Monday, April 8, 2013

It drives me crazy that we live in a society where people think it's okay to comment on a person's weight and eating habits, whether that person is a friend, family or stranger. If I want to have a second dessert, that's my business. If I lose 30 pounds, that's my business too.

I hate when people comment on how much weight I've lost over the past five years. When they say "Wow, you look great!" they're basically saying "You used to be really fat." Once a woman had the gall to ask me who I had let out (alter) a dress for me. I hadn't.

When people ask me how I lost all the weight, my stock answer has become "I graduated." Yes, I gained a lot of weight in college, and have lost most of it since I graduated, but really my weight has been fluctuating ever since I hit puberty. It's become such a common question (pretty much guaranteed if I haven't seen someone for a long time), I've been tempted to change my answer to "nausea and vomiting" or "heavy medication" or "nothing" because they're all true, but that's not what people want to hear.

I was really proud of my 'niece' (we're not really related) the other day when she ate an entire box of gnocchi by herself. "I'm a growing girl," she said with no shame at all. If anything, she was proud of herself.

Friday, September 16, 2011

San Marcos Red and Blue Alumni Crew Working to Restore, Rededicate War Memorial

I recently started writing for, a local online-only news source in my home town. Here is a link to my first piece, which is about a group of alums from my alma mater who took it upon themselves to refurbish a neglected war memorial on campus. I admire their decision to organize an alumni group dedicated to serving our high school, especially at a time when the schools are low on funding.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Monarchs Migrate to Ellwood Each Year

Each fall, the western monarch butterfly population migrates southeast from the west side of the Rocky Mountains to various sites along the California coast. The City of Goleta is fortunate to be home to multiple monarch overwintering sites, the largest of which is Ellwood Main Monarch Aggregation Site, located along Devereux Creek on the City owned Ellwood Mesa Sperling Preserve. During the first week of January 2011, when the population tends to peak, over 27,000 monarchs were present at the Ellwood Main site.

In the morning and on cool days, the monarchs hang in large clusters on the eucalyptus trees, and can be seen basking in the sun and flying throughout the grove on warm afternoons. The monarchs are most active during their mating season in late January before they begin their migration northeast to the western Rockies.

In decades past, the Ellwood population peaked at 100,000. As recent as 2005, the monarch population at Ellwood Main was over 54,000. The exact reason for this decline is unknown – theories include habitat destruction, exotic parasite predation and the loss of milkweed (the only food source for monarch caterpillars) due to drought.

The Ellwood monarch overwintering habitat is designated an Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area (ESHA), and is protected by both the California Coastal Commission and the City of Goleta, which owns and maintains the grove.

In 2007 the City of Goleta developed a docent program to provide Ellwood visitors with on-site educational opportunities. The docents enhance the visitors’ experience by sparking curiosity, helping visitors build observational skills, and providing information about butterfly biology, behaviors and migration. These community volunteers are present at the grove each Saturday and Sunday (weather permitting) from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and lead fieldtrips for school and community groups during the week.

The City is currently working with a consultant who is performing a monarch butterfly inventory and creating a habitat management plan. During the overwintering season, the consulting company conducted multiple counts of the monarchs present in the Ellwood grove and studied their habitat to determine which factors are most important to their survival. The habitat management plan will guide the City in its efforts to protect the monarch population while addressing other local interests, such as the need to protect the surrounding homes from wildfire.

The Ellwood grove is accessible through the Coronado Butterfly Preserve, located at the end of Coronado Drive. From the northbound 101, take the Storke/Glen Annie exit and turn left toward the ocean then turn right onto Hollister. Turn left onto Coronado Drive after approximately one mile. From the southbound 101, take the Hollister exit and continue straight for about one mile. Coronado is the third street on the right.

View Ellwood Main Monarch Aggregation Site in a larger map

This article was originally published in Goleta Magazine.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


So I haven't really had any time for blogging since I got my first full-time job (hooray for me!), but I thought it would be useful to post the link to my favorite voter resource:

Have no idea what to vote or who to give your vote in local, state, or even national politics? The site outlines everything on your ballot (customized after entering your address), and gives you all the information you need to make an informed vote.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Too brilliant not to post

Samantha Bee on Sara Palin and choice:

Republican hypocrisy runs rampant:

(especially when it comes to Hillary)

(and yes, I am running just a tad behind on my blogging...)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Quick Hit: Sarah Palin's Record

Emily's List presents:

The Five Facts You Should Know about Sarah Palin's Record

Lindsay Lohan, Sarah Palin, and Teen Pregnancy

So I’m reading my Glamour Daily Gossip email and I see a story about Lindsay Lohan giving her two cents on the scandal of the day - Sarah Palin’s unmarried pregnant teenage daughter. Great, I think, another Paris Hilton-style bit of manufactured commentary. Turns out, in the words of Guanabee, “she’s apparently not an idiot.”

Says Lindsay on her MysSace blog:

“I've been watching the news all morning, like everyone else - and i keep hearing about the issues related to 'teen pregnancy' - It's all related to Sarah Palin and her 17 year old unmarried pregnant daughter. Well, I think the real problem comes from the fact that we are taking the focus off of getting to know Sarah Palin and her political views, and what she can do to make our country a less destructive place… I get Sarah Palin's views against abortion, but i would much prefer to hear more about what she can do for our country rather than how her daughter is going to have a child no matter what….”

True, we should be focusing on the issues and not on scandals that don’t effect someone’s qualifications to hold office, but I am happy that this particular scandal at least shows that the ideals of the pro-life movement don’t work in the real world.

Frankly it doesn’t surprise me that someone so staunchly anti-abortion and pro-abstinence until marriage has a pregnant teenage daughter - and I’m sure she isn’t alone. It makes me laugh that she wants the media to give her daughter the same privacy as other candidates’ kids when her daughter clearly isn’t just another candidate’s kid - other kids (usually) don't embody the failure of their parents' policies. Also, the Obamas tend to keep their girls out of the public eye.

It’s easy to berate pre-marital sex, birth control and abortion until your kid’s the one that’s pregnant. But Palin’s daughter is keeping her baby, regardless of whether she, herself, wants it, because her mother is now known on the national stage as a member of Feminists for Life, a group beautifully described by Guanabee as “an anti-abortion group that loosely interprets the word feminism to fool young women into having babies they can’t afford.”

But back to Lindsay Lohan:

“On another note… i heard a woman say on TODAY on NBC that teens are feeling as if they have to grow up faster. Really? Because, i think that girls that are CHOOSING to be sexually active and are making a conscious decision to grow up faster..... I think that parents need to recognize how important it is to talk to their children about the things that can result from being sexually active if they aren't protecting themselves (birth control, condoms, etc.)”


In other celebrity/Sarah Palin news, fellow famous (formerly) somehow-I’m-not-surprised-she’s-pregnant teen Jalie Lynn Spears reportedly sent Bristol Palin a gift. Or her mom had a store send something for her. Or something.

One more thing. Can I just point out that Sarah Palin is the current governor of Alaska and the mother of a five-month-old? Do governors get maternity leave? It's a 24-hour type job so I wonder how that works. Also, did anyone else see the five-month-old on stage at the the announcement of her candidacy? What mother in her right mind purposely brings a five-month-old into a room full of hundreds of loudly applauding and screaming people???? I'm not a mother and don't plan to be for a while, but does anyone else find these things a bit disturbing?