Showing posts from 2008

Resolutions I should make

Years ago, I would make resolutions, none of which I would ever keep. The majority of them involved losing weight, but I gave that fight up years ago. I am saving a goal of losing 10 pounds for my 20-year reunion in 2009. I figure about two months out from that (still not sure when it is), I can diet and drop the weight. I have not tried to lose weight since 2002, so I will probably be surprised at how difficult it will be. But I can have hope!

I had incentive: Bally's sent me an offer of $100 for a year's membership or $65 to go only twice a week. Brian said I should take a one hundred dollar bill and burn it because he doubted I would ever go (I payed 17 bucks per month for almost two years, and I think I went twice). So I had decided to go for the 2x a week deal until I read somewhere that Bally's was going bankrupt. I figured I would probably not bother going the first couple of months, then Bally's would go under, and I would get mad. So I guess I will continue to …

Merry Christmas!

I wanted to wish everyone a merry Christmas. I hope the day finds you in good health and spirits. And may you get everything you wish for, or at least everything you need.
-Facie *******

And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothing and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For tod…

In praise of the Christmas letter

Growing up, my family received a few Christmas letters. One family's in particular stands out. It went something like this:

This year started off with a bang. The family rang in the new year at Time Square. I am pretty sure Dick Clark winked at Kitty. In the spring, Katherine was inducted into the National Honor Society while Nathan placed first in the science fair. Both kids kept busy studying, volunteering, and staying active in sports. The summer brought a fun trip to the beach, although Red sure ended up just like his name with that hot sun! This fall Katherine was a beautiful homecoming queen and best of all, she found out she got accepted to Harvard! She is hoping she can continue to play volleyball there while she studies science. For now Nathan is just going to have to settle for being at the top of his eight grade class and fighting off the girls. Kitty and Red have stayed busy as well, with Red getting another promotion at work, and Kitty driving the kids everywhere, deli…

The most wonderful time of the year

Yesterday, while driving Jordan to Target to get her Christmas pictures taken, someone on a radio station announced there was only 15 days until Christmas. Today makes it two weeks. Ah! Ugh! Eeek! I am not ready!

I woke up this morning with my stomach feeling rather bleh. I wanted to get some things done at work today, so I figured I would try to muddle through. When I turned down lunch with my friends for our weekly jaunt to the cafe next door and decided to instead go home, having eaten only one little pretzel all day, I figured I was in trouble.
Fortunately, for some odd reason, I feel a lot better. I never did get sick, so I have no idea why my stomach is just mildly, barely irritated now. Brian, on the other hand, was not so lucky. Jordan too had something this past weekend.
I still have Christmas shopping to do and not a lot of time to get it done. Since I no longer feel as if I am going to hurl, I wonder if I should not run out now. Happily, we already exchanged gifts with the n…

Happy birthday in techno

And the "It's my birthday!" pin goes back into my jewelry box for another year. In 1996, my first year in the the 'Burgh, Lara, a college friend (wonder where she is), gave me the pin, which came attached to a birthday card, for my birthday. I have worn it every birthday since. But the emphasis I have placed on my birthday has gone down over the last six or so years.

During the first few years at my current job, I would send out a staff-wide email, reminding everyone that my birthday was only one month a way. I stopped doing that probably in 2000 or 2001. Lynnie, a coworker, used to decorate my workspace with twinkling lights and other paraphernalia, but that stopped once our offices moved across a couple of rivers just before my birthday in 2002; now we put a simple "Happy Birthday" banner across each other's workspace.
For my years, I gathered friends for a birthday dinner at some restaurant in the area, but that too has fallen by the wayside. Most of m…

She's an angel

I recall, very clearly, being the donkey in the Christmas program when I was in first grade. I recall walking around the church staring at my feet, though I don't remember which end I was (that I remember staring at my feet is probably pretty telling). I really just wanted to be a pretty angel, but did not get the nod. When second grade came, I thought surely I would get to be an angel that year, but, no, I ended up being a reader. I remember being mad that Heidi, who peed her pants in first grade, got to be an angel. I seem to recall one girl in my class got to be an angel two years. Me? I never wore the silver tinsel halo or white cardboard wings.

