Friday, December 31, 2004

I found my vino, etc.

I'm excited because I've found my Wine Blogging Wednesday wine for January. Whoo-hoooo! I'm not going to give it away yet, but it is a $6.00 Merlot from a wacky-named winery.

I also took books back to the library and got more, DVDs back to Blockbuster and got more, bought some actual glass champange flutes for tonight, and aired up my new tires. Yea!

Hmmm, I'm back to my reading list finally! Frankenstein was quite good, I started out liking The Idiot a whole lot, but got consufed and bored about 3/4 of the way through and quit - I completely stopped caring about the characters, so I just stopped picking it up. That's when I really quit reading for a long time.

I had to reschedule some of my reading because of Oprah. So I've picked it back up with The Giver, which was a nice piece of jeuvenile sci-fi that I hope Chris reads when he's in 6th or 7th grade. The Good Earth was more rich than I had remembered it from my previous reading in High School. Of course I learned a little of the history of China since then, which made all of the back story much more interesting. I cried real tears at the last three pages of the book. Oprah made a nice choice to follow Anna Karenina for her book club.

So today I picked up Inherit the Wind and Jane Eyre. It seems like I should have read both of these before now. But that's the point of the reading list, so off I go :)

Dennis and I watched "Garden State" last night, and I thought it was excellent! I hope both of today's choices are acceptable to him: Hero and I, Robot. Nothing like action and adventure on New Year's Eve!


I opened my wine last night. It is drinkable! Nothing too complex about it. Berries. Not bitter or scary or too big of a flavor. Just ordinary wine that anyone should be able to drink, a good red for women, I think. I got in a bad mood in the middle of it, so I quit drinking. I've got 1/2 a bottle left to get to quickly. Definately worth the price I paid for it, which is saying something.

Now I've got cheap ($8.99) "champagne" to drink tonight - of course it is from California, so it isn't really champagne at all. No sense spending a ton on it, because I think I'll be on my own with it, and I don't think I can dust the bottle off by myself. Scratch that. I don't think I should dust the bottle off by myself. Dennis will taste it though, if he stays awake that long. He's out tromping around in the woods with Koby this morning.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Wine Blogging Wednesday

I want to do this. I am going to. Hooray!

The Cutest Wine

I just found the cutest wine. I'm not sure if it is the best wine, but I couldn't resist it sitting there on the shelf last night.

Awwww, isn't it sweet? The Little Penguin. *melt*

It's another Australian Shiraz. I really enjoyed the last one I had, which was Black Swan Shiraz, which gets "GOLD MEDAL, 2004 PACIFIC RIM WINE COMP. A very appealing wine, the brightly-fruited '02 Black Swan Shiraz exhibits tasteful black fruit and violet flavors; smooth and easy on the palate; delectable!" from BevMo. We had it with DJ's deer roast, and we both found it very appealing.

BevMo says, "86 PTS WILFRED WONG. Subtle, smooth, and succulent, the soundly made '03 Little Penguin Shiraz stays delicious and delectable on the palate; superb with baked game hen in a wine reduction sauce," about the Little Penguin. (BevMo is the only place I can find both wines listed with blurbs.) I've heard blueberries with this one, so I may wind up just drinking it by itself.

I didn't buy it because I thought it would be excellent. I bought it because it has a penguin on the label. Hehe :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2004


Cool. KSHE hooked me up as a result of the concert guest list fiasco on Christmas Day. Now Dennis and I are going to be sitting in the front row, center, for Larry the Cable Guy. I guess we ought to rent his DVD so we know if he's funny or not. I know his parents really liked it when they had it a while back. Thank you Tony B. at KSHE! (I am a litte afraid of the front row at a comedy show though. Eek!)

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Back to work

Meh, had to go back to the office today. There wasn't any work. I had Christmas presents waiting for me from Dave Armstrong and Al. Great. Another time nobody bothered to tell me that we'd exchange gifts. Meh, it was a $15 GC to the mall and some Bissenger chocolates. Oops. I never told anyone what holiday I might celebrate, so maybe next year (if I still work there *cough*) I'll give them all latkes and chocolate coins, or maybe "Merry Yule" cards with a little pictures of Mother Nature, Father Time, and the Baby Sun-God on the front.

Dennis and I went out to the Pasta House on my gift certificates. It was great! Then we watched Dodgeball. It wasn't great. LOL.

Barb called and said that the spice bread I made reminded her of her childhood in New England. I'm glad to know I could do that for her. It's almost easier now that we're not related. And, whew, Christmas is over! Hooray!

Sunday, December 26, 2004

My son is sweet

After we drove to Troy to drop Beth off, we came home and had a great evening. Chris was so nice and fun to be around. He was an angel when Koby came to visit. We had a blast reading Mad Libs at bedtime. I'm sad he's leaving for Indiana tomorrow. Sometimes being a mom is the BEST thing in the whole world.

How I Wish You Were Here

Boo! Hiss!

The contest I won didn't pan out last night. We rushed home from the Dozas yesterday to meet my sister so I could take her to the El Monstero concert. We drove up to the Pageant, only to find that we were NOT on the guest list as promised. I tried her cell phone, but I couldn't get anyone to answer at the radio station. So we wound up coming home. I sent KSHE an email - well, I sent it to as many email addresses as I could get on their website. We'll see what happens. Grr.

The four of us drove around trying to look for Christmas lights, but I think we wound up taking mostly Jewish roads or something. Still, we wound up having an ok evening at home.

Then overnight I was very sick. My stomach wouldn't stop hurting, and I could not sleep. Finally, around 5:30 in the morning, I finally got the feeling that I was going to throw up. After that, I felt ok and went right to sleep. I pretty much just got up. *yawn* I was up till 2:30 on Thursday, 3:30 on Friday, and 5:30 last night. I've gotta get some sleep!

Saturday, December 25, 2004

I Love Christmas

Not dead. Yet.

We were up till 2:30 last night baking cookies. Thursday was a terrible day. Grr.

Chris was very cruel too, in response to my freaking out, I'm sure. I was just about ready to run away for the Holidays. :( This time of year is too hard on me.

Now it is Christmas Eve. Technically, it's Christmas Day, isn't it. *Yawn*

We finished icing the last set of cookies this morning. Then we took off for Litchfield. Listening to Christmas songs on the way up made me cry in the middle of the day. Mom made a very nice German-themed dinner for us. It was good, but because it is soooo freezing outside, the meat cooled off too quickly. LOL. It hasn't been this cold since Beth was born. Brrrr!

The Marfells' Tree:

A good time was had by all. Dennis and Dad disappeared to regions unknown to look at guns, guns, guns. I fell asleep watching TV.

It is super cold tonight, in the low single digits. We're still up working on the finishing touches for Christmas, including building a slot car track. I wonder if we'll just stay up all night...

Thursday, December 23, 2004

I Fucking Hate Christmas!

I hate it, I hate it, I hate it!

I want to kill my family. I want to burn my Christmas tree. I do not want to sing songs or bake cookies or give gifts to anyone!

I am not doing this next year. Stupid fucking commercial holiday. Fuck you, Christmas.

Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Happy Birthday

To my sister. 15. Hahahah! I'm so glad I'm not her.

I had to work this morning, and we're on our way out the door to drive up to Litchfield (again) to eat dinner and give her stuff.

Dennis is having trouble quitting JetCorp. They're being dickheads about everything they possibly can. I'd support him quitting today if that's what he decides to do. I'm also nervous about the new job. I hope everything goes well for him. FWIW, I would never take a job at JetCorp after witnessing how they treat their employees. Screw it.

Not that I'm not catching enough flack at my own job. Peggy has turned back into dragonlady. Everything I do is wrong. Wrong. Wrong. So I don't care anymore. No pleasing the unpleasable, right? Oh, I got a Christmas gift from work too - a $30 gift certificate to Pasta House and an (empty) ceramic snowman cookie jar. I didn't get them anything. I could have, but I didn't. Oops.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Maybe my family doesn't suck?

We had a family get-together today that I thought was going to be absolutely horrible. It wound up being not horrible. I didn't know we were exchanging gifts, so we didn't bring anything. We'd just talked on the 5th about it and we weren't supposed to that day. I wish people would tell us when they change the rules.

Here's the only picture I managed to get of the family (almost all of them, I'm missing a sister, an Aunt, a cousin and her fiance - oops)

Here's Dennis and I in all of our glory :)

Friday, December 17, 2004

Good News Today

Some days are just good.

I won some stuff on the radio today:

"During the 12 Days of Christmas, KSHE 95 will be playing your favorite rock-n-roll Christmas songs and giving you the chance to win a 12 Days of Christmas Schtocking Schtuffer with something for him, something for her and something for both. Be caller 11 between 9am & 5pm when you hear the cue to call and you will get a pair of tickets to the El Monstero show on Christmas, an Aveda gift bag from Studio Branca SalonSpa and a prize from Surdyke Harley Davidson. Each day one grand prize winner gets a $25 gift certificate from Studio Branca SalonSpa and Surdyke Harley Davidson. One grand prize winner from all 12 days gets 4 passes for the KSHE VIP Box and a $200 Studio Branca SalonSpa gift certificate and a Harley Davidson mini fridge from Surdyke Harley Davidson. The El Monstero Wish You Were Here Pink Floyd Tribute is December 23rd, 25th and 26th and tickets are still available for the 25th and 26th at the Pageant box office."

