Friday, November 28, 2008

Make it STOP!

So I was scrolling through the radio stations in my car on Wednesday evening when I stopped on Sunny to see if they were already playing Christmas music. Turns out they were. As luck would have it, the very first song I heard was The Christmas Shoes. My entire Christmas season may well be ruined now.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Double Take

Last night I had dinner with a friend. We ended up discussing our musical taste. I shared that some of my favorite musicians tend to be women who sound a little Janis Joplin-ish...somewhat angry and soulful. To which my friend responded "isn't it interesting how we're drawn to music that reflects our personalities...after all, you're a little angry and soulful!"

Strangely enough, she meant it as a compliment and I definitely took it as one!

Thanksgiving bonus: One of my favorite songs by one of my favorite angry, soulful artists.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Baby Got Back

I was walking through the City Hall parking garage and spotted this car.
I think it speaks for itself.

Monday, November 24, 2008

From Our Moscow Bureau

Yesterday I didn't know where Riga was! However, with a 7-hour layover there while traveling between Tel Aviv and Moscow I can't be blamed for wanting to know more about a city than what is offered in its airport. I grabbed some of the local currency, hailed a taxi, and headed into the heart of Riga. Riga is the capital Latvia. It has a population of around one million and I'd say a fair number were milling about when I got out of my taxi.

The driver dropped me off in a medieval looking city center complete with cobblestone streets, old churches, and tons of bars. No sooner had I gotten out of the car than some kid ran up and gave me a miniature Latvian flag (he was running around with a hand full of them, giving them to everyone on the street). I noticed a stage set up in the distance next to a huge monument where tons of people were watching two soldiers who were doing some sort of ceremonious march. When the soldiers were done the people came and laid flowers at the monument where the soldiers stood like wooden indians.

The crowd started to disperse when I heard a man and woman whispering in English. I asked them what was going on and they told me that Latvia was celebrating 90 years of independence. Latvia's Independence Day! (I guess they include the years that they were part of the USSR in their independence?)

The nice couple said that I was just in time for the parade. But first, they led me to a Latvian restaurant where I ate cabbage rolls stuffed with pork. After being in countries for the past month that didn't appreciate the deliciousness of the pig, the pork rich Latvian cuisine was a welcomed delight.

Then I headed down to the Daugava River to watch the shortest parade I'd ever seen. The whole thing lasted fifteen minutes and ten of those minutes were of the United Nations Forces alone.

Despite the short parade, the Rigans (if that's what they call themselves) were having a big time. I too had a blast! A fifteen-minute parade in freezing weather beats seven hours in an airport any day.

~The Moscow Correspondent

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fashion Friday

Grey Days

For some subliminal reason, I've worn grey and black clothes for five days in a row. It started on Sunday with a grey and black dress. I found myself wearing a grey sweater and black pants on Monday, another grey/black dress ensemble on Tuesday, a grey blouse with jeans on Wednesday, a grey and black jumper with black turtleneck on Thursday...and today...I branched out. I'm wearing navy.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Let the Ladies be Sad

I had the day off yesterday. And had lunch with Tom. We went to Backstreet Cafe and sat in the courtyard in the beautiful Houston weather. It was lovely. You know you're jealous.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


This is a story that happened a few weeks ago and I forgot to share it on the blog. It took place at the annual Hoedown (a country dance, for those of you who don't know).

During one particularly loud song, a guy I didn't know came and asked me to dance. As he led me to the dance floor I attempted to shout over the music "I'm Laurie."

He looked at me with relief and said "me too."

Huh? Ummm. Let's try this again. "No, my NAME is LAURIE."

He got this embarrassed look on his face and confessed "Oh. I thought you said you're learning. As in learning to dance. My name is Jay. And I'm learning."


Monday, November 17, 2008

Adventures in Shoe Shopping

On Saturday some dear girlfriends were in town and we spent the entire day having fun together. In the afternoon, three of us went shoe shopping.

Side note: I truly did need a new pair of black heels for work. My old pair was worn out.

Back to the story. Two noteworthy incidents happened at the shoe store. I'll tell the last one first. My friend and I combined our items into one purchase. The cashier rang up our total and we proceeded to leave. I glanced at the receipt and realized the cashier only charged me for two pairs of shoes, when in fact we had three pairs in our bags. I went back, got in line and informed the cashier about the mistake. She started to void out the entire transaction. I tried to stop her, telling her she didn't need to void anything. She simply needed to charge me for the one pair of shoes that I hadn't yet paid for. She got this very puzzled look on her face and said she needed to do it this way so she wouldn't get confused. Hmmm. Too late for that.

