Saturday, November 29, 2008
Today we booked our trip to Disney World for January '09. My parents are going with me and John, Tim, Patti, and the kids - 8 of us in total! I've been telling my dad forever we need to go on a family vacation (it's been 15 years since we've done one!)
His surprise? It's their treat! Woo hoo! Today we called our dear family friend, Wendy, and we got Disney's Wilderness Lodge, Club Concierge Level. I'm SO stoked! We're going beginning for 6 days...I can't wait! :-)
(ps - I highly recommend our vacation specialist...I've known her my whole life, and our dads are best friends. She's the one person who loves Disney as much, if not more, than me [even Dawn and Paulina!] and her info: Wendy Cugliotta, Dreams Unlimited Travel, Wendy@DreamsUnlimitedTravel.com)
Friday, November 28, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Apparently, it takes a village to build a Thanksgiving feast...and as we know, every village needs a village leader (or village idiot, as the case may be).
I changed none of the wording except for the names (so they can't sue me when they read this).
As you all know a fabulous Thanksgiving Dinner does not make itself. I need to ask each of you to help by bringing something to complete the meal. I truly appreciate your offers to assist with the meal preparation.
Now, while I do have quite a sense of humor and joke around all the time, I COULD NOT BE MORE SERIOUS when I am providing you with your Thanksgiving instructions and orders. I am very particular, so please perform your task EXACTLY as I have requested and read your portion very carefully. If I ask you to bring your offering in a container that has a lid, bring your offering in a container WITH A LID, NOT ALUMINUM FOIL! If I ask you to bring a serving spoon for your dish, BRING A SERVING SPOON, NOT A SOUP SPOON! And please do not forget anything.
All food that is to be cooked should already be prepared, bring it hot and ready to serve, warm or room temp. These are your ONLY THREE options. Anything meant to be served cold should, of course, already be cold.
The Mike Byron Family
1. Turnips in a casserole with a lid and a serving spoon. Please do not fill the casserole all the way up to the top, it gets too messy. I know this may come as a bit of a surprise to you, but most of us hate turnips so don't feel like you a have to feed an army.
2. Two half gallons of ice cream, one must be VANILLA, I don't care what the other one is. No store brands please. I did see an ad this morning for Hagan Daz Peppermint Bark Ice Cream, yum!! (no pressure here, though).
3. Toppings for the ice cream.
4. A case of bottled water, NOT gallons, any brand is ok.
The Bob Byron Family
1. Green beans or asparagus (not both) in a casserole with a lid and a serving spoon. If you are making the green beans, please prepare FOUR pounds, if you are making asparagus please prepare FIVE pounds. It is up to you how you wish to prepare them, no soupy sauces, no cheese (you know how Mike is), a light sprinkling of toasted nuts, or pancetta, or some EVOO would be a nice way to jazz them up.
2. A case of beer of your choice (I have Coors Light and Corona) or a bottle of clos du bois chardonnay (you will have to let me know which you will bring prior to 11/22).
The Lisa Byron Chesterford Family
1. Lisa as a married woman you are now required to contribute at the adult level. You can bring an hors d’ouvres. A few helpful hints/suggestions. Keep it very light, and non-filling, NO COCKTAIL SAUCE, no beans of any kind. I think your best bet would be a platter of fresh veggies and dip. Not a huge platter mind you (i.e., not the plastic platter from the supermarket).
The Michelle Bobble Family
1. Stuffing in a casserole with a serving spoon. Please make the stuffing sans meat.
2. 2.5-3 qts. of mashed squash in a casserole with a lid and serving spoon
3. Proscuitto pin wheel - please stick to the recipe, no need to bring a plate.
4. A pie knife
The June Davis Family
1. 15 LBS of mashed potatoes in a casserole with a serving spoon. Please do not use the over-size blue serving dish you used last year. Because you are making such a large batch you can do one of two things: put half the mash in a regulation size casserole with lid and put the other half in a plastic container and we can just replenish with that or use two regulation size casserole dishes with lids. Only one serving spoon is needed.
2. A bottle of clos du bois chardonnay
The Amy Misto Family (why do I even bother she will never read this)
1. A pumpkin pie in a pie dish (please use my silver palate recipe) no knife needed.
2. An apple pie in a pie dish, you can use your own recipe, no knife needed.
Looking forward to the 28th!!
This makes me look SO normal.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
(Sorry for the picture quality - they're all cell pics.)
Friday, November 14, 2008
He had no idea...hee hee. Here's the story with pictures.
balloons and all the people. He didn't pick up on it when
he saw it because we were about 50 feet away.
Finally, everyone at the table stood up and yelled, "DEFRIAS!"
and he turned. Here's his face the moment he realizes what's going on.
Getting his bearings.
Still in disbelief - he really had no idea about it.
Laughing about it with Heidi.
Susan totally hooked us up with a pimp location!
It helps having a sister-in-law who works there.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
We were wicked cute.
Their place was killer-decorated, and there were about a billion people there. John's costume worked out great, due to his knee being banged up and all.
Little did he know, he should've been watching what he drank because he was going to have to get up early the next day...
