Monday, October 31, 2005

barely conservative

A friend told me I was "barely conservative." That's an interesting definition of me.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Dang, it's Sunday night already

This weekend was much too fast. Friday night I played mental catch up with myself. I finished a scrapbook I was working on and took care of some odds and ends around the house.

A trip to Nasvhille the rest of the weekend was sandwiched between work commitments. Saturday I covered a political picnic even though it's sort of an off year for that kind of thing. Then I went with the Taylors to Nashville for a Predators hockey game. (Edmonton won 5-1.) We stayed in a hotel there so we could go to the Titans game this afternoon. I love "falling back" with the time. I convinced myself I got an extra hour of sleep. I got like 10 hours of sleep as it was. (Gosh, I needed it!) Then Greg and I left the football game in the fourth quarter (although we didn't miss anything but the Raiders beating up on the Titans a little more!) so I could get back in Murray in time to cover the Board of Regents special meeting to start its presidential search process.

I don't know how many people who went to Murray read my blog, BUT for those who do ... The regents decided to appoint former MSU President Kern Alexander as the interim president once King Alexander, Kern's son, resigns, which will probably be in December or January. Interesting, huh? Let's just say, I wasn't expecting that. I was expecting a vice president or someone else already at the university to step in while the regents looked for a new president.

Friday, October 28, 2005

inside my mind

* I don't know of a cell phone these days that doesn't have caller ID. So why is it when someone calls, we say "hello?" like we aren't sure who it is? Even if it says "Mom" or shows Jaclyn's face eating a cheeseburger, I still usually pretend I don't know who's on the other end. Now, if it's a professional, work-related call, I realize I shouldn't answer the phone in some cutesy, silly way.

* Some days I feel like an adult, some days I feel stuck in the stage just before being an adult. I went to a party last weekend that was a strange merging of my worlds as a high school student in Oldham County and an adult in the Murray community. Some of my sources (I hate that word...) from work were there, so it was interesting to interact with them on a social level.

* I realized at that same party that I could dress up more. So I wore skirts and boots three days this week.

* Sometimes being nice to strangers is easier than being nice to my closest friends and family.

* I'm a people pleaser. Yet I've recently been stuck in a selfish stage of life. I'm working on an attitude adjustment.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Grey's Anatomy

I told you, this is my new favorite show. And this morning my brief free time, I found this site with quotes.

In summary, Derek is trying to decide if he's going to sign the divorce papers his wife sent him. Meanwhile, Meredith is trying to find out where she fits into his life. She met him — and fell for him — the night before she started at the hospital, not knowing he was a doctor above her. Anyway, here are some great lines from their interaction on Sunday's episode:

Derek: Look I was married for 11 years. Addison is my family. That is 11 Thanksgivings, birthdays, and 11 Christmases, and in one day I am supposed to sign a piece of paper and end my family? A person doesn’t do that, not without a little hesitation. I’m entitled to a little uncertainty here. Just a moment to understand the magnitude of what it means to cut somebody out of my life. I am entitled to at least one moment of painful doubt and a little understanding from you would be nice.

(Then later...)

Meredith: Okay... here it is. Your choice, it's simple: her or me. And I'm sure she's really great. But, Derek, I love you... in a really, really big... pretend-to-like-your-taste-in-music, let-you-eat-the-last-piece-of-cheesecake, hold-a-radio-over-my-head-outside-your-window, unfortunate way that makes me hate you, love you. So pick me. Choose me. Love me. I'll be at Joe's tonight, so if you do decide to sign the papers, meet me there.

The episode ends with her waiting. I can't decide if I think he'll show up.

But I LOVED the "Say Anything" reference with "...hold a radio over my head outside your window ..." It's especially appropriate because I thought about how much I love that movie. "Elizabethtown" had simliarities, thanks to Cameron Crowe's style.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

"Elizabethtown"

I loved "Elizabethtown" for many reasons.

The characters were real. Both the main characters and minor characters, even those in the background that don't say much, seem like people I know. Drew and Clarie's endless cell phone conversation is romantically intriguing. Claire thinks she's being mysterious, but she's really not. Still, they are quirky enough that they just made me laugh. (I mean, Chuck and Cindy: The Wedding ... that's random and hilarious!)

