16 December 2011

saying goodbye

i traded in my mini cooper tonight. after seven years together, it was the hardest good-bye i've had in a very long time.

i cried all the way home, and i've cried several times since getting home. i even think tears were freezing on my cheeks while i tried to walk away some of the grief with scarlet on the leash. it was hardly just a car...

we made cross country trips together - three times, my mini and me. we campaigned for obama together all over the country. not just in indiana or south dakota, but in every state we drove through. windows painted until the middle of 2010 when i moved to DC, obama stickers adorning the bumper and the dash. she was the perfect campaign car, in obama blue with black racing stripes.

my brother and i laughed while replacing her toggle labels with silly stickers so that "unlock" would read "ejector seat" and "window" read "periscope". we made a dozen trips to vegas, crossed the golden gate bridge, ventured down eldorado's gravel roads, and parked a few blocks from the white house. we stopped to photograph bears in yellowstone park, checked out the back side of mt. rushmore, dodged hail and tornadoes in kansas, crammed five giggling grown-ups in for a trek to knotts scary farm, climbed california's highest hills in silver lake and echo park. we moved from the casas del sycamore to the ancelle, and bounced for three years down descanso to the music box steps. then on to DC we marched in step. and in missouri tonight we parted ways.

tis a very sad night for me. it feels like the last piece of the life i used to have is now parked on a lonely volkswagen parking lot. and here i sit wailing at my computer over my first great sacrifice as a mom. when my new car gets here on tuesday, i've no doubt i will be the coolest thing ever seen driving a station wagon, but until then i think i will revel in the glory days we shared, and mourn the loss of my favoritest car ever and the era i left behind tonight.

she will never be just a car...


09 December 2011

the deficit delusion

the "out-of-control", "unsustainable", "certain doom" american deficit is but a joke. i'm so sick and tired of hearing about it, when nary a soul - not a single politician, and frankly, not a single american - wants to actually do a thing about it.

no one wants taxes to go up. no one wants social security cut. no one wants medicare cut. no one wants defense spending cut. so from where and how, pray tell, are we meant to raise the funds to cut the deficit?

wishful thinking in magic land, i guess. much like the rest of politics in this country...


30 November 2011

dreaming baby

i am 20 weeks and 2 days into my pregnancy. i am starting to feel her move around, my belly is getting really big, and as we inch nearer and nearer her arrival, it all gets more and more real.

as do the dreams... these last few nights, i've had long, crazy, wonderful dreams about my baby girl. it's so nice to see what she looks like, feel her in my arms, smell her luscious baby scent, and remember it all long after i've awakened to those super annoying night-time leg and hip cramps. my dreams are my favorite part so far, with the big belly in a close second.

only 19 weeks and 5 days to go...


29 November 2011

what and when happened?

i've been reading some random old blog posts, and discovered something most unusual. it seems that my tales, tone, terms, and syntax were much more flavorful when i lived in los angeles.

is it because i now suffer irreparably by this horrendously inhumane seasons thing? is it because i'm old and my life has become boring? or is it because i live in a time and place where adventures don't just fall into my lap as they once did? and is any of this fixable or is it my fate to be boring and old?


17 November 2011

truer words were never spoken

Gamble everything for love,
if you’re a true human being.
-- Rumi

15 November 2011

birthdays in the age of social media

today is my favorite day of the year, my birthday! it's my very own holiday that i don't have to share. it's a day in which the spotlight shines directly on me, and for each and every birthday i am consistently showered with tons of attention and affection. and i love it!

facebook makes today even better because i hear from soooooo many people from so many chapters of my life. i know it's easy. we all get a notification of who has a birthday today, so it's not like anyone actually had to remember that today is my birthday. but it doesn't take away from the fact that that little notification on the right side of the screen caused each and every one of the hundred plus people who have posted on my page today to take some pause, think about me and our lives' interaction(s), and devote some energy to helping make my day that much more special. and it truly has.

i feel so special and so loved, and that my life is so full of friendship and admiration, i am truly honored. today really is my very own holiday.


11 November 2011

sex and the country

the headlines this week are all abuzz with sex scandals. from the g.o.p. nomination stage to a revered college locker room, it's all about sex.

of course i'm starting with herman cain. here's a guy who deserves our collective kudos for his personification of the american dream. he grew up "poor but happy," and went on to make himself a millionaire. and now he's in a 3-way tie in earning the republican nomination to run for president obama's job next year. the guy is a rock star.

he is also a class-a douchebag.

while its c.e.o., the national restaurant association paid severance packages to two separate women who filed sexual harassment complaints against herman cain. and while i'm not privvy to the details, i do know that one of the women received a full year's salary as her payout. and folks, companies don't pay out that kinda hush money for no good reason. now that other accusers are coming out of the woodwork, are we really going to claim it's all in an attempt to dishonor the man?

thing about herman cain is that i actually believe him when he says he didn't do anything wrong. he doesn't believe there's anything wrong with hitting on a woman or making sexual advances, even when she clearly isn't interested. he doesn't realize what constitutes sexual harassment, and probably doesn't even believe there is such a thing. and in my book, that is a serious problem. especially for someone claiming to have the judgment to lead the free world.

and then we have assistant coach sandusky - whose locker room rapes of young boys has shocked and devastated most of the nation. when i say most, i mean everyone who isn't so blinded by their allegiance to penn state, that they actually realize this man, abetted by joe paterno and the president of the university, ripped the souls from innocent children who trusted in him and looked up to him as a hero. sandusky, acting as a patron saint to the disaffected youth, started a program for disadvantaged children: a program he used to hide his predatory pedophilia.

raping, molesting, and renting out young boys to other pedophiles (or so says the latest reports), coach sandusky was protected by penn state university. he was protected by coach paterno. he was protected by president graham spanier. he was protected the same way catholic priests were protected by their archdiocese and pope.

and today there are people protesting the firing of coach paterno. why? because he's a storied coach in a revered program? because we should all look the other way the same way he did while the lives of young children were being destroyed? i don't fucking think so. every single person who is out there in support of coach paterno, you are no better than him, and you are no better than the catholic heirarchy that protected molesting priests all those years. you are putting your fallen storied program ahead of all those children that paterno hurt by his silence. you should be as ashamed of yourselves as i am of all of you. pigs.

this is the problem with sex in america today. if you're rich enough, powerful enough, or storied enough, there are no rules. you get to do whatever you want to whoever you want and you get away with it. until someone finally comes along who's willing to step up and show the world what a fucking creep you are.

and yeah, you're a fucking creep herman cain. you might not be as much of a creep as the penn state penitentiary-bound, but you're still a fucking creep.

coach paterno, you're a fucking creep. coach sandusky, you're the biggest fucking creep of them all. and all of you who support these lawless ruffians, you're fucking creeps too.


