Monday, February 28, 2005

from one month to another

So, it's the end of a busy month, and I think I'm going to take off work early today to do some other essential things -- grocery, laundry, scrapbook -- before my Citizens Police Academy class tonight. But here's a quick run of what I've been up to, at least work-wise, this month. It amounts to 44 stories: 15 about the ongoing dispute between the local school districts about non-resident students, 14 about police and court matters, including three columns about the Citizens Police Academy, and seven hospital-related stories.

I'm glad it's almost March. That means spring is closer.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Time

Yesterday morning I woke up to my alarm clock flashing. Apparently the power had been out for about 4 1/2 hours. I looked at my watch, and I thought it said 7:10. That's the problem with a watch that only has 3, 6, 9, and 12 on it, especially in the morning when I'm already a little disoriented. It seemed too dark for 7:10 a.m., so I looked at the time on my cell phone. 6:10 a.m. OK, much better. I'm wasn't running as late as I thought.

I was a little disoriented all day, mainly because I stayed up too late finishing the book I was reading. But I had to know who committed the crime. I had the plot line figured out, as far as some cases being related, but I didn't know who did it. Anyway, I looked at my watch a few times during the day, but always seemed to get more confused about what time it actually was. (I don't pay much attention to my watch because I have a clock on my computer, on my phone at work, on my cell phone, in my car and behind me on the wall...)

Last night I was telling Greg and his mom about how I woke up disoriented and never seemed to get over it as the day went on. Then a few hours later during the Citizens Police Academy, I noticed my watch said 9:30. Well, I knew it couldn't be 9:30 because the class only lasts until 9.

(This is where the light bulb in my head went off!)

It was 8:30.

My watch was still set on eastern time from the weekend. And it only took me the entire day to realize it.

Monday, February 21, 2005

to Louisville and back again...

What a refreshing weekend at home! And it wasn't as weird as I thought it would be with my mom being in a new place and Kevin, Laine and Milla living in "our house." I had a good time eating and shopping with Mom and Cassie and playing with Milla. I also got to see Jodi and Kelly, and it's always good to see old friends.

I think going "home" is refreshing because it's pretty separate from my busy life here. My family knows about my life here and has at least met my friends, so it's familiar, but they are still removed enough that's it's a Murray-vacation when I'm in Louisville. That sort of weekend was much needed for me.

I'm glad is on his way back from Daytona. At least those Taylor men got to see their man Jeff Gordon win. But I missed Greg.

On another note, my bathroom is tiled! And it's soon to be decorated.

I see you!


Here Milla takes a break from her game of Peek-A-Boo.  Posted by Hello

Kitchen Toys


The whole house is Milla's toy box. Here she is studying one toy as she is surrounded by many pieces of Tupperware she pulled from the only cabinet that isn't Milla-proofed. Posted by Hello

pages of her life

The books that line someone's bookshelves tell a great deal about that person.

So does that mean if I see a lot of her books and recognize them from when we were friends that she would still be familiar to me even though we haven't talk much in recent years?

I recognized more books on her shelves than I thought I would.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Birds already freak me out.

You may already know that I hate birds. They give me the creeps, especially when they are circulating in large groups above my house, as they have done all too often recently, and make spooky noises. Maybe they are drunk and they got lost, and that's why they keep coming back.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Dozens of birds got drunk from eating holly berries, then crashed into the glass of an office building and died.

"It was like an Alfred Hitchcock movie," worker Denise Wilkinson said. "It was spooky. You could hear them where they flew into the glass."

Warm weather and an ample supply of berries attracted hundreds of cedar waxwings into the enclosed courtyard of the three-story building Tuesday.

The birds began getting drunk on the fermented berries. They got so loopy that some were falling off branches and others were slamming into the glass walls that enclose the courtyard, said Burgess Mills, the building's owner.

About half of the 100 birds that slammed into the building died, workers said.

Groundskeepers have tried to help the birds by putting tape on windows or nets over the holly trees to keep them from eating the berries, Mills said.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

overworked?

Half way through the month, I've written 25 stories. For anyone keeping track, that's a lot. But it does justify the 29.25 hours of overtime on my paycheck today.

But the thing about small-town journalism is "the news" comes and goes. There have been plenty of days I had no idea what I was going to write about. Anyone who knows me knows I don't really mind the busyness. It's not about complaining as much as I'm taking a deep breath and looking at what I've done so far this month.

