Monday, November 29, 2010

I ate. And then I ate some more.

Hi friends! How was your Thanksgiving?

I had a wonderful time with my family over the Thanksgiving break. I mostly just ate. Which ROCKS. So much good food. And I got to have lots of time with my nephew Judah. Which also ROCKS. It was his birthday a couple days before Thanksgiving, so I gave him some gifts. He got a puffy vest (so stylish), some sidewalk chalk, and play-doh. He calls it "Doh-doh".

The day after Thanksgiving, we drove up to the Christmas tree farm and chopped down a good lookin' douglas fir. It was actually sunny and the air was cold and crisp - I love it!

And now I'm back to work. And housesitting/dogsitting for a family that goes to my church. They have rats in the attic (I can hear them) and a major ant issue in the kitchen, but their dog is the sweetest thing. And super fluffy. She's like a live stuffed animal.

So....when's Christmas break?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

GLEE-cap #8

Today is Thanksgiving, and I am thankful for so many things. Among the lesser important things is a little show called GLEE. Compared to my faith, family, and friends, it does not rank high on my list. But I'm thankful for it nonetheless. And it's time for a GLEE-cap, so...

First things first. Can Mr. Schuester sing at my wedding reception? Better yet, can Mr. Schuester be the one I MARRY on my wedding day? (providing he loves Jesus and all) Because when he sang "Sway" at Burt and Carol's reception, I wanted to die. Marry me, Matthew Morrison. And you can do that kick-the-microphone-down-and-back move anytime you want to.

Ok, lots to cover in this Glee-cap. Burt and Carol get married! More bullying for Kurt! Carol Burnett! Sue marries herself! Let's do this.


10) "I can't expel a kid for shoving. He'll just say, 'I didn't mean to shove that kid. I tripped.' That excuse works like a charm. I use it all the time." -Principal Sue Sylvester (by the way, did you see Mr. Schue rockin' the "Texas Tuxedo" in this scene? Blue jeans and a blue shirt? He's juz keepin' it real, y'all!)

9) I liked the girls-with-boyfriends-on-the-football-team meeting in the choir room. First because Rachel is again showing concern for others instead of always just focusing on herself. Secondly, because when Tina asked if Brittany and Artie were officially dating, Brittany said, "Deal with it" in her monotone voice. Amazing.

8) "Marcia? I bet people say you look 'man-ish'. But you know something? I think it's perfectly all right for a woman to be handsome." -Doris Sylvester (Sue's mom)

A little later Doris says, "But Susie I have to ask you, what is it with this ridiculous wedding? Have you given up on love? I mean when you were little, the other mothers used to tell me that you'd never find anybody. But I said, 'No no no no'. She's a perfectly okay child. She'll grow into her looks. And you know what? I believe you still might."

7) I LOVE the boys fighting Karofsky in the boys locker room. LOVED it. I loved them standing up for Kurt like that. Artie in his wheelchair. Mike Chang slamming Karofsky's locker and getting in his face. Sam throwing some punches before getting socked in the eye. (I was wondering why Puck didn't jump in - he always loves a good fight - but then I remembered he couldn't or he'll go back to juvy.) It's weird but I was so proud of the glee boys for doing that. Except for Finn. Dun-dun-DUN!! You punk, go defend your soon-to-be step brother!

6) My favorite song of the episode was "Marry You". I enjoyed everything about it. The song (everyone's voices sounded so good), the couples, the spinning, the dancing (including Burt and Carol), everything. Question: when the whole glee club was dancing down the aisle, was that the "Soulja Boy" dance I spotted? They're juz keepin' it real, y'all!

5) "We usually start with a prayer. But a certain young wedding planner, who shall remain nameless, was afraid that some in attendance might fall asleep." -the pastor (*Santana nudging Brittany who had fallen asleep standing up*)

4) The aforementioned "Sway" song by Mr. Schuester. See what happens when you stop doing rap songs, Schue? The ladies swoon. Good lord.

3) "In Glee club, whenever two of us got together, we got a nickname. Rachel and I are 'Finchel'. (*Rachel beams*) Rachel and Puck were 'Puckleberry'. (*Rachel grimaces and looks sideways to where Puck is sitting*) -Finn giving his toast

2) I liked the "Just The Way You Are" song Finn sang. But I never really understood who he was singing to. Kurt? His mom? Rachel? Anyone?

1) When Sue walks down the aisle (of the nursing home where her sister Jean lives) in her blue tracksuit wedding dress and Doris mutters, "Oh what in the g-d hell..." I think I was crying, I laughed so hard. Ahhh! The funny is too much!

