Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Our annual Barfing Jack O'Lantern is ready:

And from Velina's artistic sketches of her costume (perhaps this is the Project Runway influence):
She is wearing this:

For the sharp-eyed: yes, there have been some changes from the original sketch. And such changes are soooo Project Runway, yes?

And we haven't eaten ALL the Halloween candy.

So, yeah, we're ready for Halloween.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hallow's Eve

Wow, is it already the day before Halloween?

I sewed Velina's costume over the weekend, which ended up being a simple sateen red sheath (she's a Devil Daughter) but took me a while to make, between the pattern cutting and wrestling with my sewing machine. After 5 hours, I finally held it up, Ta Da! The girl sighed and said, why can't we just buy a costume?

I spared her my opinion that the Costume stores are not fully labeled as they should: "Halloween Costume Store for Skanks who Want to Be Ripped Off" and that I had no desire to shop the picked over leftovers with a minor.

Instead, I enthusiastically told her that we'd make it work.

So tonight, we slam out the Halloween magic. And because all the 100 Grand bars are gone, I will be fueled, of course, with the rest of the Heath Bars.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Skeleton is Up

Getting a late start on Halloween decorating, I know. But the beauty is, the skeleton will stay up until I get my Christmas wreath.

On a weak note, we opened the bags of Heath bars and Butterfingers. There goes my WW points. For a month.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's like breaking a twenty

Last night, while watching "Ark Monster" which we had DVR'd off Sci-Fi channel, we cracked open the Halloween bag of fun-size 100 Grand bars. Which, like breaking a twenty dollar bill, means it's gone. When I got up this morning, I waded through the empty wrappers and saw there are 7 bars left. Sorry, Trick-or-Treaters, the 100 Grand bars are toast.

But don't worry, we still have 7 other sacks of candy, including a mega sack.

For now.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Productively crafty

Though I didn't get as much cleaning and organizing done this weekend, I did squeeze in some time to make some Halloween treats from a kit on sale at JoAnn's with the girl and her friend. Here's the box:

And here's how ours turned out:

Just like the box, right?

And I made a set of 10 holiday cards for Cards for Heroes last night:

I haven't crafted in a while, but it was a great reason to start crafting again. As you can see, I even busted out the heat gun for a little shiny embossing. Now that I got the joints moving again, I hope I can make another set.

Now on to the work week...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Back on the WW track and countdown to H'ween

My luck had run out after my weight log-in last week, when I stepped on the scale during the weekend and saw I was 156, my weight 3 weeks ago. So I really dug my heels in and pulled out the WW log and starting recording what I was eating. I started exercising again and my weight today is 153. So, despite my purchase of the Big Value bag of Halloween candy I bought, I'm encouraged to stick with it. My daughter even helped me out by putting my beloved bag of Trader Joe's potato chips in the bag we're donating to a food drive at her school. I got her, uh...I mean, I encouraged her to share a favorite food of hers by donating some of her Chef Boyardee faves.

Losing weight will also help me with my Halloween costume. Did I mention that we have an annual costume contest at work? I'm pretty much set with my costume but I can't say too much, lest it be leaked to my co-workers. The details I ordered from Europe arrived, though they're a bit smaller than I hoped, but they will do. Also I need to find some black foam.

I'm really looking forward to Halloween--because you can bet that I'm going let myself have a few Halloween treats.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Take-Out Sweet Sushi

For the Fall Fundraiser at the Velina's school, she and I made more Sweet Sushi for the Bake Sale. This time we made some Take-Out style (reusing the original foil container the poundcake came in), including chopsticks:

I highly recommend Green Apple fruit rolls (look for a natural line in the produce aisle, not the fruit snack aisle) for the seaweed as the tartness balances out the sweetness of the rest of the ingredients.

This is, literally and figuratively, a sweet dessert.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What that makes me

I tried a kickboxing class with some younger friends after work. They were really excited about it and said it had a good crowd and energy--that even old ladies were doing the class!

The class was good but it was really crowded so I couldn't "go 100%" for fear of bumping or punching my neighbor in the face. Plus I had trouble keeping up with the coked-up choreography and pace of the moves. Overall I filled in blanks with some general jumping and punching and it was a fine, sweaty time.

I couldn't help noticing, however, that weren't any old ladies in the class. Which, of course, means one thing.

I'm the old lady.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Choosing my Legacy in American History

I have to say I was shocked and disappointed when Proposition 8 came on the ballot here in California:


Changes California Constitution to eliminate right of same-sex couples to marry. Provides that only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.

This propostion immediately reminded me of the outdated posturing of the anti-miscegenation laws (laws banning interracial marriage) finally overturned in the last century. I had to go to the Yes on 8 website to see the arguments in support of this proposition.

