Thursday, April 29, 2004

Greg and I are planning to go to St. Louis on Saturday to watch the Cardinals play the Cubs. Sounds fun, I know. Except that the weather is suppose to be 64 degrees with thunderstorms. Maybe that will change because that's not exactly the type of weather I was hoping to sit out in.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

I'm addicted to steamed broccoli and this raw broccoli salad my mom recently gave me the recipe for. That's strange if you know anything about me and my limited appreciation for vegetables. The good thing, though, is broccoli is a low-carb vegetable, so it's easy on my blood sugar levels. Also, I'm becoming quite addicted to The Real World and The Inferno. For the record, I don't care for Road Rules, but I like The Inferno because it combines The Real World with a Survivor-like twist. Plus, The Real World folks are going to Greece on their next episode and I'm going to Greece, among other places, in June, so it should be fun to watch.
I honestly haven't been following all this Sept. 11, 2001, and war in Iraq investigation about who's lying and who's got the best information and blah, blah, blah, but I thought this was interesting:

"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line." - President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program." - President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face." - Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten time since 1983." - Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb 18,1998

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the US Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs." - Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI), Tom Daschle (D-SD), John Kerry (D - MA), and others Oct. 9,1998

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process." - Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998

"Hussein has . chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies." - Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999

"There is no doubt that .. Saddam Hussein has invigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies." - Letter to President Bush, Signed by Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL,) and others, December 5, 2001

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandated of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them." - Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept. 19, 2002

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country." - Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power." - Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." - Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..." - Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force-- if necessary-- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security." - Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9,2002

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years .. We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."- Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002

"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do" - Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members.. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons." - Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction." - Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002

"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction .. So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real." - Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003

Now every one of these people say President Bush lied, that there never were any weapons of mass destruction and he took us to war unnecessarily.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

When I clocked in this morning, it said 6:66. Great. What a way to start of the day. I'm really not superstitious but still I can't help but to notice the numbers. It's almost lunch time, now, and I can say I haven't noticed any unusual evil. I think the sun might even be trying to shine outside.

Greg made his Little League coaching debut last night. I went to a little more than half the game. He's really great with the boys (They are 13- to 15-year-olds.) and is quite the encourager. That's one of the reasons he's going to make a great dad one day. I want to re-emphasize ONE DAY.

I woke up with a headache at 2:40 a.m. Ridiculous. I know getting my diabetes under control has caused all kinds of changes -- good changes -- in my body but sometimes that means I have to deal with headaches. I got nervous, though, and checked my blood sugar at that ridiculous hour, thinking it might be low. But it was at a solid 97. (That would be in the normal range.)

Monday, April 26, 2004

I had a really great weekend...

Last week was the week of meetings at work, so after I finished writing my story about city council Thursday night, Greg and I headed up to Louisville. Jaclyn and Bryan left then too and ended up staying at my parents' house with us for two nights. We didn't leave Murray until 9 p.m. and I'm pretty sure I was asleep before we were in Marshall County. When we got to my parents' a little before 2 a.m. Eastern Time, Bailey kept bringing toys into the bed for Greg and I -- well, probably Greg -- to play with. She loves him, but it was much to late for all of that.

Friday I went to see an endocrinologist, a doctor who specializes in the study of hormones and glands and their disorders. Anyway, she was encouraging and offered some good advice, the biggest being the way I take my insulin now based on the number of carbohydrates I eat. That means I can vary what I eat more in terms of carbs. Before I was eating a certain number of carbs at each meal and taking the same amount of insulin at each meal. Now, I'm tweaking a carb-to-insulin ratio so I can eat any number of carbs and take an appropriate amount of insulin.

Laine cut my hair on Friday, too. I went in for a trim and then she asked if she could cut it so the back flipped out. Sure, Laine's creative and I trust her...
But she might have been a bit too creative. Once I got home and the way she styled it started falling out, I started not liking it so much. I like the back, which was cut shorter than I realized I agreed to. But I hated the sides, which were longer and really didn't blend in with the back. So, Saturday morning I tried to call Laine and ask if I could come by so she could fix the sides like I wanted them. But the receptionist said she was busy and wouldn't have time for me until 3. Well, that wasn't working in my plan so I went somewhere else and had it cut -- again. So I've ended up with a shorter haircut than I originally intended, but I think that's good because I wouldn't have thought about getting it cut like this and I like it. It's a good summer haircut. Jaclyn says when she gets her hair cut short she gets feisty, or feistier than usual. We'll see.