31 October 2011

fall classic

dear st. louis - i am generally sorry for bringing blizzards, tornadoes, locusts, and an earthquake when i moved here. but you're totally welcome for the world series win!



18 October 2011

the big reveal

my secret is finally out - I'M HAVING A BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i've been dying to write about it for weeks. i mean, my life is changing in these indescribable ways. the things going through my mind. how utterly sick i've been. how completely disgusting it's all been (from the aches and pains in bizarre places, the gag reflex with a mind of its own, farting like a frat boy, and feeling like a fat pig). crying one minute, laughing the next. and how utterly terrifying.

i'm an old mom, so from the moment i walked into the doctor's office for my first pre-natal appointment, it's been all doom and gloom, "at your advanced maternal age..." and yes, they used those exact words, "advanced maternal age." the risks of every possible horrible thing that can go wrong multiplied into infinity. downs syndrome, cystic fibrisos, taye sachs (and there was a terrible article about living with and loving a baby dying from taye sachs in the weekend new york times). genetic this, genetic that.

so i opted for the invasive first trimester procedure whereby chunks of my placenta were painfully extracted so as to take a snapshot of my baby's genetic make-up. we were looking for any genetic abnormalities that could get in the way of my baby having a healthy, normal life. turns out all the worry was for naught as i'm having a healthy, perfect, baby girl, due in the middle of april.

but for all the weeks between finding out i was pregnant (the day before my honeymoon) and getting those results, i was terrified, stressed, a complete ball of nerves. my entry several days back about how lonely i've been feeling was probably just a reaction to the angst that was consuming my every thought and my every breath. imagine falling in love with this little bundle of cells, growing fast and furious deep inside your own body, hoping, praying, begging whatever god listening that everything's going to be okay, that that bundle of cells is growing into a perfect little baby, all whilst knowing that everything is completely out of your hands. add into the mix that you're a control freak of epic proportion. and boom. you have what i've been feeling for the past nine weeks. all the makings of insanity.

until last friday morning when i got the call that she's perfect... for the first time in months, i could breathe.

now that the "morning" sickness is gone, the stress has dissipated, and i'm feeling confident about an easy road for the next few months, everything feels normal again. in my life, in my marriage, at work, i feel like a productive, happy, _sane_ person.

i've no doubt that my three months of insanity won't be my last. i am, after all, becoming a parent. and if i'm a parent to a child anything like me, insanity is only just beginning... or so i can hope.


07 October 2011

stuck outside

just because i haven't been here doesn't mean i haven't had lots to say. there's lots on my mind, lots going on in the world, and i have things to say. but i also have a big secret i'm not yet at liberty to share, so i've been biting my fingers...

but there's this one thing i grapple with that's becoming too overwhelming to just let be. i moved to st. louis for a boy. i've now been here for three quarters of a year, and i still have no friends. i have a few folks i meet regularly for lunch, drinks, or dinner, but i have no one of the "bare your soul, and still love and be loved" sort.

i've tried to get involved in a couple of organizations that mean something to me (other than the one i'm starting), but i can't seem to penetrate the parameter. i mean, sure, they'll take the money i raise, they'll take another body attending events (bodies if i bring others), but i can't get to a place of any depth where i'm adding the meaningful all of you know i have to bring.

even at work, i'm in-between factions, having grown in years and seniority beyond those i advocate for and yet still feeling too junior to find peers in those i advocate to. and work, by the way, is the only happy place in my life right now, the only place i have a place, the only place i feel valued, the only place that asks my advice, respects my opinions, and gives me any love. work. how fucking pathetic is that?

in my personal space, i'm all alone. the only "person" in my life that ever seems happy to see me, seems to care one whit about my wants and feelings, and shows me any consistent love and affection is my dog. i thank my lucky stars for her every single day, because she's who licks away the tears i cry to fall asleep at night, and who shows me that someone loves me and wants and needs me. thing is, i had her before when i was all alone, and didn't need her to lick away any tears. because in those days i was alone by choice and when i occasionally felt lonely, it was okay, just something i accepted as part of my life. but i don't feel that way anymore, in large part because i gave up my life, my ambitions, and my dreams to have a different kind of life with a different kind of person. and now i feel lonelier than ever, more regretful of the decision i made, more angst about having chosen so poorly.

i had grand plans that cost me someone i loved. funny thing is that paris guy dumped me because he didn't want to be responsible for me feeling exactly the way i feel today. but it was only in losing him that i realized i want, no i need, more meaning in my life, and that time just isn't on my side anymore. i know i want to share my life with a great love and be a mom. so i did what i had to do and i gave up the grand plans for someone i loved, and here i am with sad and lonely days brightened only by a snorkie's cold nose and sloppy kisses.


08 August 2011

"how's married life"

i've been married for a wee over a week, yet people keep asking me, "how's married life?"

it's a joke, right?


03 August 2011

loathing compromise

reasonableness in the american debate is clearly on hiatus. i can't even wrap my mind around how it is that people seem so tied to ideology that the real world bears no consideration. no matter the subject. every issue, every decision, every attempt at action is blocked by a mad mob and fought with the blood of vengeance. and these are the fucking morons running our country, so consumed with, by, and for political gain, they've brought plague to our land.

and i know you think i'm talking about those dipshitty teabaggers, but it's not just on the right. i see that shit on the left too. people who post to facebook, "obama called today to ask for money, but i don't support republicans". so, let me get this straight: that self-proclaimed liberal would rather risk the chance that the likes of michele bachmann, or any of the other looney tunesy GOP presidential candidates, become serious contenders. wtf!? the most ironic thing about "obama the republican" is that the fringe (and some of the not-so-fringe) on the right call the same president a socialist.

so he's a republican to one party and a socialist to the other. huh. how is either extreme any less out of touch with reality?

don't we all live in a world where compromise is a part of life? in my own life, for instance, i want to wear jeans and t-shirts to work every day. but i also want the perks and pay of corporate america. so i compromise to their dress code. sometimes i watch dumb shows i don't want to watch so my husband (heh, i said husband) will watch my dumb shows with me. every day i go out into the world requires a number of compromises because common courtesy, success, and society demands decorum, and i'm not by nature the prim and proper type. if such is life, how did compromise become such an anathema in the american political debate?

