Wednesday, October 29, 2008

La La Land

This past weekend, we made a little getaway to the City of Angels. Dios mio, that city is big! From the window of the airplane, all I could see was an endless view of lights in every direction. Los Angeles actually seems more like a conglomeration of little cities as opposed to just one. I'm not quite sure what to make of it. It's big and smoggy. I like the weather, though. It was in the eighties. I wore my bikini the whole time.

We went to Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, drove down Rodeo Drive, went to the beach in Manhattan Beach, spent a little time in Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach. We also drove a little south to Orange County where Brian grew up and the schools he went to. It was cool to see the house and neighborhood where he spent his years as a little kid until he went to college.

It was the strangest thing, but part of the time I could have sworn I was in Korea! We got to visit with a lot of Brian's relatives from the Korean side of his family and spent a good chunk of one day in Korea Town--apparently the largest Korean population outside of Asia. I got to meet some of his aunts and uncles, a cousin, and we spent time with his dad and younger sister, too. We ate lots of concord grapes while there. Maybe Brian hasn't mentioned this, but concord grapes are otherwise known as Korean grapes. Little known fact. We had the most amazing lunch at a Korean restaurant. I've never seen so many little bowls of food on one table. And the meat was cooked right in the middle of it all. It was awesome. Here is a picture of us at the restaurant.
We also spent several hours at the Getty Museum. The architecture is stunning. The building design is very modern, but it houses much older art. There was certainly some impressive art there... Gaugin, Renoir, Cezanne, Monet, Van Goget. But I have to admit, I appreciated the modern architecture more than the art itself... I know it's probably in poor taste to say that, but it's true. The Getty Museum sits on top of a big hill in L.A. and you have to take a little tram to get up there. The view from the top is great. If you can see through the smog, that is!

Finally, we spent some time on the beach goofing around!

Next update: Steve's hospital adventure.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Love conquers all in the OBX

Yeehaw! Two of my very favorite people in the whole world just got married last week! Sarah and Michael's wedding was in the outer banks of North Carolina and it was fantastically beautiful and so much fun!! Oh man, I can't believe so many of my friends and me are all getting married lately. We're all so grown up 'n stuff. It's, like, total awesomeness.

It was really exciting to wear my new dress, which was appropriately concord-colored (it even said so on the tag). And it was also fantastically exciting to see my friend Sheila for the third time this year!!! Best time ever.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Great artist

Great art from Matte Stephens:

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Wailin' on Palin

I cannot even begin to express how much I dislike the thought of this woman as our vice president. It's a ridiculous joke. Joe Sixpack, please say it ain't so. She is so completely unintelligent. It's terrifying, absolutely terrifying that anyone in their right mind would vote for the McCain-Palin ticket. What has this country come to? Could we possibly stoop any lower than we have in the last eight years? It's sickening. I try to understand people who think differently than I do, but on this issue i will never understand.

Oh man, doggonit, you betcha I'm gonna give a straight-up shout-out to my readers and post these here funny videos of a little lady who likes to call herself a maverick. Because without a few laughs, I would fall onto the floor in a little ball and start crying.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Steve's bitchin' camaro transplant

I haven't written much about my brother Steve here lately. I guess it is partially because he has his own space to write and I like to hear what he says in his own words! And also because if I don't write it down, maybe it won't be real. Silly denial tactic.

Steve is actually doing pretty well in his quest for good health. I think he is possibly the most positive, upbeat, forward-looking person I've ever known. He is handling everything beautifully and taking it all in stride. Although we are experiencing a lot of ups and downs in his platelet and blood counts, which can be frustrating and emotionally exhausting, he never has a bad thing to say about it.

There are lots of good pieces of news right now. A match has been identified for him. A 22-year old female in the US. She is a 9 out of 10 match, which isn't 100% perfect I guess, but I'm very optimistic that her marrow will do the trick! They want to get started on the marrow transplant (or "camaro" transplant as Steve likes to say) right away, so he will be admitted to the hospital on October 20. After about three weeks of prep chemo, tests, and rest, he will undergo the transplant procedure. I'm excited that things are moving ahead. It is much harder to wait around to hear news. He starts another monthly cycle of chemo tomorrow. Yesterday we thought he might have to spend an entire month in the hospital doing a really hard-core round of chemo, but fortunately the doctors decided today that it was not necessary because his marrow is in better shape than they thought. So that's also really good news.

Here are at least four things you can do to help!
  1. Sign up to be a bone marrow donor! Because it is so rare to find a person who matches, it is really important to have a lot of people in the registry. I'm sure that the girl who is a match for my brother signed up to help someone she knows. So I hope you'll sign up with Steve in mind, knowing that you might help save someone else's life. It's karma. And it's really easy.

  2. If for some reason you can't sign up to be a donor, you can donate platelets! Contact your local blood center and ask if you can donate platelets. Steve needs a platelet transfusion almost every month--when he does chemotherapy, his platelets drop really low before coming back up. Platelet donors are absolutely crucial for people who need these life-saving transfusions.

  3. Support the Aplastic Anemia and Myelodysplastic International Foundation (AA&MDSIF) by buying holiday cards!

  4. Or shop through GoodShop and iGive!