I've caught the Yankee.

Well, after basically living with one of two Northerners for the past 12 years (Frane, my college roommate, was from PA, as is the hubs), the Yankee has rubbed off. Grandma, please do not pass out.

This morning in the elevator, a woman asked me if I knew where the Physiology Department was. I replied, "No, I don't, I'm sorry." That's it. Just five little words.

"Are you from Pennsylvania?" she said.

"No, why?"

"Well, you sound just like someone I know from Pennsylvania..."

And then she got off the elevator.

In defense of my good Southern roots, I would like to say that my in-laws still tease me for the way I said "high school." Or "ha skewl" if you ask them.



How Bryan & Lydia end the weekend smiley.

UVA 24
Georgia Tech 17

Penn State 13
Ohio State 6

Philadelphia Phillies 5*
Tampa Bay Rays 4

Philadelphia Eagles 27
Atlanta Falcons 14

*Fingers crossed that they either win again Sunday night or we are already asleep before we know the outcome. :)


I need this.

Dooce likes to torture me with things I love but which are either too expensive for me to buy myself or which I can never find to purchase. Like today. I must have this peacock necklace. If you want to buy me an expensive Christmas present, buy me this. But tell my husband in case someone else has already bought it for me. Or buy me it now and I'll tell everyone I already have it before they go Christmas shopping. :)


Liberal Lydia Strikes Again

Yes, that's right, in an effort to make all of my conservative friends and family even more wary of me (or in some cases, I think, worried for me), I went and got political again today by attending the Obama rally at the Richmond Coliseum. I even used vacation time to do it! And as a state employee with less than five years in, that time ain't easy to come by! :)

I met up with Leslie (my partner in politics) and my friend Etienne, the husband of one of my co-workers. We waited in line for about two hours. I have to say, for a while I was nervous we wouldn't get in. Thankfully, though, we were among the last several hundred to make it through the doors, and while we were relegated to the nosebleed seats, it was still an electric experience, even before the speakers took the stage.

Nothing like the wave to get a crowd going!

Virginia's governor Tim Kaine kicked things off, followed by former governor and candidate for Senator Mark Warner, and then the man everyone came to see. And the crowd goes wild!

Barack Obama was inspiring. The thirteen thousand people in attendance inside (and the seven thousand outside) were from all walks of life--you think of a demographic, it was represented. The loudest cheers came when Obama talked about our country unifying to give everyone a chance to be better, when he talked about his plans to help the middle class, and ultimately when he talked about our responsibility to future generations to make a stand for what we believe in.

One of the things I like best about Obama is that while he makes promises like every politician, he also stresses the importance of individual responsibility. It's not enough for the government to spend more on education--parents have to spend more time with their kids, and turn the TV off. It's not enough for the government to spend more money on fighting crime--fathers have to be there and be good role models for their sons. And the one I loved, but chuckled at a bit: It's not enough for the government to work towards energy independence--we each have to turn off the lights when we leave a room! :)

Two weeks from today, our new president will have been elected. I. Can't. Wait.

Does the stand come with those?

The way some people display items for sale on Craigslist amuses me. Today, though, one person totally cracked me up.

Here is how NOT to display curtains:



I just tried to install the new software I got for work. It's Dreamweaver, which I use to maintain our residency website.

When I put it in the CD drive, nothing happened. After much clicking around and perplexed looks from me to the PC, I looked at the box.

I bought the freaking Mac version.

Oh, good grief. I hope the company I bought it from will exchange it for me! For someone that is pretty proficient with computers, that was such a moron move.


RIP Nacho Mama

(Image courtesy of http://www.savorygourmets.com)

As I drove in to work today, I heard on NPR that Carmen Rocha, a retired Los Angeles waitress, had passed away. In itself, that doesn't seem particularly newsworthy. Carmen was, however, the woman who introduced nachos to LA. While she brought the recipe of tortilla chips covered in cheese and jalapenos from her hometown of San Antonio, Texas, we all know that Los Angeles is where trends are introduced to the United States.

As a woman who can't imagine life without the bliss of warm cheese on fried tortillas, I salute Carmen Rocha, and think I might have to go to my favorite Mexican food cart for nachos for lunch today.

Rest in peace, Nacho Mama!


