Thursday, September 30, 2004

slightly simple science

Stem-cell research is not a simple subject, but I read a fairly simple explanation:

Human embryonic stem cells, derived from five-day-old embryos, have the biological potential to morph into virtually all of the 200 or so kinds of cells in the body. Researchers are racing to learn how to direct them to develop into specific types of cells that can be transplanted into failing organs. It is an approach that could launch a new era of regenerative medicine -- but only if the cells prove capable of integrating into existing organs and functioning normally there.

-from The Washington Post story republished on the American Diabetes Association site

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

You know you're from Louisville when...

Your "international" airport has only one passenger flight that actually leaves the 48 contiguous U.S. states.

The in-state sports rivalry is paid more attention to than the national championship.

You live in an area that occasionally gets considerable snowfalls, floods, and tornadoes, but has no capacity to deal with any of the above.

You pronounce the name of your city different than anyone else you've heard.

You think the rest of the people in Kentucky sound like hicks.

When you think "Kentucky" you don't automatically think horse racing or fried chicken.

You ask your doctor for an allergy cure and he tells you to move to another state.

You've shovelled 10+ inches of snow and worn shorts in the same week.

When people ask what school you went to, they don't mean Vanderbilt, Yale, or Harvard; they mean Ballard, Male, Manual, Trinity or St. X.

You know what the Bambi Walk is.

Your last ten vacations were in Panama City or Destin.

You make an emergency run to Kroger for bread and milk at the first sighting of a snowflake.

You've lived here for years, yet somehow you get hopelessly lost each time you attempt a shortcut through Cherokee Park.

You're convinced turn signals are useless options on a vehicle.

You hold up traffic to let a motorist you don't know into your lane.

You give directions based on landmarks that no longer exist or street names that have changed, but your directions never confuse any of the other Louisvillians.

You have never been to the Derby, but wouldn't miss the Oaks.

You call in sick to attend the Oaks and spot your boss - who also called in sick - at the next betting window.

You think all the REAL hicks live in New Albany.

You think the only thing Southern Indiana is good for is buying pumpkins.

When introduced to another life-long Louisvillian, you spend the first part of the conversation finding out how you are connected. It's never as many as six degrees of separation - usually three will do it.

You think a pervert is someone who would rather have sex than watch basketball.

You can read about Rick Pitino in at least three different sections of your newspaper.

You think the rest of the world knows what Benedictine spread is.

You think the rest of the world knows what a Hot Brown is.

You have never eaten fish that wasn't fried.

You think the whole world puts spaghetti in chili.

You want another bridge built over the Ohio River, just so long as it doesn't cut through YOUR neighborhood.

You've experienced a "salt storm" after a two-inch snowfall.

My only question is: What's the Bambi Walk? No, I'm not actually from LOUISVILLE, but OLDHAM COUNTY is totally a suburb of the city. And I spent a lot of time in Louisville and understand every one of these except that reference to the Bambi Walk. Surely someone can tell me. Ryan, maybe?

surprise, surprise

Nothing like direct deposit and the money being in the account two days before you expect it to be.

refreshing

Last week the hospital and Murray State kept me busy. This week it has been court news. It's funny how that works. But that's what keeps me interested.

In the process of moving things around as we finish the attic, I was reading some of my high school yearbooks. It's interesting to see what people said then and wonder if they meant it. I read somethings and realized what they said was true, even if I didn't realize it then. I read other things and realized they were by-the-book yearbook messages. I think I've changed a lot since then, but then again I don't think I have. Deep down it all comes back to this small core of who I am, even though people and places change. With that said, I've been feeling a little stagnant in my life, meaning I've gotten a little too comfortable in a routine. I kind of lost my desire to grow and learn. But somehow it all came back to me. I think this weekend I found that feeling again. I'm not sure where. And I'm not sure why. But that's OK.

So since then I've had some really peaceful days. I mean certain people at work still frustrate me. I still wish I could go to Louisville and visit Milla sometime soon. I still wish I had a better relationship with Greg's dad. I still wish and want a lot of things. But I have this peace in my heart that I haven't had in a long time, and it feels nice. Refreshing, really.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

funny

Four Major League Baseball fans went rock climbing: a Yankee fan, a Red Sox fan, a Cubs fan, and a Cardinal fan. They had been arguing all the way up the mountain about who amongst them loved their team more and was the most "diehard" fan.

The argument grew hotter and hotter and the four fans grew more and more agitated. Such was the emotion that upon reaching the top of the mountain, the Yankee fan proclaimed loudly and earnestly to the other three, "This is for the New York Yankees!" and without a moments hesitation threw himself off the mountain. The supreme sacrifice!

Not to be outdone by a Yankee fan, the Red Sox fan jumped up and cried out, "This is for the Boston Red Sox!" and quickly threw himself off the mountain, also willing to sacrifice himself to prove his devotion to his team.

