Friday, December 22, 2006

24 - starring ME!

As always - it's tough to distinguish who is REALLY on your side and who is double-crossing you, because you are in fact also double-crossing them and maybe double-crossing those that are double-crossing them with it?

Well Jack needed to go in and do the serious dirty work - so he had me leave the room - he didn't want me to have to see what he was going to do - and I also think that he secretly thought I might break and they'd know we weren't really who we said we were.

So I'm standing in the hallway guarding the door when the maid comes to clean the room. I let her know that we are still using the room and that she can come back later - but apparently the maid was also not who she seemed, as she suddenly yells something about vengeance for her people and that she's got a bomb.

She sets the explosive and takes off back down the hall. I run into the room and alert Jack that we've got trouble. He says that if it's just a flash bomb we're fine - I let him know that it's way more serious than that - and that the windows are the only way out. Unfortunaltey we're way up on the top floor. Jack takes a few runs at the window until the glass is shattered - then he tells me that we have to jump. And with that he's out the window. I stand on the sill and watch him fall to the ground - it seems so easy - he lands on his butt, lays still for a moment then jumps up and is fine. I can do that. Sure - I know I can. But my feet are not leaving the ground - and we only have a few second more until the explosion goes off. Jack looks up and sees my hesitance - he calls to crowd that has now gathered below - tells them that it's my first big jump and that they need to give me some encouragement. I hear the calls coming from below:


I jump. I am flying. I am falling to the ground. But once I go it's not that far. The ground approaches and I put my body in the landing position. I hit the ground hard - and man does it hurt - but I'm fine. But as is always the case when Jack's around - we're not out of the woods yet. The building is about to explode and when it falls it's going to collapse right where we're at - we must roll down this hill into the lake below......

And cut.

Wow - that jump was really scary - but at least it was only off the hotel set - which was really about 3 stories high - they'd go back and do their TV magic to make it become a 30 story building.

Not bad for my first day.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Enough already!

I HATE being sick.

To admit you are sick is to admit you are weak.

And I am not weak.

Ok – I realize how ridiculous that is, but it’s the way I was raised. I can’t ever remember going to the doctor because I was sick. Head split open and needing stitches – yes. Coughing and fever – no. And the only time we ever got to stay home from school was if we were throwing up. I’m sure part of it was that we didn’t have very good insurance and couldn’t really afford to, but I also think my mom just felt that going to the doctor was unnecessary. I know I’ve heard her make more than one comment as an adult about somebody who takes their kids “all the time” and she thinks that’s ridiculous. So it’s in my blood. If you’re not dying – you just tough it out.

So I have been fighting some nastiness for – well – almost a month now. Never really sick – not enough to miss work, and it’s only kept me from a few social engagements – but just enough to keep me from sleeping well and being rested enough to heal completely. I went to the doctor a couple of weeks ago (at the insistence of my wonderful husband – and as the doctor noted as well – I’m lucky to have someone who cares about me enough to insist!!) and also said that I indeed have bronchitis. He gave me a plethora of drugs, including some Vicodin for the painful sinus headaches it was giving me – which was the worst part of the entire sickness. However the actual bronchitis is still lingering and it’s DRIVING ME CRAZY!

I’m taking major quantities of drugs now (which I hate to do) but by God I am going to get rid of this if it kills me.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Less than nothing

Really people - there is a light (let me repeat that....LIGHT) dusting of snow outside. Or there was at 7am - it's all gone now. But even when there was that LIGHT dusting that is no reason for you you to drive so slowly. Susan drove better in REAL snow the first time she ever did it and she grew up in the desert! (Hi SSSS!)

And no - I don't believe you when you say "it was worse at my house", "well - I live on a hill", "it's not the snow, it's the ice."

And I don't care of you're from California, Texas or the deepest ugliest southlands - it's still not enough of anything to get excited about. So STFU already! I'm tired of hearing you tell every person you talk to about the crazy weather we've got going on here. And unless they're from the south - they're probably laughing at you too.

Monday, November 27, 2006

If Fish Could Walk

So I had a crazy dream that I was visiting my friend Jennie in some strange land, and she had these crazy pets. There was this whole tank of fish - really big ones like dolphin sized - but then when I looked into the tank there wasn't any water in it - they could walk on land....she seemed very surprised that we thought that was odd....

I send Jennie a little note telling her about said dream – and what does she send back to me, but this story she’d seen the day before.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Oh sweet sweet day

GOP Says Rumsfeld Stepping Down
By Associated Press

13 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Republican officials say Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is stepping down. Word comes a day after the Democratic gains in the election, in which Rumsfeld was a focus of much of the criticism of the Iraq war.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Who woulda thunk?

That New Jersey would be more progressive than Oregon?

"the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to receive the same state benefits, protections and obligations as opposite-sex married couples. The court ruled that the Legislature must either amend its marriage law to include same-sex couples or provide these benefits, protections and obligations by some other means such as civil unions."

Of course they didn't have Karen Minnis...and hopefully after November 7th we won't either!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Point and Laugh or Cuddle and Cry?

I'm sure that Noland, no....I KNOW that Noland is inclined towards the first. But me - I was torn...I pointed (the camera) and laughed..but then she was so pathetic and sad I just had to cuddle and pet her.

She got a gash - almost a puncture - just above her back leg. We don't know if it was from one of Begbie's teeth when then were wrestling around at some point - or if on one of her mad dashes through the bushes to chase down the red ball she got caught on a low branch, but it was a pretty good wound. So we took her to the vet to have it checked out - and to make sure it didn't get infected, they gave us a topical antibiotic to put on it. And so she doesn't lick that off....the retarded dog collar.

It really is hysterical. She tries to run between the patio furniture and gets stuck. She wants to still play ball - but she can't pick it up. She turned over her water and food bowls trying to get at them.... she would just run up and run into things and stop - stand there and stare. Totally baffeled.