Saturday I hung out with Jaclyn. We ate lunch with Kelly and then went shopping for awhile. I was on a hunt for these black capri pants at Old Navy and didn't find them. Jaclyn also met Milla, the most beautiful baby ever. Then we, including Greg, met Shelley, Dustin, Evan, Bekah and Barrett for dinner at Cracker Barrel. I sure wish Shelley and Dustin lived closer, and not only because Evan is up there on the list of cutest babies ever. But, then again, that's my wish for a few other friends as well. Then we went to Kent's wedding, which was fabulous. Kent looked so nice in his Air Force uniform. The wedding was sweet and the reception was fun because several friends I don't see often were there. I especially had fun with Cara -- we laughed a lot like old times. Old times are good when new times are different. I also talked to Jonathan, my freshman year, high school boyfriend. He's married and had a little girl who's almost 2. The irony was Greg and Jonathan played paintball with lots of guys, including Kent, on Friday, and Greg didn't realize the Jonathan playing paintball was the old boyfriend Jonathan. It's sort of weird when worlds collide, but that's life, I suppose.

Cassie and I went shopping Sunday. I found the black capris I wanted. Well, they aren't exactly what I wanted but may actually be better than the ones I was originally looking for. I got some birthday money from my dad and grandpa and believe I successful spent it Sunday on the pants, some black sandals and some other new goodies. It was fun to hang out with Cassie.

That's some of the highlights of my weekend. I also want to mention I had some yummy home-cooked meals, thanks to my mom, and got to hang out with Milla. She was cranky Friday night because she was sleepy but she was quite a joy Saturday and Sunday, especially when I was feeding her. That's totally the way to bond with a baby. I hung out with Kevin and Dad some, too.

We got back into town at 10:30 last night. Nothing like filling every minute of a weekend. Still, it was time for such a weekend. And I get to see Mom and Cassie again this coming Sunday because they are coming to Murray to celebrate my birthday -- which is a week from today -- with me and Greg's family.

Alright, other random comments:
- I really like Derek Abney. But the Baltimore Ravens drafted him. I don't like the Ravens. Is starting to like the Ravens because Abney plays for them sort of like being a fair-weather fan? But I don't think I can like the Ravens, there's too much of a rivalry with the Titans. Hopefully Abney will do well then I can just cheer for him.
- "Love Actually" comes out on DVD this week. I loved that movie.
- What's the deal with Brewers beating the Cardinals multiple times this season? And it's only April.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

The blessing of this job specifically and career in general is that I don't do the same thing everyday. The burden is sometimes I have to do things other than be a reporter. Most people know I was hesitant to take this job after Greg and I moved to Murray in August. But I'm anal and tend to worry, so the thought of not having a job freaked me out. (Don't get me wrong, some days I wish I could sleep until 9 and then watch two hours of Dawson's Creek reruns, but in the long run I'd get bored because I need to be doing something.) Anyway, turns out that on most days I like my job more than I thought I would. I'm a nerd, and don't mind covering city council and other government meetings in town and at the university. I generally like the people I have to talk to often for my stories. I like knowing what's going on locally and with state government. And I like learning about the court process first hand while hearing stories from Greg. On the other hand, however, I don't really enjoy laying out a special section for Administrative Professionals Week and the local International Association of Administrative Professionals chapter...That would be one of those burdens of small-town journalism. I understand that and really shouldn't complain about it, but still I'd rather be writing.

