Harvey

I spent my weekend feeling ill while watching Harvey dump trillions of water on southeast Texas. My friends and family are still okay thankfully, but what a nightmare. I am so grateful for all of the courageous people out there in their boats who are voluntarily putting themselves in dangerous situations to help others. The Daily Mail actually has pictures that show the true devastation as you slide between before and after the flood.

Houston Police SWAT officer Daryl Hudeck carries Catherine Pham and her son Aiden after rescuing them from their home surrounded by floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey.

Houston Police SWAT officer Daryl Hudeck carries Catherine Pham and her son Aiden after rescuing them from their home surrounded by floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

I wish it didn’t take these kinds of disasters for us to come together and help each other regardless of race, religion, or immigration status. This disaster is going to take years to recover from and I hope that as a nation we can continue support the people of this devastated region.

Volunteer Dean Mize holds on to two frightened and soaking children as he and his friend Jason Lengon rescue more stranded residents on their boat 

Here are some ways that you can help. I am donating to Austin Pets Alive because they are a great organization who is already at constant capacity with rescued animals. Imaging having to leave your home under these kinds of circumstances is nightmare enough, but I cannot fathom having to part with a pet to do so. The SPCA of Texas and Austin Pets Alive are assisting with pet evacuations and housing for animals that can’t go into the shelters with their owners. If you live in the area, you can also take in pets to foster until they are able to be reunited with their owners.
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That picture is devastating and it gives me tears every time I see it.

I would also like to take a second to chat about evacuations. “Why didn’t they evacuate?” is the number one thing that people here have asked me as Harvey pours trillions of water onto Houston and the surrounding communities. Have you personally tried to evaluate a metropolitan area where over six million people live? Two and a half million is Houston proper, but there are millions more who live in the surrounding suburbs who also have to go. If you were in Texas during Hurricane Rita in 2005, then you will remember the absolute nightmare shitshow that evacuation was. I had friends who sat in their cars on freeways for over 25 hours. Some of those friends sat on highways that are now completely submerged. How is that a better situation? Two days is not enough time to get that many people safely away. And the Rita evacuation was less than three million people trying to leave.

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There’s no good solution for this kind of situation because people are in danger no matter what. Harvey’s trajectory was hard to predict. It escalated from Tropical Storm to Hurricane in less than 24 hours. Then became a Cat 4 in what felt like 4 minutes. Houston is flat. It floods all the time. With Gulf temperatures rising and the danger of massive storms increasing, at some point we have to confront the problem with the ongoing growth and development of these giant cities in high-risk flood and storm areas. We are not building any kind of infrastructure to confront flooding issues, so how many billions do we invest in rebuilding cities that are in terrible and dangerous locations? I say this as someone who recognizes why people live in Houston (and other coastal cities) and why they love it. I totally get it, but we’ve got a problem here that isn’t going away.

Anyway, thank you to everyone who is helping. I have friends and family there and so many people have showed up to get them to safety.

I didn’t do much other than watching the flood coverage while working in the office this weekend. I went to Orange Theory on Saturday and Sunday morning, so I felt pretty proud about that. I also watched Game of Thrones on Sunday night with friends and GOOD GRIEF that was a lot to digest.

SPOILERS

  1. IS TORMUND OKAY OR WHAT???
  2. Ugh. Aegon is a boring name and didn’t Rhaegar already have an Aegon? This is silliness.
  3. Rhaegar looked way too much like Viserys. ICK.
  4. I am having trouble like Lyanna because the actress who plays her was also that little idiot Katie in The Fall. She was THE WORST.Image result for the fall katie
  5. Bronn is the best.
  6. They should not have let Qyburn take that hand.
  7. Was that some flirting coming from the Hound when he was chatting up with Brienne? I am totally down with her being a hottest commodity in Westeros.
  8. HOLY SHIT.
  9. So, Tormund, is he okay or what?
  10. As Eric said last night, “Have the Whitewalkers just been waiting a thousand years for someone dumb enough to bring a dragon over the wall?”
  11. Also, this is a wight dragon, not an ice dragon. Ice dragons breathe icy cold destruction, not fire (an ice dragon wouldn’t have melted the wall).
  12. Was the entire point of that stupid raid just to get the Whitewalkers a dragon? Because, that makes me mad.
  13. I also think Beric has a super sexy voice (the main reason I kept watching Fortitude after I stopped enjoying it – Richard Dormer is great with words), so I need him to stay around also.
  14. I did not see the Littlefinger twist coming, BUT HELL YES STARK LADIES. I am so glad his end came at the hands of a Stark woman.
  15. I wonder how many times Gilly had to tell Sam about the wedding before he heard her?
  16. When are Bran and Sam going to make this Targaryen announcement?
  17. Dany is going to flip her dragon shit when she learns that she’s not the proper heir to the throne anymore.
  18. The best part of the episode was Jorah pathetically trying to convince Dany not to ride on Jon’s love boat.
  19. Ugh I hate that she and Jon hooked up.
  20. And OMG Tyrion loves Dany and I WANTED TO CRY when I saw his face outside her bedroom. I didn’t see that at all until that moment. No wonder he was willing to confront Cersei for her. This can’t end well.
  21. I am so glad Jamie finally stood up to Cersei. Now find Brienne, and get the hell out of dodge!
  22. Cersei – the worst.
  23. Jon, sometimes you have to lie for the greater good (as I tell myself daily).
  24. What does the Night King want? I need more info on him and what his deal is. TO WHAT END, GOOD SIR?
  25. What if all of this is just to have an ending shot of the Night King on the Iron Throne? All of these machinations would have been for NOTHING. A true testament to how all of our human drama really doesn’t matter in the end.Image result for night king gif

