Saturday, August 30, 2008

79 Trombones... I mean Houses

Moroni - you'll find him on LDS Temples

Today after working out I went to walk the neighborhoods again in support of YES on Proposition 8 Protect Marriage. This time I walked with the dynamic Kim and Todd. They are a couple that is genuine and real. I like that. It was their second week walking too.

We hit 79 houses. It was awesome.

As we talked with people, it became clear that many people haven't studied Proposition 8's ramifications.

If Proposition 8 doesn't pass - we are in for massive litigation against churches. We will have professions choosing to lose credentials, or choosing to advocate for a lifestyle they don't agree with. We will see adoption agencies run by religious organizations close, because they won't be able to fight in the courts to provide homes for children. We'll find good teachers who will have to choose between reading a book advocating a lifestyle to young kids, and the desire not to compromise their beliefs. In effect - they will be forced to teach children a lifestyle. This shouldn't be happening in our country, period. We will begin to see a disappearance of a country founded on religious freedom.

After explaining the ramifications of not protecting marriage, mny people realized that the YES vote for Proposition 8 isn't a whim - it's a necessity.

In California - we all have equal rights to everything - tearing apart the definition of marriage is not necessary, and worse is detrimental to our society, our governmental process, our children and families.

I understand it's a sensitive issue for many of us who have loved ones who are gay. I guess I distill the issue down to - if you have a loved one who is addicted to alcohol or drugs - will you lower the age of drinking? Will you legalize drugs? I know the issue is more complicated than that - but that's how I'm looking at it - the big picture. What is the best for this country?

As a member of the LDS Church I'm doing my part in this election coming up in November, not only because I believe in it - but because as a member of the Church I believe in a Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. I find it a small thing to do because as a member of the Church I have been formally asked to do all I can to support this measure. So it was disappointing to hear that there are congregations in the Bay Area where the Stake President or Bishop are heartily ignoring the letter from the Prophet.

If we can't hearken to the little things... what happens when something really, truly big comes along. Will we be like Lehi who when counseled directly by the Lord to take his family into the wilderness to find the promise land... obeyed, or will we pick and choose the things we want to do, and then murmur and sabotage what our leaders have asked us?

Nephi, Lehi's son was asked to do some hard things. He didn't understand them completely. He didn't have to constantly ask for affirmation - instead he relied on something greater... Faith. I think in times like these - we need to ask ourselves, where is our Faith? Will we exercise it? Will we show who's side we're on?

I know I'm not perfect ... I have many issues. But when something is so cut and dry as a direct letter from our Prophet, we sustain... I will go, I will do... and I will put my heart and soul into it. I hope you do too.

Kim kept saying this great quote: "If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything."


Friday, August 29, 2008

Keeping the pipes clean

It's Friday and I feel naughty.

Today the girls had a play date at a friend's house. It was perfect because my hubby was home and we had a little mid-morning delight.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Silent Auctions all over Blogland for NieNie

I keep wishing I had something profound, meaningful to say about all this. I don't. It's all been said.

I spend my time amazed at the miracle happening before my eyes. So many of us who don't know the Nielson family - but have only passed by them in blogland are doing something.

Go check out Design Mom's site and bid. I'm working on crafting skills... so I don't have anything spectacular to offer - except my word of mouth. That helps with prayers and spreading the word ...but alas... not so great in creating something lovely for you to buy.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Love Notes

I saw this post today on Just Something I Made. This woman is so talented. I wish I could draw. I love leaving notes... when my hubby and I were dating, and early in our marriage when he traveled a lot I'd hide notes in his suitcase, pockets... so that he'd have surprises to find. I tried to do that with my oldest for preschool - but she can't read yet...but the pictures... I may have to work on drawing... stick people are about all I can do.

This post on that site is inspiring.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Talk the Talk... Walking the Walk

The view of Folsom Lake from the million dollar homes we knocked on... we weren't expecting a work out...but with the homes on huge lots... we were getting a work out and enjoying the day.

