Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.
- W.B. Yeats

Monday, October 20, 2008

the red earth of Tara

This past weekend was filled with hiking through two different state parks in Illinois. It was perfect. The air was crisp and cool, but not too cold; the leaves were starting to change color; the openess and freedom of the outdoors was beckoning.

Saturday, at Siloam Springs State Park near Griggsville/Pittsfield, we took a canoe out into the middle of the lake and just sat, enjoying the spectacular views of nature around us. After attempting to climb a rock cliff, falling down a ravine and being hit by falling rocks, we left the state park, stopping in Griggsville for some food.

Griggsville was hosting one of the starting points for the annual Pike County Fall Color Drive. Unfortuately for Pike County, the colors aren't out in full force yet; however, that didn't dampen the excitement and enthusiasm of the locals who were hosting a mini-town festival in conjunction with the Fall Color Drive.

One of the things I miss now living in Springfield is your typical small town festival. As we walked around the booths offering everything from candles to "country folk art", it reminded me of the small town festivals I went to in Ashland growing up. Getting a ribeye steak sandwich with barbeque sauce at the FFA tent just make it that much more nostalgic. (And picking up a giant bag of kettle korn made it a more gastro-exciting day!)

The nostalgia for the old days didn't really sink in, however, until Sunday, when we went out to Site M, or the Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area, as it's now known. (See why the locals still call it Site M?) Site M is a 26 mile-square tract of land that consists of 6,000 acres of timberland and 4,200 acres of prime farmland and rolling hill prairie for prairie grass conservation. This massive conservation initiative is mere 10 minute drive from my parents' house; turning onto the road leading to Site M included directions such as "ok, now turn right at Alicia Rogers' house". Walking through the open areas and the dense forests, passing campgrounds that I have camped at numerous times, seeing farmers in the fields cutting beans, the nostalgia for small-town life hit me again.

At the end of the day, when the sun began to set, the view of a million colors painting the sky, covered with a soft haze of dirt stirred up by the combines in the fields, was truly breathtaking. I don't get to see that living here in Springfield. And I wonder if all the conviences of living in the city is worth it in the end. For all the perks, what have I given up?

The outdoors and country atmosphere is part of who I am. It's nice to get my batteries recharged by nature and the open country air once in a while.

'You get your strength from this red earth of Tara. You're part of it, and it's part of you.' - Rhett Butler, Gone With the Wind

Saturday, October 11, 2008

bored - babysitting and kids are sleeping

33 Little Secrets
Be honest no matter what...
1: Who are your last 4 texts from? April, Mandy, Laura, Sarah Liz

2: Where was your default picture taken? The pic on my blog - me kissing the Blarney Stone in Ireland!

3: What's your middle name? Lynette

4: Whats your current favorite color? Green

5: Does your crush like you back? nope :(

6: What is your current mood? tired, bored, and I have a killer headache

7: When is your birthday? July 14

8: What color shirt are you wearing? blue Superman shirt from Metropolis, IL

9: If you were going on a Reality TV show, which one would it be? Survivor!!! :)

10: Did you ever sneak into an R rated movie? didn't have to

11: Ever had a near death experience? yes, almost decaptiated in car accident in '99

12: Something you do a lot? work, text, shop

13: How old will you be in 12 months? 33

14: Do you want to see somebody right now? Sure do

15: How many piercings? none - my earrings ripped out when I was in high school

16: When was the last time you cried? Wednesday

17: Who would you do anything for? the kids

18: Who is your hero? I have to answer...Charissa Holland!

19: American Pie or Superbad? neither, they are both stupid

20: What's your biggest fear? being alone

21: Would you ever take one of your ex's back? I always say, they are ex for a reason

22: What are you going to do tonight? babysitting the Trimmer kids

23: What was the first thing you said this morning? Called Mandy

24: Speak any other languages? French, and can sign some

25: Whats your favorite smell? Irish peat moss, babies, the fabulous turkey I make with a cloves and nutmeg rub

26: Do you like to sleep naked? only in the summer when it's really hot

27: Do you like rain? I love rain!! :)

28: What are you thinking about right now? Trying to figure out what caused this knot on the back of my head.......and hoping that baby Cameron doesn't wake up again!

29: What did your last outgoing text say? Are you still in line?

30: What are you listening to? Lucas coughing

31: Who was the last person you yelled at? um....I don't remember, I'm not really a yeller

32: who is the last person you said 'i love you' to? Lucas

33: Who last made you smile? Have to go with Lucas again, the kid cracks me up!!!

quote of the month

"Don't let someone become your priority, when you're only his option."

I don't know where this came from (I saw it on Krista Walbert's facebook, I believe). I did a Google search, and no one out there knows its origin.

I love this quote. It totally fits my situation right now, and I'm not going to do it any longer!

Why are men so frustrating and clueless????

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

sleeping beauty - why prince phillip rocks

Yesterday, the 5oth anniversary edition of Sleeping Beauty was released. I hadn't watched it in a while, but as I watched it last night, it totally reminded me how much I love that movie and why Prince Phillip is my favorite prince.

So, in honor of this, here's a list from on why Prince Phillip rocks.

Pro: For starters he was the first Disney Prince with a name. Also extremely decisive; after meeting a girl in a forest and spending a record-breaking period of five minutes dancing with her he returned home declaring his intentions to annul his long-standing betrothal with the neighbor’s daughter in order to marry the girl he just met. Obviously a man of action. No shirk in the physical department either. Was ambushed in said maiden’s house without any weapons by superior numbers but managed to get in numerous good blows before going down. After being imprisoned in a powerful enchantress’s fortress, he escaped with only the help of a trio of fairies, fought his way through dozens of her minions and rode across a collapsing bridge to rescue his girl. He then had to slash through an entire forest of thorns to access her palace, (which took him all of about twenty seconds) and finally had to battle the enchantress herself, who morphed into a forty-foot dragon. Despite being seemingly outmatched, he fought her to a standstill and finally killed her by throwing his sword into her heart and still made it back in time to wake the princess.

On the other hand: He still lives with his parents.

Songs: Just one, and only a short duet with Aurora.

His woman: Princess Aurora; the Sleeping Beauty. Having been betrothed to her since he was eight, Philip was pretty much destined to get her, but boy did he have his work cut out for him (see Pro list).

Companions: His horse Sampson, (a truly manly name, even for a horse) the worlds most invincible steed. Able to stride through great flaming forests of thorns without acquiring so much as a scratch in his leathery flanks, and might be the only Disney animal who ever needed to be bribed in order to help his master look for the princess.

If you need another reason to love Prince Phillip....check out David Beckham's photo shoot with Annie Leibowitz as Prince Phillip.......all I can say is WOW!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

myths of christian dating

so, I found this article rather interesting the other day. It's "The Top 5 Myths of Christian Dating". You can read the whole thing by clicking this link:

While the whole article is good, there is one part I found particularly intriguing:

Myth #4: "You have to be friends with a woman before you can date her."

This is the point where I might tick off some of you, so allow me to assuage your anger before I explain this myth. I am not saying that you cannot or should not be friends before dating. I'm also not talking about a man and a woman who are interested in each other and agree to be friends for a period before dating. Some of the most successful relationships begin in friendship. Sometimes you don't even know you want to date someone until you're friends with her. I've met couples who were friends for years and then fell in love. It's a super way to start a relationship.

The problem is that a lot of men think the best way to pursue a woman is to befriend her while hiding their interest in dating her. This is a rotten idea and sets a lot of men up for trouble.

Tommy was a client of mine who tried this approach. He had been interested in a woman at his church for a few months, but he was terrified of rejection. So he made his best effort to become her friend, never letting on that he wanted to be her boyfriend. He gave her rides to church, had coffee with her, and talked to her on the phone two or three times a week. Whenever she needed help or support, Tommy was there. But he never asked her out. Then another man in the church asked her out, and she accepted. When she shared the news with Tommy, he was devastated. He told her about his true feelings, and she was shocked. She was hurt that he didn't tell her sooner and expressed regret that he'd never asked her out. However, she refused to back out of the date with the other guy. It proved the end of their friendship, and Tommy retreated into frustration and despair.

You have to be honest about what you're doing. Don't kid yourself and don't lie to her. Be friends all you want, but if you want to date her, she needs to know and you need to ask her out.

Some people distinguish "dating" from "friendship" based on one thing: physical intimacy. More specifically, kissing. A man and a woman who are interested in each other remain "friends" by going out only on group dates and refraining from intimate contact of any description. Apparently, this means they aren't dating.


Friendship and dating are categorically different. Of course, you must be friends with the person you date, but there's much more to it. The emotional "heat" that occurs between people in a romantic relationship is both more exhilarating and more complicated than friendship. People have higher expectations for someone they're considering for marriage. Friendship cannot contain the emotions, intensity, and intimacy that dating does. If you and a woman are hot for each other, you aren't "just friends." I don't care if you go out on dates alone or with the whole church choir. It also doesn't matter if you wear a HAZMAT suit and stay ten feet away from her at all times. If romance is the goal of a man and woman's relationship, they are dating. Confuse it with friendship at your peril.