Refusing to be outdone by the Yankee and Red Sox fans, the Cardinal fan rose to his feet, summoned up every ounce of his courage, and yelled at the top of his lungs, "This is for the St. Louis Cardinals!" and without a moment's hesitation, shoved the Cubs fan off the mountain.

GO CARDS!

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Riley and Reilly

If I ever write a book, I really hope Rochelle Riley will write the introduction. She's amazing, really. Here's here column from today.

For the record, I love reading Rick Reilly, too. If you didn't read his column about Barry Bonds in last week's Sports Illustrated, you're missing out. It was hilarious.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

the epitome of busyness

Let me recap my last two days for you. All times are approximate and actions abbreviated.

TUESDAY
6:45 a.m.: Start designing pages. Eat a bagel and drink some orange juice. Begin answering random questions for people because I'm supposed to be "in charge" in Eric's absence.

9:30 a.m.: Finish laying out pages. Send them to print.

10:30 a.m.: Finished with Tuesday's paper. Update Web site. Start story about basketball playing entering plea for marijuana charge.

11:45 a.m.: Meet Greg at Arby's.

12:30 p.m.: Start thinking about Wednesday's paper. Lay out editorial page. Look at all of the pages I'll be responsible for tomorrow.

2 p.m.: Talk to defense attorney. Work more on marijuana story.

2:30 p.m.: Go back to getting head start on pages.

2:40 p.m.: So much for head start. Receive fax from state police, saying Murray State employee was arrested for DUI and theft of seven lap tops from campus. Start working on that story.

3 p.m.: Pages.

3:30 p.m.: Story. Fax jail to get mug shot of employee.

4 p.m.: Pages.

4:40 p.m.: Off to meeting at city hall, where the planning commission will discuss its proposed sign ordinance with city council, business owners, and whoever.

5 p.m.: Eat peanut butter and crackers as meeting starts. Chat with city council members.

6:45 p.m.: Meeting ends. Electronic reader boards were the hot topic. Off to public forum about state employees' health insurance at school district's central office. Teachers are fired up.

7 p.m.: That meeting starts.

8:15 p.m.: Meeting over. Chat with an attorney for a few minutes.

8:30 p.m.: Jaclyn came from the meeting to my house with me. Talk to mom on my cell phone.

8:45 p.m.: Jaclyn leaves. I rest for two minutes on the couch. That's not even long enough for a power nap.

8:55 p.m.: Publisher calls. Drama. Demoted MSU athletics director's good friend who happens to be the state's finance cabinet secretary comments to The Paducah Sun about demotion. MSU president releases statement about the personnel issue not being political. Drama turns into more drama. I'm suppose to "get on that" in the morning.

9:25 p.m.: Start teacher's forum story.

10:15 p.m.: Realize I may get to watch David Letterman. That's something new, at least something I haven't done in a long time.

10:35 p.m.: Turn to CBS. Start sign ordinance story.

11:30 p.m.: Finish story. Go to bed. David Letterman was sort of a let down because Dr. Phil isn't my hero.

11:55 p.m.: I think that's the last time I looked at the clock.

WEDNESDAY

5:30 a.m.: Alarm sounds.

6:05 a.m.: Unlock door at work. Read The Paducah Sun story about MSU athletics drama.

6:15 a.m.: Eat cereal bar, drink milk, drink orange juice. Turn on lap top to email my late-night stories to myself.

7 a.m.: Start trying to call people for MSU story. Leave messages, which were returned later in the morning.

Pages. Story. Pages. Phone call. Pages. Story. Story. Phone call. Pages. My blood sugar drops. Pages. Phone call. Story.

9:50 a.m.: Still pages. Get Kris to help with pages.

11 a.m.: Paper done.

11:20 a.m.: Off to hospital board meeting. At least they serve lunch, including steamed broccoli.

12:07 p.m.: Meeting starts.

1:30 p.m.: Executive session. I'd leave and call later, but CEO announced he fired CFO and CFO said he'd comment publicly after executive session. But CFO would not talk to the press so that would be the only comment I'd get.

2:15 p.m.: Open session again. CEO decides to update board (and me) on the pharmacy drama. Employee confessed to stealing $25,000 in July. She was fired. Hospital audits pharmacy. More money, maybe narcotics missing. CEO trying to decide what to do with pharmacy operations.

2:55 p.m.: Get back to work. Breathe.

3:03 p.m.: Stories. Three from hospital meeting. Follow up on MSU employee because MSU president told me employee was drinking on the job.

4:15 p.m.: Off to board of zoning adjustments meeting at city hall. Planning

4:30 p.m.: Meeting should start, but power goes off. Lots of jokes. "Mayor, did you pay the bill?"

4:48 p.m.: Meeting starts in fading daylight with generator powering the PowerPoint presentation.

Sometime power comes back on.

5:45 p.m.: Most exciting part of meeting over. I leave because I've been there so long and they only finished one full agenda item. On second. But there are like six more to go. More about signs.

5:55 p.m.: Talk to Michael and Eric. (Thank God Eric is back in town.) Minor workplace drama.

