Sunday, May 30, 2004

"an emotional reaction"

...also known as feeling.

I often react emotionally to things that may not necessarily call for such a reaction. Then again, there are not many secrets about how I feel with anyone. Yet I shouldn't make decisions, including reactions, based on my feelings. And I do that much too often.

That's my most recent revelation.

With that, I often justify my actions and reactions as well as those of others with personality type. I think personalities are powerful reflections of who we are, our intentions and our perspectives. But I think people like me -- perfect melancholy people -- to often say, "Well, that's just how I am." And move on. Some of my personality traits are weaknesses, though, and I should want to become a better person. There are people around me who I admire for different reasons. I spend a lot of time thinking about why I get along with this person and click with this person but am annoyed by this person ... When really I should be thankful I know these people and take from them what I admire. Not take from them, but use them as role models in whatever aspect of life might be their strengths. I'm stuck in my perfectionist, stubborn ways too often because that's "how I am." Really I need to recognize there's room to grow.

Quick weekend run down: I worked Friday night. Yesterday I ran the dreaded Rite-Aid errand, when I had to buy extra diabetes supplies for our trip. (The dreaded part would be that insurance didn't cover them this time because it was too soon ...) Then I wasn't feeling super so I laid around much of the afternoon, watching The Learning Channel and other lazy-afternoon TV. Last night we went to Greg's parents' house for dinner, a trip talk and some cards. This morning Greg treated me to Cracker Barrel for breakfast, then we went to church. I took a picture for work, then we went to see "The Day After Tomorrow" with Brandon. I've spent much of the evening on the phone -- with Jodi, Katy, my mom, Greg's mom -- and now the thunder and lightning have arrived so I'm going to end this so I won't be on the computer near the window.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

It's really all a game...

And I hate it.

The last two mornings my blood sugar has been totally normal when I woke up then after breakfast it rises too high. This hasn't been a problem, and I don't understand why all of the sudden I'd need more insulin at breakfast. Dang it. It's so much a guessing game, and that just doesn't seem to be a way anybody should have to live their life.

Yet I know the frustration, and headaches, will pass -- eventually.

Speaking of a game, though, I did go to Greg's baseball game last night. He's really adorable with the kids, and his team even won. The best part was a run down between first and secon. The boy kept trying to either get back to first or onto second while the fielders tossed the ball back and forth. Eventually the first baseman overthrew it and the kid got on second. Lucky. I kept thinking it was going to rain, but the clouds held off, thankfully.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

jail mail

I got a letter from a man in jail today. I've covering a story that involves him and another man both of whom are accused of two counts of attempted murder of a police officer for allegedly opening a tank of anhydrous ammonia during a drug bust. When I looked at the envelope, I thought it was going to be hate mail, but it really wasn't. He just wanted to tell me that he didn't ask for this 15 minutes of fame and would eventually clear his name. OK. Then he told me some of his story, as he called it. Then apologized for possibly wasting my time, but time was all he had at this point. Random.

Monday, May 24, 2004

randomness

Saturday night I talked to my friend Katy about stem-cell research. She knows a little bit about it because of her biology minor. Anyway, she said she believes stem cells can come from umbilical cords, which would mean you don't need a fetus to get the cells to manipulate into necessary cells (such as insulin-producing cells) to cure diseases (such as diabetes). I just think politics weighs the whole thing down. But I still want to learn more about it.

The headaches resurfaced last night and this afternoon because of some fluctuations in my blood sugar levels. But I'm doing my best to be patient.

I spent a good portion of my work day in court today. In the morning a woman pleaded guilty to shooting her husband in the head (attempted murder) and this afternoon there was some debate about some records taken from a funeral home during a fraud investigation. And I saw Greg in passing both times I was at the judicial building. I thought I might, and was glad I did.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

weekend ramblin'

Friday night was family time. Greg and I ate at Captain D's with his parents and then all came back to our house and played Rook. And Greg and I won both games.

Saturday I woke up early to go yard sale-ing with Jaclyn. We didn't find much. But we did go to Lowe's and dream about projects we want to do at our houses. Little by little I'm sure we'll get them done. Then I went shopping in Paducah with Greg's mom. I didn't find much, but it was fun. We ate at the Holman House. Usually I'm not a fan of cafeteria-style restaurants, but this might have been the exception. The food was good AND they had my favorite low-carb cheesecake that I usually get a Dumplin's in Murray. I've got to figure out where I can order because one day low-carb eating isn't going to be trendy and I'm going to need to maintain a supply of the cheesecake. Also, Saturday, Greg was super productive around the house, which I really appreciate. He even vacuumed out of my car, which I washed Friday afternoon after I went to Wal-Mart and bought a hose.

Last night we had friends over for a cook out and game night. It was a lot of fun. There were some friends from college and a couple other random couples. We ate hamburgers and such, then played Trivia Pursuit and the Name Game (although you all probably don't know our version of the Name Game...). And I even stayed up until midnight.

I've been thinkin' this weekend about my personality and there's no wonder Greg sometimes thinks I'm difficult. I like to be independent, but love to be with the people I love. I want to please people, especially people important to me, but I'm stubborn with lots of expectations.

Friday, May 21, 2004

controversy

I like politics. I like religion. Somehow the two weave themselves into many, many issues. I even like the debates and hot-topic conversations. Stem-cell research -- an issue I've never taken much interest or cared to know anything about -- has its political and religious arguments. But for some reason it seems more about saving lives to me. But I can't figure out what I think about it. Selfishly, the though of a cure for diabetes seems worth almost anything. But is it risking any others' lives? If so, nobody should suffer in solving health problems. But what if the cells come from embryos donated to science that can't function in other capacities?