I'd love to hear other thoughts on this. It goes back to the basic theme of When Harry Met Sally. I believe that guys and girls can be friends. I have a lot of guy friends, ones that I would never think of in any other way but as a friend. But when a "guy friend" does things that start to blur that line, with or without the physical intimacy, it just creates a very confusing and frustrating situation. And I think I am getting to the point in my life where I don't want to deal with the confusion any longer. Either be my friend, or date me, but make it clear. Don't say one thing, then act another way. If that means I have to end a "friendship", I may just have to do that. It's not good on my emotional well-being to be jerked around all the time.

So the bottom line...can you just be friends with someone you are interested in dating?

Friday, August 22, 2008

life update 8.22

I think I have used the work "suck" so much lately that it has begun to lose all meaning.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

random question time

1. Who do you blame for your mood today? stupid boys

2. Have you ever seen a dead body? Yeah. I covered a murder scene once of the paper, the guy had been shot in the head, and his brains were dripping everywhere. It was gross.

3. What should we do with stupid people? shoot them all. I can't handle stupid people.

4. How long do you think you will live? According to the Death Clock, I will die on July 8, 2030.

5. What was the first thing you did this morning? Hit the snooze button, then watched the news.

6. The color of carpet in your bedroom? A blue-ish/gray speckled thing.

7. Last person you went out to dinner with? Aaron and Bob

8. Are you spoiled? nope

9. Do you drink lots of water? in the summer I do, I dehydrate easy.

10. Is your best friend a virgin? I hope not, she's married!!

11. When was the last time you were at a party? Went to a barbeque a couple of weeks ago.

12. The last website you visited? Lucas Trimmer's blog.

13. Who was the last person you took a picture with? Andrea Pembrook at camp!!

14. Last person you went to the movies with? I believe it was my sister.

15. What did you do/will you do for your birthday this year? I made dinner for the fam, then to Chili's to eat a boob sundae complements of Bob Reynolds.

16. Today, would you rather go back a week or go forward a week? Go forward..this last week sucked!

17. Would you use your normal vocabulary if Jesus were standing beside you (in the flesh)? Of course...He hears what I'm saying all the time anyway, why change it?

18. Do you know where the red fern grows? yes I do.

19. What's the last cartoon you watched? Does Wall-E count?

20. If someone gave you spinners for your wheels, would you use them? no thanks, I'm not a gangster girl.

21. Do you like the shape of your fingernails? They are weird, they curl down, but I like it.

22. Pretend you're single, If you had to marry a famous musician, who would it be? Hmm....Bono. Seriously...the man's a stud.

23. What room/position are you usually in when you watch TV? Curled up in my big oversized chair in the living room.

24. Do you put salt on your watermelon? I put salt on everything. Seriously.

25. Do you get sick easily? Nope...I have a super-immunity thanks to years of daycare work!

26. Where was the biggest bruise you've ever had and how did you get it? Bruised legs after car accident

27. What do you eat on your hotdogs? ketchup

28. Are you good at hiding your feelings? yes, do it all the time

29. Can you braid hair? yes, do it all the time

30. Do you drink Red Bull or any other energy drink on a regular basis? never. that would kill me!! :)

31. How old will you be in seven months? still 32.

32. What is the relationship between you and the last person who called you? friend.

33. Would you like to let go of the past? always

34. How many people have you kissed with a name that starts with a "J"? none

35. Do you prefer regular or chocolate milk? chocolate...regular is gross

36. What color are the pants your wearing? not wearing pants...wearing skirt!

37. Have you ever taken medications that were prescribed to someone else? yeah, but it was because I had run out of my own!

38. Do you have a dirty mind? yeah...makes me a good copy editor!

39. Are you usually the first to say sorry when you're in a fight, or the last? depends

40. Do you like the smell of gasoline? no...that would be weird.

Friday, August 1, 2008

giant pandas

For those that know me well, you know I have a bit of an obsession with giant pandas. It began when I was a baby, when my dad used to called me 'Miranda Panda" because it rhymed and it made me laugh when he said it. Well, that got shortened to just Panda, or Panda girl, which I apparently used to my advantage as a preschooler. My mom has tons of stories of me wanting something, my dad saying no, then I would "cry" and look at him very mournfully and say, "But I'm your Panda girl", which always pushed him over the edge. Unfortunately for me, it's doesn't quite work anymore (trust me, I've tried).

This week is China week on the Travel Channel, in honor of the upcoming Olympic Games. One of my dreams has always been to travel to China and see the giant pandas at the giant panda reserve.

Last night, Samantha Brown did a show on Sichuan province, where the Cohen Giant Panda Breeding Research Foundation is located in a village called Chengdu. It rocked. Come to find out, not only is it open to the public, but for an extra $200, you can get the "backstage" tour, where you actually get to see baby pandas in their incubators that have just been born and get to play with the cubs outside in the cub habitat. I could actually play with real live giant panda cubs. For just a bit more (like $125), you can even hold one to get your picture taken and cuddle and such.

Anyone want to go to China with me?

Friday, July 25, 2008

the last lecture

Randy Pausch, a professor at Carnagie Mellon University, passed away this morning from pancreatic cancer. He's well known for an amazing speech he gave at the college, and has given other places, known as the Last Lecture. It's phenomenal. Check it out. (Warning: it's about an hour and a half long).

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

my match

For my birthday last week, I received a subscription to, the dating website. Unlike e-harmony or any of those others, lets you put in what you are looking for, and then searches exactly within your parameters for matches. You can show interest by "winking" at a person, or just send them an email through their in-house message system (so personal information is not revealed).

I have been signed up for about 10 days now. Here are some things I have observed so far in my brief foray into the world of online dating:

1. Creepy, desperate, unattractive guys will descend on a new person like a duck on a June bug. In the few short days I have been on, I have been "winked" at by 30 different guys. Of the 30, I have already hit the "no thanks, not interested" button on all 30 of them. If Darwin was on, he'd have a field day with some of these people. It's really that scary.

2. What frustrates me the most is that they don't even seem to read the profile. I list that I am looking for someone is a specific age range, then get "winks" from guys who are definitely not in that age range. (Does the 52-year-old guy think..'well, she put a range that I am way too old for, and I'm scary looking, but maybe she'll overlook all that'?) Or they live in NYC. Or they don't fit another one of my parameters that are rather important to me, such as size, religion, etc.

3. I received an email the other day from someone. The misspellings in this were astronomical. To me, it's simple. You are trying to impress me. Why send an email full of misspelled words? One of my biggest pet peeves in life to begin with is people that can't spell. Sending me an email full of misspelled words is the quickest way for me to hit the "reject" button. (Charissa Holland, I expect you to back me up on this one!)

The most frustrating/perplexing/odd/fascinating thing about this whole experience so far is that when I joined, it was at the prompting of a friend, who urged me to do it to get my mind off of a stupid boy that had broke my heart. But, when I hit the "my matches" button, guess who was number five on the list? The boy. I didn't even know he had a profile on there. But there he was....and the computer matched us up. (See...Billy Idol even gets it...why can't he?)

So what does this all mean? I'm not quite sure yet. I guess we'll see what happens...... be continued.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

for no one

I hate* you.

I hate that you can make me feel this way.

I hate that you preoccupy my thoughts.

I hate that you either don't see or don't care how you affect me.

I hate that you act one way and later say something completely different.

I hate* you.

(*or is it love?)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

turning 32

My birthday is in 12 days. I'm going to be 32. For several reasons, this year I am not looking forward to it. Normally, I like birthdays. Not this year.

When I turned 30, I thought it was going to be hard, and it was a bit. But, I had a big "kid" party out at the park and invited all my kids, so it was good fun.

When I turned 31, I didn't even care. I left for Ireland the next day, and was so focused on the trip stuff that I didn't even have time to worry about turning 31.

But now, I'm 32. Nothing exciting is happening this year. I'm well established in my 30s now. But, what do I have to show for it? I graduated from college 10 years ago, and watched friends get married, have kids, etc., while I stayed single, with no hopes for getting married soon. Now, 10 years later....still watching friends get married, have kids, etc., and I'm still single with no hopes for getting married soon. While the idea of that didn't bother me when I was 22, at 32, it's much harder to handle. All I have found in the last 10 years is heartbreak and headaches, and the realization that everyone leaves me at some point because there's always someone that's "-er", i.e. smarter, prettier, taller, thinner, funnier, stronger, weaker, etc.

And quite frankly, I'm getting tired of it all. I'm tired of waiting for "life to begin". I'm tired of watching all of my friends do things that I long to do and haven't yet. I want to get married, have kids, have an "adult" life...not this one.

I am not looking forward to being 32. Who knew 32 would be the hardest one so far?

Friday, June 20, 2008

random questions

1 - Let me guess.. you are bored right?
um... yeah.

2- What were you doing at 7:00 AM?
Watching Good Morning America and thinking how hot Chris Cuomo is.

3 - Kiss with your eyes open or closed? Depends

4 - If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to change a mistake what would u pick? $1 million. Then I can fix my mistakes!

5 - Do you have a friend of the opposite sex you talk to 24/7? Yeah...some of my best friends are guys

6 - Is there anybody you just wish would fall off the planet? A few people, it would make my life much easier!

7 - Is there anything you are looking forward to within the next few days? CAMP ON SUNDAY!

8 - What were you doing 1 hour ago? Working on the Guidebook.