I've had the itch lately to write a book. But I want to write a non-fiction book and my latest idea is to travel to different baseball parks and talk to people, random people, and then just tell their stories. I don't necessarily want to talk to athletes; I want to talk to people who have other stories to tell in the stadium setting -- a long-time ticket-taker and concession stand worker, one of the guys who pull the tarp out when it rains, whoever is in charge of the scoreboard. Plus then I'd get to visit baseball parks. I'd like to go to Boston and stay with Katie and Brad, who can see Fenway Park from their apartment and watched the Boston Marathon runners pass down their street, Beacon Street. As much as I hope Barry Bonds stays on 666 homeruns forever, I want to see Pac Bell Park. I can't stand the Yankees, but I know their stadium is filled with history and stories. Great American Ballpark is nice and I wish Busch would stay where it is, how it is. Wrigley Field is classic and Cominsky Park is modern. Maybe if I visited Seattle again it would only rain one of the seven days I'm there, like years ago. I've never been to Kansas City, Houston, San Diego, Miami or Detroit. I've never stepped foot in Arizona or Colorado.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

It's been a nice weekend involving a lot of hanging out at home, which I wanted.

Saturday I had to cover a press conference at Murray State. It was about how the university's private donations and assets have reached $50 million for the first time in school history. (In other words, MSU knows it has had some bad press lately, thanks to some basketball players getting arrested and no state budget, why not toot its own horn when there's something good to report. Well, that's probably only partially true. But that's sort of how I felt about it when I was there yesterday.) Anyway, then Greg and I went out to his parents' house for a picnic at our of their ponds. The boys went fishin' and I hung out with Peggy, Angela, her mom and Elijah and got some sun. Not that I want to be sunburned, but it's refreshing to know it's warm enough to get burned. My nose and shoulders got the best of it. Last night we went to Paducah with Jaclyn and Bryan to celebrate his birthday at Outback. It was yummy, especially the Bloomin' Onion. Then we went to the mall for a bit and Books-A-Million, where I found a fun toy for work. But only because I'm a nerd do I think magnetic poetry is going to be fun at my metal desk. (I do realize I just wrote that I've enjoyed my time at home this weekend, then went on to tell about how I spent most of Saturday not at home. Still, it was relaxing and didn't involve much effort.)

This morning I woke up at my regular too-early-for-a-weekend hour, ate breakfast and then returned to the bed and slept until 9:30. It was fabulous. Then we went to church and out to lunch with Brandon. I've spent this afternoon folding clothes, washing clothes, cleaning up around here, making a CD...

And I think I frustrate Greg on days like this because he's not good at sticking around the house doing odds and ends when it's beautiful outside. Granted, it would be a great day to do something outside. Still, after the busy week I had, I'm in the mood to just hang out. He'd like to play golf, but I don't think he can find anybody to go with him and decided to settle for flipping between two golf tournaments on TV.

So the Cardinals had the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, when they were down three runs this afternoon. Albert Pujols comes to the plate, fouls several pitches. The commentators rattle off all these statistics about how Pujols has a better batting average so far this season (Yes, it's only April.) when he's behind in the count and how he's clutch with the bases loaded. He hits the ball far and hard, Cardinals fans cheer more than they already were, thinking he just hit a grand slam for the win...

The Rockies outfielder reaches up and catches it at the wall. Six more inches, if that, and it was gone.

Good thing it's only April and the Reds beat the Cubs in 10 innings today. I think it's easier to be into baseball when it's warm outside. I mean, it's hard to appreciate the boys of summer when it's snowing outside like it did here Tuesday. Yes, it snowed and I got sunburned in the same week in the same town.

Friday, April 16, 2004

Michael shared this quote with me at work today before lunch. And I still think it's funny: "Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annyos the pig." �Paul Dickson. Who's Paul Dickson, you ask? Well, I asked the same thing, so I looked him up. Apparently he's an author who's written a variety of books, including some on baseball. What this has to do with a pig is beyond me.

Here is a quote about words. It's funny to me to quote people talking about words. Words about words. "There are little constellations of language here and there, and the meaning of a word changes according to its context in the constellation." �Margaret Atwood, Canadian novelist and poet
Yes, I've neglected the blog this week. That's unfortunate because I had some randomness to share.

First, Ryan decided to let me know he is indeed alive. You'd think Cincinnati was a world away the way we go months without even an e-mail. It's good to hear from him, though, because it's always familiar. I like that about our friendship. Being baseball season, Greg and I are hoping to make it to a Red-Cards game in Cincinnati (I wonder if I could fit in Skyline and King's Island, too?). Hopefully that happens. Anyway, Ryan said when I blog he feels like I'm talking to him. I like that because sometimes when I blog I wonder if I'm talking to anyone or maybe just a wall. Still, it's nice to know somebody feels included.