5:57 p.m.: Greg and I go to Backyard Burger. To go.

6:11 p.m.: To Jaclyn's. Eat.

6:30 p.m.: Talk. Play dice game called Farkle.

7 p.m.: I win. More talking.

7:45 p.m.: I leave, with a new Jack Johnson CD in hand. Thanks, Bryan.

7:48 p.m.: Pajamas time. Browse Internet for first time. Send a couple of emails.

But I want to say that even though I feel like my eyes may pop out of my head and I'm having trouble breathing, thanks to changing Kentucky weather, I feel good. I'm worn out. But I looked at today's paper again, and even though it was late getting out, it's full of some pretty good stories. I worked my butt off. I'm anal and task-oriented, though, so as I sit here, I feel good about doing what I've done. I like the reporting part of my job. I like the people I work with in the community. I love writing. I am confident in my news judgment. I can lay out a page, but I'm looking forward to giving that duty back to Eric in the morning. The morning that will again come too early because I have more stories to write.

On an unrelated note, I've been subpoenaed to testify in a juvenile-related hearing next week. Drama. But I guess such things happen in the life of a reporter. Somebody mentioned my work world slowing down. Maybe a little here and there, but I have a murder trial to look forward to covering next week.

And now I'm going to take my place under the T-shirt quilt on the couch just in time for the new CSI.

Monday, September 20, 2004

"How Does It Feel"

I'm not afraid of anything
I just need to know that i can breathe
I don't need much of anything
But suddenly, suddenly

I am small and the world is big
All around me is fast moving
Surrounded by so many things
But suddenly, suddenly

[Chorus]
How does it feel, to be different from me?
Are we the same?
How does it feel, to be different from me?
Are we the same?
How does it feel?

I'm young, and I am free
But I get tired, and I get weak
I get lost, and I can't sleep
But suddenly, suddenly

-Avril Lavigne

a lesson on "its" and "it's"

There's a lot I could say about the debate of rising health care costs for state employees, including teachers. But I'll just start with this:

When Fletcher appeared in western Kentucky last week to speak at a labor-management conference, he also met with teachers to explain why he proposed changes in the state's health insurance.

The 500 teachers and labor leaders who were in the crowd didn't like what he had to say and turned a deaf ear as they shouted louder than he could talk. Teachers holding a banner made what I'm sure was an unintentional point about the crisis in education.

The banner, prepared by the teachers, said "Kentucky! Where Education Pays! Everyone But It's Employees!!" The sign has a serious mistake. As used, "it's" is a contradiction for "it is." So, the banner's message was: "Kentucky! Where Education Pays! Everyone But It Is Teachers!!" The proper pronoun should have been "its." I'm sure a majority of teachers know the difference when they are in the classrooms teaching our children and grandchildren.


-from a column by Bill Bartleman in the Sunday's The Paducah Sun

Sunday, September 19, 2004

sports and seasons

With baseball, soccer and football overlapping and some leaves falling and changing, I'm starting to feel like it's fall. But, then again, I got sunburned today.

We went to Nashville for the Titans game today. Too bad they lost to the Colts. Yesterday we went to St. Louis for the Cardinals game. They clinched the division (thanks to a Cubs loss, among other things) and beat the Diamondbacks 7-0. Edmonds and Walker didn't play, so that was a little disappointing. Greg and I had a good time, though.

I didn't get to go to Cassie's soccer game Friday night (thanks to work), but Austin Peay is 4-2-1. That's their best record ever. Ever in their three seasons of existence. I'm hoping to go to her games Friday and Sunday, but she said they'll be tough games. It'll still be fun.

Last sports-related note:
UK 51, IU 32

Friday, September 17, 2004

Does Kirsten Dunst own a brush?

We went to see "Wimbledon" tonight. I have to admit, I liked the sappy concept that "love" in tennis means nothing, but in life it can mean everything. And for some reason, I like Kirsten Dunst, even though I wonder about her hairstylist. She looked better in this movie than in "Crazy/Beautiful.'

busyness brings back the best

KatieKerns is the best.

I totally understand when you just want one single thing to go the way you want it to, and the more you hope for that moment, it just doesn't arrive. :) I completely believe that sometimes feeling bored at work can accentuate the feelings of non-cuteness or frustration since there's nothing going on to distract you. It's a funny struggle that we girls face...we don't want to be consumed with hair and clothes and just our general appearance by any means, but at the same time I believe we're designed to be lovely creatures and there are just going to be days that we certainly don't feel that way, and it's inevitably going to have an effect on us. --from an e-mail Thursday in respsonse to my day Wednesday, when nothing seemed to be going like I wanted and frustration built upon frustration.

But yesterday sure was better, even with the busyness. I actually think the busyness helped me feel better. Sometimes I just get lost in boredom. Maybe because it's unfamiliar.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

beverages

So, it's a little after 2 p.m., and I just opened the first Coke I've had today. Well, Diet Dr Pepper, really, but here in Kentucky it's all "Coke." For anyone who knows me very well, that's a miniature miracle really. I've been so busy this morning, that I've only had orange juice with breakfast and water with my Mexican lunch. But the Diet Dr Pepper tastes good.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

clarity is faithful

Elizabeth and Michael were right. The told me the same thing independently, on different days, even. One lives here; the other on the West Coast. Sometimes the frustration I speak of is self-created.

