Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I have nothing important to say

Again, it's been awhile. Not much has happened.

The overview:
  • Grandma's for Thanksgiving.
  • Sick on Thanksgiving.
  • Nearly died shopping on the day after Thanksgiving.
  • (Not really, but I almost wanted to for a minute there)
  • Finally got remote garage door opener, which will hopefully eliminate the locking-myself-out-of-the-house problem. Also, the waking-up-to-find-the-garage-door-open-to-the-world problem.
  • Working drains!
  • First big snowstorm of the year - almost died on the way to church practice.
  • Locked keys in the car on the way to breakfast with the ladies.
  • Swing Choir.
  • Put up the Christmas tree.
  • Dropped a floor lamp on my face, busted my lip.
  • Second big snowstorm of the year, almost ran out of gas.
Um, that's about it.

I know, I know, you wish you were me, what with my exciting life and all.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

sun is in the sky

I voted today.

I think I was more excited about voting today than I ever have been. Maybe I'm just getting old, but somehow my ability to vote and make myself heard means more to me now than it ever has. I'm sure part of this has to do with the intense speculation and talk that have surrounded this election, but I'm also just as sure that the intense apathy that I've seen in J. has affected me just as much. I'm tired of hearing, "My vote isn't going to count anyway, because there is no way the person I want to vote for will win in this state, so why do it?" Never mind that people do actually pay attention to the margins by which a candidate wins, no matter that people have given their lives for your ability to walk into that booth, no matter that we will not allow you to complain at the lunch table or anywhere else when we're around about the future leader if you don't vote, it's not important, because it "doesn't count." I don't care who you vote for, vote for Mickey Mouse if you want, but vote. Because even if you vote for Mickey Mouse, you're making a statement about your belief that there wasn't anyone else on the ballot you felt was worth your vote, and that in and of itself means something.

This annoys me. I guess I have too much of RC1 in me… But when I walked into the Village Hall this morning, when I put my ballot into the box, I felt proud to be an American. And very, very thankful for the ability to vote for the candidate(s) of my choice. And I will proudly wear my sticker :)

That being said, voting in my village is an interesting experience. I must say I greatly enjoyed not having to wait in line for an hour and a half as I had to in some of my Lexington locations. Rather, there were 5 booths set up, and 3 of them were open the entire time I was in there. Which brings me to another point… I have been surprised at the lack of technology involved in the vote in this fair state. There are no voting machines, nothing of that sort. You're handed a paper ballet, a black marker, and pointed to a booth where you fill in the little bubble next to your chosen candidate. I felt like I was taking the ACT all over again. The other thing that bothered me just a tad was the lack of identification I was asked for. I walked up to the table, the lady asked my name, I told her what it was and how to spell it, I signed my name on the line in the book, and that was it. I realize I live in a small community where the majority of people know each other and their family histories, but I didn't know this woman from Eve, and I doubt she knew who I was either. Really, you don't even want to see my license? Anyone could have come in here and signed my name in some similar version to my actual signature, and could have taken my vote?! Interesting.

I voted today. :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

very very merry

Lately at work, I have been on the receiving end of jokes more than usual, and not for no good reason. At least that's what J. & M. think. J. calls me klutzy, and M. just laughs. A lot. At my expense.

