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Here Comes Santa Claus

It's very interesting to me how all the douchebags seem to live on the internet. I'd never even thought about not "doing Santa" (unless you don't celebrate Christmas) until I started reading parenting communities full of smug, self-righteous parents who "don't believe in lying to their children," need the validation that comes from knowing that their children are aware of whom they should REALLY thank for their presents, or whose horrible, scarring childhoods left them unable to let their children believe in magic. I feel bad for the children of these modern parents. Your kids are going to be jaded assholes just like you soon enough... why force it on them so young?

Potty Training

Elliott is finally potty training, after a major set-back involving the birth of his brother. We've gone the little potty route. This morning he walked up to the big potty and peed into it standing up. "I want to pee like Daddy!" What? Not a drop on the seat either. And he put the seat down after.

CA Supreme Court

Arguments are being presented re: overturning Prop 8, and I've been watching it all morning. I don't get these people. Are these lawyers? They all sound so unsure of themselves. I read the state constitution and it specifies that no particular group can be treated differently than any other within it (basically.) The justices are using a case (Anderson), in which people were pissed that the death penalty had been abolished and the judges ended up having to make it legal again. This one justice keeps saying that life is an inalienable right and that therefore it's taking away a right of a particular group (people convicted of a crime that is deemed death penalty worthy). Last I checked, committing murder was a choice, not an intrinsic part of someone's biology. Convicted criminals lose all sorts of rights, such as the right to vote. I don't know. This is just so frustrating to listen to. That proposition should never have been on the ballot in the first place. It's discrimination, pure and simple. I don't see how you can have passages denying a right to a particular group in the same document that says that you can't do that. Revise the constitution first to remove that passage, and then pass your hateful propositions.

Elliott Sings

He randomly picks up theme songs. It cracks me up.

Happy birthday, sweet boy

I can't believe my baby is three years old today. How has it been that long? Almost three years ago to the minute, I was being told it was time to push. Getting ready to meet the little person who was living on top of my bladder. Now, he is a real person, no longer a baby, and not even a toddler anymore. He has interests and thoughts, is a loving big brother...

Today was all about Elliott. We went to Starbucks and got steamers. We went to see Bolt; my insane child is incredibly good when we take him to the movie theater. We got lunch in the food court at the mall, and then headed over to Build a Bear, where Elliott created his new friend, SpiderBear Brown, a black bear wearing a Spiderman outfit. We came home and after his nap, he returned all the birthday calls we'd missed through the day. We had dinner, followed by Elmo cake and presents - Buzz Lightyear sneakers from Oliver, and stuffed Wall-E and Eve from Mom and Dad. We just finished snuggling up, watching Wall-E, and Elliott headed off to bed with his new friends. It was a great day, about him start to finish, as it should be on his birthday.

Now, I go to sleep, the mother of a three year old. How did that happen?

Proposition 8 - The Musical

Even if you don't like musicals, this short clip is fun for playing "spot the celebrity"...

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die
Well, Thanksgiving is over. It always goes so fast after so much prep. After being up for hours in the middle of the night last night, feeling sick as a dog, I determined that it must have been food poisoning. I woke up really early because the rain was so loud, so I was exhausted, but I was not sick anymore, thank goodness. We got the house in perfect shape and dinner was cooked with minimal stress. I am so proud of us having Thanksgiving dinner for fourteen people in a house occupied by a toddler and an infant. I can't believe we pulled it off, and well. Everything was awesome and I didn't ditch anything I'd planned at the last minute, like I did the last time I was in charge of Thanksgiving. With things like this, I tend to go a bit overboard and end up overloading myself, but this time I really planned well and chose just the right number of dishes that complemented each other well. I assigned two of the three pies to other people, and my sister brought the stuffing.

