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?