Is all this ridicule warranted? You be the judge. In the last week, I have:
  • Dropped my little stress-reliever-thingey over the half-wall into M.'s cube, maybe somewhere around 8-10 times? Or some such.
  • At home before work one morning, I dropped the lid to my coffee cup, and my attempt to catch said lid (without falling) caused me to slosh hot coffee on my khakis, my sock, and my dog. (Fear not, it wasn't hot enough to burn him!)
  • The other day, I was leaning over the half-wall again, with a cup of ice (and a bit of water) that I was getting ready to go fill up, and apparently I was holding mostly onto the lid, which collapsed, causing the cup to drop to the floor (with me holding just the lid). Of course, this spilled ice and water all over the floor in M.'s cube. (Which, of course, he appreciated very much.)
  • Another day this week, after filling up my car before work, I went inside to grab some mini-muffins for breakfast. After my typically over-priced purchase, I walked back out to my car and tried to unlock it. I couldn't figure out why the key wouldn't fit into the door, until after about 10 seconds I realized it wasn't my car! I sheepishly started walking toward my own car, only to spot a guy who had just come out of the store giggling at me. (It should also be noted that other than the fact the car I tried to break into was the same color as my car, and was a 4-door, NOTHING about it was like my car. Which only makes it that much more embarrassing that it took me that long to figure it out.)
  • I have a little bag (intended for some sort of first aid something-or-other) that is the perfect size in which to keep my at-work change and random dollar bills for quick trips to the cafeteria for snacks. The other day I had taken it with me downstairs at lunchtime, and had put it in the back pocket of my jeans (happy Friday!). Later that afternoon, I went to use the LGR, and in the process managed to very nearly drop the bag into the toilet. In fact, it bounced off the edge of the seat onto the tile behind.

These are just the stories I actually remember from the last week... I'm sure there are a couple others. (I'm sure I tripped several times over nothing at all and run into a wall at least once, per the usual.)

So you tell me, are M. &. J. justified in their snickerings at my lack of grace? (Or, better yet, should I just stop telling them when I do stupid stuff?!)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

my fingertips are holding on...

Just in case you were really worried, I do get out occasionally:

This is Lake Michigan, just a tad north of Navy Pier. You probably can't see it very well, but my favorite part of this picture is the guy playing with his dog in the water. They were fun to watch :) This is the day I got lost trying to find my way to Lincoln Park Zoo, but I still managed to watch a great UK game.

A few books I've read lately:
Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella. Very cute story, good chicklit.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Odd book, but it kept me interested.
In the Woods by Tana French. Not as good as The Likeness, and annoying lack of story resolution, but I love the way she writes. Good except for the annoying part.
Damsel Under Stress by Shanna Swendson. Probably not my favorite of the series, but still good chicklit. Light, fun, easy to read.
Him, Her, Him Again, the End of Him by Patricia Marx. Funny, quick, easy read. Slightly disturbing, but is a perfect example of how we tend to rationalize things away.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. SUCH a good book! I loved it. I'd recommend it to just about anyone.
Last, but the opposite of the least, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. Quite possibly the best novel I've read all year. It keeps you guessing the whole way through, is incredibly well-written, and to steal someone else's review, is "a book for book lovers." If you don't typically like books, this may not be the book for you, but for the rest of us it's fantastic. I'll leave you with the response to a question during an interview with the author, which has become one of my new favorite quotes:
"I know there are people who don't read fiction at all, and I find it hard to understand how they can bear to be in the same head all the time."

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

and not a drop to drink.

This is a picture of my kitchen sink, taken not long after I came home from work today:

Don't know how well you can see it, but there is about 2" of water in each side of the sink.

Um, I hadn't run water since this morning, when I rinsed out my coffee pot. The darker muck on the right side of the sink would be the coffee, after having been watered down all day.

Mind you, I don't even have a plug that fits in either side of my sink. I won't show you a photo of the dishes that are not-so-patiently waiting to be washed in my non-draining sink.

Time to call the landlord, eh?


Friday, October 03, 2008

you've only got yourself to blame

1) Nice, big lunch of chinese food, thanks to ethnic-food-hating boss being out
2) Slightly warm in here, thanks to over-compensation for the cold outside
3) Not so good sleep lately, thanks to scratchy pooch
4) Not so much caffeine, thanks to not caring enough to make coffee this morning
= I canNOT for the life of me stay awake this afternoon.

I'm blaming my boss's absence for my lack of productivity :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

how I've missed thee, smells of autumn

So lately I've been experimenting with cooking some dinner.... I won't talk about what happened yesterday, but today I made a soupy-type thing with corn, fresh tomoates from my garden, new potatoes and beef broth, as well as a few spices. It turned out fairly well, if I do say so myself. If anybody has any quick, easy recipes, feel free to share!