9 - Do you currently have feelings for someone? yes

10 - What was the last thing you said aloud? I coughed really that a word?

11 - How many different things did you drink today? Earl Grey (decaf), tomato juice, Sprite

12 - Are you ticklish? yes..not telling you where though. I'm not THAT stupid!

13 - Is success in your future? I hope so. But really, who says, "No, I'd like to be a failure!"?

14 - Are you a heavy sleeper? Very...I slept through my house burning down when I was little.

15 - Was today a good day? so far...

16 - Was last night a good night? I guess.

17- Does someone like you right now? yes ;)

18 - Where is the last place you went? Subway

19- Name something that made you frown today? My chest has been hurting today. Stress!

20 - Who is the last person you had a deep meaningful conversation with? Amanda Kurmann

21 - Can you keep a secret? sure

22 - Your favorite romantic movie? Gone With the Wind/Pride & Prejudice (BBC version w/Colin Firth)

23- Have you ever played naked twister? no...who really does that?

24 - Is there something you will never forget? Lots of Dad's stories on the way home from Metropolis last weekend. I couldn't forget those if you paid me. You can't poke out the mind's eye!

26 - How is your hair? ok...needs the roots done, though

27- First thing you notice of the opposite sex? Physique - I like a guy who looks like he can kick someone's butt - I need the security!

28 - Who was the last person you took a picture with? Superman!!!

29 - What were you doing at midnight last night? Wondering why Philip was texting me about pasta at that time and why on earth he was awake then!

30 - Do you wish on 11:11? no

31 - What's on your mind? Camp stress!

32 - Which shoe do you put on first? left usually

33 - Favorite color(s)? green

34 - Have you ever kissed someone whose name started with a C? Clayton Kurmann, Carter Formea, Connor Goebel.

35 - Last thing received in the mail? My order from Oriental Trading! Princess crowns!

36 - Do you have trust issues? Big time

37 - Have you ever hated someone, but ended up being friends with them? not really

38 - Would you kiss the last person you kissed again? Sure - I believe it was the aforementioned Clayton Kurmann

39 - Have you ever hurt anyone when you were mad? yes

40 - Is it easier to forgive or forget? I have trouble with both

41 - Are you random? I like to think of it as quirky

42 - Do you laugh a lot? I try to!

43 - Are you happy with that? huh?

44 - Do you believe in love at first sight? yes

45 - Do you want kids? yes

46 - If someone liked you right now would you want them to tell you? yes!

47 - How do you feel about being the age you are? birthday is in a few weeks, ask me then

48 - Are you watching tv as you are doing this survey? nope

49 - Do you believe in celebrating anniversaries? sure

50 - Do you believe you can change for someone? sure, if you really want to

51 - Something you dislike? incompetence

52 - Do you want to get married? yes

53 - Big or Small wedding? big

54 - What do you want to be in 15 years? dead - I plan on dying while still young and beautiful in some tragic way so I'll have a large turnout for my funeral (and maybe even get a Lifetime movie made about me)

55 - Do you get along with your parents? sometimes

56 - Brothers or sisters? sister - yes, brothers - Brad, yes, Sean, heck no

57 - Who is your hero? Charissa Holland (I couldn't resist it!)

58 - Do you have your own room? uh...yeah....I'm 31, if I don't by now, that's really sad

59 - What do you think about the current gas prices? They don't bother me. I paid $7/gallon while in England last summer. I can't complain about $4!

Friday, May 23, 2008


State the obvious, I didn't get my perfect fantasy
I realize you love yourself more than you could ever love me
So go and tell your friends that I'm obsessive and crazy
That's fine; I'll tell mine you're gay
And by the way...
I hate that stupid old pickup truck
You never let me drive
You're a redneck heartbreak
Who's really bad at lying
So watch me strike a match
On all my wasted time
As far as I'm concerned you're
Just another picture to burn
- Taylor Swift

I'm goin' home, gonna load my shotgun
Wait by the door and light a cigarette
If he wants a fight well now he's got one
And he ain't seen me crazy yet
He slapped my face and he shook me like a rag doll
Don't that sound like a real man
I'm going to show him what a little girls made of
Gunpowder and lead
- Miranda Lambert

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

dodging bullets

So...Saturday night. I was driving home from the camp at about 11:30 p.m. on Chatham Road, near Amber Jacks, when someone shot at me. I have a bullet hole in the windshield of my car. Luckily, it hit the passenger side, so I wasn’t hurt. Scared the hell out of me, though. Anyway, I pulled over and called 911 immediately. Cops came and filled out a report, searched the area (of course they didn’t find anyone), and then let me go home. So, now just freaked out, and waiting to see if the cops find anyone, which in all likely-hood, they will not.

I took a quiz online a few years ago that told me that I have a high likelyhood of being murdered in my lifetime, for a number of factors. One, I have long hair, which is easy for someone to grab. But the biggest one is that I am a journalist, and therefore can supposedly have access to confidential or sensitive information. I can see that, if I was working on Watergate or something. But I do agriculture and arts/entertaiment. I highly doubt my last story on Arlo Guthrie is going to get me murdered. It might, but I'm doubtful.

So, right now I'm just trying to get my nerves calmed back down, and not be scared to drive down Chatham Road (which is where I also had my car accident in January).

And, I get to come up with $100 to get my windshield replaced...although, the bullet hole is pretty wicked looking, so maybe I'll just keep it for a while. Add those fake bullet hole stickers to the rest of the car and make a new game: "Find the Real Bullet Hole!"

Thursday, May 15, 2008

let's get physical

The other day, I had a conversation with a friend about the physical aspects of relationships. The physical aspect of relationships has always been something that’s been a little hard for me to deal with. (For those who know me well, know why. I’m not going to go into it all here.)

Showing affection in a physical way is a tricky thing. I have some friends that I can show affection to openly and without any reservations. And of course, there are the kids. As a preschool teacher, showing love and affection for the kids in my class was practically a job requirement. Showing affection to my kids is easy and natural. There’s nothing better than the bear hugs from Clayton or Punky kisses to make the day better.

Adults are different, especially if it’s a member of the opposite sex. I’m not one to initiate things. I am constantly tense if I am around someone that I would like to show affection to, but can’t. Showing affection can be a tricky thing. There’s always the fear of misreading intentions and signals, or outright rejection. For me, it’s always better if the other person initiates things. Then I will know that it’s safe to show affection back.

They say the human touch is a necessity of life, just as much as breathing, eating and sleeping. Studies have shown that monkeys that are deprived of touch and affection die. If I can’t breathe, I go outside to get more air; if I’m hungry, I eat something; if I am tired, I sleep. Why, then, is it so hard to give and receive the affection that I need to survive?

So let me know if you want me to show you some affection. As GI Joe says: “And knowing is half the battle.”

story in today's SJR

Monday, May 12, 2008

hate, love, apathy and One Tree Hill

Tonight I was watching the newest episode of One Tree Hill. For those that don't watch the show, it centers around two half-brothers, Nathan and Lucas Scott, who grew up not knowing each other at all, and then was put on the same basketball team together. They hated each other at first, but as time went on, realized their bond as brothers was a good thing, and became the best of friends.

At the end of last season, the group graduated high school. Lucas declared his love for Peyton, whom he's had an on-again, off-again romance with. This season was different. It fast forwarded five years (the real age of the actors), and shows them dealing with their lives after high school, college, etc., and how they have all changed and grown up. One episode flashes back to when Lucas proposed to Peyton, but she turned him down, not because she didn't love him, but because she wasn't ready to get married. Fast forward to the present. Peyton is back in town, still in love with Lucas, when she finds out he has moved on and is dating a girl named Lindsey. Lucas asks Lindsey to marry him, and when Lindsey realizes (during the wedding) that Lucas still loves Peyton, she leaves him at the altar.

In tonight's episode, Lindsay calls Lucas to tell him that she's dating someone else. He gets really drunk at a bar, and Peyton finds him, half-passed out. She takes him home, and as she's getting ready to leave, he wakes up, looks at her and says "I wish you'd never come back here. I hate you. You have ruined my life."(And then goes back to sleep.)

They say that hate is one of the strongest words out there. We are taught to say that we "dislike" someone, or use some other word such as that. Hate has so many connotations to it; there's nothing more harsh than telling someone you hate them.

How many times have you wished that you could say that to someone? What is harder for me isn't the use of the word "hate", but the honesty and vulnerability that it takes to tell someone to their face that you hate them and that they've ruined your life.(Outside of screaming it at your parents when you are 14 and mad because they won't let you pierce a body part).

Most people believe that the opposite of hate is love. Love is an even harder word to say to someone; at least it is for me, unless the object of my love is someone under the age of 8. I have always had a hard time saying it, and an even harder time showing it. To have the nerve to tell someone that you love them is an incredible show of strength and vulnerability all at the same time. I wish I will have that nerve someday to tell him how much I love him.

Most people believe the opposite of hate is love; it's not. The opposite of hate is apathy. Apathy is much more hurtful, much more painful than hate. Hate means that you think about them enough to have an emotion; apathy means you don't care enough to even hate them. And that's the one that hurts the most for me. I can take hate, I would be happy to take love; but to think that someone doesn't care at all is incredibly painful.