Luckily she didn't have to wear it long, and the wound is healing nicely, but man....that was one pathetic looking little pit bull.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


It was mine. Or at least I would assume so – I was carrying it around with me in one of those portable-carrying thingys. I was trying to get some work down while waiting in the terminal – so I found a corner with a bench and small table and not many other people nearby and pulled out the laptop and started working. They announced my flight so I packed up my laptop, grabbed my book and a bottle of water and headed off. I was already sitting on the plane when I remembered I’d forgotten something. I jumped up and ran back to go get it – hoping no one had taken it – that would really suck. But it was still there. There was someone watching it – I knew her actually and she told me that she’d wondered when I was coming back – that I really shouldn’t leave it like that. It started to make noise so I picked it up but then it looked like it was going to explode – and I was wearing a cute top I didn't want to get messy – so I turned it upside down and hung it off the edge of the bench – where it did proceed to make a giant mess everywhere. Some employee came by and told me that wasn’t the way I was supposed to do it and now he was going to have to clean up the mess. Whatever – I just blew him off – that’s his job. So I wrapped it back up and put it back in it’s carrying case and headed off.

And I thought dreaming about spiders or being attacked was bad!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

It's Not a Sign of Maturity - I SWEAR!

I am not a morning person.
People say you grown out of it - but at 35 I can still sleep until noon on a Saturday if I don't have anything else to do.

I actually laughed out loud at a propsecptive employer during an interview when they told me the hours were 6am - 3pm. (I still got the job, they consented that it wasn't really neccessary for me to come in THAT early.)

I am not an athletic person.
I first realized this when I threw up after running a mile in PE class in elementary school.
Or maybe it was when I say down in the outfield to draw in the dirt while playing T-ball.
Sure - I danced from age 9 to 18 - but that was always just 'fun.' And I've had stints of gym membership, aerobics classes, etc. off and on for the past 15 years in three different states. But only one time ever in all of that did it really feel good, work out well with my schedule, and I was really motivated to do it - and then they changed the time of the class and it didn't work for me anymore.

So the past two days - I have gotten up BEFORE work and gone to the gym. And I think I really like it. Other then a few technical difficulties because I wasn't used to having to get ready for work from the gym and I wasn't fully prepared the first day - it works GREAT in my schedule. I don't have to get up that much earlier then normal. I get home almost the same time as I did before. And because I do have to get ready for work - it doesn't leave me with that "now it's time to just go sit on the couch" feeling that I always had after coming home from the gym when going after work.

Weird. Very very weird.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Fun with Diversity

So this weekend marks the beginning of Ramadan, Rosh Hashanah and the Autumnal Equinox. What do you think would happen if you threw a big Muslim, Jewish, Wiccan party?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Wicked – Musical vs. Novel

So off the bat – even though I’m talking about a musical here – you boys (you know how you are) shouldn’t just skim this post (like I do Bill’s heavy metal reviews – sorry Bill) You’ll see why soon enough.

So I went and saw the musical version on Sunday with my sister-in-law, my niece and Kelly – I had borrowed the book from Nancy a couple months ago when we first bought the tickets – so I had already read that (and actually have the sequel at home, but haven’t had a chance to start it yet.) The show was fantastic – and I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes musicals – it was well-written, great songs, fun attitude, good pace – all that you need to keep a musical theater crowd happy. Totally glad I got I to see it!

However – as we were leaving the theater and everyone is discussing the show on their way down the stairs (it’s always funny to listen to those conversations – as everyone around is saying nearly the same thing) Most of the consensus seemed to be that they liked the show better than the book – Nancy thought so as well (we were the only two in our group to have read it all - Kelly hadn’t finished the book and my niece wasn’t allowed to read it – there was a paragraph of puppet sex in the first chapter) and not that there is anything wrong with liking the musical version better – but as I thought about it, I decided that I definitely liked the book better so I wanted to write a little review – and that is where you boys come in. I think you would love the book – but you would never read it because the musical is where it became famous and therefore is too girly or nerdy or whatever – but the book – is NOT any of things – not by a long shot.

The musical adaptation did what all adaptation has to do – condense a huge story with lots of delicate character development and intricate subplots into a concise single story that draws the characters with a big wide obvious brush. It also stuck by the musical theater golden rule of a happy ending. Deviating from the book a LOT.

But the biggest thing that the musical lacked in comparison to the book was a sense of meaning – substantial meat that you could dig your teeth into. Gregory Maguire’s novel was something that you could easily have read in an advanced high school or college lit class (and if you were an English nerd like me) just devoured. I can imagine the fantastic discussions that novel would have generated in one of Ming Lu’s classes at Drake or even Mrs. Bakalar’s AP English class at Topeka West.

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West – the full title of the novel – is a fantastic social and political commentary. A look at what is really good and what is really bad, and who decides. It examines how if one has money, power or beauty – or simply follows the status-quo - that they are often assumed “good” regardless of their actual behavior. Those who challenge authority, don’t conform to the social pressures of their peers, and think for themselves – are often labeled as “wicked.”

It’s an analogy that can be placed in any society, in any high school, in any government, in any community. And it’s one that we’ve all seen and heard before – but nonetheless presented in the midst of a fantastic story. And of course, in our current political climate – one that is extremely apropos. Take the portion of the story about the Animals Right to Speech – that could be almost directly correlated to Gays Right to Marriage.

The people in charge feel that if Animals are allowed to speak and hold jobs like humans, then society will fall into decay and disrepair as we lose all sense of what it really means to be human. Those who disagree with the government are obviously subversive; have no morals; are a threat to society; don’t care about the good of the country - even if they are ones fighting for the rights of others.
Doesn’t sound familiar at all does it?

And that is simply one of the much more obvious points. I am not implying that when Maguire wrote this – that he had that exact example in mind – but I don’t think any author has a direct one-to-one analogy in mind. But I think to deny that those concepts are there – is to give the book a very shallow reading.

Now again – that commentary was there in small doses in the musical version – it just didn’t (and can’t) delve into it the way the book does.
The book is dark, thoughtful, introspective and makes your mind race.
The musical is light and fun and reassures that in the end everything is a-ok.