I was relaying this story to some friends while out to lunch yesterday. I said I had not thought about it in years, but once I found out that Jordan's kindergarten class was doing the Nativity, all the memories came rushing back. I joked that I was going to email Jordan's teacher, begging her to let Jordan be an angel. So imagin…

What I am thankful for

In honor of Thanksgiving, I thought I would list all the things I thank God for, in no particular order after the first three, off the top of my head.

Happy Turkey Day!

My family (both my little family of three and my "original" family plus their spouses and especially my nieces and nephews)My and my family's health (Jordan's 85th cold of the year notwithstanding)My friendsThe roof over my head that we can still afford to pay forFood to eatCars that run and only one car paymentThat Brian and I both still have our jobsMy obsession with money (that has kept us from spending what we don't have)Having a flexible jobJordan's schoolMy church, the choir, Fr. JohnPenn State in the Rose BowlThe Steelers at the top of their divisionCelebrating a birthday lunch with friends every year at Mad MexHappy hour with friendsJust knowing I can go back to the gym next yearHaving gained only 5 pounds in the last few months despite non-stop eatingSweat pants and sweat shirtsThe abil…

A place for everything, and everything in its place

Today Jordan went to a concert at Heinz Hall with her kindergarten class. She informed us that Miss someone or other (not one of her teachers) was wrong and there WAS a harp there. Jordan also said she saw chandeliers and that they sat in red velvet seats. (Are those new at Heinz Hall or was it that I never noticed them? And by new, I mean in the last six or seven years or however long it has been since I was there [man, this makes me miss my theatre subscription].)

I am glad Jordan was able to experience this outing, but that, unfortunately, was not the thing she focused on. No, she informed me that the mother who drove her smoked. Jordan then said that she must be a bad mommy. I told her, no, smoking does not make her a bad mommy, and I reminded her smoking is a bad habit. But then Jordan informed me that this woman threw her cigarette butt on the ground. Houston, we have a problem.

Pennsylvania has a litterbug hot-line. The number (888.548.8372) is programmed into my cell phone, and …

Third time is the charm

My friend Q has an apple-tasting party every November. During this evening, guests sample about 15 to 20 different apple varieties (BYOK--bring your own knife) and then comment on and rate them. Once done tasting, everyone has the opportunity to try to guess the "mystery apple." This evening is a lot like a wine-tasting, except you actually consume the apples rather than spit them out, as you would wine. And, happily for me, there is plenty of snack food, including cheese and bread, to help cleanse the palate, as well as an array of beverages (yes, wine).

At the end of the tasting, the group goes around the room and shares some of their comments on select apples. This year, there was a decidedly anti-Obama crowd, so some of the comments centered on Hope and Change as well as a few other gems. When it came time to reveal the mystery apple, I held my breath, wondering if I would once again guess correctly, yet also lose the inevitable tie-breaker.

I and four others correctly gue…

Teach your children well

I may not have had a lot of jobs in my life, but I can tell you that parenting is by far the hardest. And I am very aware that the most difficult years are yet to come.

More than anything, I want Jordan to treat everyone with respect and be as nice to everyone as much as possible. During the past couple of months, I was made painfully aware that racism is still alive and well. Not as bad as some would have you to believe; after all, Obama would not have been elected president were it not for the white votes. But, as one poster in the P-G forum accused me of, I had been living in La-La Land, completely unaware that there were more than a just a few people who harbored racist feelings and agendas.

I live in a community where I am in a minority or close to. On my street, if nothing else, there are more black people than white people. Having grown up in a town that was about 98 percent white, I welcome this, and truth be told, I was a little prejudiced growing up. So I think it is great tha…

It's only a game (except it isn't)

Just when I was finally heading into the acceptance stage after Tuesday's election, Penn State had to lose today. I was really starting to believe that PSU might actually end up playing for the national championship, but with a couple of minutes to go, I knew it was not to be.

Except I was still holding out hope. Just as when I went to bed around 10 Tuesday night and Obama had something like 200 electoral votes. I told myself that maybe McCain could pull it out. Once I knew PA and Ohio went to Obama, the chances were pretty close to zilch, just as I knew PSU was headed for its first loss when Iowa was on the 20 yard line (or thereabouts) and had almost no chance of missing a field goal from that close.

So now I am back to sadness or depression, or whichever stage that is. There is almost no way PSU can play for the national championship, and what makes it so hard to take is I feel as if this would have been JoePa's last, best chance. I love that man.