Here's my Harley stuff *giggle*

While I was on the phone with the DJ, Dennis called me at work to let me know that he's definately gotten a new job! (I had to pretty much hang up on him though, hehe.)

Yea, sometimes things work out in your favor no matter what.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

It's all different now

Wow, quitting smoking has been quite an experience. I feel like an entirely different person. I am not convinced that I like the new me. I am much more anxious and nervous, and I feel like my fuse is much shorter than it ever was. For a long time, I've been barely able to deal with daily life. I freaked out last week and broke a bunch of dishes in the kitchen. I was so depressed last weekend that Dennis thought Chris should stay with my parents instead of here. I am not having the least little bit of fun with any of it, but hey, at least I can run up a flight of stairs without getting winded.

I also quit working on my reading list, quit sewing my Christmas present projects (so I have none of them done 9 days before Christmas), blah. Basically I've only wanted to lay around and be miserable, and I am lost as to how Dennis has been able to put up with me at all.

So now I'm a whiny depressed blogger. Yea :) But I am working on it. I feel much better this week than I did last week.

In other news, we have our Christmas tree up:

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Happy Happy Joy Joy

*happy dance*

The old computer is back! No more nasty laptop! No more missing TAB key! No more craning my neck to see the screen! No more broken Java. No more refusing to open things in a new window.

I'll be able to blog again. Heck, I'll be able to just plain old use the internet again. Ahhhhhh!

Friday, October 08, 2004

Playoff Baseball

My parents took me to the Cardinals game last night. It was awesome! It's been a long time since I've been to a sold out game. I had SRO tickets once in 1998 during the home run race. Before that it was when I was really young and my grandma would take me to Cards / Cubs games on the bus. I believe that the last time was 3rd grade!

It was so loud, the crowd was so enthused, we were up soooo high :) (Section 319, row 19, seat 19)

The Cardinals won 8 - 3 in a very exciting game.


Wednesday, October 06, 2004


C: drive on the desktop is toast. Again. Dennis got us internet access again by hooking up the laptop. It's kinda cool, cause we're using the laptop with the desk monitor & mouse, but it's kinda annoying cause the laptop is old and some keys don't work. Like TAB. I didn't realize how good it was till it was gone. (The TAB key that is...)

Monday, October 04, 2004



You can vote up to five times per day. Yes, you have to register to vote, but if you click LOG OFF after you vote, you're unsubscribed.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Smoking is stupid

Smoking is stupid.
Smoking is stupid.
Smoking is stupid.
Smoking is stupid.
Smoking is stupid.
Smoking is stupid.
Smoking is stupid.
Smoking is stupid.
Smoking is stupid.
Smoking is stupid.
Smoking is stupid.
Smoking is stupid.
Smoking is stupid.
Smoking is stupid.
Smoking is stupid.
Smoking is stupid.
Smoking is stupid.
Smoking is stupid.
Smoking is stupid.
Smoking is stupid.
Smoking is stupid.
Smoking is stupid.
Smoking is stupid.
Smoking is stupid.

GAH! I need something to do with my hands.

I've been smoke-free for 10 days, 16 hours, 20 minutes, 39 seconds.
I've been nicotine-free for 7 days, 17 hours, 55 minutes, 51 seconds.

It is still freaking hard! I got very frustrated at someone on the phone today and almost cried. Then I got shaky and sick. Now I am second guessing my trip to my cousin's wedding this weekend. I sure hate to duck out of something that important, but I don't know if I'm up to an entire weekend with Chris, my sister, mother, and aunt, and the whole wedding thing, and the 5 hour drive there and back, and NO DENNIS... Hrm, not sure if it is safe.

I am going to eat something now just in case it is a blood sugar thing. I didn't have a regular lunch today.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Fire Tower Tour

The three of us went on a small expedition this afternoon. Dennis and I found this cool fire tower a little while back on one of our long cruises around Jefferson County. We didn't have time to climb it that day, but we did today :)

I have zero coping skills right now, so I only made it up about four flights before I gave up. I will climb it some day. Just not today.

Dennis and Chris both made it up. What brave boys I have :-D They took pictures from the top for me.

That's how I know I'll make it. I've just gotta see that view. I love the hills. Maybe I'll find the hill I'm going to live on from up there. Actually, the hill it is built on is quite a nice one. It's got a good round dome top, and as you can see, it drops away into long valleys from that point. There is a great view.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Freaking out and Caves

We took a family trip to Meramec Caverns today. "Come visit the most exploited cave in America!" It is sometimes hard to see the caveness of the poor thing, with the paved walkways, multi-colored electric lights, and handy handrails everywhere. It feels like you're in someone's basement. It is an amazingly beautiful cave, and big(!) if you remember to look at it - I mean really look at the cave behind all of the other stuff. I am never sure how to feel about paying $35 to see a place like that.

Oh, if you ever see the assholes who drive around in the Ameriquest Mortgage Airship, tell them I said, "Hello, Fuckers!" They very kindly ran me straight off onto the shoulder of Interstate 44 while we were going just over 70 mph. The thought it was quite hilarious, but I found the thought of my beautiful 8-year-old son hurdling towards the guard rail anything but.

(It was the box truck that actually ran me off of the road, not these van guys, but I bet they got a kick out of it too.)

In other news: quitting smoking screws up your blood sugar! I was already having a hard time today with my nerves and being exceptionally crabby. I sorta forgot that I planned my smoking cessation and my PMS for the exact same weekend. Oops :) Then I didn't eat lunch because I was in a cave for an hour and 20 minutes. So by the time I got out, I was totally crazy!

Dennis already knows that I need to eat at fairly regular intervals or I get sorta nutty. I didn't realize what was going on today with my blood sugar. I kept trying to fight it off like it was a nicotine thing, and I kept trying to yell at him for telling me to eat. I think I just yelled at everyone all the way home.

Friday, September 17, 2004


Dennis, Chris and I went for a picnic this evening at Sandy Creek Covered Bridge. The mosquitos were out, but it was worth it. The fish seemed to enjoy eating some of our bread crumbs. I love the air this time of year. It is still warm, but it is drier and it feels so much better than the heavy summertime air.

I felt just fine today at work. I was happy and so proud of myself! It isn't as easy later in the day. I am finding that I have absolutely no idea how to deal with anything. It's a combination of the fact that I used to be able to "escape" by going outside to smoke, and the way nicotine screws up your brain chemistry.

"Your mind is in the process of resuming control of the more than 200 neurochemicals that nicotine had directly and indirectly taken hostage, including select adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin pathways. In resuming control the brain is making sensitivity adjustments associated with mood, reward, stimulation and anxiety. In trying to protect your mind from the deadly pesticide nicotine it actually desensitize important neurochemical circuits by reducing receptor sites and diminishing the number of transporters. "

Thursday, September 16, 2004

I Put My Finger in My Eye

At least I feel like putting my finger in my eye.

Good GOD! I cut way back on lozenges yesterday. I haven't had one today. I figure there is no sense in messing around with it anymore. I am not going to smoke anymore no matter what, so I'm just going to go ahead and go through the whole process all at once. Why put it off?

Holy crap this is hard. It's made me cry a few times already. I mean tears and bawling and snot. My official fall-back if it is too hard is lozenges, but I've avoided them so far today.

I had to go back to the doctor because my Pap from September 2nd came back "ASCUS." (Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance.) They didn't have enough tissue left over to do the HPV test, so I had to go give them some more. Hooray! I shouldn't have HPV, because I did not have it when I was pregnant with Chris. I know I was tested for it then. Since I met Dennis, I've had three normal paps. I have a feeling this was just a bad test for some reason and the HPV will come back negative. I gather that around 60% of the time that is the case.

I will know when this test comes back in two to three weeks. If I do not have any HPV at all, then I just got a "bad Pap" for some reason or another. If I do have HPV, I will know if I have "not bad" or "bad" HPV. Apparently there are different kinds, and only some of them are associated with increased risk of cervical cancer.

From Dr. Paul Indman:
The Atypical Pap (ASCUS)
This is the category that drives women crazy! This means some cells that are slightly funny looking, but not abnormal enough to call dysplasia. (ASCUS stands for "atypical cells of undetermined significance.) This category could also be called "probably normal, but I want to keep a close eye on things." There is a tremendous variation between labs on how many pap smears come back with this reading, which corresponds to the old "Class 2" classification. Some labs will be very liberal in calling normal variations "atypical," which causes women to worry needlessly. Other labs have stricter criteria for this classification.

