Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Bachelor: Somethin' Ain't Right

On Monday night, Hubs and I watched the season premier of The Bachelor. We're not huge fans of the show, but we watch it because our friend Lincee writes a rockin' blog recap of the show each week, and seeing the show makes reading her blog recap way more fun. Are we dedicated blog buddies, or what?

As is the scenario on the first episode of every season, the handsome bachelor stands at the entrance to a mansion as limousines full of hopeful, gorgeous women roll up to the curb of the mansion to meet the bachelor for the first time. Talk about your awkward moments. One of the women actually got out of the car, introduced herself to the bachelor, and said, "You're everything I'm looking for."

How in the world does she know that? She doesn't even know the guy! Unless personality doesn't matter and good looks is her only requirement, that statement was just silly.

Once each of the 25 bachelorettes has introduced herself, they all go inside for a party that involves too much alcohol and too much information. The party becomes a show-off talent show/freak show. On Monday night's season opener, some of the bachelorettes did the following to make an impression:

-dance for him
-show him her webbed toes
-change into a bikini and jump in the pool and then invited him to join her by saying "You should take your pants off."

At the end of the party, the bachelor has to eliminate ten bachelorettes right then and there. It was so sad to see the longing in the eyes of the women, hoping to be chosen. Some even cried when they weren't chosen.

Now, I understand that this is a reality TV show, and the awkwardness of the contrived situations can make for "good" TV, whatever that means. But there is something really twisted about the whole setup of the show that strips all the dignity and beauty out of dating. Instead of the knight in shining armor fighting to win the heart of the princess, this hoard of beauties desperately clamors to win the guy. He has no fighting to do whatsoever. Basically, he just gets to eliminate and whittle down the damsels until there is only one left that suits him.

Never mind that we already saw lots of preview footage of him smooching lots of different bachelorettes. How special is the "chosen" bachelorette going to feel when she sees that her not-so-chivalrous knight kissed his way around the competition before he settled on her?

I feel a little bit bad criticizing these people, as I'm sure they are lovely human beings. But they have chosen to put themselves on display in a public forum, so I think that gives me the right to publicly opine.

In a nutshell, the desire to be chosen is natural and good. Being chosen and then pursued by Hubs was a true delight! And I know he was just as delighted that out of all the matches in my eHarmony inbox, I chose HIM! This mutual sense of choosing is beautiful and good. I just think that the formula of The Bachelor strips away the dignity of the experience and then exploits the vulnerability of its participants for our entertainment. And honestly, half the time, I want to turn my head away from the TV and give those people their private moments. It just feels too voyeuristic. It seems, though, that our voyeurism is the only thing keeping this show alive. It's not like the concept of the show is successful in helping people find their soulmates. According to wikipedia, only two of the ten Bachelors are still with the women they chose. As for the spin-off The Bachelorette, the odds are bit better, with one of the three Bachelorettes still with her sweetheart (they married and now they are parents).

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Relationship to Nurture

Tonight, Hubs and I met up with my cousin, MB, in San Clemente for dinner at a cute little Italian restaurant called Sonny's Pizza and Pasta. MB lives in Northern California, but was down in San Diego for business, so we met in the middle for a wonderful dinner, which she graciously treated us to (thanks, MB!).

We had a great time catching up, reminiscing about my wedding, and talking about life.

Because I have lived in so many places, I have been blessed in that I've accumulated a lot of friends. However, it can be difficult to stay in good contact with everyone. Recently, I have been realizing that it just isn't possible to maintain a close relationship with everyone. It is possible to keep a good relationship with many, but more in the way of an occassional e-mail and a Christmas card. Deep, close relationships exist with a much smaller, inner circle.

I wrote recently about having to let go of a friendship with someone who was once very close to me, but basically now isn't interested. And since then, I have decided to let go of another not-so-close friend who generally blows me off. And you know what? It's okay. There is no need for me to hold on to relationships that have either died or really never were in the first place. But that's a tangent.