The freakiest thing I've seen all week? Murdoc on the Gilmore Girls episode I'm watching. Um, ew?

Happy Fall!!!!!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

and the rains came down and the floods came up

Whew, I really need to do better about updating. I'm still blaming my fickle laptop and unbelievably slow and dinosauric pc (although with any luck the laptop issue will be fixed in the next week or so. Yay!)

I could tell you all kinds of things about what has been happening in my life since I've last posted.. all the newsy things, such as my parents' visit in July, or my quick trip home at the beginning in August (which was absolutely wonderful!), or the new Bible study I just joined at church, or the happiness of finally walking into a church where the greeters greet me by name, or the relaxing Labor Day I spent in Madison where I got to play Christmas and open boxes of lots and lots of books... but I won't.

Or, I could also tell you the random things that have been going on in my life of late.... the wonderific experience of melting a piece of chicken in my microwave a week ago (seriously, chicken melts?!)... how to ReaLemon your pet... the experience of salting my carpet to kill flea eggs... the bug-bombing of my house this weekend as a desperate attempt to finally rid my poor doggy of his flea-riddenness, which resulted in my having to go down to the basement to shut off the gas valves to my drier & my stove (how handy am I?!), which resulted in my finding the several inches of water that had flooded my basement (despite the 2 sump pumps and back-up system, all running at full speed), which resulted in a visit from my landlord twice yesterday (with more to come), which resulted in my finding out that not only had all the water put out the pilot light in my hot water heater, but also had most likely screwed up the thermocouple, which resulted in my washing my hair for two days in the cold, cold water in my flooding sink (thanks to a water-logged sewer system) and heating water on the stove to give myself an Ingalls-style sponge bath so I don't get pneumonia. But, I'll spare you the really gory details. Although, finding something to do for 2 hours outside of your house with your doggy on the day that has seen the highest level of rainfall in the Chicago area since they've been keeping records? Very creative.

However, I will tell you about this. Last night was a very significant moment in my life. One I will cherish forever and always. (drum roll, please!) Last night, I made the best biscuits and gravy I've ever made! (you know, out of the 3 times I've attempted...) The sausage gravy was perfect. Not too thin & runny, not too thick, perfectly salted, perfect taste (as perfect as you can get with the sausage choices available up here). And on top of all that, the biscuits & the gravy were done at the exact same time. Um, that was a total accident. But hey, I'll take what I can get! This truly was a momentous occasion. I'd like to thank my dad, for all the Sunday mornings that he spent slaving over the stove when I was in high school to provide my family with such wonderful vittles to partake of, and also for teaching me how to actually do it without making a nasty sausage-flavored paste (that would be attempt #1). I'd like to thank my mom for dragging my butt out of bed all those Sunday mornings so that I could enjoy all the blessings biscuits and gravy bring to one's soul. And lastly, I'd like to thank my local Wal-Mart for providing all the ingredients.

A perfect ending to an eventful weekend.

Monday, June 30, 2008

"there'll be no butter in hell!"

So yet again, it's been awhile.... I've been having issues with the power cord on my laptop, which is not condusive to frequent blogging, since it gets really old to try to type the same post 15 times before frustratedly throwing said laptop out the window (even if only in my mind).

I managed to take a week and steal away from work to go home for a bit.... absolutely wonderful. I really needed some time, just to get away and not think about work for a bit. And to see everybody!! Other than dodging the dive-bombing cicadas, and missing out on seeing a few people, it couldn't have been better... I just needed another few weeks :)

I have been reading ravenously lately.... Here is the stack of books that I have sitting on my coffee table at the moment:

Now granted, the 1st book (Cold Comfort Farm) I just finished the other day, and the bottom book (Such a Pretty Fat) I finished awhile ago. As for Cold Comfort, it was a fabulous book! I think it's the type of book I could read over and over again and laugh out loud every single time. Corella, your book choices for me are so perfect! I can't wait to read the other 4 :) Oh, and there is a book I don't have pictured here that's sitting on my floor waiting to be read - Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris. My brother gave me The Historian for my birthday - I really can't wait to read it. And the other books here (Crichton, Hosseini) are ones that he got for me from the free table at the library. w00t! Anyway, I should have plenty to keep me busy reading for quite awhile. Which is pretty much perfect for me :)