Damn You, Oprah!

So Oprah announced her new book yesterday...

They're reading The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck. Ok, so here's a snippet of my reading list:

A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
The Giver, Lois Lowry
The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck

I'm reading A Farewell to Arms right now. Unless I get hung-up with my cousin's wedding gift, I should be to The Good Earth in about three weeks. (I'm sewing a wedding sampler for Emily, and I need to get on it because the wedding is on the 25th of this month.)

C'mon, Oprah! You did this with Anna Karenina too! What the heck? Are you trying to steal my reading list? It is so hard to get books from the library when they are make your book club. I hate feeling like an Oprah joiner! I know the librarian is judging me. Damn you!

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

A "Told Ya So" for Dennis

"Anger is a part of the quitting process. Don’t try to resist it. Accept it, safely vent it, and take some time to feel it. You feel angry and testy. You don’t have to have a reason to feel that way, you just do. "

The American Lung Association has a free smoking cessation program on their website. If you are thinking of quitting, you should check it out. If you are a smoker, and are not thinking of quitting, you should still check it out :-D

I thought the quote above was amusing. That's exactly what I told Dennis last night while we were watching a movie together. "I'm crabby, I'm cranky, I'm mad at everything. Deal with it. I deserve to be." If you are quitting cocaine, you get to go to a special swanky hospital. I have to go on with my daily life as if nothing special were happening to me. GRR!

So Far, So Good

It has been more than 36 hours since my last cigarette! According to this, my risk of heart attack has already decreased, and my carbon monoxide level is the same as a non-smoker now. (Yeah, but does that count the exhaust huffing I did on my way home from work yesterday???)

I've been cranky, but I really haven't had overwhelming cravings. One big difference is that I've really made up my mind that I don't want to smoke anymore. I know other people who have already quit successfully have said that deciding they didn't want to smoke is what finally worked for them.

The Commit is ok except for two things. It is hard to plan not eating 15 minutes before you take one, and they last for about 30 minutes. That makes eating breakfast and getting my morning coffee a challenge, especially the days that I work. Oh, add one more thing - the lozenges are kinda large for my mouth. I have a big mouth, but apparently "between the cheek and gums" is just a little bit too small. Sometimes it starts to hurt having that big old hard lozenge stuck in there.

I'm trying to convince myself that I want lozenges when I go get cravings.

I'm starting to get productive coughs. Ew. I know they'll go away after a while though, because I've been through this part of quitting before.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Goodbye to You

I quit! I set my quit date for today, September 13, 2004.

I had a ceremony last night after my last cigarette ever. I threw away my ashtray, lighters, and about 1/2 a pack I had hanging around. (Except Dennis wanted to keep the lighters for his torch, so I let him.) I was trying to pretend that they were things left behind by a terrible boyfriend. (But that wound up just being silly :) )

I've only packed enough money for lunch today ($2, I'm having a McChicken and an apple pie), and left my credit and debit card at home. I can't buy cigarettes even if I really really really want to that way.

I'm trying Commit lozenges this time. I know I can't do the patch because they keep me up at night and give me strange dreams when I do manage to fall asleep.

Here goes nothing.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Photo. Blog.

We finally got FTP access to our host back up and running.

Pictures from Chris's Birthday Party and the State Fair are up in their posts. Yea!

Birthday, Birthday, Birthday

Today is Cathy's (Dennis's mom) birthday. I don't know what we've got planned, but I hope the boy is going to get her a gift and go see her tonight. Otherwise I'll have to spank him ;)

I finished reading Ethan Frome yesterday. Dennis tells me I read too fast. Bah, even if I do, I'll never read everything. The New England winter was the most interesting "character" in the story for me. I've never been to that part of the country, and while I have seen bad snow storms from time to time, that kind of weather never takes over in St. Louis. I know what a moonlight snowscape looks like, but I don't know what it feels like to be socked in for the whole winter. I suppose that is a commentary on how things read to individual readers. I'm always excited by meteorological descriptions in print. I like the way talented writers can pratically make us feel the rain drops falling on us, or the cold winter wind whip through us.

Edith Wharton dealt with time in Frome in an interesting manner, with an outside narrator telling a story that happened a while ago. This device is very common in modern movies, so it isn't a shock to the modern reader. It is even less suprizing to find it in a short story. It is a very good way to establish a 3rd person narrator and cut through chrolonogical details, which is sometimes necessary in order to fit a full narrative into such a small space. It is certainly not as interesting as Arthur Miller's use of time in Salesman. Still, Frome is an excellently put-together piece that absolutely deserves a look.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Lazy Heads!

We both had the day off today, and we did NOTHING. Labor Day my ass!

I finished reading James Joyce's Dubliners today. The last story, "The Dead", was my favorite. It made me cry. Something about that story and the residual from watching this documentary, "A Family Undertaking," on PBS last night. I definately cried last night. What a touching film! If PBS is rerunning it in your area, you should watch!

I also finished off Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman today. It's an interesting thing to pair with Dubliners. I'm certain there is excellent fodder for a college lit. class essay there! I think James Joyce was living Biff Loman, because he felt the disallusionment and was able to articulate it, unlike Willy Loman. Whew, that was a brain workout, finishing both books and the documentary all together in less than 24 hours.

We ran down to Festus to eat BBQ with Dennis's folks earlier this evening. We sat outside and watched the hummingbirds for quite a while. They've got quite a herd down there! We must have seen 30 or 40 of them at one time.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Air Show

Dennis took me to the St. Louis County Fair & Air Show today. His company, Jetcorp, hosted a catered BBQ in their new hanger. It's (obviously) right out on the tarmac, so we had a great view of the planes. It was fun!

Saturday, September 04, 2004


Oh boy, if you think getting along with your in-laws in a challenge, you should try having your ex-in-laws over for the afternoon!

Paul called me yesterday wondering why I didn't pick Chris up after school. I didn't because Labor Day is his holiday this year and he's supposed to have Chris for the whole three-day weekend. Duh! Paul had "just learned" that he had to work today, and wanted to know if I could watch Chris. Hrm, if I am ever in that position, he says, "I can't believe you didn't arrange for a babysitter!!!" in his most incredulous tone. How many times have I been stuck driving to Litchfield so that my parents or sister could watch Chris? Oh well, getting to see Chris unexpectedly on Paul’s holiday is a nice bonus for me. I didn’t have anything else going on anyway, Dennis was scheduled to be out of the house most of the day working on Dave’s turbo car and selling his Shelby Charger anyway. So besides it being good to see Chris, it was also really no particular trouble at all. Hooray!

The catch was that Paul’s family was coming to town for his other birthday party. I wasn’t going to give Chris back to Paul, I was going to meet his parents at their hotel and drop him off there.

I got to Paul’s on time (9:00 a.m. on a Saturday *grr*) and they had literally just rolled out of bed. Chris and I stopped on the way home to walk across the Page Extension bridge. It’s pretty cool, and I think Chris really enjoyed it. He hadn’t had breakfast, so we went to Denny’s together. We came down Lindbergh from north county, and it would up being almost 11:30 before we got back to my apartment.

Oops, Paul’s parents called around 2:00. They’d moved hotels and decided they would just pick him up at my house! CLEANING FRENZY!!! Luckily it wasn’t very bad, since we’d just been through the extra cleaning for his birthday party here last week. Still, plenty of stress for a few minutes there! Everything worked out fine, Barb (ex-MIL) seemed to approve of the apartment, they were nice, and then they left. Not as bad as I thought it was going to be. :)

Paul's Family:

Aunt Jeana, Grandma Barb (Gummi), Chris, Aunt Katie, and Grandpa Paul

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

I'm out of it

Dennis gave me some kind of germ. I came home from work early yesterday. I do that a lot anyway, but I was actually sick yesterday instead of just plain out of work to do. I assume I had a fever, since I was very disoriented and hot right before I left. I don't have a thermometer at work though, so I could have just been imagining things, or it could have just been hot in my office. I didn't eat lunch, then slept from about 2:30 yesterday afternoon until Dennis got home. I stayed up late last night. I honestly don't know how late. Even with all of that, I still managed to sleep until around 11:00 this morning! I haven't slept in that late for so long, I don't even remember it. I feel dizzy and crabby. I thought my coffee would cut through it, but it hasn't. Shoot. I'm really out of it. Darn good thing I'm not operating heavy equipment today! Hrm, I might just try another nap too. I never sleep this much anymore. I'm going to go take a hotter than normal shower to see if that does anything to clear the fog in my head.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Happy Birthday Chris!!!

My little guy is 8! I can't believe it's been that long. He's such a cutie. There is nothing in the world that compares to having children.

Paul kept Chris out of the house all evening. We're supposed to share time with him on his birthday. That didn't happen. I was left calling him on the phone at about 9:30. Believe me, I tried and tried to get in touch with them to arrange driving out to St. Charles and getting at least a few minutes with him, at least enough time for a big birthday hug. This is a major bummer.