What I want to say here is that I do have an inner-circle of dear friends and family who love me and who I dearly love, and I want to concentrate my efforts on nurturing those relationships. I want my life to be marked by relationships that really matter. MB is definitely one of those people. The fact that she is family, she lives in California, she initiates getting together with me, she loves me, and we genuinely like each other (!!!) are all ingredients for a relationship worth nurturing. Plus, did I mention that she's my fairy godmother? It's true!

After dinner, we drove our separate ways, and when we got home, she had already sent an e-mail to us saying what a great time she had with us, and she told me that she feels so connected to me. Can I just say how much that means to me? Being a Texan transplant with most of my significant relationships out of state (besides Hubs, of course), it feels so wonderful to share a connection with my cousin that way.

Definitely a relationship worth nurturing.

MB and her beautiful family at my wedding.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Autumn is Here!

When Hubs and I woke up this morning and headed out the door to church, we were greeted with crisp, cool, clean air. The sun was shining and the sky was a clear blue expanse cradling masses of poofy, white, Simpson-like clouds. Autumn has arrived, and I couldn't be happier about it.

Autumn is refreshment after a long, hot summer.
It is beauty in all of its glorious colors.
It is crisp apples.
Tiny Trick-or-Treaters.
My favorite season for clothes shopping.
Turning leaves.
Chai Tea Lattes from Starbucks.
Snuggles with my honey.

It is even the season of my name, which means "Bountiful Harvest". I've always loved that!

May your harvest be blessed with thanksgiving and joy!

Friday, September 21, 2007

City Girl

I grew up in suburbia and went to college in a small town. However, I have lived most of my adult life in urban cities: New York City, Houston, Zaragoza (Spain), and now Los Angeles. There is just something special about city life that resonates with me. The diversity found in big cities, art and culture, open-minded attitudes, and access to good food and good theatre are all things that make city living attractive to me.

What city do you belong in?

You Belong in London

A little old fashioned, and a little modern.
A little traditional, and a little bit punk rock.
A unique soul like you needs a city that offers everything.
No wonder you and London will get along so well.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Girls' Night!

It's 2:12 am as I write this post. I have finally made my way to bed (yea, laptops!) after a totally fun evening spent with three new girl friends. Over the past year, I have gotten to know them a little bit at my church. And shortly after Husby and I got married, they suggested that we all meet up for a girls' night! So tonight we got together for a potluck which consisted of pizza, salad, and Nestley Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie bars. Prrrrrrrrrrrfect!

We had so much fun talking about boys (it isn't girls' night without talking about boys, right?) and doing micro-dermabrasion facials. We also stayed up way too late having a great theological conversation.

Since getting married and moving down to Husby's neck of the woods, I have really been longing to connect with some women friends, and I am just so happy that these great girls have come into my life!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Jumping Jacks...Do NOT Try Them at Home

Yesterday, I was doing my usual Monday morning routine at the gym ... circuit training with sets of jumping jacks between machines. As I was jumping one of the jacks (that sounds a little questionable, doesn't it?), I somehow twisted my ankle and ended up in a pile on the floor. It really hurt, but the pain subsided fairly quickly. I gingerly finished my workout...sans jumping jacks, and went on with my day.

About four hours later, I was shopping in Joann Fabrics (LOVE THAT STORE!!!), and I noticed that my ankle was starting to hurt. By the time I got home, the pain level had spiked from a 3 to an 8, and I could barely walk on it. I decided to go to an urgent care center, just to make sure there were no broken bones. Thankfully, there weren't, and by the time I was leaving the center a couple of hours later, the pain had started to subside. This morning, it is tender, but pretty much back to normal.

The doctors and technicians at the urgent care center enjoyed ribbing me about the injury, and as I walked out the door, the doctor said (with a twinkle in his eye), "You be careful with those jumping jacks!".

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Getting a Faith Lift

One of the first posts that I wrote on The Starshine Report was posted yesterday on Faith Lifts, a blog that is part of a website called 5 Minutes for Mom.

