Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Yay! I now have the next five days off before I start the new job at Illumina on Monday. As for the house, it's a short sale, so while the buyers accepted the offer, we now have to wait and see if the bank does. Which means it could be a relatively short escrow or a pretty long one, depending on how big the bank's pile of offers is.
New beginnings, indeed!
Sunday, April 27, 2008
We went today and it was a blast! We arrived at the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of San Diego right at 1 p.m., and were ushered inside after signing two releases (one of which was because we they were going to be filming us for their website). We went up to the culinary school, where we mingled at tables while the Chef gave us a basic orientation. Some folks from Kashi then welcomed us and said we were going to cook today using natural foods.
The best part? In the end, we all brought out our various dishes (there were six different ones total) and they were served buffet-style for us all to eat. The food was outstanding, and quite easy to make. It just goes to show that using fresh, local ingredients really does make a difference.
Kudos to Kashi (based in La Jolla, Calif.) and their crew for putting on such a cool event! We had a lot of fun meeting other Kashi fans and making food, and we learned a few things as well.
Friday, April 25, 2008
For the record, even though we live two blocks from the beach in Solana Beach, John and I were at work, and Xander was sleeping on our bed when it happened (though, were he in the water, I'm sure his black body swimming around would have looked like shark bait, i.e., a seal).
Shark kills man in rare fatal attack in California
By Mike Blake
SOLANA BEACH, California (Reuters) - A man was attacked and killed by a shark in the ocean near San Diego on Friday, the first person to die in a shark encounter off the Southern California coast in nearly 50 years.
The man was swimming with a group of athletes at Solana Beach, north of San Diego, when he was bitten by the shark, said Deputy Fire Chief Dismas Abelman. His identity was not immediately released.
Abelman said rescue crews responding to frantic calls at about 7 a.m. PDT found the man, believed to be in his 50s, being dragged from the sea with grievous injuries.
"They saw the victim with very severe injuries being pulled out of the water by a group of swimmers he had been swimming with," he said.
An air ambulance was summoned to the beach but the man, who had severe trauma to both legs, was pronounced dead before he could be taken to a hospital, Abelman said.
Area beaches were closed to swimmers and authorities were using helicopters to search for the shark. Abelman said the shark would not necessarily be killed it if it were found but, "We want to know where it is."
It was not known what species of shark was involved.
George Burgess, curator of the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida, said, "It was most likely a great white shark judging by the nature of the wounds."
Burgess said great white sharks are not uncommon in the cool Pacific waters off California.
The last reported fatal shark attack in the region was in 1959, according to the International Shark Attack file, which is run by the Florida Museum of Natural History.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
For your reading pleasure...
Penis theft panic hits city...By Joe Bavier
Reuters, Wed Apr 23, 2008 1:06 p.m. EDT
KINSHASA (Reuters) - Police in Congo have arrested 13 suspected sorcerers accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men's penises after a wave of panic and attempted lynchings triggered by the alleged witchcraft.
Reports of so-called penis snatching are not uncommon in West Africa, where belief in traditional religions and witchcraft remains widespread, and where ritual killings to obtain blood or body parts still occur.
Rumors of penis theft began circulating last week in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo's sprawling capital of some 8 million inhabitants. They quickly dominated radio call-in shows, with listeners advised to beware of fellow passengers in communal taxis wearing gold rings.
Purported victims, 14 of whom were also detained by police, claimed that sorcerers simply touched them to make their genitals shrink or disappear, in what some residents said was an attempt to extort cash with the promise of a cure.
"You just have to be accused of that, and people come after you. We've had a number of attempted lynchings. ... You see them covered in marks after being beaten," Kinshasa's police chief, Jean-Dieudonne Oleko, told Reuters on Tuesday.
Police arrested the accused sorcerers and their victims in an effort to avoid the sort of bloodshed seen in Ghana a decade ago, when 12 suspected penis snatchers were beaten to death by angry mobs. The 27 men have since been released.
