Does anybody read these?

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

More from the bahamas...

Maybe I should've gone on the cruise...

I got tagged again!!! 4 things...

My head hurts and I can't think to actually write anything, so I'll just do this...

Four jobs you have had in your life:

1. Department store clerk

2. Waitress for a caterer

3. Newspaper copy editor

4. Public relations account manager

Four movies you would watch over and over:

1. Radio

2. Mr. Holland's Opus

3. Sound of Music

4. Bridget Jones's Diary

Four places you have lived:

1. Carleton, Michigan

2. Athens, Ohio

3. Wixom, Michigan

4. Amesville, Ohio

(I know. I'm very boring, but I'm moving to Nashville soon.)

Four TV shows you love to watch:

1. Law & Order

2. Grey's Anatomy

3. The Apprentice

4. Strong Medicine & Dancing with the Stars, but they're over now :-(

Four places you have been on vacation:

1. Las Vegas

2. London

3. France

4. California

Four websites I visit daily:





Four of my favorite foods:

1. Mexican

2. Anything chocolate

3. Chicken and dumplings

4. Macaroni and cheese

Four places I would rather be right now:

1. Nashville (obviously)
2. The Caribbean
3. France
4. taking a nap

Four people I am tagging that I think will respond...

1. One4JC

2. IT-chick

3. Rosalie

4. Gretchen needs something for the new blog.

Four things I always carry with me:

1. cell phone

2. water bottle

3. eye drops

4. sugar-free gum

Monday, February 27, 2006

True Confessions and Reality TV...

I have another confession to make:

I'm a closet Claymate.

Yep, that's right. I have always had a little thing for that fruity little blond pop star with the big voice from North Carolina. I started out watching that season of American Idol for Detroit native Josh Gracin. Once Josh got voted off, I decided to hop on the Clay Aiken bandwagon. I'd watch with my phone in hand, just waiting to call Clay's number afterward.

I loved The Real World when it came out. I once spent an entire weekend watching every episode of Sorority Life. And The Apprentice? Well, I've never fired it from my TV-watching schedule. But as for shows where folks get voted off? Where the audience participates? I've never been a huge fan. I've never watched Joe Millionaire or Survivor or The Bachelor. I've just never been into that stuff.

I decided to try it out with AI a couple of years ago. I watched Josh and he was great. Once he got voted off, I got behind Clay. And Clay got beaten out by Ruben, who in my mind was NO Clay Aiken.

So, I didn't watch AI. The whole thing really pissed me off. And then last year, I decided to watch AI again. And I liked Bo Bice. And I thought Bo Bice would win, and he got second place too. So now I watch Simon, Randy and Paula make fun of people during the open auditions and I'm pretty much done with AI. No point in getting my hopes up about a contestant, only to watch them lose after I invested several weeks watching.

Yet, I found myself curiously attracted to Dancing with the Stars. My mom is a huge sports fan, so she wanted to watch for Kenny Mayne and Jerry Rice. And while Jerry impressed us beyond belief, we both found Drew Lachey to be our favorite early on. And because so many people loved Drew, I'd keep voting for Jerry so my two favorites would make it to the end. And they did. I would've been happy either way.

But after Clay Aiken and Bo Bice, I was very nervous. I knew that Drew was the best dancer out there. I liked Jerry and Stacey, but Drew was my hands-down favorite. So I figured I'd put the American Idol Curse on him. I got very worried when they did that awesome dance last night and only got a 27 when Stacy got a 30. Seriously now.

Luckily, Drew and Cheryl were able to come off triumphant and I was a very happy TV viewer. I don't watch much TV these days, so I like to make it count. And, of course, how great was Grey's Anatomy! Wow.

I don't think I'd say my faith in reality TV is restored, simply because I have little faith in reality TV. Some of the shows are just downright demeaning. Someone will have to let me know if Dr. Travis found his "one true love" or not. Actually, just pass me his phone number when it inevitably doesn't work out. That way I don't have to fake an injury the next time I'm down by Vandy Medical Center.

One last picture of my new fake boyfriend dancing with Cheryl:

Not much of a post...

I am still not anywhere near being well, but so many people stop by to see what I have to say each day that I totally feel like I need to toss you at least a little bit. And it needs to be light-hearted, because I'm still a little sad that I'm sick and I pissed off a really good friend. I just hope she sees my point and realizes that it was nothing personal. But just one more thing to put up on the top shelf of my mental closet.

So, in the spirit of light-hearted posts that require no thought, I'll post my Caribbean Countdown Photo of the Day. Looks like we're going somewhere between the expensive season and hurricane season. Sounds good to me, but it won't come soon enough.

This is the Bahamas, posted in honor of all the cruisers. Frankly, I'm very surprised that some of my loyal readers didn't make the journey South this week. Oh well, maybe next time. Then again, maybe not...

More on abortion...

I swear this isn't a political blog, except that I'm a very political person. It's not a religious blog, except that I'm a religious person. (Do you know how many people found their way to the nun story by googling words like "nun," "habit," "convent" and "Catholic"? Only slightly less than those who googled "Shannon Brown.")

This blog is about me. It's about what I believe. Sometimes I go on rants. Sometimes I say things that make you all collectively say WTF? Sometimes I'm funny. Sometimes I'm boring as hell. And yes, sometimes I offend people. In the past, I've been offensive on purpose. Sometimes I've been funny at the expense of others. And sometimes people just don't agree with me. That's OK. That's America. And that's why everyone has their own blog and they all look different. Yeah, I feel badly that my post on South Dakota's new abortion law offended a very good friend of mine from that state. I hope I clarified my position in the comments. Yes, I'm mad. I'm always mad when I see my rights being eroded. So, I ranted.

After I responded to Kay's comments, I went back and checked my e-mail again. There was a press release from the Ohio Catholic Democratic Caucus about the 95-10 plan for reducing abortions. I figured I'd share that with all of you as well. Maybe it makes my point a little better than I did.

For immediate release:
Ohio Democratic Catholic Caucus
Contact Jeff Sinnard 513-582-4241

The Ohio Democratic Catholic Caucus supports in the 95-10 Plan for Ohio.

The 95-10 Plan will reduce abortions 95% over the next 10 years once implemented. We must move beyond the failed rhetoric of the past and look to the future where women are empowered with real choices regarding their pregnancies. Instead of failed legislation that makes abortion more difficult to have, the 95-10 plan makes abortions less necessary to have. Instead of taking away a woman’s right to choose, the 95-10 plan empowers women with the right choices, allowing her to choose life. The 95-10 plan will do more to reduce the number of abortions than all the speeches, all the campaign ads so called pro – lifers have used over the last thirty years.

All too often in this country concern is not given to the baby who has been born. Babies and their mothers are forgotten and pushed into a social neverland where they suffer in poverty, neglect, and often abuse.

The basic health, safety and well being of mothers are in jeopardy. Important programs meant to enable women to function as good mothers and lead productive lives such as the ability to continue her education, equal pay for equal work, maternity leave from her job, quality health care, adequate housing, reliable and safe child care, and a realistic minimum wage do not reach many who need them the most. These programs are often the most criticized and least popular with our federal and state lawmakers.

The correlation between this lack of economic and social means and the abortion rate cannot be underestimated or ignored. In fact, two thirds of women who have had abortions claim their primary reason for having one is that they cannot afford a child.

Poverty is both a crisis and a tragedy in our modern society in the United States. Six out of ten women who seek abortions have an income level below $28,000 per year for a family of three.

During the 1990s, the abortion level in the United States reached a 24 year low. It has long been known there are fewer abortions in countries where women and their babies have access to good health care. Conversely, according to the World Health Organization, the highest ratio of unsafe abortions in the world occurs in countries where abortions are illegal and where few social services are available.

The Ohio Democratic Catholic Caucus supports in the 95-10 Plan for Ohio. This does not mean that the specific proposals in this initiative do not need further refinement, debate, and modification. We are confident that this will happen. We must move beyond the rhetoric of division and focus on real issues that will address the real problems facing women specifically with respect to abortion. The debate must start somewhere and this plan will accomplish that.

Our concern and respect for life does not end at birth, but includes an unfailing commitment to the spiritual, economic and social well-being of all children, both born and unborn, pregnant women, and mothers.


The 95-10 Plan -

Democrats for Life -

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sick Day Part Deux

I'm still quite ill today. I couldn't go to church today or to my religious ed class. Heck, I've barely made it to the bathroom. I tried to catch up on my book for the book club, but I don't even have the energy to read. I am feeling a teeny tiny bit better, so I'm really hoping that it's just a cold or respiratory infection and not pneumonia or bronchitis. I guess I will know when I get to the doctor tomorrow. I really hope that I start to feel better, because I don't really have 2-3 weeks to recuperate. Yikes.