Actually, not just the cell phone conversation, but all the interaction between Drew and Claire is great. Then there's a great line by Claire: "Trust me. Everyone is less mysterious than they think they are."

I also love some of themes, especially that people sometimes know different versions about people, but in the end the bond two people have is all that matters -- even if it's different from the bond that person has with someone else. Relationships are meant to be compared but rather enjoyed, knowing relationships influence who we become -- hopefully more for the good than bad. Also, it's in the moments we least expect our lives to be influenced that they are. And these can be the most pleasant surprises.

And the music was great. Leave it to Cameron Crowe to get the music intertwined perfectly. Oh, and the scrapbook/map/music mix at the end was amazing. That's something I definitely wish I thought of. (Like when I read something I wish I'd written!)

Of course, I loved seeing places I know. I ever recognized Versailles in the actual Elizabethtown scenes.

Friday, October 21, 2005

death penalty

"I don't think we can ever know enough about someone to execute him. I don't think we're that wise, or that fair. I don't even think we're wise enough to keep from killing innocent men."

— Attorney Teresa Paget in the fiction book "Conviction" by Richard North Patterson

The Pacific Northwest
(and random notes)

I have a knack for trying to do much at once, both in my personal life and my work life. When those lives merge, and I have too much to do for both, I really become a ball of stress.

(Note to self: Limit what needs to be done before a five-day trip, and don't take any stress on the husband, especially because he won't ever be able to read minds, not even the wife's.)

So once Thursday wound down for me, I was off Friday morning to Portland for Elizabeth's wedding. And I could breath a little easier knowing I didn't have to be back at work until Wednesday. Mini-vacations may be the way to go, along getting into the swing of things at work has been rough, even in my shortened three-day work week.

One of my favorite parts of traveling is reading different newspapers. On Friday, I got to read three different ones -- The Tennessean, Contra Costa Times and Oakland Tribune. I had never read the two California papers before, so that was nice, and good entertainment on the plane. (I just don't understand why all three had negative reviews of Cameron Crowe's "Elizabethtown." I guess I'll get back that tonight after I see it.)

Elizabeth's dad picked me and his parents up at the airport and we were off to the hotel. It's strange when people arefamiliarr yet strangers, considering I hadn't seen the other members of the Collinson family in about 12 years. (I've seen her a few times since then.) I didn't know if I'd get to see Elizabeth before the dinner that night or not. But I did, which was a nice surprise. We just chatted and caught up a little, then I got to chat with the rest of her family at the dinner.

Saturday morning was a good time for my soul. I walked around Portland, down by the Williamette River, into some shops, pretty much thinking and remembering the whole time. The Collinsons moved to Kentucky from Rhode Island in 1986. They moved away in 1993. Throughout the years, we've visited each other a couple times and kept in touch with random letters, postcards and e-mails. Not really phone calls, though, and that's why I love hearing her voice on my cell phone from the airport.

Seeing the Collinsons reminded me as much as some things change, it's good to have childhood relationships. Even though thousands of things in Elizabeth's life and my own life have changed and she lives thousands of miles away from where our lives crossed, her gestures and comments seem so familiar. They are familiar. Her everyday life is a stranger to me, but we continue to connect.

The intriguing thing about Portland is standing on the riverfront where in one glance I could see trees withautumnm-colored leaves, green spaces, water, bridges, skyscrapers and houses. It's a strange combination of elements that combine for beauty. Maybe I captured that in my pictures.

While there's no sales tax in Oregon (But apparently the property taxes there are high ... I guess you pay the government a lot anywhere, it just comes in different forms!), I couldn't find much I wanted to buy. I walked through a mall downtown and through some local stores. I bought a couple presents, but nothing major (which is probably good for the pocketbook).

Now, if I liked coffee, the Pacific Northwest would be the place to be. And it's not just Starbucks. First in Portland, then in Seattle ... I sure noticed A LOT of coffee shops.

Something I noticed at both the dinner and wedding: Only Elizabeth's family and Kentucky friends (there were two of us there) call her Elizabeth. To the rest of the world, even the judge who married her and Mitch, she's Liz.