"I'm tempted to say it's one huge joke," Oleko said.
"But when you try to tell the victims that their penises are still there, they tell you that it's become tiny or that they've become impotent. To that I tell them, 'How do you know if you haven't gone home and tried it'," he said.
Some Kinshasa residents accuse a separatist sect from nearby Bas-Congo province of being behind the witchcraft in revenge for a recent government crackdown on its members.
"It's real. Just yesterday here, there was a man who was a victim. We saw. What was left was tiny," said 29-year-old Alain Kalala, who sells phone credits near a Kinshasa police station.
(Editing by Nick Tattersall and Mary Gabriel)
Friday, April 18, 2008
Last year, you may remember, I cut off 11 inches of hair to donate to people who need wigs due to cancer. As a cancer survivor myself, it was a very personal moment, and I don't regret a second of it, knowing somewhere some little kid can now have a wig with red hair just like theirs.
Through my dear friend (and kick-ass realtor!) Liz Biala, I met the most amazing person (and kick-ass hair stylist), Tomas. Turns out, he's throwing a fundraiser to raise money for an organization called Wigs for Kids. How cool is that? Here's your call to action:
1. Buy tickets and come out to fabulous night of silent auctioning and drag queen singing on Sunday, April 27 in Hillcrest!
2. Can't make it? Well, lucky for you there are still two ways to help the cause: A) Donate an item to the silent auction or B) Make a donation to the cause.
For more information, including a donation form, visit:
If you choose to send a donation, please write "DIVAS fundraiser - San Diego" in the check's memo line so we can track the amount raised.
This retired fag hag
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
- Winning at the craps table Wednesday night: $94
- Winning at the craps table Thursday night: $117
- Arriving home Friday night to find a FedEx package containing an offer from my new employer: Priceless
- The biopsy from my back came back normal, which means the cancer whose butt I kicked 8.5 years ago did NOT metastasize to my back. Yay!
- My brother arrived home safely from Iraq for his 2-week mid-deployment leave. Double yay!
- I got the most amazing job! Triple yay!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
He started sleeping outside his crate at night back in November, and then last week we began leaving him out while we're at working during the day.
In the bedroom, which was puppy-proofed...and the door's closed. He did great all last week while we were at work, so we thought it might be a good idea to take him camping with us this weekend.
You're laughing, I know. But it worked out! We were supposed to go to Joshua Tree, but it was full so we ended up at Palomar Mountain State Park campground. We went camping with three other fabulous couples, one of whom brought their dog, Halo. He and Xander have played before, and got along famously. I worried that Xander would be up all night barking, but as soon as we got in the tent he laid down between us and fell fast asleep.
Me, on the other hand...let's just say I should stop watching scary movies. I thought for sure there was a mountain lion lurking outside our tent when I heard crackling twigs -- it was a turkey! Ha!
Here's some pics from the trip:
Xander getting used to the woods
Hanging out around the (illegal) campfire
Same-sex couples in which one partner is from another country seek ways to stay together.
By AMY TAXIN
Now, all he needs is a visa.
Fouquette, a 43-year-old Web designer, is banking on the
"They can't recognize our relationship for him to immigrate, or for us to stay together," said Fouquette, who met Lee, 39, shortly after he came to
About 35,000 people in the
"Nothing has the 'golden ticket' aspect that marriage does," she said. "The irony is, our couples say 'we're dying to have the opportunity to prove how bona fide these relationships are. … Gay and lesbian couples just want the same opportunity to prove their families deserve to stay together."
In fact, it can be easier for foreign same-sex couples to come here together temporarily than for a U.S. citizen to bring over his or her partner, said Louis Piscopo, an Anaheim-based immigration attorney. That's because
Generally speaking, a marriage was deemed valid in the
In fact, some same-sex couples who plan to move to the
Martha McDevitt-Pugh moved from
"It's not very easy," said McDevitt-Pugh, who founded a group called Love Exiles to offer support to same-sex couples who are facing this predicament abroad. "It's a really insecure existence."