I still haven't gotten an invitation to his "other" birthday party either. I seriously doubt that I will. I'm fairly certain that everyone is miffed by the two parties situation. (Well, except the one person who is ultimately responsible, that is.) We're all (and when I say we, I mean both sets of grandparents, Dennis and myself, and yes, even Paul - everyone else) able to put away whatever differences we may have for one day for Christopher's sake. Apparently we're all wrong. Apparently Chris's birthday needs to be some kind of contest. It makes me feel really bad for him. I can only hope that he is able to recognize the situation for what it is. I won't resort to feeding him lines, I won't ever give him the impression that someone else is wrong or bad. That's not what it is about. To me, it is about keeping Chris's best interest in mind at all times. I can't think of any reason that we need to create situations that force Chris to choose. It seems petty to me, but I know there are outside issues being brought in too. I worry sometimes, since I am apparently seen as public enemy #1 by certain people, just what kind of crap Chris is hearing about me. As the two parties situation developed, I got the impression that not everyone always feels the same pressure as me to keep adult matters between the adults.

Ugh, some days there is just no right answer. Every time you turn around, you're bumping into some other obsticle. It's enough to make you want to pull your hair out. I couldn't have stayed with Paul for anything. He wasn't perfect, and neither was I. The whole point was to make things better for everyone involved. UGH!

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Birthday Party

We celebrated Chris's birthday today. Unfortunately Paul has had the brilliant idea to have separate parties, so it was somewhat un-perfect. We just smiled and made the best of it though. Paul was invited and actually showed up too!

We had a small group show up around 11:00 A.M.

Grandpa Dale, Grandma Myrna, Paul, Aunt Beth, Great-Aunt Marg, Dennis
(My parents, my ex-husband & baby daddy, my little sister, my aunt, my Deener)

We opened presents, but Chris was upset about having his picture taken.

He blew out the candles on his "dirt cake" that we made together last night.

The flower arrangement I made is there on the table. Yeah, I know, what eight-year-old boy wants flowers? Well, Mom takes any opportunity she gets to put fresh flowers in the apartment :)

We went to Grant's Farm to hang out. While at Grant's Farm, I was bitten on the leg by a camel. I DO NOT LIKE CAMELS NOW!!!

I think Chris did ok with his small party. I wish it didn't have to be this way, but he's getting old enough now to see things as they are and make up his own mind about it. He'll realize that it wasn't my doing, and I hope he'll appreciate what the effort I put into trying to make it up to him.

Thursday, August 26, 2004


I just finished The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver. It was a quick read, and I liked it. It's a chick book. I waited a long time to get one of the three copies the library has. I waited through 15 holds before I finally got my turn at it. Apparently everyone read it quickly, because I obviously hadn't waited 10 weeks for it.

I skipped Canterbury Tales. I checked it out, kept it for two weeks, and barley scratched the Prologue. I just wasn't the least bit interested right now. I'll get back to it though, because I do want to read it. I'm actually considering buying it so I can saw away at it a piece at a time. It isn't really what I would consider a one-sitting kind of book.

I am going to get The Death of a Salesman today. My list tells me to read "Different Drummer, William Melvin Kelley" next, but the St. Louis County library doesn't have it! They have the Cliff's Notes though. Strange.

Since I can't get that at the library, I'm going to skip on to James Joyce's The Dubliners. It is also in the library, along with the Arthur Miller play, so it looks like I'm going to have pleanty to read for at least a few days.


Our apartment complex was struck by lightning last night. It was the same building as our apartment, but it was down at the other end. It was very exciting!

Well, the actual lightning strike wasn't all that exciting to me. I was in bed reading. The bedroom blinds were all the way open so I could enjoy the storm. Dennis was asleep behind me. I saw a very bright flash and heard the simultaneous thunder, but I assumed it hit the tall cell tower that's a little way behind us, so I didn't think any more about it. Dennis didn't even wake up.

A little while later we noticed two fire trucks and about six police cars in the front. Our downstairs neighbor was outside by her car when it happened. She said it hit the top of the building, then jumped horizontally over the parking lot and off into the woods.

There is a hole through the roof in the back of the aparments. The shingles are blown up and out, and there was so much force that nails were pushed through boards down into the apartment. The hole continues straight through the crawl space and the upstairs ceiling. Yes, they're looking at stars in their kitchen. The strike blew the filter / cover off of the downstairs apartment's stove hood. The apartment next door (upstairs) to the one with the hole in the ceiling is vacant. The firemen couldn't get in through the door, so they pulled down cabinets and hacked through the kitchen wall. They had to make sure it wasn't burning over there. They pulled out the kitchen fan, a whole bunch of smoldering insulation, blackened drywall from the ceiling, etc. It was actually pretty scary. It definately smelled like smoke all over the complex for a while there.

The emergency pager to get in touch with the management was out of service, so we had quite a time getting in touch with Debbie. It was a long time before she got over here. Shortly after the fire department left, it started storming all over again. The hole wasn't covered at all, so it may wind up that the downstairs unit gets ruined right along with the upstairs. I hope those people have their renter's insurance in order.

That was closer than I wanted it to be. The lightning was amazing last night though. After the storms had passed, there were a lot in incredible sheet strikes coming at us from the east. It was constant. There was actually more flashing from the sky than all of the emergency vehicles. Nobody was injured, there was no real fire, and we're all safe today. That's all that really matters.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004


NBC's coverage of the Olympics really makes me angry. They insist on showing ads for the cable channels with actual variety though. I can call my cable provider if I'd like to see one single equestian event... I wish they'd run more of a cornicopia of sports on the network. You'd figure that is the flagship, right? I can watch gymnastics three or four times a year as it is. I never get to see archery, drassage, or judo. Isn't that a big part of the Olympics?

The huge time difference between here and Greece allows for canned, overproduced, overedited, all-around boring coverage. It seems to me that a lot of the drama has been edited out, and there isn't much nail-biting when you've read in the morning paper who wins the competitions that aren't even broadcast until prime time. A lot of controversies aren't even touched on the network. I wouldn't know about them if it wasn't for the paper and the internet.

Also, they've only been showing a few athletes in some of the events. Since it is so delayed, they edit the competition down to the top five people or so and try to act like it is interesting. Maybe I want to see the guy who came in 12th. Maybe he'll come back to win gold at the next Olympics. Maybe I'll run into him on the street somewhere and not even have a clue that he was an Olympic athlete.

I still really like watching though, even if I'm not thrilled with the presentation. I like the summer Olymics better than winter. I did want to watch the equestrian events though. USA even medaled! I think Bob Costas mentioned that fact, once.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

NHRA Sport Compact

King of all LAME events! I've been to Tuesday Night Test & Tunes that were better attended than this. All of the big Mopars were either already knocked out or broke.

Scott Mohler broke a lot, spewing parts and fluid all over the track. Then they left him parked and bleeding just past the towers for a long time. He's gonna lose lots of series points on that. We didn't hear exactly what happened, but the announcer said it was the motor. We were thinking transmission, since they'd just replaced it on Saturday. I guess they had a snap ring problem... Hehe!

Shaun Carlson didn't get out of the lights because of some transmission trouble. The announcer thought it was just an autostart problem, but we found out later that he couldn't get the car into any gear lower than 4th at the line, so there was no way for him to bump forward into the second staging light.

The highlight of the day -by a long long long shot- was Shaun Carlson signing a Neon Hotwheel for Chris. He put his 7.73 @ 193 time on it. It was really cool. We're probably three of twelve people that even bothered to walk through the pits, and I'm sure we were three of seven people who even knew who they were.

Tim Kish had his gorgeous R/T down for the event. We watched him get knocked out of brackets running a mid-high 14 second pass. His wife and child were there too. Last time I saw Tim, he had just gotten engaged. I didn't even suspect they'd had a child too. I just don't keep up with people anymore.

I definately should have raced. There were only a handful of cars in the Tech classes, and a good percentage of them had absolutely no clue what they were doing. I could have cleaned up easily. It was a bad day for Neons on the track, so maybe it's a good thing I didn't. I think Dennis's slower car could have cleaned up. Did I mention that this event was LAME?

I should have entered the Dyno Challenge too. The "winner" in N/A 4 cylinder only put down 151. I have a sneaking suspicion that I'd have given him at least a good run for his money on that number. Yeah. It's a sad day when I attend an event that I actually think I could win. That is NOT a good comment on the state of things.

The car show had maybe 25 cars entered. There was nothing horribly disgusting, nothing that really got my attention. I missed the bikini contest... Sheesh, if it was as good as the rest of the event, I'm pretty glad about that!

We saw a real Skyline. Chris thought the right-hand drive was pretty cool. He even tried to get giant pretzel salt on it!