I also ate dinner with Cassie on Wednesday night in Clarksville. It was a spur-of-the-moment trip there because I needed a venting-talking session and she seemed to be a good person. I realized for maybe the first time how alike we really are. On the surface she seems to be party girl who likes to be the center of attention and I'm the one who prefers a small, close group of friends and shies from the spotlight. But really it comes down to we both wish we were low-maintenance but we're high-maintenance and we want relationships to be refreshing not routine. While talking about that, she said she often tells her boyfriend Zac she just wishes he'd leave her a random Post-It Note with a sweet note. I can't count the times I've told Greg the same thing and even reversed the gesture and left him nice notes on the bathroom mirror when I leave for work and he's still in bed. I guess Post-It Notes represent something deeper to us, and it's probably just our mom's fault because she got us hooked on the lovely, sticky paper.

Alright, on to politics...
Gov. Fletcher could lead the legislators to a budget or his tax modernization plan. Some would probably say he's one person and he can't bear that total responsibility. But I say he's the leader and he has a job to do, and that's to be productive in state government. The most important thing state government does is operate the different departments and such throughout the state, but nobody can do that without a budget. Yes, partisan politics got in the way. Almost every budget or tax vote was passed or rejected along party lines. Surely each side could have some good points and the legislators would be mature enough to learn the art of compromise. Then again, you have a party controlling the governor's office for the first time in more than three decades, so what can you expect? I voted for Fletcher, and I don't totally regret that. But I think he went in there trying to do too much at first. He'll be in office for four years. How about getting a budget through the first year, then worrying about overhauling the state's tax system. I mean, the legislators wouldn't have to worry about a budget next year if they'd pass one this year, so give them one thing at a time.

On that note, here's a funny story, thanks to Michael.

The Ant and the Grasshopper

OLD VERSION:
The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks he's a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed.

The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself!


MODERN VERSION:
The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks he's a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

CBS, NBC, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

America is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing, "It's Not Easy Being Green."

Jesse Jackson stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, "We shall overcome."

Jesse then has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper's sake.

Tom Daschle and John Kerry exclaim in an interview with Peter Jennings that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his "fair share."

Finally, the EEOC drafts the "Economic Equity and Anti-Grasshopper Act," retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.

Hillary gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal judges that Bill appointed from a list of single-parent welfare recipients.

The ant loses the case.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he doesn't maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow.

The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Vote Republican.

Monday, April 12, 2004

"At the end of the day, what's important is if you think the people around you have maybe had a better day because of some of the things you've done." --Maggie Daley, Chicago Mayor Rich Daley's wife
I decided Saturday afternoon I wanted to go hang out with my mom. So, Greg and I went to Louisville about 2 p.m. Saturday and got there in time to have dinner with Mom. We spent Sunday just hanging out with my parents (Greg and I had a marvelous come-from-behind victory against my parents in Rook and I tied my mom in Scrabble...) and later Poppy, Kevin, Laine and Milla. We ate steak and they had cheesecake while I ate my sugar-free Snickers Pie dessert and watched the Master's. I got to bond with my beautiful niece and had some much-needed rest at my parents' house. I was worried about making the in-laws angry for changing Easter plans, but Peggy seemed to understand a girl needing her mom.

I wrote a little Saturday about how I sometimes put on my tough exterior when I talk about diabetes. People ask how I'm dealing with it and I answer with some optimistic "Oh, it's been a change, but I feel better" or "I don't mind the insulin shots." While those things are true, sometimes it would be more honest to say, "Yeah, I miss snacking in the middle of the afternoon just because I want to" or "It sucks to stick my stomach with a needle before every meal and before I go to bed." There's no doubt it's made me more disciplined, but there's no doubt sometimes I just have to wonder why I have to deal with this. Contradictions are the story of my emotions. I truly see the both sides of things so much of the time, and I really want to see diabetes as a means to a healthier life, not a mystery that burdens my days. (OK, I realize I'm repeating myself, but this is my blog and I can repeat myself as much as I would like.)