The menu:
Salted roast turkey with herbs (this is the new technique everyone is touting this year, instead of brining)
Succotash of fresh corn, lima beans, tomato, onions, and basil
Mashed potatoes with cream cheese
Shallot-Dijon gravy
Citrus-glazed carrots
Green beans with lemon and garlic
Cranberry relish (I just throw this together every year - this year I grated in some orange peel, squeezed a little of the orange juice, added some fresh ginger, some ground ginger, and a little cinnamon, and I used brown sugar instead of white)
Grandma's stuffing
Chocolate pumpkin cheesecake pie
Chocolate pecan pie
Apple pie

The Spread

Dessert! Pumpkin, Pecan, and Apple

This sucker was 22 pounds, which takes a LOT more work than the smaller turkeys I've done in the past! We rotated it every hour in order to achieve even cooking, and that was a two-person job. But, in the end, it was totally worth it. It was PERFECT.

The Turkey - 22 Pounds of Roasted Perfection

Nov. 27th, 2008

Who is hosting Thanksgiving dinner for fourteen people tomorrow and just puked up everything in their stomach? Yup, me. I've been preparing for Thanksgiving for the last few weeks and have been in earnest since Saturday - deep cleaning, constant straightening up, shopping, cooking... and depending on what is going on, I may not even get to enjoy it. :( I have really been looking forward to this! Now I'm just waiting to see what happens so that I can try to figure out what's going on.. did I eat something bad? Do I have some sort of a virus? Did I fail in my cleaning routine while cooking and pick up something from raw eggs or the turkey? Ugh! This sucks!
What a day. I feel sick to my stomach right now, seeing that it is pretty certain that Prop 8 has passed. I am glad that it wasn't an overwhelming majority, but sad because how many people thought "no" but didn't go out and vote? This time, every vote REALLY made a difference.

I am seriously bummed out that Prop 8 is casting such a shadow over my happiness about the rest of the election. I supported Obama in the election, and I am glad that we are going to have a change. I am ready for something different. Beyond anything else, I am absolutely stoked to see this historic election. I want to savor the moments, knowing this is something we will remember for the rest of our lives.

Prop 2 passed! Prop 4 was defeated, despite it looking at times that it would pass! Most other things went the way I wanted them to go.

I want to be happier about all of these things, but I just can't shake the leaden feeling in the pit of my stomach.
Elliott's first trick or treating was a huge success. He knew exactly what was going to go down, and he was VERY excited. We went to Coronado, where I grew up and where my parents still live. The highlight, for me, was at the very first house, where the lady held out two bowls of candy and said, "Which do you want?" and he pointed, said, "That one!" and took the bowl out of her hands. It was so cute. He was Darth Vader and occasionally would sing Darth's theme or tell someone, "Come to the dark side." Our friend Dave taught him to pretend to force choke people.

Elliott Vader & Ninja Oliver

I can't wait for next year! On our way home we drove down the street that I remembered as being the best (total opposite side of town from where my parents live, so we didn't get over there for actual trick or treating) and oh man, they still do it. There must have been a few hundred kids on that one block, and a ton of houses were in full-on Halloween mode. Next year I totally want to go over there.

Yay Connecticut and Election Stuff

Connecticut legalized same sex marriages today. I am assuming that it is too close to the election for them to be able to get something on this ballot, so that is good news.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, as we approach the election. I got my absentee ballot in the mail yesterday and immediately filled in the things I already know I have a position on, leaving everything on which I need to do more research for later. It's been a long time since there were multiple propositions about which I felt so strongly, and I felt awesome as I marked my choices - Obama/Biden, YES on 2, and NO on 4 and 8. Two makes the lives of animals being raised for human consumption a bit better, making things like veal crates illegal. While I've been told it's hypocritical for me to eat meat and care about farm animals, I do care, and I am happy that we may be able to improve the quality of their lives.

Of course, eight is the bill trying to reverse California's decision to allow gay marriage. I strongly support gay marriage and truly believe that anyone should be allowed to marry. I don't believe in discriminating against anyone. With the divorce rate being as high as it currently is, I don't think most people have any place claiming that they feel that marriage is this sacred institution that shouldn't be for everyone. Walk the walk first, then talk the talk.

Prop four has a special place on my list of things I hate. Every time we vote, I feel a sense of deja vu, because it's on there every single time. Prop four requires parental consent before a minor is allowed to get an abortion. On the surface, that sounds reasonable - parents are responsible for their children and I wouldn't expect my children to be allowed to so much as get their ears pierced without my permission. However, this bill is a thinly (or well, for some people) disguised first step toward taking away reproductive rights in California, and that is not ok with me.

