Back to School

So, today I go "back to school." Well, the kids don't have to go back to class for another two weeks, but it is 5:30 a.m. and I am getting ready to hop in the shower and head to work.

Where did the summer go? It sure as hell still feels like summer outside!

Goin' to Miami...

You Are Miami

Sexy and beautiful, you turn heads wherever you go. A little spicy and a little exotic, you're fully aware of your unique appeal. Totally high energy, you keep the party going early into the morning.


Summer Reading List

I always fantasize about having a summer on the beach. I can just see it: Sun shining, on a lawn chair under an umbrella, my beach bag next to me with a veritable library comprised of both classic and contemporary literature, working my way through the books one pina colada at a time.

I don't have that luxury at this point in my life. But, someday..... For now, I have to just imagine I am on the beach while I read anywhere I can catch a few spare minutes.

I went to the local mega-bookstore last night and stocked up on some new reading. Nothing excites me more than having a bunch of new books to read. I can't wait to get into them. (I know, I know... I'm a dork... I've come to terms with it.) Here are the books now in my "To Read" queue:

Dry by Augusten Burroughs - I read Bouroughs' first memoir Running with Scissors when it first came out several years ago and loved his sense of humor as he retold the (rather traumatic) story of his childhood. This is the follow-up memoir.

Bad Dirt by Annie Proulx - This is the author who wrote the short story Brokeback Mountain. This book is a collection of short stories that all take place in Wyoming. Should be a good read.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
by Betty Smith - I try to buy a "classic" that I haven't read each time I go to the book store. I like to think of myself as a well-rounded reader.

Sloppy Firsts
by Megan McCafferty - This is a young adult novel, with the main character in her upper teens and still living at home with mom and dad. Kind of reminds me of the type of novel that Judy Blume's Forever was at first glance.

Now I just need to decide which one to read first!

P.S. Congratulations to Mike and Paula on the birth of their daughter, Ella Marie, on July 27 at 4:20 p.m. She weighed 6 lbs., 14 ozs. We're going to visit the family soon!


Some useless stuff that occupies my mind...

- What is it with songs that spell words? I was flipping through the radio the other day and heard a song that was spelling something... I had to really focus for a couple minutes to figure out what it was spelling: T-E-Double N-E-Double S-Double E-G-I-R-L... Are you freakin' kidding me? I promptly changed the station.

- Driving by the local tanning salon yesterday, I noticed a sign in the window that said "T-BURN COMBO." Apparently, the tanning salon sells a weight-loss pill called the T-Burn Combo. My question: Is it really good business practices to place words like burn, blister, or cancer anywhere near a tanning salon's entrance?

- I lose sunglasses like no other. This is why I refuse to spend more than $10 on any pair. The minute I buy a nice pair of glasses, I either lose or break them. It is kind of a phenomena similar to the losing of socks in the dryer. Nobody really knows where they ever go and for whatever reason, they never seem to show up again.

- I try to eat foods that are good for me. Seriously, I really do. I'm also trying to lose a few pounds right now. So, why is it that the restaurants that sell healthy foods don't have a drive-thru window? I understand that if I want to eat something with less than 50 grams of fat per serving, I should be willing to get out of my car and walk into order my food. But when I'm in a hurry and running late for work, it sure is hard to spend the extra time and energy just for the sake of being healthy.

- Book to recommend: My Friend, Leonard by James Frey. Yeah, that's the guy who wrote the (partially) fictitious memoirs that pissed Oprah right off. This book is the follow-up to that book and it was way better than A Million Little Pieces. I really enjoyed it. My favorite part how the cover says, "An imaginitive story of real life."

- Current nail color: Royal Flush Blush.


I was baptized Catholic.

I received my First Communion in the Episcopal Church.

I was confirmed as a Lutheran.

However, since I left high school, religion has not been a big part of my life. I am spiritual in a way that works for me. I choose not to attend church services. I've been extremely disillusioned by people in the world who claim religion as the excuse to be intolerant pricks and war mongers.

Even as a young child, I remember getting into heated debates at the Baptist Vacation Bible School that I would attend. "How was it fair that just because a person is born in another part of the world, they would go to hell because they weren't born into a Christian family?" I would challenge. No answer was ever good enough for me.