Both are very very good.
I love musicals – and this one was everything I could hope for.
I just think that as in most book to movie adaptations – the book is much better.

And I hope that non-musical fans won’t ignore this book because of the musical – because it is so much more than just a catchy song and dance.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

One step forward, one step back

Well - less than a month ago, I was pleased.

Now we have to stand up - again - and tell them - again - to stop trying to restrict our rights.

"The Oregon Secretary of State’s Office certified that a mandated parental notification measure will be on the November ballot. This is a near replica of the notification measure that Oregonians rejected in 1990. Like that measure, this initiative would change Oregon law to prohibit an older teen who is 15, 16, or 17 year old from seeking abortion care from a medical professional unless a parent receives a mandatory written notification letter at least 48 hours in advance. There are no exceptions for rape and incest and doctors could be sued if the parent doesn’t get the notification letter. Current Oregon law already requires minors 14 years old or younger to obtain parental consent before any treatment."

Measure 43 isn’t written for the real world
Not every child is raised in a stable, healthy household – news reports about abuse and sexual assault from family members confirm this almost every day. Requiring notice to the very people who may be responsible for the assault makes a bad situation worse. Troubled teens at risk need a counselor, or a doctor, not a judge, and not a notice in the mail to the abusive parent.

Measure 43 could drive a troubled teen to put their health in jeopardy
Desperate teens that live in homes filled with abuse or violence could put their lives and health in jeopardy by seeking illegal abortions from unlicensed providers.

Measure 43 is unworkable
If a teen wants to bypass the notification provision, she is required to go through a bureaucratic process run by the Department of Human Services that requires her to plead her case before an administrative law judge, who can take two weeks to reach a decision. Administrative law judges usually deal with permits and license disputes, and aren’t even required to be lawyers.

Measure 43 is not necessary
Oregon’s teen pregnancy rate has declined by 39% over the past ten years as a result of strong prevention and education programs. And surveys have shown that 75% of teens voluntarily consult a parent when faced with an unwanted pregnancy.

So be sure to remember to vote on November 7 - and along with your elected officials - VOTE NO ON MEASURE 43

Otherwise known as amateur night

Anyone reading this has most likely attended a New Years Eve fest at our house, the Craft's home, the Jane's, etc. You have also probably celebrated St. Patrick's Day at such fine Guinness serving establishments at the Yamhill or the Vern. In other words - you know that holidays such as those are also known as amateur night for the drinking crowd - and that if you have the kind of experience that we do, you really should by all means, stay away from any place that tries to celebrate it.

After Friday night's "Little Steven's Garage Rock Show" I'd have to say that Musicfest NW is the same thing. Amateur night for going to a show. Now - the show was good - the opening band was trying way to hard, but The Woggles were, as always, fun and energetic, Mooney Suzuki was as good as I remember, Phantom Planet was really good - although their style didn't really fit the bill (but being the OC theme song band, I think that alone made Kelly's night!) and the Zombie's were classic. But the crowd.....the crowd was weird.

I am all for getting more people to go to rock shows - I am by no means saying that they should stay away, and if this type of event is what gets some of them to start looking at other shows that come through town - more power to it, but unless it's a band I REALLY want to see and don't think I'll get to see again. I'll pass on Musicfest shows from now on.

It seemed like many people in attendance (with exceptions of course like the surprising number of old people there for the Zombies) were not there to see any of these bands. They were there because it was Musicfest and therefore the cool thing to do for the weekend regardless of who's playing. Many of the chics walking around looked like they would be much more at home at The Dixie, the Tube or whatever meat market is trendy right now, then at a show.

Now there were of course tons of people there because they do like those bands or that garage rock sound, and again, this isn't a criticism of those who came out just because it was Musicfest...if that experience encourages them to become show goers - that's great - that's needed to keep the scene going. But for those who simply come to see and be seen...please go back to Bettie Fords and leave our places alone.

Add the irritating crowd to the fact that the organizers try to crowd so many bands on one bill so that the whole festival band count is higher - that the bands don't get to play a decent length set. I've seen the Woggles play twice that long and the leader singer is still jumping around on the tables.

It was still a good time - I'm glad I got to see the bands, and we as always had fun hangin' with the Douglases (that still seems kinda weird to say!) mocking some of these people - but next time - I'll pass on a Musicfest NW show.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

It's About Time

I've had a counter clock on this blog for well over a year now as the FDA extended past it's deadline for approving the morning after pill to over the counter status for more than 3 years after it was ok'd by doctors. I'm glad to say that it is no longer there.

As of last week (I've been on vacation - I was out of touch, and of course this isn't on the local news in Kansas or Missouri) it will be available. Only for women over the age of 18 and only at a pharmacy counter, but no prescription is needed. That's not the best answer, because the age restriction is rather random and not-ideal, but in an age of so many steps backwards, it's nice we finally got one forward.

BBQs and Mended Pieces

So we’re back from a week in the Midwest visiting the family. All in all it was a really nice trip (the miserably hot and humid weather aside). We got to spend several days with Noland’s parents – including one day with his sister and her kids who had been visiting the week before – I think by the time we all left they were exhausted!

And then the last three days at my parents house – both my brothers and their wives and kids were able to come to town for a while well we were there so that was all good. We didn’t get to see Steve and his family too much - with teenagers – their schedule is awfully busy, so they weren’t able to be there long, but we at least had some time to chat. Some of my old BTN friends came over for a BBQ in our backyard on Sat so that was cool.

It was a pretty small turnout and the butcher gave us WAY more meat then we needed (we told them 20 – and we did have 18 plus some little kids but we could have fed 50 easily) but it was a good time – and I think my mother even survived having people near her house (barely but she made it) She was stressing out before they got there I could tell – she kept trying to arrange things and make it all structured and organized – but once we got her to stop fussing about, I think she might have even had fun sitting out on the deck talking to people.