Check it out by clicking here.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Still Nesting

I think we have finished the main wall that you look at when sitting in our living room. We put up the Russia print that my mom gave me when I was in high school, and added a gerber daisy arrangement on top of each bookshelf for a little splash of color.
I'm saving my receipts on the flower arrangements because I can't decide if they are just right or too much. Thoughts?
Now lock in your votes: just right or too much?
Have a great weekend!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I called my friend and former boss, Joel, today. I got his voicemail, as I usually do. In my message, I said, "Hi Joel. I'm starting to feel like a mother who calls her baby every year on his birthday to tell him about the day he was born. But I can't help myself. I always think of you on September 11th, and how scared I was that day that you might not be okay. I just want to tell you how much your friendship means to me and how glad I am that you're alive and well."

Of course, I blubbered my way through the message. But I think that is one of the tragic blessings of 9/11. It helps me to say the things I might not usually tell someone. It makes me more apt to let down my emotional guard and say just how I feel.

I'm just so grateful for Joel's life. He was my boss and continues to be my friend. And his life matters very much to me.

Color Me Cleansed

I mentioned in this post that I was beginning a ten day colon cleanse, in combination with a (mostly) vegetarian diet.

When all was said and done, I lost two pounds at the end of ten days. The best result, though, is that I haven't been waking up anymore with that full feeling. PTL!

Just thought you might want a state of the colon address...hope you're having a doodley-do-da day!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Like a drum cadence growing louder. And louder. And louder.

I have been engaged in a series of conversations lately about the place of women in my culture. The conversations have been emotional--ones that have touched deep pockets of anger in me. For the first time, I have really understood why some feminists are perceived as being angry...because they really are. It is so incredibly frustrating to feel that because I am a woman, my place and voice in the world could potentially be limited.

I am realizing more and more that I have been fed messages--sometimes overtly, but more often very subtly--that because I am a woman, my leadership isn't necessarily welcomed in certain settings. The upside of these conversations is that I am growing into a greater awareness of the messages that I have heard over the years, and I am beginning to see how they have affected me.

It is as if a voice--an important voice--that lives deep inside me has been silenced over time. I almost forgot it was there. However, these conversations have unearthed something in my soul. I can hear that quiet voice that whithered to no more than a whimper growing stonger. It is still being unearthed, but it is growing louder, oh so slightly louder. And it has something important to say in this world. And I know that someone, somewhere in this world must be needing to hear whatever it is. I wonder if the voice inside me and the ears it will land on are desperately trying to find each other.

The voice deep inside hasn't lost it's fight. It is full of robust, full-bodied LOVE, and I have a feeling that when it can finally sing it's sweet, robust, full-bodied song, it will come out soulfully and a seed that has grown deep roots down into the ground since it couldn't quite break through the surface to breathe the fresh air and soak in the sun's rays for a long time. It may sing lyrics of angsty rock, it may sing the blues, it may have notes so full of hope and joy that it will make men cry. I have a feeling it will be a combination of all of these.

One thing is certain: the voice deep inside will be heard. And I feel privileged to be the woman who embodies that voice.

Note: This post is vague, I know, and it is written that way on purpose. Just to clarify, it has nothing to do with my loving husband (or any of you who are reading this), who wants nothing more than for my voice to have full expression.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Mom and Me

My mom is in town visiting me this week. Yesterday, we had a day at the sea. First, we drove down to La Jolla so that I could show my mom the place we got engaged.
Mom in front of waves breaking on the rocks:
Revisiting the scene of the proposal:

After spending a few hours in La Jolla, we drove up the coast to meet Husby at the beach in Oceanside.

He surfed...

...and I boogied!

Today, Mom and I were city girls.
She visited my acting class with me, which was fun, and then we drove to Beverly Hills for dinner at my favorite restaurant, Cafe Flore:
Pretty mama:
No visit to Beverly Hills is complete without a potty stop at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel!!!
Oh, yea. Mom was workin' it on Rodeo Drive. :)
Friday will be our day in the 'burbs. TJ we come!
Have a great weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

New 'Do



Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor Not, Dear Ones...

...but do relax, and have lots o' fun!