The event would not have been so lame if it would have been better attended. More competitors in every class would have made the long breaks between "big races" more fun. A lot of the bike racers were missing because of the AMA event in Indy the same weekend. A lot of "famous" sport-compact people were there, but it didn't seem important or interesting. NHRA shouldn't have sat on their ass for so long with sport-compact. Our friend Allix said that NOPI was a lot better. What a shame. I wish that we could get attendance for the more "race oriented" events. But it is hard to compete with foam parties... Sheesh.

State Fair Again

Dennis had to work Saturday, so Chris and I ran off to the State Fair. We had a really good time!

Here's the Butter Cow:

Here's Chris milking a real cow:

And **WOW** Chris got to pet some bluegill:

Yea, petting fish! Hehe...

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Next Blog

The Next Blog button is evil!

I've gotten stuck, been reading the Next Blog too much this afternoon.

I'm sad/pissed at the moment over something that rarely gets to me anymore. Kerry Crowe's Blog started it. Shit! It isn't just her, there's a whole group of them - check the links. Young, pretty, in grad school, active, busy, nice, funny, intelligent, free-thinking, spirited. Very very rarely anymore I stumble upon regrets. I wanted to be Kerry Crowe. I could have been too, shit! I almost went to NIU. I was accepted, it was just a matter of who offered the best financial aid package. Hrm, come to think of it, I would have been leaving NIU for grad school at the U of I the same year Kerry Crowe was leaving the U of I for grad school at NIU. Ironic...

Everyone has been on me to get a hobby. I was all excited about it too, because I thought I'd finally settled on something new, cheap, and relatively easy to try out. But now I'm all out of sorts, so it seems so stupid I don't even want to type it. Hrm, I didn't know I was this bitter. Maybe I'll get off my ass and do something. What? Go back to school? Go back in time? Jump off of a bridge? Hard to say when a few minutes ago I was satisfied with a quick trip to the craft store. Yeah, I just realized how unsatisfied I am right now. I know I'm cabable of more, worth more, better than this. I never wanted to eek out anything. I've gotta buckle down and figure out what I do want and how to best apply myself to reaching that goal. Oh crap, I didn't want to go through this today. Told you the Next Blog button is evil.


Summer's Almost Gone

Chris went back to school today. He's starting Third Grade! We went to orientation last Wednesday. We met his teacher, and got to visit his classroom. Mrs. Canning has a frog obsession :) There are frogs of all shapes, sizes and materials all over the room. She is also taking "maternity leave" sometime this school year to travel to China so that she and her husband can adopt a child. I hope that experience gets incorporated into the classroom. I think it is something very special, and I think 3rd grade is the perfect age for it to really make an impression on the kids. This is also an important transitional year. Fourth grade and beyond are "advanced" years. First and second grade are "primary" years. I think what happens this year will affect the remaining course of Chris's education. I really think this is the year he'll shake out as a serious student - or not. I hope Paul is up to the challenge and really gets the serious side of education into Chris's head.

We've flipped the custody arrangement again for the school year. Now we see him here on the weekends and he's with his Dad during the school week. It changes the dynamic of our apartment a lot.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Worn Out

Whew! We got in at 1:30 or so in the morning. *yawn* I love going to the State Fair!

We got up there around 12:30 in the afternoon. We parked outside Gate 4, and when we walked past the race barns, we saw my parents' car. We went into the Hobbies, Arts & Crafts building first. We saw a gigantic pumpkin, looked at the produce, drooled over the cookies and cakes, and saw the quilts. Yippee! Then we went to the Dairy Building. The Butter Cow is actually doing something this year, instead of just posing.

Oh, and the Butter Cow has a live webcam!

If the people get out of the way, you can see some of the detail. There are butter kittens, butter mice, and butter flies this year in addition to the actual cow herself.

We walked down Main Street to the Coliseum, where we watched a few classes of the Society Horse Show. We walked through some of the horse barns. The Society snobs always rope off their barns, so we got stuck on the wrong side of the brick barns. Geez, at least let people have a way through, would you? We spent a long time in the Draft barns petting a baby draft mule and a baby Percheron. We doubled back to get some chocolate milk from the "Milk-a-Cow" stand. Mom's friend Dianne was working in there. One of the cattle farms had Jack Russell terrier puppies for sale in their barn. They were very naughty, but very cute little things. One of them had one blue eye and one brown eye. She bit. A lot! Then we got Dennis's first Elephant Ear ever, with a lemon shake-up. We took that over to the Grandstand, and watched a few harness races. We went over to the Piglet trailer, but there weren't any babies yet. :( Too early in the Fair.

We met my parents at the Illinois Building. We got some Honey Ice Cream, sat around, then went to the Ethnic Village to get Beth ready for dancing. We watched some well-bellied Belly Dancers while we were waiting. Dennis got some chicken curry from the Indian place that was too hot for me. I snuck out to get a corn dog :) Beth didn't feel like dancing all of the dances, and she was almost always in the back, so we couldn't see her too well. She was in the front for the Hornpipe, which is one of the dances I like to watch the most. We all sat together and tried to embarrass her by hooting and doing the wave, etc. After the dancing, we went to the Expo Building to get some Watkins Vanilla, and we actually managed to avoid all of the other crap in the building. The trick is to walk quickly and divert your eyes ;)

My family shared some fried cheese curds with us. Another thing Dennis had never tried before. We all walked back to the Draft barns, dragging Beth's dance suitcase through the muck. Dennis and I got bored with the standing around and talking to strangers, so we took off shortly after. My family walked out with us. We stopped in Litchfield on the way home to get something to drink and stretch our legs a little.

It was a good day at the fair!

Saturday, August 14, 2004

State Fair

Yea! Dennis and I are getting ready to leave for the Illinois State Fair in a little bit! I'm excited!!! I love the fair!

Friday, August 13, 2004

River Splash

Dennis, Chris and I went downtown to see River Splash last night. We forgot that there was a Rams game going on, so we had a small parking fiasco. We finally got that resolved by parking in the blacktop Casino Queen lot. The gravel lot was completely full! We walked across the Eads Bridge.

It was closed to traffic for the weekend because of the "Eats Bridge" thing, but that doesn't happen on Thursday nights. As far as I know, that was the first time I've ever walked across the Mississippi. Yes, it is a long walk! River Splash itself is only somewhat cool. I think it would be a better experience if you actually got there in time to watch the concert too. It was an absolutely gorgeous night, cool enough for a jacket - in August! The walk was by far the best part. It's a very romantic place.

Chris was amused by the state line between Illinois and Missouri. He stood in one state and shook my hand - in another state :)

Thursday, August 05, 2004

City Museum

Chris and I spent the day at the City Museum today. We did so much climbing and crawling and sliding! I'm worn out!

I got scared when we were way up in this airplane. It's higher than it looks up there, and it's just built over the parking lot...

The new caves are really cool too. They used the old lightwell of the building for part of it. It's very neat!

It was so fun! It's really tiring though. I came home and took a nap :)

Monday, August 02, 2004

Slow Weekend

Dennis took me out to the Bella Sera Italian Grill on Gravois Friday night. We just had sandwiches. I got a grilled chicken club, and he got a steak and cheese. They were both very good. Not as good as the fish tacos at the same location when it was a mexican grill though :) Sandwiches came with fries, which they graciously substituted with sauteed spinach. The spinach was excellent! Neither of us felt up to a $5 glass of wine. I didn't see until we were leaving that they had Schlafly on tap, or I would have had some of that with my sandwich. If they stay open longer than the mexican place did, we will go back.

Then we went to Oberweis for desert. He had a very fancy waffle cone with brownie ice cream. I had a hot fudge sundae. He liked it better than Ted Drewes, but I didn't. It was very good though.

We rented three movies, watched one each day over the weekend: Bad Santa (hated it!), The Butterfly Effect (liked it a lot, and it didn't creep me out), and Secondhand Lions (liked it, very cute).

For all of that, it was a very boring weekend.

Friday, July 30, 2004

As I Lay Dying

Not the metal band, but the book.

I got it. I read it. I didn't hate it. I just can't love it. This is a great American writer, and a great American book from the last century. I see the richness, but it rang a little empty for me. I was instantly reminded of Edgar Lee Master's Spoon River Anthology, which was written 15 years earlier and is much prettier, at least as full, and just as biting and ironic, and hits just as sharp a chord of "America" as Faulkner does, not to mention the close connection with death and dying. Of course poets (seeds in a dry pod) can always brave new territory first, but let's be honest. Faulkner wasn't pioneering stream-of-consciousness. It'd been going in poetry for - ever? And Ulysses, king of the genre, was published about 10 years earlier. Anti-Victorianism had been going on since the 1870s. Heck, Anna Karenina had some serious stream-of-consciousness sections in it and it was published starting in 1873. Did catch an interesting paper someone wrote about Faulkner and cubism and surrealism. Maybe I'm just reading it so late that the freshness isn't fresh anymore?