So please, let me know you care...and dare I hope, love me?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

random survey

1. Would you kill your neighbor? I have a new neighbor that just moved there's no emotional attachment there. But, it's better to hire out. I've watched enough CSI!

2. Whats one word that describes your last fight? draining

3. What were you doing ten minutes ago? working on next week's bulletins

4. What's the last movie you saw? Expelled: No Intellegence Allowed! It was fantastic!

5. What did your last text message say? Incoming: I'm watching North Country right now, it's about female miners in the early 90s. The hair and clothes make it awesome! ---Outgoing: So, I have a very serious question: Do you have an AmEx card and do you love me enough to let me borrow it on Monday?

6. Who have you talked to most today? Outside of work...Todd Goebel, Philip - way too early this morning.

7. Do you carve pumpkins every year? I love to carve pumpkins! And then roast the seeds...yummy!!

8. Color of your shirt? pink and white stripes

9. Who's on speed dial 2? Bob Norman, I believe

10. How are you feeling right now? tired...but happy! It's the weekend!

11. How many times have you moved? once, unless you count the temporary 3-month stay in town when our house burnt down when I was 5.

12. What is the last thing you touched? Other than the keyboard? My phone.

13. Have you ever been called a punk? No...but I love my Punky!!

14. Was yesterday better than today? Today has been the best day!!!

15. What is your ring tone? Depends on who calls. It's different for different people.

16. Do you have a favorite number? 4 (If you went to A-C Central in the early 90s, you know why!)

17. Do you hate anyone/anything? I hate incompetence. Oh, and being inside when it's 80 degrees out like it is right now!

18. Does your best friend have a myspace? sure

19. If you could meet anyone who would it be? Currently alive - my future husband! Dead -

20. Last time you went out to lunch? Sunday

21. Do you have any music you're ashamed of? Nope...I'll readily admit to all of it, including the New Kids on the Block and the Hannah Montana!

22. Have you ever gotten into a physical fight with a member of the opposite sex? nope. I'm 5-1 and weigh just over 100 pounds. Do you really think that would end well for me?

23. How old will you be in 2 years ? 34

24. Do you think you'll be married by then? Sure hope so!

25. Do you have one or more Britney Spears CD's? never. She's retarded.

26. What did you do last night? Worked on camp stuff.

27. Are you a Lost fanatic? never watched it.

28. Do you have a song by Ozzy Osbourne in your library? Several!

29. Do you ever sing in the shower? Always

30. Whats your favorite movie? Gone with the Wind, Pride and Prejudice (BBC version), Bridget Jones, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, anything from the 80s.

31. Do people ever spell your name wrong? Always

32. Do you believe everyone has a soulmate? yes.

33. Can you sing? according to some, yes.

34. When was the last time you cried? CMA awards.

35. Are you ever a freak about cleanliness or organization? cleanliness, not really; organization, yes.

36. Have you ever been to South America or Africa? no

37. Do you know how to knit? no

38. Do you have a job? yes

39. Is there anything currently bothering you? tons of stuff

40. What are you doing right now besides this survey? at work

41. Do you know how to play poker? yes....but my rules are different than the real ones. Dad used to make up his own rules when we played when I was a kid.

42. Baskin Robins or Coldstone? ben and jerry's

43. Physics or chemistry? chemistry

44. Facebook or Myspace? facebook!

45. Do you wear any jewelry? when I remember it.

46. When do you prefer to take a shower, morning or night? morning

47. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or Star Wars? Star Wars!!! I hate Harry Potter.

48. Fly or road trip? road trip. flying scares me!

49. Batman, Spiderman, or Superman? Superman all the way!! I love Superman!!!

50. What's your favorite Disney movie? cartoon - beauty and the beast, pocahantas. live action - three musketeers

51. What are your plans for tonight? work on camp. play outside.

Friday, April 25, 2008

insecurities, and how to break up a footballer's wedding

It's 8:20 on a Friday night, and my most exciting boy encounter this week has been with a 21-month old. (Boy, I love the Lucas kisses!)

I am a very insecure person about relationships. If I call you or text you or something, and don't hear back from you relatively soon, I don't think 'oh, person x is busy, or whatever.' My first thought is usually along the lines of 'what did I do wrong', 'are you upset with me', 'are you ignoring me for a reason', 'you no longer like me', etc., etc.

It's very hard for me to break out of that thought pattern. I don't want to be insecure about my relationships with other people. However, I don't do this with everybody. With some, if I don't hear back from them soon, I'm totally fine with it. I have some friends who this has become the norm....because of wacky work schedules, time zone differences, etc., there are times where a single conversation will stretch over days or weeks, with the exchange of text messages being very sporadic. With others, however, I love to talk to them on a regular, if not daily, basis, and when it doesn't happen, I start to worry about where I stand. I can't help it.

Confidence is something easily faked, but harder to actually come by. One thing that I have learned in life is that people always disappoint you, and they always leave you at some point. It's probably why I have such a hard time really getting close to someone. Everytime I open up and get close to someone, they end up hurting me and leaving. So, hence the insecurity at times.

In a totally unrelated side note: I must express my anger at Fox Soccer Channel. The biggest game of the season is tomorrow morning, and they are not showing the game!! It's the unofficial championship for the league title between Chelsea and Man Utd.

Related player news: Prayers go out to Frank Lampard, who's mother passed away Thursdsay and most likely will not be playing on Saturday. Joe Cole is engaged....but the wedding isn't happening until summer of I need ideas on how to get him to notice me and want to marry me instead. I have just over a year to figure this one out! I'd prefer he notice me without a restraining order being involved, by the way.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

a vicious cycle

Wow, it's been a whole month since I've posted last. Let's see, what`s happened in the last month:

  • I've been really busy at work, between Holy Week and the kick-off of the new capital appeals campaign. It's starting to slow down a bit, finally...I hope so, at least.
  • Kids have been good. Clayton turned 4 in March. Scott turned 3 on April 1. (My April Fool's baby!) I think they both liked the card that played music more than the actual gift. It totally cracked me up! Shopping for Nathan and Barrett's birthdays in May will be a breeze...just hit the musical card aisle at Hallmark!
  • I have decided to get a dog. I found one that I really liked, but he weighed too much (my apartment has a weight restriction - I can only have dogs that weigh 20 pounds or less). I finally found another one I liked, at Sangamon County Animal Control, but when I got him home, it wasn`t a good fit. He was way too active and hyper to be living in an apartment. He was the coolest dog, but he needed to have a home with a big backyard he could run in all day. I had to take him back. (And, you still are not going to make me feel guilty about this! You know who you are!) So, the search continues.
  • I have to get a new phone. My current phone has been locking up, the screen freezes, it shuts down, etc. I've been having major problems. So, today I ordered a new one. It should be here tomorrow!
  • Season 2 of the Tudors finally has begun. I`m in history (and Jonathan Rhys Meyers) heaven.
  • Chelsea FC have only four games left in the season, and trail Man Utd by 5 points. But, one of the games left is against Man Utd, so there's still a chance they will win it all! GO BLUES!
  • Working on camp stuff a ton. I can't believe it's only 2 months away now!!

In keeping with my last post, here are my thoughts on the 30-year-old virgin's blog. This section of one particular post really struck me: One day I'll decide: that's it, if I ever want to be in a relationship, I'm going to have to make the effort. And then I will (in what pathetic ways I can think of). Then, after a few days/weeks/months/minutes of effort, I re-re-re-realize that I'm incapable of anything approaching a normal human relationship. Then I give up and decide that I'd better get used to being alone because I am and always will be. After an equally random period of those efforts, I decide that if I ever want to be in a relationship, I'm going to have to make the effort. And the cycle repeats itself.

I love this paragraph. This cycle is totally something that I can relate to. There have been many times that I have felt the same way: I decide that if I don't want to die alone, I have to make an effort. But, every time I try to make an effort, it always ends badly. So I stop trying, and the cycle continues.

Right now, there is someone that I "like" (to use a phrase from high school). But, I am scared to show that, because I've always gotten burned in the past when I do. So, I will most likely do nothing, wait patiently for the guy to do something, nothing will happen, and life will go on just like it always does, with me ending up alone once again. It's a vicious cycle, much like the cycle of depression I fight: I can take medication for it, which makes me feel better; then after a while, I begin to think that I don't need the medication, because I am feeling so great, so I stop taking it; then I fall back into a depression, and logically I know that I need to take the medicine for it, but the depression makes me not care to the point where I don't care if I take it or not. Hence, the vicious cycle continues.

Cycles are a hard thing to break. I so want to break the relationship cycle that I am in. There are times where I really want to just do it, but fear and self-doubt always stop me. Maybe one day I'll be able to tell him..................maybe.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

thoughts on being a spinster

The other day, I ran across a blog written by a 30-something woman in Toronto, Canada. She has several blogs; one on life in general, others more pointed in their subject matter. One that I began to read with great interest was titled “The 30-year-old Virgin”. Apparently, this woman was in her early 30s and had made a decision not to have sex until marriage. She has several posts that make you think about things. For the next few blogs, I think I’m going to expand on some of her posts with my own thoughts.

You can read the entire post here:

Here’s an excerpt:
The Church has this way of dealing with sexuality that produces masses of incredibly messed up people.