First-Date Day follow-up

Greg surprised me earlier in the month with the bed and breakfast trip. Yesterday he surprised me with a gift certificate for a massage and pedicure. Gosh, twice. And I didn't think it was that easy to surprise me. (Tone of voice: Acting disappointed I was surprised twice and didn't see it coming, but really totally excited Greg had his romantic thinking cap on!) But, then again, I did think my first-date day was complete with the bed and breakfast. He knew I thought that, too. Whatever the reasoning, it was really sweet. And I can't wait to use it.

Weird presidential facts

Michael must have a friend with too much time on his hands. This came in an e-mail message:

Look what happens when a President gets elected in a year with a "0" at the end.

1840: William Henry Harrison -- died in office
1860: Abraham Lincoln -- assassinated
1880: James A. Garfield --- assassinated
1900: William McKinley -- assassinated
1920: Warren G. Harding -- died in office
1940: Franklin D. Roosevelt -- died in office
1960: John F. Kennedy -- assassinated
1980: Ronald Reagan -- survived assassination attempt
2000: George W. Bush

And to think that we had two guys fighting it out in the courts to be the one elected in 2000.

Also...

Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.
John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.

Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.
John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.

Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.
Both wives lost a child while living in the White House.

Both Presidents were shot on a Friday.
Both Presidents were shot in the head.

Now it gets really weird.

Lincoln's secretary was named Kennedy.
Kennedy's Secretary was named Lincoln.

Both were assassinated by Southerners.
Both were succeeded by Southerners named Johnson.

Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808.
Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.

John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln, was born in 1839.
Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated Kennedy, was born in 1939.

Both assassins were known by their three! names.
Both names are composed of fifteen letters.

Now hang on to your seat.

Lincoln was shot at the theater named "Ford."
Kennedy was shot in a car called "Lincoln" made by "Ford."

Booth and Oswald were assassinated before their trials.

And here's the kicker:

A week before Lincoln was shot, he was in Monroe, Maryland.
A week before Kennedy was shot, he was with Marilyn Monroe.

Lincoln was shot in a theater and the assassin ran to a warehouse.
Kennedy was shot from a warehouse and the assassin ran to a theater.

Monday, February 14, 2005

First-Date Day

I watched parts of a lot of good movies yesterday -- "Dirty Dancing," "Sleepless in Seattle," and "You've Got Mail." Gotta love Valentine's Day for something. Although it is the seven-year anniversary of my first date with Greg. That's why the holiday is official "First-Date Day" at my house.

Anyway, back to the movies: They all have their classic moments, but I think "You've Got Mail" fits me the best.

It tells the story of a man and a woman who develop a relationship online. It's proof relationships can be developed and maintained in this high-tech channel. But it also people separate their everyday lives from this other element of relationships. I don't know if that makes sense ... Sometimes an email or instant message doesn't seem as real as having a phone conversation or being with someone one on one. But certain relationships work well on electronic communication channels because those people know how to make it work for them. Vague, I know. Still, I love the concept. Then, once their lives become intertwined in "real life," like in the movie, the emails and instant messages supplement what exists.

So, here's one of my favorite conversations in the movie:
(At this point, Joe Fox knows Kathleen Kelly is "shopgirl" but she's only starting to figure out Joe Fox is "NY152.")

Joe Fox: So what's his handle?
Kathleen Kelly: Uh...
Joe Fox: I'm not going to write him, is that what you're worried about? You think I'm going to e-mail him?
Kathleen Kelly: Alright - NY152.
Joe Fox: N-Y-one-five-two. One hundred and fifty-two. He's... 152 years old. He's had 152 moles removed, so now he's got 152 pock marks on his face.
Kathleen Kelly: The number of people who think he looks like Clark Gable.
Joe Fox: 152 people who think he looks like a Clark BAR.
Kathleen Kelly: Why did I ever tell you this?
Joe Fox: 152 stitches from his nose job. The number of his souvenir shot glasses that he's collected in his travels.
Kathleen Kelly: No... the number... His address? No, no. He would never do anything that prosaic.


Then later...

Joe Fox: Mr. 152 Felony indictments.
Kathleen Kelly: Mr. 152 insights into my soul.
Joe Fox: Oh yeah. No competing with that.


Then even better, last night I was talking to KatieKerns on the phone and she quoted that line from the movie. Have I mentioned I love talking to her on the phone? I wish we got to hang out more, but phone calls are better than nothing. Although, she's the kind of friend with whom I can connect on email, mainly because we know each other so well and can reach voice inflection into the typed words. With her new job and broken computer at her house, though, we don't email much anymore.

My mom and sister came to visit this weekend, in honor of Austin Peay playing at Murray State on Saturday. (Racers won!) It was fun to hang out with them, even though my mom beat Greg and me both in Super Scrabble. I'm going to hang out with them again in Louisville this weekend when Greg is at the Daytona 500 with his uncle, dad and cousin.