Final thoughts. Finn needs to fess up to Rachel that he and Santana were together last season. Kurt needs to fess up that Karofsky kissed him. I am glad Kurt is transferring to Dalton. Even though that means he will be competing against New Directions at Sectionals. Weird.

Enough from my end. What did YOU think of the episode?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Oprah and Advent Conspiracy

America loves Oprah, yes?

The woman is incredible. She has had her own show for 25 years. And she has done many wonderful things with her fame and finances to help others. However, there is something she does yearly that I'm not a fan of. It SOUNDS like a great idea and for the people who benefit from it, it could be a huge blessing. But I leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Every year around the holidays, she has an "Oprah's Favorite Things" episode. She shares products with her audience that she feels would make a great gift. And then all the audience members receive those items for free.

This year she broke up her "Oprah's Favorite Things" episode into 2 parts. Part 1 aired last Friday and Part 2 aired today. I came home from work and heard my roomates talking about it. Here's what she gave away this year to every member in her audience:

* A Course in Weight Loss: 21 spiritual lessons for surrendering your weight forever, a book by Marianne Williamson
* Andre Walker hair care products
* Baker's Edge lasagna and brownie trays with Ghiradelli brownie mix
* Beecher's "World's Best" macaroni and cheese
* Breville panini press from Williams-Sonoma
* Decoded, a book by Jay-Z
* Elfa Customizable Closet System from The Container Store
* a five-year membership to Netflix
* Judith Ripka Eclipse Earrings
* $100 gift card for Kiva
* Kyocera Advanced Ceramic knife 2 piece knife giftset
* Lafco House and Home Collection Candle Set
* Limited edition "25th Anniversary" Oprah watch by Philip Stein
* Ralph Lauren Cashmere Sweater & Cashmere Blanket
* Lululemon relaxed fit pants
* Four pairs of Nike running shoes
* Nikon digital camera
* 7-day cruise on the Allure of the Seas from Royal Caribbean International
* Round-trip flight on United Airlines to and from the cruise
* a "25th Anniversary" Oprah shirt
* Sony Bravia 52-inch 3D television and blu-ray player
* The Beginning, an album from The Black Eyed Peas
* Tory Burch "Silver Anniversary" tote bag and flat shoes
* Ugg sparkle boots
* a Coach satchel
* Magaschoni tunic and leggings
* Hope in a Jar moisturizer by Philosophy
* Nordstrom lingerie
* Prepara Herb Saver
* Chicken pot pie from Centerville Pie Company
* Garrett Popcorn Shops "Oprah's Favorite Things" tin
* Le Creuset cookware
* Miraclesuit blue jeans
* a jewelry box from Pottery Barn
* Diamond earrings from Dana Rebecca Designs
* a gift card for
* Mini croissants from Williams-Sonoma
* Talbott Teas holiday assortment
* The Book of Awakening, a book by Mark Nepo
* Illuminations, an album from Josh Groban
* Let It Be Me, an album from Johnny Mathis
* iPad

And then to top it all off...what's behind that curtain?

Holy crap. Every person in the audience is going to receive a 2012 Volkswagen Beetle (it will be delivered next May 2011).

My first thought was, "Wow! That is so generous!" We looked at pictures of all the soccer moms in the audience going crazy and crying (the men, too) and it's easy to initially get caught up in the excitement.

But then.

I started thinking about (no offense, Oprah) how this is what's wrong with America. Don't get me wrong. I love America. I am so thankful to live here. But our priorities are all wrong. We are not wise with with our money. We lavishly give out extravagant gifts and cars to people on shows like this...when there are people around the world who have nothing.

I couldn't help but think....what if Oprah added up all the money she spent on her "Favorite Things" - and gave it away. Gave it to people and countries who need it. Clean water, food, medicine, clothes, etc. Think of all the good that money could do. We're talking hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I'm totally guilty of buying things I don't need and giving away things other people don't need. I'm definitely part of the problem in America. But I have a new mindset on things like this. I blame Advent Conspiracy. Please tell me you've seen their cool videos?!

Thanks to these videos, I have approached Christmas (and gift-giving in general) differently the past two years. And it makes me wish Oprah could see these videos and do something different next year.