Happy Chin-iversary to me!

Five years ago today, I had chin augmentation surgery. I finally got around to sending my plastic surgeon a thank you letter a few months ago, and I've decided to share that with all of you. My experience is probably unique in a lot of ways, but in many ways it is not. We all have things about ourselves that hold us back from being our best. Eventually, a solution will come. There ARE answers to your problems, you just have to keep looking. And instead of seeing tough times as obstacles to your goals, learn from the hardships in your life--they are the best lessons for how you can be a better you.

Hello Dr. DuFresne,

It will be five years in October since you changed my life with a chin augmentation. I think of you often and have been meaning to send you some decent "after" photos for the past five years. I can remember the impact other before/after photos made on me in your office, and would like for you to have these photos in case you ever encounter someone else like me.

The photo I've attached of my husband and I during our first dance is my favorite of the 700+ photos our photographer took on September 30, 2006. I think it embodies perfectly the love we have for each other, but, as I write this, I realize it is more than that. Before I met you and before my surgery, I would have shuddered at the thought of a profile picture. Now, though, it's not even something I have to think about. And I think that is the most beautiful result of the surgery you performed, and part of the beauty of this photo. I can enjoy my life without a second thought at whether or not someone is catching my "bad side."

In spite of growing up with a physical feature that incited endless teasing and mocking from my peers, I managed to enter my twenties as a decently well-adjusted adult with confidence in herself and a genuine love of the person I am. There was always something hanging over me, though... a weight on my shoulders that prevented me from truly loving all of me. I was constantly wondering if people thought I looked like a freak, if, when they passed by me, they wondered what made me look so weird. I was outgoing, yet inhibited. I was willing to give of myself, but only to the point that I thought I would safely avoid being hurt when I discovered that I wasn't good enough. It is strange to me to look back now and realize just how much my appearance impacted me, as I often thought I had managed to overcome it.

I came to you anticipating the same old story--braces, breaking my jaw to move it forward, months of rough recovery, maybe a little improvement but probably not what I really was looking for. Instead, I got a simple solution. The joy I felt after seeing you for my initial consultation is something I'll always remember. The idea that what I always called "the bane of my existence" could be remedied in an easy outpatient surgery was overwhelming and invigorating. I couldn't really imagine what life would be like afterwards, but I was anxious to find out. Surgery was exactly what you said it would be, and to this day people are amazed to find out how little pain and recovery there was. In fact, people who didn't know me pre-chin are amazed to find out I've had surgery at all!

When I went back to work after the surgery and as my swelling went down and my face settled into its new configuration, I heard the same compliment time and time again: "You were always beautiful, but now, you glow." I glow. Still, five years later, people tell me this. And I have realized that the reason for that is there's nothing to darken my spirit. No worry that I'm not good enough. No physical flaw that I wish I could hide but know I can't. I don't flatter myself that I'm the most beautiful woman in the room, but I no longer insult myself by thinking I'm the ugliest, either. I am comfortable being average, or maybe pretty... it doesn't matter. What matters is that I don't even think about it anymore. And when there's no negative self-image, a positive self-image is free to blossom... to glow.

I've been meaning to thank you all these years, and I apologize that it has taken me so long. Know that I've sent my gratitude many, many times--especially at my annual "Chin-iversary" parties. :) I know that you have performed many, many surgeries that were much more complex and involved than mine, and probably even more life-changing. I want you to know, though, that I am eternally grateful that you chose plastic surgery as your profession, that you dedicated yourself to being one of the best in your field, and that I had the privilege to call you my surgeon. I am certain that I would not be where I am right now--in a happier place than I could have ever dreamed--were it not for you.

A million thanks,

lydia eve


Congratulations, Jen & Billy!

We spent the weekend in Pennsylvania for Jen & Billy's wedding. I call Jen Bryan's cousin. I can not make my brain follow the family tree long enough to be sure this is correct. Whatever their relation, Jen is part of the extended family who come to all of the summer family picnics. :)

Jen & Billy were married at the Stroudsmore Inn, a beautiful place in the Poconos. The day couldn't have been more perfect, the setting couldn't have been more beautiful. The food was great, the drinks were flowing, the DJ was awesome, and a great time was had by all! (I especially liked the DJ's touch of props, which you can see in some of the photos in the collage. Yes, I was the Indian in the Village People when he played YMCA. And the answer to the question you will ask after reading that is: white russians and a few captain & gingers.)