After walking, however brief because my blood sugar was low, and sitting at the park I saw this for myself. These moments of clarity crack me up, really. I should have just taken the walk earlier this morning and my whole day probably would have turned out differently.

So, I've challenged myself to make a list of everything good about my life. Feel free, anyone, to remind me of this, seriously, when I start to get down again. I need that brutal accountability sometimes. It might sting for a minute, but it will be worth it.

-I am loved. I have a family who would do anything for me and in-laws who are the same. My husband would do anything for me and loves me more than I think I sometimes comprehend. I have solid friends I can trust with everything I am.
-I have the basic necessities of life: house, water and food.
-I'm healthy and have learned how to maintain that fact.
-I like to laugh.
-I have a job that I am good at and enjoy.
-I'm not afraid to tell people what I think, or maybe more appropriately how I feel, and would do anything for anyone I care about. That's passion. And loyalty.

So I left the self-created drama of late -- It tends to build up, as evident in recent blog entries about frustration, etc., and one or two moments make it spill over my cup, gradually, until I've made a mess of myself. -- at the park. I don't need to pick it back up. And nobody else does either. And if you see me heading that way, please offer me a ride somewhere else. To a peaceful bungalow, maybe.

the sun will still rise tomorrow

Here I go analyzing my life...

One really good friend told me today I don't get defensive and sensitive around people. Meanwhile, I was sort of arguing, not really arguing, but for the lack of a better word, arguing with another really good friend basically because he wasn't reacting like I wanted, or, um, like I expected, him to act. He would tell you I'm too affected by people. I let feelings dictate my mood. So then I went home to eat lunch (peaches and Cheetos because nothing sounded better) with Greg and asked him what he thought, sort of prefacing the conversation with what I thought. I think I let people affect me deep down too much but I'm fairly good and seeming stronger than I am. Apparently only a few people know I can be emotionally weak when people don't meet my expectations, hurt my feelings, or don't understand where I'm coming from. And I can count those people on one hand. I guess that means those people are special because they see the good and bad -- or more so the easy and difficult -- that comes with me, a people-pleasing perfectionist.

So there's a lot of lessons I think I need to learn but will probably spend a lifetime trying to learn. And I think that's rooted in loving people too much and being too concerned with this exact moment, thinking the drama or conflict won't pass until there's a defined conclusion. Like one of these friends told me, the sun is still going to shine tomorrow. At least we know the sun will still rise tomorrow, even if it doesn't shine. Nothing is going to be perfect and sometimes things aren't even going to be good, but they will be. Life will go on, and I'm going to love these people even when they disappoint me or I disappoint myself somewhere in the process.

And here I am emotionally exposing myself to this electronic world known as blogger.

Moving on to a different subject...
I know God is in control of this world, and I have this feeling I'm being prepared for something particular. That's vague I know. But it seems that many conversations I have point toward something I specifically have been thinking about. There's comfort in repetition for me, and I think I'll rest in that for awhile.

I wish I could comprehend science � particularly stem-cell research

This seems to be more of a black-and-white issue than something to compromise on with some shade of gray that may or may not be worth it.

... Supporters of the stem-cell research say it holds the promise of finding treatments and cures for a number of diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. Opponents say the destruction of embryos, a step needed to obtain the stem cells, is akin to abortion and the moral equivalent of murder. ...

Meanwhile, some conservatives sought to restrict stem-cell research beyond the limits President Bush has set. They wanted the party to adopt a position that would encourage new laws to ban all research using stem cells. But some delegates who support restrictions on abortion said they believed that the platform's position on stem-cell research struck an appropriate compromise. ...

-from "The Chronicle of Higher Education" Sept. 10

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Sapps


If you know Dustin, you'll be able to tell that Evan is totally his father's son. The fact he likes to hit letters on the keyboard while Shelley emails me is further proof. Evan is almost 13 months old in this picture, and he's going on 14 months now. Posted by Hello

bone white

I painted for three hours yesterday. I decided I like to paint the trim and doorways and other places the roller doesn't really work for. Greg prefers to roll. It's a nice system we have going on. Maybe we'll finish soon and then I can clean up the rest of my house that looks like we just pile up stuff wherever there already isn't stuff. One room down. We're working on the second sort of hallwayish room. Then it's on the pink-and-white bathroom.

Monday, September 13, 2004

7 Minutes

disclaimer: most things posted on this blog are rough drafts.

You sounded so excited to her my voice,
and you called me my maiden name,
sort of like, "I knew you when..."
But I was OK with that,
resting in familiarity.

I was just glad I was talking to you,
not your voice mail this time.
But I still found myself wishing I knew you now
like I knew you when...

