaiian Haystack Thursdays at Canyon Crest) and I would admire her great sweaters and her glow in the dark retainer, and, well, I'm not sure what she admired about me!  But we were excellent friends. Back in the day when you could hang out with a person at school during lunch and recess, and the rare afterschool playdate, and from that consider them your BFF. We would make mockeries of the boys climbing to the top of the swing set, and do a great deal of sledding down the hill in the winter time. 

Nickie and I both moved away from Canyon Crest our 5th grade year, me to sanpete and her to another state, and what ensued was the most delightful penpal friendship that you could imagine. She would send me the loveliest letters with colors and sketches and illustrations, and she was always so ahead of the times on things to buy, music to like, and crushes to be had.  My friend grew up faster than I did, and blossomed into a remarkably beautiful woman before my eyes.

After about 9th grade we fell out of touch, I think she may have even moved once or twice more, and then finally in college we reconnected on the inevitable planet of facebook, and to my delight discovered that my artsy friend was living and studying in england as an accomplished designer of all things graphic and all things fashion.  She floors me with her street and high fashion ideas, and sophisticated approach to even the most elementary of outfits. Now the boys may cringe at a fashion blog, but hopefully my lady contigency will appreciate her lively style and charming writing as she explores the art of fashion in a totally forward fast moving london street style sort of way.  Plus, I want to run right out and get the lipstick she recommended.

But be warned, every time I read her blog it gives me a hankering for another visit to Covent Garden and a spot of Earl Grey Tea.


Should I?

A. Start studying ferociously for the GRE, take it in December, reconnect to long lost professors and employers to get letters of recommendation, and apply for a graduate program at the University of Utah for next fall, hoping to pursue a master's degree in Environmental Humanities with a focus on the the culture of the dying Equine Industry.

B. Do that same thing, but apply somewhere random and delectible for a newlywed excursion into the great Wild America.

C. Pursue every spare waking hour for the next year of my life to getting enough volunteer hours to get my introductory certification for Equine Hippotherapy, with the ambition of one day being certified as a master Hippotherapist and starting my own therapeutic riding farm wherever I damn well please.

D. Take a whole lot of continuing education, online, and night courses to get up to speed on web design, social networking, photography and writing with the ambition of one day having an o holy top notch horse blog that will become the online bible to all things equine in the intermountain west, thus fulfilling a lifelong dream of being awesome for a living.

E. Buy a farm in Mexico with Dan and live off the land.

F. Make Dan start studying like crazy for the GRE and let him apply all over, and perhaps take advantage of the sweet awesome half tuition deal I get at the U, or go somewhere else that is awesome.

G. Do that other dream that I always had of starting a non-profit organization that sends specialists to agri-heavy developing nations to teach them better livestock practices, in conjunction with the UN.

H. Move to New York and be a waitress and Dan can be cab driver and we pool our tips to pay rent and ride the carousel in Central Park until our stomachs hurt. 

I. Move to Nashville where Dan can sell one of his amazing songs to Brad Paiseley or that wretched Kelly Pickler and make us a million dollars and then retire to a farm just yonder of Dollywood.

J. Move to Dollywood.

K. Restore my Dad's airstream into a chow truck and have Kanab's best traveling restaurant, and spend the rest of my time riding a donkey in the redrock (they never get thirsty, you see.)

L. Having an interstate chowtruck and seeing the country while still making ends meet.

M. Chain myself to a fencepost at the Wild Horse Sanctuary they're building in Nevada and refuse to eat until they give me a job, and then live happily ever after in Small Town, Nowhere like Dan always dreamed.

N. Move to India. I haven't thought much farther past that point, but come on. I would kill in a Sari.

O. Apply for couples barn jobs on YardandGroom and run someone else's beautiful horse farm with Dan in exchange for health insurance and some spare change.

P. Open an art gallery/music venue/sandwich shop in downtown Salt Lake and become a hub of the indie hipster university scene with our artsy skillz. holla.

Q. Sometimes I still wonder if there's still an opening at the DMV in Middleton, Virginia....

R. Haul Dan along to Geneva Switzerland to try and get a job at the IOC and fulfill my dream of having a paid permanent position of any sort working for the greatest show of sport in the human race.

S. Move to pretty much anywhere outside of the US and try to get EXpat work for the government, just for fun.

T. Enroll in beauty school, just so I can sing beauty school dropout and know that it applies.

U. Become a Starbucks Barista for the health insurance and spend the rest of my time reading the 4,000 books that Dan and I have already accumulated and never have time to read.

