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What's Your Idea of a Vacation??

11 days of challenging trekking, skiing, snow-shoeing, and sled-hauling, basic mountaineering skills required - You must be in excellent physical condition

One of the most difficult areas of my marriage is the definition of vacation.  I'm more a laying-down, beached whale kind of vacationer.  While, my husband thinks vacation is for something to be accomplished.  There should be some kind of goal involved, so you can feel like you "won".  I think if I got tanner, or my stress level lowered, I won.

As I was doing research for my book today, I came across the above quote to describe a "vacation" and I use this term lightly because if the shape you're in, determines if you can go?  That right there is not a vacation.  This is from the same company whose catalogs littered my in-laws house.  They took strenuous hikes on all their vacations.  My FIL is still going strong.  The last ones I remember:  Libya, Antarctica, Greenland and French Guyana.  Oh and Bolivia.  Which I think is on the "do not travel" site for Americans. I could be wrong, but after hearing their tales about junker single jet planes and harrowing cliff-side walks, I think I'll forgo that one too.  They have a globe where they "pin" the countries they've visited.  A round to-do list.

Here's the problem for me.  I can't lay out in Libya because I'd need my Burka.  Antarctica because the Empire penguins would stare at me funny from their ice caps. they have sun?  And French Guyana, someone might want my head as a souvenir.  If you've guessed I'm not very adventurous, you're dead on.  There's enough adventure in knowing what kind of food I'll eat on vacation and can I get coffee? 

I LOVE soaking up different cultures, I do.  But I'll stick to cultures that define themselves by food and music, not crazy dictators.

Fitting in...or not

I'm going to make a confession.  I don't like to go to Christian conferences.  Today, I got my hair cut and my hairdresser is gay and Vietnamese.  The clientele beside me included a Japanese bride who was in NYC on 9-11, a cute little blonde student who is living on Ramen noodles and planning her wedding.  And a white guy who didn't talk much.

What does that have to do with Christian conferences?  Seriously, I can make a "mistake" with one of these people and it's all right.  They'll accept my mistake and we'll move on.  I don't feel that way in Christian circles outside of Silicon Valley.  I feel like if my faith isn't just like theirs, and I don't prove my Biblical background, I'm not really one of them.  

As you know, I grew up Italian-Catholic.  I didn't have rules like that growing up.  Some Catholics drank, some didn't.  You weren't better than the guy who drank, you were different.  Some Catholics smoked, too!  Again, different.  Why do I feel like so many Christians don't respect other Christians with differing beliefs than theirs?  It's the Gospel plus NOTHING equals salvation.  

I simply don't fit into the Christian culture and I'm tired of trying.  Quite frankly, I'm tired of the rejection, the "correction", the feeling of people being above me because they wouldn't allow their kids to watch certain movies, or play that game.  

In the Catholic church, we knew we had jerks at church.  No question about it, but you didn't act like you were going straight to heaven on a one-way pass because YOU weren't like them.  They were simply a jerk and you didn't spend time with them.  I just feel left out and offensive when I'm with Christians because if I don't cover who I really am, I'm not like them.

Today, my hairdresser who came here 15 years ago, not knowing a word of English, told me he redid his condominium.  He found a Chinese couple, new to America getting a mattress off the street, and he tried to motion, "No, no take the bed.  I have lots of furniture for you."  He outfitted this Chinese couple with all his Ikea castoffs while he upgraded to Crate & Barrel without one word of understanding between them.  Only the simple communication:  I see your need.  Let me fill it.  

I have a special place in my heart for the downtrodden and left-out.  I am one of them.Badluck

Fluffdate 5:28

I'm feeling better tonight.  Dumped my Kaiser neurologist and am going to pay for the one who knows my health and me -- after fifteen years, she knows that I don't whine unless I'm sick, and I don't take real medications lightly.  I abhor know-it-all doctors.  It really adds to the stress when you have to fight your doctor.  Incidentally, she told me it couldn't be the generic version of something bothering me.  And lo and behold, went online and there is TONS of stuff on the same symptoms in others.  Please.  If she didn't know about it, she's ignorant.  If she did, worse than ignorant.

Now onto the stuff that matters.  New "Us" Cover reads:

$5 per day allowance from Kate
Banned from seeing brothers after dad's funeral

Are you kidding me?  Did Kate chain him from the bank?  Does she have the power to keep him home from his brothers? If so, I want you to ask yourself who is at fault for that.  Jon's prison is 8 kids and no job!  If he can't stand up to his wife, how is that HER problem?  Just sayin'

Then, we have "People" speculating on Adam Lambert's sexuality?  For those of you without gaydar, may I offer you a rousing DUH???  And why on earth does it matter?  If you like his voice, listen to him sing.  If you don't want to listen to a gay singer, that's weird.  But still, your prerogative.  

