Friday, July 24, 2009


This video completely negates the scary "birther" video that I posted earlier. How fantastic to find a couple that decided to make their wedding fun and celebratory, instead of formal and conventional?? You can't help but smile.

I walked down the aisle to David's brother playing "Here Comes the Sun" on the piano, and our hymn was "The Luckiest" by Ben Folds. At the time, I was pretty happy with our little tweak on convention, but now I'm bummed I didn't dance!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

When I Grow Up...

I have absolutely no idea what I want to do. See, some people know exactly what they want to be (i.e., David loves arguing and therefore loves being a lawyer). Others have such a dominant skill or interest that it makes the eventual decision easier. Me? I change my mind every month.

I'm very good at finance and business, which is why I've been doing it for 9 years. I enjoy the office environment and culture, but I can't stand finance itself. I hate math. Yet somehow I got started down this path and got trapped - the money had a lot to do with this. Now I have the opportunity to not stay in finance, and I can't decide which option to take.

I've thought a lot about teaching elementary level French, which would require a teaching certificate. I love languages, but I'm not certain if I would enjoy spending all day in the classroom without adult interaction.

I could go back to work at Merrill Lynch in another capacity - operations or management, perhaps. Maybe I should find a way to finish my MBA.

Or I could pursue an MA in strategic communications. This is the program that interests me the most, and these were my favorite classes at Emory. Negotiations, crisis management, gender communications, group dynamics - absolutely fascinating. I even wrote an entry for a business encyclopedia on persuasion, which was super cool. I'd love to teach at a graduate level, even pursue a PhD. The question is, how do I pay for this? And what do I do in the meantime? I'll be paying my business school loans for years to come, and I hate to add to them.

Of course, every time I watch an action movie, I tell David that I'm going to be a hostage negotiator or spy or FBI agent.

Suggestions are VERY welcome!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Old Lady Fashion Crimes

Clearly, I am completely inappropriate at the ancient age of 30. I wear high heels, t-shirts with print on them, mini skirts, and the occasional low cut shirt, among other crimes. On behalf of my aged self, I apologize for offending the delicate fashion sensibilities of this author.

Seriously, isn't it time we got rid of these old-fashioned views on age and fashion? I love seeing an older woman rocking some of these so-called crimes. I really think it's about personal style and confidence, rather than rules. Personally, I feel as if I've developed so much more of a individual style as I've gotten older, rather than just following the trends.

Plus, stiletto heels totally rock.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Yay 30!

I've decided that I really like being 30. My twenties were fairly (or extremely) turbulent, and I just feel as if I've been given a fresh start with a new decade. It cracks me up that teenagers now consider me old!

I feel more confident in my body and less concerned with what other people are thinking. I'm more comfortable expressing my opinion (David might say too comfortable!), and I'm just happier.

I'm looking forward to turning 31 :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Marriage for Dummies

I got this hysterical magazine in the mail yesterday, and it made my day. Apparently, they send it to anyone who's created a wedding registry recently, and it's full of "helpful" tips on marriage. Let me tell you, I would never, ever get married (much less twice) if I had read this first!

It must be written for a younger audience, or at least I hope so. My personal favorite article was the "Are you in sync sexually?". The first question was "Do you feel like you're doing it often enough". Okay, fair question, I guess. Then I read the answers. First choice - "Nope, we used to do it a lot more before we got married." Second choice - "Yep, I'm just not in the mood very often. It's more of a special occasion thing now". WHAT?? Those are the only choices? Have the authors completely bought into the myth of sex dying out as soon as you get married? Or do the readers really feel this way? Other questions talk about variety in the bedroom, foreplay, and sex toys - and the responses are all along the same lines. There is clearly a female and male answer to each question, in which the wife isn't supposed to be interested in sex at all and the husband can't get enough and is dissatisfied with the amount he's getting. (Don't even get me started on the juvenile terms the author uses in the article.)

The entire magazine is incredibly divided into stereotypical gender roles. There's even a oh-so-helpful diagram explaining how "boys" and "girls" react differently in arguments.

David's favorite part was the cartoon on the last page, which explains that staying out until 3:00 am, not calling, and coming home drunk makes the womenfolk crazy. It points out that calling at midnight gets you out of the doghouse, while still letting you get drunk with the boys. Gee, thanks for the tip!