Yes on 8 mentions a previous Proposition 22, a measure in 2000 to prevent recognizing same-sex marriage, including same-sex marriages performed out-of-state. The argument is made that despite a large majority vote, the California Supreme court deemed it unconstitutional (the court found the statute discriminatory by denying a fundamental right due to one's sexual orientation), and overturned the measure. The indignant tone is "can you believe a mere 4 judges overturned tens of thousands of votes?!" The argument ignores that it is the Supreme Court's duty to overturn laws deemed unconstitutional. For example, even if an overwhelming majority voted "no non-whites allowed in the same restaurantant as whites", the California Supreme Court should find it unconstitutional and overturn it.

Also, Yes on 8 is concerned that children in public schools would be taught that gay marriage is on par with straight marriage because of the California Department of Education's compliance to Education Code 51933 (b)(7), which, according to their website, states, "Instruction and materials shall teach respect for marriage and committed relationships." Actually, due to California’s laws, which already prohibit discrimination against anyone based on race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, it appears the public schools would already be required to at least teach about gay domestic partnerships, as they can be defined as "committed relationships". The Yes on 8 website claims that "Prop 8 is NOT an attack on gay couples and does not take away the rights that same-sex couples already have" So, are Yes on 8 supporters fine with teaching about gay domestic partnerships?

Obviously, the answer is no. According to their website, Prop 8 "prevents other consequences to Californians who will be forced to not just be tolerant of gay lifestyles, but face mandatory compliance regardless of their personal beliefs." Ultimately, this is a "gay" issue for Prop 8 supporters. It is very unfortunate that they are willing to curtail the civil rights of their fellow Americans to justify such discrimination.

Gay marriage has been legal for a few months now. Not much has changed because of it including a lot of personal beliefs. As an American whose heritage comes from one of the most homogenous countries in the world--Korea, I have had heard many arguments in the community on why marrying outside of an ethnicity is disgraceful, shameful, and just plain wrong, despite the fact that interracial marriage has been legal for decades. I've also heard of similar parental and family "guidance" from friends of other enthnicities and religions. Bottom line: though it is illegal to discriminate against anyone based on race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, you get to keep your personal beliefs about Korean, non-Koreans, gays, and so on.

Is this an argument of semantics? Is the argument simply about the meaning of the word "marriage"? The American language, due to our diverse influences, changes as the population brings new words, like "bromance" (ironically, not a gay reference) and "ginormous", and changes how other words are used. Can you believe that "gay" simply meant "merry" at one point in time? Do Prop 8 supporters want to eliminate the use of the word "marriage" when there is a "marriage of ideas" or "marriage of flavors"? I doubt it. I'm guessing salt and pepper "marrying" is acceptable, but not same-sex couples who want to make life-long commitment. Or is this about the semantics of "traditional marriage"? Biblically speaking, are we talking about polygyny? Historically speaking are we talking about marriages when women were simply property and had virtually no rights or when you could only marry within your race? "Traditional marriage" has also been redefined throughout history. Some might say it's been for the better.

And throughout various venues, it has been offensive and outrageous to hear Prop 8 supporters co-opt God to claim that gays shouldn't be allowed to marry. Such claims were also used back in 1965, when Judge Leon Bazile, who defended anti-miscegenation laws in the original Loving vs. Virginia trial, said: "Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."

Bottom line, Prop 8 is trying to create a "separate but equal" scenario creating two classes of people who make committed and loving partnerships. If American history has taught us one thing, when you treat people differently, it is already separate and not equal. Further, by keeping them separate and unequal, the door is open for rights to be taken out of one group (and not the other) down the line.

Therefore I am choosing my place, my legacy in American history by voting NO on Prop 8. No matter how Prop 8 does in the elections, when I look back at this time in California history with my grandchildren, I will be able to say I voted to keep equal rights for my fellow Americans, not eliminate them.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Lucky Break, part 2, Electric Boogaloo

Wow. I managed to weigh in at 152, down 2.5 pounds from last week. Sadly, I really wasn't sticking to my WW log though I was gamely trying to losely stick to the program. Of course I'm thinking, what would happen if I really stuck to the program?

On another lucky front, I think I've decided what I'm going to be for Halloween. Did I mention we have a contest at work? So, I have to keep it on the DL for a while. This costume may be of questionable character so it's going to ride a fine line. I had to order a certain defining detail from Europe so I'm hoping it comes in time.

Can my lucky break last a little bit longer?

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I did find a broader use for these:

Wha-la! Birthday cards!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Yes, but...