It just shocks me that this hit me from nowhere. I did feel tired last week, but I didn't feel sick at all. On Friday night I was ready for bed very early. Yesterday, I just couldn't wake up. And when I did, I felt like hell. I guess that's why I'm hoping this is a cold or something else. Because when I had pneumonia last time, it was a long time coming. I'm trying to be positive, but it's hard when you can't breathe very well. Part of me wants to cough, but another part of me knows it hurts really bad to cough.

I'll spare you all the details. Needless to say, I'm tired, sick and grumpy. I should probably just spare you altogether until I'm feeling good again. However, I don't know how long I'm going to be ill. Frankly, I don't have much energy, so I doubt I'll be writing very much. I'm still a tad bit groggy. No telling what I'll think when I go back and read this in a few days.

While I'm on the mend, I've been watching "Sell this House" on A&E. I have no house to sell, nor am I in the market to buy, but I am a big fan of the show. I just love to see how folks can make a few little changes and increase the value of their homes. I just can't believe the real-estate market in some areas. For example, one of the houses today was $750,000. It was just a modest ranch house near Los Angeles. Honestly, I have no idea how my friends out there afford to live. I kept hearing about how expensive it was to live in Nashville, but I was surprised when I started looking to find that it's cheaper than it was in Detroit. I'm sure at some point in my life I will own a house, but right now I have no problems with renting. I know some people feel like they are wasting their money renting, but I think you do get a pretty good value for what you pay. All I really need is four walls and a roof. Home is whatever you make it.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Would I still be sick on St. Croix?!?

Well, let's just look and pretend I wouldn't. I'll also pretend the water and tea I've been drinking are Hurricanes, if that's OK...

The South Dakota Debate

I wasn't going to post about the whole South Dakota abortion debate. I wasn't going to say a word about this desperate plea by crazy-ass right-wingers to erode our rights by deliberately challenging Roe vs. Wade. It makes me a little scared, but didn't we all see it coming? I really hope it doesn't turn out the way that I think it will, but I have spent the last 6 years living in this country and nothing surprises me anymore. Politicians are quite fond of asking the simple question, "Are you better off now than you were 4 years ago?" I don't really know anyone who can say yes. And if they do say yes, it's because they are somehow convinced that it's OK for their rights to be eroded. It protects us from Al Quaeda and all the other bad terrorists. And it doesn't make Jesus cry.

Or does it? I am Catholic, and as a Catholic I am pro-life. But I am also pro-rights. It's not my place to make decisions for you (although everyone who's ever asked me about abortion, I have encouraged them to find another option and prayed that they would find the right answer in their heart. I shared my beliefs; I just didn't force them on others). I also don't believe in the death penalty. Since South Dakota is obviously soooo pro-life, I looked into that. Well, I'm sure that capital punishment will be the next law to get repealed there, right? Of course not. Silly Laura. Everyone knows that innocent babies' lives are worth lots more than convicted killers. (That's sarcasm, if you were confused.)

I also don't believe that being pro-life ends when the baby is brought into the world. It pisses me off beyond belief that people who claim to be pro-life do not think we need a safety net of social programs. Sure, a crack addict who already has 4 kids at home shouldn't have an abortion, but she'd better not ask for money to help pay the hospital bills; for healthcare, childcare and food for her children; or for rehab. Oh no, that's not part of the deal. So, let's think about quality of life for a minute. Is it less moral to have a medical procedure to end a pregnancy you didn't want or is it less moral to have a baby you have no resources or intentions of raising? Is it worse to have an abortion or dump your newly born child in a trash can behind Kmart?

Our problem is so much bigger than abortion, and I don't understand why folks refuse to admit this. And I'd love to say abortion is truly a moral and/or religious issue, but if it were, then why not repeal the death penalty too. Murder is murder, right?

This isn't a religious issue. And if it is, it's fundies vs. everyone else. It's not mainstream religion. These are the same people who don't believe in other basic human rights. Honestly, I keep waiting for them to make it illegal for African Americans to vote again. Although if you ask some of the folks my brother worked with in inner-city Toledo in November 2004, they'd tell you that's already happened.

Did I really not tell the nun story?

I can't believe I never blogged about the nun story. It's classic, although it was slightly mortifying to me at the time. I looked in my archives, and I didn't see it anywhere, so I guess I chickened out about telling all of you.

Alas, it is time.

I decided to catch up on the blogs I love to read while I was sick and can't leave the couch. I stopped over at One4JC's web site and saw that she had a post just for me. I am a little sad that I am the only Catholic she knows with a sense of humor, but I'm hoping it's because she doesn't know lots of Catholics. Anyhow, what a funny post, and it inspired me to tell the nun story (not to be confused with The Nun's Story. I love Audrey Hepburn.)

OK, so the nun story. (Can you tell I'm stalling?)

I think you should all know this by now, but I was born Catholic and went to Catholic school until college, where I decided to bypass Notre Dame, The University of Detroit, Siena Heights and Georgetown to go off and be nothing more than a social security number at a huge state-run university. It also helped that most Catholic liberal arts colleges don't offer a journalism school, and I'd known since 6th grade that all I ever wanted to be was a writer. I didn't want to be an English major; I wanted to be a hard-hitting journalist. When I started out, I had dreams of being an international correspondent. Now, I'm just happy to be writing.

Well, college was complete and total culture shock for me. Things were just so different from my strict college-prep high school. However, I thrived once I got used to the craziness. I loved it, although I think I will strongly recommend that my future children go to Fordham, Dayton, Seton Hall, Xavier, etc. Just because I've seen public school doesn't mean I want my future teenage daughter to be anywhere near one.

But anyhow, I don't even remember why now, my freshman year in college I get this brilliant idea that I'd like to be a nun. So, I went over to the church near campus and spent hours in the church library researching all the various religious orders. What did I want to do with life? Did I want to be a teacher? Work with the impoverished? Be cloistered and contemplative (yeah, that was a hoot)? Well, I never really seemed to find an order that fit. Then I found out about The Daughters of St. Paul. It's a group of nuns who use various forms of media to spread the message of Jesus Christ and the Church. As a journalist, that piqued my interest.

So, I got on the phone to the vocations director to get more information. She was a nice woman and I was eager to hear more about religious life and their order in particular. It seemed like a great way to combine my love of my faith with my love of my professional trade. In fact, a few years ago the Public Relations Society of America featured the Paulines as the cover story in their member newsletter. I reviewed their materials and had I joined the convent, I am sure this would have been the right fit for me.

Back then, I made the mistake of mentioning this soul-searching to my parish priest. Actually it wasn't a mistake then, but when I was mortified last week, I was rethinking that. While my dream to be a nun has come and gone, he'd still very much like me to become a nun. I did pray about it. I did talk to friends who were nuns about it. That's probably the main reason I didn't do it; a friend of mine who was a nun (my grade school principal, actually) told me that she didn't feel like I truly was being called. Looking back on it, I think I was just going through that religious-identity crisis most go through in college. Some become Presbyterians or join Campus Crusade for Christ. I guess I thought since I was content with Catholicism that maybe packing up and joining the convent was the way to go.

I did think about it quite a bit. And pray about it. And the Paulines encouraged me to get that journalism degree because it'd help me there if I did join. So I gave it until graduation. Of course, when I graduated I was seriously dating someone whom I thought I would marry and got a job that put me on the fast track to becoming a Yuppie. Needless to say, the convent wasn't in the forefront of my mind. And after that relationship ended and I read that article in the PRSA newsletter, I called Sr. Margaret Michael just one more time. I had intended to go to Cleveland and spend a weekend at the convent, just to be sure I wasn't being called. For some reason, I never made it. I am just thinking that was God's way of telling me that he wasn't interested in that life for me. I can be very active in the church without being a nun. In fact, I am probably much more involved with my home parish through my lay ministry. If I were in an order, I'd be having mass in the convent and ministering in a totally different way.

And, honestly, I had serious issues with wearing a habit. Not because I'm shallow and don't want to outwardly show my faith, because I do that all the time. Mostly because in one brochure they sent me, they were all sitting on the beach in nuns' habits. At the beach?! Seriously? And at a Red Sox game (they're based out of Boston). I'm all for habits, but all the time?!? Aren't they like "work" clothes?!? The nuns who taught me in school didn't wear habits at all. During school they'd wear respectable skirts and blouses, but on the weekends it was jeans and sweatshirts. So, the habit wasn't a deal-breaker by any means; I'd have sucked it up if I were truly called. But my reaction to it just seemed like proof to me that maybe I'd just seen the Sound of Music and that Hayley Mills' movie too many times. I just figured that meant that God had other plans for me. And honestly, that's still how I feel.