My eyes actually welled up wi…

Still stuck in anger

I want to be happy that the country has elected its first black president. It really is a great, long overdue event. But why did it have to be Obama, such a liberal guy?
I was on one of the P-G forums yesterday, and a poster told some people to stop bashing Obama because we have had to put up with 8 years of W's stuff (or something like that; I cannot seem to find the forum anymore).So let me get this straight: I have had to listen to Bush bashers for eight years, but only 12 hours after the election was called, people are not allowed to be upset or say negative things because their candidate lost/the candidate that they did not like won?! Since the forum is now gone, removed, vanished, I guess that gives me my answer. Perhaps the Fairness Doctrine was put back into place overnight!
Another poster talked about restoring the image of the country. I believe that a big part of the tarnished image is that people did not stand behind Bush. It is one thing to disagree with a president, bu…

Dave would not approve

After months of yapping about a flat-screen TV, we finally broke down and bought one. A lovely, well-reviewed, 42", high-definition, plasma Panasonic model. When Brian, Jordan, and I picked it out at Sears last night, I said something like, "Meet your new little brother, Jordan."

Sure, we are pretty much in a recession, but I figured I should do my part in stimulating the economy and spreading my own wealth. Because we paid for it with gift cards purchased at Giant Eagle, our next two plus fill-ups will be free. And apparently buying Sears gift cards qualified us for $5 off our next order. How can you argue with that, the $200-off sale price, and three free months of an HD DVR receiver from Verizon FiOS?!

As I have been explaining to friends over the past few weeks, watching our 19" TV in bed has put a strain on my eyes. Most people's vision improves as they get older. Me? Not so much. I have really noticed my squinting when I try to read the guide on TV. And whe…

All over the place

That is where my thoughts are, all over the place.

I wanted to write a post about how the first time you do, see, or experience something is often the most memorable. A few weeks ago, I took Jordan to Reeger's farm near where my mom lives. If you happen to be in or around Indiana County and you have kids, this is a great place to spend a Saturday in October. From the hayride, to sliding down the silo, to climbing up the hay bales, to playing in the candy corn, to the corn maze, this place rocks. But, alas, it was not as good as it was the first time we went, last year. Part of the reason was because it was about 80 degrees and sunny, and I was wearing black (a Depeche Mode concert shirt from '93, another good first). But the other reason is, is that the corn maze was so cool the first year, that anything after just pales in comparison. Trying to find each of the clues and answer the questions got my competitive edge (mostly non-existent as of late) going.

And that got me thinkin…

My first political rally

Yesterday, I and a coworker went to a rally for John McCain. It started out with odd directions and multiple turns and exits thanks to "Beverly" (what I dubbed my coworker's navigation system). But once we got on a road behind a car with an Illinois license plate and a McCain sticker, we figured we were headed in the right direction. I joked that that person must have had it with Obama.
When we pulled into the parking lot designated "event parking," which was located a couple of blocks from the school, we saw dozens of cars with McCain bumper stickers. After we parked, we saw numerous people with McCain-Palin paraphernalia, and we followed them to the chartered bus. A far cry from the area of Pittsburgh where I live. The mood was pretty festive on the bus and waiting in line outside the building once we got off the bus. There were at least a dozen Obama supporters across from the entrance, but the crowds on both sides were civil.
Once inside, we tried to get as …

Dreams, Goals & Lists

That was the title of a presentation that a freelance photographer gave at a recent staff meeting where I work. He talked about wanting to go to NYC, to meet girls, maybe to be famous. Not sure which of those were dreams and which were goals. But as he was speaking, it occurred to me that I don't really have any dreams anymore. I don't mean that in a crushing sort of way; I know it certainly sounds a little sad or pathetic. And the reason I don't have dreams has little to do with that I think they won't come true, although I am a bit of a realistic and certainly cynical. Most of all, I am a slacker.

When I was in high school, I wanted, at least a little bit, to be an actress. I had the lead in my high school musical, so it did not seem so far-fetched. But once I got to PSU and tried out for some musicals and choral groups and did not make the first cut for anything, I gave that up. But the reality is, I am too much of a homebody to have been an actress. I would never li…

Let's go, State!

For once, I will be brief (don't get used to it). I just wanted to get in a quick post to celebrate Penn State's being number 3 in the country in the AP poll. I say, "JoePa," you say, "Terno." "JoePaTerno." They are looking pretty darn good. If they can end the season with a win in BCS Bowl, maybe JoePa can retire. And probably should. Wow, I never thought I would say that.

