eye candy

Some artists who inspire me:
My creation



I put a bang on. This wasn't really spontaneous... I've been watching the season on DVD of "Ghost Whisperer" and Jennifer Love-Hewitts' bangs are so cute. (Oh, what happened to the no-TV thing? Yah, that was just plain crazy.) If I put my hair up in a pony, though, I sort of look like Evan, circa 1991. (No offense, bro.) Now, if they stay laying straight and don't go wonky... perhaps I won't regret this.
Note: It is really hard not to floof it 80's-style into a rat-stack. Wait, perfect halloween costume - and thank-you kids for bringing back emo, so I can find leggings and cowl-neck blouses in stripes and bold electric colors.


My current accomplishments:

I graduated from Upward Bound with Honors three years in a row
I wrote my high school graduating class' theme song and performed it at graduation.
I have written a number of songs
I taught myself guitar and piano
I graduated Cum. Sum Laude with a degree in Mathematics
I made the dean's list and George W. Bush's Academic Achievers list.
I passed my first actuary exam and am studying for my second
I learned to Rock climb and Skateboard as an adult
We have traveled to eleven countries

My future accomplishments:
I passed a certification level of actuary exams (ASA, FSA)
I have published something (short story, cook book, children's book, etc.)
I have my scrapbooking featured in a magazine
I have cut a CD of my original compositions and you can buy it off the internet
I can think of 20 people that would come if I invited them to something
I own my own home
I design and sew clothing for myself, Mark, and our kids that can be worn with pride out of the house
I am an advanced guitar player and can improvise along with CDs and other musicians
I am known to be thoughtful and considerate
I compete and am good at a sport


blonde redhead

We went to see this band play last night at the Wiltern Theatre. Great venue, awesome show. I highly recommend the latest CD.
We've been doing more stuff like this lately and it has been nice to feel like we are taking advantage of the hip stuff that goes on here.



For anyone who is worried, we are not close enough to the wild fires burning here to be in any danger. The effect of the fires on us, personally, has been indirect. Mark has been working a lot of hours because someone at his work's house is in the path of the fire and she has been evacuated to somewhere and can't really come to work. Traffic is bad from people movement, and my office in Simi Valley is sandwiched between two fires: It isn't in any danger, but the smoke is said to be pretty ugly (I will be there tomorrow to find out for myself.)

Update: 10/24/2007 - I went up to Simi Valley today and those fires are pretty much not burning any more. The San Diego fires are still going... but Malibu is (I think) done, and the Northern ones are all out. Some people were coughing a little extra at work today, but not much.



I have always loved oatmeal, but hated making it. I found out that, with those packets, you can just add boiling water and wait a couple of minutes. I think the flavory good ones are bad for you, so I got regular and made little packets of flavor of my own, with dried apple, almonds, cinnamon, etc...

Now I eat oatmeal every day and have cut my overall daily calories by 200. MMmm, now that's good.



Mark introduced me to a website that tracks coalition casualties in Iraq.

I thought it was sort of interesting because we are watching the Ken Burns documentary on World War II (The War) in which families read the paper to see if there is any news of their loved ones and don't find out until they get a telegram. I don't know if it would be worse having a website you can incessantly check or not.

However, the site does have statistical trends, average deaths per day, and a drill down to exactly who, how and where. I noticed that 15% of the deaths since day 1 have been from friendly fire... and why do I not remember hearing about a huge 43 ff deaths in a week back in Jan 2005. (Compared to one or two other weeks.) What happened? I also noticed that the weekly average is climbing very slowing but steadily (by one more person for every six months we've been there.) I just thought of a nice math question. An increasing sequence - what will the estimated cost be in three years (total losses). I'll tell you tomorrow. It's too late for more math today. It felt honest and sobering to check it out. I recommend you do the same. And don't just take a quick look. Click on stuff. Explore. Caring about the troops matters. It's not just a bumper sticker.

(hey, not everything on my blog has to be light and silly.)

note to self

It is extremely hard to draw with a mouse. My self-portrait is lopsided, cross-eyed, and fashion unconscious. Is it just me, or is "unconscious" unnecessarily difficult to spell. From here on, I decree that it should be spelled "unconchus." Join me in the rebellion.

8th Grade

Brittany recently sent me this photo and I love it. It looks like it could have been taken in 1967. My wonderful rent-a-child. How I wish it was rent-to-own.


rilo kiley

We went to see these guys play last night for Mark's happy 30th.

These pictures are thanks to his bday present - a slim little pocket-worthy digital camera.

What a strange word: Pocket. A pocket, a locket, and a stinky Davey Crockett.

rilo kiley 2

rilo kiley 1



As you might have noticed, I haven't been writing much for the past month or so. I work on the computer all day, and when I get home, I read the blogs I love, but I have been giving my wrists a break.

To fill in the gaps on some of the missing moments, I might be repeating myself a little to give the details.

My wonderful Aunt Velora passed away on Sept 12. I flew to Utah last minute to attend her funeral. It was a great service and really tough for me to lose her. We were good friends.

A few days after I got back, we had tickets to see AIR in concert. (I recommend checking out the video of them on Mark's blog.) It was the first concert we ever went to together and my first since 1997. It was a really cool experience.

Ryan was in LA the next day and we hung out and went to the beach for part of the day. It was dad's day, so I had a rootbeer float for him.

The following weekend, I went to Boston on business.

It was a pretty city and I got to take a "Duck Tour" in a WWII amphibious tank. We drove the historical sites in the city, and then drove right into the Charles River and boated the historical sites from that view. I learned a lot at the conference about catastrophe modeling and gave a presentation to my work group on it this last week. (Which went pretty well.)

A few days after I got back, Jennifer and Stephanie came out to visit. We took Stephanie to Universal Studios Horror Nights for about 10 minutes. It was so scary that we had to leave. (I think Stephanie will not forgive us for a long time.) They had really good actors in really good makeup with chainsaws and lopped off body parts, some of whome come up and try to lick your face. I want to go back.

Well, we did go back, just not during Horror Nights. We went back during the day for the regular Universal Studios experience. (I had no idea they had such good rides.) We went on Mummy and Jurrassic Park over and over and over (and over...) and we had two day passes, so they were able to go back to the park (I had to work)... but I would have enjoyed "...one more time" on Mummy. There were virtually no lines the day I went. They were in town for nearly a week and we had so much fun that it was hard to see them go. More sand Castles.

This weekend, Mark and I took a road trip to Long Beach. We also went through Compton as though it was a drive-through safari. We wanted to see gang-bangers selling drugs and other dangerous things. It was disappointing, because it just looked like many other LA neighborhoods. No bullet holes or anything. Lots of rims and tires.

Anyway, tomorrow is Mark's 30th Bday. We are going to another concert, Rilo Kiley, and having a party on Friday.



I will fill you in soon. The short version is:

"Exam Season" is in full swing (I'm supposed to be studying 5 hours per day.) I'm not. But, I'm supposed to be.
I got some kind of sore throat/cold.
I went to Boston for a business conference.
Jennifer & Stephanie came out (still here) to visit.