Oh, I wish my parish priest felt the same way. He still wants me to be a nun. I can't figure out if this is better or worse than all the other parishioners who would like to set me (the only single girl in our church) up with the only single boy at our church. He is cute and if I were staying here I'd have asked him out by now. But I need to leave because there are no jobs for me here.

So all this lead-in to get to the funny, yet mortifying, part of the story. I hope it's not a big let-down. I am on cold meds, remember?

As you know, I am going to faith formation classes every Sunday to be a confirmation sponsor for one of the folks participating in RCIA, which stands for Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. It's how adults join the Catholic church, and it requires about 8 months of classes. We've been doing this since September. It's actually very interesting to a "cradle Catholic" like me.

There is a gal in our class named Wendy. Wendy and her kids are all joining the Catholic church. She comes from an evangelical background and she always has lots of questions. Another gal in the class asked about annulment because her husband left her at some point during the process. So we get on this big conversation about marriage, divorce and annulment. I learned a lot about that stuff. Then I asked about a guy I know who is joining a religious order but told me that he didn't need an annulment because he was taking a vow of celibacy. Father says that is wrong because if you are married in the church's eyes, you cannot take a vow of celibacy. Well, I hope my friend figures all that out.

So Wendy asks Father about if someone has to be completely pure to be a nun or a priest. Do they have to be a virgin or could they have had sex before. And Father answers her, looking directly at me, that they don't have to be a virgin to join the convent, they just have to take a vow to not have sex after they do.

I almost died. I kinda wished that the world would crack open and suck me up at that precise moment. I didn't have a mirror, but I'm pretty damn sure that I turned 18,000 shades of red. I was so mortified.

Of course, when I relayed this story to a friend, she pointed out to me that everyone in the class didn't know that Father wanted me to be a nun and was letting ME know that it was OK that I'd had sex before. But I did, and that didn't make it any less embarrassing to me.

So, that's the nun story. Hopefully, you aren't sitting at home thinking, "Did I seriously wait all night for THAT?" I thought it was funny. Well, now I do.

Sick day...

I had great intentions today. I had planned to get up and clean today. I was going to do dishes and laundry and all kinds of other weekend tasks. And I woke up and I felt like I'd been hit with a ton of bricks. I am sick. There is some sort of congestion in my chest that is not being slowed down by Advil Cold & Sinus. I ache. I am having trouble breathing. I don't have enough air to work out, but fortunately I am really too sick to eat so I'm hoping they'll cancel each other out.

So, anyhow, I got out of my PJs long enough to do a few things outside, including dealing with a very flat rear tire on my car. It just turned 7 p.m. and I am back in the PJs. I'm thinking bedtime is not much further off.

I am just really hoping I somehow get better on my own. I have no insurance right now, but if I'm not feeling better on Monday I'll go to urgent care. Last time my chest and lower throat felt like this, I ended up with pneumonia. My temperature is normal, so I'm hoping it's just some type of chest cold.

Regardless, I can't think very straight, so I may not be writing too much until I feel a little better. I just hate that I had all these plans and all I've been able to do is sit in bed and drink tea.

Friday, February 24, 2006

See, I told you all I was boring!!!

OK, my last post is incredibly boring. I was talking to a friend tonight and I told her that I was so busy with my boring old life that everything seems to have taken a backseat. So, I'm doing boring things like taking my grandma to go grocery shopping, making dinner for my family, entertaining my way-too-young cousin and her new husband, talking to my crazy Aunt Rose on the phone and following Ohio politics and thinking, "Oh my God, I'm so glad to be moving."

I don't necessarily thinking being bored is a bad thing. I have pretty much exorcised the drama from my life and am focusing on all the great things ahead of me (and the mundane everyday stuff too). That's nice. I have this great inner peace now that I haven't before. I have one little story that keeps running through my head about all of that, but I may just hammer it out on the keyboard and file it away for safe-keeping. Maybe some people thrive on drama, but I've never been the type. In fact, I have little tolerance for drama queens.

I did get good news at the eye doctor yesterday. First of all, my vision has improved since my last visit. This is great news. As someone who was once told by an eye doctor (an optometrist, not an opthamalogist, so technically not qualified to make such a diagnosis) that I would someday be blind, having my prescription decrease is fantastic. Now, I'm not silly enough to think that I've curtailed my genetics or anything, but it's good to know that I don't have to worry about my eyes outgrowing my contact prescription for at least a little while longer. Secondly, my eye doctor doesn't want me wearing glasses at all. Contacts only. This is great news to me. I hate my glasses, but I found out why yesterday. The nimrods who made my last pair of glasses didn't put the right lenses in them, which is why I've never really been able to see with them.

I am just so glad that it wasn't a battle with my eye doctor over the contacts and glasses like it was the last time I went. This guy was really nice. And he has no problem with the Night & Day contacts. In fact, it's all he will put anyone with my prescription in. He says it's a safety issue if I can't see at night, which is true. He also gave me a free sample of these other contacts that are less expensive that he wants me to try. If they work, that'll save me at least $20 a month, so that's very good.

I decided to venture out on our road for my walk today. I hadn't planned to do that, but Sparky saw me putting my running shoes on through the glass storm door and got all excited. When he first came here, he walked with me everyday. Well, he wanted to go for a walk today, apparently. So I made my way around the giant rocks the road crew put down as long as I could. It wasn't a long walk, but we all know that Sparky doesn't do very well with the other animals we meet along the way. He was a good boy, though, staying where I could see him and not wandering off at all today. He is doing so well on the farm, and I consider myself blessed that he found me. I am just glad he is out of harm's way.

Why do I always forget a title for my posts?

Today was another eventful day. I had to take Grandma to Wal-mart, which was very interesting. Every time I turned my head, she was gone again. I don't know how she moves so fast. I finally remembered to buy yogurt and applesauce, which I've forgotten on every trip to town I've made all week, but I didn't realize that I was out of lettuce. I've been eating salads with every meal, but I thought I had plenty of lettuce left. I think someone else must've had salad since I last checked. It's supposed to be cold tomorrow, so I guess when I go to the gym to walk inside I can get my salad.

Speaking of eventful days, I guess I need to spend next Friday in some mandatory job-hunting thing for unemployment next week. That's nifty. I can't wait.

I got a little frustrated today about something that happened. I guess I just get sick of someone acting like they are doing you a favor and then them turning around and criticizing you because they had to help you. I was working on a project, and then another girl said she'd help me out on it. Well, it ended up looking like I dropped the ball, which I hadn't. I was doing just fine on it, but when someone else says "Well, I was working on something else and it kind of overlaps, so I'll take care of it," of course, I don't see the point in duplicating efforts. I guess I almost would've rather she said "You know what, I think you're dropping the ball so I'm going to do it" instead. Oh well, it's all done, and to be honest, I'm not devastated. I just don't like when people act like they are helping when they have ulterior motives.

Speaking of the dropping the ball, I tried to do my fitball workout and it was very challenging. I think it'll get better as I keep going with it, but sometimes I get so frustrated with working out. I know that practice makes perfect, but it's easy to get discouraged sometimes. It'll be a great workout once I get going on it.

I give St. Croix noooooo love...

So, I think I will change that. Here you go.

And really, I was just online looking for Caribbean photos of the day because I got the brilliant idea to start reading ghost stories at 11:45 and just got done about 1:30. I've gone and freaked myself out again. On the plus side, there's going to be plenty of ghost hunting when I get to Tennessee.

I couldn't resist...

Not sure if it's that accurate, but I love lip gloss. I just bought a whole bunch at Bath & Body Works that are great at moisturizing my lips and taste like desserts!

You Are Cherry Kiss Lip Gloss

You're a total girly girl who's every guy is sweet on.
You take pleasure in the simple things in life, from cute t-shirts to stuffed animals.

Any guy needs to match your romantic idealism to win your heart, which is why few have.
No wonder Cherry your signature flavor. It's delicious, sugary, and fun - like you!
What Flavor Lip Gloss Are You?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

In honor of tonight's performance...

The song of the day is "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy," dedicated to Drew and Cheryl.

I have a confession to make...

Oh, this might be my deepest, darkest secret I've shared so far...

I'm not even sure I should say it aloud.

OK, are you ready?

I have a HUGE crush on Drew Lachey.