It’s funny how similar I am to my mom in some ways and how different in so many others. We have some similar mannerisms and habits, but I am – and always have been – such the social person. Love to be surround by my friends, love to be the hostess of the party, love to have something going on all the time – and she is so totally opposite, more then about 6 people in a room at one time drives her crazy. But I hope that this BBQ helped her see that it IS fun to be social – and that it doesn’t have to be stressful or a big deal. And that people really appreciate it – my friends were happy to get together with each other – even though they all live there, they don’t see each other a lot - I was glad to be able to see all of them in the short time I was back, and I was glad my folks let me do it at their place – and everyone had a good time.

The best part of the trip though, had to have been the lunch that we had the day that we flew back home.


I have not talked to Amy, one of my oldest and dearest friends, in about 3 and half years. She was going through some really rough times in her life at just about the same time that I was going through one of the happiest times of my life – and neither of us was able to be there for the other. At the time, I definitely blamed her – she withdrew from me – but I have come to see over time – that I was selfish because I was hurt and that I failed to reach out to her in the way that I should have, make it not so easy for her to withdraw. So our friendship, made even more difficult simply by the physical distance, became very strained and while we both wanted to, neither really knew what to do or how to do it, to bring us back to where we should be.

She was a piece of me that was broken and missing but I didn’t know what to do.

I sent her an invite to the BBQ – and she wasn’t able to make it, but she called my parents house while we were there and asked if we could hook up for lunch – so Noland and I met her and her boyfriend Judd in KC on Tuesday afternoon – and we just sat there in a Mexican restaurant having lunch catching up. We talked about dogs and houses and school (she’s back in) and work and trips and our families and we only had an hour or so – she had to go to work, but it was the best hour.

Flying back to Portland later that evening – I was sitting there with my headphones on staring out the window and tears just started to run down my cheeks. If this plane crashes – I thought – it will all be ok, because all is right in my world again. We never talked about why we didn’t talk – at this point we didn’t need to – maybe someday, but not now. She seemed so happy – and that’s all I wanted for her – and I am so happy in my life – and I know that’s all she wants for me.

But now I know that the piece of me that is Amy is not lost and is not broken and will always be there.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Cheers to the Douglases!

This had to have been one of the funnest (I know, not a word, I don’t care!) weekends of the summer.

Beginning on Thursday I went over to M&K’s to help Kelly do the flowers for Saturday. The boys were all off getting their tuxes fitted and once they came back they grilled up in the backyard while we did the flowers and once all the work was done we enjoyed some lovely BBQ on the deck and got to hang out a bit with Kelly’s folks and Mike’s brother and sister and kick off the beginning of wedding weekend.

On the way home, about 10pm – we get a call from the Craft-ies who have just closed on a new house in SE – they’re movin’ out of the ‘Couve! They have a sitter and are headed out to celebrate – Noland, Spencer and I meet them at the Lowbrow and help celebrate in fine fashion.

The Friday morning was Brewfest prep – My fabulous Noland and I both took the day off, so we slept in – got up and headed to Biscuits for some all-day drinking base. One sausage and cheddar omelet with hash browns and biscuits later – we head toward the waterfront. As we crossed the bridge and the tents came into view – as Noland said “it’s like seeing the circus Big Top when you’re a kid – it just makes you feel all giddy and wobbly inside!”

We arrived about 10 till noon and set up camp in the SE corner of the tent. Tony and Phil showed up next just as the taps opened and the day begins. This year had to have been some of the best weather we’ve had for OBF in years – I hated to say it but it was almost chilly there for the first hour or so – it was fabulous. Nearly everyone (but the bride to be – she was a little busy) made it down at some point during the day and even as I went to get my final beer at about 4:30pm – there were no lines longer than a person or two. We even found these great handmade wooden beer steins that were so cool – we had to go back on Sunday with more cash to pick up a pair!

Then it was off to the Forestry Center for wedding rehearsal and back to Lola’s room for the rehearsal dinner. All seemed to go very well and no one freaked out at anything! After a late night Thursday and an anticipated late night Sat. - we crashed out early – by around 9pm and headed home to play with the dogs and fall asleep on the couch.

Saturday morning was good putzing around the house before heading up to the Forestry Center for the main event. Crazy parking issues aside – the wedding was fabulous – Mike and Kelly looked so happy, there were no melt-downs, crazy in-laws, obnoxious drunken uncles or any of that other stuff that you seem to hear always occurs at weddings (as I told Noland later when we caught something on TV showing some Texas-sorority girl wedding “see, this is why our friends are so normal – no drama!”) My husband was (of course) a fabulous officiant - getting praises of “we wished we’d had you do our wedding” or “we’ll be calling you for ours you know.” Even though it was Mike and Kelly’s ceremony – I like to think it was me in his thoughts when he wrote all those nice thoughts of love and marriage. After all the official to-do was over, basically everyone under the age of 40 that was there headed downtown to the Matador – where we proceeded to take over the entire back-half of the bar and close the place down. It was great – all the out-of-towners from both Mike and Kelly’s side of things were all hanging out with all the Portlanders and everyone had a fabulous time. And now those crazy kids are official husband and wife – pretty cool.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Walkin' in someone else's shoes

The new season of 30 Days starts tonight - if you’ve never seen it, it’s pretty interesting. It’s Morgan Spurlock, the guy who did “Super Size Me.” The premise of the show is that he – or someone else – walks in someone else’s shoes for 30 days.

There was only one episode last season that I thought was pretty worthless – one where a mother tried binge drinking for 30 Days to “teach her college age daughter a lesson.” It just didn’t work, because it wasn’t the person ‘living in the others shoes’ – and therefore the one that the show follows – who was supposed to be learning something. The homophobic guy who lived in the Castro for 30 days, the strict Christian who lived with a Muslim family, the high-tech New Yorkers who lived in a hippie-like commune, Spurlock and his fiancee living in Detroit on minimum wage, etc. – they were all pretty fascinating. Seeing these people who either opposed the ideas held by the people that they lived with – or simply had never been in that situation before – learning to adapt.

This season looks to be interesting as well. Tonight starts with someone who is very anti-immigration moving in with a family of illegal immigrants. There is one where someone who moved away from Christianity to become an atheist lives with a Christian family. Spurlock spends 30 Days in prison (although I heard he only actually lasted 28 and decided “he had enough footage.”)

