Monday, March 31, 2008


Back when I was in high school, I went to Diedrich’s Coffee one morning to get a hot chocolate. It was the middle of summer but early enough that the morning was still cool. That morning started like every other weekday morning—with an early swim practice and a hot shower after. I threw on some too-big cargo skater shorts and a blue ribbed tank top and went to get my breakfast, with no makeup and my damp waist-length hair uncombed. I stopped in and ordered my drink. To my delight, they had put too much whipped cream on top. Actually, in writing that, I wonder if there really is such a thing as too much whipped cream. Either way, it kept me from being able to put a lid on the cup. I held it with both hands as I walked out to my car, pausing once to take a giant, unladylike slurp of whipped cream, trying to drink just enough to put the lid on. As I was walking, a couple in a classic red Cadillac was pulling out of their parking spot. The lady poked her head out of the car and said to me “You are very beautiful.” I remember almost turning around to see if she was talking to someone else. She wasn’t. Those were her exact words and I will never forget them. I had no makeup on, I was wearing nerdy shorts, and I felt like a dork trying to slurp down that ridiculous whipped cream, but in that moment someone saw that I was beautiful.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Five Things Every Girl Needs

A good journal. For prayers, poems, dreams, and secrets.

A passport. Because you never know when you'll need to go to Paris or Rome at a moment's notice.

One piece of special jewelry. It doesn't matter if it's a tin ring from a Cracker Jack box that your brother gave you at your first baseball game or a Tiffany necklace that your parents gave you at college graduation. What matters is that there is a special story behind it, one that is meaningful to you.

A really good hairdresser. Life is just too short not to have great hair.

Pride and Prejudice. Every girl needs to know Elizabeth Bennet.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Drop by Drop

A few months ago, Pastor Rick told us about his fun experience meeting with Ray Bradbury. I was much more interested in hearing about this meeting than his chat with Tony Blair. Bradbury is 87 years old but still has a lucid mind. Rick said that they shared some eloquent thoughts on love, God, and life. I can't believe my pastor has hung out with Ray Bradbury! The walls of Bradbury's home are covered in shelves full of books, awards, and gifts from his fans and admirers. I bet he is simply fascinating. I know he's a brilliant writer; Fahrenheit-451 is one of my favorite books. It's a classic and I highly recommend it. Here is my favorite quote from the book:

"We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over."

Such a beautiful quote, and so true.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wee Me!

This is me, as a Wee. Make one yourself at

How are you?

It's such a simple little question: How are you? Good? Well? I try to constantly improve my grammar and vocabulary and have long wondered about which of these answers is correct. We were taught that “well” is the proper answer, but my habit has always been to say “good.” So, what’s the correct way to answer this seemingly uncomplicated inquiry?

After a bit of investigating, I have discovered that it’s perfectly acceptable to answer with "good." Actually, it's preferred over "well." YES! I feel so vindicated!

The reason why is a bit complicated, but Grammar Girl does a great job at explaining it (in episode 51). Please visit her website, download her free podcasts on iTunes, and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Exquisite Disdain

Last year I got this book from a secret book friend. It was wrapped in blue paper with flowers on it and left on my office chair for me. My name was written on the paper in silver ink from a pen that was in my drawer. I never found out who this friend was, but he/she also gave me Alice's Adventures in Wonderland a few months later. I read both of these books last year and loved them. Thanks again to my secret book friend, whoever you may be.

When I read books, I always mark them up. If you took a book off my shelf, you'd find highlighted passages, words circled or underlined, exclamation points, notes in the margins. It's just how I read, and it's fun to thumb through those old books and look back on those marks and notes. Here are some passages that I highlighted in Oscar Wilde's brilliant book:

To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable. —Lord Henry to Dorian Gray

“Are you very much in love with him?” he asked.
She did not answer for some time, but stood gazing at the landscape. “I wish I knew,” she said at last.
He shook his head. “Knowledge would be fatal. It is the uncertainty that charms one. A mist makes things wonderful.” (Lord Henry and the Duchess)

The dead leaves that were blown against the leaded panes seemed to him like his own wasted resolutions and wild regrets.

She is very clever, too clever for a woman. She lacks the indefinable charm of weakness.

Time seemed to him to be crawling with feet of lead.

