Hmm... I've never heard of this one before...
Take the quiz: "What type of designer handbag are you?(pictures)"

You're Brighton. You are always in style and very ... bright. You tend to look on the good side of things. Stay that way!

Must go purse shopping.

(no subject)
Haven't posted in ages, but here's the lowdown.

Life is really, really good. I'm totally in love, and it rocks. There. I said it!

Work is still sort of shitty/sucky, but that's just how work is, and I'm okay with that for now. At least the powers that be around here have good intentions, which is a lot better than the powers that be at a lot of places. There's still talk about opening up an intown office, but that seems to be fading into the distance... not sure what's up there.

Chris and I are going to Peru on 8/4. TOTALLY EXCITED!!! We'll be in Huancayo for his friend's wedding through the 7th and then we're on to Cuzco and Machu Picchu. Whenever I try to imagine what it'll be like, I see tall mountains, clouds, snow and women with bright skirts and bowler hats. Can't wait.

Got my Oma's furniture this week and learned that sibling rivalry is not dead.


Fire Rove
Dear Friend,

I hope you will join me right now in signing an open letter to the President urging him to thoroughly reject Karl Rove's purposeful attack on the patriotism of those who dare ask the tough questions that best protect American troops.

Dear President Bush,

Karl Rove, your most senior advisor, is embroiled in another controversy – this time for leaking the identity of a covert CIA agent. Despite carefully worded denials, it is now apparent that Karl Rove discussed the identity of an undercover CIA agent with a reporter. His clear aim was to discredit that agent’s husband who had dared to challenge the administration in the buildup to the war.
You have a choice to make: Spend the months ahead focused on protecting Karl Rove’s job security or spend them focused on protecting America’s national security. You cannot remain silent.

All I’m asking is that you remain true to your word. When the scandal first broke, your spokesman, Scott McClellan, said “If anyone in this Administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this Administration.” (9/29/03, White House press briefing). What you do now, in light of Karl Rove’s involvement will speak volumes.

Decency—and the interests of the American people--demand an end to Karl Rove’s days in the White House. You have the choice to either make good on your promise to hold accountable those who shared the identity of a secret soldier in the war on terror – or prove that promise hollow. I call on you to keep your promise to the American people and fire Karl Rove.


Your name here

what have i gotten myself into????
I registered for November's 1/2 marathon yesterday. I have never run that far before, and I don't know if I can do it. I mean, that's really freaking far.

so that's justice?
Judith Miller gets led off in shackles to serve jail time for not blabbing on the source who leaked the name of a CIA operative for a story she didn't write.

Karl Rove leaked the name of a CIA operative to Matthew Cooper (and perhaps Judith Miller) and gets the full support of the White House. The White House even renegs on its pledge to fire anyone tied to the administration if they were involved in the leak. Rove is one lucky bastard.

all good
Had a good weekend. Mom and I went down to Tybee Island for some girl time. Had a blast on the car ride down and stayed in a totally dingy nasty motel that was located in the parking lot of another motel. It was great. The weather was dark and stormy and very windy, which was also great. I much prefer that kind of weather to blue skies at the beach.

Ate at the Breakfast Club twice and had a bunch of shellfish.

Came home and my neighbor's stupid tree was leaning across our fence. Hope it didn't fall today. If it squashed all of my beautiful perennials, I'm gonna be pissed. It does look kind of cool, looming over the garden like it is, but it's kind of scary too.

Last night Chris was all about some me... he missed me this weekend, which is, of course, wonderful. :)

(no subject)
Genene, this is just creepy.

Your Career Type: Social

You are helpful, friendly, and trustworthy.
Your talents lie in teaching, nursing, giving information, and solving social problems.

You would make an excellent:

Counselor - Dental Hygienist - Librarian
Nurse - Parole Officer - Personal Trainer
Physical Therapist - Social Worker - Teacher

The worst career options for your are realistic careers, like truck driver or farmer.

I bought a NY Times as usual this morning, and got more and more depressed the more I read. Bombs, burned people, dead people, decapitated people, BTK killer, teens in Atlanta attacking motorists... it all pretty much sucked.

And then I saw the following about the latest rage in Japan. Gotta love it-

Tokyo Journal
Here Comes the Japanese Bride, Looking Very Western
Charles Pertwee for The New York TimesModels hired for a bridal fair rehearse in the chapel of the Intercontinental Hotel, Tokyo Bay. Christian-style weddings now predominate.

Published: July 8, 2005
TOKYO, July 1 - As a soprano sings "Ave Maria," a Japanese couple march down the center aisle of a hotel chapel, past white trumpet lilies, to the altar where an American "pastor" stands, gold cross gleaming on white robes.

Skip to next paragraph
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Charles Pertwee for The New York Times
Victor Spiegel, 37, a Florida native, performing a mock wedding ceremony at the New Otani Hotel in Tokyo as potential customers look on.
"Before God and these witnesses, I pronounce you husband and wife," intones Damon Mackey, a California native who took a two-day course to perform weddings on weekends, supplementing his income as an English teacher and part-time actor.

In Japan, where a love affair with Western "white weddings" is leading to a collapse in Shinto ceremonies, a new figure is taking over the altar: the gaijin, or foreign, "pastor."