And Pitt is still in the top 25 (yes, Virginia, you CAN like both Pitt and Penn State).

The Steelers are sitting atop their division.

And I am in second place in my fantasy football league (though I may need Nate Kaeding of San Diego to kick six field goals to stay that way).

All is right in the world of football. Can I get an Amen?!

Guilt is a powerful motivator

In some ways, I feel as if my life is ruled by guilt. It is a sad way to be, really, as I find there are few things I do in life because I really want to.

I sing in my church choir during the school year, which involves a couple hours of practice during the week plus a few more on Sunday. I enjoy doing this, but it takes me away from my family, although I am mostly okay with this smallish commitment. On the other hand, my choir also has additional concerts, practices for those concerts, fundraisers, etc. I participate in the fundraisers because I feel guilty if I don't; I certainly wouldn't want someone to think I am not pulling my weight. Some extras I go to and feel bad because I am missing family time and other extras I skip and I feel bad because I think I am letting my small choir down.

I have been invited to countless things over the past few years. I go to as many as I can, because I don't want to let people down, particularly when it involves friends I don't see …

Ah, fall

Fall is my favorite season for a number of reasons. Football is a big one for me, obviously (I like hockey, but don't typically watch more than a period or two of any one game until the spring). Cooler temps is another, though I have to say when the temps turned colder the other day, I almost longed for summer.

When I was kid, I lived for summers. My family went to Ocean City, Maryland, pretty much every year until my senior year in high school. We would lie in the sun and swim in the ocean for hours. Now I hate to bake in the sun, the ocean water is usually too cold, and a bathing suit is my least favorite article of clothing, so it's no wonder summer and the beach no longer hold the allure they once did. And when you are a grown-up, you don't get your summers off anymore (unless you are a teacher).

Fall also means I shave my legs only twice a week! Believe me, this is an improvement over two years ago, when I shaved only once per week. I told myself the extra hair was help…

Rough game

What a massacre those Steelers were involved in last night/early this morning. Players were dropping faster than the Dow has been lately. Sheesh! Watching a game like that reminds me what a dangerous sport football is and that some, maybe a lot, of the players deserve to make good money. Sure, there are far more noble professions, but, ah, football.

In my third year of fantasy football (I won the Super Bowl last year, by the way), I once again drafted a Steelers player (well, more accurately, Yahoo drafted a Steelers player for me). I am always glad to have a member of the Black and Gold on my team as it makes their doing well doubly great. Thank you, Santonio, for finally scoring a TD this season. What tends to happen, however, is Steelers players tend to have a bad year when they are on my team. Hopefully, Santonio can break that bad habit.

The downside of fantasy football is when the Steelers play someone who is on my fantasy team or when my fantasy opponent has someone on the Steele…

Just don't have it in me

When I started writing this blog, I was not sure what I would write about. I was fairly certain, however, that I would ramble on and on, whatever the topic. About eight or nine months into this, I mostly ramble about politics and money. But right now, I am just sick of both of those things.

I am tired of reading about the latest bank/business/whatever to go bankrupt or be bought out. I don't like worrying about money. And yet I am worried that I am not worried as much as I should be.

The excitement I felt when McCain picked a refreshing woman as his running mate? That has almost evaporated. Should I be concerned by her lack of experience? I don't know. What I do know is that about all the candidates can do is throw jabs at each other. I am just sick of it. I had a dream about Sean Hannity last night. I think it is time to turn off Fox News.

I will try to watch some of the debate tonight, but I am not sure how long I will make it; my heart is just not in it. I am not sure anything…

Doing my civic duty (sort of)

I felt a sense of impending dread at approximately 5:01 each evening for the past two weeks as I had to call in to see if I was selected for jury duty.

Not knowing from to day to day was a big part of my trepidation. I was unable to schedule calls or meetings with clients or promise I would get them something by a certain date. More worrisome was that I drop Jordan off at school four mornings a week, at a time that would be too late for me to make it on time for jury duty. Plus I am with Jordan most of the day Wednesday, save for the few hours she is in school. So Brian, too, was unable to schedule some site visits since he would need to pinch-hit for me. Two weeks seems like an awfully long time to have to put your life somewhat on hold.

