Does anybody read these?

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Thinking about my Christmas list...

So, after I realized that I was moderately nice and Santa should be coming to visit, I started thinking about what I might want for Christmas. Honestly, there isn't any material possession that I really want, except maybe for a Blue County CD.

I was talking to a friend the other day and she asked me what I wanted and I told her that it'd be nifty if the yellow-haired boy arrived on my doorstep wrapped up in a bow and holding a bottle of Crown. So then she told me that was cute and I should do something with that. And then, of course, that led to fun with photoshop (athough not too much fun because I am still very rusty at playing with that program). The result ended up getting posted over at Kenny's fan club because all of my friends thought there was no point in making it if the boys didn't see it. It's all in good fun anyhow, right? And besides, if folks are laughing (and not in a good way), I can't hear them...

So, without further ado, this was how clever I was during my burst of creativity/sleep deprivation. People seem to think it's funny. In a good way. And cute. See, I'm cute and funny.

Naughty or Nice?!?

So someone told me about Santa's Nice-o-meter, where you go to check if you are on the naughty or nice list.

I think I might get some presents this year...

Nice, but has naughty lapses. High marks in the good deeds department. Better than average manners. Hopefully, thoughtfulness will continue to be as good as last month. Neatness needs improvement!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Woo-hoo!!! I'm a sexy hugger!!!

One of my friends decided to start her own blog, and she's a great blogger. I am SO impressed with her already, and it's only Day 2. And she's caught the quiz bug! Today I went to check out her blog, and she had the "What kind of hugger are you?" quiz on there. I went and took it and these are my results. (Laura's note: I am taking no responsibility for the -- ahem -- creative spelling and grammar used in these quiz results; I'm just posting the code it gave me.)

you give sexy hugs... sexy hugs are great and u
usually leave the person u hugged in a daze or
feeling really special.

what kind of hugs do you give?
brought to you by Quizilla

The Road and the Radio

Yesterday, I left Ohio for a trip back to Detroit to drop Gary off at home and take Lance to the airport. It was a quick trip and there were interesting little happenings here and there. The title for today's post was inspired by Kenny Chesney's new song "The Road and the Radio," not because I actually listened to that song (although I did hear a lot of Kenny today today today), but because this afternoon it was just me, the radio, miles of asphalt and a Pepsi One. I had a lot of time to take in the sights on those old, familiar highways and really catch up with myself and regroup. Nothing but me, the road and the radio, just like the song.

After the boys got to catch up with a few relatives they hadn't seen during their visit, we headed back to Michigan. Around Columbus, it started pouring down rain and was pitch-black and very hard to see and drive. We stopped to get gas and I got a coffee and a Coke Zero to keep going, but it was very tiring to drive in the poor road conditions. Gary slept the whole way and Lance dozed off a few times. Finally about two hours from Detroit, Lance asks me if I am awake enough to keep driving. I think I am as long as he can keep me company, but he's fading fast. We see a glowing red sign at the next exit that says 29.99. It wasn't the nicest hotel room I've ever seen, but it wasn't the worst either. It was just a local hotel and it had two beds with heat and a bathroom, so it was a nice place to spend 8 hours catching up on our sleep. We woke up first thing this morning and got back on the road.

We dropped Gary off at the apartment, and I picked up some dishes and stuff they aren't using anymore. Then Lance and I headed off to pick up some prescriptions at my doctor's office (he hooked me up since my new insurance does not feel the urge to pay for my prescriptions) and then downtown to go to our favorite Greek restaurant. Unfortunately, our friends in the City of Detroit must've woken up this week and realized the Super Bowl is in 9 weeks and the city is a disaster zone, because they are doing MASSIVE ammounts of work EVERYWHERE. Including in Greektown, where the one side of Monroe Street had no power, and my favorite restaurant New Hella's Cafe was on that side of the street. So finally we went to Olympia, which was pretty tasty, but a lot more expensive. The power came on right as we were leaving the restaurant. At that point, we were rushing to make sure Lance got to Metro in time for his flight, which, of course, ended up being delayed 90 minutes.

So, then I headed home and got back about an hour ago. Traffic was bad in Columbus, so I took the long way home, going on 37 through some of the cutest little towns that were all getting ready for Christmas. It took a little longer, but it was a nice drive. But all in all, it was a good trip even though the Shell station where I stopped had no Coke Zero. That's just craziness!!!

Jesus Take the Wheel

I think I mentioned last week after a particularly bad day that the song "Jesus Take the Wheel" by Carrie Underwood was playing when I turned the radio on during the ride home. It was almost like a message. So, I don't find it coincidental that I kept hearing it. It's a little reminder that God's looking out for me, I think.

I decided to make it the song of the day today and give it a little extra space because it happened again today. I am starting to worry about my job situation, although I am working on improving that. I don't want to be where I am and I'm OK with looking for a place where I'll be happy. I'm just worried I won't find it right away and my bills won't get paid. I guess I just need to ask Jesus to take the wheel. Today I was leaving Detroit and I felt kind of upset, which was really the first time this has happened since my first trip to Ohio for good. I was just thinking maybe I completely and totally made a mistake. Maybe that's where, I'm supposed to be and then all of a sudden I heard the opening notes of this song again.

It's like God keeps saying "Laura, you're going to be OK. I'm right here with you. Let me know when you can't do it and I need to take the wheel." Of course, God knows I need reminders because I'm not always very good with letting go and letting God.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Hello, Mr. Ford? It's not Mariucci...

I cannot believe this. The Detroit Lions have sucked as long as I can remember. I cannot think of a time they were good. They've just always sucked, but Detroiters love them anyways. They're a great mascot for a decaying Rust Belt town. First we got a new stadium. And they still suck. Joey Harrington came to Detroit and showed promise, but a quarterback can't do it all by himself. Then a couple of years ago, they hired Michigan native and good coach Steve Mariucci. I never expected Mariucci to be the savior of the Lions. I never figured they'd turn into a competitor overnight, and they haven't. They're still the same crappy Detroit Lions they've ever been. People still want Harrington's head on a plate, but I didn't realize there were people out there who thought it was Mariucci's fault. The man is a good coach. He had winning seasons for other teams. The Lions are not going to win until they get some talent on the field and in the front office, and Mariucci can only do so much about that. Honestly, I suspect that General Manager Matt Millen is most of the problem, but obviously he is calling the shots and Bill Ford is OK with that. I expect Joey to be the next one with his head on a stick outside Ford Field.

I'll miss Mariucci. And as a Michigan fan, I'm really hoping he doesn't go to Michigan State like my brother Luke has predicted.

Here's the article for those who want the "official" news on this. When the press release comes out, I'll post it. Lions' press releases are usually fun, but not in the same way that Holly's are fun.

OK, that was fun!

Trying to amuse myself while I wait for my brothers to get ready to leave...

You scored as Captain Jack Sparrow. Roguish,quick-witted, and incredibly lucky, Jack Sparrow is a pirate who sometimes ends up being a hero, against his better judgement. Captain Jack looks out for #1, but he can be counted on (usually) to do the right thing. He has an incredibly persuasive tongue, a mind that borders on genius or insanity, and an incredible talent for getting into trouble and getting out of it. Maybe its brains, maybe its genius, or maybe its just plain luck. Or maybe a mixture of all three.

Captain Jack Sparrow


Batman, the Dark Knight




The Amazing Spider-Man


El Zorro


William Wallace


Neo, the "One"


Indiana Jones


James Bond, Agent 007


The Terminator


Lara Croft


Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with

Rock Hall Inductees

How much fun! The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland has just announced the artists that will be inducted for 2006. The ceremony is scheduled for March 13 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in NYC. (Crazy thought: Why not induct folks into the Rock Hall AT the Rock Hall. Sometimes I'm too logical for my own good.)

Congrats to the newest inductees: Black Sabbath, Miles Davis, the Sex Pistols, Blondie and (my personal favorite) Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss will receive the lifetime achievement for non-performers recognition for founding A&M records in 1962. Now, that was a piece of music trivia I didn't know.

The yellow-haired boy, by request

I think Rosalie was looking for this. It's a rare "butt shot" of the yellow-haired boy and the fiddla. This pic's from Memphis...taken by Carolyn, the other production assistant extraordinaire.

EDITED to include: Do you think the fiddla wears underwear? Post your guesses here...

All I want for Christmas...

Rosalie, is it your birthday?!? I just figured I'd post this one too for all the Kenny Chesney fans we have here on the blog. (Also, gives a little nudge to google blog search!)

Ever seen that movie "Bad Santa"? Kenny has nothing to do with it, but I always think of it every time I see this picture!

That is one fine man, but I doubt that he'll be under anyone's tree this year...maybe a palm tree. Ooops, guess I shouldn't have rescheduled my trip to the Virgin Islands!!!

Two crafts we did at Church

The first one I did with just my 3-6 year olds, which is a Thanksgiving tree. I made the trunk out of a few paper sacks I got at Kroger, and then at class we all traced our hands on different construction paper and then cut them out. I told them to do as many "leaves" as they could fit on their page. Then they either did it themselves or I helped them write what they were thankful for. Some are not legible, but it's the thought that counts. :-) Then we taped it on the wall in the Parish Hall for everyone to see. Little Nathan got the idea to put some leaves on the bottom of the trunk like they had fallen off.

The second project was for the whole Parish. Yesterday at our coffee and donuts fellowship time after mass (right before Sunday School), I gave everyone a sheet of green paper and a pencil and told them to trace their hands onto the paper and write their name in the middle of their hands. Then we collected them up and the older kids in Sunday school cut them all out. They also made holly leaves with red paper. Then they put them up on the wall in the shape of a wreath. After it was all done, we added the three purple candles and one pink one and the flame on the first purple candle. It looks pretty nice. I can't wait to see everyone's faces when they see what we did with their hands.