Dancing with the Stars just ended. It was the best 2 hours of TV ever. Drew Lachey is an amazing dancer. That last dance, the freestyle routine to "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy," was PERFECT. It was great. I voted as much as I could, but the phone lines and the ABC web site are totally overloaded.

One thing's for sure. My ass will be on the couch Sunday at 8 p.m. to watch the last dance and the results. Don't even THINK about calling me!!!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Blogthings are good when you're boring (or bored!)...

How You Are In Love

You take a while to fall in love with someone. Trust takes time.

You give and take equally in relationships.

You tend to get very attached when you're with someone. You want to see your love all the time.

You love your partner unconditionally and don't try to make them change.

You stay in love for a long time, even if you aren't loved back. When you fall, you fall hard.
How Are You In Love?

Sorry for being boring today...

I haven't really been boring. I've had a great day. But to everyone who reads my blog, I'll bet I've seemed boring.

I got up this morning and putted around the house. I debated making oatmeal but never did. I finally hopped in the shower and did my hair (since I'm making an effort not to "waste" a perfectly good hairstyle by being lazy and never doing it.) I made a tanning appointment and then threw on my workout clothes. And, let me tell you, I am still not sure about my shoes not matching all my workout outfits, but they really are great shoes.

It was a nice day (although no sunshine) so I hit the outdoor track again. I got a very challenging workout in, although I'm thinking that I shouldn't go after school anymore, because there are three boys who've been down at the park everyday, and I think they are up to no good. I don't want to end up being a witness to something I don't need to see.

After I walked I headed back to the salon to go tanning. It wasn't bad at all. I didn't realize how far those tanning beds closed up, so I did feel a tad bit claustrophobic, but so far no bad reaction to it. I did like the light though, that did seem to relax me and help with my mood.

I went to the grocery store and grabbed a few things, including some pita chips and hummous. Now, I have never had pita chips before, so my friend Toma got a bizarre voice mail asking her if she knew if pita chips were OK for me to eat. I've been doing so well with my diet, and I am finicky with my food again. I read the label and they seemed ok, but I thought since she's a vegertarian she might know. They generally love hummous. But no return call, so I just bought them and had a little snack on the way home. I am always starved after I work out.

So, yes the diet is going well. I came home and made a healthy dinner that I really enjoyed. I also did about 18000 (OK, it probably just felt like 18000) crunches before I settled in for the night. I curled up in bed with the laptop and worked on my book. It is starting to get good so I am loving writing it because while the story had a particular inspiration, it's definitely a work of fiction. So I never know exactly where I will take it as I put it down on paper. I'll have to change a lot more of it if I ever decided to try to shop around with it, but its only purpose these days is to give me an outlet for my creative energy and give my friends something to keep them amused. I am starting to get comfortable with the story, and I think that it might just turn out to be something half-way decent. And honestly, I'm just doing it to see if I can truly write fiction, and it looks like I can. Who knew?

Last, but not least, is the photo of the day. This one arrived in my inbox from a friend who's very homesick right now. Who can blame her, really?!?

OK, so Shannon Brown rocks

The more I hear from Shannon Brown, the more I like her. My curiosity towards Miss Shannon was piqued when I saw her quoted in the People article about Kenny and Renee's split. I know, that's lame. But I'd never heard of her before, so I wanted to know who this person was who was talking about Kenny's doomed marriage. Turns out Shannon is married to Shaun Silva who directs all of Kenny's videos and tapes just about everything out on tour. (If Shannon happens to do a google blogsearch for herself and sees this, could you please tell Shaun "More Tambo in the next Road Case DVD." Thanks! Big hugs!)

So, anyhow, Shannon sang at Farm Aid (also a place for Tambo sightings, so of course I was on board) and I just fell in love with her. "Cornfed" is such a good song. Totally captures what smalltown life is like. And John Rich produced Shannon's CD. And between Shannon, Gretchen, Jason Aldean and the countless others John's working with these days, let me tell you: Whatever that man touches is an instant hit. Damn, he's probably one of the best things to come out of Nashville in a while. And I'm oddly attracted to him for some unknown reason. I've asked others. It's a phenonemon amongst us. However, he is partly responsible for Cowboy Troy and for that he must lose points.

Where was I? Oh yes, Shannon Brown's new CD. In stores in 6 days. I can't wait. Oh, and I promised Andrea that I'd give her new Shannon Brown web site a shameless plug. Plus I can't forget Shannon's official site.

I'm gonna figure out how to get this little doohickey into the template for my page, but here's a little graphic that Andrea made.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The things we find on our mp3 players...

I guess the only good thing about not working out for weeks is that I find all kinds of hidden treasures on the mp3 player. I totally forgot what was on my work-out mix, but there are lots of great songs.

So, today I found the song of the day. It's "Just the Way We Do It" by Chely Wright. Aren't all relationships a little like this?

I'm kinda liking confession time...

Here's today's little secret:

I love my new running shoes.

Why is that a dirty little secret? Because I bought my new shoes weeks ago. And I just finally got off my lazy ass and put them on and went to the track. And they're great. I didn't have any trouble with them.

And I totally needed to get back to working out. This being fat stuff is for the birds. I'd like to just be able to fit in all my jeans a little bit better.

I am still not used to the fact that they are a shiny silver color and not grey like I thought. Seriously, they look like tinfoil with red stripes. I'm sure that's why they were on sale. I guess that's the only bad part about wearing such an obscure shoe brand that you have to order them online. But I LOVE them, so that's what I have to do. It's always been hard to find shoes that work for me because of all the problems that I've had with my feet.

Anyhow, I am back to working out and I just love my new shoes. Looks like I won't have any setbacks with blisters like last time, so that's very good.

This is my favorite so far...

Another confession...

Are you ready?

I hate peanut butter.

The only time I eat peanut butter is in those peanut blossom cookies, the ones with the Hershey Kiss in the middle or the occasional Reese's cup. Sometimes I also like peanut butter fudge, but I'm very finicky about it and it can't have nuts.

Peanut butter and jelly? Nope. Peanut butter and crackers? Yuck. And God forbid you try to give me peanut butter and bananas, because I hate bananas more than peanut butter.

I thought I'd tell you all because a friend of mine couldn't believe I hated peanut butter. It's gross. And besides, it's fattening, so I'd be in big trouble if I did like it.

Monday, February 20, 2006


It has been an interesting day, although not too much to report. I went and got my hair done today, which means this will be the only day it looks really good, so of course I can't find my camera because my friends wanted me to take a picture with the new hair and post it here. Really, it does look adorable, but you'll have to take my word on it.

But I did find out that the woman who does my hair can also do manicures, so I'm a very happy camper. It's been hard to find someone to do them, and I don't know why I never thought to ask Allie. But she does, and my nails are getting all excited about it.

I'm also going to start tanning, if my body doesn't react badly to it. I am the whitest person in the world, and I could use some color. And, while you're not really supposed to use tanning beds as your only means to treat seasonal affective disorder, folks say that they help. So, we'll see how that little experiment goes. I know it's not good for you, but I thought I'd give it a try.

What else today? It was pizza night and I made a salad to go with it. For some reason I wanted bacon bits, but you know I'm always watching what I eat, so I put those fake ones in it. Just trying to figure out what exactly they use for those. My guess is TVP. Anyhow, the salad was tasty. And it was the best pizza I've made. Something always seems to go wrong when I make pizza, so I was very glad I figured it out.

Lastly, a few of my friends conned me into getting on MySpace. And since I did, I've reconnected with a few friends from high school. They've been stopping by here, too. Some of you may have seen my little comment banter with Krista, who I went to school with for 11 years (she's a year younger than I am), rode in the carpool with, once accidentally received her report card in the mail (good job, by the way!) and I went to her wedding. Krista has always been a great friend, and it's great to reconnect with her. Kurt was in the same grade as I, and I remember one year he had one helluva party (birthday? Halloween?) on his parents' farm. He was on my newspaper staff and we went to prom and Journalism Olympics (I can hear you laughing. Stop it!) together. I taught Sunday School (yes, I've been teaching Sunday School for almost 20 years) with his sisters. So, it's been nice catching up with them. I promise I'll stop saying MySpace is stupid now. Although I feel ancient compared to everyone else on there.

Oh, and Krista (*whispering so no one else can hear*):

This is the guy I was telling you about. Here are some pics of him with his boss (and that short-lived Mrs. Chesney. Well, she's still alive, but you know what I mean!)...

Edited to add: Renee has some ugly-ass hands, but oh lookie she's got her hook bracelet on in those pictures! Yay for her!!!

New-feature-on-the-blog alert!!!