Yesterday I joined my friends and neighbors walk door-to-door in support of Proposition 8. Proposition 8 is the amendment on the November ballot for the people to vote. A vote yes is a conscious decision to protect and defend traditional marriage, between one man and one woman. It's a chance to say, yes, I believe that marriage is valid, important and valuable to society as a whole.

I did this walk 8 years ago. At that time it was Proposition 22. I was single. I walked with my friend Pam. Since that time we have found husbands, and are each raising two daughters. That proposition passed in 2000 with over 61% of the vote in California. It was a resounding affirmation of the importance and validity of marriage. We thought... that was that.

Then this year - four arrogant judges ruled over three - declaring that the will of the people was worth zilch. I couldn't believe this was happening in a country founded on freedom. Founded because our English ancestors were escaping religious persecution - forced to believe in something they didn't. Eerily... it's as if we are turning into a country that our founders were fleeing. Just check out this article from NPR about how religious freedom is no longer safe.
(That article makes me think of those crazy women who get pregnant to keep a boyfriend, or a cheating husband... honestly... why are they so desperate? It's not like there aren't other boys)

The walk was fun. Weird to say that huh? Despite feeling vulnerable, it was a natural high for me. It reminded me of why I loved doing new business contacts when I was at tech trade shows. I am looking forward to walking again. I walked with a group of folks that are fun, engaging, intelligent and hopeful. Carrie our leader, David and Erin, and Rose. These are all people I genuinely respect.

Yep, it's a vineyard... can you imagine... uh, yeah - let me step out the door into my lovely vineyard.

Can you see the lovely grapes...mmm.

I will admit that the first door we approached, my tummy fluttered. I was nervous because the biased media can seem so loud, so overpowering that I feel like I'm a lone voice in the wilderness. I was nervous because - I am not homophobic, and I didn't want whoever we met at the door to feel offended or hurt. Likewise, I didn't want to be hurt either. I genuinely like my friends who are gay - they are no different than my other friends, except that they choose to live a different lifestyle. I have no problems with equal rights - in California, I'm proud to say - homosexuals have equal rights under the law. My problem is with the process - going through the back door in the legal system, hijacking our democratic system...and forcing people to condone/advocate a lifestyle through litigious means.

I find that when people respond to honest discussion about touchy topics with an inflammatory label - these are people who aren't willing to listen, or have a sincere search for truth. Those kind of people are antagonistic, and want to shut down opposing opinions. That's sad to me. What are they afraid of? If you are sure in your position - talk...

We met many who were not familiar with the proposition. As a result there were many undecided voters. We also had a few definite no votes. We also had many yes votes. I had began that walk feeling nervous, and a little gloomy at our prospects... but after that morning of walking, and finding out where people stood ... I felt my shoulders lighten - it seemed brighter. In fact, my first definite Yes of the day... made me want to jump up, and kick my heels in the air... I settled for a victory raise of my arms... I didn't want to embarrass my fellow walkers. hehe

Here's the deal... no matter what happens - I am proud of myself. I'm proud that when asked, I did something. I'm proud that I am taking a stand - a definite one. I'm proud that the choice to stand up and be counted 8 years ago - is still something I agree with, and that I am willing to stand up and be counted again. I'm proud that I am doing what I can. There's nothing worse than people who piss and moan about one thing or other about the government, or their life - and do nothing about it. What is the point of always talking about something and not doing anything about it. Inaction drives me bonkers. If you feel like you are on one side or another of an issue and you do nothing... that is a vote for the other side... whatever that may be.

Course... I prefer you to vote YES on Proposition 8 - 8 is a lucky number... here I am talking the talk... walking the walk and hoping...

We also saw a Mommy dear and a baby... I seriously had so much fun.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I like cars. I'm not a girl grease monkey....I can't tell the difference between cars... I think white cars, neutral tones are boring. I like bold colors.

