Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Black on Black

Can you see Sarah Dooley?  She went to get her nails clipped this weekend and I saw an estate sale on my way to Petsmart, which means I had to pull over and take a peak inside the estate sale.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Timmy is hott

Catching up on my DVR:  Did anyone else see Tim McGraw on the season finale of American Idol?  He is one fine looking man.  Three people made my fun spots tingle on the finale show: 1) Tim in his boots and jeans 2) Beyonce in her first performance 3) Jennifer Lopez in her dance number. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Being Offensive

On Wednesday night I went to a cocktail party at the home of one of my newer friends.  We work together on an advisory board, he's a couple of years older than I am, and I've hung out with him and his wife at least one time previously.  This event was held in his home, which is in my neighborhood. 

His wife is really funny and while I was talking to her I realized that she must not work outside the home.  They don't have any human children.  They're our age.  They both went to UT.  So I was confused when it sounded like she didn't have an office job...

Me:  "I don't know the least offensive way to ask...but are you a housewife?!"

Erin: "Wow, that's the most offensive way to ask."


Stuffed Mini Potatoes

You should try Paula Deen's Cheesy Bacon Stuffed Mini Potatoes!  It's a fun way to serve a potato, and Yukon gold potatoes are my favorite potatoes; they are delicious.

Happy Memorial Day

I hope I never outgrow the feeling of excitement that comes with the unofficial start to summer - Memorial Day Weekend.  Thanks to all the men and women both gay and straight that have served our country!

Do No Harm

My husband's Discover magazine early this year listed the top 100 stories from 2010, and the results of a 25 year study showing that same sex parents do no harm to their children was story number 88.  This finding is not surprising to me; I've always thought that the children of a gay couple would consider it normal to have two dads and no mom.  The idea of "normal" depends on your point-of-view.


"Ever since U.S. sperm banks began to
accept lesbian clients in the mid-1980s, critics have argued that same-sex parenting could damage children’s psychological well-being. In June a 25-year, ongoing study published in the journal Pediatrics came to a very different conclusion, finding that children of lesbian mothers experience healthy social, emotional, and psychological development. The study, led by University of California, San Francisco psychiatrist Nanette Gartrell, included 78 kids conceived through donor insemination and raised by lesbian mothers. Beginning in 1986 Gartrell interviewed women in San Francisco, Boston, and Washington, D.C., during pregnancy and again when their children turned 2, 5, 10, 
and 17; she also used clinical question­naires to define behavior. At 17 those children scored higher, on average, than their peers in social and academic competence and lower in aggressive behavior and social problems."

Lucas - 1986

I tried to rest as much as possible on Saturday; my husband went to our friends' fried chicken and water volleyball party while I stayed in bed.  It's been hard for my body to recover from our Georgian adventures, and I wanted to sleep.  The movie channel Encore is having a Big '80's weekend, and I watched the 1986 film Lucas while I was on the couch.    After all these years this film can still hold my attention and sends a good message.

Play Ball

My husband's parents took us to the Texas Rangers baseball game on Friday.  I'm not really interested in baseball, but with seats this close to home plate it's hard not to be interested in the game.

I saw a white father with his black 18-month-old son sitting a few rows in front of us (I didn't snap a picture of the two) and I told my husband afterwards the only certainty I have is when I see white fathers with their black (adopted) children I am certain that we could be amazing fathers to adopted children that might otherwise not get adopted.  We met with an adoption attorney in Los Angeles years ago and she told us their greatest need is for individuals willing to adopt black babies.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Storm Drama

Let me tell you about last night- so much drama.  First, I have to disclose that I'm still jet lagged and I'm having stomach issue as a result of our travels, which means I'm tired and on drugs.  My husband is out of town on business.  In short, I'm cranky.

The same storm system that flew across my house last night ended up killing 12 people in other states.

I went to bed early, I was cranky, but I got a text from my husband's mother asking about my brother and his girls.  I called my brother and he was in the pantry with his girls.  The tornado sirens were going off in his neighborhood and his pantry is the safest place in his house.  I called my husband's mother and gave her the update, and then I felt guilty that I wasn't taking this storm seriously so I got out of bed.  I got Dooley and Trigger and put blankets in our tiny utility room and tried to sleep.  Then my mother called. Then it started hailing on our house.  Dooley started barking at the sound of hail hitting the house. Them my college roommate's mother called.  Then our AT&T U-verse went out, which means the phone line went out, which sets off our house alarm.  I had to get up to turn off the alarm.  Dooley was still trying to attack the ceiling. Then my college roommate called.  After a bit I gave up and went to bed...

In my next house I'm going to put a bedroom in the basement.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Goodbye Oprah

I'm an Oprah super fan, as you know, and today, tomorrow, and Wednesday are her last new shows.  I'm happy that I'm back in the states to watch them.  I picked up a stomach bug somewhere along the way, and as I'm recovering on the couch I'm watching all the Oprah Shows we missed while we were away.

Are you two brothers?

The American Airlines security personnel told us that unless we were related ("Are you two brothers?"), then we had to go through the security check points separately.   I was so angry I wanted to step on this throat. 

This was at the end of our trip, which means I was tired and a little bit cranky, but it makes me mad when the world doesn't recognize us as husband and husband. 

Also, when we checked in to the hotel in Germany, which we prearranged, the lady looked at the two of us and asked if we wanted to change from the king bed to two double beds? 