Leslie Jones continues to be a national treasure. I’m going to miss her GoT tweets so much! How are we to wait a year and a half???

 

The Sleepend

Last week at work wasn’t a particularly stressful or exhausting, but by the time I got home on Friday I was exhausted. I had not slept well for several nights because I was worried about our budget. Our new fiscal year started on July 1, but we didn’t learn of our budget for this year until late Friday. Some years, the state didn’t provide the budget allotments until SEPTEMBER. How do you operate for months without knowing your budget???? I SWEAR California is such a nonsense entity at times.

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Anyway, I laid in bed running the worst budget scenarios through my head which turned out to be a real nightmare because it required a great deal of math which is always struggle city. Anyway, when I got home Friday I passed out on the couch for a few hours and woke up in complete confusion around 9 pm. Super helpful. I started Friends from College on Netflix. I had very high hopes for it because I love Keegan-Michael Key and Colbie Smulders. I also couldn’t resist the instant nostalgia and warm fuzzy feelings associated with seeing Fred Savage on screen.

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I finished the show while cleaning on Saturday and I found it to be overall irritating.

Key’s character was so over the top and annoying that I wanted to throttle him constantly. Parts of it were funny, but there weren’t enough of those parts to make it enjoyable. These people are all near 40 and they all act like teenagers – it was annoying. Watching people who refuse to grow up and take responsibility for their choices is not something I need to watch over the course of eight episodes.

I happy news, Sari and I FINALLY got to see The Big Sick on Saturday afternoon. I loved it!! It was charming, funny, and Kumail Nanjiani is a total delight.

He’s a star!

We spent Sunday cleaning the house which wasn’t the most fun ever. We haven’t really done a good deep clean since we moved in and since our parents are coming this week, we figured Sunday was the time to get it done. We even shampooed our carpets. If you ever want to feel like a disgusting monster, then look at the water after cleaning your carpets.

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SO GROSS. Anyway, the house is super clean now and I finally finished organizing my closet, so that’s something.

On Sunday night we watched the GoT (OBVIOUSLY) and I am excited to see where all of this is going. Also, if you are several seasons or episodes behind, then that is YOUR PROBLEM. Someone messaged me yesterday griping about my “spoiler” in relation to  an Instagram picture and comment I posted about my Hodor shirt. It’s been almost a year. That’s on you. I didn’t post that five minutes after we found out Hodor’s fate, so GET OVER IT.

 

SPOILERS FOR EPISODE ONE

 

 

I am GREATLY worried that Euron is off to get the Dragonbinder to deliver to Cersei. She always seems to come out on top and I am WORRIED. I did get much joy over his “two hands” dig. Well done.

Ugh. Ed Sheeran. Is Arya gonna murder the hell out of him or what? His appearance really irritated me.

I am so happy that Dany is finally SOMEWHERE. Dragonstone looks way cooler than it did under Stannis and that throne is badass.

While I think Jon needs to listen to Sansa, I do think he made the right choice about the Houses of Umber and Karstark. They seem to be reduced to children, and showing them kindness when everyone else wanted them dead will hopefully seal their alliance for generations to come. Jon needs to up his concern over the Lannisters by about a billion though. Sansa is spot on with that assessment.

Arya, get your fanny to Winterfell.

Prayers for Sam at the Citadel. GROSS.

WHERE IS GENDRY?

It still feels super silly that these folks are squabbling over thrones when an actual army of the dead is descending up on them, but whatever I like their outfits.

Hippie Dippy

During our ladies weekend I had a long conversation with Courtney and Chelsy about their healthy hippie ways. We talked about homemade lotions, kombucha, natural deodorant, and brushing your teeth with charcoal. I am not always the most open-minded about their natural lifestyles, but give me a few margaritas and I have questions and concerns.