I know I'm being idealistic. But I can't help it.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Turkey Bowl 2010

Every year we play a flag football game on Thanksgiving Day: High School group vs. College group. This year we decided to have the game the Sunday before Thanksgiving so students could spend all of Thanksgiving with their families. To get the word out on the change, we made this fun promo video. Myself and the high school pastor Steve are the ones speaking at the beginning and our senior pastor is the one announcing the date change at the end of the video (I think you might have to log into your facebook account to watch it).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

GLEE-cap #7

Gwyneth Paltrow - triple threat! Girlfriend can sing, act, and dance. This episode ("The Substitute") featured Mrs. Chris Martin as a sub at McKinley High. I really liked this episode (yeah for liking 2 episodes in a row!) because it felt like last season. It had that first-season feel. Not preachy, quirky & humorous dialogue, Sue Sylvester up to no good (and inner-monologuing while writing in her journal), and amazing kick-a song/dance numbers. Woohoo!

Quick mention of two things I did not like in this episode: 1) ex-wife Terri's appearance and 2) the unacceptable lack of Stamos. We want Dr. Carl!!

With that out of the way, let's jump in.


10) LOVED seeing the GLEEks as little kids. Mr. Schuester has a fever and turns around to see little Mini-Me's of his students.

"Looking good, Puckerman. Someone's been eatin' their Wheaties." -mini Santana

(*kissing arm muscles*) "These guns are fully loaded." -mini Puck

"Mr. Schue, I for one think we should use our set list for Sectionals to start exploring the 'Oof' of one Bernadette Peters." -mini Rachel

"Someday I'm gonna go to Paris and visit the 'Ouvre'." -mini Brittany

"I just wanna dance." -mini Mike Chang

9) After sliding into the choir room on the buttered floor, Holly Holiday sang "Forget You" for the kids. Cee-Lo's song is actually called "F*** You" (classy) but this is the edited version for the radio. And Gwyneth rocked it! My favorite part of the song: "Yah I'm sorry. I can't afford a ferrari. But that don't mean I can't get you there. I guess she's an Xbox. And I'm more an Atari."

8) As principal, Sue now has Becky acting as her secretary. Seeing her run into Sue's office with a headset on was classic.

7) "Make 'Em Laugh"! Ok, I must preface the gushing about to burst forth by sharing that I absolutely ADORE the movie Singing in the Rain. I really do. It was a staple musical growing up in my house (along with Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Hello Dolly). And although the entire movie is fantastic, my favorite song was always "Make 'Em Laugh" by Donald O'Connor. I could watch that scene 100 times and never tire of it. So when Mr. Schuester and Mike Chang re-enacted that song in the episode, I was grinning like an idiot the entire time. I especially liked when they hit their heads on the boards and pretended to run in a circle on the ground. Wheee!! Also, hearing Matthew Morrison's sing was an extra bonus. His voice is like buttah.

6) When Mercedes went in to Sue's office to complain about the tater tots being taken away and Sue called her "Jackée", I deep-belly-laughed for two whole minutes. I thought I was going to pee my pants. And then Sue held up a stalk of broccoli.

"Do you know what this is?" -Sue

"Toilet brush." -Mercedes

5) Rachel and Holly singing "Nowadays" from Chicago. The dancing went on a bit too long, but I thought their voices sounded really good together.

4) "So why don't you go home. Rest. Watch some TV. Die. Doesn't matter." -Sue to Will

3) "Oh my gosh, I open my mouth and a little purse falls out." -Kurt at Breadsticks

2) "Her name was 'Cameo'. She was like an attractive Biggie Smalls." -Holly Holiday

1) "The "Singing in the Rain"/"Umbrella" mash-up. This was probably the BEST dance sequence this year so far. AmAzing. I loved the guys with their vests, ties, and hats and the ladies in their jackets. I wanted to jump on stage and sing and dance and splash with all of them!

What did you think of "The Substitute"?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

nasal irrigation, anyone?

There was an episode of The Office back in its first or second season where the staff does a white elephant gift exchange. Jim picks Pam's name out of a hat and buys her a teapot, because he knows she likes tea. Dwight ends up with it and thinks it is a neti pot. He proceeds to stick it in his nose as if he's going to irrigate his nasal passages and Jim gets grossed out. That was the first time I had ever heard of anything like that. Wait, you can flush your nasal cavity? Who DOES that? Is it safe?