Goodness, it's a tough issue, but I thought I'd share this article about it from the May 17, 2004, issue of Time. One day I'm sure I'll develop an opinion on it all.

Katie Zucker, 16, has sky blue eyes, wild curly hair and a dazzling smile. She is a champion equestrian and an A student. Her parents are doting, her friends devoted. So what's not to envy? Well, there's the small rectangular box attached to her belt that pumps insulin through a tube into her hip. To test her blood, she pricks her finger seven times a day. "It's scary," she says. "If your blood sugar goes too low, you could go into a coma." Sometimes at school her eyes swell, and she can't see the blackboard. She knows that her diabetes can result in kidney failure, amputation and blindness. But mostly, she says, "I try to think it won't affect me too much in the future."

If there's any hope for a cure for Zucker and more than 1 million other Americans with Type 1 diabetes, the most debilitating form of the disease, it may lie in a revolutionary new field of research based on manipulating human embryonic stem cells. These building blocks of life, when isolated in a microscopic cluster of cells, can morph into any kind of tissue. (So-called adult stem cells, which can be harvested without sacrificing embryos, can turn into only a few tissue types.) One day, scientists hope, the entire genetic makeup of a patient like Zucker could be transferred into a cloned human egg that can produce the insulin-producing cells her body lacks.

But some religious groups believe the clumps of 100 to 200 cells from which embryonic stem cells are taken represent a potential human life as worthy of protection as any child's. Three years ago, President George W. Bush, under pressure from both sides, adopted a compromise that ended up choking off most federal research funds to the field. He said at the time that although the research offered "great promise" in saving lives, it could lead to "growing human beings for spare body parts."

Today a brush-fire challenge to Bush's stem-cell policy is spreading across the U.S., fueled by the frustration of such families as Zucker's who have allied themselves with patient activists for other diseases, major universities, several state legislatures and members of Congress. Last month 206 U.S. Representatives wrote to the President, calling on him to fund stem-cell research on spare embryos from a pool of some 400,000 stored in the freezers of in vitro fertilization clinics. These embryos, only a few days old and smaller than the head of a pin, will probably be discarded unless they are donated to science. Embryonic stem cells, the letter noted, can be used to treat "diseases that affect more than 100 million Americans, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury ..." The signatories included two dozen pro-life Republicans.

Given the emotional nature of the debate, the Bush White House is unlikely to make any sudden moves before the November election. But in a startling rebellion against the federal biomedical establishment, several states are moving forcefully into the vacuum. California and New Jersey have passed laws specifically authorizing the cloning of human eggs to create stem cells (so-called therapeutic cloning), and the legislatures of seven other states, including Illinois and New York, are considering similar bills. This week New Jersey Governor James McGreevey, in a nod to the state's pharmaceutical industry, will inaugurate a $50 million stem-cell institute to be funded with state and private money. In California, activists last month submitted 1.1 million signatures %97 nearly twice as many as necessary %97 to launch a November ballot measure that would underwrite stem-cell research with $3 billion in state bonds over 10 years. The California funds would dwarf federal grants, which have stalled at about $17 million a year for human embryonic research since Bush restricted funding to a few dozen pre-existing stem-cell lines. Only 19 of those turned out to be available. Says Stanford Nobel prizewinner Paul Berg: "California is paving the way for a revolt in a lot of other states."

Meanwhile, universities are maneuvering for position, fearing that they could lose their brightest scientists to programs overseas. It was only six years ago that a biologist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, James Thomson, isolated the first human stem cells from in vitro embryos. But in February, South Korean researchers stunned the scientific world by successfully harvesting stem cells from cloned human embryos %97 considered the most promising avenue for treating disease. A prestigious American investigator moved to Britain, where the research is encouraged. Now Stanford and Harvard hope to raise at least $100 million each for new stem-cell institutes. The universities of Wisconsin and Minnesota are expanding their labs, and in March an anonymous donor gave $25 million to the University of Texas to boost its Houston program.

Billions of dollars are at stake in the race for medical cures. California boasts half of the nation's biomedical research capacity and one-third of its biotech companies. The bond initiative, if it passes, would pay to build 12 to 15 new stem-cell research centers, a massive magnet for scientific talent. "California will be the center of stem-cell research for the world," predicts Palo Alto real estate developer Robert Klein, co-chairman of the initiative campaign. Klein, who has contributed $1.4 million of his money toward the effort, touts the economic benefits, forecasting $70 million in tax revenues from new jobs even before any cures are discovered. And if cures are found, the profits would accrue to California companies, along with substantial savings on the state's $114 billion annual health-care bill.

inances, however, have little to do with Klein's passion for the measure. Like Janet and Jerry Zucker, Katie's parents and the initiative's other chief organizers, Klein is the father of a diabetic, Jordan, 13. In addition, his mother, 84, has Alzheimer's. Distraught at the federal cutoff of stem-cell research, Klein and the Zuckers, who are Los Angeles film producers, were brought together last year by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, one of the nation's most forceful disease-advocacy groups. They hired a clutch of sophisticated lawyers and political consultants to draft the measure and conduct polls. They enlisted allies from Alzheimer's, cystic fibrosis, Parkinson's and other disease-advocacy groups and spent $2.5 million gathering signatures for the initiative. Ten Nobel prizewinners have endorsed the measure, including David Baltimore, president of the California Institute of Technology, and Berg, who created the first recombinant DNA molecule. Behind the scenes, Silicon Valley venture capitalists are backing what is expected to be a $20 million campaign.