I can't speak to what it's like for men, but for women... Ha! As far as unmarried women are concerned, sex does not exist. It is not discussed.

We're supposed to be entirely ignorant of both sex and sexuality. Once a woman gets married, she's supposed to flip a switch inside her head or something. Suddenly, sex is normal and healthy. She's supposed to develop a sex drive overnight. Not to mention a healthy attitude towards sex and about sex and an understanding of how it all works.

The Church's attitude seems to be one of ignore-it-and-it-will-go-away.

I don't believe in premarital sex. But that doesn't mean I'm not a sexual person.

When I was 15, I didn't even know what a sex drive was.

When I was 20, I thought it was easy. Wait 'til marriage? Sure. No worries. And if I don't get married? Bah, it's fine. I can deal with it.

At 25, I was getting a bit concerned. Not so much about the sex part, although I was beginning to understand that I did have a sex drive, but about the lonely factor. I began to understand that I didn't really want to be alone forever.

Now I'm 32. The hormones have kicked in. My beliefs haven't changed, but I have. It's become obvious that nobody's going to marry me. And I'm frustrated. Have I mentioned that? I'm I-might-gnaw-my-own-arm-off-soon frustrated.

I love her timeline here. As someone who is approaching 32, I can completely relate to and agree to what she is saying here.

Sometimes it seems like I am never going to get married. So what does that mean? Do I give up my beliefs so I can have an experience that 99.5% of people experience before they die, or do I stick to my beliefs and potentially never have that experience?

I agree with her assessment of life at 32: Now I'm 32. The hormones have kicked in. My beliefs haven't changed, but I have. It's become obvious that nobody's going to marry me. And I'm frustrated. Have I mentioned that? I'm I-might-gnaw-my-own-arm-off-soon frustrated.
I am feeling the same frustration. Is it ever going to get better? I don’t know. But I hope so. I am really close to the gnawing-off-my-own-arm thing too.

In the bigger picture, however, I really like her assessment of the church. I remember having the “true love waits” talks while in high school, but after that, it is rarely talked about. And when it is, it is always in the context that is meant for married couples.

I like my church. But, it really lacks much for those that are single and post-college. Sure, the young adult group is there, but seriously, I’m 31. Most of the kids in the “young adult group” are kids that I have had as campers or youth group members at some point, and it’s weird being in a group with people you had as middler campers when they were 8. But, there isn’t really anything else. Outside of my circle of friends there, everyone my age is married, and most of them have kids. So, finding a group within my church is hard to do.

Once, I had someone who tried to lump me into her “older and never been married” group, and I almost hit her right there in a restaurant. This lady was about 47 years old. I pointed out to her that I was only 31, which in this day and age is still an age where, while I am feeling like it’s never going to happen, logically I know that I am still at an age where women get married all the time. At 47, this woman is not. I am still young enough to get married, have kids, all that fun stuff. This woman is technically old enough to be my mother. And it really irritated me that she tried to lump me into her group. I like to hope that I am not there yet, that there’s still hope for me.

Is there any hope for me? Or am I destined to be a 47-year-old, never been married, spinster virgin?

Friday, February 29, 2008

leap day traditions

Today is Leap Day. According to Irish tradition, it is the only day that it is permissible for a woman to ask a man to marry her. According to legend, Brigid of Kildare complained to St. Patrick in the 5th Century that it was unfair to make a woman wait for a proposal, and asked that a woman should be allowed to do so. He agreed to allow it once every 7 years, but she talked him down to once every four years, on Leap Day.

In 1288, Queen Margaret of Scotland made it against the law for a man to refuse a woman's proposal. If he did, a heavy fine of either a kiss, a pound (which was a lot of money back then) or a silk gown was to be paid to the woman.

Let's see...I'm Irish. And I can only do this once every four years. If I don't act today, I'll have to wait until then, I'll be 35! HOLY CRAP! Is that right?!? Who's going to say yes to a 35-year-old?

So, I guess I have to act today. Who should I ask?? I had contemplated flying to London and hunting down Orlando Bloom. Stateside, perhaps the state treasurer, Alexi G. (He's rather good-looking). Any others???

Better yet, maybe I'll just ask someone out on a date. Baby steps. Hmmm.....the mind is working now......

If you could ask anyone in the world, with a guaranteed yes, who would it be? Anyone.......

remember me

I just finished the new book by Sophia Kinsella, Remember Me? I love Sophia Kinsella. She’s a British author that has a fantastic writing style. I really enjoy her stuff. It’s not the most intellectually in-depth, Proust/Tolstoy/Faulkner/Hemmingway - like stuff, but I really like it.

Her latest is about a girl named Lexi. The year is 2004, and Lexi is your average 25-year-old “normal” girl. She has mousy brown, frizzy hair, bad teeth, a crappy dead-end job, and is a bit overweight. She is out with some friends, and in her attempt to hail a taxi, she slips and falls, hitting her head on the sidewalk. When she wakes up, she is in a hospital, and is shocked to discover that it is 2007. But, in a small twist, she hasn’t been in a coma this entire time. Rather, she is surprised to learn that she was in the hospital after being in a car accident five days earlier.

As she then learns, she is skinny, has fantastic hair, perfect teeth, a top executive job in the company she was working for, oh, and the perfect, drop-dead gorgeous husband, who is a bazillionare. She is diagnosed with focused amnesia…in other words, the last 3 years of her life are completely wiped out, including the personality that she has become. The rest of the novel follows her as she tries to discover who she is now, and all of the discoveries that are involved with that.

I can’t imagine losing a large chunk of time in that manner. I know I don’t remember most of my childhood, but that’s different. I didn’t just wake up and have the last three years of my life gone. I do have a friend that has three days missing from his life, when he was overseas in Vietnam during the war. It’s crazy.

I am impatient with things in life sometimes though. I have often thought that there are things that I would like to do/change, but I don’t have the patience to wait for them to happen. I’d love to get my teeth fixed, but I don’t want to wear braces for several years. I want to be skinner, but I don’t have the patience for long-term dieting. I would like to learn a musical instrument, or another language, but yet, I want to be good now, not 3 years from now. How nice it would be to just wake up and it be three years later…skinner, tanner, perfect teeth, married, etc.

But, as Lexi discovered, it’s not always about the destination…it is sometimes about the journey. I would miss a lot of things in those three years….Clayton, Nathan and Scott all starting kindergarten, for example. Numerous big moments in the kids’ lives. While it would be nice to wake up and be married, I would miss not having a wedding day, or an engagement, or even dating.

If you could skip three years, would you? What would you miss if you did? The more I think about, the more back and forth I go on the idea. I see the good parts and the bad parts. If I could skip ahead for some things, and stay in the present for others, but I guess that’s not really an option. Jury’s still out.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

the perfect guy

A while ago, a friend asked me what I was looking for in a guy. I think it’s hard to pin down a specific list of attributes. I guess a list could look like this: tall, dark, handsome, age 30, responds to the name Orlando Bloom, looks great in elf ears and pirate gear…….

Seriously though, I don’t know how to describe it. I guess it would almost be easier to list the things that I would like to think that my ideal mate would do/say/act, but with the caveat that this entire list could be thrown out the window at any time…especially if it meant marrying Orlando Bloom.

1. I like guys that are true gentleman. I don’t believe that chivalry is dead. No matter what a woman says about being equal…the man should open the door, hang the shelves, and kill the bugs. Especially the killing of bugs. I didn’t bathe for three days once because a spider had taken up residence in my shower.

2. I like guys that are a little “bad”. I’m a “good” girl, and I like “good” boys. But I also have a bit of a “naughty” streak to me, and I like guys that can appreciate that for what it is. I like watching the occasional British TV show that isn’t exactly the most wholesome, or blare death metal from the 1980s when I’m in a bad mood. I worked in an all-male sports department for several years…I’ve heard all the dirty jokes there are, and then some. I am innocent and naïve in a lot of ways, and yet, it takes a lot to shock me. I like a guy that can be a bit wicked sometimes behind closed doors….it makes him human as well.

3. I like guys that pay attention to the little things. Not to sound cliché...but leave me a note on my desk, or shoot me an email/text message just because. Don’t disappear for a week or so. Put a daisy on my desk at work when you know I’m about to have a long/hard day. Put your arm around me in the movie theater, or hold my hand. Simple things can say a lot.

Most of all, though, I just want someone who loves me. That’s really all it boils down to. Someone who just wants to be with me. In the end, that’s all I really need.

And if he answered to the name Orlando Bloom or Joe Cole, that would be alright, too.

