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.