Fast forward to today. I went to the doctor's because I have been battling allergies for the past few months. It's been so strange because I have never been allergic to anything. But in July I started having stuffy/runny nose issues along with crazy sneeze attacks. I thought it would go away, but it didn't. It's gotten really bad lately. I am having a hard time sleeping because I can't breathe well out of my nose. My doctor asked me tons of questions:

- Are you allergic to anything, that you know of? (no)
- Does your family have a history of allergies? (no)
- Do you have a pet? (well, we HAD a cat but it moved out in July...just when my allergies started up, weird.)
- Do you have carpet or hardwood floors in your house? (carpet)
- Do you sleep with any feathered pillows or blankets? (yes, a down blanket)
- Have you tried using Claritin or the generic brand of that? (yes, it's not really helping)

My doctor thinks it could be one or more of the following:

1) pet allergies (when we deep-cleaned the carpets after the cat moved out, we could have stirred up some stuff into the air)
2) dust mites in our carpet (*puke*)
3) local pollens that come out this time of year
4) mold in our house?

I am going to get blood work done (if my insurance covers it) so I can find out what exactly I'm allergic to. Until then, I'm to use a nasal spray, not sleep with my down comforter, rip up the carpet in my room if possible (it's not)....and use a neti pot.

I bought one and read the directions when I got home. You mix a saline solution with lukewarm water and stick it in the pot. Then you lean over your sink and stick the pot in one nostril. While breathing out of your mouth, you turn your head to the side and the liquid goes up, around, and then down your other nostril. Whaaaaat??

It was the weirdest sensation feeling the water go up my nostril and then trickle out the other one (It's similar to that feeling you get in the swimming pool when you get water up your nose). And I kept forgetting to breathe through my mouth. Every time I forgot to do that, the salty solution would trickle down my throat and I'd have to spit it out.

Would I recommend the neti pot? YES. It feels like it really does clear out your passages. You can buy them at any Walgreens/Longs/CVS/Rite Aid for $10-20.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

heavy hearts

I feel like there is a lot of heartache going on in the lives of my friends right now. There are two main situations. One is a friend whose mother passed away 2 months ago after a 7 year battle with cancer. And then last Friday I got a text that said her older brother (who was her best friend) passed away suddenly of a heart attack. He was healthy, late 30's, had a wife and 2 boys. My friend has lost both her mother and brother within 2 months of each other.

The second situation involves a friend who was a previous roomate. Her husband's mother is having all sorts of health issues. She has been in the hospital for the past 2 weeks. And recently, she has had 3 strokes in 4 days. I am scared she is going to die. We all love her and this whole family.

It's just so weird that this is happening at the same time (There are other things happening that are sad, but these are the two big ones). We are all trying to be there for our friends during this time. But there are a lot of heavy hearts out there right now.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

GLEE-cap #6

After waiting 2 weeks, we finally got a new GLEE episode. It was titled "Never Been Kissed", but it probably should have been titled "Bullying Sucks". There's Karofsky, the beefy football jock continuing to bully Kurt, Puck who's out of juvy and bullying students to give him money as he sings in the school courtyard, and of course Sue Sylvester is the Queen Bully, trying to get the GLEE club disbanded and Beiste fired.

I liked this episode. I've been talking to peeps who didn't care for it and that's cool. But I dug it. Before I get to the Top Ten part of the GLEE-cap, let me first share the one thing I did NOT like in this episode: the slow-mo run between Blaine and Kurt at the Dalton Academy. Awkward! The way Blaine was grabbing Kurt's arm, the fact that they ran in slow-motion, the cheesy music in the background...cringe-worthy. But enough of that, let's get to the good stuff!


10) "And the other team to beat [for Sectionals] - the 'Hipsters', a first year club from the Warren Township Continuing Education program. Now they are a GLEE club composed entirely of elderly people getting their high school GED's." -Mr. Schuester

"Is that legal?" -Rachel

"How are we supposed to compete against a bunch of adorable old people?" -Mercedes

"Are you kidding? Brittle bones. Give one of those old ladies a good luck pat on the rear, it'll shatter her pelvis." -Puck

9) *Puck grabbing Artie's wheelchair in the school hallway*

"I know it's not my place to ask, but can you push me down the back staircase? My injuries should be the same but it's more lightly populated so the humiliation won't be as bad." -Artie

8) When Puck and Artie are singing "One Love", I can totally see my sister in that scene! If you get a chance to watch the episode again, look for a girl with short brown hair wearing a denim jacket, colorful scarf, and khakis sitting at a table near the guys singing. She is in the foreground (on the left) a lot. It was so fun seeing her!

7) "Teenage Dream" sung acappella by the Dalton Academy Garglers, I mean, Warblers. I think all of America is now in love with Darren Criss (Blaine). If you haven't had a chance to see Darren play Harry Potter in his college's production of "A Very Potter Musical", check it out here. He wrote almost all the songs for it. Adorable AND talented? Yes please.