the liberals are pissed that the president even brought up cuts to medicare and social security. why? their social security and medicare benefits are locked in. i don't understand how a bunch of grasshoppers are fighting over a benefit that's mine. social security and medicare as they exist today will never survive in tact for me. so why don't you grasshoppers sit your old asses (and yeah, i'm talking to you harry reid) down and let _us_ decide how to restructure social security and medicare, and while we're at it, we'll go ahead and figure out how we are going to prosper in this world you no longer recognize or understand. i've no doubt we'll fuck up a bit along the way, but i don't see how we could come anywhere near the calamity that's befallen us since y'all took over.

and the tea-baggers, well, they are morons. they are so tied to their "no new taxes" credo that it seems to warp their ability to comprehend that paying taxes is part of the greatest compromise of all - society. even considering letting america default on its obligations (obligations that very body of government incurred legally) is reckless and juvenile. to me, it shows a shocking disregard for our (see the future) fates in america. i have never been more ashamed of our government or felt so deserving of the world's laughing stock.

we are failing to address what ails this country. we can't develop a meaningful strategy because we aren't paying attention to history and facts. we aren't adapting to living in a different kind of world. we aren't having a serious debate. we aren't paying attention to each other. we are letting the fringes cause a ruckus and write the public narrative, to the detriment of america. to the detriment of our country, our future, our prosperity and the magic that makes us the envy of the world.


"our society is run by insane people for insane objectives.... i think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends ... and i think i’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. that’s what’s insane about it."
John Lennon, Interview BBC-TV (June 22, 1968)

27 July 2011

the home stretch

i'm getting married in three days. it's not my first marriage (though it is my last), but it is my first big shabang wedding (i eloped last time, in a far away land, with very few friends and family willing to make the journey - fine by me!), and it is _the_ most stressful party i've ever planned. and i've planned a shit-ton of parties.

i've spent a huge chunk of my career planning giant parties: those with the backing of the corporate sort and for the corporate sort, those requiring fundraising endeavors (see begging for money) to feed and imbibe the hundreds of attendees, those with themes, those with costumes, those with a murder to solve, and those with a tad mix of all of the above. but none, not a single effing one of them, as stressful to coordinate or as difficult to execute as the grand shabang i'm pulling off this saturday.

the details are infinite and minute, the expense boggles the mind, and the amount of booze makes me as giddy as it does nervous. i've been dealing with a dozen vendors for a dozen plus different services. from venue providers and party rentals, to dresses, tuxes, rings, and jewelry. from hair and make-up to invitations, thank you notes, programs, guest gifts, registries, and a limo. photographers, cake-makers, caterers... all of which have to be confirmed in these final hours.

on top of all that, i'm juggling bridesmaids (including those who quit mid-game and those who stepped into that vacant space), out of town guests, family members from far and near, and my fiance (whose outward stress outweighs mine by 10).

one of the craziest things about it all, and something i'm almost afraid to admit, is that i'm thriving in the midst of all this madness. i'm calmer than i am on a typical day, despite all of these details, the butterflies that've taken up residence in the pit of my belly, and that my non-profit kicks off tonight with a soiree of its own. everyone at work keeps commenting how great i look, how calm i seem, how crazy it is that i'm even at the office, all whilst i find being this overwhelmed almost refreshing.

maybe i really am as crazy as you always thought...


15 July 2011

favorites intertwined

in honor of bastille day (yesterday), one of my favoritest authors, david mccullough (author of my beloved truman) wrote an op-ed in the ny times, reminding americans of the wonderful historical ties that bind us to my favorite of all cities... paris.

so many favorites in one little article.


11 July 2011

a naysayer says

i've been watching the current discourse with a disaffected interest. for the first time i can remember, i do not believe that our politicians have america's best interests at heart.

i've long been a defender of public servants on both sides of the aisle - in perhaps this one regard only - in my sincere belief that we all love america, we simply disagree on the government's role in things. however, as i peer into the cesspool inside the beltway, listen to the budget busting bullshit being spewed not just by current office-holders but also by those seeking offfice, i am utterly aghast.

how anyone on the planet who knows jack shit about debt, defaults, volatile stock markets, and _very_fragile_economic_recoveries_ can even consider not raising our debt ceiling is beyond my apparent meager comprehension skills.

does it really take a degree in rocket science or advanced economics to understand what will likley happen if we default on our debt? let's see. first, our credit rating takes a nose dive which will double the interest we're paying on the debt we legally incurred and are morally bound to repay. secondly, our stock market will take a giant shit; anyone wanna take a guess as to how much? 600 points? 700? if our federal government can no longer borrow money (and folks, how many fucking times do i need to remind that our economy is based almost entirely on spending and if consumers can't spend, the government _must_ spend or the economy jumps off a cliff), our economy is doomed.

and what happens if our economy completely falters? municipalities around the country will go bankrupt, constituents all over america will follow suit, there will be absolutely no money to build or repair infrastructure, hospitals will have to start turning away medicare and medicaid patients cuz there won't be any money to pay those bills, social security payments will cease, every old person in america will have to move in with their kids or into a homeless shelter, and america will be full of destitute, homeless, hungry people living in a country with broken roads to empty houses. america. will. die.

so tell me, are all those sycophants and all the teabaggers that brought them to power really looking out for america's best interests? (and yes, i blame this almost entirely on the GOP for (a) getting us into this mess in the first place, (b) successfully blaming it on the democrats who are too big of pussies to adequately defend themselves, (c) refusing to acknowledge what everyone else in the entire world already knows - that we cannot get out of this debt crisis without raising revenue, and (d) its absurd contempt for compromise). i think not.

not unless they genuinely believe that the best thing for america is a modern day sacking.


16 June 2011

a lesson in etiquette

R.S.V.P. = respondez s'il vous plait, french for "reply please".

it doesn't mean do nothing. it doesn't mean you don't need to respond if you aren't going. it means FUCKING RESPOND!

for folks (like me at the moment) in the throes of planning an event, things like headcount are important. we need to know how much booze to have on hand, our caterers need to know how much food to bring, and we need to know how many cupcakes to have on the fucking dessert tray. and if there's one thing we don't need, it's to have to call your lazy, inconsiderate ass to see if you're coming or not, cuz it's not like we don't already have enough going on.

this has been a big beef for me for a really long time, refreshed anew because my cousin is getting married next weekend, and had to call several members of his own family last week in order to get a final head count to his caterer.

and i realized that in 45 days i too will be getting married, and have no doubt that a few days before i owe my final headcount to my caterer, i will be calling many of the same people to ask the same damn question. thing is, my call will come with a lecture on etiquette, and i'll be a royal bitch about it too.