Because she asked nicely...

Here, Rosalie, this is from FedEx Field in June. It's a picture of your daughter's boyfriend!!!! (Hey, she can pretend, can't she?!! And in 14 years when she's legal, I'm sure Kenny'll still be dating the young'uns! )

Oh, and wanna guess how many pages into my photobucket I had to go to find a picture of Kenny all by himself to post here?!?!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Does anyone know anything about migraines?

I sat down with the intentions of writing a big long post, but in the meantime my migraine has taken over my body. I've been getting them for years but this one and the last one before it have been so bad I've been reduced to tears. I've gone to the doctor and he doesn't know what causes them except for what seems to be my hormones getting out of whack (they go hand-in-hand with PMS, usually). Regardless, I want to die right now. I have prescription meds, and I'm praying that they start working soon. I can't see through the tears to type, so I'm done for now. If you have any ideas for me, drop me a line.

Prepare ye the way of the Lord...

When I was growing up in Catholic grade school, my absolute favorite song to sing was "Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord." As I was listening to today's homily at Mass, I realized that I wanted to talk about Advent and getting ready for the arrival of Jesus. I thought that song title was appropriate. I have somehow managed to make it through my entire life without seeing Godspell, but apparently that song is in the play. Now that I think way back to being 12 years old in the school choir, I do remember Sister Carrine, the guitar-slinging nun who taught us English and directed our musical efforts saying something to that effect. She reminded me a lot of Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music. Not because she looked like Julie Andrews or left the convent to marry a man with dozens of children, but because she was so happy and taught us how to sing while teaching us important lessons about life. And honestly, I'm embarrassed to admit that I was quite old before I realized that you didn't have to play the guitar to be a nun. I'm sure they'd have taught me in the Convent anyhow.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled message.

It's the first Sunday of Advent, the four-week preparation period before Christmas. This is the time we're supposted to be getting ready for Jesus's birth. In today's readings, we are told to be mindful of our actions and prepare our hearts because we never know when God is coming. Father John's homily was excellent today. He used the example of Hurricane Katrina and how they told everyone it was coming and to leave their homes. And many people just did what they always did. They bought a few days' worth of food and water, maybe a generator, and hunkered down to ride it out. Weeks later, they were without food, water or electricity and in a very dangerous situation, simply because they'd done what they'd always done before. So, this Advent are we going to heed the warnings to be ready for Christ's coming, or are we just going to coast like we have in the past? Wow, what a powerful message that really puts it into perspective. I think we all coast at times in our lives.

I've been trying very hard not to coast lately. I've been working very hard at the job that I have. I've been working very hard to find a job that I'd like better. I've been contributing at Church through teaching Sunday School, being a confirmation sponsor, singing in the choir and now I am organizing a collection for the local food pantry and am going to ask Father if I can organize some Christmas caroling. I know that we won't get to heaven just by the things that we do, and I've really improved my spiritual life too. There were things holding me back, and I let them go. I've really struggled with that, but I know I've made the right decision. And I still pray every single day and light a candle on Sundays that God help me with that situation. I've been through a lot in my life, and I can easily say that one of the hardest things I have ever done is to realize that I completely and totally had to walk away, to pretty much write people out of my life, especially people that I loved like they were my sisters and had great times with. Because if people don't believe in you, there's not really much point is there. I just had this conversation with a friend about someone in her life. I told her that if the trust wasn't there, there's no foundation. If you can't trust someone to treat you fairly and love you unconditionally and to be there when you need them, what do you base that relationship on? Sometimes you just have to cut your losses, mourn and then move on.

I took some of the responsibility for the breakdown of trust in the friendship in question. And I still would do things differently if I had it to do over again. Believe me when I say that. The fact is, no matter what I did, there were going to be some trust issues because it was never there in the first place. It wasn't the building block of the relationship. In fact, I'm not sure if it was even present at all. The funny part is that when people are absolutely fantastic people on their own, they should just be the fantastic person they are instead of creating a new reality to be even more fantastic. Of course, the funniest part is that I was accused of being the one who lived in a world of make-believe. The only reason I ever ended up in that world is because I trusted people who took me along for the ride. I have a great life. I have a loving family, fantastic friends, strong faith, and a job that puts food on the table even though it has its moments (but I also have a fantastic education and am looking for a job that better uses my talents). I have a little doggie who loves me. I have my health. If you have all that (well, the doggie's not essential), everything else is just the icing on the cake. Plus, I've always been a person who's never gotten my identity from the man in my life. I'm probably too independent for my own good.

Why am I mentioning all this, especially because I've been doing such a good job at dealing with it? Because I really wasn't. This has been nagging at me. I think I mentioned that it's been running through my head and the thoughts pop up and I get so upset again. I get really upset when I think of hearing someone who I loved and trusted telling me that I was the one with the problem with reality, especially now that I've learned a little bit more about what exactly reality is. That really bothers me, but there's nothing that I can do about it. One of my friends would really like me to be vindictive, but that's just not my style. I really do need to move on, and this is it. My absolute last word on the subject is this: I am very sad that people would not only feel that they needed to make things up to be my friend. I hate to say this about anyone that I love, but I am sad that I believed them and allowed my own reality to be distorted. It absolutely, positively sucks to have to say that you wished you'd never trusted a friend. It breaks my heart. Broken hearts heal, but I don't ever want someone to ever say to me that I have issues with reality again, so I'm going to file all this away now that I've gotten this off my chest. Today's the first day of the new year in the Church. It's time to turn over a new leaf, put this up on the shelf and really start over fresh. I can't let it bother me anymore, and there's no reason to be mean about it. I can still love and pray for someone from the sidelines. I don't need to be involved to ask God to take care of folks, especially when it seems like they really need it.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Some things you can't take back...

On his 72 and Sunny CD, Uncle Kracker sings a song called "Some things you can't take back." I love that song, but today it ran through my head 20 million times. I was cordial today. I tried to be on my best behavior so I didn't act like an idiot. I had a little tiny bit of Jim Beam in my Diet Pepsi, but I didn't even come close to drinking myself into oblivion, but maybe I should've. I think we were both civil, but that's about it. I caught myself staring a few times. Thoughts of the past darted in and out of my mind a few times, and I'd remember that you can't take things back. I learned enormously from everything that happened. It was so long ago I'm sure no one else even remembers. It didn't matter in the grand scheme of things back then and it doesn't matter now. And it surely doesn't affect life as we know it today. I have no idea how his life is going, but he seems happy. I am pretty sure he has a good job and I know he bought a new house in the last few years. I guess my point is that life goes on. People change. They move on. When God closes one door, another opens. And even if you wish you could, some things you can't take back. But you know what? I'm pretty sure it doesn't even matter. But it was very nice to catch up with some old friends today, even though it was such a long day. It was a nice wedding, but I really hope that everyone understands that I am going to Vegas if I get married and not dealing with all the fuss. After all, I once read on a very hot man's ass that all you need is love.

Speaking of things that you can't take back, I've had a bit of a rant in the forefront of my mind for a few days. I am trying to figure out if I just need to write it and get it out of my system or if I need to write it and post it. If it's meant for everyone to see, it will be here soon enough. The same set of thoughts keep rolling in and out of my head and I think it'd be very good to talk about them, but I don't want to offend anyone. I've never been particularly worried about tempering my thoughts before, so I'm not sure what it's all about right now. And to think some people think I always speak before I think.

I saw this shirt the other day, and I must own it:

I just think it's very funny. So sue me.

Friday, November 25, 2005

A little part of me is dreading tomorrow

So, my cousin's wedding is tomorrow. After spending the entire day in the car going to Detroit to pick up Gary, who lives there, and Lance, who flew in from Miami, we arrived at Church for the rehearsal. I don't think the choir sounds that bad. We recruited the church secretary to help us sing, because while Lance and Joanna have beautiful voices and my aunt and I hold our own, none of us our loud singers. And unlike my choir at St. William's, we don't have fancy schmancy sound equipment, like microphones. We're relying entirely on strong diaphragms and good acoustics.

I am not sure how tomorrow will go. I have a bit of a sordid past with my cousin's best friend. It's been years since everything and we're both at very different places in our lives. We've really grown up since high school (or I guess I should say I've grown up and he's gotten older), and now we end up seeing each other about once a year. And actually the last few times I've seen him, it was a total non-event and I wasn't impressed with him at all. But I'll tell you tonight at the rehearsal dinner I think he looked the best that I've ever seen him. In the whole 25 years or so that I've known him. Damn. And I didn't see his whatever-you-want-to-call-her at the dinner. Maybe she was back at the hotel? Maybe she just didn't come? Maybe they're off again? Not like it matters. He looks the best that he ever has, and I can safely say that I don't. And I'm pretty sure that I don't ever want to go there again, ever. I guess I just wish I looked better. That I'd lost that 40 pounds I'd planned to lose this year. That I hadn't had a bad hair day today. I guess it's not so much that I want him to want me; I just wish I could say "Look at what you are missing." Instead I feel like he's doing that to me. Not that he really is, I'll just let him get to me, just like I always do. My life is great, and he's the last thing I'd need, even on a very temporary basis. But when he flashes that million dollar grin that makes those baby blues dance ... well, it's easy to see why he's always had every girl he's met eating out of his hand.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Rant's off!!!

So, earlier today I was a little upset that the announcer on the Macy's Parade was talking over the Marching 110's entire performance. However, their moment in the spotlight was not lost. A few minutes ago they made it to Matt Lauer and Katie Couric's viewing stand. Matt, for those who don't know, is an Ohio Bobcat himself. I think he graduated a year ahead of me. (He was one class short when he left Athens to take a reporter's job at an NBC affiliate in the early 1980s. When he worked his way up to the Today Show, they counted his "life experience" for those last 4 credits so they could count him among our esteemed alumni.)