V. See if I can talk my dad into opening just ONE more antique store...

W. Come up with a feasible way to make just enough money living at the Ranch, and pay my parents rent to live in paradise until the die I die.

X. Two Words: Sombrero Girl.

Y. One Word: Welfare.

Z. Status Quo? NAAAAAAAAAAahhhhhhh


TT: One Day Like This

One Day Like This by Elbow was the anthem of my President's Day trip to Williamsburg, Virginia in the winter of 2009.  I am a sucker for violins, gruff vocals, and symphonic finales, so this song could have been written for me and me alone.  Other people like it too, I hear.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Williamsburg at Sunset:

Jamestown Island: first permanent American settlement by Europeans

Confederate Cemetery outside Virginia Beach

New Tidings!

I am thrilled to finally be putting into action a blog segment that I have been working on in my head for a couple of months now. I hope that you find it as enjoyable as it seems in my brain. And frankly, with Husband starting his ridiculous marathon of Christmas music, I feel like I owe it to our audience to counteract his demented holiday torture with some wicked good sounds. So I bring you:

In the days leading up to a trip, whether it’s a month long trek to eastern Europe or a weekend jaunt to Kanab, I always calculate my 16 gb of ipod space, and either peruse all my acquired music for something I haven’t given a full listen, or I search itunes for new music. Sometimes it’s an album I’m after, sometimes a single song. But that song will get a lot of playtime and become iconic to a place and time, and that way whenever I hear it, I can instantly close my eyes and be back in that place again. To those of you who like to travel or adventure, I highly recommend the pleasure of this instant psychological high.

But for my humbly small number of readers, I thought you might find some of this music interesting in its own right, regardless of the traveling aspect. SO, every few days, or a week, or whenever I feel like it, I will feature one of my “iconic traveling” songs for your entertainment.

I'll put my first segment up in the next hour, and I'm going to try and do this by embedding from playlist.com, so let me know if this format is or isn't working for you guys. 

I hope you enjoy!


I Love My School.

From this angle you can't see the 10 story 1970's cement monstrosity to the south.  Of course you also can't see my mod white leather chairs in the backseat of my car that I got from the University's surplus and salvage center for $10.  So we'll call it a wash.

Trotting On.

It’s snowing outside my office right now, as you can see from the picture I took from the Vice President’s office. It’s somehow fitting that a new season be ushered in this day, and the autumnal events be considered a collective past from which to progress.

I don’t consider myself a typical sports fan, but in the grand scheme of the idea, I love “sport.” I LOVE the Olympics, I love international events that bring us all together and test our wills and our dreams and our physical ability to push. One of my dearest friends ran the New York Marathon this weekend, and that is one of the most extraordinary things I’ve ever had to miss. Good on her.

My other die hard sports did not fare so well in the grand statistical sense. My Utes of course came up short on their legacy to have another undefeated season and didn’t just lose but were mercilessly trampled by TCU. I could tell in the first 5 minutes that we were going to be outplayed, and of course it wasn’t even a close game.

The more painful sporting moment of the day was of course Zenyatta’s powerful, extraordinary performance in the Breeder’s Cup Classic which left her fans just inches short of an undefeated lifetime. But our girl is more loved than ever for her magnificent spirit, coming back from a hard start of having dirt thrown in her face by all 11 boys in front of her, falling way back to recover, and then catapulting forward to try and claim victory in her signature style. Even in loss, for all my 25 years, the majority of which have been spent watching hundreds of horses race in the greatest contests on earth, I can say no horse (who wasn’t my own) has ever stolen my heart more than she, or impressed me more. She is singular. She is a Man O’ War and a Secretariat. Fools who vote against her for Horse of the Year will look back 20 years and realize that they voted against the horse that SAVED THEIR SPORT. They will be voting against the movement to put the horse first, to keep a horse happy, to not run a filly into the ground like Ruffian or Rachel Alexandra. If they are so insolent, then let the sport of kings die, along with kings. Democracy is on the up, and Zenny would make a lovely Dressage horse without them anyway.

In the end, what we as sportsfans and humans need isn’t undefeated seasons and lifetimes, but really to know that our heroes are mortal, just as we are. We are frail to the dirt upon us, the mighty in front of us, and we still play to the end of the 4th quarter, and we still run with all our hearts to the very last stride. It’s good to be alive, no matter the outcome of all the days in between. The snow sweeps out our regret, and ushers in new attempts at a life well lived.