Okay... I guess that's pretty much it. Nothing too exciting going on... other than my puppy being constantly freaked out by the teenage boys up the street and their incessant need to set off as many fireworks as is possible in an evening. Last night I couldn't convince him to step foot out the door until well after 10pm, and I think that was only because of desperation. There is some less interesting stuff going on, such as my finally getting tomato cages for my 3 little plants (grow, little tomato plants, grow!!) and the planting of all the lilies & japanese iris my dad gave me from his garden. It looks like some of them will do fine, but there are a couple that are still in the sketchy category. Here's keeping my fingers crossed....

Saturday, May 10, 2008

things I've learned from my lawnmower

(*slightly edited*)

In the last few weeks, my quest for having a backyard with grass shorter than my dog has led me to a few observations. I thought I'd share a few.

1. Someone, somewhere, has decided it would be hilarious to sneak into my backyard every night (or day, while I'm at work... who can tell?) and douse every dandelion, blade of grass, clover leaf, blade of CRAB grass, and any various and sundry other growing thing with Miracle-Gro. How do I know this? Why ELSE would my yard be the only one in the entire neighborhood that is completely out of control? I think today was the first time my next-door neighbor has mown all spring. Really, there is no other explanation.

2. The arm muscles used to shovel snow are not the same ones used to push a P.O.C. lawnmower in circles in my overgrown back yard. I finally had those fully developed; I have now moved on to a totally new form of ache.

3. I really should at some point think about investing in a trimmer. Before my neighbors have more reason to hate me. (the fence line? isn't it supposed to be all overgrown like that? this way, when my cranky-pants dog tries to pee through the fence at your cute little puppies, the golden stream [erm, drip] won't actually hit them!)

4. Not really something I've learned, but more of an observation: Why didn't God just make all of our hand-skin the consistency of a big honky callous? I'm sure there was a good reason, but seriously, think of all the pain I could avoid with no blisters! And if all our skin was like that, we wouldn't know any different or care in the winter when it gets all dry and fork over lots of money for lotion at Bath & Body Works. But I guess I should just leave that industry intact and just go find some ointment.

5. Cheddar cheese grits + frozen blueberry waffles do NOT equal good mowing food. Next time, I think I would do better to cook me up some good biscuits & sausage gravy, some bacon and maybe some eggs. It's all about the protein, y'all.

6. Short observation: When your grass is long enough to flutter in the wind like the oft-sung amber waves of grain, you should have cut it three days ago. Also, the day you should cut it, it will rain.

7. I used to love mowing. I really did. I loved to go spend some time outside, smelling the wonderful freshly-mown grass smell, get out some inner aggression (?!), and at the end of the evening, feel like I'd accomplished something I could SEE. This, however, was before:

a) my back decided to mutiny against the rest of my body and show its intense protest any time its muscles are used for ANY reason whatsoever.
b) my allergies decided to kick in, proving to the rest of my head their absolute power by refusing to let me breathe properly anytime I am around the afore-mentioned grass and "wonderful" new grass smell.
c) it became my full responsibility to do it. ALL the time. just me. no matter how tired I feel or how I'd much rather be curled up reading a great new book. there's no one to beg to do it for me, for whatever excuse (no matter how valid).

Ultimately, this is one more way in which I have to grow up, quit whining, and do it whether I like it or not. Much like the snow shoveling I would have much rather ignored.

Adulthood, meet me. Me, meet the lawnmower.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

hope you're not squeamish....

(if so, you may want to stop reading)

I was going to write a normal new post (well, *normal* being completely relative...).

But then my hand decided that it would be fun to stick my finger in my work bag and cut the entire end of said finger wide open.