Beyond all of that, I did like the book. I like the fact that I can say "I've read that" if it ever comes up in conversation for some reason. I like the fact that I've been to Yoknapatawpha County, even if I could never spell that without looking, and I'm not 100% sure I can pronounce it :) My favorite passages are when Faulkner breaks through his characters and slaps down a big hefty chunk of prose. WOW! Now if I can get that in larger doses, please? I will read more of him just because I saw what's hiding behind all of those darn ourns and tothers.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Template Updates

I spent some time this morning adding text to my footer, moving my Blogger and Site Meter buttons down there, and adding a Links section to the sidebar.  I even managed to make it look like the other sidebar lists.  Wow!

After that, I realized that I don't have much to link to.  My email and homepage are listed in my Profile, and everything else I've got up as a link right now is already accessible from my homepage.  I guess I ought to think of some more interesting links, and work on adding those this afternoon.

*yawn*  I don't really enjoy my days off.  I wish I was working five days a week because staying home is not too much fun.  I know it is stressing me out, and stressing Dennis out too.  Blah.  Maybe I should volunteer for something?

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Anna Karenina

I'm going to finish reading Tolstoy's Anna Karenina today.  It reads very quickly for such a long book (my copy is 817 pages.)  I just found out that The Penguin Classics version of it is the current selection for Oprah's Book Club. I feel like such a joiner! I didn't know until I saw it on display on an endcap at K-Mart with a big banner announcing it as "Oprah's Summer Pick!"

Now I know why it was so darn hard to get my hands on one of the 20-something copies the library keeps.  I think I may sign up for Oprah's book club just to see what other people are saying about it.  I may have a bit of an unique view of it since I have been through leaving my husband for another man.  Maybe I'll even have something meaningful to contribute.

I'm so glad I've started reading!  It makes me really happy.  Anna Karenina is not a happy book, but it is so beautifully written.  I think this was an excellent choice to follow Henry James's The Ambassadors.  They were both writing inner monologue, they both handled their novels in a similar fashion.  But where James is nearly impossible to read sometimes, Tolstoy shines.  There are difficult passages, the characters go through exceptionally complex trains of thought, and the whole time you can't help but understand everything.  I personally think James went too far in the academic sense of what he was doing.  So far that the story almost disappears.  The things he left out were almost too big to make anything of it.  Tolstoy is a much better read.  It seems that this is what James should have done.  The sense of accomplishment I had after I finished The Ambassadors was mostly "whew, I made it through that!"  I am honestly enjoying this one though.

Oh, got the bug to go read.  Sitting here typing isn't getting me to the end of the book any quicker :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2004


We went drag racing last night.  Not much exciting happened, but Dennis's new car is slow!  As in 16.6 @ 82.  Much slower than it should be.  I ran two 15.6s at 89 and 88.  Both on high 2.3 60' times.  Bleh.  The air was heavy and the track wasn't great, but I expected more MPH out of the car since I changed the computer.  I know I short shifted the first run because I forgot the how high the new rev limiter is.  Hehe!

Right as we were getting ready to leave, Chris got bit / stung on the ear lobe by something.  Poor thing :(

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Another Birthday

Yesterday was Dennis's dad's 52nd birthday.  Dennis called The Pasta House and ordered Chicken Flamingo, a dozen rolls and their famous salad from the bulk carry-out menu.  We stopped by the grocery and grabbed a triple chocolate layer cake and a quart of Neopolitan ice cream, then picked up our chicken and took it all down to his parents' house.
It was a nice dinner, but Romeo (their Yorkie) and Chris don't get along very well.  They were both very wound up and both very noisy!  Neither one of them listened to us either ;) 

Monday, July 19, 2004

A New Car!

Dennis bought himself a new car Saturday afternoon.  Yea, now we've got two Neons!

It's a 1995 ACR, the same color as my R/T minus the stripes.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

I'm a Midwestener!

These are the states of the union that I've seen. Add a chunk of Canada to it, because I've been about 115 miles in from Sault Ste. Marie on a train.

create your own personalized map of the USA
Now don't take this to mean that I don't travel.  I've seen any number of places here in the Midwest, and within easy striking distance of home.  There are so many things to do!  Everyone should stop flying over the fly-overs and take a look around.  Yes, we have the Ozarks, but we've also got Chicago - and everything in between!  There isn't a lack of culture.  It isn't even boring.  Vast fields of corn on clear summer days can be just as beautiful as other vista in the world.  It just takes being able to appreciate what you've got!
I want to see the American West.  I want to see New England.  I love the historical aspects of both places, as well as the visual impact.  I want to see real mountains.  I want to see Washington D.C. just once.  I want to see the Pacific Northwest.  I want to see the desert Southwest.  I think we've got more travel destinations right here at home than I can ever possibly visit.  I have quite a list of things within a day's drive of St. Louis that I haven't done yet to keep me busy for a long time.  For instance, I've never actually stopped in Kansas City and looked around.  I've never seen the sights in Memphis.
I want to take Dennis to a lot of the wonderful places I've seen in the past.  He just has to see New Orleans.  I want to take him all over the UP of Michigan and Minnesota.  I want him to see The House on the Rock and visit a cheese factory with me.  He's never had good fresh curds, let alone deep-fried curds!
My obsession lately has been driving to a nearby small town - like Vandalia, Illinois or Washington, Missouri - staying in a bed and breakfast, and just taking in whatever there is to see.  Just for the weekend.  I'm happy with simple trips like that.
Heck, there are things in St. Louis itself that I haven't done, and other things that I'll never get tired of doing.  The view from the Arch, the Botanical Garden, going to see the Cardinals - these are things I'll never pass up an opportunity to go do.
Just look at the pretty city I live in!

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Ted Drewes

Everyone was cranky after dinner this evening.  Summer cabin fever?  We all got in the car and randomly drove up Lemay Ferry into south St. Louis.  We wound up going past the Chippewa Ted Drewes and thought it sounded really good.  But we only had about 30 minutes to get back in time to close the pool, and the line was typically long, so we swung over to the South Grand location.  No line!  

Chocolate chip concretes were the daily special, so we got three and ate them in the car on the rushed drive home.  Yes, it is hard to drive a 5 speed in the city when you're eating Ted Drewes :)

Personality Testing

I had a job interview once that included a personality test. It is lame because you can easily defeat these quick-hit versions. They are doubled up to catch you in lies, but if you keep with your story and keep in mind what your boss would want to hear, it is pretty easy.

I just did this with no intentions behind my answers. So if you believe in these things, this is me:

Introverted (I) 58.33% Extroverted (E) 41.67%
Imaginative (N) 53.49% Realistic (S) 46.51%
Intellectual (T) 50% Emotional (F) 50%
Organized (J) 52.63% Easygoing (P) 47.37%
Your type is: INTJ
You are a Planner, possible professions include - management consultant, economist, scientist, computer programmer, environmental planner, new business developer, curriculum designer, administrator, mathematician, psychologist, neurologist, biomedical researcher, strategic planner, civil engineer, intellectual properties attorney, designer, editor/art director, inventor, informational-graphics designer, financial planner, judge.
Take Free Career Inventory Personality Test
personality tests by

Ok, meteorology fits squarely in that. But chicken or egg? Did the test help me determine my perfect career, or did my career determine my answers to the test?

Why Can't I?

This song cracks me up! I hear it at work and almost laugh out loud because it reminds me so much of the summer Dennis and I met.

Liz Phair - Why Can't I?

Get a load of me, get a load of you
Walkin' down the street, and I hardly know you
It's just like we were meant to be

Holding hands with you when we're out at night
Got a girlfriend, you say it isn't right
And I've got someone waiting too

What if this is just the beginning
We're already wet, and we're gonna go swimming

Why can't I breathe whenever I think about you
Why can't I speak whenever I talk about you
It's inevitable, it's a fact that we're gonna get down to it
So tell me
Why can't I breathe whenever I think about you

Isn't this the best part of breakin' up
Finding someone else you can't get enough of
Someone who wants to be with you too

It's an itch we know we are gonna scratch
Gonna take a while for this egg to hatch
But wouldn't it be beautiful

Here we go, we're at the beginning
We haven't fucked yet, but my heads spinning

Why can't I breathe whenever I think about you
Why can't I speak whenever I talk about you
It's inevitable, it's a fact that we're gonna get down to it
So tell me
Why can't I breathe whenever I think about you

High enough for you to make me wonder
Where it's goin'
High enough for you to pull me under
Somethin's growin'
out of this that we can control
Baby I am dyin'

Why can't I breathe whenever I think about you
Why can't I speak whenever I talk about you

Why can't I breathe whenever I think about you
Why can't I speak whenever I talk about you
It's inevitable, it's a fact that we're gonna get down to it
So tell me
Why can't I breathe whenever I think about you

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

The Ambassadors

My summer reading list is going very slowly. It took me a long time to finish Henry James's The Ambassadors. It was a different kind of read. Lots of internal dialogue and ramblingly beautiful sentence structure. There are very few people I would recommend it to, because it takes a special kind of patience and a very quiet room to get much from James's classic "late James" style. I know a lot of people who would give up after the second paragraph though :)

Dennis gave this one a whirl:

"The principle I have just mentioned as operating had been, with the most newly disembarked of the two men, wholly instinctive - the fruit of a sharp sense that, delightful as it would be to find himself looking, after so much separation, into his comrade's face, his business would be a trifle bungled should he simply arrange for this countenance to present itself to the nearing steamer as the first 'note' of Europe."