Last night Greg and I were having sing-a-long time driving back from Louisville. Sometimes it's hard to find music we both want to listen to in the car. (Actually, he wanted to listen to the Giants-Padres baseball game...um, who cares. They both play in California, and do I really want to hear about Barry Bonds hitting another homerum? Although I don't think he did last night.) Anyway, we listened to Bebo Norman, an artist on which we agree. I've listened to Bebo hundreds of times, and Katie and Aaron even played one of his songs in our wedding. Last night one song really put how I was feeling into perspective for me, and I think Greg too once I told him Bebo's word summed it up:

I got a little hope in my pocket
Want to share of it with you
Just be careful that you don�t drop it
Don�t worry if you do
�Cause I�ve got broken down inside me
And I might just need some help
But I will get by
Hey, hey

And I�ve got demons in my history
Got bone beneath my skin
I�ve been taken by a mystery
Yes I�ve been taken in
And sometimes voices down inside me
Try to fight me for myself
I will get by
Hey, hey

�Cause what have I got to live for
There is nothing beating in my chest
And what have I got to live for
When this world starts turning
It�s burning me up
I�m alright

I used to think love was just a barter
Second hand coincidence
What doesn�t kill you just makes you harder
So I use my common sense
Keeping cold to keep my distance
Till I tuck my pride away
I will get by
Yeah, yeah

�Cause what have I got to live for
There is nothing beating in my chest
And what have I got to live for
When this world starts turning
It�s burning me up
I�m alright

But I am not afraid
No I am not afraid

And I will not go crazy

I got a little hope here in my pocket
Want to share of it with you
Just be careful that you don�t drop it
Don�t worry if you do
�Cause I�ve got voices down inside me
And I might just need some help
I will get by
Hey, hey

What have I got to live for
There�s nothing beating in my chest
And what have I got to live for
When this world starts turning
Burning me up

When my heart is hurting
I�m learning about love
When this world starts turning
It�s burning me up
I�m alright

Thursday, April 8, 2004

I bought a Rascal Flatts CD of my own today. It was nice to listen to it as I was running errands around town today. And I should mention it is beautiful here. About 75 and sunny.

Today I got some funny e-mail forwards.