They do a pretty good job of getting people who are ‘normal’ examples of whatever the behavior or life they’re representing and I think that’s why it works. Why it doesn’t become a big Jerry Springer disaster. The straight/gay episode for example – sure they had him go to the Castro, but as Noland and I said – if they followed one of our gay friends around to see “how the other half lives” it wouldn’t be much of a TV show. But they guy he lived with wasn’t a drag queen, he wasn’t clad in leather chaps, he wasn’t lispy or effeminate or anything else most other shows of this type would have required the person they picked to be. He was a guy, with a job and friends and a cat - who happened to be gay. And that’s what the episode really showed the guy who came to live him.

I hope that continues to be the way – that in the Atheist/Christian show for example – that the Christian family that they send the person to live with is a normal family with a house and kids and a dog or whatever – and is also Christian – I’m sure they’ll be someone who is very involved in their church, if they were just casual attendees – again, it wouldn’t be much of a show. But that they won’t be super-right wing, Focus on the Family, nut-jobs. Because like the straight guy who was to represent the point of view that thinks that all gay men are weirdoes – I’m sure the atheist is supposed to represent someone who thinks that all Christians are crazy-right wingers who don’t believe in science, freedom of choice, etc. claiming it all to be on God’s name – so it’ll be interesting to see if they find a good Christian family who is much more representative of Christians than those usually in the media.

They also have an episode however, that is supposed to be a pro-choice/anti-choice pairing. I’ll admit – I have my bias (I’m sure you couldn’t tell that) but I’m not really sure how that will work without it being extremist. Apparently someone who is pro-choice has to be anti-choice for 30 Days – so what will they be doing? Bombing medical clinics? Picketing girls picking up the birth control pills at the local Planned Parenthood? It’s definitely a divisive topic – but not really something that you live in day after day like the others. I could see it slightly more from the other side – an anti-lifer having to work in a clinic and see the pain and torment these women go through having to make that sort of decision, but even then it doesn’t work very well.

So anyway – I’m curious how it’ll all work out. And you should be too!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Where oh where are you tonight

I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t been sleeping as much, or maybe I’m stressed about something, but I’m just not having my regular bout of fun dreams to share with you all these days. There are snippets that I remember – but not like normal where it’s the entire story beginning to end, including the lucid parts where I go back and change it because I don’t like it....all I’ve got as of late...

- being in a public restroom and running out of toilet paper

- hanging out with some women with a really strong southern accent – I didn’t really like her very much

- having my car tip over while going around the curve of the exit from 26W onto 217 S (I did that one over again and didn’t tip)

- trying to walk both the dogs by myself and getting all caught up in the leashes like on a sitcom

- waiting for someone to show up who never does - but I was waiting in my treehouse

I want my cool dreams back!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Beer Fest Weekend

While I will say that even though my ass was dragging when I got out of bed at 6:15 this morning after going to bed at 2 - it was well worth it! But it would be very redundant if I talked about the Electric Eel Shock show last night - so just read this or this for THAT!

However - the Portland International Beer Festival is this weekend and I am stoked. I've been to The Big-One every July since I moved here 9 years ago - and this will only be the 3rd year at the PIB - but I must say it's really growing on me. The beers are just as good – and really, it’s not like you can taste them all anyhow – and they seem to have more variety from year to year than the main event. I am quite fond of my hometown brewery’s contribution to the event, but enough with the Porter – especially in July – bring another variety sometime, PLEASE!
There is also a refreshing lack of frat-boy swagger and irritating testosterone-fuel call that resonates through the tents more and more frequently as the day goes on.

Plus you get the bonus of “Happy Hour” at the PIB – 5 extra tickets if you get there the first hour it opens? Yeah – that’s a tough call to make. See ya’ll on Saturday!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Never again a 7 year hiatus

Whoops- found this in drafts from back on July 2nd - never posted:

From when I discovered the Indigo Girls in about 1989 until I moved to Portland in 1998 - I saw them in concert probably 8 or 9 times. They came through Des Moines, or Ames, Lawrence or KC about once a year and we were always there. Steve and I saw them the first year that we lived here at Lilith Fair in PGE Park before they renovated it. And then - dry spell. None of my friends here were big fans - last summer I even had tickets to the show at the Veneta Vineyards outside Eugene, and ended up selling them on Craigslist because no one I knew here wanted to go and the airlines were being huge buggers and it was going to cost SSSS an arm and leg to try to come out for the weekend from Des Moines.

Last night - Kelly and Mark and I loaded up on some Bud (yes - really - it was all they had that wasn't dark and it was to hot to drink dark beer) MAX'd it out to the zoo - where you can then buy a bottle of wine (I can't imagine any other show I've been to in practically the past decade where they would voluntarily arm the crowd with big glass bottles) for pretty cheap and chilled on the lawn of the zoo ampitheatre until Amy and Emily hit the stage.

They started off with their biggest hit and then into the very appopriate for this time in the world "Shame on You" and we decided we couldn't contain ourselves at the back of the crowd and moved right down the very front amongst all the others who couldn't just sit and watch but had to dance and sing along. They played a great mixture of old songs from lots of different albums, stuff off of their soon to be released new album - there was a new song that Emily did that was just fantastic. They moved the soon-to-be-bride to tears with "The Power of Two" and when they played "Hammer and Nail" I had to call Anita and just hold the phone up. After more than two hours of just two amazing women and their guitars on stage they took a quick break and came back for a few song encore - closing the show with "Galileo"

We headed out back to the Max station where we jammed way more people that is probably legal onto the trains and headed back downtown. Everyone on the train was laughing and smiling and talking to strangers - I've never seen people so smashed into one place that were still having such fun. As one girl commented - everyone should be required to listen to the Indigo Girls before they get on Max and the world would be a better place.

Never again do I go 7 years between shows.