I can't decide whether to get angry or just roll my eyes at this entire publication. I think it's just kind of scary that people get married without talking through these things (and again, I speak from experience).

Incredible Book

I've been staying up way too late at night reading "Guests of the Ayatollah", by Mark Bowden. Now, at first glance, a 700 page analysis of the 1979 Iranian hostage situation might seem a bit dry - but it is absolutely fascinating. Bowden also wrote "Black Hawk Down", and he brings the same suspenseful, tight writing style to this book. It's also particularly informing in light of the current political climate in Iran.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Wee Bit of Self Pity

I normally try to think positive and not bitch too much about my situation, but I'm just so frustrated today. David and I are in the mountains for the long weekend, but I'm stuck on the sofa. My parents and David are all out playing golf, it's a gorgeous day outside, the dogs are dying to go hiking - meanwhile, it took all of my energy to change out of my pjs. I'm so sick of this shit. I know it's much better than it was. I have more good days than bad, but the bad days still kick my ass. At least I had my first real meal in 36 hours and I'm not overly nauseous.

People always say that I look healthy when they see me out - I never point out that I don't leave the sofa when I'm sick. I don't like to see people when I feel terrible, which probably makes it easy for people to forget that I'm still not 100% better.

Whine, whine, whine. Sorry.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Mayo Clinic

Huh, I realized that I never mentioned my time at the Mayo Clinic or my final diagnosis. I spent 2 weeks there seeing every specialist possible (I was a bit of a mystery), and having every possible disease tossed about. At various times, the doctors speculated that I had ovarian cancer, MS, lupus, Parkinson's Disease, ALS, lymphoma, etc. I had 28 vials of blood taken over 2 days. I had 2 MRIs and 2 ultrasounds. I had a nerve conduction test. I had an EEG, an EMG, and an EKG. Oh, and did I mention that my mom, David, and I were all confined to a small suite for the 2 weeks?

Finally, the lead doctor on my case (who used a cane just like House) determined I have something called myalgic encephalomyelitis, which is a post-viral syndrome. Basically, my body and brain just went haywire after being so sick. My immune system is fighting itself, which is what caused all the crazy blood work results (which mimicked cancer) and the strange neurological symptoms. It's sometimes associated with or misdiagnosed as chronic fatigue syndrome. I've been on a low dose of antibiotics for a while, and they're going to continue to monitor my fever and blood counts over the next 6 months to a year. But the really good news is that it will eventually get better on its own.

I have good days and bad days. I can drive short distances. I feel significantly better than I did 6 months ago. That being said, it's still unbelievably frustrating to not be back to normal - patience is not my strong suit.

David pointed out just last night that, while I'm still physically unwell, I'm the healthiest I've ever been mentally. Who knew? Dropping out of the rat race has been a blessing. I just have to remind myself of that on a daily basis.

Vanity Fair and Sarah Palin

It's no secret that I loathe Sarah Palin. So when Vanity Fair came out with a lengthy article addressing her bizarre rise to power, I eagerly read every word. The article was just as juicy as I had hoped. Of course, I wasn't remotely surprised by the accusations of her chronic lying and narcissism, but some of the anonymous quotes by McCain staffers were definitely interesting. New York Magazine had a nice summary list of the top points. Enjoy...

10. Palin Doesn't Have Alaska's Best Interests at Heart: Palin's initial refusal to accept a third of the federal stimulus money offered to Alaska during a budget deficit "seemed calculated to burnish her national conservative credentials." After a "bipartisan outcry," Palin decided to take "all but about 3 percent of the $900 million available to Alaska. The consensus even among the Republicans I spoke to was that she rejected the last $28 million — for energy assistance — mostly to save face."

9. Palin Makes Questionable Personnel Decisions: Being an old friend of Palin's paid off once she became governor, because she'd probably give you a job on the basis of that friendship. One "became director of the state Division of Agriculture, citing a childhood love of cows as one qualification." Palin also has the distinction of nominating the only Cabinet nominee in Alaska's history to be rejected — would-be attorney general Wayne Anthony Ross, who referred to gays as "degenerates" and "drives a big red Hummer with the vanity license plate WAR."