This election, prop four has me even more on edge than it normally does. I don't expect it to pass this time, since it hasn't the last several times I voted no on it. What makes me sad this time is the future. If prop eight doesn't pass this time, is it going to show up every time we vote? Are all the gay people who have been allowed to marry in California going to have to live in constant fear that the next election is going to mean the end of their union? Every couple of years are they going to sit on tenterhooks, waiting for the morning they wake up and find that they're no longer married? How many times are they going to have to go down to the courthouse to re-take their vows, as we yo-yo back and forth? It just isn't right.

For those of you who may be interested, you can do phone banking from your home, if you have some free time. It won't cost you anything, but things are very close right now, and the undecided voters are critical. Check out http://noonprop8.com/ for information on how you can help.

Oct. 10th, 2008

So, Angelina Jolie is pictured nursing one of her babies on the cover of British W Magazine, and it seems to be causing a stir. There are stories all over the place talking about how the picture is so controversial. I don't know what I expected, because I can't really imagine what she could be doing in the picture that's so terrible, but I sure didn't expect the reality of it. It's a really pretty picture of her, and most people wouldn't even realize she was nursing the baby if the media wasn't making such a big deal about it. You just see a tiny hand in the vicinity of her breast, with the rest of the baby and her breasts covered by something (her knee?) You see more cleavage in most evening gowns.

What I am SERIOUSLY irritated by is the fact that most of the articles talking about this also mention that the "last time she caused a stir" was when you could see that she was wearing a nursing bra under her nightgown in the pictures when her first baby was born (because you could see the strap where it has the little latch to let down the cup). What?! How on EARTH could that cause a stir? I was aware of the fact that she was wearing a nursing bra in the picture because I belong to a bunch of breastfeeding related communities, and people mentioned it there as a cool thing. This is the first that I have heard that it was any sort of controversy or scandal. It's a sad, sad thing when even the knowledge that her breasts are something other than spank bank material is considered a big deal. People seriously need to grow up.

Sep. 13th, 2008

Jack Black is going to be on Yo Gabba Gabba. The perfect combination? I think so. I <3 him.

Husband Meme

1. Sitting in front of the TV, what is on the screen?
Video game or something on the Discovery Channel

2. You're out to eat; what kind of dressing does he get on his salad?
Vinaigrette - probably Asian or that goddess type of dressing if he could

3. What's one food he doesn't like?

4. You go out to the bar. What does he order?
Beer, trappist ale if possible

5. Where did he go to high school?
Belgium and Vista

6. What size shoe does he wear?
12 to 13, depending on the shoe

7. If he was to collect anything, what would it be?
Well, right now it's toys and memorabilia from his favorite movies, but if we were like lottery-winner rich, my guess would be video games (like, arcade ones) or full-size movie props (like, a lifesize Stormtrooper costume, that sort of thing)

8. What is his favorite type of sandwich?

9. What would this person eat every day if he could?

10. What is his favorite cereal?
Hmm, Special K?

11. What would he never wear?
He is pretty game for anything...Crocs, maybe

12. What is his favorite sports team?

13. Who will he vote for?

14. Who is his best friend?
Probably Neil

15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn't do?
A ton. To choose one, I hate taking out the trash and will cram so much in there.

16. How many states has he lived in?
3? California...Oklahoma...Virginia...I think that's it in the US. Plus Japan and Belgium.

17. What is his heritage?
I have no clue! Some mutt combo. I'm betting some Irish and German in there..

18. You bake him a cake for his birthday; what kind of cake?

19. Did he play sports in high school?
Hockey is my guess

20. What could he spend hours doing?
Playing video games, playing guitar, watching internet videos

Elliott is a Big Brother!

Oliver Joshua Brown
August 3, 2008
7lbs, 0oz, 19in

Birth story under cut. Pictures to come soon.