Friday, June 23, 2006

It’s gonna be a boozy weekend

Of course the main event being Ms. Kelly’s bachelorette festivities this evening…and the pre-requisite hangover brunch tomorrow morning to amuse ourselves with drunken stories of the night before and check out all the pics of the great things we’re going to make her do.

I’m actually quite excited – the only other bachelorette party I’ve been to was my own – we all had a fabulous drunken time and I was SO happy that the ‘kung fu girls’ threw it for me since I’d only known them a short time – and we didn’t do any of the cheesy things that you hear about (thankfully!) But I never really went through that period in my 20’s like so many others seem to have where there is a summer or two where all of their friends suddenly get married and it’s one party after another. None of my college friends – or even high school friends that I kept in touch with – got married until they were into their 30’s – or are not married – so by the time any of us did we were scattered across the country – I attended the weddings when I could, but didn’t do any bachelorette type parties. And most of my friends here of the marrying sort either were already married when I met them, got married so soon after I met them – like Violet and Laurie – that I wasn’t involved in that sort of thing. Or do a Sandy and AJ and call on Tues and say “hey we’re getting married Friday at the courthouse – wanna come?”

So at the age of 35 this is the first friend of mine that is getting married locally where I get to hear about the plans and be involved in some things like tonight – it’s pretty cool just to be able to celebrate with friends that way.

And then to follow that up, tomorrow is a tropical themed bbq for Ann’s birthday where her hubby has coordinated that for a total of 7 of us this is the booze menu he has planned – plus beer:

  • 750ml Tequila, Limes, Margarita mix,
  • 750ml Light Rum, Grenadine, Pineapple Juice
  • 750ml Vodka, Guava Juice, Ginger Ale, Orange Juice
  • 750ml Malibu Rum, Triple Sec, Cranberry Juice
  • 750ml Dark Rum, Amaretto, Coconut Cream


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Lifetime Summer Vacation

So there are 14 weekend in the summer (real summer - Memorial Day to Labor Day - I know school doesn't get out until mid-June but we don't have kids so we don't care and I know that 'officially' summer doesn't start until tomorrow - but it also doesn't think winter starts until Dec 21st and while it may not get cold around here - I spent enough snowy Thanksgivings (and even a Halloween or two) to know that's not very realistic!)

So there are 14 weekends in summer:
1. Starlight Parade/Misfats at Ash Street/Ian's B-day
2. Festival of Bands/Grand Floral Parade/Misfats on the East Coast
3. whew...drinking and relaxing....
4. Bachelor/Bachelorette weekend/Noland in CA
5. Indigo Girls/July 4th Fest
6. Camping?/Canada Party?
7. International Beer Fest/Noland's mom
8. bridal shower
9. M& K WEDDING!!/Brewfest
10. Wedding #2 T&W
11. Camping or M&K's sausage fest
12. Camping or M&K's sausage fest (I don't remember which weekend we said for which...)
13. back to the Midwest
14. Labor Day fest

I love summer - especially in Oregon where it's sunny and not to hot most days - but man, are we going to be exhausted when it's over. Happy - 'cause that is a lot of fun packed into one strech of weekends (and who knows what develops over the weekdays - patio beers a plenty though I'm sure!)

But really - doesn't this alone make a pretty good argument as to why adults, not kids, need a summer vacation? I mean really - what are they gonna do all summer long but drag their parents to endless swim lessons, baseballs games and cries of "mom - I'm booooreeed.."

I say we start a movement for permanent summer vacation.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Don't Mess with the Olive Garden

I’ve refrained from ranting about a co-worker here, because it is after-all a small world…and a small office….but I just can’t help it today. Today is neither the unadulterated bigotry, the close-mindedness, nor the constant need for “one-upsmanship.” Because those make me genuinely angry and I would say way more than I should.

No – today it makes me laugh. This co-worker had to storm out of the office ahead of those that were all going to lunch together because I had the gall to say that I don’t like the Olive Garden and women wearing ties. Ok – and some of it may have harkened back to yesterday when I said that Walt Disney was a fascist. Magic Mountain is her favorite place in the world – so I think that hurt a bit.

But seriously – a group of people from work often go to lunch together on Friday. I often go as well. Today they asked if I wanted to – I hadn’t planned on taking a lunch today, so I was only going to go if it was someplace that sounded really good. The Olive Garden would not qualify, so I said no thanks. Honestly – that’s all I said. I know some of you reading this may find it hard to believe – but I did not provoke this at all! Her response was that “Jenn doesn’t want to go because it’s corporate, they’re all Nazi’s, and they’re all fascists….” I thought that was funny – so after each statement I called out a resounding “yeah!” Another co-worker thought it amusing too – she said she used to work there and that she could tell us what not to eat – and that included soup because the waiter’s ties were always dipping into them and no-one ever washed them. That led us into a brief dress code discussion – which I of course am quite opinionated on – and that included that fact that I hate ties and that women should never wear them…. apparently she likes ties – she chimed in and said so, I dared to say I disagreed – that they way they lay over the boobs just isn’t attractive…and for God knows why, that just put her over the edge and she stormed away – leaving behind the others that were going with her…..


I like to argue. (I know - surprise) But I also will gladly acknowledge when I'm arguing with someone - trying to pick on their weakness, push a few buttons, and I'll admit I enjoy doing that with this particular person... there are so many buttons to push. But this was just a conversation about lunch. Wow.

So yesterday I posted about coming across as older or younger than you actually are – and I often don’t mind that people assume I’m a bit younger than I am – but at least the way I act doesn’t make them think that I’m 12.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Pondering the ages

I seem to have gotten engaged in a number of conversations lately regarding age – people who do or don’t look their age – act their age, etc. While I’m not a big worrier about getting older – it does inspire me a bit.

I was only 25 when one of my good friends in DSM was turning 30, and freaking out about it. I didn’t understand why and her comment was ‘just wait 5 years and you’ll understand’ Well – 5 years later I turned 30 with one of the biggest and best birthday celebrations ever – and lovin’ every minute. It was at that age of 30 that I then met my wonderful husband – to me turning 30 was fantastic.