YOU KNOW YOU GREW UP IN THE '80s OR EARLY '90s IF...
1. You've ever ended a sentence with the word "PSYCHE."
2. You watched the Pound Puppies.
3. You can sing the rap to the "Fresh Prince of Belair" and can do the "Carlton."
4. Girls wore biker shorts under their skirts and felt stylishly sexy.
5. You yearned to be a member of the Baby-Sitters Club and tried to start a club of your own.
6. You owned those lil' Strawberry Shortcake pals scented dolls.
7. You know that "WOAH" comes from Joey on Blossom.
8. Two words: Hammer Pants
9. You watched "Fraggle Rock."
10. You had plastic streamers on your handle bars ... and "spokey-dokes" or playing cards on your spokes for that incredible sound effect.
11. You can sing the entire theme song to "DuckTales." (Woo ooh!)
12. It was actually worth getting up early on a Saturday to watch cartoons.
13. You wore a ponytail on the side of your head.
14. You saw the original "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" on the big screen ... and still know the turtles names.
15. You got super-excited when it was Oregon Trail day in computer class at school.
16. You made your mom buy one of those clips that would hold your shirt in a knot on the side.
17. You played the game "MASH" (Mansion, Apartment, Shelter, House)
18. You wore stonewashed Jordache jean jackets and were proud of it.
19. L.A. Gear ... need I say more?
20. You wanted to change your name to "jEM" in Kindergarten. (She's truly outrageous.)
21. You remember reading "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" and all the Ramona books.
22. You know the profound meaning of "wax on, wax off."
23. You wanted to be a Goonie.
24. You ever wore fluorescent clothing. (ome of us head-to-toe)
25. You can remember what Michael Jackson looked like before his nose fell off and his cheeks shifted.
26. You have ever pondered why Smurfette was the only female smurf.
27. You took lunch boxes to school and traded Garbage Pail Kids in the schoolyard.
28. You remember the craze, then the banningof slap bracelets.
29. You still get the urge to say "not" after every sentence.
30. You remember Hypercolor T-shirts.
31. Barbie and the Rockers was your favorite band.
32. You thought She-ra (Princess of Power!) and He-Man should hook up.
33. You thought your childhood friends would never leave because you exchanged handmade friendship bracelets.
34. You ever owned a pair of jelly shoes. (And like #24, probably in neon colors, too.)
35. After you saw Pee-Wee's Big Adventure you kept saying "I know you are, but what am I"?
36. You remember "I've fallen and I can't get up."
37. You remember going to the skating rink before there were inline skates.
38. You ever got seriously injured on a Slip and Slide.
39. You have ever played with a Skip-It.
40. You had or attended a birthday party at McDonalds.
41. You've gone through this nodding your head in agreement.
42. You remember Popples.
43. "Don't worry, be happy."
44. You wore like eight pairs of socks over tights with high top Reeboks.
45. You wore socks scrunched down (and sometimes still do, getting yelled at by younger, hip members of the family).
46. You remember boom boxes and walking around with one on your shoulder like you were all that.
47. You remember watching both "Gremlins" movies.
48. You know what it meant to say "Care Bear Stare."
49. You remember watching "Rainbow Bright" and "My Little Pony Tales."
50. You thought Doogie Howser/Samantha Micelli was hot.
51. You remember Alf, the furry brown alien from Melmac.
52. You remember New Kids on the Block when they were cool and don't even flinch when people refer to them as "NKOTB."
53. You knew all the characters names and their life stories on "Saved By The Bell," the original class.
54. You know all the words to Bon Jovi's "Shot Through the Heart."
55. You just sang those words to yourself.
56. You remember watching Magic vs. Bird.
57. Homemade Levi shorts, the shorter the better
58. You remember when mullets were cool!
59. You had a mullet!
60. You still sing "We are the World."
61. You tight rolled your jeans.
62. You owned a bannana clip.
63. You remember "Where's the Beef?"
64. You used to (and probably still do) say "What you talkin' about Willis?"
65. You had big hair and you knew how to use it.
66. You're still singing "Shot Through the Heart" in your head, aren't you?

PRAISE THE LORD
There was a little old lady who was very spiritual who would step out on her porch every day, raise her arms to the sky and yell "Praise the Lord."

One day, an atheist bought the house next door to her, and he became very irritated with the spiritual lady. So after a month or so of her yelling, "Praise the Lord" from her porch, he went outside on his porch and yelled back, "There is no Lord."

Yet, the little old lady continued. One cold, wintery day, when the little old lady couldn't get to the store, she went out on her porch, raised her hands up to the sky and said, "Help me Lord, I have no more money, it's cold, and I have no more food."

The next morning, she went outside, and there were three bags of food on the porch, enough to last her a week. "Praise the Lord," she yelled. The Atheist stepped out from the bushes and said, "There is no Lord, hahaha, I bought those groceries!"

The little old lady raised her arms to the sky and said, "Praise the Lord, you sent me groceries and you made the Devil pay for them!"

Wednesday, April 7, 2004

I watched a Rascal Flatts concert on DVD this afternoon. I love their songs. But the DVD made me want several things: to see Rascal Flatts in concert (and just maybe I can at the end of August at the state fair in Louisville...), to go to the beach (OK, I am going on a Mediterranean cruise and site-seeing tour this summer. I probably shouldn't yearn for any other vacations anytime soon.), to listen to "Mayberry" over and over again (And I did multiple times until Greg had enough...).