I used to have your phone number memorized,
in my mind, on my heart,
for when I needed to laugh,
for when I wanted to tell a story,
for when I just wanted to talk
about nothing and everything at once.

Now I searched for an excuse.
Five months, and I found three excuses to call.
Excuses are not reasons;
they hide truth.

And truth is, I like to hang on.
I like to think change hasn't divided us.
I like to think I can pick up that phone
and call you, long-distance even,
just because.

But that's not how it works these days.
These days you are going your way,
me going my way.
It's not familiar, but it's comfortable.
This way is probably easier than trying
to keep our lives connected
after something too abstract to define changed us.

I wanted to tell you how I miss you --
not so much because you live there,
but because as good as my life is here
I miss not sharing it with you.

Our seven-minute phone call wasn't
long enough to reconnect us
but just long encough for me to say, "happy birthday,"
and hope you caught the deeper meaning:

I miss who we used to be as friends,
and hope one day our lives intersect like that again.
But for now,
I'm here, a phone call away,
when you need me.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. Ezekiel 17:24

I love it when I read a few sentences that sum up my heart better than any words I try to compose myself:

"The rabbi doesn't want us to be perfect, just real. Yet at times we try so hard to please God and impress others -- determined to be perfect Christians -- that we're sucked dry of energy and sickened by our own slick surface and inner hypocrisy. It leaves us feeling dangerously brittle, as lifeless and fruitless as a tree in midwinter swoon."
from the introduction to Brennan Manning's "The Rabbi's Heartbeat."

"That is the way it is when you live contantly in the midst of others. You do not see yourself as your really are because of all the confusion and disturbance. You fail to recognize the divine presence in your life and the consciousness of your belovedness slowly fades."
Brennan Manning in "The Rabbi's Heartbeat."

Saturday, September 11, 2004

soccer, waffles and a hot swimmer

Cassie's soccer team actually looked pretty good last night. Austin Peay won 1-0. My dad and mom, oh, and Bailey, came down for the game. It was good to see all of them, even though I think Bailey is the most psychologically warped dog ever.

You know how it is when you eat something you haven't had in a long time and it tastes so good, probably better than it should? We ate at Waffle House on our way to the game yesterday and that's how it was for me. Those hash browns smothered and covered were SO good.

I learned yesterday Olympic swimmer Gary Hall Jr. was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes about five years ago. That means he was 24. The same age I was when I found out. His doctor told him he wouldn't be able to swim competitively anymore. That was in 1999. Then in 2000, he won a bunch of medals. There's some inspiration for me. I can't imagine trying to swim like he does with diabetes. I have enough variables, and he's throwing in freestyle sprints. He said something his blood sugar soars after his races (because of adrenaline, I would guess) and other times after the same kind of race his blood sugar drops (because of the intense physical activity...). Trying to balance that must be a nightmare. But like he said, managing the disease now, even with all the hassles, is much better than dealing with complications later in life, which is what would happen if it's not managed well now.

Friday, September 10, 2004

heat rises

I came home for work after lunch today totally motivated. I painted the trim and touched up the walls in the attic. I was working up a sweat.

Then Greg came home and asked why the air conditioner wasn't on. I said it was. He went and flipped the knob, and there came a rush of cold air. Turns out I had it on "high fan" not "high cool."

And there's that idea that heat rises. No wonder I was sweating.

But I think an afternoon off work was what I needed, as much as I wanted to stay and work on my story about the growing problem with methamphetamine in rural western Kentucky. Oh well, drugs will still be around for me to write about Monday.

Thursday, September 9, 2004

middle ground

frus-tra-tion n. a deep chronic sense or state of insecurity and dissatisfaction arising from unresolved problems or unfulfilled needs.

This is the state of mind I've been in recently, as evident by some recent blog entries. But, here's the thing, frustration only stems when I'm dissatisfied with things I care about. This just dawned on me as I was typing an email to a friend. If I didn't care, it wouldn't matter. Well, duh. But if something wasn't important to me, it wouldn't frustrate me when it wasn't perfect.

Maybe I should just appreciate what I have and not worry about how it could be better when that improvement is out of my control? But then there's the notion of always having room for improvement. Maybe the happy medium is to have patience, knowing there's room for improvement eventually but maybe not at this exact moment. Maybe tomorrow.

All of this to say, sure, work frustrates me. But only because I actually like my job. I had a good afternoon hanging out with some cops who are trying to crack down on methamphetamine here, especially out in a rural part of the county. I was driving out there, listening to Ryan Cabrera, thinking about how I need to chill a little and remember that everything could be better, and I should work toward that as I go along, but everything could be a whole heck of a lot worse.

complicated deadlines part 2

Yesterday I shared about the story I worked hard to get done by deadline only to have my editor say he didn't need it then. OK, I moved on to other things. Then this morning he told me my story was "excellent." Oh, nice, a compliment, those are always nice.