Driving home yesterday, we took the longer way and spent a few hours in the mountains. The leaves are already peaking there and they were gorgeous. We also made a little pit stop at Penn State Hazleton, where Bryan spent the first two years of college. When he kept remarking about all of the things that are different, my response was, "Honey, you were here 13 years ago..." And then I fell over in shock at the idea that either of us was doing anything besides playing with Barbie dolls or GI Joes that long ago.

More pictures of Jen & Billy's wedding are here if you're interested.

Gettin' Political.

(Crappy picture of us, I know... but that's Bill in the background on stage!)

Normally, while I have very strong opinions on politics, I'm not one to get into a big political discussion or get involved in campaigns or any of that business. I am happy to talk politics with people who either 1) feel the same way as me or 2) feel differently but are willing to consider another point of view (i.e., don't shout at me or get shrill or we will not be discussing the election).

Last week, though, I got an email that former president Bill Clinton would be speaking at an Obama rally in Richmond last night. And I thought, "How cool would it be to see a president in real life?!" And then, "I actually care a LOT about this election, maybe it's not such a bad idea to go to a rally."

So, my friend Leslie and I went. I can not tell you if Bryan would have gone or not if he didn't have to be up at the crack of dawn today because the man will not discuss politics and I don't think he'd want me telling everybody his leanings. :)

It was interesting... Clinton is certainly a great speaker and had a lot of insightful things to say. The rally was held in the courtyard of the VCU Student Commons, so they had a VCU student introduce him. I thought it was incredibly classy of him when he came out WITH her and stood next to her as she told her own story, rather than hang out behind the curtain and make a grand entrance after she spoke. Sure, it is a move any good politician would make, but I was still impressed. Way to stand next to the little guy (or girl, in this case), Bill.

The crowd was large and diverse. The mood was excited and hopeful. Everyone was respectful and paid attention to what was being said.

Wouldn't it be nice if the state of our Union was just like that?

Maybe next year. :-)


Our Anniversary Weekend

To celebrate our anniversary, we spent last weekend in Virginia Beach. My cousin Shane had his wedding celebration near there on Saturday, so we did get in some family and friends time, too, but overall it was a nice little getaway for us where we did a lot of relaxing, some visiting, some eating, and a little sightseeing.

I was reminded why I love Virginia when we were able to spend much of the day on Saturday--in October--just lounging on the beach. The weather was beautiful and just the right temperature, with a little breeze.

Saturday afternoon we went to celebrate Shane and his new wife Cortie. They were married on the beach in August, and were just able to get back home to have their reception with everyone now. Cortie is in school in Atlanta, so her schedule is hectic! It was great to see them, and lots of peeps from the fam.

After the reception, we spent a few hours hanging out with my college roomie Frane and her husband Tim. I forgot to take pictures, though. :( I don't get to see Frane nearly enough, and it was fun to spend some time with her! (And for the record, her name is actually Jen. I have called her Frane since 1996, though. Long story.)

Sunday we got up early and watched the sunrise from our balcony, then had a quick breakfast and headed out to see the Fort Story lighthouse before we made our way home. Call me crazy, but before going to this lighthouse, I did not make the connection that we were going to an active military base (FORT Story). I was therefore incredibly taken aback when they made us get out of the car and open all of its orifices to be searched! I don't know, I guess I've watched one too many movies, but I was terrified the drug dog was going to find something we didn't know was there... like, say someone at the hotel had stashed their coke supply in our wheel wells. Yes, I know this is ludicrous, but, I mean, didn't you see Brokedown Palace? That stuff happens.

Anyway, after a long climb to the top of the original lighthouse and a couple of pictures ("You may take pictures of the lighthouses ONLY. Do NOT take pictures of anything else. The lighthouses ONLY."), we made our way west only to watch our dear Philadelphia Eagles lose AGAIN. Jesus. Oh well, at least UVA won last weekend. I will cherish that 31-0 score for another year, I'm guessing.

If you'd like to check out all of my photos from the weekend, you can see them here.