I added a new feature over to the sidebar. Underneath all my fun links there is a word of the day now. I love words. I especially love big words that other people don't know. Yes, I realize that's very pretentious. Anyhow, let's all improve our vocabulary one day at a time!!!!!

The first word is exacerbate . One of my favorites!

Local girl makes the song of the day!!!!

A friend told me the other day that I had to listen to this new song that was out. I don't even remember what we were talking about. My guess is men. When I listened to the song, I realized I'd heard it, I just wasn't putting two and two together. This gal is from a town about an hour from here, and Larry at church (the George Jones megafan I've blogged about before, I'm sure) recommended her to me. I think he saw her opening for someone because he hits the local concert circuit quite a bit. And the radio stations around here are in love with her. And rightly so, I'm not sure we've had anyone from around here make it big since Kim Richey.

Regardless of where Danielle Peck is from, "I don't" is a great song. I was just listening to it before I decided to make it the song of the day. It totally ties in with a conversation I just had with a friend. I know a few folks who read this blog are having some "relationship issues," to put it politely. There are much more interesting things I'd like to say about the men in their lives, but I'll be nice. This song should be required listening for them.

I am posting a link to the lyrics here. When you go on that page if you click on that little musical note on the top left of the lyrics it'll let you listen to the song in Windows Media Player. It is such a great song. I love Danielle's voice. From this song, which is all of hers I've heard personally, she reminds me a little of Tanya Tucker, and that's not a bad thing at all. And she's obviously a talented songwriter, because this song is great. It's worth a peek, so check it out.

I know this is why you're all really here...

St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. It's pretty.

Toying with the idea of posting some pics I got yesterday, but not all about violating anyone's privacy...And besides, no one wants to show all their cards at once, now do they?!?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Blog envy...

I love my blog. I like having an outlet to bitch, snark, whine, stroll down memory lane, wax philosophically or whatever else strikes my fancy. It's my own little place in the world, and I can do whatever I want with it. Most of the time, I'm very proud of my blog and my writing. Sometimes it's just dumb. Sometimes I really shouldn't blog drunk.

I'm a good writer. I've been writing as long as I can remember. I was first published in the 4th grade (how old would that make me? 10?) when I won a county-wide writing contest and they published the book I wrote. Only one other girl from my school won the contest, because we went with a teacher to this all-day conference where we got to meet real writers and get tips. Looking back, it was probably a total waste for someone my age, because the highlight was that we had those school-lunch pizza rolls and I thought they were great because Catholic school kids always had to "brown-bag" it.

I find my life to be dreadfully boring, but apparently y'all keep coming back for some reason. Not that I'm complaining. I am absolutely fascinated that people from all over the world like to read my writing. And as I work on my little side-project novella, I realize people think I'm a good writer. I'm my own worst critic, so it's nice that I have loyal readers. I appreciate you all more than you realize.

However, when I go out on the 'Net and look at other blogs, I get some serious blog envy. The first blog I read was by The Blog King, Wil Wheaton. That was long before I decided to do this. Of course, my foray into blogging was inspired by the blog my friend Greg maintained before he passed away in August. Along the way, I've met some very talented writers and great people. I've even inspired a few people myself. I like blogging and this whole virtual community that we've created. We're all great at this in our own special way.

So, why have I been thinking about blog envy? One4JC introduced me to a new blog yesterday. I went to visit She Just Walks Around With It, and I fell in love with the writing of the amazing woman who hangs her hat there. While I was there, I found out that the author has a little blog envy toward Stephanie Klein. And frankly, I'm jealous of them both, but in a good way. They are phenomenal writers.

But I think that a little blog envy can be a good thing. These great bloggers inspire me to be the best that I can be without losing my identity. And isn't that what blogging's really about?!?

Forgiveness and the Final Word...

I always talk about how when I go to church it is always exactly what I need at the time. And today was no exception. After some comments that were left here yesterday, I got to thinking. What if I was wrong about this whole situation? Honestly, it doesn't really matter. I am not begging people who were awful to me to be my friends again even if they aren't lying. I've moved on; I hope they've moved on. It's done. It still breaks my heart a little, but it's done. And maybe they are living the high life with some country music superstar. I seriously doubt it, but maybe. What does it matter to me? It doesn't. I am not friends with folks because of what they can give me. I am friends with people because I love them and they are nice to me. Honesty is a big plus. So, when that ceases to be the case, what choice do I have but to close that chapter in my life?

But regardless of whether or not folks were telling the truth, I was kind of mean. I acted out of anger and frustration. That wasn't fair. I shouldn't poke fun at other people, regardless of what they may or may not have done to deserve it. And for that I'm sorry. Actually in regards to that whole situation, I have a laundry list of things for which I'm sorry.

I've been consumed by a lot of worry, frustration, guilt, sadness, anger and countless other feelings. I've run the gamut. I've also let other people's attitudes affect me profoundly and at times control me. I don't like that. So, it has to be done. This has to be the final word. No more snarkiness on this topic; but don't panic, I will still drool over KC and make fun of Keith Urban. I'm just not going to dignify all this bullshit with any of my energies. Life's too precious to be hung up over this. Nothing's ever going to change. No resolution will ever happen. Things aren't going to go my way; things aren't going to go their way. It is done.

I went to church today and prayed. I prayed that God forgive me for being mean about this whole situation. Folks don't need my sarcasm and anger; they need my prayers. And even though they still insist they did nothing wrong, I forgave them today. And I hope that maybe someday they'll forgive me. But that's all I can do.

This was the Gospel for today:
Mark 2: 1-12 (New American Bible)
When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it became known that he was at home.
Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them, not even around the door, and he preached the word to them.
They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.
Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Child, your sins are forgiven."
Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves,
"Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?"
Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves, so he said, "Why are you thinking such things in your hearts?
Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise, pick up your mat and walk'?
But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth"--
he said to the paralytic, "I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home."
He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone. They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this."
I always took this passage to be literal. But today I realized that perhaps the paralytic wasn't paralyzed by an illness or accident. Maybe it was his fear. Maybe it was his guilt. Maybe it was his sin. Maybe something was holding him back. Maybe something was preventing him from being the best person (Christian) he could be. However, Jesus saw that he had the faith he needed to be healed.

"Child, your sins are forgiven. Pick up your mat, and go home."

That's what God said to me today. I am getting a chance to stop being stuck worrying about this whole mess. Nothing's going to change, except that I can fully move on with my life. I can get back on track with my walk with Christ. Nothing is paralyzing me now. I have to have faith that I am doing OK and God will take care of me.

It's done. I'll still say a prayer once in a while, because a little prayer never hurt anyone. But I can't worry about whether or not I did the right thing. I am doing the best thing I can do right now. And honestly, looking back myself and talking to my friends who've watched me over the past months, even though this has taken up precious time it shouldn't have, it did help me to grow and find out who Laura was and what she wanted out of life and relationships. And for that I'm thankful.

So, if you've been lurking waiting for the bomb to drop, you've gotten a reprieve. God bless you all.

OK, this is it! I'm going to bed.

A special combo Saturday/Sunday Song of the Day, complete with lyrics. I keep hearing this song and thinking of all of the fun that's getting ready to start up again.

Kenny Chesney

Summertime is finally here
That old ballpark, man, is back in gear
Out on 49
Man I can see the lights

School's out and the nights roll in
Man, just like a long lost friend
You ain't seen in a while
And can't help but smile

And it's two bare feet on the dashboard
Young love and an old Ford
Cheap shades and a tattoo
And a Yoo-Hoo bottle on the floorboard

Perfect song on the radio
Sing along 'cause it's one we know
It's a smile, it's a kiss
It's a sip of wine, it's summertime
Sweet summertime

Temperature says 93
Down at the Deposit and Guarantee
But that swimmin' hole
It's nice and cold

Bikini bottoms underneath
But the boys' hearts still skip a beat
When them girls shimmy off
Them old cutoffs

And it's two bare feet on the dashboard
Young love and an old Ford
Cheap shades and a tattoo
And a Yoo-Hoo bottle on the floorboard

Perfect song on the radio
Sing along 'cause it's one we know
It's a smile, it's a kiss
It's a sip of wine, it's summertime
Sweet summertime

The more things change
The more they stay the same
Don't matter how old you are
When you know what I'm talkin' 'bout
Yeah baby when you got

Two bare feet on the dashboard
Young love and an old Ford
Cheap shades and a tattoo
And a Yoo-Hoo bottle rollin' on the floorboard

Perfect song on the radio
Sing along 'cause it's one we know
It's a smile, it's a kiss
It's a sip of wine, it's summertime
Sweet summertime

It's confession time!!!!