So she starts scanning and voiding and punching various numbers into her computer and then turns to me and says that'll be $97.35. Um, excuse me? I pointed out to her that the pair of boots I was trying to pay for only cost $45. She told me I owed her $97.35 because she had credited back the transaction and this was my new total. I then pointed out that she hadn't credited anything back on my card. My Visa had already been charged for the other shoes and nothing had been put back on my Visa so it didn't make sense for me to pay an additional $97.35.

She actually had to call her manager over to figure out how to handle this transaction. To my horror, the manager couldn't figure it out either and never bothered to greet me, apologize or ask me exactly what the problem was. I finally had to interrupt them and explain to them exactly what needed to happen. All they needed to do was ring up the pair of boots and allow me to pay for them.

I finally convinced them. She rang up the boots and said that'll be $48.67. I was about to swipe my card when I noticed the credit card scanner displayed a much higher amount. So they had to start the whole process over again.

The other noteworthy thing that happened was while trying on shoes. One of my friends decided she wanted to try on a pair of sandals, but she was wearing tights under her dress. While my other friend and I shielded her with our bodies and shopping bags, she proceeded to remove her tights, try on the shoes and then put her tights back on...all in the middle of the store. Impressive.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I have so many thoughts swirling through my head's been a strange, disturbing day. It's not the kind of stuff that needs to be on the blog...suffice it to say my focus is elsewhere right now.

Tomorrow is another day...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Carpet Cleaner Cometh

We had our carpets cleaned today. You have to figure the carpet cleaner man sees a whole lot of houses, a lot of dirty carpets and inside a lot of closets. Which is why his reaction to our closets concerns me. My roommate said when he saw all our shoes he was aghast. Between the two of us, I'd say we probably have about 75 pairs of shoes. That might be too much. The carpet cleaner man seems to think so.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Close Encounters

I have often thought how remarkable it is that in a city of four million people, I routinely cross paths with people I know.

About a week ago I ran into a friend at Target. Perhaps that isn't so unusual. She and I live in the same part of town, so it's natural that we'd shop at the same area stores.

Yesterday I was driving down Westheimer and passed by a bad wreck. There were firetrucks and police cars on the scene and traffic was badly congested. It turns out the person in that wreck is a friend of mine. I drove right by her and didn't know about it until afterward.

Last night I met a girl who is a missionary in Kazakhstan. I told her that I have a good friend who did mission work there. He used to go to my church, but now attends another church in the city. Then I walked into the sanctuary only to discover that friend at the end of my pew. I was able to introduce him to the Kazakh missionary and they discovered they have mutual friends on the mission field.

Today I was driving to work and a suburban pulled alongside me and the driver starting honking. I glanced over to see what was wrong and there was one of my buddies from church smiling and waving at me through his window.

Disney was right. It really is a small world, after all.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Fashion Friday


I hate bell peppers

I secretly judge people who say "liberry"

I don't have a favorite flower and no matter how many "Get to Know Your Friends" forwards I receive, I'll still never have a favorite flower

I don't know how to use Excel OR Powerpoint

I drink skim milk and detest the other kinds

I am running out of blog ideas

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Yes Todd, there really IS a Santa Claus

As has already been noted, the red cups are out. And yes, it does seem a bit early. But it makes me happy anyway. I'd be even happier if it were cold outside too.
And despite my best efforts at will-power, I caved in and tried the new Espresso Truffle. Very, very naughty. Do not try it. Your thighs will regret it.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

True Change

I'm disappointed. No, not about last night's election results. I'm not offering any comment on that.

I'm disappointed by the Christian response to the results. I'm disappointed that my brothers and sisters have such a lack of faith that they are gripped by fear. "For perfect love casts out fear." And "there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God." Indeed, "the sovereignty, power and greatness of His kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to His saints, the people of the Most High. His Kingdom will be an everlasting Kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey Him."

I'm disappointed that they equate the "Christian" vote to the Republican vote. I'm disappointed by the people who suggest that Christians who don't vote for Republicans may not even be true believers. May we remember that "it is by grace you have been saved through faith. And this not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one may boast."

I'm disappointed by the people who apparently didn't really mean "Your will be done." If "the fervent prayers of the righteous accomplish much" then why are so many Christians suddenly feeling like God let them down? Perhaps what they really meant was give me what I want, even if it's not the best thing for me.

I'm disappointed by believers, people I actually know, who are so angry, self-righteous and outraged. God didn't just let this one slip through His fingers. He didn't make a mistake. And He didn't stop being in control.

"Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them. Glorious and majestic are His deeds, and His righteousness endures forever. He has caused His wonders to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate. He provides food for those who fear Him; He remembers His covenant forever."

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day Humor

My Chinese-American roommate got a campaign flyer from Michael Skelly.
It was in Vietnamese.

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Liberal Media

Yep, that's us. Wacky public radio types on a normal day at the office. Or perhaps it was the final day of our fundraising campaign AND Halloween. Either way, someones camera cannot keep up with the times.