It will certainly be a celebrity-studded crusade. Last Saturday, the Zuckers and other Hollywood notables were hosts of a Beverly Hills tribute to Nancy Reagan that raised $2 million for stem-cell research. The former First Lady, who took up the cause after her husband developed Alzheimer's, had earlier written to President Bush in favor of federal funding. But this is the first time Mrs. Reagan has spoken out publicly on the issue. Proponents of the California initiative hope that advocacy by an icon of the conservative movement will help neutralize resistance to the November bond measure.

Opponents have barely begun to organize. "We're not Hollywood producers," says Richard Doerflinger, spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. "We don't have the money they do." Nonetheless, he says, pro-life groups will explain to voters that embryonic stem-cell cloning is "unpromising for cures" and offers "a gateway to all kinds of possible genetic engineering in humans." Although the California measure would initially limit research to embryos less than 12 days old, Doerflinger contends it could lead to "the exploitation of women as 'fetus farms.'" Such arguments have persuaded eight states, including Iowa, Michigan and Kansas, to restrict therapeutic-cloning research. More dramatically, the U.S. House passed legislation last year that would make cloning human cells a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The bill stalled in the Senate, in part because of opposition from Utah Republican Orrin Hatch, who is antiabortion yet favors stem-cell research.

The initiative's backers plan to run a grass-roots operation urging the 5 million Californians who are members of disease-advocacy groups to e-mail friends and neighbors. A December poll commissioned by organizers showed that 85% of probable voters have a relative or close friend with one of five illnesses most likely to be a target of the research. The possibility of curing such afflictions as Alzheimer's and diabetes will be the focus of a multimillion-dollar statewide television campaign. "This is not a wedge issue," contends state senator Deborah Ortiz, who was attacked by Catholic Church officials, with little effect, for authoring the law to encourage stem-cell inquiry. "Ours will be a heartwarming message: that millions of people might be cured of diseases."

Whatever happens in California is likely to reverberate nationally. Already, breakthroughs in stem-cell science, published almost weekly in medical journals, are ratcheting up the stakes. If the initiative passes in the nation's largest state, "it will put tremendous pressure on the White House to re-evaluate its policy," predicts Daniel Perry, head of the Washington-based Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research. If it doesn't, scientists claim, the work will move to such research-friendly countries as Israel, Singapore and even China.

No one is more aware of the issues than Katie Zucker. A couple of years ago, she visited Congress with her parents to lobby for stem-cell research, and she plans to help generate support for the initiative. "I have dreams and goals in life," she says, fingering her insulin pump. "What keeps me going is that people are working so hard to find a cure."

a token update

I like that this profile thing on here tells me that I've written 79,760 words in my blog. Although I guess that's ... 79,782 now.

Anyway, I'm glad it's Friday. It's been a busy, busy week at work. And I'm not really complaining about that because not only does it make the work day go faster but I also will have a nice bit of overtime on my paycheck. Yesterday Eric was gone to a meeting or something in Frankfort, so I had to put out the paper in the morning. I was a bit nervous because that's not my strength in this job. But, I have to say, it went much smoother than I expected. And the front page looks alright. Mission accomplished, I suppose.

I'm looking forward to a weekend hanging around here...
Play cards. Grill out. Yard sale. It's about the simple things in life, really.

I don't know if anybody cares, but the diabetes update would be it's been a really good week. My blood sugar levels have been consistently good and I actually had to eat a cookie this morning because my blood sugar was slightly low. Not that low is a good thing, but it's a change from the high-causing headaches. And because it was only slightly low, it was easy to fix.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

No such thing as perfection

Some notorious typos found in the Bible throughout history:
--Blessed are the place-makers (instead of "peacemakers"), Matthew 5:9.
--Thou shalt commit adultery, Exodus 20:14.
--Know ye not that the unrighteous shall (omitted "not") inherit the kingdom of God, 1 Corinthians 6:9.
--Printers (instead of "Princes") have persecuted me without a cause, Psalm 119:161.
--Go and sin on (instead of "no") more, John 8:11.
--The fool hath said in his heart there is a (instead of "no") God, Psalm 14:1.
--Let the children first be killed (instead of "filled"), Mark 7:27.
--These are murderers (instead of "murmurers"), complainers, Jude 16.
--The murderer shall surely be put together (instead of "to death"), Numbers 25:18.
--He hath ears to ear (instead of "hear"), let him hear, Matthew 11:15.
--I will ... that women adorn themselves in modern (instead of "modest") apparel, 1 Timothy 2:9.
Source: Unknown, but list is commonly circulated among Bible collectors.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Update

I apologized to Brian at work for flippin' out when he mentioned insulin shock. He doesn't know me very well, as most people at work, so he had no idea I feel challenged by diabetes sometimes. When I talked to him a few minutes ago, he told me he thought I was upset at him, and I hate that because it had nothing to do with him and everything to do with a mystery that consumes me sometimes. He asked if he could go ahead and tell me the story he was going to tell me...

His stepdad's blood sugar dropped to 20 last night. He passed out. That's scary stuff, but it's comforting to know it has more to do with him not properly managing the diabetes than just a random scare. That's the thing about the so-called horror stories some people tell me -- usually it's a matter of not making good decisions. Usually.

I've been listening to Glen Phillips...
It's relaxing.

The water's getting deeper and I can't feel my feet
I keep on bailing buckets but it flows right back to me
And everything is put away, the children are asleep
but the water's getting deeper
and I can't feel my feet

How am I gonna make time
This is gonna take time

Everything looks different, colors all seem strange
Light comes down in shafts here underneath the waves...