Random note about the Pacific time zone: Not only is it really hard to adjust to, it means college football starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday. That's a big early for such things on TV!

By the way, my mom flew in Saturday not long before the wedding because she had been in Clarksville for my sister's senior night on the soccer field. Cassie, however, didn't play because of her torn ACL, which she had repaired yesterday in a surgery.

The wedding, which was at the Portland Art Museum, was really nice. It was more formal than I would have expected from Elizabeth, but it was nice nonetheless. She was beautiful, the food was good and my new boots didn't hurt my feet until the end of the night.

Sunday Mom and I drove to Mt. St. Helens in Washington. I've heard of it and all, but I barely knew anything about it. It was neat to learn about and a beautiful drive up. It was interesting to see the edge of the blast zone, which is about 15 miles out from the actual crater. Outside that area, trees have been replanted, but inside that area people are waiting for them to grow back naturally.

It got foggier as the afternoon went on, so we didn't really get to see the actual volcano. We just gazed in the general direction as if we were seeing it. Still, it was a good detour from Interstate 5. (By the way, that link is a photo from about where we were. So, see, it was possible that we could have seen it without the fog!)

When got to Seattle near dinner time. We thought we were playing it cool hoping on the monorail near our hotel (which was near the Space Needle) to go downtown to get dinner. Well, it was Sunday night, and apparently little delis and cafes don't stay open much past 6 or so. It was past 6, and getting dark, so we didn't take our chances and ordered pizza (Hey, it was from a local place, not the nearby Dominos!) and watched "Desperate Housewives" and "Grey's Anatomy." I'd never seen either show, and I have to say, I'm adding "Grey's Anatomy" to my list of shows. Like I need more shows.

So Monday we went up the Space Needle in the late morning. It was fascinating up there, with the pictorial guides to show us what was below us. It was windy out, especially up there.

We took the monorail again (two days and we're pros, I tell you) downtown to the shopping district. We walked around the shops near Pike Place Market and through the market. It was definitely better than shopping in a mall any day. We took our time and just browsed around, watching people and looking at items. We ended up eating fish and chips at a restaurant on the waterfront and finding a few more shops along the piers.

Seattle is a neat city because there's so much water, yet there's so much city. Appropriately, we took a boat tour of the skyline. Our guide talked about different buildings and places as we circled Elliott Bay, which is part of the Puget Sound.

After finding some bargains at Nordstrom's Rack (like an outlet version of the department store), we went back to our hotel room to clean up for dinner. We went back up the Space Needle to the revolving restaurant there. It turns 360 degrees every 47 minutes. So we enjoyed a nighttime view of the city and ate the second-most expensive meal I've eaten. That was some good salmon, though.

We got back in time to see the eighth and ninth innings of the NLCS Game 5. I told my mom as Pujols came up to bat that Cardinals fan couldn't have dreamed up a better scenario. For that game, I was right. (I decided today I'm going to cheer for the Astros. Like that Kevin Bacon game, I'm only two degrees from Chris Burke, and I can't help but to like what's he's done lately, albeit I wish it was against just the Braves and that he would have cooled off by the time the Cardinals became the Astros foe. Oh, you see, Ryan played high school baseball with Burke at St. X in Louisville. That means I saw him play, too, because I went to a few of Ryan's games.)

So we flew back to Nashville from Seattle on Tuesday. Southwest flights are good deals (like $200 total to go from Nashville to Portland and Seattle back to Nashville) but that means no movies or lunch, even on a 4 1/2 hour flight. Regardless, we got back and stopped in Clarksville on our way back to Murray to give Cassie some souvenirs and watch the Lady Governors beat Delta State (the Fighting Okra, according to lore!) 7-0 while my sister was dressed in her APSU sweatshirt on the sidelines.

Since then, I've been trying to find time to blog and get back into the swing of busyness at work. So here I finally am.

Portland


With Elizabeth at Kell's Irish Restaurant & Pub

The contrast of Portland

In Portland

To Mt. St. Helens


Near the edge of the blast zone

Seattle


From atop the Space Needle

Even with the clouds, Monday was a beautiful day

From the boat on Elliott Bay

Walking to the Space Needle at night

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

You're caught between just who you are
and who you want to be

Maybe Bon Jovi is growing on me after all these years. These songs fit my thought process these days. I keep trying to figure out who I am, yet I keep coming back to where I started, where I'm lost between who I am and who I want to be.