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After talking to them, I realized that there are some pretty basic things I can do to use more natural products. I’m never going to use natural deodorant (because I am ALWAYS hot and I NEED my antiperspirant), but I thought I would give making lotion a try at least. I have super dry skin on my arms and legs and I apply lotion multiple times a day, and I still get itchy. After reviewing multiple recipes and methods last week, I decided to try this recipe. I’m not great in the kitchen because I tend to be impatient and clumsy, but I gave all of my effort to trying to get this right. I ordered all of the linked ingredients on Amazon because I was terrified of buying the wrong thing. I feel like that’s not very hippie of me, but whatever.

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I didn’t have proper little lotion molds, so I used my Star Wars silicone molds (they make super fun ice!!) for my lotion bars. I chose the Hypoallergenic Lotion Bars (instead of cream lotion or other recipes) because I have very sensitive skin and these seemed like they would be the least likely to irritate my delicate epidermis. I also like that they are bars because it makes them way easier to travel with. I typically have to travel with at least two containers of two different varieties of TSA-sized lotions because I use SO MUCH lotion. No I have more room in my liquids Ziploc for hair products. I was also initially weirded out by the beef tallow because the idea of rubbing rendered animal fat on my body sounded a bit too Silence of the Lambs.

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I don’t know why it bothered me because I have no problem cooking with rendered fat and I eat meat at every meal, but something about rubbing it on my skin felt particularly icky. I did a bunch of Googling and decided that I would give it a shot anyway. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to make and little time it took. I used a mix of lavender and vanilla essential oils and the scent is very faint which is great because I didn’t really want to smell like an underwear drawer (from those little lavender sachets people keep in there. You know? RIGHT?). So, they were very easy to make and now am the proud owner of a bunch of little Star Wars lotion bars. The Han Solo Carbonite mold is my favorite with R2-D2 (the easiest to grip) a close second.

I’m keeping them in the fridge so they don’t melt in the Sacramento heat (we are trying really hard to not use the A/C), but I have been using one since Saturday and I love it. I normally put lotion on when I get out of the shower, reapply before bed, use Eucerin Advanced Repair on my feet and hands at night, occasionally wake up and reapply lotion because my legs itch, apply it again in the morning, then at least twice more while at work. I used the lotion bar after the shower the other night and I didn’t need to do it again before bed or reapply in the middle of the night. It even kept my feet from getting dry overnight. I used it yesterday morning before work and didn’t apply lotion again all day. My skin felt so soft all day and I never got itchy. I can’t believe I didn’t try something like this sooner. I’m in love!

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I hope to make chapstick next because it uses most of the same ingredients that I now own.

I also made mayonnaise for the first time and it turned out great too! I would use half the lemon juice next time (I don’t care for the taste of lemon), but otherwise it was delicious. I made some deviled eggs to go with my dinner on Sunday night and I was in heaven. I felt like a proper pioneer after those two accomplishments. Lotion and deviled eggs are all I need to make it to Oregon apparently (as IF I could be a pioneer).

Other than those two extraordinary accomplishments, I went to Orange Theory, got some work done, and finished the new season of House of Cards (no spoilers). This season should have been called House of Cards: The Bodies Hit the Floor because GOOD GRIEF it was murdery and injury filled. It also too closely aligned with things that happened during the last election and those wounds are still too fresh. I was THRILLED with the very very end of it. HOORAH. Also, Claire has so many power button ensembles this season! Kate better watch out because there is a new Duchess of Buttons in town!!

Much A-button About Nothing.

The Keepers

The Keepers is a series on Netflix that was released this past weekend. Please PLEASE PLEASE go watch it if you haven’t. These stories have to be heard.

SPOILERS AHEAD

I didn’t get to finish the series until last night, so let’s chat now. Going in, I had no idea what this was about other than the murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik.

I was not at all prepared for the even darker and more disturbing turn that he series took in the second episode when the survivors started telling their stories of systematic rape, assault, and abuse at the hands of Joseph Maskell. I am in awe of their bravery in pursuing charges in the nineties and in their drive to continue telling the world what happened despite public opinion. I thought the series did an excellent job giving them space and time to tell what happened to them. So often stories of abuse are told to us by someone else or they are overshadowed by other parts of the story. It was amazing to watch these women talk about what they experienced and how they have survived something that was a complete horror. Jean is such an incredible badass and it was wonderful to watch how her family rallied around her and supported her.

