Sunday, July 31, 2005

"Must Love Dogs"

Greg took me to see John Cusack's newest movie yesterday. I really enjoyed it. Cusack's characters always have such enjoyable random moments. The movie reminded me of a cross between "Say Anything" and "When Harry Met Sally ..." Can't really ask for a better combination in my world.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

good-luck token

I'm at least 0-4 watching Cardinals-Cubs game at Busch Stadium. (I actually think I'm 0-5, but Greg begs to differ with me on one of those games. I saw we've never seen the Cardinals win; he says we've seen them once. Hmmmm....) Regardless, I'm a good-luck token for the Cubs. Maybe instead of the idea proclaimed on one T-shirt — Grill the Damn Goat — having me on their side, or just in their presence, would give the Cubs postseason success.

Anyway, our trip was still fun. Hot. But fun.

We got to Busch Stadium in time for Greg to watch batting practice Saturday afternoon. Only problem was neither team took batting practice. So we wandered around for awhile, as I searched for a Mark Mulder bobblehead. I would have preferred to meet Mark Mulder, but no pitchers were in the bullpen either, so I had to settle for looking for a doll-like replica. Well, I didn't find one of those Saturday either. The game was good. Close. Down to the last out. (Pujols hit into a double play. Thanks Neifi Perez, who happened to be standing in the exact spot that made the play pretty much perfect.) Cubs won 2-1. I was soaked with sweat the entire time. Walking out, I thought for a second the Cubs had won the World Series for a split second because of the rejoicing. Rather, I was reminded it's just July.

We ate at the Old Spaghetti Factory after the game with much of the other baseball fans. The air conditioning felt nice and the food tasted good. We bummed around our hotel room (in Illinois because I waited until two weeks ago to try and reserve a room...) and I slept almost 10 hours.

On Sunday, we shopped for awhile at Union Station, where I found my Mark Mulder bobblehead. Then we ate an early-anniversary-present-to-ourselves meal at Landry's. Talk about some good seafood in the Midwest. Mmmm. Then we went to the galleria, where I continued my search for a new Cardinals T-shirt. I had a couple in mind and found one of the two for which I was hunting. We killed some time cooling off at Borders and then went back to the stadium.

Cardinals took batting practice this time. But the Cubs wussed out and stayed inside. It was 102 degrees outside, but it was slightly (and I emphasize SLIGHTLY) cooler because it was a night game. But I still had a layer of sweat pretty much everywhere. It was a great game that started with three homeruns off Mark Prior in the first inning. Cubs ended up leading 4-3. Cards rallied with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to tie it. Everything that happened earned cheers — it just depended on which side. But someone was always cheering. In the 10th, the Cubs had the bases loaded. (This was partially because Derrek Lee and Aramis Rameriz were intentionally walked. I understand the principle totally, but I don't know about walking BOTH of them in the same inning when every run is important.) Up comes Neifi ... Grand slam. Thanks, Neifi. Being that it was 10:45 p.m. and we still had three hours to drive home, we left at this point. Again, there was much rejoicing among Cubs fans who apparently savor every victory over the Cardinals (well, probably any victory at this point...) — and I believe they might have me to thank.

Friday, July 22, 2005

How I Spent My Friday Afternoon

While I spent the afternoon at work waiting for phone calls and e-mail messages to be returned — most of which never came ... It's Friday afternoon. People don't really work after lunch on Fridays; that's what I've learned — I happened upon these blogs from this group of women (strangers, that is) who apparently befriended each other online. The first connected through scrapbooking then became friends. It's really an interesting concept, almost seemingly too-good-to-be-true ... but apparently interesting enough to keep me reading and looking at their scrapbook layouts for more than an hour. Is something wrong with me?


All the words were tangled in her head. So much so, she could figure out which ones to blog.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

John Cusack

I read an interview John Cusack had with The Associated Press mostly about his new movie, "Must Love Dogs," which comes out next weekend. It made me love him (ah, Lloyd Dobler ...) even more. Here's my favorite part:

AP: What do you think the film says about dating and romance?