Heidelberg to the Rescue

Our weekend in Germany was rescued with a one hour train ride outside of the city to see the Heidelberg Castle.  It was my first time on a European train- what a fantastic way to move around a country.  We had a wonderful day tooling around the village and exploring the castle and gardens. 


After leaving Georgia with its mountains, forest, and rivers we were both a little disappointed in Germany.  My impression was "meh."  However, Germany wins the award for having the most efficient airports, and they have the nicest taxi cabs ever.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Moving On

Both of these men were happy to let us take their picture, and like these men today (Friday) is a travel day for us.  We're headed to Germany for the weekend.  If I find the Internets, then I'll post and keep you updated.

Trigger's Cousin

We found Trigger's Georgian cousin roaming the streets.  He was well fed, which meant he had a home somewhere on the mountain. 


Signaghi Georgia is the most perfect mountain top village.  It's  beautiful.  Sarah, my husband and I had the best day today touring the town, vineyards, and eating lunch.  I have fallen in love with Georgia, and my flight out of Georgia takes off in four hours.  The 1500+ photos and videos will have to keep the memories alive until we return!

Ancient Sounds

Our cousin Sarah arranged for us to have a private concert before lunch today with a Georgian choir that performs traditional songs from various areas of Georgia.  We were having so much fun in the open air that a Holy man joined us- see the right side of the bottom photo.  I really like the yodeling sound the women sing in parts of their songs. 

Also, the dancing is amazing.  The women move in a shy and delicate motion, whereas the men move in violent warrior-type motion right next to them.  The contrast is beautiful. 

Traditional Wine Making

This is the way they've been making wine for centuries, and we were lucky enough to tour an organic vegetarian wine maker in east Georgia that only makes wine using the authentic process.  I don't even drink, but I loved this tour.  In the country side most farming families still make their own wine too.  I adore Georgia.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dobby Lives!

Dobby didn't die!  He lives in Georgia with our cousins.  When we're out and about he cleans our clothes and makes our bed.  It's magical!

Georgian Driving

Georgia has lines painted on their streets and highways; they have stop signs and stop lights and cross walks too, but really I think all the familiar road signage is put in place to give the non-Georgians the perception of order.  Or maybe the lines and signs are created with invisible ink that only non-Georgians can see?  Or maybe traffic rules aren't really rules at all they are traffic suggestions. 

I am most thankful we have a driver, because riding in a car on a Georgian surface is riding in a swarm of craziness.  It's high speed chaos. People pass on the left and right side of the road.  Most of the cars drive on the right side of the road, but if you can get to your destination by driving on the left side of the road faster, then why not?  If they can't find a parking spot, then they create one on the sidewalk or in the middle of the street.  You have to be an aggressive driver or you'll never get anywhere in this country.

However, a benefit to this type of driving is that it is very efficient.

How Bazaar

Today we toured the bazaar where you can buy everything from food to clothes to antiques.  We also went through the art market where local artist showcase their work.  We ended our shopping experience in search of a rug, which was a fantastic little adventure.  I was having so much fun in the hidden rug shops that I forgot to take photos of all the rugs.  When you're rug shopping they always quote you their "first price" which means it's the starting point for negotiation, and when they've reached their lowest price they say "final price" or "best price." 

Cave City

We toured the city that was chiseled into the side of the mountain. The caves and tunnels go deep into the mountain.  It was built around the 1100's and it has a sophisticated water system that moved the natural aquifers around the mountain. This rock city protected the people from outside invaders until a great earthquake exposed their city.  Today, 2011, monks still live in part of the city.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Silent Nights

They build things to last in Georgia; for a group of people that have been around for thousands of years it seems like a smart way to construct buildings.

Right now it's around midnight on Tuesday night and I'm about to go to bed in my cousins' new house, which was constructed with poured concrete walls on the side of a mountain outside of Tbilisi.  The nights are completely silent.  I normally sleep with the sounds of a rattling and wobbly oscillating fan, a softly snoring French Bulldog, and the occasional neighborhood noise from outside my window.  I did not know nights could be this silent.

Nighty Night.


We're Americans, which means we don't understand the concept of government priorities.  Can't all countries just borrow more money from China?  Don't all governments run massive deficits?  After they declared their independents from the Soviets in 1991 Georgia had to rebuild a nation from the beginning.  Their money had to fund infrastructure, which meant they could not afford to fund their impressive observatory located high in the Georgian mountains. 

This observatory was a leading research center during Soviet times and the space race with the USA.   Our cousin Sarah's husband, George, studied their in his early teens.  Today this observatory is desperate for funds, which means they have opened their facilities to outside guests.

We spent two nights on the overwhelmingly beautiful mountain with our cousins.  We got to use the large telescopes to see the moon and stars at night and one to see the sun during the day.  Our cousin's old mentor, a heliophysicist, guided us both days.   He spoke in Georgian, and had George translate to English for us.  Later I learned that George studied astronomy and astrophysics in Georgian and Russian therefore sometimes it was difficult to find the correct English words to use in translation.  We are being treated like kings on this trip.

Time Travel

Once we drove outside of Tbilisi, at times, we had to share the highway with sheep, cows, horses, and dogs.  The Georgians have invented time travel- just get in your car and drive away from Tbilisi then in three hours it'll be 1850.  I'm thankful I got to see this with my own eyes before this land catches up to 2011.

Maybe I could go post signs that said "never change, you're perfect just the way you are" along these villages?