Youth smiles without any reason. It is one of its chiefest charms.

He was too clever and too cynical to be really fond of.

The birds that were singing in the dew-drenched garden seemed to be telling the flowers about her.

Dorian Gray, with his beautiful eyes, looked down at her, and his chiseled lips curled in exquisite disdain.

No life is spoiled but one whose growth is arrested.

Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives.

Springtime…a very dance of blossoms in blue skies.

Experience was of no ethical value. It was merely the name men gave to their mistakes.

He says things that annoy me. He gives me good advice.

All I want now is to look at life. You may come and look at it with me, if you care to.

Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing.

You know more than you think you know, just as you know less than you want to know.

Words! Mere words! How terrible they were! How clear, and vivid, and cruel! One could not escape from them. And yet what a subtle magic there was in them! They seemed to be able to give a plastic form to formless things, and to have a music of their own as sweet as that of viol or of lute. Mere words! Was there anything so real as words?

None of us can stand other people having the same faults as ourselves.

Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is far the best ending for one.

If you've never read this book, I highly recommend it!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hotel, Hotel

This weekend, Hayley and I stayed at the Bahia Hotel in San Diego. I had been helping a pastor on my team with registration for a marriage retreat this past weekend, and on Friday a couple had to drop out last-minute. Free hotel room? Oh, yeah!

Our welcome platter of fruit and chocolate seashells.

Our breakfast view of Mission Bay.

A little lagoon area at the resort.

Our balcony.

"Make sure you check out the seals in the pond," we were told.

"Pond? Uh, you mean the bay?"

"No, I mean there's a pond with seals here at the hotel."

Okay then!
Hayley and I made delicious preparations for our London trip in June.

On Saturday night, we went downtown to the Gaslamp District for dinner, shopping, and brownie sundaes at Ghirardelli's.

We brought plenty of books.

And played High School Musical Uno.

And just relaxed!
It was a fun weekend.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

For the record, I AM a natural blonde. Well, natural-ish...

Dolly Parton once said "I don't care if they call me a dumb blonde, because I ain't dumb and I ain't blonde."

We’ve all had blonde moments, even if not all of us are blonde. Those moments when, as soon as those idiotic phrases popped off our lips, we regretted that we ever spoke them, or even thought them. The “That’s not what I meant,” or “I’m just joking” comments fell on deaf, and smart, ears. Sigh.

Being a blonde can be rough. Aside from the dumb blonde jokes, higher rates of sunburn and skin cancer, and discrimination in the workplace and classroom, it takes a lot of freakin work to keep up our flaxen tresses, and we’ve been doing it for centuries. Romans covered their hair with arsenic and saffron to bleach it, and during the Renaissance, Italian women used horse urine to lighten their hair. Lucky for us today that we only have to endure hours of tinfoil, bleach, lemon juice, Sun-In, and conditioning, which takes its toll on our energy and pocketbooks but is better than smelling like animal pee.

But despite all that, it’s worth it. Let’s face it, blonde hair has long been seen as desirable. In ancient Greece, it was a sign of divinity. Alexander the Great's golden locks were greatly admired in his day. In European fairytales, heroines, fairies, and princesses often had blonde hair. Alfred Hitchcock only cast blondes for major roles in his films because he thought they were more attractive. We’re prized in a world that is predominantly black- and brown-tressed. I’m not bagging on other hair colors—you’re great, too—but blondes might just have the upper hand. Research shows that blondes are considered less-threatening and liked by the largest amount of people. And…is the cliché true that blondes have more fun, Rod Stewart? Never being a brunette, I couldn’t tell you. But I have a guess =)

Monday, March 3, 2008

Thou art a boil, a plague sore!

Here are some of my favorite Shakespearean insults, which can be found on the mug on my desk in the office, and make me happy:

Mountain of mad flesh

Light of brain

Bolting-hutch of beastliness

Not so much brain as ear wax

Long-tongu’d babbling gossip

I do desire we may be better strangers

Lump of foul deformity

Elvish-mark’d abortive, rooting hog

As ignorant as dirt

False of heart, light of ear, bloody of hand

Roast-meat for worms

Infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise-breaker

Quintessence of dust

A fusty nut with no kernel

The soul of this man is his clothes

Beetle-headed, flap-ear’d knave