15 June 2011

multi-city workings

i think having a grown up job in my field must mean that i'm meant to have more than one office under my purview. which is fine. i'm not one to complain about being a regular visitor to another town - even if town #2 is chicago.

zip lives in chicago so i've long been a frequenter, and for those of you who frequent my ramblings you probably know i'm not chicago's biggest fan (and i really really hate the cubs). no lie, chicago's a super fun town. i don't recall ever having a bad time (or even a bad experience) there. there's typically lots of drinking, eating shit i wouldn't dream of looking at calorie and fat count, and a general hop about town.

but there's something about chicago i don't like. it's dark and dreary in a way. it's almost always cold - even in the summer (save the two days last week that it was over 90, before dropping 40 degrees for my last few days), and it just seems sad. rumbling along the el, i watched the cityscape around me. buildings looking old and decrepit as far as the eye could see, dark in color, and stained even further by a century's worth of soot, seemingly slumping atop blocks and blocks of downtrodden urbania. taxi'ing along lakeshore on one of those two hot days, the beaches were packed (like nothing i've ever seen) with swimmers, sunbathers, and hundreds of volleyball players - all basking in the summery day that would fade into a dreary oblivion within hours. you've gotta give a hand to chicagoans for not letting the rare beautiful day go to waste.

that's the thing about chicagoans. thought not a smiling bunch, they seem to keep their spirits above whatever deathly vibe lingers in the air of their city. they know how to party. they know how to enjoy a beautiful day like no one else does. and they know how to be okay with the gut they've gradually grown since college ended (but the lifestyle didn't). and apparently their p.i.t.a. airport.

i really fucking hate the airport. a montrosity bigger than my hometown, o'hare international airport is a shitshow of epic proportion. the lines are ridiculous (and i get the frequent flyer line), the length of the terminals is indescribable, and the amount of people (even on a saturday morning at 9am) is unbelievable. and don't even get me started on the predictability of delays... makes me miss my old LAX to SFO commute.

'cept that now i've got a lot more zip, which outweighs every single one of chicago's negatives. and who knows, maybe i'll someday find something romantic, or at least intriguing, about the uninviting windy city...


01 June 2011

how much is too much?

it happens sometimes. a high-speed-come-apart. i've probably spent the better part of the last year gearing up for this meltdown. i mean, let's recap.

in the past year, i have lived in three timezones, on two coasts, and in between two rivers in the middle of the country. my heart was shattered, i adopted my baby scarlet, i left my music box steps for an abode inside the beltway, and fell in love en route. after a six month relationship, i got engaged, got fired, moved to st. louis, and started a new job. and now, i'm less than two months shy of a wedding i never wanted in the first place (i'm a barefoot on the beach sans an audience kinda bride), and that's the straw that's breaking my back.

and it's not just all that. i mean, that's a fucking lot, but it's more that i live in this new city (and don't get me wrong, i love st. louis, a lot) where i don't have any tier-one friends around the corner, and i guess i just feel lonely. and maybe that's where i'm meant to be as i march toward this next phase in my life. maybe this is the right time for inner reflection and identity struggle. and it's hard. i'm sad sometimes, mad sometimes, bored sometimes. and i find myself longing (desperately sometimes) for the life i so desperately sought to abandon just a short year ago.

i find myself longing for my life on the music box steps, missing my flat, my deck, my view from schneider's door. i miss the ghetto birds overhead, that stretch of sunset boulevard below, pho cafe, ghetto sushi, brunch at dusty's, and naeun, edith, and colleen. i miss the scent of jasmine from everywhere and nowhere. i miss the park at the bottom of the steps and the rickety wooden stairs at the top. i miss 4100 and my favorite bartender, superman. i miss feeling like nothing mattered and that life was a fair breeze blowing at my whim. i miss not wanting more, not spending my days preparing for all the complicated life is becoming.

and as much as i miss all that simplicity, i also remember that i left because it didn't fit anymore. i remember that i wanted all the complicated my life is becoming. and i still do. i just wish it wasn't so hard, that it didn't hurt so much, that it wasn't so lonely. and i wish i would have known that this in-between stage would be so uncomfortable, because maybe then i wouldn't be so mad, so sad, and so often so out of sorts...


27 May 2011

the g.o.p. mine field

dear sarah palin -

please, please, please run for president.


09 May 2011

the sweet sweet taste of revenge

over the course of the past week or so, i've read articles and op-eds, witnessed posts on facebooks, and listened to the words of angst - from even dear friends - that some inner turbulance, something deeply troubling, keeps them from celebrating the death of bin laden. i've even felt judged by them, as though some moral superiority separates their reservations from my profligate thirst for blood. so for all of you seraphs standing on your celestial high ground, i've one question for you...

where the fuck were you on the september 11, 2001, when i woke up to the vision of planes crashing into the world trade center? when my heart shattered into a thousand bloody shards as every sense of safety, security, and innocent faith in my country were ripped from my bruised and battered soul? when a sadness i can't even begin to articulate settled into my life, where it remains today and everyday for the rest of my life?

i lost something that day i will never have back. a certain kind of innocence, a blind faith in the invincibility of my america. a belief that our freedom, so wondrous in its immeasurability and universality, was the road to the world's salvation. 'twas a beautiful naivety. so pure, and knowing how purely irrecoverable, i saved the newspaper printed in the wee hours of september 11, 2001, before it happened, so's to hang onto some memory of what life was like before tragedy struck our shores.

but it wasn't just that tragedy struck our shores. it's that someone so evil, someone so consumed by his own egotistical need to blame someone else for that which ailed him, that he lashed out at us, stripping the innocence of an entire people, whilst ripping the souls from more than 3,000 of my american brethren. and in celebratory retaliation for what? because my country has an army base in the land of his birth (a land that didn't even want his ass)? because his part of the world has so long been mired in unrelenting sectarian bickering that it's torn its borders and its people since the beginning of time? and how is that my fault? and how is attacking me and my country going to solve anything?

thing is, it's not. it never was. it's always been just an act of evil committed out of rage, out of impotence. osama bin laden couldn't do anything for his own people, so he took it out on us. and i fucking hate him for that. and i will never stop hating him for that. nor will i ever stop celebrating that america looked him right in the eye before blowing the fucker out of its socket. and i will never be sorry for relishing his death by my country's hand.