Friday, February 22, 2008

survey time

1. Who makes you smile the most? The kids

2. What were you doing at 8:00 this morning? Trying to hurry and get ready for work because I woke up late, while watching the news

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago? putting Janie to bed

4. What did you do last night? Watched Survivor (go Ozzy!), talked online to someone, watched it snow

5. What are you hearing right now? is really quite

6. One word to explain why you last threw up? Sick Wednesday, ate something bad the night before

7. Are you mad at anyone right now? Kinda sorta...more hurt and disappointed

8. Who gives the best advice? Amanda Kurmann

9. What are you wearing? Ralph Lauren sweater, RL jeans

10. What are you craving right now? chips and salsa

11. Reason you last cried? um....a boy did something that hurt me.....

12. Who was your last text from? Ashley Harris

13. What do you not want to happen? The inevitable future that I will die alone, only to be found 3 week later, half eaten by wild dogs. (extra friendship points if you know the reference)

14. Are you punctual? Usually try to be. I hate being late.

15. Last time you laughed at something stupid? just a bit ago...watching Dora and Doodlebops with Janie..they are so ridiculous

16. Last thing you drank? Earl Grey tea

17. Last person you talked too? adult - Jeanette & - Janie and Cecilia

18. Worst thing about winter? The cold. I would love the snow if it was warm.

19. What are you doing this weekend? Oscar party Sunday! Going out with someone Saturday night.

20. Current mood? depressed/melancholy

21. Do you talk a lot? sometimes, depends on who I'm with

22. How do you relax? watch TV or go to a movie. Escapism at its best.

23. Can you use chopsticks? pretty well, thanks to a summer with Eric G. while we were interning at the paper in college. After every story we covered....Chinese food.....nothing like learning how to use chopsticks from an Armenian kid.

24. Do you know anyone named Kelsey? yes

25. Do you like coffee? yes....but for some reason, the Starbucks on Monroe makes me sick. Starbucks in St. Louis is ok. Weird, huh?

26. How many times have you been pulled over by the police? a couple

27. How much cash do you have right now in your wallet? only like $5...I don't usually carry cash.

28. Number of pillows? I sleep with 3, including one that I have had since I was 8 and has fallen apart and been re-cased numerous times.

29. Worst enemy? plead the 5th...probably shouldn't list them here.

30. Are you a jealous person? Sometimes.....I can be.

31.Does anyone hate you? I'm a Baptist hussy.......;)

32. What time did you wake up this morning? 4:30...6:30...7:00....

33. Do you like a man in uniform? Only Navy guys named Joe.....;)

35. Where did you go today? Work, store, Jeanette's.

36. What would you do with $50,000? pay off a Mini-Cooper....go to Ireland again

37. Any plans for tomorrow? cleaning house. going out with someone tom. night.

38. What do you smell like? Burberry Brit.

39. Would you kiss the last person you kissed? absolutely... I believe it was Clayton

40. Ever been to California? nope

41. Ever asked for a pony? always...and still asking for one!

42. What does your second text in your inbox say? Sweet! (from Harris)

43. Are you good at keeping secrets? usually.....

44. What does your last outgoing text say? That sucks

45. Are you a heavy sleeper? very...I have slept through fire alarms (sorry Kristin!), fires, tornado sirens, you name it. When I'm atomic bomb could go off I wouldn't wake up.

46. How do you feel about Valentine's Day? see previous post on V-Day

47. Do you like Chinese food? Love the Panda Express!!!

48. Do you prefer salty, sweet, or spicy foods? Salty.....I know, you're shocked.

49. Who was the last person to call you? my sister

50. Favorite song(s) : right now....Taylor Swift's Just Another Picture to Burn, Gary Allan's Airplanes, and How Does He Know from the movie Enchanted

51. Ever done something you are not proud of? sure, who hasn't?

52. Ever stole someone else's boyfriend/girlfriend? nope....

53. Traveling anywhere soon? Hopefully to Chicago for the St. Patrick's Day Parade!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

return to the sj-r

The freeze at the SJR has been lifted!! I am writing again!! Check out my story in today's paper at:

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Valentine's Day

So, last week was St. Valentine's Day. Now, I know the real reason behind Valentine's Day. It's a day to honor St. Valentine. This, I know. I'm very well aquainted with the story of St. Valentine. In fact, while in Dublin, I visited his grave/shrine at Whitefriar Church. It was all very nice.

However, I do NOT like the holiday that it has become. There is so much pressure put on V-Day that by the end of the day, there is nothing left but feeling hurt, disappointed, angry and lonely. I have never had a good V-Day experience.

This past week was no exeception. All the little happy couples everywhere, getting flowers and balloons and such. It's enough to make a single girl want to slit her own wrists.

What has happened to a day to honor a martyr of the Church? Commercialism has run rampant and taken over. Next year, why can't we honor St. Valentine, and not Hallmark, Hersheys and FTD?

There's a British website that allows you to send anti-valentines. My favorites: "Happy Thursday. I don't need a specific day to tell you how I feel", "Nothing says I love you like fat-saturated sugar blocks and slutty lingerie", and my all time fav: "I want to give you this. Please don't puke (next to a picture of the human heart, ventricles and veins and all)".

Chalk it up to a single girl who is bitter.....but I doubt this is what St. Valentine really wanted his legacy to become.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Lenten Season

The Lenten season has begun. Well, it actually began about a week ago, but it's been so busy, I haven't have had a chance to write about it yet.

As a Baptist, I really don't celebrate Lent. However, I now work in a Lutheran church, and the Lutherans do celebrate it.

There's a lot of things about Lent that I don't get. I understand the basic concept, and the traditions and such, but it's not really a Biblical thing. The Early Church didn't celebrate it. According to Wikipedia, it is not even mentioned in Christian history until the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D.

One of the reasons Baptists don't celebrate it, I understand, was because of the idea that it was "too Catholic". I agree with that in theory. There are a lot of things that the Catholic Church, and most liturgical churches in general, do that aren't really Biblically based; they are more traditions, or dogmatic practices, than dictated by Scripture.

As a Baptist, I take part in the practices that were charged to us by Jesus: The Lord's Supper, a believer's baptism, and evangelism (outlined in the Great Commission). Did Jesus fast for 40 days? Yes. But he didn't say that I had to do that as any requirement.

The last few years, I have tried to give something during Lent, just to see if I could. They say that if you can stop doing something or start doing something for 40 days, that you will have broken/created a habit.

This year for Lent, I have given up fast foods/convienence foods. I have found myself falling into the rut of "running through a drive thru" or grabbing a premade dinner from the grocery store. So, that's my standard. Nothing premade, pre-frozen, etc. Only freshly made, or homemade items. This has already become a challenge. For example, it rules out most restaurants, but not all.....some places, like Monty's, makes their own bread and soups and such fresh everyday. The standard is whether or not it's fresh/home made quality, or basically, if I could have just as easily made this at home myself. We'll see how this goes.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

crazy weather

The weather here has been really crazy the last few days. Thursday, it was supposed to begin snowing in late afternoon, around 3 p.m. It started at noon, and by 3 p.m, there were already several inches on the ground. By the time I woke up Friday morning, there were 12 inches of snow outside. After the snow removal people contracted by my landlord came and removed the snow in the parking lot at noon, I cleaned off the several inches still on top of my car. I didn’t have a shovel to dig the car out, as there was still snow around the car, but a friend of mine who came over dug it out for me (thanks Philip!).

Saturday was fine….Sunday, the temperature started rising, and the snow started melting. Huge puddles everywhere. Then, Sunday night, came the freezing rain. When it stopped, I ventured out for a few minutes, and the snow had melted to the point of causing deep puddles everywhere. Monday and Tuesday, storms. Thunder, lightening, heavy rains, the whole shebang. The extra rain then added to the water already on the ground, and flooding ensued. But, Wednesday and Thursday, the snow started again. It didn’t stick, but it equaled a couple of inches.

Now, it’s supposed to keep snowing all weekend off and on, mixed with rain. According to the news this evening, we’re already four inches ahead of where we normally are this time of year as far as precipitation. In addition to the snow/rain mix, it’s also supposed to get butt cold this weekend as well. (yes, butt cold is the proper meteorological term.) It’s cold, but it hasn’t been raining or snowing yet, so I’m hoping that that part of the forecast has been cancelled.

It very well could be the end of the world. It’s been very Day After Tomorrow out there lately.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

the local media

Ok. As a member of the media, I have to make an observation about our local media here in Springfield.

Last night, I was watching the nightly news on ABC with Charles Gibson. I like Charles Gibson. He’s a very good journalist. There were only a few stories on the half-hour news program. The first half of the news was taken up with stories about the multiple tornadoes in the South that has caused major destruction and a death toll of 57. Other stories included the fallout of the Super Tuesday results, the results of Heath Ledger’s toxicology tests, and a few others.

All of this death and destruction in the world. People have lost their homes, their friends, their lives. The future of the nation is at stake. Pretty heavy stuff for a half-hour news program.

Then came the 6:00 news from our local Newschannel 20. Their top story of the day? POTHOLES!!! That’s right. Where the potholes are in town, how they are formed, and when the city is planning on filling them. Let me tell ya, it was riveting. (Yes, that last sentence is heavy in sarcasm.) I screamed at the television things that can’t be printed here.

It’s not like there wasn’t other news going on in Springfield yesterday. The State Journal-Register had a list of breaking news that would have been better choices than potholes for a lead story. (Props to the SJR for NOT having a story on POTHOLES on the front page of the paper!!!) I felt embarrassed for Elizabeth Wooley for having to report that as the top story. And for Catie Sheehan for being outside for the live report.

What has happened to our local media?

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Another Survey

Found this survey online….something to do while it’s a blizzard outside!!

1. What is more difficult for you, looking into someone's eyes when you are telling someone how you feel, or looking into someone's eyes when they are telling you how they feel?
Probably looking into someone eyes when I am telling them how I feel. I am always too chicken to see the reaction. Probably why I don’t tell people my feelings often.