The 110 was awesome, and they got the best response that I've heard from the crowd. They did some of their famous moves and everyone loved it. I can't believe I have to wait until next fall to see them in action again. And even if I've moved away, I'll be coming back for a few games.

I loved the OU trivia. It was great, but Matt, I want to offer you some advice for next time:

Stand Up and Cheer
Cheer loud and long for old Ohio
For today we raise, the Green and White above the rest
Our team is fighting
They're bound to win the fray
We've got the team
We've got the steam
For this is Old Ohio's day

I'm off to make my bed, take the trash out and tackle the sweet potatoes!

It's Turkey Day

Season's Eatings, everyone!

Don't forget to take time to be thankful for all of the blessings in your life.

Plus in tonight's edition: Watch me rant about the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. (Assuming I don't go see Walk The Line, which is supposed to be AMAZING...)

So, I didn't get to post last night...

I've been so busy getting ready for Thanksgiving that I didn't get to post last night. Not too much to say, but I figured I'd say a little bit before I put up my celebratory Turkey Day post. It just doesn't seem appropriate to recap life's events there.

I took a break from cleaning to watch Kenny's special. It wasn't bad, but it was crazy here (like dad ran the vacuum during it) so I'll watch the tape another day. It definitely wasn't the same as being in the same arena with the man (or more importantly for me, the yellow-haired boy), but it was fun. I am sure there were plenty of folks who tuned in last night who weren't fans and will be duking it out with the rest of us for tickets next year.

Of course, seeing him with a wedding ring again was interesting since he didn't have on when I saw him two weeks ago, or at all since September for that matter. I wished I'd gone to the Pittsburgh show because he looked great. I can't remember why I missed that one, but I can't imagine whatever I was doing was more important.

The reason I mentioned the wedding ring was because that country radio DJ Lia that I don't particularly like anyhow was talking about Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban and how it looks like they are getting married. Of course, as far as all of us know they've only been going out for a few months (although I suspect it was under wraps for a while before they were spotted together -- it always is with celebrities), so of course no one wants them to pull a "Kenny and Renee." Yeah, we were all thinking it, but I can't believe Lia said it. She made a comment about both of them wanting to start a family right away, and I'm sure that our reigning Entertainer of the Year has plenty of time to accommodate that since he's not playing nearly as many venues or selling as many seats as Kenny. But now that Katie Holmes is pregnant, I'm trying to figure this all out. I figured one of the Kidman/Cruise folks had to have an issue or they wouldn't have adopted their kids. Looks like Tom isn't shooting blanks, but now Nicole's looking to make babies of her own. It gets weirder everyday. On the plus side, at least I'm not particularly fond of Nicole OR Keith. It sucks when your favorite singer marries your favorite actress and then she turns out to be an evil shrew (although you secretly suspected she was all along), because you just HAVE to take sides. There won't be any sides in this Urban-Kidman thing although I do like her a tad bit more than him.

Lastly, here is my thought of the day: You have way too many clothes when your dresser and closet are full and you've still got two loads in the laundry room. Where did I accumulate all of this?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

National My Give a Damn Is Busted Day

OK, NMGADIBD is not really a holiday. Or if it is, it's not today. But I say we make it a holiday today!!! Most of us (not me, unfortunately) are working shortened days today. The schools are out. The in-laws are coming in the morning. Whose give a damn really isn't busted today? Seriously. You know yours is.

How to celebrate? Screw off at work a little. Put a video in and let the kids watch themselves for an hour. Use Stove Top instead of slaving in the kitchen to make your great-grandma's homemade stuffing recipe. Slack a little. No one will notice. And if they do, tell them that your give a damn is busted.

I will culminate my celebration at 8 p.m. tonight when I grab a fruity rum drink and sit my ass on the couch for an hour with Mr. Chesney. And much like many of the times I saw him this summer, my time with him will be care-free and fun. And who knows maybe I'll even see the yellow-haired boy. That would just make my day.

I double-dog dare anyone to change the channel.

For those who are wondering what "real" holidays are celebrated today, Nov. 23, it is What Do You Love About America? Day. (I'm feeling another blog entry later on when my give a damn's not so busted!). There are also several designated week-long observances. Did you know it's National Farm-City Week? Or National Adoption Week? You could celebrate National Family Week by picking out your favorite family game (Trivial Pursuit, anyone?) for National Game & Puzzle Week. Last, but not least, it's National Bible Week. I think I'll be reading a little bit of mine today. Definitely needing more guidance than just that Carrie Underwood song!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

A little "spring cleaning"

Well, it's 29 degrees out and practically December. Strange time for Spring cleaning. Of course, the cleaning is being done on my computer. I've installed and removed some software today, scanned for spyware, all the fun stuff.

My mind keeps drifting to one of my favorite Eminem songs (I say that like I have LOTS of favorite Eminem songs, lol) "Cleaning Out My Closet." It just seems appropriate for the task at hand. Or at least as appropriate as any Eminem song could be.

One of the issues with my computer is that my email keeps saying I have new messages, but they aren't apparent when I look in my inbox. I have poked around and my guess is that they are spam somehow getting past my junk mail filter, because those messages never have a correct date on them. But I figured this was a good time for Little Miss Electronic Packrat to delete some old e-mails. Of course, there were some that obviously needed to go. There were some that if I had never read, they most likely weren't ever going to be read. There was some stuff that just wasn't necessary or relevant anymore. And then there were a whole bunch of emails that I probably shouldn't keep but they are absolutely hilarious. I'm saving them for right now. I never know when I'll need a good laugh or a stroll down memory lane. I'm sure at some point the delete button will get the best of me, but for today they got a death-row reprieve.

Some things are too funny not to share!

As I mentioned last week Friday was Jenna's last day at work. Now Jenna and I liked to make fun of a certain song up in the loft and for the last week or so it's the only CD the folks from our Development/Communications Team got to listen to (until I left it in LA; they LOVED that!) Anyhow, I got to work on Monday and found this post-it on my computer screen. I don't know if I've ever laughed so hard before in my life!

Hope you enjoy it!

Ever have one of those days?

After watching Jimmy Kimmel last night, I woke up dragging this morning. It was one of those days that I'm really surprised that I made it through without bursting into tears, completely going off on someone or storming out (which I seriously considered twice), but more about that later.

We'll start with my shameless plug for Kenny's TV special tomorrow evening at 8 p.m. on ABC. I saw a clip from it on CMT tonight, and it looks even better on TV than it did in real life. I am just not sure how that works. I read a little about KC and Renee today. I don't think we'll ever know what happened on that one. I guess we'll see, but I'll chalk it up to some people just shouldn't marry each other, love or not. Kenny is up for American Music Awards tonight. I hope he wins them, but after last week I am not sure I'll even tune in. I just can't watch him get hosed again. This morning in the car I wrote a letter to the CMA's in my head that I was not only going to send but I was going to post it here. It's moved a little bit down the radar screen, but perhaps I'll do it sometimes soon. We'll see. I might just chalk it up to some people being jerks and move on. I think last year we all built this odd sense of false hope that Kenny was finally being recognized by the establishment and they just reminded us that he is still the Rodney Dangerfield of country music.

In slightly related news, someone scored points for making an excellent beverage choice!

OK, now I'll rant about my life a little bit more, and then I'm going to rant a little bit about other things going on in the world.

I am officially hunting for a new job. I went to the library after work and checked out all kinds of job-seeker's guides and manuals. I'm updating the resume and getting it out in the next few days. I have a few hot leads, and I'm pretty excited because this time I am only applying for jobs that I will love. When I took this job, I never intended for it being long-term. I had just started looking for jobs in Nashville when I got offered this job, and this job was better than the one I had. But I've really been trying to get out of fundraising, because I'm a writer at heart. And honestly, I am just a little tired of struggling to make ends meet in the nonprofit world when the folks I went to school with are making twice as much money. I went to one of the top 3 journalism schools in the country, and I got two Bs while I was there (the rest were A's for the smart asses among y'all). Surely I should be able to get a better job. And while I love not having a long drive home during Holiday weeks like this one, I'm really just a city girl at heart. I have concluded that rural America is nice to visit, but I need to be near Lane Bryant and Panera and Target. So, I'm going to start looking around. I had always intended to stay here long enough to make it worth my time and my employer's and I wanted to make sure we got through the big fundraiser, which was last week. And despite my hard work, I feel like I'm just taking up space. I realize daily that I just do not do business the way that business is done there. Today I got very frustrated because I'm sitting there in a meeting and I've been left out of the loop on a few things and then I am expected to know what's going on. How does that work? I am sick of my boss hijacking my team and having meetings without me and then getting upset with me for not leading my team. It's also confusing to the girls I supervise because they are getting mixed messages. Basically, it seems like I am their supervisor when there is some sort of complicated, shitty paperwork that needs to be filled out for some report somewhere. That sucks and it pisses me off. I'm also very frustrated that I made a sizable contribution at last week's fundraiser, and I didn't even get a verbal thank you from my boss. I thought maybe she hadn't thanked any employees (which isn't right but makes it easier to swallow), but when she was going over feedback from the event it was clear that she had talked to other employees in her follow-up calls. I do believe in the mission of the organization, but I'm seriously thinking of not continuing to pay on my pledge when I leave. If my gift wasn't good enough for a thank you, maybe it's not needed.

OK, enough of my whine and cheese party, although I always find a nice white is appropriate during the holiday season!

