.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}


happy halloween


sexy nurse costume

While Justin and I are creating our top secret costumes (photos to follow after Saturday's party), I think with the current theme of the above link, we'll have a chance at being the most original people there.

In the words of Lindsay Lohann's character in Mean Girls "...Halloween is the the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it."

Why is that? Worse than that... Why do people think this is sexy? I mean, I get the whole no clothes thing, but doesn't this come off like you're trying too hard?


tit for tat and tea bags

I am guilty; I leave old cups of coffee around.

I get up, pour myself some coffee and then proceed to do any number of morning activities. The cold mug, with a starburst of old cream in the middle, remains to be found later in the day... Sometimes they aren’t discovered until the next day. Hey, I didn’t say it wasn’t gross.

As of late, due to the afore mentioned flu, my mug litter has been those with soggy tea bags floating in the last two inches of cold, mint tea.

I giggle a little when Justin finds them and takes them to the sink, shuddering with repugnance. I guess this is my revenge for a stinky kitty box is in effect. The domestic life of the Tiptons will resonate with the ongoing argument of: No scoopy? No put away muggy!


on this day...

18 years ago, I was in 7th grade at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and School in Fremont. Every year the 7th and 8th grade classes went to Outdoor Education. This is where we spent 4 days in the Santa Cruz Mountains at a small college. We had looked forward to it since 5th grade.

After the commotion of choosing rooms and roommates was over, we had a brief orientation and then we were off to our various classes. Towards the end of the afternoon I was in the "Editable Plants" tour. My best friend at the time, Christy Morris, and I were giggling and joking about pushing one of the boys over the edge of our walkway down the ravine - it wasn't that far down, but it was pretty steep and there was a creek at the bottom. We jumped at the sound of a horn behind us - it was the ranger in his Jeep and he needed to get by. As we made way for the Jeep on the small trail, the loudest "BOOOM" you ever heard shot through the air. I thought that the engine had exploded in the Jeep (ah, a mechanic's daughter), but as we looked back at the Jeep it started to bounce about 3 feet off the ground.

I was not sure what was going on. To my amazement and disbelief, I was thrown the ground and had to cling to the vines and plants to keep from falling down the very ravine I had been joking about. Meanwhile, our tour guide was trying to keep us away from the dangerous Jeep that was bouncing all over the place. The dirt trail moved in waves before my eyes - it moved fluidly, like when there are too many kids a pool and the water splashes about. The trees bent like rubber from one side to the other, hitting the side of the mountain and then bending over to graze the ground. Leaves, dirt and dust flew everywhere - obstructing my view. I don't remember being terrified as much as I remember feeling confused. Once the jolting had subsided, the earth moved in a swaying, gentle, side-to-side motion for a bit before it calmed to a still. We all laid on the ground looking around at our tousled, freighted classmates and it hit us… Earthquake.

You see, this wasn't just any earthquake; it was the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. Those 15 seconds seem to make time stand still. We rushed back to the campus, to find utter destruction. The only building that seemed to be solid was the chapel/cafeteria. The retaining wall between the mountain and the dorms had split all the way along the entire wall and shifted 6 inches out. The bunk beds were over-turned, the toilets and showers were shattered and our belongings were everywhere. It was as if the room had been literally turned upside down. Our teachers and counselors gave us 10 minutes to grab whatever we could find and we had to leave the rest. In retrospect, I am guessing that we should not have been allowed back in the dorms, at all. The search for our belongings was fruitless.

Because of the road destruction and the heavy traffic, the teachers opted to stay the night and leave in the morning. We had no outside communication with our parents, this was before most people had cell phones (something my mom took care of the very next day) and the land lines were down. We were all so worried about our families and knew they must have been worried about us, too. The entire night was riddled with aftershocks. I don’t think any of us slept. We didn't know the entire extent of the destruction until we saw Watsonville on the ride home. Piles and piles of bricks took over the roads. We didn't know about the bridges and fires until we finally got home. It turned out that our location was just 4 miles from the epicenter of the earthquake.

Today, I honor the memory of the many people who lost their lives that day. My entire family and home was fortunate to come out unscathed. It had to be a God-thing that we were all OK. It’s just so weird to think that it was 18 years ago… Am I really that old?

*** Correction: the earthquake was 17 years ago (Oct. 17, 1989). I just cannot count. Thanks, anonymous. ***


sick and questioning

Well, it's official. I am sick. I seem to get the flu whenever I have been running too hard for too long.

I need advice. You see, I have a really hard time saying "no." When it comes to serving God, I feel like there is no such thing as "no." How can you say no to Christ?

