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Archive for February, 2011

A Walk-able Life

With gas prices hitting $100 a barrel, gas prices are nearing $4 a gallon in SoCal. Ouch! My wallet screams every time I grab for my keys.

You see, I now own a big, flashy, gas guzzling high-performance SUV, which gets a miserable 16-18 mpg and requires premium (high octane) gas. My Porsche is a blast to drive. It passes everything on the road… except the gas station.

That said, I don’t have to drive much. I work from home and live in the most walk-able neighborhood I can find in San Diego. The walking score for my building is a whopping 89!

Contrast that with my situation in 2004. At that time, I lived at a house with a walk score of zero, but drove a lovely little fuel-efficient Mini that got 28 mpg.

All things considered, I think that my current situation is preferable. I am positive that my current lifestyle is my lowest level of environmental impact of my life. Cool huh?

The Presidents & Me

Happy President’s Day 2011! To most people, it’s just a weekend known for furniture sales. Most people don’t even get the day off from work. I encourage you to take a moment to think about past Presidents and honor your American citizenship.

I have a few connections to the office of the Presidency.

  • I’m directly related to Ulysses S. Grant. I am named after Lura Grant (my great-grandmother,) niece of the President. Notice the family resemblance? I do… specifically my nose. Every time I look at a $50 I see the family schnoz.
  • Apparently, I’m also related, through my mother’s lineage to Martha Custis Washington, who had children with her first husband, but not her second (significantly more famous) husband, and first President George Washington. I should note that the family is still accruing proper documentation to prove this . If you’re into Americana, you might also note that any link to the Custis lineage also means that you are related to Robert E. Lee, President of the Confederacy.
  • More recently, I worked for President Clinton in 1996-1997. During that time, I had the privilege of roaming the halls of the Old Executive Office Building, part of the White House complex and home to the Executive Offices of the Presidency. My role included writing policy letters as if I were the President. I’m still shocked that I got to do that! Here’s my photo with President Clinton and some photos from my White House experience.
  • I also got to drive a press vehicle as a part of the Presidential Motorcade. Here are my photos from that occasion.
    1. Anyway, those are my links to the Presidency. Happy President’s Day.

On Love

I don’t typically write anything about my love life on my blog. Even though I have been blogging for over ten years and living my life “out loud” even longer, some things really are private. This entry is no different, from that perspective. I’m not going to write about what’s going on in my lovelife.

But today, on Valentine’s Day, I decided to write a bit about love. And, being who I am, it’s going to be a bit more intellectual and less orgiastic than how others might handle the concept. As a result, I’m about to receive a collective roll of the eyes from a bunch of my readers. After all: why in the world would you care to read about love from a 37-year-old woman who has never been married or had children? Well… perhaps I’ll keep a few readers out of sheer curiosity… if nothing else.

We all throw around the word “love” quite liberally. You love your new car, iPhone, dog, kids, Mom, and (if you are lucky) you also love the person you are currently having sex with — right? But what are the essential elements to “love” that make the word anything other than absolutely banal and terribly trite?

I’ve spent a while trying to figure that out. (I do this sort of thing… pondering philosophical concepts like “happiness,” “truth,” “trust” and “love” is a bit of a hobby.) I came up with three distinct elemental aspects of love.

  • You love someone or something when you are willing to be inconvenienced by it — and you are out of love when you are no longer willing to be inconvenienced.
    You can not love that which you do not allow room for in your life. You can not love unless you are willing to be inconvenienced. This aspect of love explains why you can love your family, even if you don’t like them very much… and you show that love when you offer to pick ‘em up from the airport. I’m not suggesting that love is necessarily self-less either… there is a line between
  • In order to love, you must engage in re-current interaction with the object or person.
    That re-current interaction changes the lover’s brain. Stories of love about the past, present and future with the object of love are essential for love. So, theoretically, one could “love” Elvis… if that person listened to Elvis music and watched Elvis movies all the time. Especially if that person thinks about Elvis enough to locate and buy a velvet painting or takes the time to know the name of Elvis’ monkey.
  • Saying that you are “IN love” means that you have a chemical/hormonal thing going on in your brain. (e.g.: seratonin, oxytocin, etc.)
    If you’ve ever been in love, you know that it feels great. For most people, it wears off after a couple of years, but some people stay in love for a long time.

So here’s to all the lovers out there tonight! Enjoy!


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