There were a lot of articles today about the Vatican being against actively gay priests. Before every one gets their panties in a wad about the church being discriminatory and saying things about the church turning men away from the priesthood when there is a shortage of clergy, all I want to say on this topic is that the sexual orientation of priests shouldn't be an issue. It shouldn't matter if you are gay or straight because regardless of whom you'd have sex with if you weren't a priest, when you are a priest you don't get to have sex with anyone. You take a vow of celibacy. And straight or gay, if you have an issue with being celibate, you might not want to become a priest. So for me as a Catholic, it's not an issue of sexual orientation. It's an issue of whether or not my priest is committed to his vows, one of which is to live a chaste life. And you can't live a chaste life if you're having sex with strange men in parks in Columbus or if you're screwing Mrs. Murphy, the housekeeper at the rectory.

OK, one last rant and then I'm done. If I made it a policy to hate people, I think that Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig would be on my short list. Our family has a cute little nickname for him but I don't know if I can say it here. Let's just say it rhymes with "mockshucker" and leave it at that. Why do we dislike Mr. Selig? Well, there are plenty of things he's done as MLB Commissioner that have rubbed me the wrong way, but most of them have to do with Charlie Hustle. I love Pete Rose and my precious Cincinnati Reds. It seriously upsets me that Pete Rose was banned from baseball for doing something that doesn't even compare to the improprieties committed by some of the folks who ARE in the Hall of Fame. Ty Cobb, for example, killed a man with his bare hands on the streets of Detroit. He's a murderer, yet he is one of baseball's heroes. We won't even get into the drug use. Yes, drug abuse is a sickness, and they deserve the chance to go to rehab and come clean. But some never come clean. Let's look at this steroid scandal for a minute. Was it bad for Pete Rose to bet on baseball? Hell yes. But do I believe that Pete Rose ever rigged a Reds game to win a bet. Nope. It didn't happen. Charlie Hustle never threw a game. And seriously, what kind of bookies let him bet with all that insider info? It was wrong. He did his time in jail. He went to rehab. As far as I know he doesn't bet on baseball now. Bud Selig has been saying as long as he's been commissioner if Pete apologized and came clean and admitted he did it that he'd let him back in baseball. And let's face it, letting him back in baseball meant one thing: that Pete would have a fair chance at the Hall. Well, this was the last time he was eligible for the sportswriters' ballot and Selig won't let him on it. I knew when Pete played by Bud Selig's rules that the jerk was setting him up. And here it is in print for the whole world to see.

One thing's for sure: Cooperstown isn't a place I ever plan on going if it's a place that won't make room for one of the best players in the history of the game. I was pissed when Bud Selig threatened to have Pete arrested if he attended the last game in Riverfront Stadium. That was after the fans planned to take up a collection to cover the fine for him entering an MLB ballpark. It was nice to see the players write a 14 in the dirt at first base and leave a red rose there for him. He will always be an All-American in all our hearts even if Major League Baseball has no place for him.

And Bud Selig? Yeah, he's still a "mockshucker."

Playlist for the Drive Home...

It was a long day. I am absolutely, positively amazed that I made it without having a complete and total breakdown, but somehow I did.

One the way home I listened to the radio. The following three songs played in a row:

Jesus Take The Wheel by Carrie Underwood
Unanswered Prayers by Garth Brooks
The Impossible by Joe Nichols

Think someone upstairs was trying to tell me something?!?

Which Muppet Are You?

Thanks to OneforJC for another fun quiz!

You are Kermit the Frog.
You are reliable, responsible and caring. And you
have a habit of waving your arms about

"Hi ho!" "Yaaay!" and
"How Green Was My Mother"

"Surfin' the Webfoot: A Frog's Guide to the

Sitting in the swamp playing banjo.

"Hmm, my banjo is wet."

What Muppet are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Monday, November 21, 2005

Postcards on the edge...

(First of all, apologies to Carrie Fisher for the play on words from her book title.)

I recently told you all about how I love postcards. Postcards are great. I got hooked on postcards when I went to Europe in high school. Mme. Thompson, the teacher who sponsored and chaperoned our trip told us to always buy at least one postcard from our favorite cities/attractions on the trip. This was for two reasons. 1) You will have something go wrong with some of the film you take and you may not get back to that place and you won't have a photo to jar your memory. And 2) You don't want to spend your whole vacation looking in the lens of a camera.

To this day if there is something I really love on a trip, I buy a postcard just to be safe. Sometimes something's so beautiful my pictures can't do it justice. And even with the digital something might look OK on the screen and not so much when you download it. And I really want to enjoy each moment as it happens and worry less about the camera.

I also ask folks to send me postcards when they are on trips. I know I just sent a handful out to friends back home when I went to California.

I have a friend getting ready to go on a trip, and I asked her for a postcard. And she replied by telling me she was taking her laptop and she'd check in. I'm guilty of that too. I'll log on and send a picture from the trip via e-mail. The postcard is becoming a fading novelty.

That's what this article I read in the paper is all about. The author talks about how we have all this technology and we can do neat things with it on a trip, but we're sacrificing the postcard to do it. I loved this article. It reflected what I felt when I was told that someone would check in via email instead. I love the instant gratification of other media (most times the author beats the postcard home), but I think we've lost a lot of our personality without them.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

More vacation photos...

I finally posted my pictures from California in my photobucket. I hope you like them. There's a lot of landscape photos of places that are pretty much charred right now because of the wildfire in Ventura, where we spent most of Saturday. Luckily all my friends I made out there are safe and sound and back at home now!

California Pictures

One more picture then I'll shush, honest!

I wanted to post a picture from my trip last weekend. Everyone seems to like this one, although I hate it. Probably mostly because it's a picture of me... I got this brilliant idea to stand next to this sign at the restaurant where we had lunch Saturday. Maybe I was delirious from the ocean breeze to feel the urge to make people take my picture, but for better or for worse, here it is.

Song of the Day

Have I mentioned yet how much I love Kenny Chesney's new CD, The Road and the Radio? Of course I have. I love it. I really love the cover of "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)" on the Target bonus tracks, but I think that one of my favorite songs is "Tequila Loves Me (Even if You Don't)" (Muchas gracias to my friend Andrea for the lyrics link!) Anyhow, this song was a running joke when I went out to Los Angeles, and it was REALLY funny after I started drinking those mango margaritas. Now I know why they call it liquid courage. I was not afraid of anything that could be said and I was just waiting for something bad so I could use this line. Luckily that didn't happen. I did, however, earn the nickname "Margaritas in the Morning." (Eleven in the morning isn't too early if it's lunch time. What else do you have with your tacos in California?)

Anyhoo, I was inspired to make this little graphic after Gretchen's mama decided that "If life hands you limes, make margaritas" should be my new slogan to go with my new nickname. And, I guess, my tequila-induced attitude adjustment...

Why not?!?

I got this survey in my e-mail, and I thought it was a good way for some folks to get to know me a little better...

*Missed work because it was raining -- Yes, because of the floods here
*Put a body part on fire for amusement -- hell no!
*Been hurt emotionally -- yep
*Kept a secret from anyone -- yeah
*Had an imaginary friend -- nope
*Had a crush on a teacher/doctor -- I still have a harmless crush on one of my college professors who I see around town every once in a while.
*Had a New Kids on the Block tape -- every single one of them
*Been on stage -- yeah
*So drunk you blacked out -- surprisingly, no...

*Shampoo -- Aveda Scalp Benefits
*Body Wash -- Bath & Body Works Black Raspberry Vanilla creamy body wash
*Day/Night -- day
*Summer/Winter -- summer
*Lace/Satin -- satin
*Fave drink -- coke zero or really cold water
*Fave alcohol drink -- a really good margarita

*Wearing -- a black jumper and white turtleneck
*Eating -- nothing
*Drinking -- Coke Zero
*Thinking -- I really should quit procrastinating
*Listening to -- the intro to the Simpsons
*Talking to -- No one

*Wore a skirt -- right now
*Met someone new -- the lady who ran the spa on Friday
*Cleaned your room -- I'm headed upstairs to do it next
*Drove a car -- yesterda afternoon

*Your friends -- yep
*Santa - sometimes
*Tooth Fairy -- No
*Destiny/Faith -- both
*Angels -- yes
*God -- yes
*UFOs -- well, a UFO is an unidentified flying object, so I'd bet we've all seen them before. Do I believe they land on earth and aliens kidnap people? Not so much.

*Who have you known longest of your friends -- Randi
*Weirdest -- I have a few weird friends
*Who do you go to for advice -- Amy and Rosalie
*Who do you cry to -- Amy seems to see most of my tears
*When did you cry the most -- when I realized that someone didn't love me as much as I loved them
*Best feeling in the world -- knowing someone loves you, whether it's a friend or a significant other
*Worst feeling - realizing that someone isn't what they say they are

What a lazy day!

You'd think after all the time I spent sleeping this weekend that I wouldn't be tired and lazy today. I think I am just catching up on many weeks (if not months) without sufficient sleep. It's probably not a bad thing, because I am going to have a busy week getting ready for the company we'll have for both Thanksgiving and the wedding on Saturday. I think the wedding is going to be very nice. The music is coming along nicely. I think we might sound half-decent and not ruin the happy day. We have our last choir practice after the rehearsal Friday afternoon. I am so excited to see all of my cousin's family and a lot of folks I know from Michigan will be there, for better or for worse. I think it'll be just fine.

We had a great day at Sunday School today. I had a small class which was good because the one little boy is a handful. He helped me set up for class today, so he caught me off-guard when he acted up. He tries the best he can to be good, but I think it's very hard for him to go back and forth between mom and dad. We did the coolest craft today. We made a Thanksgiving tree. The folks at Kroger gave me a few paper grocery bags that I taped together and cut into the shape of a tree trunk with branches. Then I gave each kid a piece of construction paper (red, yellow, orange, green or brown) and they traced their hands and cut them out for leaves. In the middle of each leaf they wrote one thing they were thankful for. It was interesting to see their answers. Then they helped me glue all the leaves on. We were pretty happy with our work. I'm going to take a picture of it and I'll post it. Next week is toilet paper roll advent wreaths. We're also going to have everyone in the whole church make a green hand that we will use to make the leaves on a big advent wreath on the wall as part of our whole parish catechesis. I think we do a great job with our religious ed program.

