Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year and best wishes for a prosperous, happy, healthy 2011. Hey, did you know tomorrow will be 1/1/11?

(If you're out tonight, choose a designated driver. Watch out for the drunk idiots on the road. Drive safely and buckle up. Okay?)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Stanford Breaks UConn's Winning Streak!

And this girl, Jeanette Pohlen, was a big part of the reason. I swear, I saw even Tara VanDerveer crack a smile on camera after the game.

And it wasn't even close. Stanford won 71-59 at home in front of a sold-out crowd. This time they were ready for UConn. They shut down the Huskies' Maya Moore and weren't frazzled by UConn's aggressive defensive play.

Go Cardinal! I'm glad it was Stanford that got to end UConn's 90-win streak.

Camo Jerry

One of the presents I got for Christmas was a San Francisco Giants throw, which has a silky rug-like white backing. Jerry has discovered he can camouflage himself in it. This morning he attacked many strings and won the battle. Here he is waiting for another string to appear.

I don't have the heart to tell him his blue eyes are a dead giveaway, along with his orange points.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Progress, Not Perfection

Well, my grades are all submitted, and thus ends another semester. I always get a little sad after posting final grades. Inevitably there are students who don't pass, and I always wonder how I could have done a better job. Of course, having a certain number of unmotivated students is par for the course in a developmental English class. Some of these kids, fresh out of high school, don't aim for anything higher than just getting by, and they're used to sliding on through with a minimal amount of effort. Then they get into college thinking they can do the same thing. I don't know why some students think they can pass without turning in a couple of papers and by skipping their lab assignment. I tell them they can't, and to turn in something, if only to get partial credit. A five-point "F" is still better than a zero. But I reckon some of them think I'm merely rattling a saber and I don't really mean it.

So, I've posted final grades and some will realize--too late, after the fact--that I did indeed mean it.

And all of this got me thinking about where I just slide on by, put in a minimal amount of effort, in my own life. Chelle and I were talking on the drive home from Hat Creek (six hours in the car, what else can you do?) and remarking on how much we've turned into an old married couple in a rut. She comes home, I'm parked in front of the tv with my laptop on my lap, she grabs her iPad, and we sit there engaged in everything but each other. There's comfort in routine and being able to sit quietly with a loved one, but there's also the fear of taking each other for granted. We've both gotten pudgy over the years, too, and so we wound up making a New Year's resolution: instead of the same old routine, I'll make us a healthy dinner every night, and we'll sit down together to eat it and talk before we retreat into our books or our computer games or whatever's on the Idiot Box.

I've been good about not drinking, but my cholesterol's a little elevated, and I've been lazy about exercising. My treadmill right now is covered with boxes. What I've got to do is get back into the habit of running sprints every other morning before work. That seems to be the only time I'll do them. Fortunately, my first class isn't until 9am next semester, and I have Tuesdays and Thursdays off, so I won't be as easily able to conjure excuses.

And I reckon that's what's bugging me about seeing students who are perfectly capable putting forth so little effort. How to motivate them? How to inspire them to do better? Other students have snarked that I ought to dock more points than I do. But, see, that doesn't work. I don't want students to FEAR an "F"... I want them to desire an "A."

So it's a never-ending quest to make things that seem mundane relevant and interesting, important--even crucial. Students say they enjoy my classes because it's clear I care.

But today I'm wondering if caring is enough.

Oh, well, as they say in AA: progress, not perfection. Every semester is different, and I get better and better as I learn from each failure.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Home Again, Home Again

We left Hat Creek around 10am and are finally just now getting home. It rained the whole way except for when we were going over the pass--then we were treated to a winter wonderland. Lassen, of course, is totally covered with snow and remains snowy at the peak year long. That's the crazy thing about California--you can be at the beach surrounded by swaying palm trees one minute, get in your car and drive a few hours, and go skiing.

Not that I've ever gone skiing, but still.

It's good to be home, and the kitties are delighted to be out of the carrier. They are presently stalking each other. Derby always wins this game since she's quite a bit brighter than Jerry. Car rides don't bother him at all as long as he has his red fuzzy blanket.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Up and At 'Em

Well, not only did I get everything Zenyatta this Christmas, I also got everything San Francisco Giants, so here I am wearing my new Cody Ross (my boyfriend's) jersey. I am still a little under the weather, but at least I'm out of bed today and I even played canasta with Chelle and her mom. She won, of course. I came in second. Chelle lost. Sssh.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


I'm sick, and this is how I feel about it!