2. Think of the last time you were REALLY angry. Why were you angry?
I don’t remember the last time I was really angry. I am usually hurt, or frustrated, or annoyed, but not truly angry often.

3. You are on a flight from Honolulu to Chicago non-stop. There is a fire in the back of the plane. You get enough time to make ONE phone call. Who would you call?
My dad. My sister and I usually call him with any news, and let him tell my mom. It’s better that way, trust me.

4. You are at the doctor's office and she has just informed you that you have approximately one month to live. (1) Who do you tell? (2) What do you do with your remaining days? (3) Would you be afraid? 
1) everyone…..that’s not something you should hide.
2) spend as much time with the kids, friends and such…..I really don’t have those “I want to sky-dive or bungee jump” desires. And I’ve done pretty much everything I’ve wanted to, such as go to Ireland.
3) scared to die, but not of death…death means heaven…and why be scared of that?

5. You can have one of the following two things- trust/love. Which do you choose?
Trust. I have real problems with trusting people. I’m used to living without love.

6. You are walking down the street on your way to work. There is a dog drowning in the canal on the side of the street. Your boss has told you if you are late one more time you get fired. Do you save the dog?
Nope…not because I don’t care about the dog, but I can’t swim…..I would be of no help there.
7. You have done something impulsive that could possibly cost you the love of someone very close to you. Which is the greater loss - losing them by being honest or losing them behind a lie?
Losing them by being honest. Many people lie and get away with it. If someone is honest with you, regardless of what it is, you should at least reward them for the honesty. It’s a rare thing these days.

8. If you could go back and be with your first love, would you?
Haven’t really had that “first love” yet!

9. Think of the last person who you know that died. You have the chance to give them 1 hour of life back, but you have to give one year of your life. Do you do it?
Definitely….the last person I know that died was my friend Bob’s dad. He died suddenly. I would give a decade to let Bob have another hour with his dad.
10. Are you the kind of friend that you would want to have as a friend?
I hope so!

11. You are out on the town and see your married best friend's spouse locking lips with someone other than your best friend. Would you approach them? Would you tell your friend? What would you say to each?
I’m a reporter…there’s no way I could keep something like that to myself! I’d take a picture first though….as we say in the journalism world, if your mom says she loves you, make sure you have another source to corroborate it!

12. Your boss tells your co-worker that they have to let them go because of work shortage, and they are the newest employee. You have been there much longer. Your co-worker has a family to support and no other means of income. Do you go to your boss and offer to leave the company?
Probably not. I have been the newest employee let go because of budget reasons. I have bills to pay too.

13. When was the last time you told someone HONESTLY how you feel?
I don’t really remember. It’s hard for me to tell people how I really feel….it never turns out like I hope and I always get hurt in the end. Maybe if I had some kind of sign that I wouldn’t get hurt this time……

14. What would be harder for you, to tell someone you love them or tell them you hate them?
Telling someone that I love them. I can tell my kids I love them anytime…but for adults, it’s harder. The kids always love me back unconditionally. Not always the case with adults.

15. What do you think would be/is the hardest thing for you to give up?
The kids.

16. When was the last time you told someone you love them?
I tell the kids all the time. Adults….hmm…..friends….most of the time. “more than friends”……haven’t yet. Still trying to get the nerve to let someone know that I like them. Like..not love. Not ready to use that word yet.

17. If you had to go back in time and change one thing, what would it be?
My hair during high school. Yes, it was during the time of the big bangs and lots of curls of the early 90s.

18. Imagine, It is a dark night, you are alone, it is raining outside. What are you doing?
Writing. Read my latest poetic endeavor…that was written on a dark, rainy night. Or, watching tv or a movie. I like film.

19. Would you give a homeless person CPR if they were dying?
I’d like to think I would.

20. If you could do anything OR wish anything, what would it be?
Same thing I do every night. Try to take over the world – Pinky.

A Godly Woman

This past weekend, there was a story in the State Journal-Register's religion section on a new book, co-authored by a woman from Peoria. You can read the full article here; the gist of the book, however, is about housewives that are "Desperate for God". The authors are trying to dispell the image of housewives put forth by shows such as Desperate Housewives; rather, they are promoting the image of a biblical woman and what she should look like instead.

Not surprising to me, the women that co-authored this book are both stay-at-home moms. They have at least 8 children apiece, all of which are home-schooled. However, they go so far as to say that women, especially single women, should stay in the home. Single women should pretty much live at home with their parents until they are married, and they shouldn’t be working outside of the house.

Also not surprising, they used many of the Scripture references that are often used in instances like this; ones that say that women are supposed to be submissive to their husbands, the husband is the head of the household, etc.

I get so tired of the idea that women are supposed to be at home, taking care of the husband and children, and that’s their only roles in life. I feel sorry for those women who have no identity of their own outside of being a wife and mother. When working at the daycare, it was clear which moms had their own identities and which moms had lost themselves. The simple litmus test was when the parents buzzed in to the center. Some parents, like my friend Julie, would simply say “It’s Julie” when we answered the door. Others would always respond “It’s Foster’s mom”. That right there was a clear indication on how they saw themselves.

When I get married, and yes, that’s a when – I’m in an optimistic mood tonight, I do want to be a good, Godly wife. However, I don’t believe that that means blindly submitting to my husband. That verse was written in a different time period, when women were treated like property, not wives. I also believe that it has been twisted over the years, giving men who were abusive a “biblical” reason to be so.

I don’t see why I can’t be a good, Godly wife who works as well. Why does it have to be so black and white? I know many women who work outside of the home, and I don’t think that they are bad parents or wives because of it. Just the opposite, in fact; it makes them better.

I always say that my ideal job is to be a “housewife”. But not like the women that authored the book. I would love to be a housewife in the vein of Emily Gilmore, of the TV show The Gilmore Girls. She graduated from college with a degree, then got married and became a housewife instead. However, her days are fuller than any “working” person out there. She is constantly giving of her time and money, volunteering in many charitable organizations and chairing fundraising drives galore. If I were to get married to someone who made it possible for me not to have to work, where I could just use my time and talents to work for God’s kingdom, how much more would I be able to do?? I am constantly wishing that I had more time for things. Camp takes up much of my time as it is, but I would love to be able to do more at the camp than I already do. The fundraising events I could work on, the charitable organizations I could support with my time and talents, the work of the church, inside the local church walls and outside, that I could support… think of being able to work because I wanted to, not because I needed to for a paycheck!!!

As a single woman right now, however, I am horrified at the idea that I should be sitting at home, basically waiting to start my life until I get married. Why should I not work, buy a house, go on vacation, and basically live my life, just because I am not married?? That’s ridiculous!!! Living on my own hasn’t made me a more ungodly woman. I also ask the question: What if I am never married? What if that’s the path that God has intended for me? Am I supposed to live at home until my parents die? Then what?? Move in with other family?

Any other thoughts on this??

Monday, January 28, 2008

Survey says.......

1. If you could push one person off a mountain, who would it be?
I only get to pick one?

2. Where did you get the shirt you're wearing?
Ralph Lauren

3. Do you still have clothes that belong to your ex?

4. Do you get attached to people easily?

5. Have you ever been to California?

6. Do you go to church?
I work in one.

7. Do you like roller coasters?
Scared to death of them. I rode the Screaming Eagle once and cried the whole time.

8. What's your favorite TV show?
Friends. Coupling. The Office (the original British version).

9. Where were you 2 days ago?
BRU, St. John's Emergency Room (for head), St. John's Lutheran Church (work), Perkins

10. Have you ever seen the GOONIES?
A bazillion times. If you haven't seen it, you're not American!

11. How many bones have you broken?
2 - wrist and toe.

12. Do you have any pets?
not any doggy died when I was in college.

13. Do you curse a lot?
Only when I get really angry. The cowgirl comes out then.

14. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
hit the snooze bar, and watch the news before I get out of bed

15. What's your favorite season?
Summer, Spring and Autumn.

16. Have you been on a date in the last 2 weeks?
Depends on your defination of a "date". Apparently, different people have different definations.

17. Are chuck norris jokes funny?
Hysterical. Especially in a room full of drunk Episcopalians, right, Bob?

18. What's your favorite food?
Buffalo Chicken, in any form. Shepherd's Pie. Irish rashers.

19. What's the last movie you saw in the theater?
Atonement (amazing!!), August Rush, Enchanted, Sweeney Todd (phenomenal!!!)

20. Can you live without the computer?
as long as I have my Palm, I'm good.

21. Do you hide your emotions?

22. What is your favorite movie?
Gone With the Wind. Pride and Prejudice (BBC version). Breakfast Club. Sixteen Candles.

23. Do you like chick flicks?

24.When was the last time you got flowers?
umm...I think it was on my 30th birthday.

25. Who was the last person you were in a moving vehicle with?
the family

26. Best kind of pizza?
Buffalo chicken.

27. Would you take care of your friends while they're sick?
of course

28. What was the last CD you purchased?
Physical cd? I believe it was Nirvana's Greatest Hits, the Enchanted Soundtrack, and the new David Crowder Band.