Again, I move onto to other things. Then my editor asked our photographer if he took a picture to go with my story. Apparently he forgot. Good excuse. Then my editor asked me to run out there and take it. I told him I'd go as soon as I finished writing the story I was working on. Not too long later I drive over to take the picture, and before I even pulled in the parking lot, there he was, just standing there looking lost. Our photographer decided to go take the picture and didn't bother telling me when he knew I was planning on doing it.

I vented. Then I laughed. Goodness.

Wednesday, September 8, 2004

clarity

Life is moments and phases strung together. Some moments are clear and obvious while others are foggy and vague. Some phases are about growing and changing and doing. Others are more stagnant, more about being. That latter phase is the one I think I've grown all too comfortable in recently. Recently being the last six months, at least, if not longer. I feel like there's a been a lot going on. A lot as far as dates on the calendars, hours at work (for both Greg and I) and places we want to be.

But there hasn't been much going on in my heart. I've grown comfortable in rushing around in a self-created routine while I've neglected loving Greg like he should be loved and taking the time to invest in myself and our marriage. I'm not staying life is bad; I'm just saying I'm a better person than this. Sometimes I let the wrong things, especially the wrong attitude, define me. It's no secret I strive for perfection, but sometimes I let that slip where it's most important.

In my heart.

So last night when I was going through some boxes in the attic, I found some cards I'd written and made Greg. My heart was poured into every word I wrote and every thought they contained. He's so unwavering, but I let circumstances and situations, often those that have absolutely nothing to do with him, dictate how I treat him. If I had a frustrating day at work, I jump on his case about some unrelated matter rather than just tell him about it. If I've had a great day, I become hyper and act silly around him. I love being with him, but sometimes I act like he's in the way. But I miss him when he's caught up in something else.

I need to let love define who I am.

Here's some song lyrics that are in my head, rather on my heart.

your love is
deeper than my view of grace
higher than this worldly place
longer than this road I've traveled
wider than the gap you've filled


And another, which was actually written by a lady at our church...

on the wheel
of the potter I lay myself waiting to yield
to the touch
of the maker, creator who loves me so much

won't you mold me and make me in spite of myself
til this clay in its fraility becomes something else
til this nature of failure and sin is replaced
and I become unmistakably fashioned by grace
by the power of your hand
in the image of I Am


All of this to say, I don't want to dwell on how I could have done better. I could have said something more loving. I could have smiled instead of flashing that evil glare. I could have laughed instead of cried. I could have...

Yeah, I could have done a lot.

But the fact remains that I'm human. I don't need to worry about what I could have done, or should have done, or would have done only if... Rather, I need to remember something I love so much that singer Andrew Peterson says, "I know falling down ain't graceful, but I thank the Lord that falling is full of grace."

And let my heart, not every moment of my life, define me.

complicated deadlines

I tend to talk about work a lot, but that's what happens with a bunch of quirky people who thrive on telling stories. But sometimes I just want to vent.

So I came into work at 7 a.m. I told my editor that I was going to write a story about this new parking lot on campus and the safety concern that came with it because it's at the busiest intersection in town. This intersection, cleverly called Five Points because five road ridiculously come together there, has been talked about a lot at city council, so I thought it would be good to combine the university and city perspectives about the safety and heavy traffic of the intersection. I was in a meeting at Murray State yesterday when the safety concern was brought up and had some comments from the president about it, but I needed a little more from the police and the city. No big deal, I just didn't know if I would be able to get a hold of all these people this morning. Sure, it's 7, but these people don't come to work until 8. So I tell my editor all of this, implying I don't know if I can get it done this morning. And if I can, it's not a story that must be done today and would probably be better if I didn't rush. I can pull together a story quickly, but sometimes I do it when I don't think it's necessary. So he emphasizes he really wants it today. So I said OK, and head to my desk to type what I have so I could fill in the gaps as I got a hold of people this morning...

I actually have better luck than I expected getting in touch with the city administrator, city police chief and the university public safety director. So a little before 9 I tell my editor that I'm almost done with my story. Just a heads-up, so-you-know kind of thing because deadline was approaching. He tells me he doesn't need it to. "We'll hold off."

Right. Because I suggested that two hours ago, but two hours ago it was esstential I have it done today. Come on. Be professional. When you change your mind, let the appropriate parties know. Seriously.

That's how things work here way too often. He just sits in his office and decides things and doesn't really tell anyone until it's almost too late, so to speak. Sure, this is deadline-driven profession, and I'm comfortable with that. I'm a quick writer and I have relationships in this town that allow me usually to come up with the story quickly. That's all good and well. But why is it necessary to complicate deadlines with decisions that could wait to be made?

OK, moving on to other subjects that may or may not be interesting to my readers...
(Who are my readers anyway? KatieKerns, at least. I wish people would comment on my blog. Not that that's a hint or anything...)

So Greg started painting the attic last night. It's being transformed from minty green to bone white. I started going through boxes of random stuff, Greg's random stuff, trying to clear out stuff. But then I realized a lot of his boxes were books and I didn't have anywhere to put the books until I move the bookshelf upstairs and I'm not moving the bookshelf upstairs until it's painted...