I like nice cars... I like fast cars. I like when I can zip off at a light and beat everyone, with a roar of an engine. I feel hawt when that happens. Silly - but hey... as a Mommy... this is like a mini vacation each time. I like nimble cars. So I can switch lanes quickly and efficiently. I'm a very conscious driver on the road - I won't get in your stay out of mine.

I've always liked the windows down and the music up... so when it's just me going to kick-box class, a hair appt, or shopping... you hear that? Yeah, that's me... I'm loud.


I turn into a Curmudgeon when...

- I receive junk mail from Capitol One
- I receive junk mail period.
- I receive emails from people who only send forwards.
- I get junk forwards that people didn't bother to check if it's valid or not
- I get invited to someone's "party" only when they are trying to sell me something (this is not a big deal if the person regularly invites me to do things with them... it's when the only time I'm invited to do something by this person is to BUY stuff so they can get free stuff) Don't call it a party - it's a sales drive.
- slow drivers drive in the fast lane
- drivers speed up to pull out in front of me and then decide to drive like sloths
- drivers like to drive right next to if they need to hold hands
- I don't have enough sleep
- I don't have enough patience
- I keep dropping things

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Without a prompter - shallowness prevails

I love how the French swimmer talked smack about our American swimmers and then...when it came down to delivering... fell short.

It's always fun to watch people who talk big get whipped in the public realm. Take Obama's words saying he's willing to debate anytime/anywhere... Invester's Business Daily ran this article. No surprise why he won't do so anymore. Wimp. I'm not a huge McCain fan - but of the two... depth and practical solutions, experience wins me over everytime. I deplore fluff filled politicians...nothing but flowery words, empty promises, and frightening selfish agendas. (my peanut gallery comments in [below])

Some of my favorite bits below:

The stark differences between the two came through the most on the question of whether there is evil in the world. Obama spoke of evil within America, "in parents who have viciously abused their children." According to the Democrat, we can't really erase evil in the world because "that is God's task." And we have to "have some humility in how we approach the issue of confronting evil."

[In other words - do nothing - traditional way of copping out - nice spine]

For McCain, with a global war on terror raging, there was no equivocating: We must "defeat" evil. If al-Qaida's placing of suicide vests on mentally-disabled women and then blowing them up by remote control in a Baghdad market isn't evil, he asked: "You have to tell me what is."

[I admire someone who takes a stand - I abhor the lukewarm, saddle sitters - they are pathetic]

On taxes, Obama waxed political: "What I'm trying to do is create a sense of balance and fairness in our tax code." McCain showed an understanding of what drives a free economy: "I don't want to take any money from the rich. I want everybody to get rich. I don't believe in class warfare or redistribution of the wealth."

[Obama - let's give to those who do nothing. Balance is hardwork = compensation. It is not - no work and free money. It is not hard work and give it all away to people who doen't deserve it. McCain - dude we should all get rich - on our merits - stop fighting/pointing fingers at people who have more than you and start working]

To any honest observer, the differences between John McCain and Barack Obama have been evident all along. What we saw last weekend was Obama's shallowness juxtaposed with McCain's depth, the product of his extraordinary life experience.

This toon is telling...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Olympic Cuties


Volleyball - Can ya dig it?

I love watching Olympic volleyball. I have loved playing volleyball. I am still a crappy overhead server - but I love beach and any kind of volleyball. I guess that's my excuse for wanting to walk around in my panties - ya know, in solidarity.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


So I finally posted my girls' monthly post for July. ;-) Pictures take forever to load.

Those of you that have access to my private blog - FYI.
Those of you that know me and would like access - zip me your email and I'll add you.

Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Well of Lost Plots

by Jasper Fforde. This guy is fascinating. I'd love to walk around inside his head.

Though I liked books 1 and 2 books better - the third one The Well of Lost Plots had a part that I couldn't get out of my head. The excerpt below is from page 48. It's where the officer Thursday Next is introduced to the Well of Lost Plots in the book world, by Snell a Jurisfiction officer.