I hope witty coworker guy isn't freaked out by the blood splattered on the work laptop screen.

(I think I got it all cleaned off.....)

(this should be fun tomorrow, not being able to type and all)
(good thing I'm going to be in 58 hours of meetings. Okay, so 4. Close enough.)

(oh, and if you're wondering on what evil and dangerous device I cut my finger? Not sure. My best guess, based on the bag's contents, is a manila folder. WIDE OPEN. yep, that's me.)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Bookin' It

I am now the proud owner of this book:

Like, it's signed and everything. To me.

TOTALLY worth the bitter stares from my boss for leaving work early and the missing-my-exit-and-having-to-pull-a-"u"ey(SP?!)-in-the-middle-of-a-random-side-street-in-downtown-Chicago. (Fret not - this was AFTER the reading. I wasn't late. I was actually early. But I still had to stand up for 2 hours.)

And Jen*, the super-cute dress totally made up for the Russian-mobster's-girlfriend hair & makeup.
You. Rock.

*Yes, I realize the chance that Jen would ever stumble upon my blog and read this are slim to nil. She. Still. Rocks.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

doo doo doo (read the text first)

This afternoon, I decided to go to a piano concert at the church I've been going to the last couple weeks. And I was oh, so glad I did.... ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!! Below is a short video about the person who performed, one Huntley Brown. I was blown away. It was an excellent concert, with just enough audience participation to keep things really interesting. I was just sad the entire world couldn't be there to experience it, and that it had to end. I told him afterwards that I could listen to him play all day, so it's probably a good thing I bought a CD :) (I just wish I was rich enough to buy every one. Seriously. He's THAT GOOD.)

So, without further ado, Mr. Huntley Brown.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


My absolute favorite part of this entire week:
The little old italian lady sitting at the next table over in the cafeteria coming over and telling J, my manager, that if he & C. didn't knock it off, she was going to send the mafia after him to break his knees.
This was a few minutes after she proved him wrong - italians DO call it gravy.
I laughed so hard, I think I peed my pants a little.

Some days, I'm not sure how I ever make it through lunch.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

in over my head, i wanna go

I have recently updated/revised my book list. Here is a small list of some of the books I would like to read sometime in the semi-near future:
(Gotta love how I steal some of these from other people's lists! But I digress)
  • Diane Sutterfield - The Thirteenth Tale
  • Marisha Pessl - Special Topics in Calamity Physics
  • Jack Kerly - The Hundredth Man
  • Jesse Stuart - The Thread That Runs So True
  • Janet Evanovich - How I Write
  • Kate Mosse - Labyrinth
  • Sudhir Venkatesh - Gang Leader for a Day
  • Sidney Sheldon - If Tomorrow Comes (I miss you, Vicky!)
  • Khaled Hosseini - The Kite Runner
  • Mercy Mayer - The Little Critter Collection
  • Sheri Lynch - Hello, My Name Is Mommy
  • Donald Ray Pollock - Knockemstiff
  • Ann Pancake - Strange as This Weather Has Been
  • Larry Doyle - I Love You, Beth Cooper
  • Amanda Hessner - Cooking for Mr. Latte
  • Jen Lancaster - Such a Pretty Fat (2 weeks!)
  • David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day

Yes, I realize it's a lot of books. And I do have to say, my local library doesn't have a lot of them, so if I'm actually going to read them I'm going to have to drive a little further. Or start investing. But anyway, that's my list. I'm off to dive into a book now.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008

the random trip downtown...

One Saturday during the cold, cold month of March, I decided that it was time for me to get out of my hay-feverish house and do something fun. I decided to go downtown and run around a bit. So now, let's play a short game of "Good Idea, Bad Idea".

Good idea: Deciding to do something interesting and spend an afternoon walking around downtown in the big city.
Bad idea: Deciding to walk around downtown on a cloudy 38-degree afternoon with no winter coat with which to stop the frostbite.
(Hint: UK hoodie - NOT adequate insulation. Long underwear - Best. Idea. Ever. You'd think I could've put 2 & 2 together....)