Merry Day After Christmas

A reader's fantasy, huh?

Our forecast snowstorm eluded us, so no snowshoeing for me, which is just as well since Chelle also saw fit to give me her cold for Christmas. This morning I took some time to show her how to do a "vampire cough" into the crook of her arm.

Derby and Jerry gave Mom a game of Apples to Apples for Christmas (which I enjoyed playing when I was in rehab!), so we spent the morning playing several rounds of that. I'd planned on taking some time to record grades and start posting them today, but I'm feeling a little too punky for serious work. Thus I will return to Netflix and making my way through the Monarchy series (and as far as I can see, Henry did indeed usurp the throne from Richard, and it's making me want to go back and read my Shakespeare once again. Then again, the Bard couldn't upset Elizabeth because they were pretty carefree about lopping off heads back in those days).

Santa Anita's opening day is today, so naturally I will root for Smiling Tiger.

I hope Santa was good to everyone, and may I say I really like the bathroom scale here at the Pell household because this morning it told me I'm down five more pounds, and I know that is not even remotely possible given all the candy snarfing I've been engaging in lately. I just won't step on the scale when I get back home.

My second Christmas sober, so yeehaw.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

What Do You Get Joyce for Christmas?

Anything Zenyatta related, and a big fat check to go to Breeders Cup next year.

Thanks, Chelle, Mom, and Dad. You guys are the best.

ps. Oh, and I got a very special pair of earrings from someone very dear to me.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas at the Pell House

Ah, the holidays with the in-laws. The beauty of this place always astounds me. This photo is at the back of the property by the pond (the self-same pond, if you'll recall, that I was dashing up the hill from to throw a trout into after pulling it from Hat Creek this past summer. I swear that knee I came down on still isn't right.)

I spent the morning doing zumba with my mother-in-law and my hips haven't seen this much action since ... well, I dare not say.

And this is our tree. There are so many windows in this place and snow on the ground already, so it's Christmas season perfect. Actually, we are supposed to be hit with a snowstorm tomorrow and Sunday. We're talking about going snowshoeing up in Lassen if it's possible to get over the pass.

It sure will be pretty with the evergreens heavy with snow.

Happy holidays to all my friends and family (and AA family) who follow this blog.

May all your Christmas dreams come true.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More Christmas Funnies from LOLcats

I'm thinking Senator Lindsay Graham is trembling in fear of mortal peril at the moment. If he were out, he'd have nothing to fear. Well, merry Christmas, Senator.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Last Night's Lunar Eclipse

In case you missed it (and I did since it was cloudy here), here is video of last night's lunar eclipse. It's pretty rare to get one on the Winter Solstice.

3 Doors Down: "Here Without You"

If you're missing someone, this song says it all.

Monday, December 20, 2010

This Is Why I Don't Miss Spokane

Yikes! And to think Chelle and I were so very close to buying a house on the South Hill.

No offense to my friends who live in Spo-vegas.

Need Your Hooha Steamed?

Women are funny about their vajayjays.

It used to be that women never even trimmed their crotch hair. Big ole bushes were the norm. And if our vaginas got skunky, we douched. Or got a DNC. (And by that, I don't mean the Democratic National Convention.) Nope, I distinctly recall one of my foster mothers raving about how much better she'd felt after getting a DNC. I guess doctors used to perform this procedure on women who felt punky and unfresh. Then again, doctors also used to use vibrators on women as a cure for hysteria.

I guess if I had a cute doctor, I might be going in for office visits, complaining of hysteria on a regular basis.

Anyway, nowadays, douches are passe (revealed as prone to causing vaginal infections), and we hail the hooha as a self-cleaning oven. Any smart woman owns at least one vibrator of her own, and most of us are more educated about what makes us feel good.

Alas, it seems that once women start to feel empowered and comfortable with their genitalia, society decides to raise the bar a little higher. I'm not against trimming (heck, all that hair can get in the way; a nice trim provides easier access), and women with shaved or waxed vajayjays are just hot. (Landing strips are just silly, though. I don't get the point, unless you feel your partner needs a runway, and if so, then get a new partner or train this one better.)