Daughter is watching the new Jonas Brothers show.  Scary!  Why do they seem more threatening to me than Glambert?  My best friend and I have a huge gay man history.  Meaning, we loved the gay guys early on.  One of my first high school dates.  Sigh.  Gay.  My best friend?  Oh my gosh, she's surrounded.  She's like a gay magnet.  Now, I have to wonder was it all that effeminate 80's music?  And will my daughter follow in my footsteps and get her heart broken by a very polite and well-coiffed guy?  You have to wonder.
CcAdamant1981  Billy-idol
Maybe you don't because you're smarter than BFF and me.  : ) 


Keep in mind, my MS is acting up and I am not feeling good.  This tends to come out as frustration, so bear with me.

First off, I got a new insurance plan and a new Neurologist.  I'm big on natural healing and keeping myself healthy.  I have fought this disease for 24 years, and I know how to get myself out of trouble when it's starting.  Enter the new neuro.   What is it with doctors that they look at their playbook and tell you how to live your life?  So here's the thing, at the beginning of summer, I generally get a little sick and my foot drops (ie., doesn't lift when I tell it to) resulting in a few crashes of varying proportion.  I'm fatigued and my body gets this band tightening feeling and I have a hard time being outside.  At all!

So I call for my annual prednisone pills to keep it at bay.  Only this neuro doesn't do that.  She gives it in IV form.  Yeah, kill the liver to keep this going.  To put this into perspective, the last time I had IV corticosteroids with my other neuro, I was totally blind.  One course of 10 mg of prednisone and I'll be fine.  I'm calling my old neuro and paying for convenience and a doctor who knows I am not a number.

Next up:  California's cop problem.  Okay, one of the things they keep warning us about our budget shortfall is that they're going to reduce the number of cops.  Right now, to make their budget, cops are sitting on every corner trying to catch people as they go to work if they don't make a full stop.  Meaning, the car rolls back and the guy behind you honks. I don't know many people too worried about less cops in the morning.  My neighbor got a ticket and she DID  a full stop, only the guy was determined she was his next "victim", I mean perp.  This state is not bankrupt due to policeman anyway.  Maybe it's the required educational classes on Transgender Parenting the Homophobic Youth that got us into this mess.  You think?

Finally, I have to offer up my first criticism of President Obama.  His Mr. Rogers' tone on issues like Iran and N. Korea are really scaring me.  He's like the wimpy victim in the schoolyard, "If you don't stop hitting me, I'm going to tell your mommy!"  Right before he runs to the principal's office to tattle.  Mr. President, we are the principal's office.  Please don't give that job to China.  

No one keeps Nukes to be popular.  We keep them to mean what we say when your Zen voice doesn't work.  Let's put it this way, it's like your big brother.  Ready to beat up your bully.  You don't say to the bully, "I'm not going to bring out my big brother because I know you really want to be my friend."

Um, no.  They don't.  Power speaks to crazy.  Appeasement doesn't.  Besides, why would you give away your power?  Hasn't he played Monopoly? Or Risk?CrazyIran
Look at these men and ask yourself if you'd be friends with them.

Did AT&T Push Kris Allen Over the Top to Win?

An American Idol Scandal!  Not.  Who the heck cares?  And are they kidding me?  A conspiracy theory?  What is wrong with us as a country when everything is a conspiracy theory when people disagree.  Hello?  Listen, I love Glambert, but I'm from San Francisco and I've been around Glamberts my whole life.  This is a country where Amish fiction hits the bestseller list.  I hate to break it to you California, but you are not the world.  America wants its idol clean-cut and Jonas-brothers-ish.

We're getting a new Supreme Court Justice and in May, we lost the most soldiers in Iraq for the year.  I see why people would rather focus on crap like this.  I know I would.  It helps me avoid how painful reality can really be.  Glambert will be fine.  He was on the Top 20 with his hideous Kara song, so the loss didn't hurt him anyway.  Nor did it hurt Clay Aiken.  

See the story at

I Shop; therefore, I am.

Nars So not to complain, but it is my favorite pastime.  I have to get a small lump removed surgically, and the doctor said I could have either general anesthesia or local, but he'd prefer general.  It seems such a pointless use of general.  I mean, if I were waking up with a 20-year old chest, well, hey, bring on the anesthesia, you know?  But for a stupid bump?  I will suffer a little.  When it's time for my face/body/skin lift?  Hey, take me out.

My MS is acting up, it's hot out and I worked all weekend (still not done, but close.) Can I get an enthusiastic Awww?  My house needs to be deep-cleaned, and I have another book to rewrite fast.  Well, the whole scene was closing in on me.  My kids got out early today and so rather than FEEL the overwhelming suckiness,  I did what any girl specializing in escapism would do: retail therapy the hour before my kids got out.  Yeah, I know.  Bible study would have been good, too.

I went to Sephora and shopped around.  I needed new sunscreen and foundation.  I'm getting older.  I love Sephora for the most part.  But it's not a great place to peruse because someone always wants to help you.  Sometimes, you just want to cruise and see what's out there.  Plus, the gal that helped me did not have a PORE on her. I don't want to buy into the fact that if I use what she's using, I will look all dewy and glowy, too.  That's just setting yourself up for failure, don't you think?