As I look down at an empty bag of peanut M&Ms this has been a weekend of hedonism and little reward. Yes, I got to start off my Saturday with some sweet College Gameday and watch Corso call it wrong picking Oklahoma, but I was rooting for them. Yes, Norm Chow finally got the UCLA offensive to score (rather than laying the eggs they have been these weeks past) but they still lost. Yes, I got to see "Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist" which was nostalgic (having seen friends' bands play at those venues and living where it took place) but ultimately, I felt too old/too sober sitting in that movie theater. Yes, I finally exercised but since it'd been such a long time since the last time, I was ridiculously sore and didn't have the gumption to go to the gym again and ate M&Ms instead. Yes, I had a window to see another movie "Choke" but when I texted my homies to see if anyone else wanted to go, I got, we've got a baseball game or I'm doing some fall cleaning and--delete, whatev, Martha Stewarts and saw it alone and cried my eyes out at the heartbreaking storyline. Yes, the stock market rallied, but I still haven't had the stones to check on my 401K. Yes, I had the initiative to go to the batting cages yesterday to practice before tonight's softball game but they closed them because of the high winds.

Yes, the weekend is over, but it's a new day.

I'm going to try to go to the cages again today.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Lucky break

I didn't stick to WW at all this week but I managed to lose 1.5 pounds and weigh in at 154.5.

Now there's a part of me that's thinking, I ate all those donuts, cookies, quesadillas, pizza, pre-H'Ween candy, pumpkin breads, and still lost weight?! Now that's a program I can stick too! Or more foolishly, The metabolism of my youth is back! Hooray! (as I light a match to all my WW stuff and gym clothes).

But I got a feeling that this is like that Simpsons episode when Bart gets a miraculous snow day to study for a test--this was a lucky break and I should really take advantage of the encouraging starting point. And the probable backlash: if I don't hit WW this week, I'll really gain some weight, including the poundage I was supposed to gain this week.

Unless of course, someone out there knows of a great eat-whatever-and-lose-weight plan, because I'm totally open to switching it up for a food plan I can embrace.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

They're all-purpose

I know I haven't posted anything crafty in a long time. That would be due to the fact that I really haven't done anything crafty in a long time. I happened on Michael's since I was filling up on the Costco gas next to it and the Martha Stewart line was on sale. Man, the designers at Martha Stewart came up with a lot of cool stuff in time for Halloween. I prefer not to load up on scrap supplies that are too specific, especially seasonal holiday stuff, but I could not resist this stamp set:

These stamps could be applied to sooooo many aspects of everyday life.

Or is it just me?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What will it be this year?

I dug up this picture from H'ween 2004. This was one of my fave costumes for me--so comfortable--just face paint! I love homemade costumes--no need to wait in the horrendous line at the Halloween store and settle for the picked-over leftovers varying from Naughty Nun to Sexy Witch to Slutty Nurse.

Of course, this costume is appreciated more by folks of a certain age. Unfortunately, the girl had no idea who Paul Stanley is or KISS was, but she was humoring me as she Princessed out.The following years I was Sally (from "The Nightmare Before Christmas"), Jessie, the yodeling cowgirl (from "Toy Story 2"), the cowboy from the Village People, and Scary Spice.

So the question is, what should it be this year? I'm aiming for something where I don't have to wear a wig (ugh, uncomfortable with a capital UN) and something that I can wear to the office (as I have for the last 5 Halloweens) and sit at a desk comfortably, see my computer screen, and not get reprimanded by my boss for wearing something ridiculously inappropriate.

Seriously, I'm open to suggestions...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Slowly but surely

Laundry is done. I've downloaded the first 900 pictures from Singapore. I've started to exercise again. I'm sleeping through the night.

Still to do: finish unpacking (the suitcases are still sitting on our floor), get serious about the WW points, download the rest of the pictures.

Unfortunately due to last night's episode of "Family Guy", my old man's dormant obsession with the Trashmen's "Surfin' Bird" has awakened and is currently playing the song on repeat.

Time to face the week...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Back in Black

I hit the sack. It's been too long, I'm glad to be back.

Okay, today I did not feel I was walking through water. And I made myself stay up to midnight so I would sleep for a solid 6. I did laundry. I started to pay bills. And tomorrow, I plan to finally download some pictures.

And it only took a week.

Here's my current dilemma: I obviously have not done Weight Watchers for 2 weeks. Do I continue on and start at week 19 or 20? Or should I start at week 1 again?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wha' Happened?

I woke up from the fog of this cold. And I'm kind of realizing what went on while we were away in Singapore. Namely: our economy's downward spiral, the Couric-Palin interviews, the Patriots losing to the...Dolphins?! USC losing to unranked Oregon State!

It's kind of like I've landed in some crazy technicolor world and I should be talking to a sentient scarecrow.

I still am not, however, able to sleep through the night. I'll get dozy around 8-9pm but I reawaken and can't get to sleep before 4:30am. Perhaps when I get back to a better sleep routine, I'll wake up to my normal world.

On the bright side, I heard the collective glopping of correction fluid on the bucket lists of ClayNation's female members-formerly-in-denial over the words "Spend wild night of passion with Clay Aiken" as Mr. Aiken finally revealed that he's gay. Not the biggest revelation in my opinion, but still significant when you risk upsetting the majority of your fan base.

Anyhoo, here's hoping I get a solid night of sleep soon...