No, now we're supposed to vajazzle our vajayjays so we shimmer down there like a disco ball. Or if we're too stretched out from childbearing or other rigorous sexual activity, we can have our hoohas surgically retightened (vaginoplasty). And now some spas in LA are offering a new treatment: steaming your vagina. Yup. You straddle a stool over a boiling kettle of herbs and steam your precious lady for a half hour or so.

All because our vaginas supposedly have nasty little teeth that otherwise bite.

(Okay, not really.)

Look. When are women going to feel good about themselves JUST THE WAY THEY ARE? If you keep Ms. Puss clean and reasonably trimmed, and if you eat a healthy diet, you're fine. Stay away from spicy food and asparagus if you know things are going to get intimate. Take in a little more citrus than usual. The same holds true for men.

You don't see men being told to bejazzle their balls or soak their peckers in vinegar, do you?

Didn't think so.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Vision of Students Today

This is an interesting short video that still manages to pack in a lot of information. As an educator, I'm mostly intrigued by this because it shows so very clearly how we are failing our students through outdated instructional practices... especially when you're working with developmental students. Drills don't work. Rote memorization does not work. The average student has an attention span of about 20 minutes maximum, so you constantly must change whatever it is you're doing in the classroom every 15 minutes or so if you want to keep your students tuned in. Incorporate video, slideshows, text, discussion, group work, all in a single period. They don't learn if you don't keep them engaged. The days of the tweedy old gray-bearded professor pontificating in front of the room are gone.

Or they should be.

Hat tip to Shawn Chinn.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Staying Sober During the Holidays

It's that time of year when even people who don't normally drink will imbibe, at office parties, family gatherings, or at the homes of friends. What's an alcoholic to do with so much temptation? You can't exactly say no to every invitation, and besides, it's the holidays and you SHOULD enjoy yourself! Here are some tips on how I handle temptations, many of which I learned in rehab.

(1) Go with someone who knows you don't drink and who will support you. Stay away from friends who are "drink pushers"-- you know, the ones who used to encourage your drinking when you were using or are alcoholics themselves who were bummed when you decided to stop. (Chances are good you don't see these folks that much anymore anyway.)

(2) Have an escape plan. If the profusion of booze turns out to be too much for you, don't give into temptation. LEAVE. If you can't leave (because, say, you're the designated driver), call your sponsor or alert your trusted friend that you brought along with you that you're having a rough time. Perhaps go outside for some fresh air, or to the bathroom to splash some water on your face. If you have a smartphone, there is a One Day At A Time app (ODAAT) with prayers and quick meditations. Briefly reconnect with your 12 step program. As they say, once you've had a good dose of AA, drinking is a lot less fun to do.

(3) If someone walks up to you and asks if you'd like something to drink, say, "Sure! Do you have Diet Coke (or club soda or water or anything nonalcoholic)." Most people stop at that and give you what you ask for. But some will persist. "What? There's some great eggnog! You should try it!" (or rum punch, or wassail, or peppermint martinis). You can answer any number of ways: "No, I'm watching my calories" or simply "I don't drink." If they keep persisting, they're either tipsy themselves or have the sensitivity of a fly. To these folks, I'm prone to smiling and saying firmly, "Seriously, no. Thank you." If they persist, they're being a jackass, and you can walk away from them with a clear conscience.

(4) Watch out for hidden booze. Rum balls, bourbon balls, holiday punch, some cakes and pies. Even a simple bite with that old familiar flavor can set off unbearable cravings, so just don't go there to begin with.

(5) Alcoholics Anonymous. Meetings are always packed this time of year and just after the New Year, when people are trying to turn over a new leaf and start the year sober. Going to meetings keeps you connected to the program and you'll be less likely to drink. But AA also has holiday bashes... potlucks, dancing, speakers, the works, all without the booze. Often they run around the clock for several days, and you can drop by as needed. They do this because they know.

I know. It's normal for this time of year to be a little rough. Hang in there. Focus on other things: giving and receiving gifts, singing, music, conversation, games. One thing I was afraid of when I quit drinking was that parties and gatherings wouldn't be fun anymore. It's not true. Actually, most people don't drink to excess (it just seemed that way when I was drunk off my ass all the time). I've also discovered that most people like me much better as a sober person: after all, they get to interact with the REAL ME.