Sometimes it feels like this world is spinning faster /Than it did in the old days/So naturally, we have more natural disasters/From the strain of a fast pace/Sunday was a day of rest /Now, it�s one more day for progress /And we can�t slow down �cause more is best /It�s all an endless process//(Well) I miss Mayberry/Sitting on the porch drinking ice-cold cherry Coke/Where everything is black and white/Picking on a six string/Where people pass by and you call them by their first name/Watching the clouds roll by/Bye, bye/Sometimes I can hear this old earth shouting/Through the trees as the wind blows/That�s when I climb up here on this mountain/To look through God�s window/Now I can�t fly/But I got two feet that get me high up here/Above the noise and city streets/My worries disappear/(Repeat Chorus)/Sometimes I dream I�m driving down an old dirt road/Not even listed on a map/I pass a dad and son carrying a fishing pole/But I always wake up every time I try to turn back/(Repeat Chorus)/Bye, bye/I miss Mayberry, I miss Mayberry

In general it made me want to go to a concert...
Right now at the top of my wish list are Rascal Flatts, Toby Keith, Alan Jackson, John Mayer and Counting Crows. Dave Matthews and Indigo Girls remain on my list, although I think I've lost count of the number of times I've seen them. I love concerts, which is funny because I can't sing well and can't play an instrument. (Playing the clarinet for three years in middle school probably doesn't count.) Still, music is such a good thing to me. I can associate almost every moment of my life with a song. I can associate most songs with specific moments. (That's sort of like which came first, the chicken or the egg?) Songs remind me of people. Songs give me peace and drown out the literal and figurative noise in this world.

I went to several concerts in high school and college. I had some good friends who didn't think twice about a road trip. So, besides Dave (I can only wish I was on a first-name basis with him.) and Indigo Girls, I've seen the Counting Crows (I love the Palace on Fourth Street in Louisville), U2, Color Me Badd (I believe that was my first concert, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I was an eighth grader, for whatever that's worth.), John Michael Montgomery, Third Day, Jennifer Knapp, Caedmon's Call, John Mayer, Dixie Chicks, Clay Walker, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds acoustic (And that was at Murray State. Impressive, huh?), Rebecca St. James and probably a few others I can't seem to think of at the moment. And I've seen Toby Keith and Alison Krauss sing the National Anthem at different Titans games.
Rochelle Riley is a fabulous writer. She's like a mentor to me and helped me get started as a writer in high school. She used to work at The Courier-Journal and I loved reading her columns because I could picture most of what she wrote about. She loved Louisville and always found inspiring stories to tell or hot topics on which to take a stand. She moved to Detroit to write for The Free-Press there. I still love reading her columns. And the thing is, her word choice is so excellent that I can still picture most of what she talks about. She's black and a single mother of her adopted daughter. She's from North Carolina. On the surface we don't have anything in common. But I admire her passion for people and words and how she weaves the two together so beautifully. She wrote a column about a museum in Detroit and somehow made me care about it.

I have been thinking about my high school friend (well, specifically freshman year friend) Elliott this week, which is the 10th anniversary of when Kurt Cobain killed himself. OK, odd, I know, but let me explain. My group of friends my freshman year (we later "split" because of some conflicting interests) included several Nirvana fans. Anyway, I remember sitting in freshman English class next to Elliott the day after Cobain killed himself and we had do some kind of project that day and somehow we did ours about how the world was mourning him. I'm not real sure what the point of the project was or what exactly we even did, but I remember Elliott being so sad about the whole thing. I think for him it was deeper than a rock star killing himself at 27 years old. I think it was about losing someone who stood for (and sang about) something so different than what was trendy at that point.

My friend Kent is getting married April 24. Kent and I have been friends since eighth grade and remained friends through our group's social split in ninth grade. (It was dramatic at the time.) Anyway, Kent was the guy who was friends with everyone. He was this unifying force among us. Anyway, his wedding is in Louisville soon and there is certain to be some random people there, hopefully including Elliott. Kent also transferred to Murray State from UK our sophomore year of college. So we have lots of mutual high school and college friends. His wedding will be a reunion of sorts.

Tuesday, April 6, 2004

PANGLOSSIAN means blindly or naively optimistic.
Baseball is here. Too bad the Cardinals weren't on TV. Or maybe it's better they weren't, as they lost to the Brewers. Still, President Bush was there to throw out the opening pitch. Right over the plate. And I'm sure he picked up some votes over John Kerry. Dick Cheney was in Cincinnati. I don't know if his opening pitch was a strike, and I'm not sure if he helped the Republican cause in Ohio.