Good idea: Walking along Lake Michigan on a sunny afternoon.
Bad idea: Walking along Lake Michigan on one of the windiest days in Chicago history.
(okay, so probably not the windiest, but it sure felt like it. As did the resulting wind burn.)

Good idea: Visiting the absolutely beautiful main branch of the Chicago Public Library on a wintery afternoon.
Bad Idea: Unwittingly piquing a security guard's attention while browsing through the Chicago Public Library.
(Let me clarify: piquing an ARMED security guard's attention)

I could go on, but honestly, that would just be painful for all of us. Meanwhile, I realized a few things on this little trip of mine... First of all, I am not yet, nor do I ever think I really will be, a "city person." I guess I was just raised with too many manners NOT to hold the door open for people at the 7-eleven or smile as I pass someone on the sidewalk. I actually tried to act all non-chalant and stuff, but let's face it, I'm a Kentucky girl at heart. I have to be pretty preoccupied to completely ignore the fact that you are STANDING IN MY PERSONAL SPACE as we wait for the blasted light to change. No matter that it's not really a crowded corner, and there is plenty of room for you to stand OVER THERE to wait... Also, I think I am just too fascinated by people. I'd much rather watch everybody and everything and look at all the pretty buildings and the people walking in flip-flops in 38-degree weather on the nasty city streets and just take it all in. But I guess that's just me. Oh yeah, and I am also slightly freaked out and honestly saddened that there has to BE armed security guards standing at every corner in the public library. I come from a place where the town drunk used to spend his weekends sleeping off his hangover in the public library, and nobody cared.

Anyway, I spent the day being awed by the library, going to see Buckingham fountain (which, let me tell you, did a lot of good in the winter when there wasn't any water running), walking along the Lake for awhile, walking back up Michigan Avenue, wandering around a little looking at stores, going into a 7-eleven and buying a Moon Pie (for the sheer personal irony... I'll always think of RC1 when I see one. Which later Chico found on my chair at home and completely smooshed trying to break into the package), and going to my favorite little Greek Walgreens. At which I heard all about the cashier's upcoming back surgery. Every. Little. Detail. Tell me, why is it that people don't get the fact that the polite smiling and nodding going on are not invitations to hear MORE about why you are mad that you were called in to pull an extra shift even though your back hurts and you're scared about an upcoming surgery that I now know WAY too many details about? But anyway, I purchased my over-priced postcards and a small bag of easter candy and left as soon as her painstakingly-slow cashier skills would allow. I walked (read: limped) back to the train station and picked up some dinner and read while I waited for the train home. Which was totally and completely packed, thanks to the Blackhawks game that had just let out a few blocks over (which my boss & coworker had attended, unbeknownst to me). I think the Blackhawks fan sitting next to me was a little weirded out by my laughing at the Evanovich book I was reading, but you know, sometimes you can't help the out-loud part.

So that was the gist of my day. I leave you with a slightly scary picture of me (hey! I was completely numb at this point) next to the still-green river (it being the day before St. Patty's and all).

Sunday, April 20, 2008

it's been awhile....

I have been quite lax in my blogging of late. Although I seem to be addicted to reading everybody's elses lately, I haven't actually managed to sit myself down and do any blogging of my own. Hopefully there'll be a few posts in the next few days to talk a bit about what I've been up to and such.

One thing I have been doing a lot of lately is reading.... I just finished reading The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club by Laurie Notaro. I have to be honest, I was a bit disappointed with it. I've heard/read her highly recommended by a few people, so I thought I'd try it... I'll admit, there were several times that I laughed out loud, but I have to say, I'm really not that "into" a bunch of short stories about drinking-induced stupidity. And sometimes, really, there's only so much exaggeration that works. Too much and it's pointless. But the super-short chapters were nice for a quick pick-up-and-read. And the story of her grandpa filling the back seat of her car with free day-old bread from SafeWay was awesome, but only because of the very close resemblance of her grandfather to certain people I know who shall remain unnamed.