31. What is a band/singer you will always love?
New Kids on the Block, David Crowder, Chris Tomlin, Chris LeDoux, Rich Mullins

32. Have you ever watched a movie drunk?
I've never been that would be no.

33. Do you wish at 11:11?

34. Do you have any piercings?
not anymore. My ears ripped out during my sophomore year of high school while I was in the Miss Teen of Illinois pageant.

35. Last person you hugged?
church Sunday: you Kara!!, Ernie, Clark, Sue.

36. Where is the weirdest place you have slept?
the boat dock at LSBC

37. What are you wearing on your feet?
black leather boots

38. Who was the last person you laid in bed with?
Three year old Clayton - he doesn't like to go to sleep sometimes, so Randa has "to go to sleep" with him.

39. What is your natural hair color?
no clue. I was born blonde, I shall die blonde, and shall forever more be blonde.

40. How many people have you texted today?
just is his birthday, so I sent him a happy birthday text at 6:30 a.m.

41. Who was your last comment from?
on facebook...Joe Goldsberry...informing me that I must come to Italy to visit him.

42. What is your current conversation about?
no conversation right now.

43. Do you have a crush on someone?'
celebrity: Orlando Bloom, Colin Firth, Ben Miles, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Joe Cole (Chelsea FC)
non-celebrity: just one.............

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Return of a Poet

I have returned to writing poetry. Here is the latest.

For Him

Night is falling
And I’m all alone again
My heart cries out for you
Why did you vanish?

How much more of this can I take?
This up and down, hot and cold
Is tearing me apart inside
Do you even comprehend?

Your behavior is a conundrum to me
I don’t understand the things you do
The things you say, the things you don’t
Why is it that you communicate in riddles?

Tonight I watch as the rains deluge
The winds howl, the thunder rages
But it is not as tumultuous as my soul
What can I do to calm the storm inside?

Your words are like raindrops on the desert cactus
I soak them up and hold them close inside of me
This silence is a drought for my heart
How much longer will this drought continue?

Once I played in the rain, in the storm
I long for a perfect rain storm outside
To calm the storm that rages inside
How do I make the rains come again?


Sometimes I think that I don’t even know you
Yet at other times I feel closer to you than anyone
The paradoxical aspects of you confuse me
Will I ever get to see the real you?

I need a sign to show me the path to take
Because I can’t travel down this road I’m on any longer
This road of heartache and hurt, ecstasy and hope
Can you pick the road we’re supposed to be on?

I can’t come to grips with the hurt anymore
Albeit unintentional, you don’t know what you’ve done
So tonight I implore with you with all of my heart
Please bring to an end the hurt, and just simply love me?

For J.R.

For J.R. I still miss you, my friend.

Sunny days seem to hurt the most
I wear the pain like a heavy coat
I feel you everywhere I go
I see your smile, I see your face
I hear you laughing in the rain
Still can't believe you're gone

It ain't fair, you died too young
Like a story that had just begun
But death tore the pages all away
God knows how I miss you
All the hell that I've been through
Just knowing no one could take your place
Sometimes I wonder who you'd be today

Would you see the world?
Would you chase your dreams?
Settle down with a family?
I wonder, what would you name your babies?
Some days the sky's so blue
I feel like I can talk to you
And I know it might sound crazy

It ain't fair you died too young
Like a story that had just begun
But death tore the pages all away
God knows how I miss you
All the hell that I've been through
Just knowing no one could take your place
Sometimes I wonder who you'd be today

Sunny days seem to hurt the most
I wear the pain like a heavy coat
The only thing that gives me hope
Is I know I'll see you again someday

Sunday, January 6, 2008


I don't know which hurts worse right now: my knee, my head, my neck or my heart.

Please, God, take this pain away. I'm giving it all up to You. Heal my head, my knee, my neck, and most of all, heal my heart. It can't take much more of this. Help me. Please. I'm crying out to You with everything I have left in me. Take it all away.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

About Last Night

Last night, I was in a car accident. I was sitting on the corner of Fayette and Chatham, waiting to turn onto Fayette when this kid in a white car rear-ended me. I looked up in the rearview mirror, saw him approaching and actually thought, wow, it doesn’t look like he is slowing down, and as soon as the thought happened, I was hit at full speed. The kid didn’t even attempt to slow down.

I hit my head on the steering wheel, and my right knee on the dashboard, which than began to bleed. Police were called, and representatives from Springfield PD, Jerome and Leland Grove all showed up, and spent the first five minutes discussing whose jurisdiction the accident happened in. When it was decided that it was Springfield PD, I then sat in my car, bleeding, for what seemed like an eternity for them to fill out the paperwork before I could leave to go to the ER.

After I was free to go, my sister drove me to St. John’s ER, where I was x-rayed, examined, and told that I have whiplash, a head injury and a damaged knee. X-rays showed that the knee wasn’t broken, which is good. I was also given Viocidin for the pain, which I have never had before. Good stuff.

So today, I am at home, watching Gilmore Girls on DVD and taking lots of Viocidin for the massive pain that I am in. I am supposed to stay off of my knee for a while, and if my head doesn’t quit hurting, I may just rip it off.

If anyone is bored and wants to come visit me…feel free!! I will just be at home for the next few days in a drug-induced state and would love visitors! (and gifts, if you want…)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Goodbye 2007, Hello 2008

So, this is the obligatory end of the year post.

This past year has been full of ups and downs. Here are the highlights:

*Lost my job at the daycare. As it turns out, it was a good thing. The stress of the daycare was getting to be way too much. I miss seeing the kids on a daily basis, though. But I still see the ones that I want to, such as Scott & Nathan (of course), Lucas, Mackenzie, Claire, Janie, and Ben. Christmas wasn’t the same this year without making a dozen handprint “holly” wreaths.

*Got a new job at the church. More money, benefits, better hours. I don’t have to worry about getting puked or pooped on. And, I get to use my degree for a change. The last few weeks have been incredibly busy and stressful, but now that Christmas is over, it should lighten up some. (Until the Lent/Easter season, which begins in 6 weeks).

*Went to Ireland, Scotland and England this summer. Life-changing trip. I am so proud to be Irish! Still can’t stop talking about my trip, it was that amazing. I am now ordering food off of, drinking my body weight in Earl Gray tea, and redecorated my living room in the English Manor style. Oh, and I met Orlando Bloom. Really, can’t find a negative to the trip…outside of the flight home. And the roads, which were incredibly narrow and scary to drive on.

*Love life is full of ups and downs. Men suck. I just don’t understand why they do the things they do sometimes. I need an owners’ manual. Or, maybe I should just start following the advice of my dear friend Joe, which is to throw rocks at them. And that they are all gay. I am ready to start throwing rocks at their heads. I am that frustrated!!

*Camp this year was amazing. It was the best of times, and it was the worst of times. Kids lives were changed. God was glorified. Oh, and I had the most incidents reported to the Regional office than any other camp that summer. My counselors and staff were great. Couldn’t ask for better. Ok, so maybe if I could convince Zach Alvey that throwing lightening bugs into fans is not a good FOB activity, it would be better. I already have my theme picked out for next summer.

*The kids are growing up fast. Barrett is now 7½ and is playing every sport possible, and kicking butt at all of them. Ella Marie will be 6 in a week and is in kindergarten, which totally blows my mind. I remember taking care of her as an infant! Clayton is 3½ and is completely insane. He is constantly cracking me up! Nathan is almost 5, and is getting to be such a little man. Scott (my Punky) is 2 and is becoming more and more an imp each time I see him. A new Goebel was born in November, Conner David. He is such a cutie! Julie does good work. He doesn’t do much right now but sleep, poop, eat and spit up.

*I am now officially in my 30s. This past summer, I turned 31. It sometimes doesn’t feel like it. At times, I feel like I am just out of college, ready for life to begin, and at other times, it seems like high school and college were 1000 years ago. This May will be my 10 year college reunion. It doesn’t seem possible.

*Friends have gotten engaged, married, and had babies this past year. At times, I feel like my life is on pause, waiting for the play button to get pushed. At other times, I love being single, and being able to just be “Randa”.

So what’s in store for 2008? According to my horoscope in my British edition of Cosmo, the biggest changes in a quarter of a century will happen this year. Whether or not that happens, there are a few things that I would like to do by the end of the year. I don’t want to call them resolutions, because resolutions are usually broken. I’ll call them goals for the year instead:

*Lose 15 pounds. If I can do that, I’ll be close to my high school/college weight again.

*Organize my closet. It’s such a mess right now. I have a really cute little black Gap skirt that I have been looking for for the last three weeks and still can’t find it anywhere.

*Raise the bar at camp this summer. I am hoping to write two curriculums instead of one, with a separate curriculum for boys and girls. I hope I can pull it off.

*Date a boy. It’s simple for most people, but if you know me at all, you know how hard this is for me.

*Own a piece of Burberry. I wanted to get one while in London, but ran out of pounds. London’s an expensive place, and the exchange rate is crap right now for us.

Last night, for New Years, when I finally went to bed, I slipped a piece of mistletoe under my pillow. According to Irish tradition, if a young lady sleeps with mistletoe under her pillow on New Years, she will dream of her future husband. I did dream of someone last night….so I guess I’ll have to wait and see…….hmmm………