never. ever.


peace out farm subsidies

i am and have always been opposed to federal subsidies to america's farmers. it's not that i dislike farmers or dislike food, it's that i am enraged by the effects of these subsidies on a variety of other government programs, and their resulting financial and health-related burdens.

let's start with corn. the u.s. government subsidizes about 50% of the corn produced in america, at a cost of about $10 billion per year (much of which is subsidizing ethanol, which in and of itself is a stupid and wasteful attempt to ween ourselves off of oil). of that amount, between $1.5-$3 billion per year is for full-stop corn. and what is it that we do with all that corn?

we make popcorn. we have corn on the cob, creamed corn, and corn mash. and we have high fructose corn syrup, also known as the fattening poison used to make soda, potato chips, unhealthy juices, and other high calorie, zero value foods that are priced so cheaply that they present themselves as the best options to those least able to afford to eat healthy. and why is this a problem?

because the consumption of that shit has resulted in societal obesity, an increase in type-2 diabetes, and an across-the-board increase in medical costs - much of which falls back on federal and state governments who are subsidizing medical care if not full-stop paying the medical bills via medicaid (i mean, it's a bigger problem with the poor, who are the ones benefitting from the low cost of junk food). which also means that i'm paying for it, not just with my tax dollars, but with higher insurance premiums and co-pays, and costlier services for my own health care.

which is, in a word (or three), complete fucking bullshit!

more simply put, costly government farm subsidies = even more costly government health costs = higher taxes and higher healthcare costs for you and me.

there are many other associated costs of these subsidies, ranging from trade barriers to encouraging inefficiencies in farming, to the destruction of fertile farmlands (these big ass farms destroy the lands with chemicals and overuse), and the devastation of small farmers (here and around the world) to the benefit of the corporate big-money farms. in the end, we lose, our government loses, poor countries lose, our health loses, and the market loses.

so let's take away the subsidies, put $10 billion per year back in the government coffers, and let the market right-size the value of america's farms and the fruits of its labors.


02 May 2011

01 May 2011

ding dong...

...the douche is dead! i've never felt so much joy over someone's death. but osama bin laden is one mother fucker who deserves our celebrating his demise.

the end.


p.s. i seriously need to stop watching the commentary and go to bed so i can start my new job tomorrow after a good night's rest.

the question of immigration

i am pretty sure i've written about the dream act before, and about the fierce rhetoric against immigration and immigrants in particularly, but the whole thing still makes no sense to me. unless it's racism. and maybe it is?

statistics show that immigrants are an economic boon in and of themselves. immigrants create mini economies within their communities, with its consumers' demands for clothing, food, transportation, and entertainment. most immigrants work hard, pay taxes, and absorb fewer government resources than their american-born neighbors. and most are all about family, instilling values that mirror the american dream: that if they work hard, they will be rewarded with a better life than their parents lived, and leave for their children a life even better.

there's no denying that there are problems with crime, truancy, and drugs within immigrant communities, but probably no more so than within the communities of the american born. i mean, i live in missouri, the methamphetamine capital of the country, and i'll bet that there aren't a whole lot of immigrants here - relatively speaking i mean. but unlike natural born american criminals, immigrants as a whole are criminalized for the acts of their few. is it that they are an easy target for our need to blame someone else for our woes as a country?

thing is, america _is_ a nation of immigrants. folks of all color, religion, and background have been building this country since its very first days, and will be what makes or breaks america's standing as the world's 'it' place. so why do we hate them so? why do we rally against those who are here and try with all our might to keep out those others who want to be here? what else but not wanting more people who aren't like us infiltrating our borders?


22 April 2011

an ode to the lou

i've now been in st. louis for three months, observing, learning, getting the lay of the land, tasting the tids, drinking the suds, meeting the people, getting a job, and poking around into the political scene.

fer starters, folks'll tell you that everyone here is from here, that when people ask where you went to school, they mean high school. but so far my only friends (outside of my new family) are fellow transplants. and they all love it here. and i mean _LOVE_ it here.

and honestly, what's not to love? i mean, don't get me wrong, when i first learned that i would be uprooting my city life to settle into the burbs, i probably cried for a week. that it's the burbs of st. louis added another three weeks to the water works. and it wasn't until i helped pick her jaw off the ground, when she came to see for herself, that zip finally stopped asking, "are you sure you want to live in the suburbs?" the idea of the burbs is way worse than the actual place. i live in a mini-mansion with a yard and a pool, there's killer vietnamese food one suburb over, and as of the first week of may, i'll get the saving grace of a day job with views of both the arch and busch stadium (yeehaw for some city!).

politically, it's a real interesting place. there's old dems and old everything. obviously, the bulk of my network leans left, as do the bulks of theirs. but there's no real organization to it. from what i've been able to gather (without first hand witnessing the all too familiar phenomenon), the old dems rule with the same old iron fist as old dem clubs in other cities. change is real hard, especially for folks who've lived the exact same life every single day since birth.

and there is a lot of that in st. louis. people care where i went to high school because it's all they know. it's the simplest way of putting me into a category that makes sense. my story is that i skipped high school and went straight to college (it doesn't suck that people then assume i'm four years younger than i am), because the truth would mean i'm a hoosier (cuz that's what they call rednecks here). far more than the other places i've lived (as an adult), people here are pretty simple, with fairly simple dreams, vacations, and careers. and while it will never describe me, my dreams, vacations or career, i do not mean simple in a bad way - not for them.

there is something in the value system of the midwest that i missed terribly whilst gallivanting about the coasts. people here are genuine to their core, and they are all about accepting responsibility. i'm not suggesting that everyone here fits that description, as there are as many outliers here as anywhere, but that's what's in the genetic make-up of values here. and i like that. it's a much better fit for me than the la-tee-da-de-doo bullshit on the left coast and the me-me-me crap on the other.

being an outsider here is one of the most interesting social experiments of my life. in large part it's because i'm grateful i'm an outsider. i will never belong to this place (or really any place) and i will never be "simple," but i do love it here, i am quite pleased every time i'm pleasantly surprised by its food, people, and super fun times. and no lie, there's no place i'd rather have a family. it'll also make it easier to infiltrate the political scene - to the depth i'm willing to delve.

i'm starting a leadership development institute here. the new leaders council is a national organization, currently operating in 15 cities, committed to fostering emerging, progressive political entrepreneurs - influential leaders with a vision of a better world and a way to take us there. right now, i'm networking to build a board of advisors, and to raise awareness of who we are and what we're trying to accomplish, and eventually will set about recruiting these young ballers and turning them into leaders before setting them back out into the world. how is it the newbie on the scene thinks such can be accomplished?

on the one hand, it's hard trying to do something like this in a city where i've few friends and even fewer political connections. but on the other hand, it'll be brilliantly easy. because i've no preconceived notion of old-school st. louis politics. i've nary a favor owed to or by me. i don't have a dog in any of the fights playing out. i seek only an opportunity to start organizing a progressive movement that's segregated most simply by geography and an absence of a unifying force. and for all who know me, you all know just how unifying my force.

so here i am, in this land of nutty weather, dodging tornadoes, and building a community. the way i see it, st. louis and i are lucky to have each other. st. louis is a wonderful, laid back, genuinely warm (not meant in the temperate sense) place, the perfect place for me to be for this phase of my life. and for a small pond, it's got more political potential than i ever imagined, potential st. louis is lucky that i plan to see realized...