I also recently finished Jim Cramer's Mad Money. I must say, he's freaking awesome. The show is great, and the book made me understand much better what goes on in his head, which I learned is a very educational albeit very scary place. But he makes the stock market interesting, fascinating even. Not that I'll be investing anytime soon (he suggests you have $10,000 of disposable investment income before you become a serious investor... um, yeah. not me.), but it's still very interesting to learn about.

A couple other books I've read: Five Quarters of the Orange, Joanne Harris - excellent book. Freakonomics - outstanding. I do not necessarily agree with everything Levitt & Dubner put forth as the obvious answer to whichever topic they're writing about, but I thoroughly enjoyed the book and finding new ways to look at the world. And it's so well-written and non-academic, I was hooked from the beginning. And now I have at least 2 new books to add to my list, and another blog to read every day (see Freaky link to the right). I've read some more Evanovich chicklit, never as good as the Stephanie Plum books but still light and easy to read and funny as ever. Confessions of a Shopoholic, Sophie Kinsella - all I can say is, I can't wait for the movie! There's also the latest Jen Lancaster memoir... what can I say, she makes me laugh. And I like her a lot better now that she's not quite as narcissistic as she was back when she was all that in the world.

Okay. I think that's it for now. It's almost Monday.... I'm going to go now and enjoy the next 12 hours as thoroughly as possible.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

and the laptop stayed in its case all weekend...

**Here is the aforementioned post**

I have been lax in my blogging of late. So, I will now let the world in on what's new in my life:



Yeah, can't really think of much.

Pretty much all that has been going on here lately is snow and work. It's too cold to go out and do anything... Wind chill advisories are not my idea of a good time. The other day as I was filling up my gas tank, I honestly thought my face was going to completely freeze off, leaving just a wisp of the beauty that used to be.... And such a tragedy that would be.

I finally got a library card for the McH Public Library - w00t! And I learned something... Libraries in Illinois are pathetic. At least that one is. Seriously, with some new carpet and a couple coats of paint, maybe some new shelving, that place could be transformed. Right now it reminds me of a room I grew up knowing every so fondly of as *the Mission Barrel*. Although maybe a little more out of date. Um, yeah. Now, I realize that I shouldn't base every public library in the state of Illinois on the one that I've managed to step foot in, but honestly, it has left me jaded. And after discussing the antiquated, pathetic excuse for a wonderful public service to the children and adults of our community with my partner-in-crime (ahem, coworker), it sounds like there isn't anything much better around. Maybe a little newer, but his take on the situation is that libraries just aren't very important to the local governments in this area.

Quite interesting, and rather ironic, since I work for a company that deals directly and primarily with public libraries. Now my interest is piqued... I'm interested in visiting other libraries in the area, just to see what they are like. I don't think they can be any worse than what I've seen.... Seriously, I wouldn't want to take any children to the library I visited; I'd be too worried they'd pick up hepatitis or some other isolated, communicable disease of a plague-like nature.

The transition to a completely new area continues....

That said, I picked up a myriad of books. Everything from Freakonomics, yet another Ted Dekker book, Jim Cramer's Mad Money, some Janet Evanovich chicklet, and a few more (like maybe 5 or 6). So far, I've read 2 this weekend and started finishing a 3rd, which I had actually started reading over the Christmas holiday - Map of Bones, yet another Catholic-esque mystery involving yet another ancient secret faction that's lasted throughout the centuries only to suddenly and misguidedly decide to wreak havoc on the world. It also has some scientific twists, a little far-fetched in my mind (but what do I know?!) and mostly over my head (you can only completely understand this if you could fully grasp my lack of intellectual ability for the subject of science). My mental capacity for the intricacies of m-state metals is apparently less than null. But for the most part, Rollins still manages to tell a decent story.

I have made two lists of late. The first is a list of all the things I would like to do in the next year or so, while I'm still in the area (because as I've learned in the last 12 months, my life can change in an instant). Maybe I'll post this later for your enjoyment. It includes all sorts of random things, a restaurant or two I'd like to visit, parks and historic places and random city-things that are of interest to me. So if anyone wants to do something in a random in the city some weekend, I have a whole list of things to do!