I also had a few hours to scrapbook yesterday. That always makes for a good Sunday, especially when it's rainy and overcast outside.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

divided

Murray is a typical small-town. But right now there's two controversies that are running pretty deep and causing people to take sides. One is a dispute between the local school districts. (It would take more than a blog entry, or at least a really long blog entry, to fully explain, so I'll save that for another day.) The other involves the community-owned, public hospital and its relatively new administration. Disregarding details, I've managed to stay pretty focused on my job and not actually become involved, which is good because it makes for more objective pieces.

Tonight somebody said something to me about somebody else. Wow, vague. But that's sort of the theme of the community these days. Let me try again -- one person I respect at the hospital said something negative to me about my doctor, who leases an office in the attached medical building and has privileges at the hospital. Basically it was an under-his-breath comment that should have stayed under his breath. I said, "Don't tell me that." And he said, "Oh, well, clinically, she's fine." Well, good, I trust her a lot, given this has been the first year healthcare has ever meant much of anything to me.

Also, tonight, Greg's aunt talked bad about a friend of mine on the "other" side of the school drama, and that makes me cringe. It's fine to have differing opinions, but I wish people I care about would be more careful about what they say about other people I care about.

I'm trying to say, this community is divided, and I hate the way it's turning people I trust for different reasons against each other.

From which tree did you fall?

I have briefly blogged about this before, but it's so cool, I'm going to post the whole thing, thanks to Michael and his e-mail today. He acts like he's not as interested as I am in analyzing people, but he's as anal as I am and deep down likes it when I offer my often-too-detailed insights.

For the record, I'm a Poplar Tree.

Find your birthday and then find your tree. This is really cool and somewhat accurate, also in line with Celtic astrology.
Dec. 23 to Jan. 1 - Apple Tree
Jan. 1 to Jan. 11 - Fir Tree
Jan. 12 to Jan. 24 - Elm Tree
Jan. 25 to Feb. 3 - Cypress Tree
Feb. 4 to Feb. 8 - Poplar Tree
Feb. 9 to Feb. 18 - Cedar Tree
Feb. 19 to Feb. 28 - Pine Tree
March 1 to March 10 - Weeping Willow Tree
March 11 to March 20 - Lime Tree
March 21 (only) -��� Oak Tree
March 22 to March 31 - Hazelnut Tree
April 1 to April 10 - Rowan Tree
April 11 to April 20 - Maple Tree
April 21 to April 30 - Walnut Tree
May 1 to May 14 - Poplar Tree
May 15 to May 24 - Chestnut Tree
May 25 to June 3 - Ash Tree
June 4 to June 13 - Hornbeam Tree
June 14 to June 23 - Fig Tree
June 24 (only) -��� Birch Tree
June 25 to Julu 04 - Apple Tree
July 5 to July 14 - Fir Tree
July 15 to July 25 - Elm Tree
July 26 to Aug. 4 - Cypress Tree
Aug. 5 to Aug. 13 - Poplar Tree
Aug. 14 to Aug. 23 - Cedar Tree
Aug. 24 to Sept. 2 - Pine Tree
Sept. 3 to Sept. 12 - Weeping Willow Tree
Sept. 13 to Sept. 22 - Lime Tree
Sept. 23 (only) -��� Olive Tree
Sept. 24 to Oct. 3 - Hazelnut Tree
Oct. 4 to Oct. 13 - Rowan Tree
Oct. 14 to Oct. 23 - Maple Tree
Oct. 24 to Nov. 11 - Walnut Tree
Nov. 12 to Nov. 21 - Chestnut Tree
Nov. 22 to Dec. 1 - Ash Tree
Dec. 2 to Dec. 11 - Hornbeam Tree
Dec. 12 to Dec. 21 - Fig Tree
Dec. 22 (only) - Beech Tree

YOUR TREE (in alphabetical order)

Apple Tree (Love) -- quiet and shy at times, lots of charm, appeal, and attraction, pleasant attitude, flirtatious smile, adventurous, sensitive, loyal in love, wants to love and be loved, faithful and tender partner, very generous, many talents, loves children, needs affectionate partner.

Ash Tree (Ambition) -- extremely attractive, vivacious, impulsive, demanding,does not care for criticism, ambitious, intelligent, talented, likes to play with fate, can be very egotistic, reliable, restless lover, sometimes money rules over the heart, demands attention, needs love and much emotional support.

Beech Tree (Creative) -- has good taste, concerned about its looks, materialistic, good organization of life and career, economical, good leader,takes no unnecessary risks, reasonable, splendid lifetime companion, keen on keeping fit (diets, sports, etc.).