Globe Trotting

Some Horse Updates for you from Around the Globe:

1. My Horse Job: I had a wonderful fall season working with Gwen, the mare that I was hired to pitch in on. We did a little riding, a ton of groundwork, and had to go back to basics working with hooves when she tried to kick her owner during a hoof trim. She almost nailed me pretty good last week too, but with some work and some nontraditional approaches, her feet are looking better and I think she’s had some much needed attitude adjustment. She’s got the winter off now, so except for a ground lesson here or there, and a foot trim or two, I’m all done with her until spring. Such a fun adventure!

2. New Horse Gig: I volunteered at Camp K’s Equestrian Center on Monday night, and was really impressed with the operation they have there. For the lay horsefellow, Camp K is one of many growing institutions across the globe employing horses as a means of rehabilitation and advancement for children with both mental and physical disabilities and behavioral problems, veterans recovering from injury or PTSD, children from difficult, abusive, or neglectful homes, and there are even a number of prison equine rehab programs. This camp focuses on children and veterans, as well as reaching out to the general public. They have a couple of really lovely and skilled horses, and the Equestrian Boss is an old friend of mine, so I’d have kind of the run of the place in terms of exercising horses. They have a beautiful lighted and covered indoor arena, so I will definitely be pitching in there all winter for my horse fix.

3. BREEDERS CUP CLASSIC!!!! For those who don’t know, this Saturday is going to be easily one of the biggest days in horse racing in my lifetime. The already record holding 6 year old mare, Zenyatta, is going for her 20th consecutive win. This will be her final race, and if she wins it, she will be the only horse with this record at this level of competition. Her 19 previous wins were all “stakes races,” which meant the top caliber races in America, not just your dog and pony show in the backyard. She is the only filly to ever win the BC classic, and if she wins again, the only horse to ever win 2 consecutive BC Classics. And she’s a GIRL. You think this is just horse people talk? Talk to OPRAH, who named her one of the 20 most important women of the year. Talk to 60 minutes, ABC News, NBC Sports, ESPN- She is a champion unlike any other. Here, I’ll shut up, just watch this:

You died a little, didn’t you?

It happens to be that her race coincides with the Utah/TCU football game, as well as a visit to Dan’s family to visit our niece, Fifi. This means that my new family is going to get a front row seat to…um, me. My mother is to blame for my abhorrent horse racing watching behavior, in which we yell like jockeys, scream at our favorite horses, and then ball like babies regardless of the outcome, just for the sheer beauty and insanity of it all. If the Jacksons aren’t scared, THEY SHOULD BE. But hey, if crying for the beauty of a horse is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

4. Finally, my boyfriend Boyd Martin and his horse Remington III just spent 5 days shipping from JFK Airport in New York to Pau, France to compete in the last international competition of the year. I took a beautiful shot of Remi (as he’s affectionately called by his adoring fans) at an event in PA last fall, and I’ve been star struck ever since.
Wishing them the best of luck and safety in a pack of 38 horses! (and if you ever want to know what the logistics are of air/van shipping a horse more than 6,000 miles, it’s quite interesting.)  Three Cheers for a horse weekend!

For G.

I know you don't like animals, but since these ones weigh more than you do, and could do to your head what they do to these pumpkins, I think they've earned a moment of your time.  And yes, this is my retort to your sissy man guns.


I Was There.

To my Grandchildren,

Your great great grandmother Sylvia worked for President Franklin D. Roosevelt and President Harry Truman during and after World War II in the department of Commerce in Washington DC.  She was there when President Roosevelt died.  She was there when Truman made one of the hardest decisions any one man ever made on behalf of human kind, and implemented nuclear warfare.  I am both sad and grateful that her Washington DC experience was not mine.

Your grandmother Lorraine worked for President Bush and Speaker Pelosi, and most important, the late great Tom Lantos, Democratic House Majority Leader of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Holocaust Survivor, Animal Rights and Human Rights Advocate.  I was working every day with all my heart until the day he died, halfway through my tenure, of cancer.  I was present when every great American and World Leader and human rights advocate came and honored him in the Capitol Building, I was there when his beautiful granddaughter sang her operatic heart out to say goodbye.  I saw his wife of more than 50 years, miss him.  Oh to see a woman miss a man that won't return.  To hear the whimpers of his grandchildren.  And I had perhaps the greatest privilege of all- to carry out his legacy for a few more months at the Committee, to preserve his records, to do every little thing I could to help see that his legislation passed.