One day at a time. If you can get through 24 hours without a drink, that's all you need to do.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Serving Others

The holidays are a time of year of tangled emotions. On the one hand, there’s the happiness and joy of the season, the fun of giving and receiving gifts, seeing family, and, as Chelle likes to say, “Feeling the love.” The flip side of that is regret, or grief, over the absence of those feelings. Some of us are alone, or some of us have suffered a loss over the past year, and we feel keenly a person’s absence. This time of year is also supposed to be a time of forgiveness and wiping the slate clean, starting off the New Year vowing to be better and do better.

It’s also a time to remember those less fortunate than us—truly tough this year, because so many of us have lost our jobs or have taken pay cuts, or haven’t seen a raise in three years despite an increased cost of living. We want to help, but then feel like we can’t, and then feel guilty about that during this season of giving.

And sometimes, the stress of the holidays brings out the worst in people. I was watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” the other night and remarked on Facebook that this world nowadays has way too many Mr. Potters and not enough George Baileys. There is indeed something wrong in the world when 9-11 first responders can’t get government assistance for health problems tied to that event, but millionaires can get their tax breaks extended. And how many Grinches and Scrooges do you know—except that the story ends differently for them? Their hearts don’t grow, or they don’t have a change of heart?

Over the course of a year, it’s so easy to get self-involved, bogged down in your own problems and your own desires. Once in that space, it’s hard to get unstuck.

AA offered me a solution to self-interest. It’s so simple that it’s laughable, but it’s profound in its simplicity. It goes something like this. If you don’t want to be a liar, don’t lie. If you want to be sober, don’t drink. If you want to be unselfish, give. If you want to be forgiving, forgive. If you want to be a better person, start being one.

The point is, stop rationalizing why you CAN’T. Just do it. Actions first. Then your state of mind, your life, will follow suit.

It’s not the other way around. We get stuck when we think actions follow.

I’m reminded of something my father told me the last time I ever saw him in 1986, when I left home after Christmas Break to head back to Penn State and the start of the spring semester. He’d be going into surgery for a pacemaker in a few more days—he never made it out of the recovery room. What he said to me, in a nutshell, was this: “The reason we’re here is to help other people. It’s the only thing that counts.”

I wish then that I had fully understood what he meant. It took me 48 years to get it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Lolcat Christmas

Not a bad cat. The tree is still standing.

Train: "Shake Up Christmas"

I loved "Drops of Jupiter." But "Hey Soul Sister" has been so overplayed that I change the station whenever that comes on the radio! This little Christmas ditty is actually a lot of fun (thanks, Randy, for the heads up about it). They're yet another great band out of San Francisco.

Monday, December 13, 2010

On Not Fighting the Current

I am living a charmed life nowadays. Even when I think things may not be going well, I say a quick prayer—something like, “God, show me what to do here. I’m stuck about what’s right—“ and inevitably the situation resolves itself with a good outcome. I’m learning to follow my nose, trust my instincts, and trust that something will intervene if I misstep. God, or my guides, or however you want to label this Loving Force, shows itself all the time, mostly through other people: if my path is taken because of a poor choice, obstacles get set in front of me that make me reevaluate the decision, or if it’s smooth sailing, then I know I’m going the right way.

I know, to someone who is totally ego-driven, that this sounds na├»ve and insane. All I can say to that is, when I was the one in charge of all my decision-making, I often made bad decisions–even when I thought I was doing the right thing--and then had to suffer negative consequences. Whenever some little part of my life felt out of my control, I’d panic and do whatever I could do to try and force a particular outcome. The result was often chaos. Plans backfired; I hurt people; people and events were unpredictable; I often felt frustrated.

And it was I who kept making the decision to drink, even well after I knew my addiction was out of control. So, there you have it.

Let me tell you, we individuals don’t rule the world. You can suffer from the delusion that you do, but you are not the one in charge. The only thing you’re in charge of is YOU. And you can either fight the current with your ego the whole trip, or you can go along for the ride and enjoy the scenery on the way and get from this life whatever it is God intended for you to get.

When you decide to put your life in God’s hands, worries fall away, serenity enters your life, and everything that happens to you is part of a blessed plan.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

San Francisco Fog

San Francisco is famous for its fog, in much the same way London is, I suppose. The fog is welcome in the summer, for it provides natural air-conditioning (indeed, summers in San Francisco can actually be quite chilly, so everyone here knows to dress in layers). Anyway, Chelle and I came into the city yesterday to do some Christmas shopping around Union Square, and we stayed overnight at the Fairmont (and before you think we're millionaires, let me just say that Groupon is a wonderful thing). Here is the view yesterday afternoon from our room on the 20th floor:

That's Coit Tower on the hill in the background, with San Francisco Bay beyond.