I am provider, but providence has been swayed
And by design nothing is ever the same
I thought that time had only one way to go
I learned how to swim, but not to breathe underwater...

-It Takes Time

Monday, May 17, 2004

One time...

Here's a deep question to ponder:
Your hand has been replaced by a rubber stamp. What does it say?

Mine would say: One time...
(Then I'd proceed with a random story because I'm good with on-demand stories whether the person with whom I'm conversing cares or not.)

I'm going on a cruise from June 3-15, in case anybody (among that mass of faithful readers, and all) has missed that. I've been asked a couple of times where we're going and I can never remember to specifics. Here are the destinations: Athens, Delphi, Thessalonica, Mykonos, Ephesus, Patmos, Rhodes, Crete, Santorini, Corinth, Rome and Vatican City. Istanbul (not Constantinople) was on the list until the cruise company decided that might be a little risky given the current state of international affairs. Trust me, there will be plenty more to tell because I plan on keeping a travel journal.

The fact I came home from work a bit past 4 and almost immediately put on a tank top and pajama pants tells you my big plans for the evening. They don't involve leaving the house, for sure. I've decided from 5 to 6 p.m. is the worst hour of TV. Anyway, The Inferno and CSI:Miami come on tonight. Until then, I may clean up a little. Speaking of cleaning up, I was walking around the house this afternoon thinking about how some days I wish we had tons of money so we could do lots of little projects to this house. Then I remember that I don't really like those kind of things and that we don't have lots of money. Then I am thankful living in a perfect is house is one of the few things I'm not high-maintenance about. That's not to say I like a messy house; Greg knows that's far from the truth. I like cleanliness and organizations, but I can deal with other imperfections. This summer I would like to paint the attic, which is a nasty shade of pale green now, complete with a light pink bathroom. (And I mean bathroom, as in the sink, walls and floor. At least the toilet and tub are white.) I think we could afford that, as well as tearing up the carpet in the bathroom (Who puts carpet in the bathroom?) and putting some tile or something down. That's a short list, if I would just take the time to initiate.

I've been thinking lately when I am pregnant (emphasis: WHEN), I don't want to find out the baby's sex. Yes, that's coming from the perfectionist planner who thrives on details and developing expectations. I almost think it would be good for me not to know. But, then again, it would be hard. How fun would it be, though, to be surprised. People ask, how would you decorate and buy clothes and such. Well, I've always wanted my baby's room to be in bright, primary colors, so that works for either a boy or girl. And I suppose my child would begin its life with a bunch of yellow clothes. And names? We'd just have to choose a boy's name and a girl's name, which should be too hard because I already have my girl named Catherine Anna, to be called Cate. The boy's is harder for us to agree on. I like Jacob and Isaac, especially Isaac because it means "laughter." But I have awhile, thankfully, on this subject. There are just several babies around me, so it's been on the brain a little more than usual.

I like blogging because it's my world on here. I can ramble and babble, repeat myself, whine, be silly, and none of it matters because it's my blog. Others are invited in, even to comment on the randomness now that I figured that out, but how long they stay and how often they return is totally up to them. In the meantime, I'll entertain myself.

Here I am again...

...at work on a Monday morning but wishin' I wasn't. Work is alright, and most days I even like my job. But I worked 47 hours last week, including more than 12 on Friday and just a bit on Saturday. Then Greg and I went to Louisville on Saturday afternoon. My aunt Kim from New Jersey was in town for the weekend, so it was fun to see her. She's my mom's sister and they two are quite funny together. The older I get, the more I act like them. Mom cooked dinner for everyone -- Poppy, Kim, Greg and I, Cassie and Zac, Kevin and Laine -- Saturday night. And Milla entertained us. She's the most beautiful girl, and such a well-behaved baby. Saturday we did some shopping (I got a few things for my upcoming vacation...) and then ate dinner at Buckhead. Yummy. We also got some Krispy Kremes. I hadn't had a doughnut since January. And while I shouldn't eat them all of the time, it's nice and tasty every now and then.

I think I might become addicted to Law and Order. Speaking of shows that are on every night of the week, tonight CSI: Miami goes to New York to introduce that new group. I might have to abandon Horatio and the others if the New York CSI is better. As much as I love TV, I don't need to be so addicted to it. That's part of my personality, though. Like that makes it OK.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Highs and lows

I've been complaining lately about high blood sugar levels. They haven't been anything even close to how high they were when I was admitted to the hospital in January, but they've often risen too high for my liking given me plenty of headaches. Anyway, this morning I woke up early with the intention to exercise (ride the exercise bike). I decided I should check my blood sugar first, knowing exercise directly impacts those numbers. I was low. Yes, that's the complete opposite of the previous problem. Until this morning, I have only experienced a low when I didn't eat enough carbohydrates when I took my fast-acting insulin at a meal. Never random like this. Alright, so I corrected it. I went on with my morning and then about three hours after I ate breakfast I was feeling a little shaky again. I check my blood sugar, and again it was low. Random. So I ate some cheese and crackers. A couple hours later before lunch, it was risen to higher than what I'd like...
If it's not one problem, it seems to be another. I guess that's part of the mystery. But it's hard to manage when I can't figure out why the sudden lows and then why it rises in the afternoon. Yesterday I was really motivated to start exercising, more for the long-term benefit, but days like today scare me from introducing a new variable.

