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...