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Simple pleasures

When were moving into our new place this Spring, I realized that our next door neighbors have one of the things I love the most in the entire world - an ornamental flowering tree that comes out in these beautiful pink blossoms all over. Usually they are ornamental plums, peaches, or cherries. Think Washington, DC, in the Spring. I planted one at my last house, but by the time we moved it still hadn't matured enough to do much. I was thrilled to see one that is big and mature, half of which is growing onto my property, that I don't even have to care for. Well, I just looked outside and realized that it isn't even an ornamental tree - it is COVERED in baby fruit. I can't tell if it's plums or peaches at this point, but I am leaning toward it being peaches. There are probably 40-50 fruits hanging over or resting on things on my patio, and I am totally going to be eating some when they ripen. My favorite flowers in the Spring and fresh fruit in the Summer? I think that must be one of the perfect things in life.
Yesterday my doctor wrote me a prescription for maternity leave. I can't believe this has gone by so fast! I already set my last day of work for August 1, giving me a week off before my due date, but still... it just makes it feel real knowing that if I was too uncomfortable or worn out, I just need to announce it and I'm done with work. This kid needs to stay in for at least a few more weeks! I'm not ready yet!
For the moms of daughters out there, one of my favorite cloth diapering WAHMs is doing semi-custom sundresses and the fabrics she has for them are so cute. They are $30 each, including shipping, and are a style that actually would probably last for quite a while (ruched top, so particularly stretchy.) I wish they came in adult sizes.



Ok, so we are currently looking for a new place to live, and an opportunity has been presented to us. It isn’t ideal, but it’s something we are thinking about. My grandmother went into a nursing home and her mobile home has been on the market for the last year. My mother offered to make us an interest-free loan, to be paid back in full at the time we decide to sell it and move. All we would have to pay until that time is the $725 space fee and our utilities. That’s $700 less than what we pay for rent now, and at least $500 less than what we were anticipating spending for rent in a different place.

Details, pros, and cons under the cut. I made my first pro/con list when I was not quite four years old and wanted to try to convince my parents that a Disneyland trip was a good idea, and I've been making them ever since, so bear with me.

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So, my question is – if you were in this situation, could you think of additional pros and cons that would occur to you? What would you do? It’s not just a matter of seeing how many items are on the pros/cons lists as opposed to the weight each item has on a personal level. A lot of the pros are just like cool bonus pros. ;)

Feb. 14th, 2008

I am a total dork, but I am so excited about this. Just hearing the music in the trailer gives me the shivers.

Why I won't be at Comic-Con this year:

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Awesome Toy

This was in a toy catalog we got in the mail:

Play Sushi

I think that is just so cute. They have a soft toy sushi set, too.

Career Meme

Usually I don't do these, but this one was pretty interesting and fun, and I'm really enjoying seeing everybody's results...

1. Go to Career Cruising, www.careercruising.com
2. Put in Username: nycareers and Password: landmark.
3. Take their "Career Matchmaker" questions.
4. Post the top twenty results
5. Put the careers you have seriously considered in bold

1. Costume Designer
2. School Counselor
3. Family and Consumer Scientist
4. Website Designer
5. Desktop Publisher
6. Career Counselor
7. Elementary School Teacher
8. Communications Specialist
9. Early Childhood Educator
10. Medical Illustrator
11. Addictions Counselor
12. Multimedia Developer
13. Graphic Designer
14. Psychologist
15. Cartoonist / Comic Illustrator
16. Video Game Developer
17. Database Developer
18. Teacher Assistant
19. Librarian
20. Animator

I'm just sad that my real dream job, being a writer (specifically of children's books), isn't on there. Oh well!


We just moved into a new place, and thought that it would be nice to have a housewarming party. It's a good excuse to see our friends and gives us a firm deadline for getting the house into shape. :) If you are on my Friend's List and haven't gotten an email from eVite, it means that I don't have your email address. Whether or not we've met "in real life", you are on my Friend's List for a reason, and we'd love to have you there! My current plan is to order catering from World Curry, including vegetarian and vegan-friendly choices and kid/baby-friendly items. We'll also have some other things to snack on, and assorted beverages.

I think that people should be able to add themselves to the eVite at the following URL. Let me know if it doesn't work!


Cool MSN IM Thing

Hey, I don't know if anyone is interested in this, but if you use the MSN/Windows Instant Messenger, they have a program going on where you choose from a list of charities and they will donate money when you send messages. You can see information on the program at http://im.live.com/Messenger/IM/Home/.