OK, this is just a little one. But it's bad, and I'll bet I've never told you. One of my dirty little secrets. Maybe once in a while I'll treat you to them.

Are you ready?

I hate to floss my teeth.

Yep, that's right. I'm an anti-flosser. I KNOW it's bad. Really, I do. I don't mind brushing them, especially now that I have cinnamon toothpaste. (I also hate most types of mint -- another dirty little secret. So brushing my teeth was not pleasant before they invented non-minty toothpastes. Blech.)

Someone said recently my blog was like a reality show. My all-time favorite reality show is "The Real World." I always loved the confessional where the folks went in and talked smack about everyone else. So this is my confessional. Today's confession was pretty tame, but you never know with me...

I almost forgot!!!

Quite a few of us are very curious about this Kid Rock/Scott Stapp sex tape. (They aren't having sex with each other, apparently, which is good. Not that I have anything against that. Just saying...) I guess there was a link and I'll admit, I went to look. But the page is invalid. Oh well. I guess I should've checked

Mostly I'm just curious what the hell Creed was doing on tour with Kid Rock. Aren't they a Christian band? Kid Rock has a CD called American Bad-ass and is one of the craziest mo-fos to come out of Detroit. Odd combo, I think. I've just got visions of all those fundies I met the one year I went to Ichthus (the "Christian Woodstock") going to a Kid Rock show because Creed was opening for him. I laughed a little. I hope I don't go to hell.

But if nothing else, this video reminds us what goes on inside the tour buses of all kinds of musicians, some of whom you'd least expect. I remember when I worked campus security a very popular band at the time played a concert in our arena (I'm not naming names!) and let me just tell you it made me a little ashamed to be a woman to stand guard at a tour bus where every hot young thing hopped on board to have a few minutes with the lead singer. (Still not saying who!) So, it happens. But Creed? STILL shaking my head. Although I wonder if that's part of Scott Stapp's "creative differences" with the rest of the band?

Celebrity gossip watch

I've been so busy snarking over the likes of Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban that I've almost missed some spectacular developments in celebrity gossip.

Britney Spears dodged papparazzi last week with little Sean Preston or whatever his name is. She caused a big ruckus for driving with her baby on her lap. She made some comments this week about feeling like Princess Di with all these papparazzi following her. Good lord, Britney! Imagine if Princess Di had a baby on her lap when she had that car accident. Seriously, there's not a brain under all that blond, is there?

And talking about Britney always reminds me of other couples who should not have married and/or reproduced. Very nice segway. Thanks, Mrs. K-Fed.

Nick and Jessica. Oh, how I miss thee. Your newlywed antics made me laugh so much. But alas, that is over, and now I see that Mr. Hotness -- ooops, I mean Lachey -- has filed for spousal support. You go, Nicky!!!! As if being a member of 98 Degrees was not emasculating enough, now you have to ask your young, stupid wife for alimony. I guess the real issue is that the Nickster wants half of a fee Jessica got for performing at a private concert in Cincinnati. And you know what? He should get all of it, because I know for a fact that Cincinnatians love Mr. Lachey and tolerated the Missus because he loved her. So I think that money is rightly his. And seriously the least the State of California could give him for being married to a woman who didn't who what buffalo wings, Chicken of the Sea and hummers were. And I don't mean the car. Or the drink. Poor thing. Seriously, Nick, I can help you out with that. I won't even ask you to let me slow-dance with your brother first.

Speaking of screwed up couples we don't understand, there are rumors about a TomKat break up. That's so sad. I just wonder who'll get custody of Rosemary's baby.

I wish I had a good Lindsay Lohan joke to put here. I did see a recent pic of her, and I think she got new boobies. I'll try to track it down for you.

That's it for now. I'd toyed with the idea of putting pics of Mrs. Chesney (shoot, I must stop calling her that!) with no make-up, but I am too lazy to go digging. Dang, she really owes Max Factor!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Well, ummmm, you see...

I am not sure what to think right now. I just read a lot of blogs on a very interesting topic. I should probably link back to them, but this post will be less informational and more conversational. I'm not trying to dissuade or persuade anyone else, I am just trying to figure things out for myself. And when you're a writer, sometimes that means typing a whole bunch of words on a page and seeing what sticks.

Which brings me to my latest contribution in blogland...

A few years ago, a co-worker of mine was drinking some stuff that looked like Red Bull but he told me was sugar-free. I'm perpetually dieting, if you haven't noticed, and he was an Atkins devotee himself. He also told me that his business sold this product. Now, I am not positive on the date, but I'm thinking this was before Diet Red Bull hit the scene (although currently my energy drink of choice is Diet Mountain Dew MDX). Regardless, my curiosity was piqued about this product. I asked him about it, but he kind of blew me off. OK, your business sells a product that I want. Why not sell some to me? Isn't that how business works?

Well, interestingly enough, a few of my friends also had a business that sold this same product. (Did I mention yet that I am living in Michigan at the time? Are you starting to get the picture yet?) As I noticed other products that I also thought I might want to buy, I wondered if someone might actually be interested in selling products to me. I asked another friend and they gave me some type of CD about opportunity. Do you really need opportunity to buy some Diet-Red-Bull-type stuff and dish soap? Nope, just a Mastercard. Finally, my friend Virginia offered me a catalog of their products. But then I get busy and forget or realize that when you need dish soap sometimes you can't wait 5-7 days. Generally the only time I remember I need a diet energy drink is a time like last Saturday where I'm driving down the highway, talking to someone on the phone and wishing I could take a few drags on his Marlboro to stay awake. But seriously, if I planned ahead I'd never run out of dish soap, energy drink or anything else my heart desires, right? And a lot of their prices are really good.

Yet, Virginia mentions opportunity too. And she showed me some of the products when I stayed with her last week and told me about her business. It seems to make sense. So, she told me that she needed to show her business presentation to folks. You know, just to get her numbers up, practice at doing it. That's fine. I've heard all the presentations. Hell, I even invited a Jehovah's Witness in for coffee one time. I like to learn. That conversation, by the way, ended when I was told I worship the Easter Bunny. That's asinine. He's not even real.

So, I bopped online tonight and watched Virginia's presentation. I'll tell ya, it made a lot of sense. There was even this part toward the beginning of the presentation where they talked about what made them different from Amway and multi-level marketing. There are a few different options that I could take if I wanted to buy products. I could just buy them at the regular price. I could pay $20/year and become a member and buy them at the discounted price or I could pay a yearly fee to be a seller and buy them at the discounted price and also make money for myself. It sounds like it makes sense. Really it does. But at the same time, I am hearing buzzwords I don't really like. And even though they said at the beginning they weren't Amway, it sounds a lot like Amway. In fact, the products look a lot like the stuff these folks I used to babysit for would bring back from their Amway meetings. They, by the way, never sold these products to anyone, but they were all about selling the opportunity.

Curious soul that I am and because Virginia is always off at a training or buying some type of motivational book or CD that at this time in my life I simply could not afford just because I wanted some dish soap and energy drinks, I decide to do a little research. Anyhoo, turns out that the company may have a different name and have different management, but lo and behold, it's owned by the Amway folks. Now, I don't want to come off like I'm dogging Amway. I am from Michigan. Amway is King in Southwest Michigan. Most of the Amway sellers in the United States are from Michigan because it's the Hometown Dawg. (I hate the "word" "dawg," but in this situation, I think it's entirely appropriate.) The Van Andels and DeVoses have done very well building Amway, and I do believe that at some point Jay and Rich truly believed that they could help people find the American Dream with their company. But aside from the founding families of the company, who make up a good percentage of the list of Michigan's richest residents, I don't know anyone who's ever lived the American Dream and/or made a fortune off of Amway's products. Mostly because I don't think I've ever met anyone who sold products to anyone but themselves.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't go into it planning to make money or even call it a business. I'm very intrigued at the idea of getting back a little from those purchases you have to make anyhow (they call it "prosumerism," isn't that cute?) . However, I know that Amway/Quixstar/Interbiz or whatever they are calling it today doesn't let you off that easily. I just don't want to be guilt-tripped and/or pressured into recruiting others or buying a whole bunch of "training" materials I don't need. And from reading some of the stuff I read when I googled these companies, I am guessing that's exactly what will happen.