Fortunately, my company pays people who serve on jury duty. For others who are not so luckily, I cannot imagine what they would do if they missed several weeks of pay. I could not help but think of the single parent making little money to begin with an…

Should I put my money under a mattress?

It seems as if every day you hear about another bankruptcy or government bailout. I want to think my money in the bank is safe because I have nowhere close to 100k, but then I read another article that tells me the amount of money in bank accounts is way over what the government has to back it. Or something like that. Eek!

The question I keep hearing over and over is, "Are you better off today than you were eight years ago?" For me, the answer is yes. Surprisingly enough, even with a kid (one kid!), I save more money than I did years ago. And if you are not talking about just money, I have a daughter I did not have before as well as five nieces and nephews. We are all relatively healthy. And, as John Steigerwald pointed out, the Steelers are doing better now than they were eight years ago, when Kent Graham was the QB. Remember him? Penn State is certainly starting off the year right, but I don't remember how they did in '00.

But of course (obviously) I worry about the …

Remembering 9/11

Some people would rather just forget the tragedy of 9/11 ever happened seven years ago. But I don't think we should. After it first happened, I was not sure I would ever be the same, even though I did not know anyone who had perished or had been injured. I did know several people who lived or worked in NYC as well as near the Pentagon, and Flight 93 crashed about a mile from a house on Indian Lake my family had back when I was in high school and college. In fact, I might have actually walked near or by the crash site (before it became the crash site). So in that respect, I felt connected.

When I heard about the first plane crash, I was listening to B94 and getting ready for work, and I did not think much of it. But when I got in my car probably 10 or 15 minutes later and heard about the second crash, and then I heard Howard Stern talk about a terrorist attack, I was dumbfounded. At work, Luke, our IT kid, was holding a TV antenna so we could watch the events on TV in the admin con…

The mommy wars

Some people feel very strongly about working mothers (for or against), and with Sarah Palin, mother of five, including a special needs child as well as a teenage daughter who is pregnant, on the ticket, the debate is really heating up.

Some time ago, Sarah Palin said she was not even sure what the VP did (I am paraphrasing). And I have to say I am not entirely sure either, other than knowing that the VP is one heartbeat away from being president (I think I have heard that phrase no fewer than 20 times in the past five days). Sometimes I think Cheney's biggest claim to fame during his tenure will be that he shot his hunting buddy in the face. I have already forgotten most of the details about the Scooter Libby saga, as I am sure many have as well.

I am a working mother; I don't think I am wired to stay at home full time. But when I was pregnant, I don't think I gave it much thought; due to our circumstances, we had no choice but for me to work. Some people seem born to be wit…

Maybe I will vote for McCain

Either McCain's choice of Sarah Palin for veep is absolutely brilliant or it will sound the death knell (I think I mean knell, not knoll).

I agree with many Obama supporters that McCain should not have talked about Obama's lack of experience and then turn around and pick a candidate with little experience herself; that could really hurt him. But I am not the only one who is not voting for Obama for a reason other than his inexperience. His views are just fundamentally different from mine (In fact, I took yet another quiz. Ron Paul got me 15 points, McCain and Bob Barr got me 8 and 7. And Obama, 0). Really, what makes a person qualified to be president? I would never vote for someone who had not held any office, but I am more turned off by someone who has a ton of experience, particularly someone who has been in Congress for decades. Of the two (Obama and Palin), neither is particularly qualified (though you could argue being a mayor and then governor is a more experience than b…

I want to be the Olympics

This is what Jordan has said a few times, after having watched several Olympic events. She asked us if she was going to be in the Olympics when she got older, and I said probably not, but if she ended up being really good at a sport because she practiced, it was possible.

At her birthday party last week while swimming, she kept telling people, "I am the Olympics," or "I want to be the Olympics." I tried to tell her she cannot be the Olympics, but we won't have to talk about this again for another four years (well, I guess two), so might as well let that go. After all, I never corrected Jordan when she called an umbrella a rainbrella. I thought it was cute and could not bear to see that go away, and she probably does not even remember ever having said rainbrella. She might still say upslide down, but whatever.

Who knows what Jordan will be when she grows up, but now that she has started kindergarten, there is no turning back now. Lord knows I have not figured it …

Here, here!

I read an article in the P-G yesterday that said what I have been feeling for months. In a nutshell, those of us who bought homes that were no more than what we could afford, pay our mortgage and taxes on time, save money every month, and just live beneath our means in general are getting the shaft.