WELCOME TO WHEREVER YOU ARE

Maybe we're all different but we're still the same
We all got the blood of Eden running through our veins
I know sometimes it's hard for you to see
You're caught between just who you are and who you want to be

If you feel alone and lost and need a friend
Remember every new beginning is some beginning's end

Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life; you made it this far
Welcome, you got to believe
That right here, right now
You're exactly where you're supposed to be
Welcome to wherever you are

When everybody's in and you're left out
And you feel you're drowning in the shadow of a doubt
Everyone's a miracle in their own way
Just listen to yourself, not what other people say

When it's seems you're lost, alone and feeling down
Remember everybody's different; just take a look around

Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life; you made it this far
Welcome, you got to believe
Right here, right now
You're exactly where you're supposed to be

Be who you want to be
Be who you are
Everyone's a hero
Everyone's a star

When you want to give up and your heart's about to break
Remember that you're perfect; God makes no mistakes

Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life; you made it this far
Welcome, you got to believe
Right here, right now
You're exactly where you're supposed to be
And I say welcome…
I say welcome…
Welcome…


WHO SAYS YOU CAN'T GO HOME?

I spent twenty years trying to get out of this place
I was looking for something I couldn't replace
I was running away from the only thing I've ever known
Like a blind dog without a bone
I was a gypsy lost in the twilight zone
I hijacked a rainbow and crashed into a pot of gold

I been there, done that
But I ain't looking back on the seeds I've sown
Saving dimes spending too much time on the telephone
Who says you can't go home

Who says you can't go home
There's only one place they call me one of their own
Just a hometown boy born a rolling stone
Who says you can't go home
Who says you can't go back
I been all around the world and as a matter of fact
There's only one place left I want to go
Who says you can't go home
It's alright, it's alright, it's alright, it's alright, it's alright

I went as far as I could, I tried to find a new face
There isn't one of these lines that I would erase
I lived a million miles of memories on that road
With every step I take I know that I'm not alone
You take the home from the boy
But not the boy from his home
These are my streets, the only life I've ever known
Who says you can't go home

Who says you can't go home
There's only one place they call me one of their own
Just a hometown boy born a rolling stone
Who says you can't go home
Who says you can't go home
I been all around the world and as a matter of fact
There's only one place left I want to go
Who says you can't go home
It's alright, it's alright, it's alright, it's alright, it's alright
Who says you can't go home
It's alright, it's alright, it's alright, it's alright, it's alright
Who says you can't go home

I been there, done that and I ain't looking back
It's been a long, long road
Feels like I never left, that's how the story goes

It doesn't matter where you are, It doesn't matter where you go
If it's a million miles away or just ten miles up the road
Take it in , Take it with you when you go
Who says you can't go home?

-From Bon Jovi's "Have a Nice Day" album

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

exactly

"The great thing about working for a small newspaper is that you get to do everything. And the bad part is that you have to do everything."

—Coke Ellington, journalism educator at Alabama State University in 2001

Sunday, October 9, 2005

Sure signs of autumn

* The weather for Saturday night's MSU football game was chilly. I had to wear a sweater and a knit hat (which I bought for 53 cents at Family Dollar about an hour before the game). I also wore my vintage Murray State T-shirt that I bought at a yard sale recently, but that has nothing to do with the season being fall.

* Baseball also was on. This is considered an autumn-related sport because it's the post season and my Cardinals are still playing. (How about the walk-off homerun by Chris Burke in the 18th inning for the Astros today? As a Cardinals fan, I would have rather seen the Braves win, but I love that Burke — a Louisville boy who played high school baseball with my friend Ryan — won the game for the Astros. And I love that Roger Clemens had to pinch hit and then pitch in relief. Maybe he'll be worn out, even though the NLCS doesn't start until Wednesday.)