Now here is the view this morning:

Fog. Live it. Be it.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Foray into Beltramos

Last year for Christmas, I didn't purchase booze for anyone as a gift because it would've involved going into a liquor store. I wasn't too sure that would be a good idea, being only a little over three months sober at that point. Well, yesterday I took the plunge. I've now been sober for 15 months, so I decided to go into Beltramos to pick up a very special bottle for Chelle, who, God love her, still religiously hides her bottle of Makers Mark in the kitchen in the trash compactor (that we never use,) lest I be tempted to take a snort. (That has now turned into a joke between us since she knows that I know full well that the bottle is there.)

As it is, I actually do go into a small liquor store twice a week to buy my replacement addiction, Camel Snus. I like the Frost and Mellow flavors. I know; you're thinking this is a disgusting habit. Actually, not so much: there's no spitting or chewing; you just pop it into your mouth and hold it there for about a half hour, but as every one inevitably splits open at some point, I just remove it and toss it. Chelle calls them my "poo sacks." They are much lower in nicotine than regular tobacco, so it seems a minor thing when compared to binge drinking.

But I digress. The little liquor store selling the Snus is more like a corner convenience store (selling snacks, cigarettes, soda, lottery tickets, and coffee drinks as well as booze), so going in there never bothers me.

Beltramos is different. That place is a booze warehouse (the photo above just shows the entrance, going into the first room). It stocks everything from expensive single malt scotches to jug wine. It is a vast building with free wine tastings in the back room. When I was drinking, I'd typically go there once, maybe twice, a month and buy about $350 worth of liquor all at once. I didn't feel complete unless I had about a case of assorted wines at home, along with bourbon for Chelle, and makings for mai tais, margaritas, and martinis for me. I didn't drink the cheap shit, either. Light rum and dark rum (typically Meyers or Pyrat), Patron tequila, Grey Goose or Belvedere vodka. Half the pleasure of drinking was derived from the ritual of crushing the ice and measuring carefully, then either pouring and stirring or shaking, then adding the garnish. I made very pretty drinks, if I do say so myself.

And then I drank them.

And then I drank some more.

By the end of the night, I didn't care so much how pretty my drink was: I would be chugging bourbon straight out of Chelle's bottle if my stock was all gone.

So it was a weird feeling, wandering the aisles at Beltramos yesterday, knowing that anything I bought was not for me. I experienced a little bit of a sense of loss for something that I once thought had brought me so much pleasure (when, in reality, it didn't.) I remembered the rush I would get on my shopping jaunts here, not unlike Nick Cage at the beginning of Leaving Las Vegas, when he's filling up his cart with booze at the liquor store, looking forward to the upcoming bender that winds up his downfall. I experienced a bit of wistfulness, too, that for whatever freaky trick of nature, unlike most people, I'm unable to have any of this stuff anymore. They can have one drink and stop. I can't. I'm just not wired with the proper stopping mechanism. We alcoholics weren't born with a STOP button.

I left with Chelle's present and another I spied for her brother, and a couple of stocking stuffers from a gourmet candy display. Went home, wrapped the bottle, stuck it under the tree. There's nothing else to report.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Indigo Girls: "There's Still My Joy"

You know, when I first heard the Indigo Girls were putting out a Christmas CD, I rolled my eyes. I never even bought the one Melissa Etheridge did because I'm fed up with artists milking their fans with these kinds of compilations. I figured Melissa did a Christmas album because she'd run out of fresh ideas and maybe had child support to pay. But the Indigo Girls? Hard to believe they'd sell out.

Well, they haven't. They're just stretching a bit. Especially since Emily has written a book with her dad about music and its importance to the spiritual life, and knowing that Amy majored in religion in undergraduate school, a Christmas album and a series of holiday shows this year actually makes sense for them. They're genuinely celebrating the season, not just trying to sell albums. There are only three traditional Christmas songs on the album, some of the songs are original, including one about Hanukkah, and there are guest appearances from Chely Wright and Brandi Carlile.

Altogether a good one to add to your holiday collection (buy or read more about it here). Enjoy this song by Emily Saliers.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Starbucks Refueling

Getting ready for my shift in the Writing Center. I'm glad I have this. Pray for my survival.