8. Palin Is Not a Good Studier: We never did find out why exactly Palin switched colleges six times in six years, but perhaps her difficulty preparing for interviews and debates holds a clue. During a preparatory session before the run-up to the vice-presidential debate, Palin "just stared down, disengaged, non-participatory." Back during the prep for an Alaskan gubernatorial debate, Palin aide Curtis Smith reportedly told his business partner, "The debate prep’s going horribly. Every time we try to help her with an answer, she just gets mad."

7. Palin Is Not a Team Player: After she expressed concern about her standing back in Alaska, McCain's chief strategist Steve Schmidt "agreed to conduct a onetime poll of 300 Alaska voters. It would prove to Palin, Schmidt thought, that everything was all right." But after the collapse of the national economy and McCain's "suspension," Schmidt "scrapped the Alaska poll and urgently set out to survey voters’ views of the economy (and of McCain’s response to it) in competitive states. Palin was furious. She was convinced that Schmidt had lied to her, a belief she conveyed to anyone who would listen." In another instance, near the end of the campaign, "Todd was calling around to Republicans in South Carolina, urging them to keep his wife in mind for 2012 — the implication being that the Palins believed McCain was about to lose."

6. Palin Uses People: During her campaign for governor, Palin "won the crucial support" of two-time former Alaska governor Walter Hickel "in part by supporting one of his longtime hobbyhorses, an 'all-Alaska' natural-gas pipeline that would pump gas to the port of Valdez for export worldwide. As the campaign wore on, Palin backed away from that idea. 'I helped her out, she got elected,' Hickel says now. 'She never called me once in her life after that.'"

5. Palin Writes Creepy E-mails: "When Trig was born, Palin wrote an e-mail letter to friends and relatives, describing the belated news of her pregnancy and detailing Trig’s condition; she wrote the e-mail not in her own name but in God’s, and signed it 'Trig’s Creator, Your Heavenly Father.'"

4. Palin Has Mentally Scarred McCain Campaign Aides: Eight months after the election, some members of Team McCain are still haunted by their experience with Palin.

"[T]he senior members of McCain’s campaign team have undergone a painful odyssey of their own. In recent rounds of long conversations, most made it clear that they suffer a kind of survivor’s guilt: they can’t quite believe that for two frantic months last fall, caught in a Bermuda Triangle of a campaign, they worked their tails off to try to elect as vice president of the United States someone who, by mid-October, they believed for certain was nowhere near ready for the job, and might never be. They quietly ponder the nightmare they lived through."

3. Palin Is Vindictive: As governor, she fired her legislative liaison John Bitney after he fell in love with the wife of her best friend. In the infamous Troopergate scandal, she fired Walt Monegan, the head the state’s Department of Public Safety, after he refused to fire "a state trooper who had been involved in a messy divorce from Palin’s sister Molly."

2. Palin Is Full of Herself: Almost unbelievably, Purdum writes that several Alaskans told him, "independently of one another, that they had consulted the definition of 'narcissistic personality disorder' in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders — 'a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy' — and thought it fit her perfectly."

1. Palin Is a Compulsive Liar: During the campaign, Andrew Sullivan painstakingly chronicled Palin's tendency to tell "odd lies." Here's another example:

"At one point, trying out a debating point that she believed showed she could empathize with uninsured Americans, Palin told McCain aides that she and Todd in the early years of their marriage had been unable to afford health insurance of any kind .... Checking with Todd Palin himself revealed that, no, they had had catastrophic coverage all along. She insisted that catastrophic insurance didn’t really count and need not be revealed."

And another from Lydia Green, president of the State Senate:

"And she comes on TV and says, ‘I want to once again confirm that neither I nor my staff ever holds closed-door meetings.’ Well, we had just been in a closed-door meeting for an hour and a half!”

And another:

"Palin’s old nemesis, the Alaska Republican Party chair Randy Ruedrich, called on Stevens’s Democratic successor, Mark Begich, who had defeated Stevens just days after the original conviction last fall, to step down and allow a new election. Palin told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in an e-mail, “I absolutely agree.” Days later, at a news conference, Palin insisted she had never called on Begich to step down."

On the other hand, Purdum does concede that Palin is "by far the best-looking woman ever to rise to such heights in national politics." So, she's got that going for her.