Cusack: We’re all kind of God’s fools. The process is going to make fools out of all of us, I think: fools in the best sense, in the sense of struggling and innocent and vulnerable.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


I'm a little surprised this is news, but, then again, I'd probably wear some sort of flip-flops to the White House too.

CHICAGO (AP) — There’s a flip-flop controversy at the White House, and this one has nothing to do with President Bush and John Kerry.

A photo of Northwestern University’s national championship women’s lacrosse team, taken during the athletes’ visit to the White House last week, shows four of the nine women in the front row wearing flip-flop sandals along with their dresses and skirts.

The choice of footwear has prompted a mini-controversy — a flip-flop flap, if you will.

A front-page story in the Chicago Tribune included the headline “YOU WORE FLIP-FLOPS TO THE WHITE HOUSE?!” inspired by an e-mail sent to player Kate Darmody from her older brother after he saw the photo on the team’s Web site.

Family members of other players expressed similar dismay, insisting the summer footwear staple was too casual for a visit with the president.

“Don’t even ask me about the flip-flops,” said the mother of player Aly Josephs. “It mortified me.”

During an appearance Monday on NBC’s “Today,” Darmody and teammate Shelby Chlopak said players planned to auction off the flip-flops they wore to the White House, with the proceeds to go toward a fund for a 10-year-old girl with a brain tumor.
The women have defended their attire, arguing they wore a dressier version of the casual sandal.

“Nobody was wearing old beach flip-flops,” said Josephs, who wore a $16 brown pair with rhinestones.

Darmody, 22, added: “I tried to think of something that would go well with my outfit and at the same time not be that uncomfortable. But at the same time not disrespect the White House.”

In 2001, Bush’s daughter Jenna, then 19, wore black flip-flops in court, along with pink capri pants and a sleeveless black shirt, when she pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of being a minor in possession of alcohol.

The term “flip-flop” was used heavily during last fall’s presidential debates when Bush repeatedly accused Democratic opponent Kerry of switching positions on issues.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Back home

It's official: Florida has been replaced in my mind.

We had sunshine basically all week, and I loved every minute of it. Barring a few family tensions, the week was smooth and relaxing. I came back with a slight tan -- the result of reading five books, mostly on the beach and beside the pool. Greg caught two baby sharks while fishing in the ocean, making him the momentary highlight of the nearby stretch of beach. It's weird to just jump back into a routine, but I guess that's what I have to do, at least come to tomorrow morning.

Looking back, as I sit at my computer, I'm disappointed in my pictures. I didn't take as many as I thought I did. There's a ton of family, and not really many of anyone else. In Savannah, it was hard to take pictures while on the trolley tour. Oh, well, I'm sure I have enough for a couple of scrapbook pages.

To the beach

Like I said, I loved the natural look of the beach. At Hilton Head Island, lots of grass and trees lined the beach, not so many high-rise condos like in Florida. This is taken from one of the paths we took from the residential area to the beach.  Posted by Picasa

.. and again

Here's the other path that runs between two houses and opens up to the beach.  Posted by Picasa

Beach games

Milla loved the beach, especially the sand. She'd just take off running, knowing someone would catch her and loving that she initiated such a game. She was a little more hesitant about the water. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

so far so good ... better than good, really

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C -- This beautiful place is quickly surpassing Florida on my personal list of perfect vacation spots. It's only Tuesday, so I guess that can change, but I'm loving it here. And I have Hurricane Dennis to thank.

I love that the beach is more natural looking with all kinds of trees and greenry nearby. We are about 200 yards from the beach, which is as good as you get if you're not directly on it. We have a lagoon in the backyard, and an alligator there likes to peek his head up above the water. The alligator interrupts Greg's fishing, but it's neat to see.

More later ... I hear the pool in our backyard calling my name.