11 April 2011

it always gets better

so, i saw kay bailey hutchinson's, "the debt ceiling is going to be armageddon," comment today, and i immediately felt a wee wretch. and then i looked at the greater dialogue going on today (and really every day), and found that i'm more bothered than usual that the republican party (in particularly) insists on motivating americans with fear. even hutchinson's comment (i'm thinking that you might be thinking it's a stretch to use that example), using the word armageddon -in a country as obsessed with jesus as this one is - will take the loony rhetoric up a notch. it's kind of ironic that the ones who define "american exceptionalism" exclusive of humility, that america can do no wrong, that the ends are always worth the means, even if that means we compromise our values, are the same ones always running from doomsday.

despite the very fact that america's existence at all is a fucking miracle.

go back and read about the revolutionary war. the first government had no money to pay troops, thousands of troops had no shoes, thousands threw down their arms, many others carried sticks and stones because even if there were enough weapons, there was just as often no ammunition for it. america was getting its ass kicked by the redcoats, who were helped every step of the way by traitorous "loyalists" (funny how "traitor" is in the eyes of the beholder). the tide of the war turned in america's favor one christmas night the weather changed direction, by the sleight hand of fate. do you have any idea how impossible that is, how unbelievable, how miraculous that america won that war? and once the war did end, and a government put into place (and make no mistake, that government was as viciously divided as the one today), america still had no money. until the french started dumping bucketloads of cash into our early coffers. and put this country so deeply into debt, there was doubt america could survive. but we got it together and paid that shit off in full.

and that wasn't the only time america's been in a really tough spot. look back even nearer in time, to the great depression. banks failed, markets crashed, and a drought came along just in time to add insult to injury by ruining thousands of much-needed staples. america was on the brink of complete catastrophe. unemployment was at 25%.

think about how much 9% unemployment hurts, and think about 25% of working americans unable to find a job. think about what that loss of revenue (for individuals and a government dependent upon the employed) did for the economy. no one had money to spend, people were reluctant to borrow, and inflation soared. and for an economy reliant upon consumption, the devastating effects were felt in every sector, much like they are in our consumption driven economy today.

thing is, if consumers aren't spending, the government has to spend. otherwise the economy completely collapses, and we all go back to the bread and cheese lines of the depression, the rations in gas, medicine, and utilities, and the hoovervilles for america's homeless. when FDR was elected president, he started spending a shit-ton of money america didn't have, putting us deeper and deeper into debt as he put millions of americans back to work building bridges, dams, and eventually war chest tools.

yep, another miracle to save america. world war ii demanded an industry, and damn quick, no other country could've pulled off. on the brink of catastrophic collapse, a war on the other side of the world saved this country's economy. and saved it so good, america was able to help rebuild europe from the ashes of its great war. i mean, we paid for the world to pick itself up, dust itself off, and get back to kicking ass. because that's what we do.

because we're america. we're dreamers. that's who we are to the world (the ones whose judgments aren't tainted by hatred and the need to blame someone else) and to history. we make big things happen because we believe we can. and yeah, things are tough right now. really, really tough. and it's scary looking forward to a black hole of debt in our future, and all the obstacles standing in the way of fixing anything (healthcare, ahem). but it's been way worse for america. way worse than it is today.

today, we've been saved. it's been the good decision made by our president to spend money we don't have that's kept unemployment below 25%, that's kept unemployment insurance paying out, that's kept us from having to build obamavilles and ration our commodities. obama has even kept taxes low, and made them even lower for some, with money america doesn't have. because he's a believer, he sees our future, and he's investing there to keep america from falling off a precipice that lands directly into an even greater depression, and trying to invest smartly (education, building a green economy, and reinvesting in science and infrastructure) by looking forward to the world of tomorrow.

i get it. the president gets it. we all get it. we are in a deep-as-shit hole right now with our debt. but it doesn't change the fact that america has to spend its way out of this very fragile economy, even if it means taking on more debt. thing is, i believe america's next miracle is waiting around the next bend. i just hope our president is able to lead both sides of our government and its constituents to find some small reason to believe too...


18 March 2011

libya's new day

for the record, the liberal interventionist in me is always on the side of proffering humanitarian aid, and i am just as eager to intervene militarily when the decision's made multilaterally.

today, the UN, with support from some arab nations, made official a no-fly zone over libya, an announcement that was greeted with jubilation in libyan opposition stronghold bhenzagi. non-negotiable demands that qaddafi back off its people, restore water, electricity and gas, and stop with the genocide followed suit.

in order to keep libyan aircrafts out of its skies, british and french troops will first have to destroy qaddafi's air fleet, wipe out its runways, and only then will UN enforcement planes start monitoring libyan airspace (otherwise, qadaffi - who has already proven himself adept at doing so (see the lockerbie bombing and UTA flight 772), will shoot down UN planes).

and if that doesn't work, i guess we'll all get to see just how far libya's deranged leader is willing to go to remain true to his claim that he will "stay in libya till i die".