Only 1.4 percent of Japan's 127 million people are Christians, but Christian-style ceremonies now account for three-quarters of Japanese weddings. To meet market demand, bridal companies in recent years have largely dispensed with the niceties of providing a pastor with a seminary education, keeping the requirements simple: a man from an English-speaking country who will show up on time, remember his lines, not mix up names and perform the ceremony in 20 minutes.

From a small beginning a few years ago, the Western wedding "priest" has suddenly become an established part of modern Japan's cultural tableau. The lure of easy money has prompted hundreds of foreign men to respond to newspaper advertisements here, like the one that read: "North Americans, Europeans wanted to conduct wedding ceremonies."

"Now all the hotels have chapels with someone dressed up as a priest," said William J. Grimm, a Maryknoll priest who edits The Catholic Weekly of Japan.

In fact, the less overtly religious the pastor, the better. Hotel managers generally discourage proselytizing by authentic Christian pastors.

"The companies like the nonreligious guy who just follows the script," said Mike Clark, a Japanese language student who performed weddings before moving home to Canada last fall.

The boom in what some Japanese magazines call "foreign fake pastors" speaks volumes about modern Japan's attachment to appearances and its smorgasbord approach to religion. Japanese often choose Shintoism for childhood age ceremonies, Christianity for weddings and Buddhism for funerals.

"Of course, words are important, but in a ceremony it is more about the whole image," Masahiko Sakamoto, 25, said after watching Kenyon L. Nelson, a retired businessman from Missouri, perform a wedding at a hotel bridal fair. "And a foreigner fits better into a Western wedding than a Japanese person would."

Maki Oyama, his fiancée, said firmly that she wanted a white dress, a foreign pastor and a hotel chapel wedding. She added, "In soap operas you have more examples of white weddings than of Shinto ones."

The passion for Western-style weddings was first fueled in the 1980's by the televised weddings of Prince Charles and Lady Diana and of the Japanese pop star Momoe Yamaguchi. Since 1996, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the number of Christian weddings has nearly doubled while the number of Shinto weddings has plunged by two-thirds.

Western weddings revolve around love and elevate the bride to a princess, Japanese say. In a tradition-bound Shinto wedding, where the bride is encased in a wig and a kimono, the ceremony seems to be more about the merger of two families.

Only civil unions are legally valid here and with Japan's economy treading water, about 70 percent of all couples go on to have an optional religious ceremony. Now, hotels are tearing out money-losing Shinto shrines and replacing them with the ersatz Christian chapels staffed with a foreign "priest."

"I am supposed to finish in 18 minutes," Victor Spiegel, a 37-year-old Florida native, said after walking a pair of models through a touching, if briskly paced, wedding ceremony for a bridal fair. Overhead, a movie camera had run on a ceiling track, filming a three-woman chorus singing "Ave Maria," the couple marching past red roses suspended in crystal columns, and white curtains opening to a hotel garden where a green neon cross glowed in the afternoon sun.

Mr. Spiegel, an English teacher who performs more than 100 weddings a year, said that sometimes "the hotel will do 15 in a day."

At a bridal fair here, couples insisted that the Christian "pastor" had to be a foreigner. Youichi Hirahara, a 27-year-old civil servant, said: "It would seem very unreal and fake if there was a Japanese person conducting the ceremony. Very shady actually."

Among foreigners, competition has depressed the pay for a wedding ceremony to $120, from $200 five years ago. In a society that revolves around business cards, the card of one part-time "pastor" reads: "Max von Schuler Kobayashi: Performer, Actor, MC, Wedding Minister."

While the prime motivator for the Western wedding ministers is cash, many take an extra pride in their work.

"My goal was to make at least one person cry at each ceremony," said Mr. Clark, the Canadian student. He said performing weddings was a great part-time job "but kind of kooky, kind of surreal."

"There was the whole factory aspect of it, the 20-minute turnarounds," he said. "All icing, no cake. Then, there I was, an atheist, reading and reciting these Japanese Christian scripts that I barely understood."

Reg Hackshaw, 42, a New Zealander who performs weddings, said he was "raised as a Catholic, but got fed up with the hypocrisy." Asked if spending his Sundays dressed as a priest and marrying non-Christians at a hotel "chapel" conflicted with his agnosticism, Mr. Hackshaw answered: "O.K., I am dressing up in a robe, but it's not a religious ceremony. It's a performance."

"The number of times someone has asked what church I belong to I can count on one hand," added Mr. Hackshaw, who teaches English and works as a disc jockey during the week.

Noting that he had conducted over 2,000 wedding ceremonies, Mr. Hackshaw said that Japanese brides demanded foreign ministers, saying: "They identify Christianity as something foreign. And, because it is foreign, they want a foreign pastor."

At the hotel lobby here, where Mr. Sakamoto and his fiancée were planning their wedding with a foreign pastor, a similar view was heard.

"You don't see a foreign person doing a Shinto wedding, do you?" he asked. "Now that would be strange."

Alright, wacky jack
Dude just brought a vial filled with ants to closing with him. His point? That the house he's buying today has ants.


Anxiously thankful
I am so very very thankful that Miss Holly and Craigie are OK. Chica, I was seriously freaking out this morning! Stay safe, and maybe you could start wearing a helmet whenever you take mass transit?

Did Chris's refinance last night. When we got to his loan application, he asked me if I had looked at it. I couldn't lie. I tried not to, but when you have all the juicy financial information about your significant other right there in front of you... how could I not look?? So now he knows I know his assets and liabilities. I'm nosey.


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