I am a huge fan of Longaberger Baskets. Almost 10 years ago now, I got recruited to sell them. At the time it made sense. I was in college and I was having home parties almost every month to get baskets. In essence, I started selling baskets to feed my basket addiction. It was great. I got all the new baskets, and I didn't make a dime and I was OK with that. I can sell baskets with the best of them. I love baskets. A job that paid me in works of art made from Ohio's finest maple trees was great. But the minute they started pushing me to start selling the opportunity to sell baskets instead, it turned me off. Because I didn't really want to make money. I know that sounds really dumb. But seriously, I only started selling baskets because I was buying so many and I might as well buy them from myself. And why convince my customers to sell baskets? When they bought them off me, I made a commission that was much higher than my referral bonus I'd get if they sold under me. I just don't dig multi-level marketing. I do kinda think it's a scheme because it gets away from selling products and more about signing people up underneath you so you can make more money without doing any work. How exactly is that "The American Dream?" There are people I know who "sell" Longaberger who pride themselves in never having a homeshow. So, what are they really selling? And it's a shame that Longaberger has fallen into that trap. I know they need people to sell their products, and it seems like a good way to get them, but at the same time it seems a little shady.

So, anyhow, this is my quandary. I do like the products. But I am not a huge fan of MLM at all. I don't mind selling products. I can tell you all about what to do a Longaberger wrought iron stand or a Tupperware bowl (I did Tupperware for a little while because it's inexpensive to get started and I did make good money while I did it). It's just all the materials you're expected to buy to sell the products and all the recruiting you're supposed to do. I think that home parties and direct marketing are absolutely great and I think that it's a nice way for a stay-at-home mom to get out of the house; get great, practical products; and have a little spending money. For that, it's great.

I think I will just tell Virginia that I will buy the products I want from her. I am assuming she will still make some type of commission and I will get the products I want without all the strings attached. That just seems to make the most sense. I did put a lot of thought into this, but I just don't want to get roped into anything else. I was never the type to believe Amway was a cult or anything like that, but I do believe it requires a certain type of person, and I have never been that type of person...

Oh, and if you want to see what other folks are blogging about this, just google words like Amway or Quixtar or Alticor (their parent company) and all kinds of stuff will come up, including things like, which is a very objective Web site started by a journalist whose wife got invoved with the company as an IBO. It contains both pros and cons, and really gives you insight on what to expect.

I found so much from my fellow bloggers, I never did get to the Dateline expose that I ran into somewhere. But I don't need a Dateline expose. I'm not frightened by it, I just know I wouldn't be happy doing it.

Note to self: do not go hunting with Dick Cheney

I've resisted the urge to be overly political lately, because I've been thinking about all kinds of other things. But I'll admit I've followed this Dick Cheney hunting debacle just a little. I don't know what the truth is behind the whole story, but I do figure that we'll never hear it. Karl Rove won't let that happen. I also know that if you or I did the exact same thing, most likely there would be serious legal consequences. It's really not fair.

I just think that it's absolutely hilarious that the Republicans bitched and moaned for eight years about how the Clintons acted as if they were above the law, and it was bullshit. Nothing Bill and Hillary did has compared with the cover-ups and missteps of this administration. And it didn't start with the presidency, either. I have heard some stories out of Texas about GWB that would make your toes curl.

I know the Dixie Chicks (who have a new CD coming out soon, yippee!!!) got tons of shit over saying this, but I agree with them 110%. They said they were embarrassed to be from Texas, because George Bush was. (Although he's not really from there; he just lives there because they have no income tax. Kind of like his brother in Florida.) But frankly, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Condi, Rummy and the rest of the bunch make me ashamed to be American. This country doesn't give me warm and fuzzy feelings. This country has gone downhill fast. My only hope is that Bush, Cheney, et al keep running it into the ground so that the Democrats win the House this year and the White House in 2008.

A girl can dream, can't she?!?

Anyhow, if you'd like to read the "timeline for disaster" about Cheney's hunting accident, here's a very detailed article from the AP.

This is ironic...

Not that I'd ever do it, butI thought this was funny because when I told my mom I was going to the hairdresser Monday, she told me not to dye my hair purple.

Your Hair Should Be Purple

Intense, thoughtful, and unconventional.
You're always philosophizing and inspiring others with your insights.
What's Your Funky Inner Hair Color?

Caribbean Countdown Photo of the Day...

Not sure if this is the precise location, but this kind of reminds me of the beach where that infamous wedding took place. Of course, I'm sure LOTS of folks have gotten married in this same spot, although maybe with less fanfare.

Friday, February 17, 2006

For those who still aren't sold on "soulmates"...

I just read this story that ran on the AP Wire today. Amazing. What a powerful tale.

Holocaust Survivor Gets His Bar Mitzvah

By FRANK ELTMAN, Associated Press WriterFri Feb 17, 4:45 PM ET

In the eyes of Jewish law, 76-year-old Herman Rosenblat has finally become a man. The Holocaust survivor and his wife — who met as children in a concentration camp — were honored at his bar mitzvah Thursday at the Beth Shalom Chabad synagogue.

"We live in a time where we need hope and a positive outlook in life, and Herman's story reminds us that goodness will always overcome badness, and light will overcome darkness," Rabbi Anchelle Perl said after the service.

"When you listen to the story of Herman, he was always bar mitzvahed inside and today just brought it out."

Herman and Roma Rosenblat, now of North Miami Beach, Fla., and formerly of Queens, actually met as children — he as a 12-year-old in a Nazi concentration camp and she as a 9-year-old who for months tossed apples and bread across a fence to help that little boy survive.

One day, he was transferred to another camp and thought he had seen the last of his petite benefactor.

Fourteen years later, Rosenblat — now living in New York — was cajoled into joining a buddy on a blind date. The nervous couple spoke of their mutual backgrounds as Polish emigres. The conversation eventually turned to his childhood in a concentration camp, and Roma volunteered that she had lived near a camp where she would visit a young boy everyday and sneak him food across the fence.

"That was me!" Rosenblat said he exclaimed. "Now that I found you, I'm not going to ever let you go" and proposed marriage right on the spot.

Her initial response? "She says, `you're crazy. We just met.'"

Six months later, they were married. They went on to raise two children, a son, Kenneth and a daughter, Renee.

"I'm very happy, I'm very proud of him," Roma Rosenblat said of her husband's bar mitzvah — the Jewish rite of passage into manhood that usually happens when a boy turns 13.

Herman Rosenblat explained that after missing his bar mitzvah while being held by the Nazis, he simply got on with living life after his release, raising a family, and never got around to it.

He'd think about it while attending other ceremonies over the years, but figured he had missed his chance.

When the rabbi learned of the Rosenblats' love story from a mutual friend and television news producer who had featured the couple in a Valentine's Day feature last week, he contacted Herman Rosenblat.

"I said, "Let's make a bar mitzvah,'" Perl recalled. "His whole story is about how the hand of God brought him and his Roma together after many years and I felt the hand of God continued with him now and we should bring him this bar mitzvah."

Speaking to a group of about 25 congregants, Rosenblat testified about the horrors he survived at the hands of the Nazis, noting he was tattooed with the number 94,983.

"I told my brother, `Don't call me Herman no more. Call me 94,983,'" he recalled.

He remembered being so cold that, "I don't remember summer. All I remember is winters."

He spoke how his brothers each gave him a quarter of their daily allotment of one slice of bread because "I was a growing boy."

"That's love," he said. "When all you have to eat is one slice of bread and you break off a quarter for someone else? That's love."

Rosenblat retired as an electrical contractor in 1992 after being shot in his store in Brooklyn. He later was inspired to write a book about his experiences, including his encounters with that little girl who tossed him apples across the concentration camp fence.

Although the book has yet to be published, Rosenblat said there has been interest from Hollywood producers who want to turn the story of his life into a film titled, "The Fence."

"His life story and his bar mitzvah today is giving us hope that ultimately the destroyers won't have the last say," the rabbi said. "Good people of all faiths will overcome."

Caribbean Countdown Photo of the Day...

This is gorgeous. Can't wait to see it in person...

How'd I miss this one?

This was fun...

Your Five Variable Love Profile

Propensity for Monogamy:

Your propensity for monogamy is high.
You find it easy to be devoted and loyal to one person.
And in return, you expect the same from who you love.
Any sign of straying, and you'll end things.

Experience Level:

Your experience level is medium.
You probably have had a couple significant loves.
And you may have even had your heart broken.
But you haven't really dated a wide variety of people.


Your dominance is low.
This doesn't mean you're a doormat, just balanced.
You know a relationship is not about getting your way.
And you love to give your sweetie a lot of freedom.


Your cynicism is low.
You are an eternal optimist when it comes to love and romance.
No matter how many times you've been hurt - you're never bitter.
You believe in one true love, your perfect soulmate.
And if you haven't found true love yet, you know you will soon.