Plus the new season of The Real World came on and I was more interested in watching that. Regression, I know.

Our comfy couches are in. And I just mean in, not in place. I almost stumbled, literally, on them when I walked in my house yesterday. At least we're progressing with the home improvement.

Monday, September 6, 2004

home improvement

We just bought a couch and loveseat. I couldn't decide if they were what I wanted. Then I sat on the loveseat. And it pulled me in. Hopefully we can pick them up somehow tomorrow.

Now if we can work on the attic. And I'm still wanting to get my bathroom floor tiled. The firefighter hasn't called me back.

Iowa really is pretty.


Greg's cousin Serenity married Patrick on Saturday at Eagle Point Park in Dubuque, Iowa. This is a view from the wedding site. Beautiful. The park sits up on a hill and overlooks the Mississippi River. That's Wisconsin in the background. Posted by Hello

all dressed up


Here we are posed at the park. Posted by Hello

Sunday, September 5, 2004

baseball, a wedding and a really pitiful football game

Driving up to Dubuque, Iowa, Friday night with Greg was better -- much better -- than driving back today with him and his parents. I guess I'll start at the beginning of my weekend...

Friday afternoon Greg and I left Murray for St. Louis, where we had baseball tickets. His dad and brother were going to go with us, but scheduling conflict changed that plan. (Should I ask them to pay for the tickets?) Anyway, so it ended up being just Greg and me in the Yukon. (That's a big SUV, like a Suburban. It's his parents's vehicle, for the record, we were just using it.) Before we got too far down the road, Greg had accidentally turned on the On-Star telephone and couldn't get it to go off. He was yelling "off!" at the dashboard and the On-Star woman kept saying, "I don't understand that command." It was hilarious. Meanwhile, I accidentally turned on the seat warmer and my back was burning up. It took me a minute to figure out how to get that off, then I was cooling off. Moral of the story: The Yukon has TOO MANY features. I'll stick to my Geo Prism now, even though I keep eyeing Trailblazers.

So, off we are. One thing the Yukon does have that we enjoyed was the satellite radio. I got to hear all my favorite pop songs on the way up. :) We had a great time driving up there, just talking, joking and listening to music.

The baseball game was fun, too. Jaclyn and Bryan met us there in the left-field bleachers. It was a short game, only lasting two hours. But Matt Morris pitched a complete game shut-out with only two hits and no walks. Pretty impressive. And this coming from the baseball fan who prefers to watch games with LOTS of hits and scoring and don't get too wrapped up in "pitchers' duals," as Greg likes to call them.

We left St. Louis heading to Dubuque, Iowa, meaning we had to drive the entire length of Illinois. Exciting, I know. So we were planning on driving until about Springfield, sort of in the middle of the state, but it was only about 11:30 p.m. when we were there, so we decided to go a little longer since the baseball game got over quicker than we expected. We were going to stop in Peoria, but a bypass took us around the city because the interstate was only open to local traffic because of contruction. And we didn't see any hotels on the bypass. Alright, a little farther. We stop in Galesburg, Ill., because it says there are three hotels there. No luck. Moving on. Quad cities. Not really any hotel rooms there either. At least none that were near the interstate and on our way. At that point, we are only an hour from Dubuque, so Greg keeps driving. I sleep a little, but I was actually enjoying the trip, so I was trying to stay awake. And it was all humorous. Frustrating, but humorous. We found a hotel as soon as we got into Dubuque, and crashed. The clock said 2:46 a.m. the last time I remember looking at it.

I have to give props to this hotel, the Heartland Inn in Dubuque. It was the most comfortable hotel bed I have ever slept in. And the sheets and comforter were so soft, unlike those usually rough hotel linens. Greg told me maybe I just thought that because I was SO tired. Maybe. But I thought it the next morning too when I didn't feel very tired. And I thought it last night when we went to sleep in another hotel bed.

Saturday we took our time getting ready, then went to meet Greg's family to help decorate for his counsin's Serenity's wedding. Well, the women did. The men and kids went to some Mississippi River museum and aquarium. The wedding was late yesterday afternoon outside at this park that overlooked the river. It was really nice and the most informal wedding I had ever been to. Greg, his parents and I left for a little while and drove across the bridge into Wisconsin because I had never been there. Greg and I took our picture by a "Welcome to Wisconsin" sign then we drove back to the wedding.

I spent a lot of time looking at the map Friday night. I was a little disoriented about where Dubuque was, but it sits on the Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin border, on the Mississippi River. I had never been past Effingham in Illinois, really. Well, I've been to Chicago several times, but that city is nothing like the rest of Illinois. Anyway, I definitely have never been to the northwest part of the state. It's much like the rest, except Chicago: lots of cornfields.