Currently, the Episcopal Church is under a lot of heat for their "liberal" stance on issues such as allowing both women and homosexuals to be members of the clergy. Time Magazine did one of their "10 Questions" interviews with Katharine Jefferts Schori, a woman who has recently been elected as the Presiding Bishop for the USA. Read the article here.

Two of my favorite questions and answers in the article:

What is your view on intelligent design?
I firmly believe that evolution ought to be taught in the schools as the best witness of what modern science has taught us. To try to read the Bible literalistically about such issues disinvites us from using the best of recent scholarship.

Is belief in Jesus the only way to get to heaven?
We who practice the Christian tradition understand him as our vehicle to the divine. But for us to assume that God could not act in other ways is, I think, to put God in an awfully small box.

It is nice to see a religious leader who is sane enough to recognize that there is a real world out there and that trying to encompass all of it within the realm of theology causes us to discount a big part of what the universe is all about.

Almost makes me want to wake up early on Sunday morning and go to church.



Vehicle: 1990 Dodge Plymouth Caravan
Driven: April 1996-May 1997
Color: White with wood paneling
Excuse: It was my mom's car....
Damage: Slight fender bender with a lightpost at the grocery store

Vehicle: 1996 Mazda B-Series Pick-up Truck
Driven: May 1997-January 1999
Color: Red
Damage: Crunched up the front-end pretty badly in November of '97. Slid on some ice in my college parking lot into the back end of two other cars; Mom and Dad decided I didn't need a car at college after that.

Vehicle: 1991 Ford Festiva
Driven: April 1999-July 2001
Color: White with these really cool racing stripes
The Roller Skate
Excuse: I could afford it.
Damage: A few fender benders here and there, but nothing serious. Finally, some guy rear-ended me and totalled out the car... I got a check for $1350, which was more than I paid for the car. And, the insurance company let me keep the car because they didn't want to spend the money to have it towed. Score!

Vehicle: 1994 Ford Escort
Driven: July 2001-November 2001
Color: Black
Damage: The tranmission crapped out a few months after I got it, leaving me transportation-less for four months.

Vehicle: 2002 Kia Spectra
Driven: March 2002-July 2002
Color: Maroon-ish
Excuse: I know it is a Kia, but it was my first brand-new-nobody-else-has-driven-it car.

Interesting link to Kia's Crash Test Ratings
Damage: Flipped several times when I fell asleep driving home from work late one night. I was ejected out of the rear window, the car hit a light post and landed on top of me. I was banged up but okay, the car didn't make it.

Vehicle: 1999 Honda Civic
Driven: August 2002-March 2003
Color: Dark Green
Damage: In a drunken stupor, I took a curve too hard and hit another car. One of the biggest (and most expensive) mistakes I've ever made. I was charged with a felony, the car was pronounced DOA.

Vehicle: 1994 Acura Integra
Driven: July 2003-July 2004
Color: Kind of a turquoise
Damage: None that were my fault! Got hit from behind and totalled out the car. Still waiting on the personal injury settlement from that one. (Thanks Dr. Mike for your help!)

Vehicle: 1998 Mazda Protege
Driven: July 2004-November 2004
Color: Burgandy
Damage: Driving home late at night, some car went in the entrance to a subdivision the wrong way, causing me to drive up onto the median. On said median, there was a tree stump that tore under my car and ripped up the radiator. I was okay, other than some minor burns from the airbags.

Vehicle: 1993 Honda Accord
Driven: November 2004-July 2005
Color: Black
Damage: Car would continually overheat and leak oil. It got to the point where every time I needed to drive somewhere, I would pop open the hood and add anti-freeze and oil. Traded it in, knowing that it wouldn't make the drive up to Colorado.

Vehicle: 2004 Nissan Sentra
Driven: July 2005-Present
Color: Dark red
Damage: In December, I had a fender-bender and slightly buckled the hood of my car. Bill and
Dave fixed it, so I can open the hood and change the oil... I've been saying that I'm going to bring it in (okay, Dave, take it in) to get fixed 'next week' for the past six months. Maybe I'll call and make an appointment today.....

So, I'm averaging one car per year of driving experience.

Moral of the story: I just saved a ton on my auto insurance by switching to Geico!

P.S. This post would be better if freakin' Blogger didn't SUCK @$$ and would let me upload photos....