"You Outlanders! Books may look like nothing more than words on a page, but they are actually an infinitely complex imaginotransference technology that translates odd, inky squiggles into pictures inside your head...

"Well," I sighed, trying to get my head around this idea. I had always thought novels were just, well, written."

"Write is only the word we use to describe the recording process," replied Snell as we walked along. "The well of Lost Plots is where we interface the writer's imagination with the characters and plots so that it will make sense in the reader's mind. After all, reading is arguably a far more creative and imaginative process than writing; when the reader creates emotion in their head, or the colors of the sky during the setting sun, or the smell of a warm summer's breeze on their face, they should reserve as much praise for themselves as they do for the write--perhaps more."

This was a new approach; I mulled the idea around in my head.

"Really?" I replied, slightly doubtfully.

"Of course!" Snell laughed. "Surf pounding the shingle wouldn't mean diddly unless you'd seen the waves cascade onto the foreshore, or felt the breakers tremble the beach beneath your feet, now would it?"

"I suppose not."

"Books"--Snell smiled--"are a kind of magic."

I love that... "books are a kind of magic." I totally agree. I love the... what I imagine is the author "winking" at his readers. Clever, witty, funny... imaginative guy.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Ambivalent. That's how I often live my life as an American Born Chinese (ABC). It's frustrating enough growing up, but to also try and reconcile your worth in light of the world, society, family, friends, etc.

I finally finished watching all of the opening ceremonies today. This was after a lesson at church that included a song that had the words "suffering unseen by human eyes". That God sees, only He understands even when the people around you don't.

I'm pretty easy to read. I don't have a poker face. I'm pretty much what you see - is what you get. I can't lie. I tried all through growing up and it never worked. Guilt over lying is just not worth it to me.

Surprisingly, when I am going through a stressful or harrowing time inside my mind, my heart - no one notices. I don't know if it's because I'm expected to be positive, happy... or maybe I'm just not worth it to notice. I don't make that statement lightly, or to illicit responses to contradict it/make me feel better.

I believe that part of it is the fact that as a nation, ethnic group - Chinese people are an unknown entity. Most people don't quite know what to do with us. There's so many of us in the world - it's probably a little unnerving to those not of our culture or our skin tone. Yet, in areas like where I live, there aren't many of us.

If the Chinese government doesn't value the lives of it's people - how can the rest of the world do so? This follows all the way to individual families. If a father, a mother, can't value their own family members, how can anyone else do so? Why would the siblings care about each other?

I suppose that's where the ambivalence comes from. I spend most of my days pretty proud of who I am. And maybe that's because of my hometown. My high school was 45% Asian. Of those - the majority went on to ivy league schools. Most have at least two degrees. We did not live in a cash poor area. But many sacrificed so their children could have the best - the best schools. We lived in the home of Apple Computers, the place where a garage would yield computer changing innovations. A place where speaking tech terms, and understanding them was commonplace. We grew up interested in diversity, trying new things, learning... yearning for knowledge.

Some days I don't feel proud. Some days I'm annoyed, bothered and embarrassed. I live in an area that was, and still kind of is a small town. It has only started to show it's potential with the growth of building and influx of money from the Bay Area (my home town). Many people who grew up here are returning to this area. This is a place that used to be nothing but fields. Where trucks and a lack of traffic lights was standard. Today - it's happily transforming into a real city.

However, sometimes attitudes and prejudices are a bit stubborn to root out. The majority here is clearly white. Throw some money in the mix and you'll find that being Asian here means being treated like hired help. Which is entirely comical given that these people live under a cloud of ignorance having grown up in a small town.

I know I shouldn't be surprised, but I still am when I find there are people who either don't understand, or refuse to learn about people who are different than they are. It's so strange to hear people say that they absolutely won't eat or don't like an entire country's worth of food. I guess my problem always has been and always will be expectations. I just figure if I can find all sorts of fun flavors for my tongue from every country - that other people can too. I always figure food can be a great foot in the door to better understanding.