I met with the hospital CEO today. Just an off-the-record sort of meet-and-greet because he's fairly new to the community and I'm new to the hospital beat for work. We just talked about some of the current drama and fiscal situation at the hospital. He asked me what I thought about some things and actually seemed to listen to my perspective, as an outsider. Apparently he didn't think the last reporter who covered the hospital board and other related affairs was getting the important stories out. And from the little I know first hand, she wasn't. The hospital is important in any community, but it is even more so in a community like Murray, where lots of the same people are involved in different things and the community takes a pride and ownership in its organizations. I just wanted to meet with him when neither of us had a specific agenda -- for me that would be a list of questions to which I'm seeking answers and for him that could be a variety of PRish moves. He seemed opened and honest and said things I'm certain he wouldn't want published in the newspapers. Community journalism is a funny thing in that I've worked here not-quite nine months and I have people who trust me. Another guy involved with the hospital board (among other things, including the local Republican Party) called me trustworthy and professional. That's totally a compliment, and that's what I like about working here. The newspapers office itself is bearable, but I like the community and the people I get to work with. And I like that I've built relationships to the point that when the hospital wasn't happy with its relationship with the newspaper, its leaders sought me out.

So, I voted for Rupert to win the audience-choice reward of a $1 million on Survivor. My first instinct was to go ahead with Boston Rob. He ruled that game. But I decided he's marrying the original $1 million winner. Plus Rupert played the game well both this time and his original show, which actually meant he played back-to-back seasons. He's a good guy and it's probably fair to give someone else a crack at the prize. We'll see tonight, but I think Rupert has it wrapped up. As much as I liked this season, I sure hope they don't do this audience-pick-'em after the game's tribal council and reward two winners. It's nice for this one because it was so emotion- and drama-packed, but I hope CBS goes back to the original one-time reward with the next season. This twist of the game is a bit too American Idol-ish.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

change is good

Change is suppose to be good for me. Makes me stronger and more adaptable. And freaks me out along the way. Still, I'm learning to accept new things and realize sometimes good things only get better.

This new blog appearance is a good start. I even set it up so my faithful readers, whomever they may be, can comment on my randomness. I also added titles to the blog entries. They remind me of subject lines of an email, which I used to be really good at creating. But, then again, they are sort of like headlines to a news article, which I'm not so good at creating.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

I got to see KatieKerns yesterday. A few minutes more than an hour is not enough time to catch up with one of my favorite people in the world. Catch up might not be the right words. We email and talk on the phone, but this was the first time I've seen her since September. She and I grew up living next door to each other, and used to know exactly how many steps it was from her house to mine. We spent a lot of time wishing we'd grow up, so we could drive instead of ride our bikes. Her quiet house was an escape from my family's hectic household. We liked to go to Dairy Queen in the convertible. She's the reason I like country music and have tendencies to like to shop. Her parents moved from Mockingbird Valley subdivision to Pennslyvania after Katie graduated from high school, when I was already at Murray State. It made seeing her more difficult, but she went to college at UK, so at least were in the same state. We didn't do a good job of keeping in touch in college, but whenever we talked it was like we were sitting on one of our front porches in the neighborhood again, probably drinking Dr Pepper and eating Circus Peanuts or Hometown Pizza. She was in my wedding, I was in hers. The best was last year when Greg and I lived in Lexington, she and Brad did too. They live in Boston now, but I'm working my persuasive powers to talk them into moving to Nashville, where Brad is considering going to school. Plus, they are both into music, and there are so many musical opportunities there. And they'd be closer to me. But not just me. They'd be closer to his family in Tennessee and her family in Owensboro and Lexington. I mean, anything is closer compared to Boston. She brought me a sea shell from Boston, from some unknown cape, on a pretty pink ribbon for my birthday. Katie and I used to talk about how much we hated pink, but we both have since come to terms with loving it. She wrote me a sweet birthday card that made me want to cry. But that's OK because when I hugged her yesterday at Applebee's, she got teary-eyed. I used to have this idealistic thought that my friends today would be the friends for the rest of my life. Cara, Kelly and I used to talk about being fake aunts to each other kids and all going on parent vacations... I love Cara and Kelly for their influence in my life, but I don't know about being friends forever in the childish sense of the phrase. It may be months between telephone conversations with Katie and I, but I know we have a bond that goes beyond anything, even Boston or diabetes, as she put it in a recent email.

Monday, May 10, 2004

All weekend I've been making mental notes about what I wanted to write about on here...

First, I spent several hours Friday night at a party thing for John, Greg's youngest brother. He graduated Saturday from Murray State. Greg's family is incredibly sentimental, which is the complete opposite from my family. Anyway, they make events a lot of people take for granted special. Sweet, yeah, I suppose. But sometimes I just feel out of place because it's so foreign to anything my family ever does. During the get together Friday night I thought about how I'm really in the middle. I'm not either of our families' extremes, and that's probably why I can get along with both sides. Plus, I'm a people-pleaser and perfectionist, so I try to hard to keep the people I love happy. Peggy put together a video chronically John's life, but that of course included video of Greg. They were the cutest boys. It's fun to look back on the part of his life I don't know first hand. I also reminds me that Greg's heart is deeply rooted in solid values and he's going to make a fabulous father -- one day.

Saturday was a busy day. We watched John graduate then went to lunch with Greg's family. Greg's Little League team played back-to-back games in the afternoon. I watched the first one but opted out of the second because I was sunburned and frustrated with high blood sugar levels. I covered a fund-raiser for Ken Winters' senate campaign Saturday night. That's alright, though, because some of my favorite Republicans were there.