To get started, just append your screen name with your choice of the following codes. A little symbol "I'M" will show up next to your name, indicating that you are participating in the program.

*red+u American Red Cross
*bgca Boys & Girls Clubs of America
*hsus Humane Society of the United States
*naf National AIDS Fund
*mssoc National MS Society
*9mil ninemillion.org
*sierra Sierra Club
*help StopGlobalWarming.org
*komen Susan G. Komen for the Cure
*unicef U.S. Fund for UNICEF

Baby Product Recall

I know that a TON of people have this, so I figured I'd make a post. The Baby Einstein Exersaucer has a recall on one of the parts. The soft blocks are a choking hazard, and you can get them replaced for free:


It's the simple things that make me really happy.

Time Flies

I can't believe that a year ago I didn't know Elliott. Our house was quiet and the nursery looked like it belonged in a model home. I could only imagine what the baby nestled under my heart would look like, or what sort of personality would emerge in him. Twelve months later the house looks like a toy store exploded in it. The big splurge, my beloved rocker, is a collection point for clean laundry, and the crib an expensive toy box, collecting dust since Elliott has never slept there.

In one short year, my baby is already becoming a little boy. It amazes me how quickly things change. He is well on his way to walking and talking, is so happy and loves to make people laugh. He is currently rooting through my purse, because he knows I always keep a baggy of Cheerios there. This little person is so incredibly smart, constantly shocking us with some little thing he does. He is so smart. He loves to sit on my sister's lap and "play" the piano, or sneak over to my computer and pretend to type. He can figure out a new toy in seconds, and usually outsmarts them, finding the triggers and doing away with the need to run a ball through.

I am so proud of Elliott, and that we are raising him in the best way we can. I made it to my first and only big goal - he never had a drop of formula. I am hoping that he will start to eat enough solids soon that I can drop my morning pumping session at home! The luxury of that extra fifteen minutes each day...

Happy birthday, Elmo!



Mike just talked to our landlord, and he said he isn't 100% sure that he is going to sell our house, and really hopes that he doesn't have to. Hopefully we will know more soon! He did promise to give us PLENTY of notice of an actual move-out date, if it does come to that, so that is good. Phew! I hope we don't have to move! I want to see the plum tree I planted in our yard bloom for the first time this Spring!

Thanks to all, and I will let you know if we do end up needing a new place to live!


We just found out that our landlord has to sell our house, so we have to find a new place. I don't know the details yet, if he will let us stay there while he tries to sell it, or if he is going to want us to move out so that he can do work on it or anything, but I want to start looking for a new place now, regardless. If he lets us stay, we will definitely have time (there are two houses on our block for sale, one of which has been up for quite a while - and they are both nicer than ours but in the same price range), BUT it will be sudden when we do have to move.

SOOO, I wanted to put out feelers, since we know people that live in lots of different neighborhoods. If you see something in your neighborhood that looks like a good deal, please please PLEASE let us know! Right now we have the best deal ever - $1200 for a 2 bed/1 bath house with a garage (storage only, with a washer/dryer) and a big back yard. Ideally, we would like to find something similar (though I'd certainly take something better!)

Anyway, we would really appreciate it if people kept their eyes out. We are pretty flexible on neighborhood. Thanks in advance!


To all of my pregnant friends.

I think it's only fair to warn you about this, as I was warned, and am now not freaking out about one of the dirty post-pregnancy secrets: the shed.

You know how during pregnancy you get the illusion that your hair is growing faster? Well, it's not, but you're holding onto it instead of shedding it out and therefore it appears that your hair is growing. It is getting thicker and the individual hairs get longer than they otherwise would before falling out. Well, a few months after you give birth, be prepared for all of those thousands of hairs to shed. It looks like a yeti has visited my shower every morning. If I hadn't been told about this in advance, I would seriously think I'd developed some sort of horrible disease and was going bald. ;)

/public service announcement
Apparently I am a victim of identity theft! Someone stole my social for employment over three years at three companies. I have to go file a police report, work with the credit reporting agencies, the Federal Trade Commission, etc., etc., etc. I am hoping that when I get my credit reports, this person hasn’t done anything beyond just the employment stuff. Apparently I “worked” for three construction companies in Sacramento.