We drove back this morning with Greg's parents. The middle seat of the Yukon is not near as comfortable as the front seat. Greg says I listen to music really loudly in the car, but I was thinking the same thing about Gary this morning and his radio programs. Oh well. I just buried my head in the three newspaper I had to read. I slept much of the afternoon, drifting in and out of paying attention to the Cardinals baseball game (6-5 in 11 innings) and UK-UofL football game (28-0) Greg was flipping between.

I feel it necessary to comment on sports. As a Cardinals fan, I'm glad it's still baseball season and it looks like I'll have my team to cheer for in the postseason. Meanwhile, UK football continues to suck, particularly quarterback Shane Boyd. My parents just called me from the parking lot of Papa John's Stadium. My mom was sitting on a cooler and my dad and his friend were getting ready to eat meal No. 2 of the tailgating day. My dad is going to start lobbying for Steve Spurrier. Remember, my dad played football for UK from 1968-72. Well, the former Wildcat who has maintained his Commonwealth Stadium seats for all these years broke down and bought UofL season tickets this year. Sure, he likes football enough to watch the stinkin' Cardinals, plus he knew he could go to today's game this way. He said he's looking forward to Louisville than Kentucky now. Goodness. My dad's thoughts on Shane Boyd: He's a fifth-year senior and only briefly, very briefly, was a starter before this season. No wonder. Kentucky's defense showed some life, but it's going to be another long football season for UK fans.

And now it's Sunday night and I'm going to work soon to put out tomorrow's paper. Don't get me started on how I feel about the inconsistent holiday-related work in our office. At least I have tomorrow off.

Thursday, September 2, 2004

Dare I mutter the b-word?

The boredom hit today...
I knew it was coming as I wrote all those stories. But I have to remember not get to discouraged as I twiddle my thumbs and pick my fingernails because work will be busy soon. Soon is relative, but the boredom won't last long. At least KatieKerns and I have had some e-mail exchanges.

E-mail is a weird concept, really, but totally amazing at the same time. People from here to Boston, really here to the other side of the world, can exchange messages instanteously right from the comfort (?) of their desks. Sometimes it's hard to communicate via electronic channels because tone of voice is lost among the typed words. Inflection is harder to communicate and sometimes meaning gets misinterpreted.

But overall I really love it. Especially with Katie. I can read her e-mail messages and totally just hear her talking to me, laughing at me (or with me...) or growing distracted by anything else that might make the slightest noise in her presence. We're lucky to have each other, and this thing we call e-mail.

So I had a revelation (Don't hold your breath, it's not THAT exciting...) about MTV. Yes, MTV. I never really watched it growing up, when that's what people my age did. I watched it sometimes, but I grew restless with music video after music video. I LOVE music, but I prefer singing loudly by myself driving in the car or listening to (and watching) bands and musicians at concerts.

Anyway, I like MTV these days, and I think that's because there's not many music videos. Ironic for Music Television, but good for Kristin. I like "Real World" and "Road Rules," and I liked "The Ashlee Simpson Show" and "The Newlyweds." Don't get me wrong, there's a lot (I stress A LOT) of crap on there, but I can usually manage to find some entertainment.

Maybe that's regression for you, I'm not sure.

Back to this thing I call work.

1986

This week's issue of "The Chronicle of Higher Education" says: Remember 1986? The space shuttle Challenger exploded, Chernobyl has its meltdown, and most of the students entering college this year were born in 1986.

Then there's a list of how members of the Class of 2008 may view the world, and here are some of my favorites:

Alan Greenspan has always been setting the nation's financial direction.
Harry has always known Sally.
Martha Stewart has always been cooking up something with someone.
Mike Tyson has always been a contender.
Computers have always suffered from viruses.
The United States has always been a Prozac nation.
They have suffered through airport security systems since they were in strollers.
They have done most of their search for the right college online.
They have always enjoyed the comfort of pleather.
Cher hasn't aged a day.
The Energizer bunny has always been going, and going, and going.

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

242

The Mexican food and Dairy Queen ice cream cone didn't agree with my blood sugar at lunch. I thought I took enough insulin, but apparently I didn't. I do so well, then one meal throws me. It's frustrating because I know one meal isn't going to make or break me, or this disease, but welcome to the world of a perfectionist, when every moment counts. The thing is most of the time, I just take care of what needs to taken care of with diabetes. But sometimes I just want to talk about. Then again, what am I going to say except, "My blood sugar is high." Yep, that's about it. So I took more insulin, which is the most important thing anyway and is going to help me more than talking about something there's really not anything new to talk about.

So here I am, babbling on the my blog about blood sugar. And, yes, I feel a little better after venting to this electronic forum, even though I have no idea if it is even being read.

gotta love politics

�Personally, I�m for somebody coming out and saying while Bush was in the Redneck Riviera, Kerry was picking shrapnel out of his butt. There are those who want John Kerry to drop his drawers and show America the scars.� � Ken Brock, a Democratic consultant in Michigan.

every penny counts

It's amazing that we fill up a glass jar when we have loose change, and when I rolled it last night there was $45 there. I only decided to roll it because it was overflowing and pennies were cluttering the dresser.