Puh-tay-toes or Puh-tah-toes?

Favorite and Favourite.

Old and Olde.

Through and Thru.

Night and Nite.

I found a new one the other day, though. I've heard of "Shop" and "Shoppe" but never...

"Shoppee"? Huh?

Located in the heart of beautiful Charlack, MO is the world famous John's Butcher Shoppee. Is this a misprint or an intentional mispelling? Perhaps Butcher John isn't a great speller or the sign maker thought he'd play a little trick on Johnny.

I think what makes the whole thing a little stranger is the creepy look on the butcher guy's face as he wields his meat cleaver above his head and points at his unsuspecting victim below....

Moral of the story: I got nothin'... I guess there's really no moral to the story... Oh, well.



Made it home from the float trip in one piece...

Can't wait 'til next year!


Float Trip '06

So, tomorrow I'll be leaving to go on the annual float trip with a bunch of friends. We camp a couple days and hang out in the river, then go on the actual float on Saturday. I'll be back and blogging by Sunday night. It is going to be good times.

Here's a picture of last year's float, so you can know what you're all missing. That's me with the purple wig - my name is Violet, after all. I am proudly showing all that I have successfully stripped the blow-up doll (Fatty Patty) of her silver Bud Light swim suit and changed out of mine into hers while on the raft in the middle of the river. Sorry, guys - I was on swim team forever and long ago mastered the art of changing into and out of swim suits without exposing myself.

Fatty Patty didn't make it through the float trip. She had her cherry popped while Damon rode down a mudslide on top of her... RIP, Fatty Patty. You'll be missed this year!



I like to think that I'm creative, but I don't have a lot of outlets for it. I guess maybe in my lesson planning for school or perhaps sometimes there is a spark of originality once in every long while on this blog.

However, I am consistently amazed at the creativity of the people that surround me in my life. One of those people is my good friend, Kathy. I have known her for about four years. In the time since we've met she has diligently pursued her passion for photography.

Today I got an e-mail from Kathy with a link to a website of photographs that she has taken. The site is still slightly under construction, but you will be able to see her true talent brilliantly blazing through. Please take a single minute out of your day to glance at her work. I hope you're as amazed as I am.

Kathy's Photos


The Yo-Yo....

I am about as uncoordinated as most people could ever get. I run into things constantly, am persistantly falling, and just generally drop 25% of the things that I am trying to carry. This "grace" is just part of my charm.

I'm jealous of people who can dance and play sports and.... walk and chew gum at the same time. The fad of the hackey sack during my middle and high school years was a source of constant agony. I've always wanted to learn how to juggle. But, most of all, I'm jealous of people who can yo-yo.

As a kid, I could usually manage to get the yo-yo to perform the typical up and down rhythm required as a basic skill. But, I could never figure out how to do any of those fancy-schmancy tricks. The problem is that yo-yo-ing seems easy enough that everybody should be able to do it... That is everybody in the entire world except me.

Walk the Dog, Gravity Pulls, Pinwheels, Time Warps, Ferris Wheels.... All beyond me.

I've given up trying to learn to become graceful and have accepted my role in society as somebody without any cool, eccentric talents that can land me a spot on one of those late night television shows. But, I definitely still watch with envy anytime I see some kid showing off with a yo-yo.


Oh, You Can't Get to Heaven....

So, Dave and I were out at dinner a while back and for some reason, one of us (probably me) began singing that silly kids' song "Oh, you can't get to heaven...." You know the one:

Oh, you can't get to heaven
(Oh, you can't get to heaven)
On roller skates
(On roller skates)
'Cause you roll right by
('Cause you roll right by)
Those pearly gates!
(Those pearly gates!)

Which then led us to creating our own verses, with the other person singing the echo part. Some of my favorite original verses:

Oh, you can't get to heaven
In a mini-skirt
'Cause God don't like it
When you're a flirt.

Oh, you can't get to heaven
In a three-legged race
'Cause you'll probably trip
On your shoelace.

Oh, you can't get to heaven
With your pet cats
'Cause heaven don't have
Any mice or rats.

Anyway, you get the picture. It was pretty sad how long this game was able to keep us entertained. Any suggestions for additional funny verses?


Happy 4th of July!

Seems like everybody is out celebrating this weekend... Make it great!