Birch Tree (Inspiration) -- vivacious, attractive, elegant, friendly, unpretentious, modest, does not like anything in excess, abhors the vulgar, loves life in nature and in calm, not very passionate, full of imagination,little ambition, creates a calm and content atmosphere.

Cedar Tree (Confidence) -- of rare strength, knows how to adapt, likes unexpected presents, of good health, not in the least shy, tends to look down on others, self-confident, a great speaker, determined, often impatient, likes to impress others, has many talents, industrious, healthy optimism, waits or the one true love, able to make quick decisions.

Chestnut Tree (Honesty) -- of unusual stature, impressive, well-developed sense of justice, fun to be around, a planner, born diplomat, can be irritated easily, sensitive of others feelings, hard worker, sometimes acts superior,feels not understood at times, fiercely family oriented, very loyal in love,physically fit.

Cypress Tree (Faithfulness) -- strong, muscular, adaptable, takes what life has to give but doesn't necessarily like it, strives to be content, optimistic,wants to be financially independent, wants love and affection, hates loneliness, passionate lover which cannot be satisfied, faithful, quick-tempered at times, can be unruly and careless, loves to gain knowledge,needs to be needed.

Elm Tree (Noble-mindedness) -- pleasant shape, tasteful clothes, modest demands, tends not to forgive mistakes, cheerful, likes to lead but not to obey, honest and faithful partner, likes making decisions for others, noble-minded, generous, good sense of humor, practical.

Fig Tree (Sensibility) -- very strong minded, a bit self-willed, honest, loyal,independent, hates contradiction or arguments, hard worker when wants to be, loves life and friends, enjoys children and animals, few sexual relationships, great sense of humor, has artistic talent and great intelligence.

Fir tree (Mysterious) -- extraordinary taste, handles stress well, loves anything beautiful, stubborn, tends to care for those close to them, hard to trust others, yet a social butterfly, likes idleness and laziness after long demanding hours at work, rather modest, talented, unselfish, many friends,very reliable.

Hazelnut Tree (Extraordinary) -- charming, sense of humor, very demanding but can also be very understanding, knows how to make a lasting impression, active fighter for social causes and politics, popular, quite moody, sexually oriented, honest, a perfectionist, has a precise sense of judgment and expects complete fairness.

Hornbeam Tree (Good Taste) -- of cool beauty, cares for its looks and condition, good taste, is not egoistic, makes life as comfortable as possible,leads a reasonable and disciplined life, looks for kindness and acknowledgment in an emotional partner, dreams of unusual lovers, is seldom happy with its feelings, mistrusts most people, is never sure of its decisions, over conscientious.

Lime Tree (Doubt) -- intelligent, hard working, accepts what life dishes out, but not before trying to change bad circumstances into good ones, hates fighting and stress, enjoys getaway vacations, may appear tough, but is actually soft and relenting, always willing to make sacrifices for family and friends, has many talents but not always enough time to use
them, can become a complainer, great leadership qualities, is jealous at times but extremely loyal.

Maple Tree (Independence of Mind) -- no ordinary person, full of imagination and originality, shy and reserved, ambitious, proud, self-confident, hungers for new experiences, sometimes nervous, has many complexities, good memory,learns easily, complicated love life, wants to impress.

Oak Tree (Brave) -- robust nature, courageous, strong, unrelenting, independent, sensible, does not like change, keeps its feet on the ground, person of action.

Olive Tree (Wisdom) -- loves sun, warmth and kind feelings, reasonable, balanced, avoids aggression and violence, tolerant, cheerful, calm, well-developed sense of justice, sensitive, empathetic, free of jealousy, loves to read and the company of sophisticated people.

Pine Tree (Peacemaker) -- loves agreeable company, craves peace and harmony, loves to help others, active imagination, likes to write poetry, not fashion conscious, great compassion, friendly to all, falls strongly in love but will leave if betrayed or lied to, emotionally soft, low self-esteem, needs affection and reassurance.

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

Rowan Tree (Sensitivity) -- full of charm, cheerful, gifted without egoism, likes to draw attention, loves life, motion, unrest, and even complications,is both dependent and independent, good taste, artistic, passionate, emotional,good company, does not forgive.

Walnut Tree (Passion) -- unrelenting, strange and full of contrasts, often egotistic, aggressive, noble, broad horizon, unexpected reactions, spontaneous,unlimited ambition, no flexibility, difficult and uncommon partner, not always liked but often admired, ingenious strategist, very jealous and passionate, no compromise.