Just a huge warning to find out what you can do to protect yourself against this stuff, and when you have kids, how to protect them. I am going to be getting Elliott’s credit reports regularly, just to be sure. The FTC website (http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft) should have information on how to protect yourself and your children.


Go to Wikipedia and look up your birth day (excluding the year). List three neat facts, two births and one death in your journal, including the year.

June 9 in history:

1934 - Donald Duck debuts in The Wise Little Hen
1973 - Secretariat wins the Triple Crown
1980 - Comedian Richard Pryor attempts to commit suicide by dousing himself in rum and setting it ablaze during a cocaine binge

1891, Cole Porter, American composer and lyricist
1915, Les Paul, influential American guitarist
1981, Natalie Portman (threw in an extra one, for Mike)

1870, Charles Dickens, English author


Meme, stolen from Caitlin...

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Elliott's Birth

Elliott Howard Brown
Born December 29, 2005, 9:28pm
8 lb, 1 oz, 19 inches

Birth story under the cut, because it turned out to be quite long, and also contains a detailed account of childbirth, which some people probably do not want to hear about. :)

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Dec. 16th, 2005

One of my coworkers and I were comparing ultrasound photos, and her husband noted that at 12 weeks my baby resembled Strongbad, from http://www.homestarrunner.com.

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Jumping on the Bandwagon Late

LJ Interests meme results

  1. being pampered:
    I don't think anyone would disagree that it's nice to be taken care of every once in a while.
  2. chicken vindaloo:
    The hotter the better. I like my lips to be tingling after I eat Indian food.
  3. disneyland:
    Disneyland has always been a place I love. I am really looking forward to taking Elliott there!
  4. funny people:
    I love to laugh, and I really appreciate people who are witty and clever.
  5. intelligence:
    I think this is the thing I value the most in people. I have very little patience for stupidity.
  6. mexican hot chocolate:
    Oh, what a wonderful thing... a bit of spice mixed with milk and chocolate. Again, I'm happy if it makies my lips tingle.
  7. my belly:
    I love being pregnant, and watching my belly grow. I could stare at it for hours, watching the baby jump around in there. It's so distracting!
  8. reading:
    I taught myself to read when I was 3 or 4 and never lost the love of it. Books are really important to me, and were the first thing I went out and bought for the baby. I read to him sometimes already, and can't wait to share my favorite childhood stories with him!
  9. thanksgiving:
    I think that half of my kitchen items revolve around preparing Thanksgiving dinner. I love to cook, and I am pretty darn good at it, and this is to me the ultimate cooking event. Sitting around the table with as many family and friends as we can fit in, eating good food... there's nothing better. I'm also a turkey fiend, and usually can be found after dinner eating the bits that don't make it to the table. Another great thing is the Day-After-Thanksgiving Sandwich (which I actually end up eating on Thanksgiving night, followed by me passing out on the couch in a massive food coma with my stomach in the air.)
  10. whole foods:
    A rare and special treat for us is heading out to Whole Foods to spend WAY too much money on a picnic dinner. All of their prepared foods are so good, and they sell the best prosciutto you can get around here, along with TONS of tasty cheeses. Thinking about why I love going there is making me hungry...

Enter your LJ user name, and 10 interests will be selected from your interest list.

The Comic-Con schedule is up and it looks like this year is going to be fun (it was supposed to be my last hurrah before we started trying to get me pregnant, but that was preempted by nature). At least the fact that I won't be sneaking off with everybody for cocktails during the day will be softened by the fact that I am SO excited about some of the panels and things. Friday I would never have probably gotten Mike to go to the Warner Bros. panel to see Harry Potter, except that Natalie Portman will be there promoting "V is for Vertigo". And Saturday starts with a Lost panel (if you haven't seen that show, I highly recommend it; it's been a long time since there was a show on tv that kept me in suspense like that) and ends with Jack Black (Tenacious D is doing a short performance.) And then my first non-alcoholic Brotherhood party, X-Sanguin 4 (www.freaksnightout.com). It will be interesting to observe all the antics this year, but it should also be fun. I just hope that when I'm not one of the drunken people I'm not just irritated with everyone else. :) At least we bought VIP tickets, so I'll have a comfortable, out-of-the-way place to chill.
Big news - Mike and I recently found out that I am pregnant, so we should be parents right around the new year! We weren't planning to start trying for another few months, but I guess there are some things you just can't plan. :)

X-Sanguin Tickets on Sale Thursday

Though most on my Friends list already know this, the first tickets for this summer's X-Sanguin are going on sale on Thursday. Only 200 tickets will be available through the website, and they are sure to go REALLY fast. There will also be a limited number of tickets available each day at our booth at the Comic Con.