* I made chili today. And, not be prideful, but it's the best pot of chili I've ever made. You have to know that I love my mom's chili, but she doesn't really have a recipe because she just knows how to make it. She once jotted down what she puts in it, but how much remained a mystery. So I combined her attempt at a recipe with a recipe from a cookbook. The result was tasty, even Greg said so. We had cornbread to go with it. I'm already looking forward to lunch tomorrow.

* I get to sleep with an extra blanket — my T-shirt quilt at that — at night because our bedroom is slightly chilly.

* We had the gas logs on last night, and should I say even early this morning, when we had company over to watch the Cardinals sweep the Padres. (The game didn't start until 10 p.m.)

Thursday, October 6, 2005

Welcome to October

I love the weather change in October, even though at this point we are just anticipating it in Kentucky. We were teased last weekend with some cool nights, then were met with 90-degree days this week.

I hate all the bills I have to pay in October. There's the annual property taxes — both for the city and county. It's also the month for car insurance and life insurance, which we pay twice a year. THEN all the other utilities still need to be paid. It's not a big deal because that's one of the points of our savings account, I just hate transferring all that money just to write checks.

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

The subject line on this e-mail when I received said, "News Release." That seems generic.

A 7-year-old boy was at the center of a courtroom drama in Lexington yesterday when he challenged a court ruling over who should have custody of him. The boy has a history of being beaten by his parents and the judge initially awarded custody to his aunt, in keeping with child custody law and regulations requiring that family unity be maintained to the degree possible. 

The boy surprised the court when he proclaimed that his aunt beat him more than his parents and he adamantly refused to live with her. When the judge then suggested that he live with his grandparents, the boy cried out that they also beat him. After considering the remainder of the immediate family and learning that domestic violence was apparently a way of life among them, the judge took the unprecedented step of allowing the boy to propose who should have custody of him.

After two recesses to check legal references and confer with child welfare officials, the judge granted temporary custody to the University of Kentucky Wildcat football team, whom the boy firmly believes is not capable of beating anyone.

Wrong team, Dad

My dad — a former University of Kentucky football player — bought a University of Louisville T-shirt and hat to wear the Cardinals football game Saturday. He has season tickets for both teams, but I was under the impression he had the UofL tickets because that was the best way to have a ticket to the UK-UofL game a couple years ago in Louisville. And I was OK with that, considering how much he likes football and the fact my brother often uses the tickets anyway.

NOW the fact he's cheering for the team and not just watching good football, like he earlier claimed, is disturbing. Granted, rooting for the Wildcats becomes disappointing, in fact, it's probably already reached that point this season, BUT that's why we just wait around for basketball season now.

Oh, and there's still baseball. (One down, 10 to go for the REAL Cardinals!)

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Judy Blume is classic.

I have a First Amendement day-by-day calendar on desk. Today's quote:

Books must be read as deliberately and reservedly as they were written.
—Henry David Thoreau

Then, ironically, I read Elizabeth's blog and was prompted me to look at this list of books. You've got to be kidding me, I LOVED some of these books growing up. I mean, if you don't want to read about sex, don't read Madonna's book or maybe even "Forever" by Judy Blume. Plus some of the sex books on the list are meant as resouces, not pleasure reading for children.

There's a difference in being wise and just banning books.

I remember loving "Bridge to Terabithia," "Ordinary People" and "Song of Solomon" (all of which we read in school at some point), "To Kill A Mockingbird" (which I think I chose to read for a school assignment), and "How to Eat Fried Worms." As an elementary school principal, my dad even ate worms as a reading incentive. Then I know for sure we read at least "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," "Flowers for Algernon" and "A Wrinkle in Time," and probably others.

Judy Blume was at the top of my list — "Blubber," "Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret" and "Tiger Eyes" (which I've read like eight times). And "Scary Stories," specially a tale called "High Beams" did stick with me enough that I still check the back seat of my car before I get in it, day or night. But that's not such a bad thing!

This list makes me want to go back and read some childhood classics. Who would want to ban "A Light in the Attic" anyway?

Monday, October 3, 2005

Bo Hart and Mark Mulder

I (aka I LOVE BO HART) won Greg's 20-team fantasy baseball league. He game in third. Looks like I'm the one with bragging rights around the Taylor household.