I did very well with watching what I ate today and I even saved some dinner for tomorrow's lunch. I am trying to do a better job, which is going to be hard for the holidays. I think I'll just squeeze in more time at the gym to help counteract the effects of the overeating we're all bound to do this year. I need to be training anyhow or I'll never make it in April. I've still got five months to train, so I'll be fine but there is NO time to slack off.

Not much else to talk about. Just watching the Colts and Cincinnati, feeling very sad that I'm not actually at the game. Luke had planned on giving me his season tickets but the Colts are so awesome that he didn't want to give them up. I am a little worried that someone will remember that I said if the Colts are in the Super Bowl in Detroit I'd sell a kidney to go see them. Well, I don't live in Detroit anymore so it'd be a lot more difficult than when I said that... Of course, I'd love to go but it's not going to happen. I'm sure the Colts will be there, I just won't be. But if Peyton wants to know the best place to get flaming cheese, he can call me!!!

I heard from a couple of friends this week. One I just hadn't talked to for a while and it was nice to catch up. The other I figured I probably wouldn't ever talk to again, so I was very surprised to hear from her. The funny thing is that I was going to call her too and check in. Just one of those "Wonder how she's doing" thoughts running through my head. So it was good timing. I'm just trying to figure out what inspired her to check in with me. I can't help but wonder if she wants something and that motivated her. I guess we'll see...

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Update on all things Laura...

I've finally gotten a chance to sit down and write a little update on my life. I haven't really written too much lately because I've been busy. And honestly, I'm just taking a little break from getting my stuff ready for Sunday School tomorrow. We're going to make a giant tree of thanks and tape it to the wall in the parish hall and all the kids will write what they are thankful on the leaves. I think it's a nifty idea.

Yesterday was a lot of fun, although I went to bed early, relaxed but exhausted. For Jenna's last day we went to a local bed and breakfast that has a spa and just had a day of massages, relaxing in the hot tub, eating chocolates and other fun stuff and just hanging out. It was a lot of fun, but I didn't make it very long after I got home. I was beat after a long week and fell asleep on the couch. The B&B was nice and I'd like to go there and stay sometime. I really liked it and I could see it as being the site of romantic moments.

Today was a great fall day for college football, but not so great for my football teams. Michigan ended up losing with 24 seconds left, and the Vols? Well, we just won't talk about what happened to the Vols today. On Monday night the girls from work and I are going to go brave the elements to watch the OU face their big rivals Miami of Ohio. I think it's going to be fun. Wondering if I can smuggle in my thermos of hot cocoa with peppermint schnapps...

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was an excellent film. They cut huge, giant chunks out to make a 700+ page book into a 2 1/2 hour movie, but it was still great. I haven't liked any of the other Harry Potter movies (and I LOOOOVVVEEE the books) so to say that I loved this means a lot. As long as you know that it's not a comprehensive reputation of the book, you'll enjoy it.

What else did I want to talk about today? Oh, I should tell everyone about my new ring that I just love. I'm not too much of a jewelry fan. I have a few pieces I wear everyday and this ring has become one of them. It's a wide silver band with some engraving on it and an oval garnet. It's just beautiful and I didn't pay that much for it. Last week I bought some silver heart-shaped earrings for myself and got a little silver celtic cross on a chain as a gift. Who knows? Maybe at some point I will become a fan of jewelry. It's hard for me because I'm allergic to metal alloys, so I have to wear only precious metals or I have a terrible reaction. When you can't wear costume jewelry it gets expensive...

The song of the day is "I Wanna Grow Old With You" by Adam Sandler from The Wedding Singer. I was thinking of this song the other day for some reason and then today while I was looking for some of the stuff for my cousin's wedding music, I found the mp3 for it. It's so fun.

Well, I'm off to find something yummy to make with sweet potatoes on Thursday. I'll be back before then.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A couple more things...

I am bored trying to kill time before I have to be at a meeting at Church. (It didn't make sense to drive home and then come back 30 minutes later...) So, I thought I'd see what I can find to talk about.

First of all, this pisses me off. Why won't George Bush meet with Cindy Sheehan? He is the commander in chief, and if he's going to send our military folks into battle, he should be prepared to explain his actions when there are consequences.

Next, the song of the day. I am not 100 percent sure how I feel about this song, but it reminded me of someone and I thought I'd use it for the song of the day. "Skin" by Rascal Flatts was never supposed to be a single. It was a hidden track on their CD. But everyone loved it so much they begged them to release it and they did. It reminds me of a girl from church who's been sick for a while. Probably most of her high school career she's battled ailments and endured treatments. Yesterday I was getting an update on her condition and this song came in my head. It's been a while since I even did the song of the day, so I'm going to try to get back into it. Honestly I've been so busy with work I haven't kept up here like I should.

Today was the second day we've had snow. It's kind of exciting but makes me a little sad all the same. So many more changes come with winter.

Keep praying for the Radosevich family. The track cancelled all the races again today in Josh's memory. This has to be so difficult for them...I'm kind of surprised that it's gotten national media attention, but I guess if you think about how many horses are in each race and how many races run each day at tracks all over the U.S. it's not often that a jockey is killed. The statistics are pretty good but that makes it very big news when it happens.

Harry Potter!!!

I must be bonkers. I am going to the movie theater at 11:30 tonight to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire at midnight. I can't wait. I think that was my favorite book of the series. I'm sure that I'll be dragging ass tomorrow, but today it seems like a good idea.

I also want to see the new Johnny Cash movie, Walk the Line. I think it's going to be great.

So, I'll probably update you all tomorrow since I'm not logging on at 2 a.m. No way. I'm just hoping it doesn't end up being a $5 nap!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A sad end to a long day

I had so much I'd planned to write about today. It was a busy day. We had our first snow. So much to write about. And one thing can change your whole outlook. It can suck all the life out of you and make everything else so much less important.

Today that one thing was one of the saddest things I've ever experienced. I don't know how many folks know this, but I have been around horses all my life. As long as I can remember my dad's had race horses. I've met a lot of people along the way and seen a lot of accidents. But nothing was like today.

We had bad storms in Ohio last night. And I guess the race track was very muddy today. My uncle's horse was supposed to run, but as they were getting ready an announcement came over the PA system and said the rest of the races were canceled because of track condition. They were told that three jockeys had been thrown off because of the mud. So, they headed home for the day, saving the race for another day.

What we found out tonight is that it was much worse. On the evening news they reported that one horse had gone down with a broken leg. The jockey, 16-year-old Josh Radosevich was thrown off. He was then run over by other horses on the track. Both Josh and the horse, Nyoka, died in the accident. (Well, Nyoka was euthanized on the track, but the results are the same.) Josh was a sophomore in high school and had only had his apprentice jockey's license for about a month, and had already won 19 races. His future was so bright, and now it's gone. We know his family, and they are a good people, a racing family. His grandpa and dad are both successful trainers. They said that at least Josh died doing what he loved, riding horses. I just don't think that makes it any better when a young kid dies.

If anyone wants to read an article about the accident, there is a good one here. This was a bad day at the track. Before the races started, they'd had a memorial service for another jockey who'd died from riding injuries last week. I will always pick a fight with anyone who thinks that both race horses and jockeys are not athletes. That's ridiculous.

I am just so sad and upset now that I can't think of anything else to say. More update when I'm feeling like myself again. Right now, I'm just devastated. It is so sad to see any young life end before it really had a chance to begin.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


I've decided that I'm going to pretend there were no CMA Awards this year. Nope. They didn't happen. Keith who? I had to wait until I stopped saying the f-word every other word out of my mouth to sit down and type this. I said it once to one person who probably didn't appreciate it, but other than that I'm making great progress.

Let's start out with the good things. Kenny and the boys looked great during Livin' in Fast Forward. Miss Gretchen did a good job singing and I'm so happy she won Female Vocalist of the Year. It didn't look like she combed her hair, but I still love her. And it's about time that Dierks Bentley won the Horizon Award. I love LeeAnn Womack's new CD, so even though I'm not positive it was the best CD to come out this year, I am glad that she won.

Now a few things that really rubbed me the wrong way. I am beyond sick of Brooks & Dunn winning Vocal Duo of the Year. They aren't really that great. Let's share the love. How sad is it that Rascal Flatts not only won Vocal Group but is actually the best vocal group. I like them, but I don't know if I'd call them country. Hell, Joe Don actually said that in their speech!!!

Of course it goes without saying that all my disappointment culminated at the end of the evening. I'll be the first to admit that I'd hardly call myself a Keith Urban fan. I tolerate him. I don't shut the radio off when they play his songs, but I have all his CDs (I bought them trying to learn to love him) and I rarely listen to them. I'm never in the mood to listen to Urban. I saw him live once, and didn't even watch his whole set. He just doesn't do it for me. I know lots of folks like him and that's fine, but I wasn't entertained by him when I saw him. I know folks are. I know he almost sells out mid-sized arenas in secondary markets all over the U.S. He interacts with his fans and plays the hell out of his guitar. But I just don't think he holds a candle to Kenny Chesney, or Brad Paisley for that matter, both of whom were passed over on the Entertainer of the Year Award. I think that Keith has a place in Nashville and is loved, but I just don't think he's paid his dues yet. Nashville is very much about paying dues. That's why it took Kenny twelve years to win last year. I just don't get it. And I wouldn't be me if I didn't blog about it.