Friday, July 8, 2005

South Carolina might be even better

My mom booked a three-bedroom house on Hilton Head Island for the coming week. Last minute? Yes. But I'm thinking it might be even better than our months-old plan.

First, maybe only some rain from Hurricane Dennis. There will be "slamming" into the Panhandle involved, as I keep reading. Plus I think Florida is being evacuated.

Also, it's a house with a pool and fishing deck into a lagoon. I don't fish, but that's still pretty neat. Greg fishes, though, so he's happy. I'll still get to relax on a beach, read and play with Milla.

Plus, I have never been to South Carolina, and I'm looking forward to visiting Charleston, S.C., and Savannah, Ga. New things are good. I like traveling to new places. My family is pretty stuck in what they know, which is relaxing in a difference sense. This will be fun.

And I have Hurricane Dennis to thank.

(Why, really, do they -- the weather experts, that is -- name hurricanes and tropical storms? We don't name thunderstorms or snowstorms...)

Florida ... maybe? probably not.

Hurricane Dennis is interferring with my plans to go to Destin, Fla., with my family this weekend. If you'll recall, this could be the second time in less than three months I've had a trip to Florida threatened by situations far out of my control.

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Hokey Pokey death

With all the sadness and trauma going on in the world at the moment, it is worth reflecting on the death of a very important person which almost went unnoticed last week. Larry La Prise, the man who wrote the "Hokey Pokey," died peacefully at age 93.

The most traumatic part for his family was getting him into the coffin. They put his left leg in ... and then the trouble started.

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

I love long weekends ...

especially when I ...

Eat at Qdoba.

Find a dark denim skirt at Old Navy like I've been hoping to find all summer.

Stay up late reading a good book, knowing it's easier to stay up late when I don't have to go to work the next several days.

Tell my mom goodnight and that I'll see her in the morning. It's a simple comfort I didn't appreciate until I was out of the house for several years.

Wake up to KatieKerns calling me from Lexington (Just knowing she lives in the same state is pretty great in itself!) on her way to Louisville to visit me. Greg and I ate breakfast with her and Brad on Saturday morning and talked about getting together again in August.

Visit with Kevin and Milla. She's adorable, as always, and I noticed several instances when I thought to myself how Kevin has been transformed from an annoying little brother into a caring dad.

See old friends at a wedding of another old friend. Kelly's wedding was beautiful — pretty much it was a picture-perfect backyard wedding. The reception was even under one of those huge white tents with all the little lights that made me forget it was pitch dark outside.

Eat Cara's mom's cake. (Anyone who had cake at my wedding can surely relate!)

Wake up and read that good book some more, knowing I have hours to do nothing.

Shop in Louisville with my best friend from Murray. Jaclyn was in town too, so we went to The Summit and Springhurst and shopped and talked and dreamed about the next stage of our lives when spending three hours shopping because we have nothing better to do probably won't be so easy.

Visit my grandpa who lives in the same house he always has and still has pictures of me as a 3-year-old sitting on the dresser. It's so comforting some things never change.

Eat at Tumbleweed. (Yes, more Mexican. That was the third night in a row, considering Kelly's wedding had Mexican food.)

Go to a Louisville Bats game and see Austin Kearns make a fabulous catch.

Leave the baseball game early and walk to the riverfront to see a free Jo Dee Messina concert. Mom and I found some great seats on these steps to the side of the concert, which went we didn't have to stand among the crowd of people, but we could still hear clearly. Perfect.

Stay up late again reading my good book. I had to pick it back up because Jaclyn came to go shopping right as I was about to learn a critical point of the plot.

Ride back to Murray — a seemingly rather quick trip because I slept after I finished my good book. ("The Maze" by Catherine Coulter. I'm moving on the third in her FBI series and have the next two waiting for the beach next week.)

Spend a Monday off work at the pool. Yes, I have a sunburn to prove it. I need to apply the sunscreen more thoroughly and evenly.

Play Rook after coming in from the sun.