17 March 2011

libya, budgets, and hypocrisy

not that anyone really needs a recap, but for the sake of some context, here some is. libyan rebel forces, inspired by the wave of revolutions across the middle east and the successful overthrows of autocrats to its east and west, have been fighting libya's dictator, colonel mohammar qaddafi, since about mid-february of this year. since the beginning of these protests, qaddafi's response has grown more and more menacing, resorting to air strikes and the bombing of his people. hundreds of libyans have been slaughtered, and each passing day brings qaddafi closer and closer to quelling the unrest.

stateside, republicans and democrats in congress are battling it out over how to balance our budget. completely ignoring (for political gain) the fact that the vast majority of america's imbalance is in the two sacred areas of defense spending and entitlements (a la social security and medicare), the battle is over which parks lose funding or which childcare program gets the hose. it's a typical run-around that goes nowhere and gets nowhere. and here americans sit, subjected to the doomsday scenarios presented by our friends at fox news and the snark coming from the lefties.

and libya. here in the u.s. of a wages a battle over how to help those poor embattled rebels in libya, fighting for their own chance at democracy. and don't get me wrong, i am sympathetic. i am sorry that qaddafi is a ruthless bastard and fights his weaponless people with air strikes and sophisticated weaponry. but - and hear me loud and clear - it is not the responsibility of america to solve that crisis. not on its own anyway.

i don't mean to sound like an isolationist either, as i am most certainly in favor of lending a hand when and where we can. but this country has already lost its credibility in the middle east, and established a reputation as an oil addicted bully willing to go to any length to imperialize the world's oil-rich lands. president obama has been right to wait out the current unrest, to allow the people of the middle east to fight for and bleed for their own democracy (as in, holy shit, someone in america actually did learn that american-style democracy cannot be thrust upon the likes of iraq and afghanistan), and to wait for a signal from the UN or the arab league of nations that it's time to take action against qaddafi.

a signal that's not yet come. by rule of international law (rules americans expect and even demand be followed by the global community), we cannot unilaterally invade a country or assist rebels against its government without UN backing. and whilst one could certainly argue (and successfully, i might add) that america has a history of only following the rules when its in our advantage to do so, i'd like to think those days are gone (or at least on hiatus whilst under the leadership of president obama), and that we are attempting to reside within the confines of our global community instead of being the neighborhood bully.

the thing i don't get in all of this though is that the same people with the doomsday predictions over our budget woes, those campaigning the end of days for america and its coming indentured servitude to its creditors, are the same pushing for an invasion of libya (or a more muted offer of assistance to the rebels). i mean, we can't afford to offer family planning to america's poor and middle class women or funding public radio to rural areas, but we can afford another unliateral and unlimited entanglement in a hostile middle east environment? no. we can't.


p.s. happy st. patrick's day!

09 March 2011

wasting time

i have so much free time right now. i mean, i have stuff to do, and do stuff, but i also have an incredible amount of free time. free time i use watching some television and reading a lot. free time i'm using to build a network and start a st. louis chapter of the new leaders council (and if you have friends or contacts in st louis that might be interested in helping, please put us in touch). but i've still got lots of time and don't understand why am i not writing more?

i am totally up to date on current affairs, and certainly have opinions about the budget, subsidies of all sorts, what's going on in wisconsin and in libya. but i've really nothing to say about them. i have a novel i've half written that needs a lot of work before it'll near completion, and i've a list of things i want to write about, as well as a book of unusual ideas to spark up my muse and twist me around outside my comfort zone. but i've nothing to write.

there's a part of me that feels guilty that i'm wasting so much writing time, another part that reminds me to enjoy it all while i can, and another part that just asks, 'wtf'.


28 February 2011

natural disasters

last night was my second tornado scare since my return to the midwest (the first was a novelty as i was but a visitor in my then-boyfriend's new house), and lemme just tell you about tornado scares.

they start with a flashing color-coded weather map in the bottom left corner of whatever's on the television. last night's codes were: pink for severe thunderstorms (my fave!), green for tornado watch, and red for tornado warning (the latter means a tornado has been spotted in the red zone). last night, my town was in red.

and then the blaring sirens that go on and on and on until the tornado knocks its ass over or moves along to the next green gone red zone.

and last night whilst my fiance fell soundly asleep to the oh-so-soothing sound of that siren, i texted his brother to find out if we should spend the night in the basement. his nonchalant, "eh, just wait it out" response did nothing to ease my terror. so there i laid, sweating, terrified, and longing for the foregone days of life along the ole san andreas fault.

cuz even though earthquakes can be big, scary, damaging, and deadly, they come without a warning. and i've just learned that the element of surprise is a way better natural disaster than lying in wait for its imminent attack.


18 February 2011

wedding woes

planning a wedding isn't fun. unlike other parties i've planned (and i've planned and executed many successful parties), this one isn't really a party. it's more of an over-priced, over-trumped, challenge to meet a dozen competing expectations. what the eff is fun about that?

my fiance and i have now looked at two possible venues for our upcoming nuptials. the first was okay. it is very conveniently located and it looks like it'd be a real nice, small-ish, outdoorsy spot (we had to use our imagination as it was covered in the remains of a blizzard). and there's a carousel in that park which could result in some super fun wedding pics.

the second almost gave me hives. it was on the other side of the missouri river so we had to cross a bridge. not sure i've mentioned it, but i really hate bridges. it was in this super quaint, cute little historic area of the burbs, that had kind of a sappy sweet vibe. but when we were walking through the actual venue, i almost went into cardiac arrest. it felt claustrophobic and constricting. and so very ordinary. not to mention that it was nearly double the price of the first place we saw.

and that was when i lost my shit. i mean, tears, drama, the whole stupid girl thing. and i feel bad for my fiance because he liked the place that made me throw up in my mouth. the thing is, this whole wedding thing, it's just not me. don't get me wrong, i want to marry my fiance, and i want to have a super fun day with our families and besties, and capture every amazing moment in photos. but some big show that's more about everyone else than it is us, i don't want that. and neither does the person i'm marrying.

i just don't know how or when we're going to figure out what, where, and when is right for us. we're less than six months from our august-ish goal, and haven't really settled on anything. we are leaning toward a weekend - the one when the cubs are in town (oh what fun that would be!), but as far as a decision. nada.

oh woes us.