Now at 35 I have friends starting to turn 40 – some are doing ok with it, others are freaking out a bit…and I still don’t understand. I know that they’re probably thinking – just you wait – but honestly it doesn’t bother me now and I don’t think it will then. But I think it has more to do with the way that we live our lives.

A gal that I do flags with in the OMTAAMB told us last year that she was getting ready to go to her 40th class reunion. We just about fell off the bleachers – there’s no way she was a day over 45 let alone nearly 60 – but sure enough. This same woman points out to me that another flag members mom who always comes to watch is the same age – 60 – as she is. Again – falling off the bleachers – only 60? I would have put her closer to 80. So they’re both 60, but Nancy looks in her 40s and this other woman in her 80s.

Not to that same extreme, but it’s interesting to look at your family and how old they seem. My Newman side grandparents seemed old for as long as I can remember. Much older than the Amble side grandparents. But the Newmans were retired as far back as I can remember, grandma baked and canned and quilted and all those “grandmotherly” things, grandpa was a bit crotchety and cranky the way old men are. They talked about ‘darkies’ and the days when children respected adults.

My Amble grandparents had a cabin in the woods where we rode motorcycles and went out in the boat. We always had to say please and thank you, but grandpa loved to buy the latest and greatest new gadgets and anything modern.

I can see the same sort of different in my parents and Noland’s. And maybe it’s just a skewed perspective because it’s hard to see your own parents getting old – he may think just the opposite – but I never knew his parents when they were younger. I do think that if I were to meet the two independently I would assume that his folks were at least 10-15 years older than mine. Just in their mannerisms, the things that they believe in….his parents have been retired for as long as I’ve known them – my dad just retired and my mom is still working. A Saturday afternoon could find his mom baking, quilting or canning. It could find my mom at lunch having margaritas with her girlfriends.

But to give them both credit – they are all close to the same age as the two women at flags – and neither of our sets of parents seem as young as Nancy – nor as old as the other woman.

I don’t know that there is a point behind all of this rambling – but just an interesting perspective I guess.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

One more personal freedom down the toilet

Wow – as if trying to prevent the use of condoms, blocking the sale of the ‘day after’ pill, removing sex education from schools, pushing abstinence as the only option and trying to destroy every last remnant of our freedom of choice if you are pregnant - wasn’t bad enough – the government has now decided that all women from age 12 (or whenever their first period starts) until 60 (or whenever menopause occurs) should behave as if we’re trying to become pregnant at all times.

Of course I guess the odds of that are more likely with all the rules they’ve put into place restricting our ability to prevent pregnancy in the first place.

New federal guidelines ask all females capable of conceiving a baby to treat themselves -- and to be treated by the health care system -- as pre-pregnant, regardless of whether they plan to get pregnant anytime soon.

Among other things, this means all women between first menstrual period and menopause should take folic acid supplements, refrain from smoking, maintain a healthy weight and keep chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes under control. The report also recommends that women discuss with their doctor the danger alcohol poses to a developing fetus.

Women should also make sure all vaccinations are up-to-date and avoid contact with lead-based paints and cat feces, Biermann said.

Obviously most of these items fall under general health care anyhow, it’s healthier if you don’t smoke, maintain a healthy weight, etc. but really – we can’t even change the kitty liter box anymore?? (of course I’m sure there are millions of teenage girls jumping for joy over that one.)

And the bigger question is - how far is between “New federal guidelines ask” and “New federal guidelines require”?

The fact that they’re already trying to do so….and subversively slip it into our regular medical care indicates it’s not far off.

Experts acknowledge that women with no plans to get pregnant in the near future may resist preconception care. "We know that women -- unless you're actively planning [a pregnancy], . . . she doesn't want to talk about it," Biermann said. So clinicians must find a "way to do this and not scare women," by promoting preconception care as part of standard women's health care, she said.

Sure, it would take a lot for it to become some sort of ‘punishable by law’ offense for a women to smoke, drink and not take vitamins – but it wouldn’t take a whole lot under the current administration for them to withhold or reduce our insurance benefits if we weren’t following these “recommendations.” Insurance is higher for those who smoke. This could easily be a first step to raising premiums or reducing coverage for those who don’t follow the guidelines.

Which then, if a women did choose to become pregnant, or does so accidentally – and the child had some sort of health issue, the insurance company then restricts or reduces coverage on that child because the mother didn’t follow the ‘pre-pregnancy recommendations’ even if she stops smoking, drinking, etc. once she knew she was pregnant.

I know – I sound awfully conspiracy theory here – but seriously – it’s these small things that slide in when no one is looking that come back to bite us in the ass down the line. Wait and see – if we don’t stop the government from trying to tell us what we can and cannot do with our own bodies this is going to become a huge ass-biter in another decade or less.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I'm like Noland going all Link-y

So to start it husband totally needs to try for this with his brand new bacon-band...

What I like best about this is that the "related items" on the side bar include categories such as: "signs of doom" and "worst practices"

I normally agree with the emails I get from, but this one I had to delete without signing. Now don't get me wrong - don't hate the chilluns - I just don't think the world revolves around them - and I do think that families with kids get a lot of benefits the childless families do not. I have/had several co-workers who were allowed to work from home a couple days of the week because they have a baby at home and don't want/can't pay for sitting. I think that's great for them - it's a wonderful option and I don't begrudge them that. However if I asked to work from how 2-3 days a week because it fit my lifestyle better. That would not be an option. ANd that's what this little organization is proposing.

Look specifically at Letter 'M' and 'O' - PAID leave for both parents? Leave, yes. Paid no. Or if they want paid leave for having a kid - I get the same time when I get a new dog, or house, or pair of shoes. We were discussing this at the Moon & Sixpence over lovely beers last night and decided that if the average numbers of children in a family is 3 and they get say 30 days PAID leave when a child is born - I get 3 - 30 day chunks of time that I can take as well. Say as often as every 9 months.

And then the 'O' Again - I think flex hours are great - but they need to be offered to ALL employees, not just parents. If you can decide to work a half day to go to a school play, teacher conference or such - I can do the same to go to a beer festival or sleep in the morning after a late night.