I do feel sorry for people in bad situations, especially those who did not live above their means and unfortunately found themselves with, say, a medical condition and poor/no health insurance or out of work. But I have a lot trouble sympathizing with families who earn 30, 40, 50k a year, buy a 200k house, drive nice cars and take yearly beach vacations and then cry because they got in over their heads.

I know someone who recently lost his job. He has blown through his savings as well as his retirement. I asked what he was going to do, until he finds another job, and he said he is hopeful it will work out. It is nice to have a good attitude; certainly worrying about it isn't going to get…

I'm not a doctor but I play one on TV

This past weekend, I went to Diamond Days, which is a weekend-long event that takes place in the town where I grew up. Jordan and I have met my dad there for the past three or four years; he tends to travel up this way for DD since it coincides with Jordan's birthday (or at least it did up until this year). I always run into some people who still live there. But mostly it is just a nice time to walk around the booths and head over to the children's area.

This year, as I did last year, I stopped by the medical van to get my blood pressure, body fat, and bone density tested. It did not start out well. The tester, who I am guessing had to be at least in his upper 70s, seemed not to know what he was doing. I was convinced, after about three minutes of his pumping up my arm, that my eyeballs were going to pop from my head and that my arm was going to burst. After all that, he tells me he could not get a read. I told him I was in so much pain, I might be dead, so maybe that was why. …

U-S-A! U-S-A!

I find myself drawn to the Olympics this year similarly as I was when I was younger. I don't think I caught a single event in the 2004 Olympics, and I am not sure why; I have always enjoyed the Olympics, and I have quite a few memories over the years.

I remember the '84 Summer Olympics and the men's gymnastics team. I thought I was in love with Mitch Gaylord. Loved watching him on the rings. Bart was great. And that Mary Lou Retton was so cute and amazing.

I remember the '88 Winter Olympics. Debbie Thomas was one of the favorites in figure skating, and I think she stumbled, to Katarina Witt perhaps. Debbie ended up with the bronze, and I grabbed my ice skates, walked down to the frozen lake at our lake house, and took a few novice spins on the ice, as some sort of a cathartic process/homage to Debbie. At PSU three or four years later, I took an ice skating PE, where I learned some basic moves. My love for ice skating goes back to Dorthy Hamil. I had the doll and somethin…

Time flies

If I were not so lazy, I would have posted some pictures of the summer adventures we have had thus far. But doing so requires that I first download the pictures from my camera, which happens only a few times a year, not to mention I have no idea where the thingy is that connects from my camera to the computer, which allows said downloading (or is it file transferring?) to take place.

If I had those pictures on my computer, you could have seen a boat ride, some picnics and get-togethers, birthday parties and a christening, days at the park and nights looking at starts, a trip to Idlewild, and the first day of Steelers training camp (still hope to get the pic up of me and Steely McBeam). Still to come are the community days at the town where I grew up, another afternoon in the Burgh, and Jordan's fifth birthday party.

My kid is going to be 5 in just two weeks. How can that be? It seems like just yesterday when I was having contractions at work and my friend Q said it was probably gas…

Honk for Obama

For the second time in about six weeks, I drove past a group of people waving Obama signs, some of which read, "Honk for Obama." On this day, the peopled who probably numbered 20 or 30 were having a barbecue to help register voters and, of course, garner support for Obama. As I did when I drove past them the last time, I waved my fists in the air, which made the sign holders cheer.

Jordan asked me why I did this, and I said, "These people really want this man to be the next president, and it makes them happy that I just did that." I could not honk my horn because I do not support Obama, but I do support these people and am glad for them, and envious, actually, that they are excited about their candidate. I wish I could be.

The election is about three months away, and, once again, I do not want either of the top two candidates to be president. Several friends and relatives tell me if I vote for Ron Paul, who does stand for most of the things I believe in, I will be wa…

The One

This past weekend, at the service for my former babysitter, I ran into the mom of a pretty good friend (partner in crime, really) from high school. I had met the mom only once, and did not recognize her. During our conversation, I found out her son he had moved back to area. I told her it would be great to hear from him or see him again, and she said she would tell him she ran into me. She asked if I was married and had kids, and I asked the same of her son. She said he had a girlfriend, but that she was not "the one." And then she said, "I think you were the one." I felt a little weird, but I managed to say something like he was a great guy/good friend. We both did like each other at different times, perhaps once at the same time, but it was just not meant to be.

