Friday, December 30, 2005

they drink human urine, you know

meep meep
meep meep,
originally uploaded by Waldie's World.
this is a sad story. but, not to sound like a know-it-all because i really don't know that much about it, but i have know about the diminishing number of pikas since 2001, while working in americorps. in july of 2001 i had the unique experience of working on mount harvard at an altitude of 14,420 feet to help build trails for hikers. it was one of the most difficult experienes of my life. but that's completely irrelevant to this post.

at the top of the mountain were two types of animals, pikas and marmots. pikas are extremely rare and are only found at the tops of mountains, as the cnn article states. i was told by our site leader that not many people have studied them but we know that with the increasing temperatures, the very delicate tundra of high mountains are diminishing, causing a decline in both animals.

as a side note, those of you who know my embarrassing story about being incredibly ill on the mountian and being "meep meeped" at by small animals who wanted to eat my urine...this was one such animal.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

while i'm blogging

i thought i might add this quote, which is taken from donald wood's book biko.

"there exists amongst men, because they are men, a solidarity through which each shares responsibility for every injustice and every wrong committed in the world and especially for crimes that are committed in his presence or of which he cannot be ignorant. if i do not do whatever i can to prevent them, i am an accomplice in them. if i have not risked my life in order to prevent the murder of other men, if i have stood silent, i feel guilty in a sense that cannot in any adequate fashion be understood juridically or politically or morally...that i am still alive after such things have been done weighs on me as a guilt that cannot be expiated.

"somwhere in the heart of human relations, an absolute command imposes itself; in case of criminal attack or of living conditions that threaten physical being, accept life for all together or not at all."

donald is of course talking about apartheid in south africa and the call for all people (white, black and other) to not just talk about the evils of the separate state, but to act as well. and the words are actually attributed to karl jaspers. but i thought these words really summarized my feelings and are a great answer to the question people often ask of me and chris, "why go to africa?"

v'burg visit

for all those wondering, our mississippi trip was very pleasant. i am sure that chris will post about it more. he actually wanted to post tonight, but seeing that he's passed out on the chair at the moment, i thought i'd link these pictures from fuzzy.

thanks for the gift cards!

you all will be happy to know that our camera issue has been resolved. no, we did not find the old camera that walked away (wouldn't that have been nice!?). today we purchased a new camera, thanks in part to gift cards and christmas/birthday money. we decided on a different camera, one with a higher zoom and greater megapixels. i think i just couldn't buy the one we had before because it would seem like a step back and that was just more depressing. so hopefully this little buddy will be a good investment. and i'm not taking it to work this time!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

cats and presents

well, my parents beat me to it. but happy birthday hubby! it will be full of cats and presents, for what more could you ask?

as you, dear readers may want to know, chris and i made it to mississippi in record time and it was probably the easiest trip we've made thus far, except we got a crack in our windshield about 10 miles from our destination and we're taking our car in the AM to have the tired checked out b/c it's making a strange "thump-thump" sound.

other than that, on a complete tangent, we've heard from catholic relief services. they wanted to schedule a "telephone conversation" today. but we are unable to accommodate because we're picking up chris's sister at the airport at the exact time they wanted to chat. so we're hoping to reschedule for early january. will keep you posted as we know more. very exciting!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

a carolin' means christmas

last night a select few of us (some of my favorites, in fact) from our YACS! (Young Adult CatholicS) group went christmas caroling at an independant living facility. i have to say, i was a little nervous about just going out and caroling. you just never know the reception you're going to get. and, hey, i'll admit it, sometimes retirement facilitites are depressing. plus, our group had no "formal training," persey, and i wasn't sure i wanted to go make a fool of ourselves (though i guess the hard-of-hearing are a good group to do that in front of).

in any event, it turned out surprisingly well. chris and i both agreed that it was a great time. i hadn't sung carols since i was a kid in the choir. it was really...well...christmasy. not to mention the fact that the residents loved us (even the jewish woman with the hanukka sign on her door requested "we wish you a merry christmas)." it was just so sweet. one touching moment was when a woman called us into her apt (we were singing up and down the halls). she said she was the resident's nurse and that she had "been critical" for the past few days. the nurse had stayed with her night and day and was just trying to get her to hold on. she said that she wanted to give the resident some sort of feeling of christmas but couldn't figure out how since she couldn't leave her bed. so we went into the woman's bedroom and sang 3-4 songs for her while the nurse sat in the living room crying. really touching. i guess this goes to show what i have always believed but don't often practice: it's always important to step outside your comfort zone. you don't know what you'll find, but it's often something life-altering.