It slows you down a lot :)

The library has lost the copy of Anna Karenina that I put on hold Monday. I hope it shows up soon. They'll get me another copy, but still, it sucks to lose a book like that.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Happy All Star Break!

The St. Louis Cardinals are heading into the All Star Break 7 games ahead of the second place Cubs! They're the second best team in all of baseball with a silly record of 54 - 33. Get ready folks, we're going to have some rough losing streaks in the second half. At least there will be Olympics to distract us for a while...

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Six Flags Picture

Finally got around to scanning this:

It's from our trip to Six Flags on the 4th. I know it says that right on the picture :)

We watched the alligator show, then paid $5 for this horrible Polaroid. Chris is holding a three-year-old alligator, and I'm holding Chris. Apologies for the terrible over-exposure of the print.

Friday, July 09, 2004


Work annoyance:

This morning one of the things left on my desk was a pile of fax cover sheets.

Here's why:
My boss rarely uses a computer, so they're already copied and you have to *gasp* use a typewriter to fill them out when you need them. I am not good at hitting lines with a typewriter.

So I decided last Friday to make my own fax cover sheet on the computer. I printed it out on letterhead and everything. I thought it looked quite nice, plus it is now a template like all of the other forms we use.

Apparently that was bad and wrong, and I must be too stupid to make my own copies from the stack of 58 fax cover sheets I already have.

Oh well. Gotta concentrate more on the job search. I don't know how I'm supposed to develop loyalty to this :)

Yeah, if you could just take care of the covers for the TPS reports, that'd be great...

Apartment annoyance:

Somebody doesn't like us closing the pool. In their very best impression of second graders, they called the landlady and tattled that we were, "at the pool till 10:00 after we made everyone else leave at 9:00," and that my son was, "in the pool all by himself, with nobody watching him."

Neither was true. We were at the pool later than anyone else, but we locked up at 9:00 by the watch we took down there with us so we wouldn't be late. It's pitch black at 10:00. Wouldn't we have noticed??? Chris got to the pool before we did by about 45 seconds. I had a shoe delay :) I was irritated that he went straight in, but we could see him the whole time and the pool was full of people. He did get spoken to about it last night though, and again today after we found out we're living with a mole!

Landlady called with a long message today. Later found out who was responsible for the call, that the landlady knows it is all crap, and that my neighbor is even more of a drama queen that I had figured. And I had figured her for a BIG one all along!

Moral of the story: WHO CARES! IT'S FRIDAY!!!

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Circle Y Ranch

Just got back from the cookout at Chris's day camp. There was only one other parent there today. I hope that makes him feel special :) Especially after all of the things I could have gone to if Paul would have only bothered to tell me about them.

The Circle Y Ranch is pretty cute. It's back in those Jefferson County hills I want so badly to move into. Or on top of, I should say. There's a beautiful little creek that runs through the middle. It's got a rock bottom, of course, as all of the creeks in the hills seem to have. There's also a nice weathered section of limestone bluff along one side for a while. It was exceptionally humid, since it had just finished raining when I arrived. Steam was rising off of everything around.

It had rained very hard on my way down, so that I almost missed a turn because it was hard to see, and my brakes were really soggy so I almost missed it again after I'd finally found it.

The kids had caught about 10 frogs and toads and the cutest little red / orange salamander! I'm not sure what species it was since our little field guide only has about 5 types altogether. Hrm, I should invest in better field guides. I do wish I had one every so often, and they'd make great bedtime stories for Chris.

Didn't bring the camera again. I need to velcro it to myself! I'll try to remember next week.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Stormy Weather

Edited pictures of last night's storms.

My degree in meteorology was't an accident. I love bad weather. I was excited to have gotten two lightning pictures. It's hard to do. Just lucky, I should say. The volume of strikes last night made it a lot easier!

Monday, July 05, 2004

The Last Day Off

It's our last day off together. Dennis's last day of an eleven day vacation! We're being vegetables. I think I'd like to be celery. Maybe Dennis is an eggplant?

We were going to go downtown to Fair St. Louis Saturday night to see the big fireworks, but after it got rained out Friday and there was a good chance of rain Saturday, we opted for another trip to Festus. This time we took Chris with us and got another $30 worth of fireworks. Chris is taken with sparklers this year. Forgot to take the digital camera though. Darn, there would have been some cute pictures!

Yesterday I got my birthday present from my parents. We all went to Six Flags. Oh, my dad was in fine form. :x Dennis tried really hard to keep him entertained and distracted. It was a nice try, but it didn't work. He wound up going to sit by the entrance for the rest of the day. Weeine. It gave Dennis a good glimpse behind the scenes. Not sure that's exactly what I wanted him to see :)

I didn't let it ruin my day. We tried really hard to have fun. As always, the 4th of July was HOT and MUGGY. Blah. I didn't get to ride The Boss, Mr. Freeze, or the Screamin' Eagle. For some reason they shut some of the coasters down for the day? We didn't make it to the water park either, which was fine by me!

Saturday, July 03, 2004


Due to a schedule conflict with Paul, Dennis and I wound up going to Festus to shoot fireworks by ourselves last night.

We bought about $80 worth. I'm still very childlike about fireworks, since we had a very limited selection in Illinois when I was a kid. Oh, and blowing stuff up is cool too!

We had a lot of fun. We almost always have fun. He's a fun guy. Being in love is fun! Being in love and shooting fireworks is even more fun!

*yawn* we were out late, for a couple of old fogies...

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Date Night

Well, date day and night with my son that is :)

Dennis is gone to Wisconsin, so Chris and I headed up to Forest Park. We rode the Giant Wheel that is there to celebrate the 1904 World's Fair. Chris had to keep me safe cause I got a little scared :)

Big Scary Wheel:

View of downtown you don't usually see:

After the wheel, we went to picnic by the boathouse. We fed some lettuce to ducks. They didn't really like it. Snobby ducks!

Then we rented a peddle boat. We made it all the way to Post-Dispatch lake at the bottom of Art Hill. Oh, it was fun. Chris was a good peddler too. He never really did stop or get too tired. Good thing, cause I would have worn myself out without help!

We ran back home for a while to rest up, then headed back out for the Muny's production of Meet Me in St. Louis. Chris liked the real trolley and the fireworks at the end, but I don't think he was totally thrilled by the rest of the show. I can't really say that I was either, except watching a play about the 1904 World's Fair in Forest Park where it actually took place was pretty spectacular!

We got home very late and found Dennis already here! Yea!

Monday, June 28, 2004

How sad :(

We were at the Sears Craftsman Nationals Friday night.

Here's what I wrote then: (from

"Top Fuel wasn't running as hot as Funny Car. In between rounds we went back to the pits and watched Darrell Russell's crew for the entire rebuild. Darrell is very nice, not at all like stupid John Force He packs his own chute and pours his own gas too. (And did I mention he's quite cute on top of all that? ) Anyhoo, we must have been good luck, cause he came out in the last run of the night and busted a 4.511 @ 328.54, for the #1 spot and obliterated the track record. This was the quickest run I've ever seen. Awesome!"

I was so impressed with Darrell Russell. He was going to be my new favorite race car driver. I even dragged Dennis out of our way to pass by his pit one last time after he put down that amazing run!

I checked up on the results last night on the NHRA website. I saw that Russell had had a crash, but there were no more details at that time.

Dennis left for Wisconsin with his Dad first thing this morning. I came back in from seeing them off and flipped on the TV. The first thing I heard was, "Stay tuned for details of the fatal crash at Gateway last night."

Oh crap! I knew exactly what that meant. I was stunned and shocked and upset much more than I probably should have been by the news that he had died in that wreck.

I had a very upsetting day at work because of it. Just cast such a pall over everything. Strange how that happens sometimes at the news of death. Maybe it's just my birthday yesterday has got me more in touch with mortality in general right now. I just know that Darrell Russell was absolutely NOT dead Friday night. Everything was so normal, so routine. Nobody had any idea what was coming. Of course Dennis and his Dad just left to go drag racing too, which isn't helping matters any!

Rest in Peace, Mr. Darrell Russell

Sunday, June 27, 2004

And so another year passes...

Well, I'm 27. Just about time to quit telling!

As promised, text from Dennis's card:

"A Promise of Love for Your Birthday"

I wish
I could buy you
A thousand beautiful gifts
For your birthday -
Fancy things, luxuries,
Suprises to delight you -
But I know the things
That make life happy
Can't be bought love,
And the closeness
Two people share

Time -
Days spent together
When we're happy
No matter what we're doing...

Kindness -
The little things we do
For one another...