I watched in awe as a $50 billion bill was passed which would go towards preventing AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis in developing countries, named for him and his late friend and Republican Committee Majority Leader, Henry J. Hyde.  I copied that bill 53 times, once for each congressman on the committee, and our major staffers.  It may not sound like much, but it was one of the proudest moments of my life.

I did a lot of things at the House of Representatives, and I don't know what kind of world you will live in, or what kind of things you will hear about your government, but I want you to know that very little of what I did was political, and very little of what my colleagues did was political.  What House and Senate Staffers do is WORK.  They research, they reach out, they absorb billions of facts a day and make sense of it.  They speak to constituents, and they help people. They stand up for people who have no voice.  They let little interns have a moment in the hotseat.  They enact the will of the American people 12 hours a day, at least.

And, I once stood, completely alone, in the dome of the capitol.  Late at night, after delivering materials to the senate, I passed through the most sacred space of American Democracy, without the roar of angry partisanship, without the slurs and youtube videos and skewed facts being replayed in quenching soundbites.  Democracy is, at its heart, profoundly silent.  For all its voices, for all the clamoring of the people,  in the eye of the storm, there is a barrier of peace around what we built here.  I know it now, I know it forever.

A lot of those good people will lose their jobs this winter as the House changes.  I do not condemn it, but I mourn the end of an extraordinary chapter in my own life. I can no longer picture the faces in each office of the winding majority office.  I can no longer tell you the 6 digit extension to each regional director, for they will all be moving on to new and undoubtedly wonderful opportunities.

Will one of you live a mile from my apartment, as I did from Grandma Sylvia's?  Will one of you see my favorite buildings and tell me which department chain has made a four story outlet in it?  Will one of you someday take a picture with a statue of Barack Obama's monument in DC and send it to me and say "Isn't this the President you worked for, Grandma?" And painfully, laughingly, I will have to tell you that actually, I worked for the other guy. 

But I will tell you how I stood not 30 yards from President Obama when he made history and took the oath of office.  I will tell you how I danced the night away at his Inaugural Ball.  I will tell you how much hope we had, and that even in America's darkest hour, we never gave up, and your Grandfather and I never surrendured to it.  It was in the hours of division, hatred, and turmoil (yes, even in a midtern election year) that we found love in spite of the angst around us, and shut out the sirens, and found the peace so like the peace in that great dome.  That's when you know you've found the real deal, my children's children.  When you've found a truly powerful peace.

That's where I was. No matter what you choose to do in your lives, I hope that's a place that you find, too.


Thank You For Your Donation to the J. Willard Marriott Library

As any Dan and Lorraine Wedding Attendee would know (yes, that's a proper noun.  Other collective people worthy of being proper nouns: the 2008 Inaugural Purple Tunnel of Doom Ticket Holders, 1968 Race Riots Survivor, and People Who Have Seen Lorraine's Thriller Move) a vast collection of antique books was one of the things we used to decorate our pioneer wedding.  While these books might have seemed like an expense, or possibly a violation of library borrowing terms, they were actually acquired at the University of Utah Marriot Library Book Sale. Over the course of two-1 hour lunch breaks, I managed to acquire 11 bags of antique hardover books for just over $16, and several black and blue bruises on my arms for being too proud to make more than 2 trips, and refusing to accept help. I still consider that a steal.
The question is, with this year's sale going on (November 1-5 9am-5pm at the Library) how wrong would it be to do that again WITHOUT the excuse of wedding tables?  I mean, you really need to see my 500 page hardbound 1947 Symposium of Salt book to appreciate the stuff that's coming out of this sale (and don't worry Dad, that book still has your name on it.)

The point being, save me from myself, and go buy a bunch of books before I do.  Otherwise Dan and I are going to have a house someday that looks like this:

that's a children/cat/dog/horse friendly environment, right?  (oh who cares. Best. House. Ever.)


We're Famous or Whatever!

I feel silly being this excited about it, but I am positively stoked that our photographer Morgan Trinker submitted her photography of our wedding to a national blog, and we were featured!  It's a wedding blog all about the music that people chose for their wedding, and that was one of the most important and most fun elements of planning for Dan and I (even if he DID make me include "careless whisper" by wham! in the reception playlist!)

So without further ado:
Hi-Fi Weddings: Dan and Lorraine

ummm, and yes, we're as confused as you are about what a "dou-ship" is.