Your independence is medium.
In relationships, you need both "me time" and "we time."
You usually find it easy to be part of a couple.
But occasionally you start to feel a little smothered.
The Five Variable Love Test

Video song of the day...

Dedicated to my favorite songwriter, who might've helped with this ditty. Wonder which one of the five guys who wrote this I mean? Hmmmmm...

Music Video Codes by

What a pleasant surprise!!!

Who knew that lurkers -- even those leaving anonymous comments -- could be nice folks and act like grown-ups. I'm very impressed. I feel like I'm playing Calvin Ball with the rules around here, but that's OK because I went ahead and published anonymous comments. But I checked it out and the person who posted them was exactly who they purported to be, so I permitted it. I also have no reason to believe this person is just stopping by my blog to be an asshole. That's such a nice thing.

This blog is about my life -- with all its ups and downs, smiles and giggles, tears and warts. It's all me, for better or for worse. I never really thought of it as a reality show, but I guess it could be, although not nearly as exciting as Dancing with the Stars. I voted for Jerry, but I think he's going to lose. If he does, I'm putting my money on Drew Lachey. He's dancing his ass off.

So, anyhow, back to our scheduled programming. I just wanted to thank everyone who stops by and reads and enjoys themselves. Didn't mean to offend any of my nice lurkers the other day. I'm just not sure why people who claim to dislike me so strongly would spend so much time here. I'm really not that fascinating, but I'd be tempted to be flattered if I didn't suspect they were up to no good. Well, lucky for me, I'm not privy to their little email coffee klatches anymore, and ignorance is bliss.

So much for waiting up for my brother...

It's my guess that my brother is not coming home. I don't know why I'm shocked, really. What's new? I was trying to wait up for him, but I guess it's safe to go to bed.

There isn't much going on here. I got some great mail from my friend Kayla today. She rocks and she made my day. I am very lucky to have friends like her.

So, it's off to bed for me. I got lots accomplished today. I continue to get great feedback on the "book" that I'm writing. Tomorrow there's going to be a little job-hunting even though it's not always good to do that on Friday. I will try... I am feeling very motivated.

Hope everyone else had a very good evening! See you tomorrow...

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Do all of my fellow bloggers have a little set of folks who stop by and read their blogs but never say a word? I know who about 90% of my lurkers are. And I suspect that they don't leave comments for a few reasons:

They like to leave anonymous comments, and I delete them because I don't publish comments if I don't know where they are coming from. I might not know who you are, but it's my blog and if you're going to talk smack about me, I'm not publishing it. Duh. Well, not for meanness' sake, anyway. If you have something valuable to say and it happens to be negative to me, I'll publish it. I've done that. Just because I have comment moderation doesn't mean I wouldn't publish them. If they want to give me a real name and say something more valuable than "You're a bad person and you know what you did!" then I would let y'all read it.

Maybe folks are still bitter that I make fun of spelling errors. Typos are one thing; we all get busy and make them. Not knowing how to spell is something different. And I do sometimes make fun of spelling. If you attack someone well-versed in grammar and don't have a good grasp of the English language yourself, chances are that person will call you out. And I did apologize later when I realized that was mean...

What could they say really?

I thought about doing a tribute to my lurkers. Those hidden foot soldiers of the blog world. They drive your stats up, and never get any of the glory. What would I do, though? I thought about giving them the recognition they deserve, perhaps with little blurbs about them and what I suspect brings them here. I even have some pictures I could share. That'd be so nice. I'm shocked they're content to stay in the shadows, because they sure do like attention most other times.

I've also toyed with the idea of a 24-hour comment free-for-all, where I take the comment moderation off and see what pearls of wisdom they might have for us. But then I realize there's NOTHING stopping them from leaving comments now, so they must not have anything to say. All we'd get was spam in the comments again... And besides, if they really had something to say, my e-mail address hasn't changed...

I think this is Barbados...

... but I won't tell, if you don't! It's absolutely gorgeous, and I'm sure I'll see something like this while I'm down there.

If not, I'll find someone to take me to Barbados someday!!!

Today's horoscope...

Too good not to share...

You are at the very edge of big changes, Gemini, so it's critical that you conserve your energy. Ideally, you've grown spiritually over these last months, even if your frustration level has been high. Now, the fruits of your patience are ready to pay off. Don't try to do everything all at once. Scattering your energy will not help you accomplish your goals.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Have you missed the song of the day?

I never seem to remember it. I heard this song and it hit me. It speaks to right where I am, right now. Even though I keep having these bouts of self-esteem issues, this is what I feel.

"You found me"
by Kelly Clarkson.

Hope this isn't a repeat...

It fit my mood today. Are we there yet? ;-)

I'm stealing again...

This is from Danna's web site.

Your love is... by ChibiMarronchan
Your name is...
Your kiss is...erotic
Your hugs are...gentle
Your eyes...twinkle in the moonlight
Your touch is...heart warming
Your smell is...amazing
Your smile is...amazing
Your love is...unique
Quiz created with MemeGen!

Does anyone know anything about dreams?

I had the weirdest dream last night, so I figured I'd blog about it because I have nothing else exciting going on.

One thing that I'd like to do at some point in my life is visit New York City at Christmastime. I'd like to see the skaters at Rockefeller Center, all the shops lit up and decorated, the snow...I think that'd be a lot of fun. Perhaps thinking about that movie Serendipity, which is set in NYC had something to do with this dream?

I've been invited to check out New York during the holidays, but I've yet to make my schedule and cash-flow mesh to make it happen. I keep thinking every year that next year will be the year.

Last night, I had this dream. In the dream I was in NYC on business. I was talking to one of my professional colleagues about the meeting we were leaving, how he liked the city (he had moved there in my dream), etc. He is giving me directions on how to get out of the office building where he worked to go to a restaurant where a few of us were meeting for dinner afterward. I remember the building was exciting and confusing, with a subway station right inside! Anyhow, he gives me the directions and hops on the elevator saying he will see me there, but he has to run a few errands first, leaving me to find it on my own.

Well, next thing I know this elevator operator tells me to get on her elevator. And I get to the bottom and I can't find the street I'm supposed to take. She tells me that she thought I wanted a different street instead and I took the wrong elevator. She tells me to go back where I was and to start over, getting on the opposite elevator (the one my colleague had told me about) instead.

So, I know how to get to the restaurant and I try again. When I get back upstairs, it is all decorated for Christmas. And there is this observation deck, where you can look over and see a skating rink. There are lights and decorations and all kinds of shops. I realize that I don't have a camera with me! And then I realize that someone I really wanted to meet up with was meeting me at the restaurant, and I am going to be late. So, I try to get toward the elevator to get there before I miss my dinner date by being seriously late. As I am headed toward the original elevator, a girl stops me whom I didn't recognize, but was obviously a friend and she wants to take pictures for me since I forgot my camera. Right before I woke up I remembered posing by Christmas trees and outside shops being really cordial, but irritated and worried that I was going to miss this important dinner and trying to figure a way to get away from her.

I really wish I knew that that meant. All I could find was what elevators in your dreams mean:

An elevator dream is a rather complex dream and you should interpret it in light of all the other symbols in your dream, for one thing, if the elevator is going up your fortunes will increase, down is the opposite. If the elevator continues to go up and down with out letting you off means you have let your emotions, or your situation, get out of control and must do something to stop it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

What a day!

I got up very early to get to the flower shop very early. The phone rang off the hook with orders. We ran out of flowers and had to send someone to the wholesaler to get more. I guess we were the only flower shop around who was still taking Valentine's orders today. We finally got done about 9 p.m. There were a few lulls in the action, but the day was packed with cleaning flowers and vases, waiting on customers, deliveries and whatever else needed to be done. I am amazed at how many people wait until the last minute. We sold everything except the silk arrangements, but I can safely say if my valentine gave me silk flowers that he wouldn't be getting laid for a while. There were lots of pretty flowers that folks got today. Even the last-minute stuff that we scrambled to create looked good.

But I am sooooo exhausted. I'm not sure when I'll recuperate. I am going to bed soon, and I might stay there for days. I am very tired and I ache all over. It was hard work today, but it was fun.

Just remember folks, order your special-occasion flowers with tons of advance notice!

If you like snark... here.

Just to warn y'all, some of you won't get it. Some of you will take away a totally different, yet equally humorous, idea about it. Some of you will think it's hilarious. Some folks who visit here might even be pissed, but almost everything I do seems to piss them off. You'd think at some point they'd realize that sometimes I do things just to piss them off, but oh well. Mostly it was a byproduct of a little free time, a little Crown Royal and a laptop with a wireless Internet. I will be permanantly traumatized by some of the legwork, in case you were wondering.