I thought I was excited to watch the NCAA basketball championship last night. But not so much. I like championships. I like the emotions and stories associated with winning, and even somtimes losing. But I never got interested last night. Before the game, we grilled out and played Rook with Greg's parents until the game came on. But then Jaclyn came over and I ended up sitting in the kitchen through most of the first half talking with her. I sat down to watch the second half and Katy called. I talked to her for a half hour or so, and that was more interesting than the basektball game. So, I called it a night after that. Georgia Tech apparently called it a night before the game even got started. Maybe the team just needed Michael to sing its fight song...

Sunday, April 4, 2004

Last night Greg said the second best thing that could happen in the NCAA Tournament is Duke losing. I agree. (The best thing would be Kentucky winning the national championship, but so much for that this year.) Anyway, thanks UConn. And now I'll cheer for Georgia Tech. Greg says he can't cheer for an ACC school. I say, as long as it isn't Duke or North Carolina, who cares.

Here's a new word:
DELTIOLOGY means postcard collecting.

My mom, Cassie and her boyfriend Zac came to visit yesterday. We had a good time. We went to lunch at Applebee's then watched a soccer game on TV. Not very exciting, I know, but we wanted to see Freddy Adu play. Then we watched some of the Georgia Tech-Oklahoma State game. Greg was cheering for Oklahoma State, well, maybe more so Eddie Sutton. My mom said there was no way she could cheer for Eddie Sutton because "he left Kentucky in a probation mess and came out smelling like a rose." When Georgia Tech won, she said, "Take that Eddie Sutton." Pretty funny. And I agree with her. Then we went to eat dinner at Tom's Grille. Cassie and Zac headed back to Clarksville and the rest of us went to David and Jennifer's for Dumplin's strawberry cake for Nana's birthday. I didn't eat as many carbs at dinner so I could have some cake. It was so yummy, and I guessed correctly because my blood sugar didn't go up. That's a moral victory for me. Anyway, then we came home and finished watching UConn beat Duke. My mom stayed here last night, and that's only the second time we've had an overnight guest.

I hadn't seen Cassie in about a month, so it was fun to hang out with her. She's really one of the funniest people I know. It was also the first time we've seen her and Zac since Murray State beat Austin Peay in the OVC Tournament. It was nice to talk about that. Although, they enjoyed hearing about how the only four players Mick Cronin has recruited since he's was hired about a year ago have been arrested -- all in the last past month.

I woke up at 7 this morning. That's alright, except it was really more like 6 because we lost an hour last night, thanks to springing forward. Time zones and time changes are a mystery to me. I don't really comprehend it. Yet, somehow, I prefer the eastern time zone, especially in the winter.

Friday, April 2, 2004

I've talked with (or e-mailed) four people today about Survivor. It's funny to me that everyone has a different idea of who should win or who is playing the game well. I have to admit, Boston Rob cracks me up. Usually he's an egotistical guy who thinks he owns the game. But, still, he's hilarious. And he loves (um, maybe loves...) Amber. She's alright, too. But together they are pretty funny. I just wonder how much of their relationship is genuine and how much is a strategy to try to win a million dollars. Anyway, last night on the show, the tribes were mixed up, except the weren't really mixed up. The pulled new buffs out of a jar and ended up just reversing tribes. Except Amber, who was shuffled to the other side to even up the teams. So, Boston Rob and Amber are split up. And it appeared to break Rob's heart. How sweet. I mean, he's going to live, it's just a game. He said he didn't care if the other tribe was living at his former camp with his stuff, but he did care that the other tribe has his girl. Sweet in a Boston Rob way. So, I'm rooting for them. And I hope there's still some spark for them when the game is over. Amber could have easily been voted out last night, but instead Jerri went. And that's fine by me.

I got an email about trees and birthdays today and some strange connection between the two. For certain birthdays, certain trees and their descriptions were associated. My birthday is a month from tomorrow and here's what the email said about me and my tree:

Poplar Tree (the Uncertainty) -- looks very decorative, talented, not very self-confident, extremely courageous if necessary, needs goodwill and pleasant surroundings, very choosy, often lonely, great animosity, great artistic nature, good organizer, tends to lean toward philosophy, reliable in any situation, takes partnership seriously.

Interesting.