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
One of my main issues is how certain people (whom I call Cafeteria Christians) eat at The Bible Buffet. They walk up to it and say, "I want that verse, and maybe a little of that one, but I don't want this one because it doesn't suit my needs."
Enter this scene from "The West Wing" that proves my point. With the Bible, either you're all in or you're not. You don't get to pick and choose verses which are convenient to your beliefs and toss out other ones.
*sigh* I miss President Bartlet.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Except civil unions are not the same as marriage.
In 1997, the U.S. General Accounting office conducted a review of all the benefits that marriage affords couples -- rights which are not afforded to couples in a civil union.
Kathy Belge over at About.com summed up the review quite nicely:
According to Lambda Legal Defense, more than 1,400 legal rights are conferred upon heterosexual married couples in the United States. By not being allowed to marry, gays and lesbians are denied these rights. Even in the state of Massachusetts, the only US state with legalized gay marriage, most of the benefits of marriage do not apply, because the Defense of Marriage Act states that the federal government only recognizes marriage as "a legal union of one man and one woman as husband and wife".
Here are some of the legal rights that married couples have and gays and lesbians are denied:
- Joint parental rights of children
- Joint adoption
- Status as "next-of-kin" for hospital visits and medical decisions
- Right to make a decision about the disposal of loved ones remains
- Immigration and residency for partners from other countries
- Crime victims recovery benefits
- Domestic violence protection orders
- Judicial protections and immunity
- Automatic inheritance in the absence of a will
- Public safety officers death benefits
- Spousal veterans benefits
- Social Security
- Joint filing of tax returns
- Wrongful death benefits for surviving partner and children
- Bereavement or sick leave to care for partner or children
- Child support
- Joint Insurance Plans
- Tax credits including: Child tax credit, Hope and lifetime learning credits
- Deferred Compensation for pension and IRAs
- Estate and gift tax benefits
- Welfare and public assistance
- Joint housing for elderly
- Credit protection
- Medical care for survivors and dependents of certain veterans
These are just a few of the 1400 state and federal benefits that gays and lesbians are denied by not being able to marry. Most of these benefits cannot be privately arranged or contracted for within the legal system.
So there you have it. Next time someone tells you they can't figure out why "they" can't be happy with civil unions, you have an answer for them.
In the meantime, I highly recommend visiting www.YesWeCanBeEqual.com. In the wake of Prop 8 passing in California, Michael Fouquette of MikeWorks.net set up the site in the hope of creating a resource for "those who wish to be active in the fight for LGBTQ equality."
Hope. That's something I'm holding onto right now.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Unfortunately, some people only like Hershey's, and they don't want certain people to eat Hershey's. They say to the other people, "You can have Cadbury's. It's very similar to Hershey's, tastes like it, looks like it. You won't notice any real difference. In fact, we're going to amend the Constitution so that you cannot eat Hershey's."
Sounds kinda stupid, huh? Screw THAT!
I'm very sad this morning to be living in California, where it looks like Prop 8 might pass. Which means my best friend in the whole wide world, Michael, will not be able to marry his loving partner, Ming.
It truly breaks my heart to know that the majority of Californians have decided to write bigotry, discrimination, and hate into our state's Constitution. To take rights away from one group of people, and basically regulate them to the status of second-class citizens.
I voted "no" on Prop 8. In this supposed age of enlightenment, I'm disappointed that more Californians didn't do the same.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Six weeks after getting ravaged by a shark on Coronado Beach, John and I got up at 4:30 a.m. this morning to take him to the Orthopedic Clinic in La Jolla. He arrive on time for his 5:30 a.m. check-in, and was wheeled in around 6:30 a.m. for final preparations for his 7 a.m. surgery.
Not one to give up on an opportunity to multi-task, I drove over to the San Diego Registrar of Voters to take advantage of California's early voting policy.
Before you ask, yes, I voted for Barack (Palin for President? Puh-leeze, that's the scariest thing I've heard in a long time) and I voted No on 8.
I got there at 6:45 a.m. (they opened at 8 a.m.), and was #29 in line.
I went back to wait for John's surgery to finish. It was supposed to be a 45 minute procedure, but ended up going a little over an hour. There were two ways it could go: take the meniscus out (resulting in a 2 week recovery) or repair it (a 6 week recovery).
Lucky for John, once the doctor went in, it was decided to just remove the meniscus, so it's 2 weeks for him! And, come to find out, the anesthesiologist and his team sang, "Happy Birthday" to John as he went under. They found the fact that today is his birthday very amusing.
After the Percoset set in
they were performing surgery on!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
We moved, which means we needed boxes. Rather than dumpster dive at places like Vons (Genuardi's for you East Coasters) or Albertson's (Acme), we went onto Craigslist and searched for boxes. There were tons! Unfortunately, they go really quickly. Within minutes of posting free boxes, we would email people and say we'd like the boxes, only to find out they were already spoken for!
In the end, we found a TON at a place in Crown Point. We happily drove to Pacific Beach (PB), and found the boxes already broken down and next and tidy in their garage. The person just so happened to be a Penn State alum, which made me happy.
To give back, once we unpacked our house, I put those same boxes back onto Craigslist -- I posted the free boxes at 8:59 a.m., boxes gone from our garage at 9:59 a.m.! Viva la freecycling!