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.