Immigration Equality is lobbying for a bill that would let same-sex couples petition for immigration benefits for their partners much as a straight couples do. Under the proposed Uniting American Families Act, same-sex "permanent partners" could present documents – joint tax filings, property records, bank accounts – to prove their relationship and petition for a green card.
But the bill died during the last two sessions of Congress and has languished for nearly a year in a House immigration subcommittee. One reason is the proposal faces opposition from lawmakers aiming to tighten immigration laws as well as those who oppose same-sex marriage.
Rep. John Campbell, R-Irvine, said the proposal could create more opportunities for fraud in an immigration system that lawmakers are struggling to tighten. "There are a number of well-known abuses where marriages have been arranged for someone to gain access to the
Getting any immigration bill through Congress with the issue so hot – especially in an election year – is unlikely.
"Immigration legislation, other than new restrictions, are not getting through Congress right now," said Louis DeSipio, political science professor at UC Irvine. "If every member of Congress could get his or her pet issue through, there's no pressure to come up with a broader compromise."
Until now, Fouquette and Lee say they have found ways to work within the system. The couple couldn't qualify for graduate housing at UC Irvine because they didn't form a domestic partnership under
"I always have a plan," Lee said. "We have a plan for the worst (scenario)."
"Neither of us are complaining about the way things have worked out for us," said Fouquette, who started a home-based consulting business to be able to move in response to Lee's job and visa offers. "How can you complain too much? Because we don't have to leave, we don't have to split up. Compared to other couples, we're lucky."
Contact the writer: 714-796-7722 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
I learned the absurdity of the election is even funnier when coming from Rock's mouth (though, in all fairness, Jon Stewart, keep on rocking). I'm sitting here in my cube weeping silently from giggling so hard.
Here's an excerpt:
On President Bush:
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Oh wait, yes I do. Just ask my BFF Michael, who had to hear for months leading up to Christmas 2001 about how great his Christmas present was. (For the record, it was totally faboo that year: ylang ylang candles from Bath & Body Works. The reason they were perfect? For the third year running, that summer we'd attended our annual taping of "Will & Grace" in Hell-Ay, and in that ep Jack gave Grace a present, to which he said, "It's ylang ylang, yalike yalike?")
So yeah, I could possibly be accused of overhyping things just a smidge. In my defense, though, I usually deliver on the hype (see my rave on Little Britain - I dare you to watch that show and not love it.)
Which is why, with great fanfare, I hereby declare that Viva Pasta, located at 600 University Ave. in Hillcrest (between 6th & 7th Ave.), is the
Best. Thing. Ever.
The sign advertising "organic" caught my eye, so a friend and I entered this fast-casual eatery this afternoon after tooling around downtown San Diego. I should note that ever since we got back to San Diego, we've been incorporating a lot more organic food into our diet. I've noticed many more restaurants advertising it as well, which is exciting for us. Viva Pasta didn't disappoint.
For $6.95, you get your meal and an iced tea (chai or jasmine was today's choice). Upon entering, there's a table with laminated order cards (brilliantly reusable!) and you:
- Pick the base meal: pasta, salad, or a sandwich (which comes with a side salad).
- Customize the base as you see fit, which means pick your pasta and sauce, choose your bread and filling, or tell them what kind of salad you want.
- Add one of seven or so proteins as you see fit (they're cool and will let you do half and half if you're like me and couldn't choose between the turkey meatballs and the rosemary chicken).
- Add unlimited veggies and/or fruit (as appropriate).
- Pay, then wait the short time for your meal to be delivered to your table!
The staff was personable, the food delicious, and the atmosphere spot-on. The portions are large for the price, and we both left pleasantly full (as opposed to what I call "fat cow full" - you know, so full that you want to explode and have to undo a button on the way home).
I highly recommend taking the drive to Hillcrest to enjoy the inexpensive organic goodness of Viva Pasta.