But what is "the one" really? Except in very rare cases, I just don't believe there is only one person meant for each of us. After all, I have thought probably three or four different guys we…

The world around me

Sometimes I click on the "Next Blog" link at the top of my blog. In my self-centered existence, I often forget that there are millions of people on this earth who have lives that are as important and meaningful to them as my (pretty boring) life is to me.

Usually, when I happen upon a blog, I curse myself for not knowing another language (maybe Obama IS on to something). I have seen blogs written in about a half dozen different languages, and I have little to no idea what they say. I can probably recognize about 30 or 40 French words that have not left my memory from three years of French in high school and maybe 20 or so Spanish words thanks to Dora and Sesame Street, but that is it and that does not help much.

It is weird yet cool to me to experience others' lives in this medium. I have read about numerous vacations, babies, moves, art projects, dinners, deaths, etc. My visit to one site was akin to checking out Playgirl magazine. I sometimes feel as if I know these peop…

Too late (but never for hope)

I felt so smug, so good about finally getting around to writing and mailing various greetings. Instead, I should have just written them in the first place. I found out this evening that Vera, the woman who babysat my brothers and me for most of our childhood, passed away last Saturday. Unfortunately, she will never know I sent her a card wishing her a recovery to her stroke; I am guessing that card probably did not make it to New Mexico in time. My heart is heavy this evening.

George Michael wrote a song called "Praying for Time." It came out about the time of the Gulf War. I really liked it; it was one of those songs that made me cry whenever I listened to it. I caught about 10 minutes of American Idol all season, but 5 of those minutes were of GM singing that song. It still made my eyes well up with tears. And that song is going through my head right now. I think the words are especially fitting in today's time. So I will close with those. But know this: I still have ho…

From ashes to ashes

One of our neighbors, Fran, passed away on Thursday. A few weeks ago, I ran across the street to ask his wife how he was doing (Fran had cancer). Betty said that hospice had come that day. My limited understanding of that service was that people used it at/near the end of life, so I assumed his time on this earth was ending soon. Still I did not know what I could do to help, so I simply hugged her and said I would pray for them.

Bri and I did not know these people well. I first met Betty when Jordan was just a few days old and my mom was staying with us. I had just gotten out of the shower, and I heard my mom talking to a woman whose voice I did not recognize. I could not imagine why my mother let a stranger into our house. Fortunately, Betty seemed nice, and from that time on, Bri and I waved whenever we saw them. At Halloween, when I would take Jordan trick-or-treating, Betty and Fran always invited us in for a few minutes. And once when our power went out and I did not know how to g…

The road to hell is paved with good intentions

At one time, I was one of the most thoughtful people I knew (or so I thought). I never forgot a birthday (I am still good about that). I wrote thank-you cards right away (I seem to recall baby and wedding shower ones being written in a week and wedding ones getting done in three, and that was only because the honeymoon got in the way). I found the right words to say when a loved one of a friend died. But then something happened, and it all went to hell in a hand basket.

Probably at least once a month I think about a thank-you note that never gotten written for a gift from Jordan's one uncle (Brian's mom's brother) and aunt. From December 2006. Because Bri's mother and her brother don't talk all that much, it was thoughtful for them to send Jordan gifts the first few years of her life. Yet, for whatever reason, I never sent a thank-you note for that gift, although I still contemplate writing one, thinking it is never too late. And I give them credit; since then, they…

Art, schmart

This past week, my company took us on a field trip to the Carnegie Museum to see the "Life on Mars" exhibition. The last time I was there was a few years ago, when my company took us on a field trip to see whatever that exhibition was (that is right, I have no clue; cannot remember a single thing I saw only two or three years ago). I can say that between trips, I don't feel as if I have missed anything, and I am just not sure I would go on my own, even though we received a membership to the four museums at Christmas.

First of all, I am not an artsy person. I bought a few pictures when we bought our house, and by looking at them, it is clear I don't have an eye for art. To be fair, we all have different tastes, but no one will ever walk into my home and rave over any of the art on my wall. But when it comes to a lot of stuff at museums, I just don't "get" most of the pieces.

Some guy threw some crystal balls, not much bigger than tennis balls, across one o…