More Taylor family time on Sunday. After church, we met his family at Ryan's, maybe the worst restaurant in Murray, for a Mother's Day lunch. There were 18 of us there, counting baby Elijah, and I'm sure the loud voices annoyed those smaller parties sitting in the same room. But we had a good time. I had my moments of productivity with laundry, dishes and grocery shopping. We also went to see "Laws of Attraction." It was cute. Divorce lawyers falling love has a bit of irony to it.

I also wanted to write -- solely for therapeutic purposes -- about my perfectionist personality and how that is a blessing and a curse with having diabetes. But that's not news to anyone. The mystery is why I can't let go of some of my anal retentiveness and realize I don't have complete control over my body. I can be disciplined, thanks perfectionism, with this disease, but there are still going to be so-called bad days. I freaked out, yes, again, Sunday morning. I used to think being in a dark forest by myself was the scariest situation, but this far surpasses that. I was babbling about the possibility -- I should emphasize POSSIBILITY -- of having health problems when I'm older because my body is more vulnerable with diabetes and Greg put it all into perspective for me. He said he was more worried about me driving myself crazy by the time I was 35 than having heart or kidney problems when I'm 70. He's right, I let it dictate my mood way too much. I need to relax and have faith that I will learn and change and be a stronger person because of this.

Alright, I'll keep my Survivor comments to a minimum...
Rob didn't technically get the million dollars, but he has the girl who did. I'm glad they weren't totally playing each other as they played the game. Their flirting and alliance was strategy in the beginning, but in the end he proposed on national television while she wore a shirt proclaiming her love for him. Ah, how sweet. It's a game, totally, but people's emotions do become involved, and that's why the show, particularly this season, was so appealing to me.

Friday, May 7, 2004

Words about words from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Be a little careful about your library. Do you foresee what you will do with it? Very little to be sure. But the real question is, What it will do with you? You will come here and get books that will open your eyes, and your ears, and your curiosity, and turn you inside out or outside in.

Use what language you will, you can never say anything but what you are.

In conversation, the game is to say something new with old words.
The Survivor contestants are so-called all-stars but they are letting Boston Rob run the game. That cracks me up and, just for that, I hope Boston Rob takes home $1 million. Factor in the girl. Amber and Rob have something going on. The question is, how authentic is it? Is he playing her as a way to win the game? Is her strategy to play Rob as she plays the game? I think there's more chance she's fooling him, but I still think there's really some romantic interest. Either way, their "relationship" will play into the outcome of the game. If they are the final two, she's got the game won.

Poor Big Tom. He didn't see that one coming, and neither did i. I don't know why these all-star players didn't try to break up the alliances that are as plain as day. Jenna and Rupert have an alliance and Rob and Amber have ... whatever it is they have. Big Tom seemed to be with Rob and Amber for some unknown reason, but really they all just stabbed him in the back. Good thing it's just a game, and that's how Tom apparently sees it.

Rob and Amber both won cars last night and had a "date" at the drive-in movie set up. Ahh, how sweet. I didn't know if it was smart strategy on Rob's part to take Amber on his reward challenge reward (is that redundant?), but the move didn't seem to hurt him last night. She was even wearing his dirty, sweaty Boston Red Sox hat in the episode. That must be love.

I read about a class at some college (vague, I know, especially for someone who thrives on details...) that studies organizational management and relationships by watching Survivor every Thursday night. Fabulous. I took several organizational communication classes and we didn't get to watch Survivor. Although we did get to watch "When Harry Met Sally..." in one of my classes and then wrote papers about interpersonal communication and gender difference in verbal and non-verbal communication. I'm such a nerd.

My random diabetes note of the day: Thank God for a normal blood sugar level this morning, unlike the rest of the week because of some unknown overnight factor that causes high numbers. Now if it will only stay that way through the rest of the day, I'd be a happy camper.

Thursday, May 6, 2004

I've read several articles about "Friends" ending...
Don't ask why I read several; they are all basically the same. But Herald-Leader pop culture writer Heather Svokos spoke a little more to me about it all, and maybe that's because I think she's a neat lady. We bonded some when I worked there. Anyway, she wrote:

When we form true friendships, we typically settle in, revel in the moments that bring joy. We usually don't spend much time dwelling on the reality that, one day, things are bound to change for good.

Maybe someone gets married.

Someone has a baby.

Someone moves to the 'burbs.

That's what makes tonight so sad. A perfectly good fantasy gets busted up by a dang-blasted reflection of reality.


"Friends" is one of those shows, like Seinfeld, that is fabulous on rerun but I never watched much of during its primetime slot. Still, I'm going to record tonight's finale while I'm watching my favorite shows on CBS. It is nice to know even the six Friends have to move on like the rest of us, however much it does sometimes suck.

Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Alright, so I feel better about life.

But first I must say that it took another bout with frustration to reach this calming point. I tried to two days to get some lab results faxed to me so I could take them with me to my doctor's appointment this afternoon. Couldn't get them. Couldn't get them. Got them. A few hours before my appointment. The nurse lady, though, tells me my cholesterol is high. Too high. I really should take some medicine for that, she says the endocrinologist recommends. Hold on, let me talk to my primary doctor first. Plus, I gave more blood this morning at the different lab, and was fasting like I was suppose to, so let's see what those numbers say...

In the meantime, I stay at work, finishing up some things. But am pretty preoccupied with the fact I could have heart disease later in life. Yeah, jumping to hypothetical conclusions, I know. But, still, I try so hard not to think about long-term complications that I am automatically at a higher risk for just because I have diabetes. Heart disease, kidney problems, eye problems, feet problems...Problems, problems, problems, as if diabetes isn't problem enough. Anyway, the whole principle is if I keep my blood sugar levels regulated in the "normal" range, I will be at less risk for such things...