I know it's hard for people to get their brains around the difference between the few who rule China and the mass of humanity that is China. Isn't that what we want as Americans? We want to be distinguished apart from the embarrassing behavior or policy from our own government.

That's why it bothered me the way the protests against China were carried out. I have no problem with raising our voices against wrongdoing. It's our responsibility. But to attack the people holding the torches - who have nothing whatsoever to do with policy - who are innocent - that strikes me as exactly the type of behavior we condemn terrorists for.

I suppose my conflicted feelings also include the inane commentary from Matt Lauer about the alphabet of countries. The whole world does not revolve around us. There are other countries that speak other languages. Shockingly those other languages might have a different system than ours. Probably more logical systems. But, that's a rumor I hear.

It's sad that the drummers had to be told - "SMILE" or the world might just be intimidated by you. Why do they have to make people who aren't willing to learn feel good about themselves?

It almost seems that it's easier for the rest of the world to relegate us to the "nerd" box. Which - I guess is better than "hoodlum" or "dirty". I dunno. In a supposedly diverse country - how many Asians can you count that actually are known in our pop culture world? Maybe it is intimidating to meet a group who can literally do anything they desire. Maybe that's the problem? That whenever someone succeeds there always has to be those people angry that this is happening, because they are either unwilling or unable to do so themselves. This kind of attitude only ticks me off. Something is lacking in character when we can't be happy for someone's success and ability. Envy is unbecoming.

Maybe that's why the world gets frustrated with us as a whole. So many of our people are too fat in their own lives, and expect the world to bend to their will, to accommodate them. I suppose that's why I still am so grateful for my time living in the foreign language student residence at BYU. I was with a group of people who were constantly open, accepting and willing to treat each other the same - regardless of race or religious beliefs.

One world, One dream... funny that a crazy communist government allowed that one. As a Mormon - we dream about a Zion. A place where everyone lives in harmony. I guess it's just sometimes really difficult to imagine given the strife in our own wards and neighborhoods. For people who ought to know better - we frankly don't.

I'm proud of my roots. I'm proud of my brothers and sisters in China. I'm happy for them - for this beautiful opening ceremonies. It gave them one day to truly shine. It was one day to throw off the mess of politics, dirt and grime. For one day the hardworking people of that nation were able to rise up and feel hope.

Friday, August 8, 2008


Loved the dances that were done again - everything felt light and beautiful.

Fun to see Mary and Nigel dance - you'll never see Simon sing on AI. That's why I love this show.

I absolutely adore Joshua and Katee. Gev I want to pinch like I pinch my baby's chub. Mark is freaky in a totally entertaining way. Will and Katee together is like watching perfection and art.

Twitch is fun. I loved seeing Dominic, Ryan and Hok. I wish we could've seen all the winners of SYTYCD. They gave far too little time to people from the past...and were missing a lot of people I'd like to know about.

What is the deal with the Jonas Brothers? Anyone? I.DON'T.GET.IT. They are awful. Why do tweens have such bad taste?

I wasn't happy that the arrogant popper was trumpted as the winner of the popping contest. Mia was the only judge I agreed with on that particular decision.

I like Lil'C's commentaries. I miss Shane Sparks. What happened to Dan?

Wade is a magician... a crazy, freaky, can't take my eyes off his creations magician. I want to see his show in Vegas.

Nigel always talks about how this show is legitimizing or highlighting dance for the world. Well - then put your money where your mouth is Nigel - 50 grand? 250 grand... really... that's PIDDLY compared to what you're making on this show and only continues the disparity between singers and dancers. Enough with the... "well that's a dancer's life" ... if you really want to make it change... show us.

*sigh* I'm going to miss my dance fix. Seriously... this show is far more entertaining, talented than any AI show.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.

