I'm sorry dear, gentle reader(s) (all three of you). I've been neglecting you like the cobweb in the far, upper corner of my bathroom. I've been busy, and watching far too much tv lately. Stupid, stupid tv. Not that there's anything wrong with media and entertainment, but there are only so many hours in the day, and there are so many wonderful things to do. And there are necessary things to do. I've been neglecting those a bit, as well. Unfortunately. Anyhoo, I apologize. Truly, Madly, Deeply. So here's what I've been up to!

*I started volunteering for the Humane Society for a very worthy cause. The HSUS is trying to put an initiative on the ballot in 2008 to give farmed animals (for meat) enough room in their cages to turn around and spread their wings or stretch their limbs. Specifically, the legislation covers hens, breeding sows and calves. See? It's a good cause. Legislation like this (banning breeding sow crates) has already passed in 3 other states (Arizona, Florida and Oregon) and the European Union, and Arizona has also banned veal crates. If you like animals, or believe in treating any creature humanely, or care about your food, you should support this measure. It is for the good of our health, animals, small farmers and the environment. Unless you are absolutely against the initiative/ballot process, there is no reason why you should not find your nearest Humane California volunteer immediately and sign their petition! We need 650,000 signatures by the middle of February 2008. (This does only apply to registered voters in the state of California, though). For more information (and some horrific pictures and the truth, click here).

Next, I have to say HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! A truly American holiday, and one that my family loves to celebrate. Well, we love to celebrate anything that allows us to get together to eat, drink and be merry. Who doesn't? I'll share a recipe that I made for this recent holiday soon. In any case, it was a great weekend. Two paid days off- who wouldn't like that?? I spent some time with my brother and sister-in-law who I love dearly. They don't live that far away (southern California), but (selfishly) it's not close enough for me. Although I sometimes get annoyed at (read: jealous of) their relationship, I would love it if they lived in the bay area and I could see them every week.

I also went to a baby shower for perhaps the cutest pregnant couple I have ever seen. I can't wait to see the baby when it arrives in this world. Mark my words, it is going to be one cute baby! And speaking of "babes" (it's a poor segueway) I saw not one, but two exes this weekend. One was unplanned and didn't go so well. It's a recent split and it wasn't a particularly nice one. There is still attraction there and I am still torn between calling him (the weak thing to do, since I said I wouldn't do it any more) and being strong, and calling him the asshole that he is. Luckily I was strong this time. Asshole. Grrr.

The other ex was planned and went very well. The relationship was a long time ago, after all, and there's nothing in the way of our being friends. So we met for drinks, talked, hung out. I was nervous about it, but (thankfully) I didn't drink too much and start babbling like an idiot. I tend to do that. It's an issue.

Moving on, I have two very exciting things to share. First: I'm curing olives! Weee! I saw them at the SF Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market at the Knoll farm stall and had to get them. It's a challenge and an adventure and we'll see how it goes. I googled recipes and decided on the one from Hedonia since I didn't want to use lye. Right now I'm about to switch from water to brine. I'm very excited to see how it turns out!

Second: I bought a plane ticket to Europe! That's right, I'm leavin' on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again. Only, I do know when I'll be coming back. A month after I leave. A whole month of traveling in Europe! Weee! My dear parents decided they wanted to rent a house in the Provence region of France, and they invited their offspring to join them for a week. Since I had an excuse, I decided to splurge a little. I'll talk about this later, but suffice to say, I am definitely looking forward to next June. I can't wait!!

*sigh* That's it. So what have you been up to? : D



For some reason, Halloween this year made me reflective. It made me think about where and how I was last year, as opposed to now.

Last year, I was so hopeful. I was hopeful about a boy, about some new friendships, about my job, my new apartment and about the life I had started to carve out here, in the bay area. I wasn’t making much money, and my relationship with my family wasn’t so great, but I was having fun. I was excited. I was thinking that my move back home was a good thing, the right thing to have done.

Life was a little simpler, then. Everything was new, and I didn’t have many expectations. I was simply enjoying the flow of the river and waiting to see where it would take me. Of course, sometimes that same river required a delicate touch and a good map. Small town rules, politics and social spheres can be difficult to navigate, and easy to entangle and entrap a person.

Where the river has taken me was certainly unexpected. Life is more difficult, more complicated, in that I have to choose what I hold on to, and what I let go. What is worth it? Who is worth it? I hate that I have to make that decision. I hate that the water is murky and muddied, when once it was clear.

Some of the hopes that I had last year fizzled away, and some were crushed. There are new questions, and some old questions that were never answered. There have been beautiful, lazy days of cruising in the placid waters, and there have been some rough rapids. The river is an interesting ride, to say the least.