Dr. Mangold says my cholesterol is slightly high. But I've known I've had diabetes (It's all connected, you know?), so let's give it a few more months and see if it isn't better then. THEN maybe I'll need some medicine. I'm not necessarily opposed to taking medicine. BUT I also know tons of things have changed in my body and I really need to be patient and let some things get settled before I add other variables.

I didn't think the doctor's appointment was going to do much for me today, but it really helped give me some peace that I understand diabetes. Well, not totally understand it because it's a mystery, but understand enough to feel like I have some control over it rather than it totally monopolizing my life. Um, I still wish it wasn't me dealing with this, but I do believe everything happens for a reason and will work out for the better in the end. That's the hope I hold in my pocket. And thanks goes to Greg and Michael who have listened to me be scared and frustrated multiple times the last two days.

I love "Love Actually."
It's hilarious and cleverly weaves several plots together for a broader point. Hugh Grant is adorable, but all the characters are developed so well, even if they are quirky. To me, it's about love -- Love is actually all around -- and all the shapes and sizes it takes on for different people. There's committed love. There's friendship love. There's passionate love and intense lust. There's romantic love and helping love. Sometimes you mourn losing love. Sometimes you rejoice in falling in love. New love. Old love. Fresh love that makes you squirm. Routine love that keeps you balanced. It's amazing, really, how relationships are more complicated than they appear on the surface. Relationships go through phases and with those come different types of love for the same person. Relationships are hard sometimes, but in the end love wins. Other times love makes relationships seems easy. There's a lot of juxtaposition in love.

"Love Actually" takes all of this, at least to me, and makes it funny. There's a couple moments in the movie that make my heart cringe. But most of the two hours I spent laughing. Good thing I have this movie on DVD because there are some quotable moments I haven't gotten down yet.

Tuesday, May 4, 2004

Doctors, hospitals and health insurance are frustrating. It's annoying when I try to call my doctor in Louisville to get her office to fax results from blood work to my doctor in Murray and I can't even get a hold of a person. Silly automatic answering. Then I get a real, live person but she says the person I need to talk to isn't in, but she will get right back with me. Right. That was four hours ago. So, putting a long, uninteresting story aside, I have to go get blood work again this afternoon before my doctor's appointment tomorrow, even though I had the same tests done a week and a half ago in Louisville. And I'm sure I'll have to pay part of whatever it costs for the two minutes I'll be in there. And, really, how pleasant is it when blood is drawn? Who cares that they always say I have "good" veins from which to draw blood. Good for them, I suppose. Not so good for me, unless it makes it a little more comfortable. I was going to go to the hospital after I ate my lunch, but then I looked at the blood work request thing from Dr. Mangold and it said I needed to do with when my blood sugar levels were at "fasting," meaning not right after I ate. So, I'm going to try to go there before my meeting this afternoon.

I also would really like it if someone would explain to me why I have a near-perfect week of blood sugar levels last week and then wake up yesterday and today with high numbers. And I have strange feeling my doctor isn't going to be able to tell me tomorrow. I'm as disciplined as I know how to be about this, yet there are so many unknowns and I continue to have headaches every day. So much remains a mystery to me, and that alone is frustrating. But I go back to the Bebo Norman song I love:

...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...


Alright, moving on to more pleasant topics...
I ate lunch at the park this afternoon. I ran by Quizno's and picked up a sandwich and then went to the park. I spread out my fuzzy UK blanket and enjoyed the lovely weather and my tasty (or toasty) sandwich. I read some of my book, too. Usually I hate to eat lunch by myself, but with those circumstances, I loved every minute of the peace and quiet. Maybe I'll do that more this summer. It calms me. (Yeah, I know it didn't sound like in the previous paragraphs, where I was whining about medical things.)

Monday, May 3, 2004

An update is due...
Although I don't know if this is the best time because our computer at home is making a funny humming sound. I sure hope it doesn't explode. My computer at work used to make a similar sound when it was "thinking," so I probably shouldn't worry because it never exploded or anything. Greg thinks we need -- is need really the right word? -- a new computer. I can think of better things to do with our money. We'll see.

So, the weekend was great. First, it's May, and that's just fabulous on its own. Although I haven't seen many May flowers; it's been more about April showers. And it's not even April anymore.

Friday night we played Rook with Greg's parents. I wish we had more friends who played cards, actually.

Saturday we left about 8 a.m. for St. Louis. It was cloudy and overcast in Murray. It was rainy and cloudy on the way to St. Louis. And it was rainy in St. Louis. Lovely day, weather wise, for the beginning of May. (I'm not really obsessed with months and weather, although I'm aware by reading my blog lately that wouldn't appear to be the case...) We went to eat at the Old Spaghetti Factory. I think the last time I ate there was in Louisville in January 2002 a few hours after Greg proposed. (There goes my random stories...) Anyway, it was closed when we got there. Who knew it didn't open until 3 on Saturday. So we went to Landry's Seafood at Union Station...and it was fabulous. Jaclyn had recommended it before, but she loves the steak. I had grilled salmon...yummy. It was nice, too, because we don't usually eat at places that expensive. It was for my birthday, or at least that was a good excuse. Then we did some shopping at Union Station. We each bought a long-sleeved T-shirt because the rain apparently wasn't going away and we were going to a baseball game later. Anyway, then we acted like tourists and went up to the top of the arch. Greg also toured the museum there. I did briefly, but I really spent more time reading some books in the store. I bought my mom a Lewis and Clark book with gorgeous pictures from places on their westward journey,some journal excerpts and history about them and a double deck of cards with pictures of the arch and its construction. Random? I know. She likes American history a lot (That's what being a fifth-grade teacher will do to you.) and plays bridge twice a month with friends. So random becomes appropriate. Apparently Greg Maddux went up in the arch a couple of hours before us, at least that's what the ticket man said. I get a little star struck with celebrities.