I know that it's to each his own and awards voting is very subjective, but I am still sad and disappointed. I just have this feeling that this was paybacks on Kenny for his little "sideshow" earlier this year. And I know that he hugged Keith and is proud of Keith, but he looked a bit disappointed too. He had an amazing year. He sold out every arena and stadium he performed in, some for 2 or 3 nights. He rocked and his show is something else. He sold more tickets than anyone else. He is a true entertainer, and I really think he deserved the award. Brad Paisley even said he was voting for Kenny!

Well, I've vented all I can on this topic. I said to one of my friends that I was going to pretend the CMAs never happened, and I think that's what I'll do. It's a sad day for Kenny fans...

Where'd she go?!?!

Hi everyone!

Just wanted to post to let you all know that I am alive and I'm recuperating and getting over my jet lag from the weekend fun. I am also completely and totally swamped with work until Thursday. We have our big fundraising event tomorrow and while I think it'll be a big success, I doubt I'll have much time online between now and then. Tonight I'm running down to Sam's Club and then I have to make muffins and then I have to get up at 4:30 a.m. to be at the breakfast by 6 a.m. It's going to be a long day, and I can't come home and crash because I have choir rehearsal for my cousin Jason's wedding tomorrow night.

The CMAs are tonight, and I'm sure I'll want to blog about that. I am thinking there will be upsets, although I'm not sure what they'll be. I'd put my money on Dierks Bentley for the Horizon Award (although I do that every year!) and then anything else is fair game...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Somewhere in the Sun...

Los Angeles was fun, and I am completely and totally not ready to go home. There was still so much more to see, and so many places to go. At least that gives me an excuse to get out here again sometime soon. I loved it.

What did we do yesterday? Well, first of all, we slept in. And after 42 hours without sleep, I was not upset about that at all. We drove into Ventura, which by the way is really called the City of San Buenaventura, or St. Bonaventure in English. The whole town was built up around this mission church built near the ocean by Fr. Junipero Serra. Now, every kid in Catholic grade school learned about Fr. Serra and the California missions he started, so I was so excited to go there. I loved my tour of the church and I spent way too much money in the gift shop. I bought some gifts for my brother Gary, who loves Our Lady of Guadalupe. Because St. Francis (or San Francisco as they call him in Cali) is Lance’s patron saint, I bought him some gifts too. I bought my prayer candle for the week and said my prayers in the courtyard, both to La Virgen Maria and St. Jude. I took pictures of the statue and as soon as I can download my pics, I will post them.

After our visit to the Mission (We saw not one, but TWO weddings while we were there!!!), we stopped by a little gift shop where I picked up some really cute souvenirs. I probably should’ve bought more, but I didn’t. I just never found other stuff that I liked as much during the day.

Now for the highlight of my day: We hit the beach. I took my shoes off, rolled my pant legs up and played in the ocean. I loved it when I got out of the car and smelled the salt in the air. I fell in love with the feeling of the sand between my toes. The water was freezing, but I felt so good that I didn’t care. The Pacific Ocean is a lot stronger than the Atlantic, and every time the water came in, it took the sand under your feet out with it. It looks very muddy. It had been a while since I’d been to the coast. I used to go to the Outer Banks every summer with my family, and since I’ve been able to go by myself, I’ve gone other places. I’ve seen the South, the Heartland of America and Europe, but high school was the last time I was in the ocean. So, it was nice to feel the sting of the salty water on my skin, to have the waves lap at my feet. Lately lots of folks have been talking about the healing power of the ocean, and I just suspected it was the rum and not really the sand and surf that was improving their outlook on life. I was so wrong about that. I just can’t think of a better place on earth to be than the ocean. And I wouldn’t trade the view of the sun setting over the pacific for anything on earth, I don’t think.

I had amazing meals while I was in California. I told you a little bit yesterday about the amazing tacos and margaritas at Acapulco on Alameda Blvd. in Burbank (across from the NBC studios). On Saturday we had lunch at Eric Ericcson’s seafood restaurant right on the pier. Something about fresh seafood, vegetables and fruit that I think Californians take for granted. Last night we ended our day eating ice cream by the beach. We went back to Gretchen’s and watched Kenny on CMT. He looked yummy, but I was very upset at the choices on the Top Ten videos. I’m thinking all the kiddos who have jumped on his bandwagon picked because while I liked some of the videos that made the cut, I couldn’t believe that “I Lost It” and “That’s Why I’m Here” weren’t on there. Especially since “That’s Why I’m Here” is on CMT’s list of all-time favorite videos. “Old Blue Chair” made it, and it’s just other footage recycled and made into a video, and “Who You’d Be Today” made it. I think it’s safe to say I wasn’t pleased with that choice. Did I tell you yesterday that Gretchen told Melvis we didn’t like that song? He told her he was telling Kenny on us.

Well, I’m in LAX waiting for my flight to leave, and I need to go take a potty break. I might check in when I get to Atlanta, but most likely I’ll be posting when I get home.

That’s all for now from the less sober half of the “Margaritas in the Morning” crew.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Los Angeles rocks!!!!!!

OMG, what a fun, fun, fun weekend I am having. Where to start?

First, I'll bitch just a little about my flight in case there are some people who haven't heard about it yet. The plane to Vegas was pretty packed and I had the seat in the back row next to the bathroom. I was supposed to sit next to this delightful couple that were bitching very angrily about their seats in a foreign language. Until the flight attendant came and the man WENT OFF on him because they couldn't put their seats back and wanted to go to first class and there were no seats. So, they moved us around because there were a few extra seats and I got a window seat with no one next to me. That wasn't bad except I had lots of work to do and the person in front of me put their seat down so I couldn't use my laptop on the plane. I just wrote my speech in longhand and typed it when I got to Vegas, where I had a two-hour layover. I love Vegas. I was so tempted to just go check into the Trop and gamble, but I made it to LAX. But I got to watch "Must Love Dogs," which is an awesome movie, buy my Ethel M chocolates (including a caramel apple) and get all my work for work done.

So, I arrive at 1:30 a.m. in Los Angeles for lots of fun in the sun (except it was dark out) but let me tell you what an exciting, beautiful place this is. It was so exciting to see places I've only seen or heard about on TV.

Of course, that was what it was when I spent my whole day Friday on the NBC lot. We arrived at NBC at 6 a.m. to get our tonight show tickets. Now because we had to look pretty for Kenny and crew, we got home from the airport, changed our clothes and went back to NBC. Probably should've gotten a hotel room by the airport, but hindsight is always 20/20, right? So, anyhow we get all gussied up and go wait in line -- right in the middle of Salem, the Days of Our Lives town -- to get our Leno tickets. And then we decide since we are already there we might as well go get in line to get the best seats. And we did. We hopped in line with some other KC fans and sat on a bench for seven hours. Of course, KC fans are like a little family so we all took turns taking pee and food breaks, going to liquor store to buy the L.A. Times with Kenny in it and some lottery tickets. Gretchen and I had amazing Mexican food and the best margaritas ever (Mango and Pineapple-Coconut). I may review that restaurant separately because it was just that good.

So, anyhow, 3 p.m. rolled around and after a brief run-in with a security guard over my world famous chocolate chip cookies to be delivered to Kenny and the guys (one guard said I could bring them in but neglected to tell the lady with PMS who checked my bag), we were escorted to our seats. And wow, was it worth it to sit in the same spot on Alameda Blvd for 7 hours! We were right up front, maybe 4 feet from where Kenny would be singing. Jay was absolutely hilarious and Tom Green was on the show. I almost peed my pants from laughing so hard!!! I was a little annoyed by the girls with boobs up to their necks who kept mentioning how they were "friends" with Clayton. Yeah, that's why he and Nick ran away from them when they yelled at them after the show. I'm thinking they were less "friends" and more "drunken regrets." At least I get to go home tomorrow. Gretchen told those girls about Jimmy Kimmel, and she'll have to do another go 'round with them next week! We were so close that the crew guys hung with us during the taping. Melvis is a freaking hoot (but not funnier than Tom Green). Kenny was awesome, and I have to agree with a friend who told me his new song, "Who You'd Be Today" is better live. I'm still not loving it, but Kenny sang from his heart and he looked pretty damn hot, so I guess I like it a little more than I did yesterday. He even whipped out his snarly gay cowboy look for the promos he shot with Tom G., Jay, Eva Longoria and the 10-year old veterans support Colin Kelly (also a hoot!!) After the show we chit-chatted with the boys until security kicked us out. And finally after much fun, we headed home and crashed on the couch. It was a very long day, and I think I hit 42 hours awake before I finally got some sleep.

I am off to hit the beach and take in some sights. Luckily I did the Hollywood thing yesterday. Y'all would be surprised to see what goes into a TV show. I have worked with broadcast journalists for years, and that doesn't even compare to a live taping. The behind-the-scenes stuff is fascinating.

Oh, and Tambo? I'm still not going to kick him out of bed for eating cookies.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Greetings from Port Columbus

Well, boys and girls, the big road trip in the sky has officially begun. I am currently at Port Columbus International Airport anxiously awaiting my flight to beautiful Lost Wages, Nevada. Fun times. This could quite possibly be the last time that you hear from me before I return home on Sunday. I have so much to do out West that I doubt I'll be spending time in front of the computer. There is lots of fun in the sun to be had, and many postcards to be sent. And I might even have to add a few extra to my list, right Rosalie?!? That's OK. I hear you can get postcards at Walgreens. I'll be sure to give all of you an update the minute I get home. Or in one of the many airports I'm visiting this weekend. Or in the car on the way home. If there's anything to tell, rest assured you will hear about it!