So, about four months ago, I made the decision to take a break from the team that I lead. This is not a responsible thing for a leader to do, but there was no one to take over and I felt like I was going to snap. I started to feel afraid to step through the church doors, because I knew someone was going to ask something of me and I wouldn't be able to say no. So I have been on hiatus. My intent was to take a break and come back feeling refreshed. I have not reached the refreshed point. It seems like the break actually took me further way from my ministry and lead me in a different direction.

I recently worked on a mail out for the church and I really felt like I was pushing through it, but not doing it joyfully. I love design work. I really do. But for some reason this project just sucked the creativity right out of me and I was not happy with the end product. This is a piece that went out to 50,000 homes! I feel like I totally failed for God, because I didn't have my heart in the right place.

I feel drained and emotionally empty from life. My dad hasn't been doing well (in fact he was recently hospitalized due to complications with his chemotherapy drugs). That weighs heavily on my soul. My stupid THREE jobs keep me insanely busy and overworked. Lately I have had a rush of important events to be a part of, I have a social schedule from hell and work that keeps piling up on me. I feel like I'm running, running, running and not getting anywhere. I am almost glad that I'm sick so that I have a legitimate reason to stay in bed today. What is wrong with me?

Here's the really bad part: I am supposed to be putting together the church newsletter and I just am not into it. In fact, I resent people asking me about it. I even resent the church staff for asking me about it. I know it's all me. I know I am the one who's over committing. I think a part of me was hoping that people would be more understanding about why things aren't getting done. But I understand that life goes on and cannot wait for me. The church is doing a huge push for fund-raising and increasing attendance (we're trying to build a bigger building to fit everyone). So it's a paradox, I guess. It makes sense that I should be saying yes, but the whole thing makes me consider leaving my church - just so I don't have a to deal with it.

I don’t know if it’s safe for me to be there and in a place of leadership. I am not embodying their vision. I feel so selfish, guilty and embarrassed that I just can’t seem to pull it together. What would you do?


a note on customer service

I don't care who you are. This is America. Sure, we have our own royalty avec les celebrities, reality TV actors, musicians and so on. But part of the American-charm is being able to scratch and claw your way to these A-lists. It's really a level playing field, as long as you're talented, good-looking and have the right connections. I don't bow to said A-listers, B-listers and any other person pretending to be more important than those around them. So, under Christ, I think everyone is equal and deserves the same amount of respect and attention.

Walnut Creekians do not agree with my theory (nor does most of the world, but I don't care). My mom was making her purchases at david m. brian and was at the front of the line. She got the counter only for the clerk to look behind her and then quickly say to her fellow sales associate, "Maggie, can you please help this lady? I am going to ring-up Mrs. Madden." For those of you who don't live around here, John Madden and family are our "locals" and apparently you can run into them frequently. Mrs. Madden brushed past my mother in a huff and, nose in air, made her purchases ahead of my mom. Needless to say, she was deeply embarrassed and made to feel like she was nothing in comparison to Mrs. Friggin' John Madden. What kills me is the two-part faux pas: that the sales associate put her in front of my mom and that Mrs. Madden had no problem with it - nay, expected it.

The sales associate might as well have said "Lady, you're not important to me, nor this company, but the wife of a famous guy, is. I don't care if you make your purchases or not. All that matters is that I serve someone I deem higher-up the food chain than you, even though it's not likely that there's anything in it for me and I'm certain that Mrs. Madden will forget who I am 20 seconds after leaving the counter. Either way, move aside and make room for someone more important."

Justin's good friend, Ryan, started a blog to note and complain of service faux pas and I think it's a brilliant way of sharing which companies are doing what to the real people of this country. Venting does make you feel better.


stolen from frances - fun


So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button

Opening Credits:
Suspension Without Suspense - No Doubt

Waking Up:
Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain - Willie Nelson

First Day At School:
The Great Gig in the Sky - Pink Floyd

Falling In Love:
Track 03 (Mr. Roboto) - Styx

Fight Song:
You Got No Right - Velvet Revolver

Breaking Up:
Lady - Lenny Kravitz

Don't Do Me Like That - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Life's OK:
Somebody Get Me a Doctor - Van Halen

Mental Breakdown:
Sing, Sing, Sing - Benny Goodman

Here's to You - Joan Baez

The Things You Said - Depeche Mode

Getting Back Together:
You Learn - Alanis Morissett (HA!)

Box Full of Letters - Wilco (WTF?)

Birth of Child:
We Both Reached For the Gun - Chicago Soundtrack (hilarious!)

Final Battle:
My Father's Gun - Elton John

Death Scene:
Here We Go Again - Ray Charles

Funeral Song:
Sing Alleluia - Jennifer Knapp

The Christmas Waltz - Peggy Lee

Surprise at the end of the credits?
You Found Me - Kelly Clarkson


john, my musical hero

John Mayer is seriously incredible in conert. I swore to myself that I would never buy another concert ticket if I couldn't see the band without the screens. However, if it's John Mayer, I would sit on the lawn!