Then it was off to the baseball game. It was in the high 40s or so when the game started and dropped as the innings went on. I was wearing a T-shirt, a long-sleeved T-shirt, a sweater jacket thing and a rain jacket. Oh, but I had on jeans, unlike my husband who was wearing shorts. (The lesson: Listen to your wife when she says it's suppose to rain and be colder, even if she didn't know exactly what colder meant.) It was OK, but I got cold, also because I was damp from walking around in the drizzle a few times during the day. Our seats, ironically thankfully, were in the third to last row. We were sitting near LOTS of Cubs fans, but we were dry. The Cubs won 4-2, but at least the Cardinals won two of the four games this weekend. (Side note: On Friday night, the Cubs bullpen shot themselves in the foot -- or arm in this case -- and walked four straight batters in the bottom of the ninth of a tied game. Yes, the winning run was walked in for St. Louis. A win is a win.)

So, if you recall from a recent entry, I want to write a book about baseball stadium. Not so much about baseball, but moreso about the people who make stadiums have the culture they have. So, after sitting in a slightly rain-delayed game in cold weather at Busch Stadium Saturday night, this is who and what I'd want to write about there: the 18 people who work on the field, especially about rolling and unrolling the tarp in nasty weather so these over-paid athletes have a nice field on which to play; the person who manually changes the scoreboard with not only that game's numbers but also those for other MLB games going on; and the ball boys, especially in this case the one who slipped on the wet field when he tried to pick up a foul ball to throw to a fan.

Moving on from baseball and St. Louis...
Sunday we celebrated my birthday. My mom, Cassie and Zac came to Murray to go to Greg's parents' house with us for lunch. Our families are night-and-day different, so it's always slightly awkward when my mom is hanging out with them. I say always, but we've only all gotten together a few times. And when I saw all, I usually mean my mom and I with Greg's family. It seems to get more comfortable each time, and I just keep in mind how intimidating and obnoxious I thought Greg's dad was at first. Now, I'm totally fine with him and understand him tons better. His mom and I clicked fairly quickly because we're a lot alike. (I just hope when we have kids we have at least a girl among a couple boys so I don't raise only boys like she did.) Greg's mom made a fabulous lunch and bought me a low-carb cheesecake from Dumplin's. (It's yummy, really? Ask my friends who were lucky enough to share it.) We were also sort of celebrating Greg's birthday because we were in Louisville for his last week. It's sort of fun to have birthdays 10 days apart.

I got some pretty great presents. My mom got me some clothes -- two skirts and a cute shirt -- and a handy travel bag (conveniently for my cruise, which I leave for a month from today...) and my dad and grandpa gave me money. I got some gift certificates to the scrapbooking store, Vintage Rose, Cracker Barrel and Pier 1. I got a dictionary, shower radio, "Love Actually" on DVD and a fabulous-smelling cucumber and canteloupe candle. I got some funny cards -- one about a frog, one with a lengthy lawyer disclaimer and one about a fake ID -- and a dumb card, but that deserves no futher comment. I also got some other cards and notes, including one from my birthday twin Katie Mitchell. The thing is I really like to do things for other people's birthday, mainly because it's a good excuse to buy presents and cards. So it's sweet when people think about me.

I've been thinking about this whole used-to-be-a-morning-person things. I'm totally a morning person now. I don't dread going to work at 7 a.m. and don't cringe when my alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m. Of course, that means I'm ready for bed by 9 p.m. It's quite a transformation considering my prime sleeping hours used to from 1 a.m. to 9 or 10 a.m. Oh, well, I guess that's life. But, with my birthday, I've been thinking I was destined to be a morning person. I was born at 4 or 4:30 a.m. That's early, just ask my mom. Maybe it just took me almost 25 years (or, as Greg says, a quarter century) to get there.

Alright, enough about my birthday. Although, it's funny because as much as I hate to be the center of attention in groups, I love my birthday. Still, I don't like it so much when people sing "Happy Birthday," although I appreciated the couple of emails I got today featuring my friends singing, um, typing, the song to me. Oh, one more birthday story: We were going to go to Tom's Grille at lunch. Greg picked me up from work to be sweet and then we went there. But it was closed. That's twice in three days we chose a restaurant we don't usually eat at that wasn't opened during normal eating hours. So much for going outside the box. Although, we ate Mexican at Los Portales, where I haven't been in awhile.

A fellow reporter at work told me today she's quitting in two weeks, well, two weeks from last Friday. It's interesting because I recently took over one of her beats, the hospital board. I didn't really mind because I'm a nerd and like meetings to an extent. I also think meetings are one of the easier things to cover because I just go there and the information is presented to me. Usually, if I have an follow-up questions, the right people are there to talk to following the meeting. Anyway, now that's she's leaving May 14, I wonder if I'll get a lot of her other crap to do. She does more page layout and the rest of us news reporters (that would be me and another guy). That's far from my favorite thing to do at a newspaper, so I'm hoping that doesn't fall on me, but I'm expecting some of it to. We'll see. I sure wish I knew someone who wanted a reporter job in Murray.

Thank God the computer hasn't blown up yet.