The beauty of a blog is that if you have a laptop and a wireless connection, you can report on things real-time. So, I'm taking a few seconds before my trip to tell you all about a little thing the Transportation Security Administration likes to call "Additional Screening." It sucks. I travel a lot for both work and leisure and I've traveled quite a bit since Sept. 11th and I've never been subjected to this before. Did I mention that it sucks? If I'd had a blog in July I'd have written about my run-in with the TSA screener over my laptop on my way to Chicago, and it didn't even compare with this. I can safely say it was the most mortifying and humiliating thing that's ever happened to me. Nothing like being patted down in front of all the other passengers while some guy is rifling through your undies. And the reason I got the screening? I'm flying out on America West and flying home on Delta, so it triggers as a one-way ticket. I guess that makes sense. Why would a terrorist need a round-trip fare? Thank god there's nothing more dangerous than chocolate chip cookies and a flat iron for my hair in my suitcase. And thank goodness they got it all back in there; I hate to check my luggage and I pack it all in!!!!

Well, the airport's electric outlets don't seem to work and I do have to do some actual work (for work lol) on the plane, so I've got to conserve my battery. I will try to check in if I get bored, but frankly I'm not forseeing any boredom in my future.

So, have fun and be good while I'm off working on my tan this weekend!!! Big Hugs.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

It is good to be a woman!!

I got this in a forward today from my friend Debbie. I thought it was great and I had to share it.

1. We got off the Titanic first.

2. We can scare male bosses with the mysterious gynecological disorder excuses.

3. Taxis stop for us.

4. We don't look like a frog in a blender when dancing.

5. No fashion faux pas we make could ever rival the Speedo.

6. We don't have to pass gas to amuse ourselves.

7. If we forget to shave, no one has to know.

8. We can congratulate our teammate without ever touching her rear end.

9. We never have to reach down every so often to make sure our privates are still there.

10. We have the ability to dress ourselves.

11. We can talk to the opposite sex without having to picture them naked.

12. If we marry someone 20 years younger, we are aware that we will look like an idiot.

13. We will never regret piercing our ears.

14. There are times when chocolate really can solve all your problems.

15. We can make comments about how silly men are in their presence because they aren't listening anyway.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Housekeeping Part Deux

I think I have just about gotten all the kinks worked out of the comments feature on the blog. I have been reading some of my normal sites, and it doesn't look like I'm the only person annoyed and frustrated about the comments not working properly. I am able to post comments as the moderator and they seem to be working, but I am not 100% sure they are up and running yet, but it's much improved and seems to be getting better everyday.

People do seem to miss the comments and I've gotten a lot of positive feedback so I'm thinking of turning them back on. It will probably happen soon. However, I am going to California on Thursday and I probably won't have any time to get to a computer. The laptop will most likely be staying in Ohio. So, because I have to spend that much time away from the laptop, I'm thinking it makes sense to keep it on moderated comments until then. I don't think anyone wants to wade through spam to see if there are new comments until I get back.

So, after Wednesday night I won't be around until Sunday evening most likely. I hope you all can make it because everyone seemed a little sad that I missed Saturday without blogging this past weekend. If I have any good updates I might be able to steal Gretchen's computer, but I can think of 80 million things I'd rather do in Sunny California.

If it's really important, I'll activate the phone tree!!! LMAO!!!!!!!

More on music...

When I first heard clips from Kenny Chesney's Be As You Are: Songs from an Old Blue Chair CD, I was instantly hooked on "Key Lime Pie." It's a cute song, but I literally fell off my chair when I heard it the first time because of the chorus:

Not too tart, not too sweet
My baby loves to watch me eat
Her key lime pie
Her key lime pie

Of course, the way the words are written out (mostly likely intentionally) makes it look more innocent, because when Kenny sings it, it's more like "My baby loves to watch me eat her" and then the key lime pie's on the next line.

I thought about it for a second, and I wasn't sure that Nashville was ready for a song about oral sex. It is, after all, still Nashville.

About that same time a new group called Sugarland came out with their new song "Baby Girl." It's a song about struggling to make it in Nashville. Here's the second verse. Reminds me of some stories I've heard...

Black jack, blue sky: big town full of little white lies.
Well, everybody's your friend: you can never be sure.
They'll promise fancy cars an' diamond rings, an' all sorts of shiny things,
But, girl, you'll remember what your knees are for.

Now, I know what girls' knees seem to be for in that type of situation, but a few people told me they thought it was a reference to praying. I guess in both of these songs, it's all about what's implied.

One thing's for sure: This isn't the Nashville that didn't want the last verse of "The Thunder Rolls" on Garth Brooks' CD, now is it?

She runs back down the hallway, through the bedroom door.
She reaches for the pistol hidden in the dresser drawer.
Tells the lady in the mirror, "He won't do this again!".
Tonight'll be the last time she'll wonder where he's been...

I LOVE this song!!!!

Today's song of the day is awesome!!!!! I love Neal McCoy. I don't own a single one of his CDs, but I love to see him live. He's great!!! His show is one of the best that you'll see. He's such an entertainer. Anyhow, in the car yesterday I finally heard his latest song "Billy's Got His Beer Goggles On." It is absolutely hilarious, yet so true. I have been hearing how great Neal's CD is and I've missed him, so I'm thinking about getting it soon. Of course, tomorrow is Kenny's new CD and since I am addicted to "Livin' in Fast Forward" and "Summertime," I'm going to have to buy it tomorrow. I'll put Neal next on the list.

Thoughts from the Road...

I have been spending a lot of time in the asphalt jungle lately. I spent last weekend going to Indiana, and this weekend I got up at 5 a.m. on Saturday to drive 200 miles to a meeting in Bowling Green, and I was back by 10 a.m. Sunday for Sunday School. I wrote most of this in my brain while I was on the road. I also used the voice recorder on my cell phone to refresh my memory later, which might be the neatest feature ever on a phone. It's very handy. I hear Keith Urban uses it to record song ideas before he loses them.

So, these are my thoughts from the road yesterday.

First of all, I have concluded that it doesn't matter what time you go to bed or how early you wake up, you will drag ass until your normal wake-up time. I was so tired both days, and on Friday night I got plenty of sleep. Luckily Saturday morning I had a friend who woke up way too early who was up and called me. The next morning I prayed someone was up, but no such luck. I drank tons of coffee and played the radio really loud and sang along. And as soon as it was 7:30, which is my normal wake-up time, I was fine. I thought that was interesting. I'd been up for two hours and nothing was working to keep me alert until it hit the time I'm used to waking up.

I love my car. Generous Motors has been very kind to me, and they make it worth my while to buy their vehicles by offering me a discount because my dad worked there for 22 years. I learned how to drive in a Chevy Cavalier, and I've just kept getting new ones since 1992 when I got my license. In college I drove a borrowed Plymouth Horizon that my grandma gave me to get to my job at the local paper, which was about 6 miles from campus. And when I graduated I went to buy a Cavalier but when they didn't have any with automatic transmissions, I opted for a Pontiac Sunfire, which is the same car with a different name. I had that one for 9 months before I ended up waiting for a red light in front of a gal who was absent on "red-means-stop" day at driver's ed. But the last two Cavaliers I've had (my 2000 and now my 2003) have had issues with my cruise control. I have trouble driving the speed limit, and I love my cruise control. That is why I was mad when my old car had a short in the cruise. I ultimately had to stop using it because it would just go off when you were driving down the expressway going 72 mph. And, of course, the Chevy garage couldn't figure it out. Well, my current car developed a cruise issue on the way home. I think it might be a fuse because my right blinker is not working either. All I know is that if you have the cruise on and try to use your blinker, it shuts the cruise off. I'm going to have to look into it, but it disappoints me because otherwise I love my little car. I don't see the point in having anything bigger when it's just me.

So, I stopped at a gas station yesterday to get a cup of coffee and I see this lady who looks familiar to me. I can't really place her. And then I realize that she looks like Hillary Clinton but with longer and blonder hair. I imagine that if Hillary Clinton threw on a hoodie and some jeans and rushed off to the gas station to get coffee, she'd look just like this woman. But it got funnier. As she goes to get in her car, she's got those magnets on it like political candidates have and it appears she's running for city council. And then I look at her bumper stickers. I think she was a Republican. That cracked me up because most Republicans I know would be absolutely mortified to look like Hillary.

I drank a lot of coffee on my ride yesterday. That meant I had to take lots of bathroom breaks. For the most part I made it to the next gas station for my next cup of coffee. But twice I had to stop at rest areas on the highway, because I was in the middle of nowhere and really had to go. Rest areas scare the shit out of me. My whole life I've heard horror stories about them, and recently there have been rapes at one that's on my way home from just about everywhere. So I try to go at fast-food places or gas stations. (Although sometimes late at night gas stations don't seem much better.) I just have a few rules when I go to rest areas: 1) If there are no other cars or people (preferably families), I don't stop. 2) I try not to go to rest areas after dark. 3) I will not stop at a rest area where my cell phone doesn't work and 4) I get in and out as quickly as possible. It's very unfortunate that people feel the urge to do bad things at rest areas, because they are a pretty nifty feature, especially on those long stretches of highway out there. I can see why they are closing down in a lot of areas, because I prefer not to use them. But when you really have to go, those blue signs are like beacons and the rest areas are like a desert oasis.

Happy Day in PR Land

For years, many of us in the public relations profession have pushed for a system that would require some type of credentialing or licensing for those who wanted to practice public relations. I have always thought it was a good idea. We have accreditation through the Public Relations Society of America, but not everyone is a PRSA member. I just think that a lot of folks don't realize what PR entails, how it works or what it takes to be good at your job. Now that they've really made the certification processes for other professions more stringent, I think it might be time to require some sort of accountability in PR. No one really knows what we do anymore, and writing has clearly taken a backseat to other tasks. My, how things have changed since the days of Ivy Lee and Ed Bernays.