That is what the California State Government is to a T. Jerry Brown is his self-proclaimed wisdom (click this), Calf Supreme Court in their hallowed robes, pencil pushing state workers are all letting the people of California know that the will of the people is null and void. 

That's why anytime anyone decides that a solution to a problem is gov't involvement I roll my eyes and then my heart palpitates in fear.

When has gov't run anything efficiently? We are a country successful because we the people decide. Why is Obama out campaigning and raising money from the rest of the world? So that America can owe the rest of the world? What?Seriously??? Who's country is this? 

Today on Oprah I caught her talking about the dire state of education in our country. The statistics thrown out include how we are behind Canada and even Poland. The solution - more money, more gov't involvement. Are you kidding me? The solution is most certainly NOT gov't involvement. Hell - in Sacramento they want to spend 650,000 to count trees (click this). While they're at it - would someone run a budget for me to count the hairs on my head, the lint in my dryer, the particles in the sunlight? Seriously - what do the stupid suits do in Sacramento??? Do they not live in the world where the economy is stretched to the max, fire fighting in the state is creating budget woes... HELLO!!!

I'll tell you what will make our schools better. How about eliminating the ridiculous 2 year tenure ability? I know it's not PC to blast teachers... because according to Oprah (gag) teachers walk on air. Let's be honest - NOT all teachers are good. I know people who aren't teachers anymore and have sailed through the 2 years and now - don't work ...but if they wanted to... they'd get it because they have tenure. These are not good teachers. Some are... yes... but they are often the exception - not the rule. Think back on the teachers you had that were stellar... you probably don't even need your toes to count 'em. Anyone who has worked in a career knows that the first 2 years they are on the job ... is merely training...getting the toes wet. So let's really set some high standards - tenure... how about something low... like a minimum of 10 years!!! (which is still not much) Here's another - allow parents to choose what schools their kids go to - they pay the damn taxes. I guarantee you that competition will make the teachers burn a fire under their asses and schools will have to get better and the fat will be cut. It will be amazing how much more efficient things will be run when there isn't this cushy net of forced taxes/gov't spending. Choice... that's what this country is built on. 

Another one... when you see kids excel - in wealthy or poor neighborhoods - it is from parental involvement. Preserve the family - secure the nation. That's all there is to it. 

I am also so sick and tired of the way some people who speak with that tone of "afterglow" voice... dripping with arrogance and patronization. As if speaking slowly and with subdued emotion adds to a person's self-righteous credibility. I honestly believe that these people with too much money, time and celebrity have nothing to do. So they sit around and find ways to tell the rest of us "poor, ignorant souls" how we ought to be living our lives... in fact, they want to legislate our lives. To them I say - go crawl back into your ivory towers so I can burn them down.

This is perhaps why - I'm actually fired up about Yes on 8 to Protect Marriage. It's not the issue that is firing me up - it's the hijacking of our system, our democracy. It's the blatant disregard for the rule of law. It's arrogance. I sincerely support either way the vote goes if it's not biased or swayed by politics. BUT - the ridiculous, in your face totalitarianism is freaking UNSETTLING.

ps. Arrogance is a pet peeve... a BIG pet peeve.

Grumpy and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Today... just feeling grumpy. Not sure if it's PMS or the universe telling me something... or maybe it's just... blah. People irritate me. I keep dropping stuff. The End.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


A friend to all is a friend to none...even if they are "nice". You never know if they are sincere or being "nice".

Sometimes it sucks to live in hickville (an overabundance of trucks too)... what I mean by that is - people who aren't into trying new foods...and people who say they like Chinese food, but mean some diluted chain restaurant. I say this because recently we went to lunch with the girls at our fav indian restaurant and we were one of two tables. Our girls love Indian food. What happens if this restaurant goes under?

After 31 years ... and constant wariness of seagulls... this past weekend I was pooped on by one of those nasty birds... right on my left bicep. It was gross. So gross I made my husband wipe it off. The only saving grace - it did not land on my little one ...who was in my arms at the time.