Monday, December 19, 2005

on with the festivities

so the party on saturday went off with nary a hitch (with the exception of a few medium-sized children running wild in our house for the first half of the night, no biggy). we estimate we had about 40 people over throughout the course of the night. not the masses we had anticipated based on previous experience. but that's a solid number and keeps the choas in a bit of order. though now we have lots of food and cider left over which we'll dispose of tonight when we go caroling with friends. you can read one review of the event here.

today is jim's birthday. so i should say, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BO!" sorry we're not there to go to the movies with you. but in honor of your birthday, i'm giving blood this afternoon.

Friday, December 16, 2005

the joy of the season...

is knowing that it's 1:00 PM on friday and i don't have to be into work for another 426 1/2 hours (that's just over 2 weeks folks, keep up!). that's just fabulous. if i weren't so drained i'd be a bit more overtly enthusiastic. but do not be fooled, i'm ecstatic.

so, what do i plan to do? rest? not yet. big party tomorrow. so for now more cooking and cleaning and sprucin' up the joint. party. then rest. maybe sneak a movie (king kong) in there too.

on a side note, if i had a camera (which you all may remember , i don't), i'd take a picture of the cutest wreath that i made. my first attempt. hurt like crap to put together, thanks pointy evergreen!, but it's cute!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

i am thinking

i should blog something. but i'm too tired.

*horray for amy for graduating by the way! we'll miss you.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

the lion, the witch and tito puente

this weekend has been chock full o' movie-going and cookie-making, both of which are obvious signs of the holidays for me.

friday night i saw pride and prejudice (i know. i know. p&p on the opening weekend of narnia! don't worry, read on.) with the ladies and was honored to be invited into "the nightcap club," a club of whose existance i had no previous knowledge. basically i was the recipient of a hand-made nightcap like they wore in the "olden days." thanks mag, i shall wear it with pride!

saturday i spent making cookings and other goodies for our upcoming shindig and other various holiday obligations.

then today, sunday, we went to the much-anticipated narnia. i'm sure chris will give a full review in due time. i'm not really a "review-giving" kind of person. but i'll just say it was fabulous. it's been years since i read the book so i really didn't recall the nitty-gritty of the story line; so i have no clue where they deviated from the book. but the acting was great, animation amazing, music fabulous, and i was totally pleased. but that whole good vs. evil thing gets me every time.

the rest of the day--you guessed it--more cookie making. but as chris and i decorated our cute, cute, cute cut out sugar cookies, we rocked out to tito puente.

Friday, December 09, 2005

friday afternoon musings

i am breathing a sigh of relief as my week from hell is over. i can't say the week got worse but it certainly didn't get any better.

i am comforted by the thought that i have only one more week left and then 2 weeks off. so right now i plan to curl up on the couch and watch one of my two comfort movies, i haven't decided yet which one (and those who know me well will know the choices), as i make christmas cards.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

if this week were a jeopardy category...

it'd be "week from hell" for $1000.

my week was already going to be hectic enough, what with a few more potlucks (2 in one day), the conclusion of the big program i run at work, as well as the preparation for graduation and various other end-of-the-year rushy-rush-rush stuff. but add to that the fact that my (our) digital camera has disappeared ("taken" perhaps by someone at work), my nice bracelet (yes, the one chris gave me for our wedding) broke, my ink cartrige is out (bad time of year to try and get another one from the school supply lady), and oh...what else can i heap on there?? that seems like enough for now. it seems like every day has had a minor disaster that makes it really difficult to clear my already full plate.

the bright side (because there always has to be one): i'm done my christmas shopping, i have all the parts to the bracelet to fix it, and i'm not working another 12 hour day this week. i'll make it through, (dramatic sigh goes here).

(p.s. hope you're having fun in florida, mom and jim. jerks!

Friday, December 02, 2005

holiday-friendly shopping

chris and i ventured out today and took advantage of some holiday shopping. we first went to the "normal" haunts that most folks go to (target, bed bath and beyond, and other large box stores). then we stopped by columbia's new ten thousand villages store. it was so great. we loved every thing in the store. i wish i had gone there before buying most of my presents already!

so i thought i'd spread the word and tell folks to shop there online. support fair trade and artisan crafts. (of course there are lots of other cool places to shop fair trade as well, this is just one.)