A while back, I mentioned how I could not believe that Tom Cruise was going on media tours to promote his movies and going off on reporters across the world about Scientology, making it all about him and less about the movie. I said if I were a backer of his films I'd be very pissed if he took the media time he got to go off on a tangent about his whack-job religion. Well, I guess something had to give, because he fired his sister today as his publicist. She'll still spout off about Scientology on Tom's behalf, but all of his professional interests will have a different publicist. I'm not surprised because after some of his recent escapades I'm not sure I'd work with her if I were an assignment editor.

If celebrities are cleaning house in the PR department, I have a few suggestions I'd like to make.

How do they do this?

I love online quizzes. I just took the birth-order predictor quiz and not only was it right-on, but it gave me code to share with everyone here. So, go try it and see what it has to say about you...(My coding seems screwed up and for some reason it's not saying this, but the birth predictor accurately guessed that I was a first-born child based on my answers to the quiz. I thought that was a little bit creepy that it knew that. Nevermind. All fixed now. Sometimes computers are dumb.)

You Are Likely a First Born
At your darkest moments, you feel guilty.At work and school, you do best when you're researching.When you love someone, you tend to agree with them often.
In friendship, you are considerate and compromising.Your ideal careers are: business, research, counseling, promotion, and speaking.You will leave your mark on the world with discoveries, new information, and teaching people to dream.
The Birth Order Predictor

Friday, November 04, 2005

OK, this sucks.

I cannot believe this. It sucks. I'm upset. Coca-Cola Company is discontinuing Diet Vanilla Coke and Diet Coke with Lemon. Now, I never understood Diet Coke with Lemon. Why not just add a slice of lemon to regular Diet Coke rather than drink pop with lemon-flavored chemicals? But the vanilla? I've loved Diet Vanilla Coke since it came out. I'm a bit upset right now. On the plus side, a similar effect can be created (when you're not working or driving, of course) by adding vanilla rum to my Coke Zero.

Things like this make me homesick...

There are lots of things wrong with Detroit. There are also things about Detroit that I love. It's a place that holds many memories for me. No matter where I live or what I do, it will always be home just a little bit, just like my current corner of the world will be. The past few weeks I've been missing it big time. Hockey's back. If I'd been there earlier this week, I'd have taken a lawn chair and waited for Rosa Parks' funeral. I will never not miss all my awesome Greek food. I even miss urban blight and smoky, smelly casinos that take my money.

Somedays, I wish I were there. Today's one of them. This article reminded me how much potential there is in Motown. I truly believe that it will be the next urban center to rise like a phoenix from the ashes. That I miss; the rush-hour traffic, not so much.

Turnaround Dreams Take Root in Detroit (from USA Today).

Oh, and I'm not even going to talk about missing the marathon two weeks ago. On a blog somewhere here in cyberspace, a native Detroiter now living in Chicago chronicled her run mile-by-mile, and it was awesome. If I manage to track it down again, I'll post it. The folks that are training for Nashville with me can't get scared when they read it though, OK? I promise it's hard work, but you will LOVE it. [Edited to add Dawn's detailed account of her very first Free Press Marathon.]

From the random thoughts file...

You know you shouldn't make the call, but part of you wants to see who's on the other line. You want to see who answers, maybe hear a friendly voice and see what that voice might have to say. So, you're sitting there staring at your cell, the number there, waiting patiently for you to press "send." You think about it. You go back and forth. Should I? Shouldn't I? You don't want to upset anyone, and the potential is there. Of course, there's also potential to reconcile, to get caught up, to hear that laugh that made you smile so much. So much hinging on that little green button on your little mobile phone. It shouldn't be this difficult, calling a friend. Of course, people shouldn't let friendships get to the point where you have concerns that you might not be received well when you call. That's why you ultimately hit the delete button and erase the number from the phone, wondering for another day if there's anything still there and if there is a point in attempting to salvage it.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Song of the Day

While I was out, I decided to change the song of the day. This song is currently the ringtone on my cell and it reminded me how fun it is. Obviously fun enough to be a ringtone, because they are ALWAYS fun! Right now, I'm all about Kenny because I'm anxiously awaiting the new CD. And I was telling some folks the other day that when you think about the words of this song, it might just remind you of Kenny a little. Maybe it's just the cowboy boots and painted-on jeans, but every time I hear "Why'd You Come In Here Lookin' Like That" by Dolly Parton, I can see Kenny strolling into that honkytonk.

A little housekeeping item...

I have been having trouble with the comment feature on here for days, even before people decided they would use it to do what my friends in the UK would call "taking the piss." (If you don't know what that means, go look it up.) I have been trying to work out the kinks and trying different scenarios, and it just wasn't cooperating. And until it's working the right way, the last thing I want to do is spend my whole day here waiting for people to be jerks so I can delete it. I have a lot more to do with my life, and so far blogging's been fun and that's not fun at all. So, until figures out why my comment module's not working just right, I am going to disable the comment feature. Once it's all fixed, I'll be open for business again. This blog is really just a fun place for me and my friends, so if they want to be fun I guess they'll just e-mail me like the "old days." I'll miss the fun comments from strangers who randomly ended up here, but I'll live without them.

Wow, what a day!

Well, today was very interesting. On my way to work this morning (to a meeting, no less) I hit some sort of road hazard with my car. The car seemed fine so I proceeded to my meeting. When I got out of the car, my front tire was hissing and getting flatter by the minute. So, I was meeting my boss here but she was running late, and I was a mile or so from my cousin's garage that he runs. I ran inside and asked the girl at the restaurant to give my boss a note if she came that said I had to take my car before the tire was completely flat and I'd just drop it off and walk right back. I also told her where my cousin's garage was and that if she didn't want to wait or was just feeling nice to come get me. So, I drove to the garage, dropped my car off and started walking back. She did find me, which was sweet. And we went back and actually had a great meeting. I just love my boss. She's absolutely great and wonderful to work for.

I was a little terrified about the repair bill for my car because I wasn't sure if it'd done more damage or not. I figured if I were lucky I'd get off with a new tire, which sucked because that tire WAS a new tire. Oh well. However, when I went to pick my tire up it was only $5 because apparently whatever I hit had just somehow ripped the valve stem on the tire. I guess all those prayers as I walked back to work from the garage paid off!

Work is so busy right now. We are all working so hard, but surprisingly the stress levels don't seem to be too high yet. Our little team works very well together, and we make sure we have time for fun too. Since Stephanie got there, we stop whatever we are doing at 3 p.m. every Friday (and sometimes other times) to dance to whatever song's on the radio. Great stress reliever and gives us the energy to make it those last two hours before the weekend.

Oh, my point? I love my team. They're great. Not just today, but everyday. I think it's important to still have fun even when you're all under a lot of pressure and working very hard.

I'll post the song of the day when I get home. I'm off to the funeral home for my uncle's calling hours. Just one more thing to add to this not-so-great day.

Honesty is the Best Policy

A little while ago (after I posted about Tom Cruise and his craziness, I think) I started getting comments left here from visitors from all over the world. That piqued my curiosity and I wondered exactly who was visiting, where they were from, what interested them while they stopped by and how they got here. Luckily there is a nifty tool on the Internet that can track all of that for you, and it's relatively easy to install on a web site. It's been neat to see who's visiting, how long they stay and what they're looking at. It's just interesting, and I haven't changed what I write here to cater to that audience. What you see here is just me reflecting on the daily challenges of being me.

I wanted to let folks know that there's a site meter here, because while it shouldn't be an issue for my friends and some of my regular visitors, I suspect that some folks would be less apt to come here if they realized that I knew they were here. You know how some people are about "Big Brother" watching you. And it's not a privacy thing, it's a curiosity thing that led me to even install this feature on the site.

I started this site for several reasons. Many of my friends know that I was inspired by a dear friend who passed away a few months ago who had kept us all informed of his life through his blog, even though we were separated by many miles. It was little things like hearing about his cat learning a new trick or his review of Coke Zero that kept us in the loop with him. And unfortuantely, when Greg was found dead in his apartment from heat exhaustion, his brother used his site to get in touch with all of us. I saw the power of this medium, and I thought it was a nice way to stay connected with friends I might not get to talk to everyday. And my friends all seem to appreciate it.

The second reason I started it was because I was looking for a way to keep my writing skills fresh. I am a writer by trade, and I don't get to write nearly as much as I'd like to these days. By having a fresh canvas everyday where I can vent, create, over-analyze, etc., it's really helped me to work on my craft again. The feedback that I've received from some of the folks that enjoy my blog has really inspired me and helped me to be even better at what I do.

I've met a lot of cool folks who've just stopped by to check this place out. I've also learned a lot of new things about my friends by the comments that have been left here. That's why I would hate to turn the comment feature off on my blog. As a writer, I believe very strongly in the First Amendment and the right to free speech. That's why I hate that I had to delete comments today. But when people abuse the comment feature, it doesn't leave me much choice. And if it were constructive criticism, it could've stayed. However, it was nothing more than a personal attack, and frankly it's my Web site, and I don't think I should have to come here and see people talk smack about me, especially when they don't have the guts to put their name behind it. Because I have the site meter, I was able to see who was on that page when the comments were left, so I knew it wasn't someone just being funny or looking for an ideological debate. They were purely being mean. It's bad enough that I hear from all kinds of folks that they are doing it on other sites, but I'm not going to tolerate it on my own.

I guess the point of this was that I wanted people to be honest and know that I can see who's here because anonymity seems important to some of my visitors. I guess the other point was to remind everyone of my standing policy to delete anonymous comments that are posted here. I had some nice ones recently, so I let them stay but I don't want to pick and choose because that's not fair. So, if you plan to comment here, leave your real name or your blogger identity so that I can make sure that you are legit. It really started because of spam, but I don't see why it can't apply to meanness, too.