6) *the ladies are busy working on their costumes for the Mash-Up and Puck comes in, wheeling Artie.*

"SPIES!" -Rachel

5) The girls mash-up of "Living on a Prayer/Start Me Up"? Awesome. The boys were charming in their blue jackets, but the girls' song was made of WIN.

4) I loved Sue setting off the confetti cannons in the auditorium and then laughing maniacally as the confetti floated down.

3) "When you wrote 'Hanging with a crip' on your probation application, we thought you were going to do outreach with a local gang." -Puck's probation officer

2) I liked Artie offering to tutor Puck in Geometry if Puck cleaned up garbage on the freeway (so he doesn't have to go back to juvy). I am a fan of the Artie and Puck friendship. I felt the same way with the Quinn and Mercedes friendship last year. You would never put those two together, but it works.

1) The guys mash-up "Stop In The Name of Love/Free Your Mind" was great. (Mash-ups are just cool in general. Taking two random songs that are so different and mashing them together? Awhhhh yeah.) The guys' voices blended well in their song. I still think the ladies won, though.

Let's quickly talk about the two "never been kissed" kisses tonight. Chances are when Karofsky kissed Kurt, you either gasped or yelled a bit in shock. I don't think anyone saw that coming. I thought he was going to punch Kurt, not kiss him. And I honestly thought after that, he would leave Kurt alone. But nope, it looks like he's still going to bully him around school.

And then there was Beiste and Mr. Schuester. The whole time they were talking, I was like, "Don't do it, Schue." And then he reached for her I was like, "Don't do it, don't do it, don't do it...he did it." At first I thought it was weird and strange, but the more I thought about it, I realized it was a very sweet gesture.

Ok, now I would LOVE to hear your thoughts. If you watched "Never Been Kissed", what did you think?

Monday, November 08, 2010

bullet points

Ahhh, I love the bullet point blogs. I have many things on my mind, but instead of blogging about each of them, I just put them as bullet points and let the reader take it from there.

* I got to spend time with my nephew Judah on Friday. He continues to be the cutest thing to ever live on this planet. This video was taken on my phone so it's not the best quality. Oh well!

* It's rainy one day, sunny the next. I'm ready for the weather to make up its mind.

* Why do they call them "smart cars"? I don't think they are. They should be renamed "If-someone-hits-you-you're-dead" cars.

* I wish the SF Giants were still playing. I miss watching their games.

* My roomate Jenna and I took our neighbor's 3 golden retrievers for a walk. "I just bathed them!" my neighbor said proudly when I picked them up. We brought them back to him all muddy from the dog park. I felt SO BAD!

* I have discovered the joy of Modern Family. I was tired of telling everyone I didn't watch it ("But why? You would LOVE it!" they would say), so I finally caved and watched an episode. And now I'm hooked. My favorite characters are Cameron and Phil.

* My parents are back from Ethiopia! My poor mamacita got sick when they returned but they sound good. I'll get to hear more about the trip when they recover from jetlag and the 11 hour time difference.

* Work is going well. But fast! The semester is flying by. Last week we did Operation Christmas Child, where we put together shoeboxes for kids around the world.

* Have you ever been to a Mary Kay party? I went to my first one 6 years ago. And then my second one 3 years ago. And yesterday was my third one. I love being a girl.

* Harry Potter 7 opens in 11 days!!!

* new GLEE episode tomorrow night!!

Friday, November 05, 2010

I have the coolest parents

My parents have been gone the last 2 weeks on a mission trip to Ethiopia. They go every year. Sometimes twice a year. Their church works with churches in Ethiopia and sends teams to provide medical and dental help. They also do some evangelism and pastor training. My mom is a nurse so she and the doctors see hundreds of children and adults every day. And my dad, being Mr. Business, usually leads the trips with both his logistical skills and his spiritual leading. They get back tomorrow. I can't wait to hear what God did while they were there!

Dude, I have the coolest parents. I want to be like them when I'm in my 60's.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

GLEE sneak peek

Want a sneak peek on next week's songs? Some fan in Brazil posted this. Woot!

Glee - Previews 2.06 @gleeks_brasil
Uploaded by gleeks_brasil. - See the latest featured music videos.

Monday, November 01, 2010


The San Francisco Giants win the World Series! The San Francisco Giants win the World Series! The San Francisco Giants win the World Series! The San Francisco Giants win the World Series! The San Francisco Giants win the World Series!

The cast-offs. The misfits. The underdogs. They are the 2010 World Series Champions!!!