For anyone that doesn't know what I'm talking about, X-Sanguin is the big vampire-themed party we throw each year on the Saturday night of Comic Con. This year, the party falls on July 16. It's always a TON of fun and you can't beat it for people-watching. The VIP area will be tightened up a bit to provide some privacy for any industry people that come in, and there will be strict rules about photography.

The official website:

Pictures from previous years:
2002: http://www.freaksnightout.com/MediaGallery/Skin2/MediaGallery.aspx?id=10&sort=Name&sortDir=ASC
2003: http://www.freaksnightout.com/MediaGallery/Skin2/MediaGallery.aspx?id=109&sort=Name&sortDir=ASC
2004: http://www.freaksnightout.com/MediaGallery/Skin2/MediaGallery.aspx?id=116&sort=Name&sortDir=ASC

Dec. 23rd, 2004

I am so excited about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and they finally put up a teaser trailer for it: http://www.apple.com/trailers/wb/charliechocolatefactory/.

I think a lot of people don't understand that it's not a remake of Willy Wonka, but its own adaptation of the book, and apparently stays more true to the original story, meaning it's a bit scary. I can't wait!
Despite the horrific crowds of people, Costco kicks ass. I just got back from the one in Carlsbad and they have some amazing gift sets and things in there right now. We chipped in to get our department assistant a gift basket and it ended up being only $35 for this incredible HUGE basket filled with the nicest set of things...everything you could imagine was in there. I want one for myself! The best thing we saw (and bought much of) was a vendor selling infused vodkas. They had plain bottles, but then they also had the coolest gift sets - all but one set were $25 and came with glasses (many in cool holders) and the booze. I got some cranberry and some orange, and they also had lemon grass/hot pepper, lemon, olive...tons of them. They even had one set that was infused tequila with margarita glasses. Great gifts.

Aug. 12th, 2004

Well, yay...they saved Christmas on the Prado (the international houses are underwriting all administrative costs and the president of the Chargers organization and the Union Tribune donated $50K each to save it.) I will never call it December Nights.

Also, I just found out that a new location of Extraordinary Desserts opened up in Little Italy, a few blocks from my sister's house. This one has table service, a wine bar, sandwiches, and things like bread (from Bread 'N Cie) and a selection of fine cheese, along with all their tasty ice creams and desserts. I am so excited.

Aug. 6th, 2004

I finally (almost) have finished with my wedding website, which is at http://www.mikeanderinbrown.com. I am sure there is still a ton wrong with it, but I'm sick of working on it right now and it can just be a little bit off.

Jul. 30th, 2004

I just got a news alert that they have canceled Christmas on the Prado this year! I am so sad about this. I have been going forever, and every year I really look forward to it. :(
Things are so hectic... we're trying to get as much done for the wedding as we can, so that I don't have to worry about it. Two months isn't as much time as I thought it was. Luckily, things are going pretty well, but it'll sure be nice when everything's ready and it's time. Invitations should go out tomorrow (yay) and we've gotten started in making decorations and things.

On Friday I head off to New York for a week for the American Psychiatric Association conference, and then straight from there to Boston for an advisory board meeting on a new drug. I'm already looking forward to being home from the trip. I'm hoping to have some time for fun stuff, but there's nothing like being at home with Mike and the kitties.

After the trip, it's all about the wedding. Time to get down to business!

I love this.

My mom sent me this in e-mail today, and I thought it was hilarious and wanted to pass it on:

On her radio show recently, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance

The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, penned by a US resident, which was posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as informative:

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that
Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Law and how to follow them.

1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2. The passage clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there
'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really
necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? - Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan,

James M. Kauffman, Ed.D.
Professor Emeritus
University of Virginia