Here's what my roster looked like for the final day of regular season:

C M. Lieberthal (Phi - C)
1B S. Hillenbrand (Tor - 1B,3B)
2B C. Utley (Phi - 1B,2B)
3B M. Mora (Bal - 3B)
SS K. Greene (SD - SS)
IF J. Conine (Fla - 1B,OF)
IF A. Núñez (StL - 2B,3B,SS)
OF E. Brown (KC - OF)
OF V. Guerrero (LAA - OF)
OF J. Damon (Bos - OF)
Util R. Winn (SF - OF)
Util C. Counsell (Ari - 2B,SS)
Util P. Polanco (Det - 2B,3B)
BN D. Ward (Pit - 1B,OF)
BN C. Burke (Hou - 2B,OF)

PITCHERS
SP V. Zambrano (NYM - SP)
SP K. Lohse (Min - SP)
SP J. Washburn (LAA - SP)
SP J. Patterson (Was - SP)
RP T. Harper (TB - RP)
RP D. Wheeler (Hou - RP)
RP Al. Reyes (StL - RP)
RP J. Kennedy (Oak - SP,RP)
P C. Dingman (Det - RP)
P T. Sturtze (NYY - SP,RP)
P C. Hammond (SD - RP)
P M. Wise (Mil - SP,RP)
BN M. Mulder (StL - SP)
BN M. Clement (Bos - SP)

At work, I (aka MulderLooksGoodInRed) came in third out of eight teams. The main difference between the two leagues is Greg's had a lot more participants and more players on each roster, meaning everyone ended up with nobodies.

Here was my other team:

C B. Molina (LAA - C)
1B M. Teixeira (Tex - 1B)
2B J. Lugo (TB - 2B,SS)
3B D. Wright (NYM - 3B)
SS J. Reyes (NYM - 2B,SS)
OF J. Damon (Bos - OF)
OF M. Alou (SF - OF)
OF Lu. González (Ari - OF)
OF C. Crawford (TB - OF)
Util E. Chávez (Oak - 3B)
BN M. Tejada (Bal - SS)
BN J. Posada (NYY - C)
BN C. Jones (Atl - 3B,OF)
BN A. Soriano (Tex - 2B)
BN M. Ordóñez (Det - OF)

PTICHERS:
SP M. Mulder (StL - SP)
SP J. Peavy (SD - SP)
SP B. Webb (Ari - SP)
RP D. Báez (TB - RP)
RP H. Street (Oak - RP)
P Fr. Rodríguez (LAA - RP)
P D. Turnbow (Mil - SP,RP)
P L. Hernández (Was - SP)
P F. García (CWS - SP)
DL T. Walker (SF - RP)

You might we wondering why I have some guys on the bench. Well, after being in first or second for much of the beginning of the season, I slipped permanently to second and then on to third once I ran out of pitching, thanks to the maximum innings rule. So, with that said, I had to concentrate on certain categories, and in the last couple weeks of the season one of those was stolen bases, hence Reyes and Jugo in the line up. Although, I have to admit, I kept Reyes in most all of the season. Heavy in the outfield position, I rotated most of the all season based on their recent hitting stats.

weird weather weekend

FRIDAY night we went with Katy, Chad, Jaclyn and Bryan to the drive-in to see "Just Like Heaven." Cute movie. Fun time. Cold night. I was a bit chilly even in a long-sleeve T-shirt and fleece jacket.

SATURDAY morning Peggy and I went yard saling in the moving. In my thin sweatshirt, I was perfect. And I found some GREAT deals, including some Christmas presents at Pier One's half-price sale. (OK, so we did some REAL shopping in between yard sales!) After lunch, we went to the festival in Hazel, a small city on the Kentucky/Tennessee line that shouldn't even be called a city. It got hot. I had to bare the tank top I was wearing under my sweatshirt.

That night we went to a bus race. Yes, a bus race. Peggy and Gary had entered a bus in the figure-eight race. They had time trials and all. Pretty entertaining, minus all the down time. It rained on our way out.

SUNDAY we went to Nashville for the Titans/Colts game. The Titans got their butts kicked and I got sunburned. But it was strangely a good time anyway.