Plus, the last time I was in there, I had a guy in guyliner and he sold me some blush in the color, "Orgasm".  Seriously, this is the best color (by Nars). I love it, but that is SO WRONG!  Should I feel dirty buying make-up?  I still buy it, so it shows you that I'm not so indignant where good make-up is involved.  But I sure hope I don't have to explain that one to God.  I will probably have to explain why retail therapy beat out quiet time under pressure.

Show's Over...


I see no reason for further Bachelorette foolishness.  Just show me more dates with Jake and call it a day, Jillian.  If you're not willing to jump in with both feet (in your cute red boots!) NOW, I can see the line of women behind you waiting.  I am not a country music chick, but I LOVE Martina McBride, especially after I learned she cusses like a sailor.  Why does that please me?  Because it shows she's passionate about life and sometimes, only certain words will do.

Seriously, with Jillian and Jake two-stepping, it was like they'd been choreographed.  I cannot believe they just danced like that, or that they're coordinated enough to kiss at the same time.  Bravo!! 

On another note, I wore red boots on my first date with hubby.  So it's a sign.  I had these great red croc boots, jeans and an Adam Ant jacket cinched over my then-tiny waist.  But get this!!!  Dh was embarrassed by me.  Apparently, my outfit was a little over-the-top for him, the engineer, and he couldn't wait for me to "dress properly" on a date.  I loved boots at that time, I think I had them in every color, including pink.  And since, I thought an engineer worked on trains at the time, I hardly cared to take his fashion advice.  I drove a convertible Mustang.  He'd just turned in his Pinto for a plain, beige Maxima.  This was before the Maxima was cute, by the way.  

We only made it to date two because 1. a single girl paying for a Mustang and her cute apartment doesn't turn down a date and 2. Bryed had been told by his pastor "not to put his eggs in one basket" (ie., date more than one girl).  I was the "other chick".  

But I had the red boots.  

So if Jake is smart enough to know the power of the red boots on date one?  I say grab him up now, Jillian.  Send those others home!

Okay, how great was it when the dorky guy upstairs laid back on the sofa thinking he was getting a rose, only to find out Jillian had left the building?  Hysterical!

You know what I love about guys?  They feel good about themselves regardless of the outcome.  I loved their trash talk in the cars as they raced toward Jillian.  "Everyone went left and we're the only ones who went right!" Then, they high-five each other.  Oh my gosh, utterly brilliant you guys!  Cash in your chips now.  

Wes annoys me.  His date was just icky.  I wouldn't have given him the rose. I'm glad he "won" though, so Jillian could take Jake on the Martina McBride date.  

Jillian's an excellent bachelorette.

I do have a disclaimer about Jake to add.  The one thing that really threw me off was how he said, they could wake up, get a black car and have waffles in Belgium.  Is he an International pilot?  Because that takes a long time, and pilots are a step up from engineers in terms of romance, so there are some questions in the back of my mind.  But I still massively enjoyed the date, even if it was just a soap opera moment.  

I haven't watched the second half either.  I'm getting confused this year, they don't put the guys' names up enough.


Locked_intervention_bio Have you ever suffered and shared with someone, only to tell you it was your own fault?

Have you ever prayed, God hasn't heard your prayer or answered it, and a Christian has told you that it's because you have unconfessed sin in your life?

Have you ever doubted God's presence while a fellow Christian rambles on about their extensive finances and how great the Lord is to them?

This is why I love A&E's Intervention.  When you're at the point of an intervention, that person is gone to their addiction, not the person they used to be, and not accessible to you.  Your love for them leads you to this place, where you will have to tell them "no", block access to your home and your finances.  It will be tough love, because without it, that person will lose their life.

At the Intervention standpoint, no one is judgmental, they just want you back and I think it's such a beautiful vision for what the church should look like.  We can't enable you.  You have to stand on your own, and be responsible for yourself.  If you want your family/love/life, you need to let go of your idol, whatever it may be.

That said, I think a lot of people in the church have the idol of "righteous behavior" and somehow think because they're being blessed at the time, they are pleasing to God.  They forget that you too are pleasing to God and He wants more than anything to invite you back home.  

What if these family members told their beloved this was all their fault and they were sinful and ugly in God's eyes?  Would that win anyone to health?  Would the Intervention work?  Love is the language Christians should use, or to quote Kanye, we're "Heartless". I'm just as guilty, but I always try to understand why someone would do something and not just believe what the papers tell me.  For example, Kate of Jon & Kate is such a witch.  Did you hear Jon's excuse for life "being too much" and Kate saying she'd do what she had to on the preview for the new season?

Yeah, it's too much.  You've got 8 kids!   I know marriage is a two-way street, but if that guy whines about how tough his life is as a reason to go mess-around, I will hurt him.  His argument seems to be that the show and the intrusion is too much for him.  Okay, fine.  YOU come up with an idea to feed and clothe 8 kids, and then you won't have to do the show.  Hello.  Responsibility sucks, but it's still yours.  I'd be ticked if I were Kate too.  I'm sorry you're suffering, but get a plan.  It's not the kids' fault!

And if "Intervention" weren't enough, A&E has a new show on OCD, Obsessed.  So exciting for a student of the world.