The second list is of all the books I would like to read in the near future. This list will be ever-changing, I'm sure. If anyone has any ideas for any other books I should read, please let me know! A few authors from my current list: jen lancaster, james patterson (thanks, Jess!), laurie notaro, diane sutterfield (I think I stole this from Corella) :), jesse stuart, janet evanovich (how i write), kate mosse. That's about 1/2 of my list.

So that's a few pieces of my life of late. If you need me, I'll probably just have my nose stuck in a book...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


This is not the post I started writing last night. I wrote the beginning of a post last night, and then my computer miraculously shut off. I was going to finish it tonight, but considering the entire thing was mostly pointless, and the thing I am going to be posting tonight is anything BUT, you'll have to come back later if you really care to read about the lastest random happenings in my life.

This post is about the lastest happenings in someone else's life.

But first let me ask you, what do you say in a phone conversation that you know will be the last you'll have with the other individual for at a minimum several (i.e. seven) months? How do you say goodbye, and express all the feelings in your heart and mind, especially without making it harder for said individual?

JR called me tonight. He's shipping out tomorrow. To Iraq. For several months, possibly 7.

I'll miss him. We've had some crazy times together... Maybe I'm just choosing to forget, but somehow this time seems a little harder than the last time he shipped out. Even though I've been hundreds of miles away and haven't seen him for months... He's a great friend.

So I ask you... if you think about it, if you happen to run across this blog in the middle of your busy day, offer up a prayer for him. For his safety, for his loneliness... And for his wife, too. Barely a year they've been married... I covet your prayers for them, and I'm sure they would as well.

Marine JR

JR & his beautiful wife

We miss you!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

...Let it be stagnation of the mind.

I have come to the conclusion that certain parts of my life could very easily be made into a sitcom or comedic movie of some sort. I mean, really, who couldn't envision Grace Adler resorting to climbing on her 50-something landlord's back and using a crowbar to break into her own house? Or Rachel Green getting finger nail polish spots on the nice wood floors (right before Monica comes home from work)? Or Bridget Jones forgetting her gloves at home and having to clean the snow and ice off her car in negative-degree weather without them and therefore coming down with a mild case of frostbite and/or hypothermia? And we will not even begin to talk about how my work life is so crazy-more hilarious than any episode of the office ever dreamed of being... (I'll withhold the details about that one to protect the not-so-innocent.) And that's only the beginning of the circus that is my life.... Although there are also many aspects that aren't quite so *glamorous*... Meredith Grey never seems to have to worry about dry skin or snow shoveling or dish-washing or a cranky old dog. But I guess that such is the reality that we call life....

So what else is going on my life of late, you ask? (Or maybe you don't, either way I'm going to tell you a little. Provided you continue to read on...)

Mostly, work. The crazy hours I've put in lately have left little time and energy for much else. They keep telling me that it will get better, that once all this gets into some semblence of regular order things will get back to normal. And most of the time I believe them. Mostly because I see the ratio of the craziness to normalcy almost directly correlated to the unknowns that are still being found throughout this process. And it is getting better... I actually had a chance to work on things this week that I've been supposed to have been working on since I started, but have not as yet really been able to, thanks yet again to the craziness. And I found that I enjoyed it... Another realization that has been flowing through my mind again lately (maybe a re-realization?!) is that, I am sure due primarily to the environment in which I was raised, I have to always be learning. When I get to the point in a job or endeavor in my life when I am not learning anymore, I get bored. And unhappy. I would much rather take the craziness and with it constant learning and increased understanding than a steady and stable but un-mentally-stimulating and tired monotony. I have to keep learning, growing, stretching myself. Maybe it is just the point in my life where I am, but somehow I doubt it. Learning has always been a part of my life, and I couldn't imagine it any other way.

Now I'm about to go learn about what a cold whopper tastes like. Have a wonderful weekend.