Well, Hell Week is here. It’s the last week of the semester, so the Writing Center will be overrun with students desperate to finish their hour-by-arrangement requirement, and tempers always flare when they realize all the appointments are taken. Of course, it’s no one’s fault but their own. They have an entire semester to complete their lab assignment—it’s not even graded. They just have to do it, and then they get 10 points. If they don’t do it, they lose 10 points—but as always, it boils down to which of your students have self-discipline, and which ones don’t.
The ones who don’t swarm the Writing Center during the last week of classes, sitting there for hours on end, hoping they can be squeezed in if an appointment ends early, or if someone doesn’t show up. As they sit there, they get angrier and angrier, and it never fails to amaze me how they manage to blame us for the situation they find themselves in. We aren’t open long enough; our hours aren’t flexible enough; we don’t have enough staff; the lab requirement is stupid. Anything but, “I should’ve listened to my teacher when she told me to finish my lab early because the lab is slammed during the last two weeks.”
And then I wonder if these kids are the same ones who’ll grow up to always blame things outside themselves for problems of their own creation.
Sometimes I think the real benefit of college is less education in book-learning than it is early practical experience in living in the real world as an adult.
Of course, some never do learn. The German economy collapses after World War I, and the Nazis blame the Jews. The American economy collapses due to the unmitigated greed of Wall Street, and citizens blame illegal immigrants. A student fails an English class, and the student blames his unreasonable bitch of an instructor.
Sobriety has been a blessing, for in looking over my life in completing my Step work, I’ve learned that many of my problems were the result of taking others’ nonsense personally, when I was way too willing to shoulder blame that either I wasn’t at all responsible for, or only partially responsible for.  People learn quickly who is willing to shoulder the blame for their own failures and are only too eager to pass the burden off if you’ll accept it.  It seems to be the way of the world, and it can swallow a sensitive person up. Me, I coped by trying to drink myself to death.
Not anymore. I am responsible for my own life, my own choices, my own feelings and actions. Nothing more. Those are the only things I have any control over.
I don’t accept responsibility for your mistakes. YOU made them; they’re YOURS.
Some students learn, and they don’t repeat the mistake next semester. Others we see in the Writing Center at the end of the semester, over and over again, every semester, until they finish their English course sequence.
And some we never see again.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Silent Monks Sing the Hallelujah Chorus



What do you get a wife who loves horses and a sponsor who loves horses? Tickets to Cavalia! We'll all be going (along with my sponsor's partner) on January 2nd.

Think Cirque du Soleil, only with horses. There's trick riding, dressage, Roman riding, acrobats on horseback, and the like. This video shows only stills from the show, but you get the basic idea. Check out their website here. Can't wait!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Zenyatta by Chelle Pell

Forgive me while I take a minute to brag on my wife. Her photographer's eye just keeps getting better and better. On Wednesday, she flew down to Los Angeles to visit the backside at Hollywood Park and get some photos of Zenyatta before the great mare ships out to Lane's End in Kentucky. She snapped many photos, but here is the "money" shot:

Now, what you're looking at is actually my iPhone photo of the photo she took, so her original is even sharper, but this gives you the general idea.

Last night Chelle spent about five hours printing about 200 of these, and this morning she overnighted them down to southern California. Sharla at the Second Race will be selling 8 x 10's and 5 x 7's of this photo on glossy or mat stock this Sunday, December 5, where Zenyatta will make her last appearance before departing California. If you're there, be sure to pick one up, as all proceeds go towards horse rescue.

I'm proud of my wife, both for her artistry and for her generous spirit.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ah Freilichen Chanukah

In celebration of Hanukkah, this favorite by Adam Sandler. Ah Freilichen Chanukah to all my Jewish friends.

There is a "Mordecai" in my family tree on my father's side. So maybe I'm, like, an eighth Jewish. "Not too shabby." Grin.


Sometimes the Bay Area drives me nuts because of all the traffic congestion and the high cost of living, but then we get a spectacular sunrise over the Santa Cruz Mountains and I'm glad I live in this beautiful place.

I snapped this photo this morning with my iPhone on our balcony before heading off to work.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Grinch!

In honor of the holiday season, I bring you How the Grinch Stole Christmas! This is just a trailer, but the whole episode is on Hulu if you can't find it airing locally. As a child, I loved the Grinch more than any other Christmas cartoon, followed by A Charlie Brown Christmas, then Rudolph. I hated Frosty the Snowman....zzzzzzzzzzz