Weeping Willow (Melancholy) -- likes to be stress free, loves family life, full of hopes and dreams, attractive, very empathetic, loves anything beautiful, musically inclined, loves to travel to exotic places, restless, capricious, honest, can be influenced but is not easy to live with when pressured, sometimes demanding, good intuition, suffers in love until they find that one loyal, steadfast partner; loves to make others laugh.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

"It's not what you know..."

"It's not what you know, it's what you can prove," Murray Police Department offier Scott Purcell said during last night's Citizens Police Academy.

I thought of a couple of things.

One, I heard Grissom telling his team to follow the evidence not their feelings on CSI. Yes, a TV show, but it's the same point.

But, two, and more importantly, I thought about how that statement applies to journalism. So often people KNOW things, but they don't find it appropriate (or INSERT MANY OTHER ADJECTIVES HERE...) to talk about it "on the record." Similarly, many times I KNOW things but can't get the right people to officially comment or can't make all the ends officially meet for a story. It's frustrating, but it's the nature of this job, and apparently many others, at times.

So it's not always what I know, rather it's what is on the record.

Monday, February 7, 2005

wacky ruling

DURANGO, Colo. (Reuters) - A Colorado judge ordered two teen-age girls to pay about $900 for the distress a neighbor said they caused by giving her home-made cookies adorned with paper hearts.

The pair were ordered to pay $871.70 plus $39 in court costs after neighbor Wanita Renea Young, 49, filed a lawsuit complaining that the unsolicited cookies, left at her house after the girls knocked on her door, had triggered an anxiety attack that sent her to the hospital the next day.

Taylor Ostergaard, then 17, and Lindsey Jo Zellitte, 18, paid the judgment on Thursday after a small claims court ruling by La Plata County Court Judge Doug Walker, a court clerk said on Friday.

The girls baked cookies as a surprise for several of their rural Colorado neighbors on July 31 and dropped off small batches on their porches, accompanied by red or pink paper hearts and the message: "Have a great night."

The Denver Post newspaper reported on Friday that the girls had decided to stay home and bake the cookies rather than go to a dance where there might be cursing and drinking.

It reported that six neighbors wrote letters entered as evidence in the case thanking the girls for the cookies.

But Young said she was frightened because the two had knocked on her door at about 10:30 p.m. and run off after leaving the cookies.

She went to a hospital emergency room the next day, fearing that she had suffered a heart attack, court records said.

The judge awarded Young her medical costs, but did not award punitive damages. He said he did not think the girls had acted maliciously but that 10:30 was fairly late at night for them to be out.

Monday morning...

It's really hard to get into the swing of work this morning after such a good weekend.

In addition to my Toby Keith tickets and date on Saturday, I failed to mention the beautiful weather. It was in the 60s most of the weekend. Friday afternoon I walked the 2.2-mile loop around Murray State. It's not as much fun to walk alone, but I enjoyed getting out there and thinking about spring. Then yesterday Katy and I walked in her neighborhood. It has been months since we walked over there, and it was really nice because it's much more scenic than walking loops inside of the arena on campus.

Sunday, February 6, 2005

almost-anniversary get-away


Yesterday was a fabulous day. After my bought us Toby Keith tickets, Greg cleaned out the basement. I love a man who wakes up motivated like that!

I knew Greg had a date planned last night. We went to Paducah and I found some good deals on some scrapbooking supplies at Hobby Lobby. Then we went to see "In Good Company," which I had been wanting to see, but it wasn't playing at the theater in Murray. Then we went to Whaler's Catch, a seafood restaurant at which I had been wanting to eat. Then he took me to a bed and breakfast called Rosewood Inn, which is between Paducah and Mayfield. It was really nice.

The best part was just knowing Greg took the time to plan a special night for us. We met seven years ago tomorrow and went on our first date a week after that. After the hectic week we both had, it was nice to just be with each other. Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 5, 2005

Toby!

My mom just got us Toby Keith concert tickets for March 11 in Louisville. I am way excited! The 18th row isn't bad either.

Friday, February 4, 2005

at least overtime pays well

I worked 50.7 hours last week. And so far I've worked 41.16 hours this week, and that doesn't include today, or tonight, or tomorrow morning -- all of which I have to work for awhile. I was going on adrenaline for awhile, but I'm starting to feel tired.

Greg has some mystery date planned tomorrow night, and I'm really looking forward to hanging out with him without distractions.

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Have I mentioned I love this lady?

I reminded myself that life isn't what you see the first time you look. It's the thing you feel when you pay close attention to the person you are really becoming, always becoming. -Rochelle Riley in her column today

I continue to be amazed she can write about something on the surface I can't relate to, but capture me anyway.