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It was heartbreaking to watch their experiences in court and during the depositions, and I hope that it can help more people understand why people often choose not to pursue charges. Being publicly torn apart and called a liar AFTER already surviving assault is insanity. It is gut-wrenching to imagine experiencing that kind of terror, then being ignored and accused of just wanting money or attention when you are finally able to talk about it. Our system continues to fail so many people who desperately need help and protects those who are monsters. It is absolutely unreal to me that there continues to be statutes of limitation on rape, assault, and molestation in so many states (thankfully, California has recently eliminated the statue for rape and other sexual-assault charges). Justice has no time limit.

I also have so much pride and admiration for the former students of Sister Cathy who are keeping her memory and this case alive. It is incredible to see a group of strong and intelligent women fighting together for justice for the teacher they loved so dearly. Gemma and Abbie are NOT HERE for your bullshit answers and vague letters. I hope they make a second series following these badass ladies as they continue to hunt for answers.

Image result for the keepers gemmaI do believe that if Maskell didn’t do it himself, then someone did it on his behalf because Sister Cathy confronted him about his assault of Jean. I absolutely believe that she was the kind of person who would not have let that go quietly. It is devastating to know that Maskell was allowed to go to a new school after a mother confronted his former school over his assault on her son. The lives of so many young people were forever changed because of a man who could have been stopped.

The entire series is deeply unsettling and has no resolution, but it is an incredible story of survival, courage, and tenacity. I am telling everyone I know to watch this because it needs to be a phenomenon like Serial or Making a Murderer. Everyone should be watching and talking about it. These stories have to be heard so that we as a society can continue to apply pressure to stop the systematic protection and hiding (or transferring) of those who abuse and cause harm – particularly to our children. May we all grow up to be as brave and indefatigable as these women. I have no doubt that Sister Cathy would be thrilled by the strong women they are today.

12 Miles

I woke up around six on Saturday morning to go for my long run. Unfortunately, it was pouring down rain. While I don’t mind shorter runs in the rain, 12 miles in the rain seemed like a one way ticket to blister city. So, I got dressed, and drove up to the office to take care of some work until the rain stopped. Since the university is right next to the path I run on, it was convenient to hang out there until there was a break in the weather. That break came around 8:30 and I hit the path. After my miserable ten miler last week, I was really worried about doing 12. I got going and the first few miles were rough.

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Eventually, my body realized that we were going to keep running no matter what and things went pretty well for the remainder of the run. I took a brief break under a tree (it wasn’t lightning) during a downpour around mile 11, then finished up once the rain let up a bit. Overall, the run went well and I felt good. I ate an RXBAR around the eighth mile and felt good energy wise. I will probably start using the Clif Shot Bloks next week because I had to stop for several minutes to eat the RXBAR since it was super chewy and required full focus (I couldn’t run and eat at the same time). The Shot Bloks are easier to pop in my mouth on the run.

I plugged my watch in to charge the night before, so I totally forgot it when I was getting ready since it wasn’t in my pile of things to take with me. I used the iSmoothRun app which I haven’t used in a couple of years. At some point there was an update because it now gives me my pace and distance info through my headphones at every mile. So, I stuffed my phone in my Camelbak and enjoyed a cordless 12 mile run. It was fabulous. I finished the 12 miles a few minutes faster than my ten miles, so I guess that really speaks to the struggle of that previous run. Overall, I’m happy with this run and my overall pace for now. Finishing is winning for this lady.

After running, I quickly went home, showered, and picked up Sari to go Art Street Sacramento. We wanted to go to Art Hotel last year, but ran out of time. I have zero artistic aptitude, and I really don’t “get” art, but it was super cool. Artists apply to exhibit their work and 100 artists and performers are chosen. This year’s theme was “street,” so it felt like you were walking down pathways and streets.


One of my favorite exhibits was “This is What it Feels Like” and you went in a dark booth alone and put on headphones. Once you had them on, you could hear the sounds of a busy city street around you, then men started talking. They were catcalling and as time passed it got more aggressive and their voices got closer. It was absolutely disturbing and absolutely true to life. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been called a bitch for not smiling at a man who told me to or for ignoring some dude’s commentary. We owe you nothing. Anyway, a guy came out before I went in and said, “Damn, that has to be scary.”

Anyway, if you’re in the area, it’s open until February 25th.

On Sunday, I did what adults do and cooked, cleaned, and did some work. Sari and I are watching The White Queen because she hasn’t seen it. I just love it SO MUCH and you can watch it through Amazon Prime!! And Max Irons is sooooooooooooooo cute and his voice is so delicious.

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I tried watching Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix, but I can’t deal with multiple hours of Drew Barrymore.So, now I’m watching Justified in my spare time because I need hot Timothy Olyphant in good jeans and a hat to get me through these dark times.

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And I didn’t watch the Super Bowl because I CANNOT STAND that shady Tom Brady and

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