These things can't be bought,
And yet
They're the best gifts of all...

And so,
For your birthday,
I'm giving you this promise
As part of my gift -
To love you even more
And make you
Even happier,
To make all our days
Days to remember

Happy Birthday
All my love always


Yes, vomit :) It made me cry when I got it. He makes me such a girly-girl. *sigh*

For my birthday gift, Dennis, Chris and I went to Litchfield. We stopped by my folk's house and picked up Mom. We all four went to the lake to play at the playground. There is a "pizza pan" spinning thing that I almost made Dennis sick on!

Then we went to The Ariston, which is an old cafe on Route 66. I just love the place! I had a french dip, which was excellent as always. The suprise of the evening was an ENTIRE two layer red velvet cake. This place has the best desserts. Oh, it was heavenly!

I love the way Dennis listens to me and goes out of his way to please me. This was such a special birthday because I got something so simple, but so me. It's so nice to be loved!

If you ever go, though, you really should get a horseshoe sandwich. It's the central Illinois thing to do.


The signature food of Springfield, Illinois is a sandwich known as a horseshoe. It has been credited to a chef that worked at the Leland Hotel in 1928 and has become Springfield's most famous contribution to the world of food. It consists of two hamburgers on two slices of toast, covered with cheddar cheese sauce and buried beneath a mound of French fries.

For the Welsh Rarebit Sauce:
2 tablespoons salted butter
1/2 cup beer
2 egg yolks
3 cups grated Old English or other sharp white cheddar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

For the Sandwich:
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 slices toasted thick white bread
2 pounds cooked French fries

TO MAKE THE SAUCE: Set up a double boiler or set a medium-sized stainless-steel bowl over a pot of simmering water. Check to make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. Melt the butter in the double boiler and then add the beer. While constantly whisking, slowly incorporate the egg yolks. Add the cheese and stir constantly until melted and the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon: this should take 5 to 8 minutes. Add the Worcestershire and mustard. Season the sauce with salt to taste. To avoid a stringy sauce, it is important to constantly stir the cheese and be sure that the water is not boiling, but rather simmering.

TO COOK THE BEEF: Season the beef with the salt and pepper and form it into eight 6-ounce patties. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat or set up an electric grill, and cook the patties, a few at a time, 5 minutes per side for medium.

TO ASSEMBLE THE DISH: For each serving, place two slices of the toast on a large plate and top each with a patty. Pour the rarebit sauce over the beef and top the sauce with French fries. Serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy the Leland Hotel, Springfield, Illinois

Of course you can always get your horseshoe with ham instead of beef. I actually like the ham better.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Birthday Gifts

Tomorrow is my 27th birthday.

Dennis and Chris made a run to Target to get my gifts. Dennis got Austin Powers on DVD and Chris got Bruce Almighty on VHS.

We took Chris to see Bruce Almighty at the theater. I did like it, probably not enough to own it, but it's really very sweet that he remembered. :) What a cutie I have!

Dennis's card was disgustingly sappy! I'll have to type it out when I've got a bit more time. (Wordy...)

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Made it to the library!

I made it to the library to pick up Henry James's The Ambassadors this morning. Here goes!

Monday, June 21, 2004

Wow, that was easy!

Chris got himself dressed before I was even done brewing coffee this morning! My goodness, he must have been very excited about soccer camp! What a relief.

Back still hurts a lot!

Reading List

I finally have time to read again! I used to read voraciously, but school reading really cuts into leisure reading. I'm graduated, so it's time to start up again in earnest. I think I missed too much literature during my science & math heavy college career, so I clipped the Cliff's Notes list as a "summer" reading list. Of course it's going to take much more than summer to do it, but you always have to force yourself into reading the "classics."

I cut what I had read within a reasonable amount of time. I cut a whole slew of Dickens. I cut randomly. I had Dennis shout "delete" at whatever interval he felt like. The list is still too long. Yes, I have missed quite a bit! No, I honestly haven't read any of these except for Pearl Buck's The Good Earth, which I believe we tackled in 10th grade? I'm sure I'll gain new appreciation to re-read it.

Ambassadors, Henry James
Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
As I Lay Dying, Faulkner
Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
Black Like Me, John Howard Griffin
Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer
Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller
Different Drummer, William Melvin Kelley
Dubliners, Joyce
Ethan Frome, Wharton
Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
Giver, Lois Lowry
Good Earth, Pearl Buck
Idiot, Fyodor Dostoevsky
Inherit the Wind, Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
Killer Angels, Michael Shaara
Light in August, William Faulkner
Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
Man and Superman & Caesar and Cleopatra, George Bernard Shaw
Miss Lonelyhearts & The Day of the Locust, Nathanael West
Moll Flanders, Daniel Defoe
Nana, Emile Zola
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Notes from Underground, Fyodor Dostoevsky
Old Man and the Sea, Hemingway
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Kesey
Outsiders, S.E. Hinton's
Pearl, John Steinbeck
Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens
Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
Raisin in the Sun, Vivian Hansberry
Red and the Black, Robert Stendhal
Red Badge of Courage, Crane
Rivals & School for Scandal, Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen
Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner
Steppenwolf & Siddhartha, Herman Hesse
Stranger, Albert Camus
Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
Tender Is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Hardy
Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas
Victory, Joseph Conrad
Way of the World, William Congreve
Winesburg, Ohio, Sherwood Anderson
Winter's Tale, William Shakespeare
Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
Yellow Raft in Blue Water, Michael Dorris

I have every intention of picking up more from the Cliff's Notes list at a later date. This is more than enough, no?

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow, etc.

Oh boy, I really hurt my back! I have no idea what I did, but I know that every possible position I can put my body into hurts. A lot. I hope I didn't do anything serious to myself!

Dennis has been quite a help. I can't do much but lay in bed. Sheesh! I have to work this week. I wonder how that's going to be?

We needed to get the apartment ready. Chris is coming back from his grandparent's house this evening. He's starting summer camp at the Y tomorrow morning. *fingers crossed* for smooth sailing getting ready!

Monday, June 14, 2004


I took my sister to her first good rock n roll concert Saturday night. We saw The Wildhearts and The Darkness at The Pageant in the Loop. I'd never been there before, but it is a huge improvement over Mississippi Nights. Excellent club, excellent crowd, excellent show, amazingly LOUD! I had a great time, reminded me of good old rock n roll shows that I used to drag my poor mom to.

Apparently Ginger of The Wildhearts wasn't fibbing when he said St. Louis was great... Tour Diary Page.

Thursday, June 03, 2004


Oh wonderous!

I got bumped to part time at work. How annoying. I know I'm on my way out anyway. I believe my boss is incapable of being pleased with anything - ever!

Hopefully they'll fund my job search.

Part time with no benefits is just too much to take. Shame, I honestly do like the work.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Little Big Plans

We wanted to go out of town for the weekend, but we decided to stay in instead. Chris is with his Dad this weekend, so we're on our own. I thought I'd turn the house a little bit more "hotelish" for us. I went out and got some fresh flowers, candles and wine. We had a very romantic dinner last night. Tried out some Yellow Tail Chardonnay. It was OK. I don't think it's worth getting again, but it hasn't turned me off to Chardonnay yet. We've got some more Aussie wine to try out tonight.

Dennis took me to see Shreck 2. It was pretty cute - very silly. I want to check out The Day After Tomorrow as well.

Our plan for today is to go to the Soulard Farmers Market with the cooler this morning, then head over to Belleville to pick our own strawberries. :-D

Friday, May 21, 2004

Very nice evening last night!

The picnic worked out wonderfully. I grabbed a new basket, a citronella candle, a pre-made turkey club sandwich on wheat, some bottled water, some grape tomatoes, some yummy crackers, and some nectarines at the store. I took along our goat cheese, cranberry curd, a white wine, and the chocolate chip cookies.

We went to Sandy Creek Covered Bridge and ate - everything! Then I walked up and down the creek a little. Should have gotten Dennis to wear his slip-on shoes so he'd come in with me. The baby bluegill were picking at my toes :-D

(The wine made me giddy followed by sleepy!)

It was so nice to get out and just spend time with Dennis and not worry about anything at all. Something to do more often for sure!

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Pic-i-nic-i-nic in the park

I want to take a romantic picnic in the park this evening. We're celebrating the two year anniversary of something this month. It isn't when we met, when we started dating, when we fell in love, or when we moved in together. It's just some random time between meeting and dating when our contact started to increase beyond "some person I see at various events around town from time to time."

I'm taking some goat cheese - we have that already, I'm going to go make some chocolate covered strawberries in a few minutes. I don't know what else to take, but I'll settle on something as I stroll through the grocery store after a bit. Always dangerous to do with the debit card in hand :)

I'm tired. It's been a hard week at work. I can't even count the number of tiny things I've been criticized for, and I was in the office by myself all day Monday. Of course accepting criticism is not one of my strong points as it is, but come on already! It just wears you out after a while, to have everything picked over like that.