11 February 2011

i'm back...

i can't believe it's been almost a month since i've been here. that has to be a record for me. and what a month it's been!

being unemployed is a lot busier than you might think. i mean, don't get me wrong, it doesn't suck, but it's not very relaxing either. i'll admit that i've blown a few hours here and there watching tv and reading, and maybe even sleeping too much now and again, but packing, moving, unpacking, and getting organized is a nightmare. fer reals, if i move again i will seriously consider burning it all before putting it back into boxes. but i'm here, the rest of my life here, and i really like it. a lot.

for starters, i get to wake up next to and fall asleep with my favoritest person every single day. i get to live in a big, beautiful house with lots of peace and quiet, and i can't believe how refreshing it is to be back in the midst of mid-westerners. people are genuine here. and genuinely nice. i've no doubt i'll meet my fair share of douchebags in st louis, but it'll be more like 1 in 10 than 1 in 2, and i'm pretty stoked about those odds. and whilst i definitely live in the bum fucked suburbs, the city is close enough to be convenient while still being far away enough to be a novelty. and my fiance got me my new york times :)

where i read every day about what's happening in egypt, and the fire spreading all over the middle east. and i pray to whatever god will listen that it continues to spread until all the autocrats fall, so that people all over that region can take control of their own destinies. because once that happens, the zealousness that breeds violence will begin to lessen, those who turn to extremism will find fewer and fewer reasons to do so and fewer and fewer places to turn. and the rest of egypt (or tunisia, or syria, or jordan), run by and for its people, will not allow terrorists to threaten its new found freedom. the united states can go in and start wars and force our values on a conquered people. or we can wait until those people have a fire in their bellies to do it for themselves, to fight, bleed, and die for freedom. and only then do we win. because it's only then that we _all_ win.


15 January 2011

fishies and their ponds

i've been thinking a lot about why my tour de DC has been such a failure, and though there are many contributing factors, i think i've concluded that, in a grander scheme of things, i'd rather be a big fish in a small pond than the other way around.

i loved being in politics in california. it felt like there weren't that many of us, and our opportunities to reach into the hearts and minds of people kept bringing us all back together. i loved that sense of community i shared with my fellow organizers, and the feeling that i was making a difference. it was my life in a small pond.

DC, on the other hand, is an ocean of world changers, each bringing individual talents, interests, knowledge, and passion for something. there's someone here passionate about every imaginable issue. but my passion doesn't feel so inspired here. i've never been able to take that first step into the fray here, and i don't think it's because i 've been afraid, i think it's because i just didn't want it. i didn't want it to consume my whole life. it's just too big here.

and that stuff (politics, foreign policy, the truman project, current events) matters to me a lot. it defines a large part of who i am, and it troubles me that i've watched it all lose its verve the past seven months. sorta makes me feel like i'm not being me anymore. and i like me way too much (as we all know) to stop being passionate about things that matter to me.

by learning this about myself, it doesn't seem so much a failure anymore. more like a lesson in where i belong. making my waves in a small pond.


14 January 2011


i think i've mentioned that i'm moving, but i don't know that i've mentioned that i'm moving beyond the reach of the ny times.

i didn't know this, of course, until yesterday. i was calling around to update my address (i always like to start with those publication-types as it takes them a few weeks to get the change in the system), and i was informed by the ny times that they don't deliver to my new address. and whilst that might not seem like much more than a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme of things, i started bawling.

it might be easy to blame the breakdown on all the craziness i've been through the past coupla weeks, that maybe i just needed a straw to break the tear dam, but i think it's more than that. since i've been on my own, the ny times has been on my stoop every sunday morning, whether rain or shine, los angeles or washington, here or there or anywhere. i look the whole week forward to my sunday mornings with my coffee, meet the press, and my ny times.

i love the way the paper smells, the way i feel pulling it apart and lining up the sections in the order i'll read (starting _always_ with the 'week in review'), the smudges it leaves on my hands, and that distinct weight, shape, and feel of the ny times. i have even grown fond of battling the damn thing when it won't turn pages as i'd like.

and even though i don't always get through the whole paper, there's just something about that piece of my sunday morning ritual i'm not ready to let go of.


p.s. my fiance hasn't given up. and neither have i.


i've now been unemployed for a week. and it really doesn't suck. except for the part where there's almost too much to do.

every day, i work out for an hour, piddle around doing personal stuff (like paying bills, updating my address, dealing with filing unemployment (not the easiest feat for a girl who spent the halves of last year in different "states"), getting ready to move), and i study for the GRE. all of which takes up the entirety of my work day, followed by a typical evening in the life of...

i just don't know how i got it all done while also working.


09 January 2011

ringing it in with dynamite

i started the first week of the new year getting engaged and ended it getting fired.

setting aside the melodrama, getting fired - whilst not a pleasant experience, really was the best thing that could have happened to me right now.

my fiance is in st louis starting our life without me. and i want to be with him. i thought i was trapped in DC (and we all know how happy i've been here) till my lease ended in june, or until i was able to save enough money that it wouldn't matter. but we were looking at being apart for months more whilst i continued fighting my district blues.

until the general and his side-kick came into my office this thursday past, to tell me "today is your last day at [anonymous former employer]". i was stunned. not quite speechless, i struggled to squeak out a "why?". they said they just didn't see a long term fit with me. and whilst the word "duh" did spring to mind, my poor little ego crashed to the floor. like, i can't believe they broke up with me. first. even though i've long known i was going to resign by spring anyway, it didn't take any of the sting out of the rejection.

but it's been a few days. so i'm past the shock, i think my ego will get away with only minor bruising, and in looking forward, i'm peering into the most amazing year of my life. i get to get out of DC, i get to go be with my love every day, and i finally get to have the life i want. i want to write more, love more, and focus more on things that matter while building something wonderful with the man of my dreams.

when the year started and he asked me to marry him, i was so happy i tried not to think about how much it was going to suck to spend the next several months without him, planning our wedding from afar, and watching him build our home via texted pictures. when the week ended, it meant our wait would instead be days. kinda proves that a miracle wrapped in shit is still a miracle.


04 January 2011

the end of an era

where do i even begin?

this whole little year end rundown might get a bit boring, so i do apologize, but watching the chips of my life fall into place with such effortlessness and to land so beautifully is a lot to wrap my mind around.

just a coupla years ago, i walked out of a year forcibly leaving all the shit behind. i shed all the ropes and shackles holding me back (being haunted by my failed marriage and fearing at my core that i would always be alone), and went to paris alone to revel in my solitude and celebrate my liberty. it was there i learned that i could love someone again, someone who loved me just as much.

so that when i met him, en route to my new (see temporary) life, i would never doubt that he's the one i'm meant to share my life with. and after an insane roller coaster of a year (getting scarlet, leaving los angeles, zip's wedding, driving across the country with my brother, and starting a new (blech) life and a new job on the other coast), i'm ready to be a grown up and seize the life i really want. and i found the person i want to be a grown up with.

the best part is that he feels the same way. this past sunday, he put his grandmother's engagement ring on my finger at brunch in a rotating restaurant on top of st louis, and asked me to marry him. and even though there was no doubt in his mind that i was going to say yes, he was so nervous he was shaking. that's the love i want. and the love i want to give.

so here's to 2011, the best year of my life.

so far...