We just want you to play fair.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

When Beer Movies Go Bad

It was just supposed to be a simple night out with the girls. Kelly and some other chics and I were headed to the latest Cameron Diaz flick. Not normally my style of movie - I just don't do the chic-flick well - they irritate me - but I'm all about hanging with the girls. Besides, we decided to be a little naughty and turn it into our ouwn beer movie even though it wasn't officially one.

The only problem was, the girls, in all their typical flirtatiousness, managed to draw a large amount of attention to our little group by the theater manager...who then proceded to notice the beer bottle sticking out of my jacket pocket (why didn't I carry a large purse...I don't know.)

So the manager takes me back to the office, I give them my beer and act all apologetic, "yes, you're right, I shouldn't have done that it was wrong, blah blah blah......" I figure that's it and I can go back and watch the movie now. That would have been nice.

Apparently the movie theater manager decided that I had a problem and it was time for an intervention. Soon there is a whole staff of people in this conference room talking to me about how wrong it is to do something like this and that it's the first step to a very sad and pathetic life. That what if I was applying for a job and it came back to the potential employeer that I had done this? Soon I'm thinking - so they not realize that I am allowed to have a beer - that I am old enough?

There is a small video screen in the office that we're in that's projecting the movie - it's starting and I don't want to miss the beginning so I'm watching that not really listening to them anymore at all.

Because what I really need in my life is to be lectured by a stranger who is holding the same job that my friends did in high school.

Friday, March 31, 2006


I'm a big fan of cool dreams and cool marketing and advertising (yeah yeah I know - marketing people suck....) but all I can say it this had better be an April Fools joke.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Family Ties...

Well the trip back to Minnesota for my grandpa's funeral was, all things considered, a good one. Grandpa had lived a long good life, and while it wasn't surprising that he passed away it was still sad as everyone had such wonderful memories of him. That of course was the part of the really good aspect of this trip. I was able to get to Bemidji a day early and therefore got to spend time at Suzie and Mike's house with just my parents - going through pictures with my mom to put up at the funeral home and the church for the services. There were pictures spanning the years from present day and dating back from the beginning of grandma and grandpa's marriage in well as diaries that they both kept during those early years. Those were great for everyone to look through reading grandpa's entries about 'secret smooching on the porch' and grandma's wondrous feelings of "could I really be in love?" Along with reminiscing through the pictures - laughing at our parent's crazy clothes and hairstyles of the 60's and 70s - as well as our own of the 80's (my high school graduation hair was frighteningly large I must say) it was good family time and something grandpa would have been pleased to see. And since that's something I don't do often at all being that I live nowhere near any of my family, it was good.

I was especially glad to be back there for my mom - she lost her mom when she was about my age actually, and this was really tough for her. She's felt bad the past few years as grandpa has gotten worse that she wasn't able to be around all the time, so I was glad both my brothers and I were all able to be up there with her and dad.

That being said, in another way it was kind of a strange trip.

While they are family - there is that strange bond that only family has - I haven't seen some of my cousins in probably more than a dozen years if not more - and those I had seen more recently were just from that trip back there last spring - when that had been the first time in more than dozens of years. So despite the fact that the last time I spoke with them we were all still in school and now we're all married/divorced/parents/moved away or what have you - we were still able to talk and joke and enjoy the time. Admittedly some of them still live there, so they're all quite close and have been all their lives, but a couple have moved away as well as all of us Newman kids of course. But despite that familial closeness - there was just this weird sense of

  • One cousin's family is headed to Texas on vacation - why anyone would go to Texas for ANY reason, let alone vacation is beyond me....
  • One cousin and spouse headed to Vegas - I thought HEY - now that's more like a vacation.... until I heard that they were going as chaperone's for a group of high school students. At least they're not little kids, but still WHY oh WHY would you ever take kids to Vegas?
  • Speaking of kids - I am the only one of all the cousins that does not have them. Only those who lived in Bemidji were there - and they are all really good kids...but even that small group of kids all in one place, and the way they took over everything, just reinforced that I love being Aunt Jenn
  • I made mention that I finally got to use my iTrip device driving up - I can't use it here because there's to much interference from other radio waves, but in Northern Minnesota it was free and open...the cousin and spouse that I mentioned this to didn't know what an iPod was....

  • But the biggest kicker was when someone was trying to figure out where exactly El Paso was - if it was in central Texas or farther south. I said that it was right on the border and mentioned that a friend of mine grew up there and had family that basically lived in the same metropolitan area - but he and his parents were in the US and his grandparents in Mexico...and that as a kid they just went back and forth across the river. My family member's reply to this was "well I hope they can't do that now - they should have somebody there to shoot 'em if they try."

    I don't know if my jaw could have fallen farther to the ground.

    Of course this wasn't the only commment along those lines - these thinly 'veiled as humor' comments on gays, abortion, immigrants, minorities, war protestors and the like that in any other context would have set me off like no tomorrow...but it was was gathering for a funeral... and I was there to support my mom. The thing I was most worried about going there was that mom and I would fight and I didn't want that to happen, so I just bit my tongue and thought, no matter how much I love them...

    And I did mention this blog to some of them in conversation, and I know that at least my cousin Brian and my brother James looked at it... so who knows if they, or anyone else, will again. That made me a bit aprehensive to post this - I wrote it more than a week ago before posting. But my thought is if they do read it, and they felt the same creepy, uncomfortable feeling I had when you realize some of your family is really biggoted - at least we can sympathize. Or if they read this and didn't think that those kinds comments were biggoted - maybe this will help them realize how it sounds to other people.

    Either way - I held my tongue then - I don't have to now.

    Monday, March 13, 2006

    I Must be Psychic

    No. Really.
    Saturday night I had a crazy dream about living in dorms and running across this huge campus warming everyone about the tornado that was coming - I saw it destroy the science building, but no would beleive me and soon it ripped across the whole area destroying everything.

    Since this is the dream that I remember - based on the way the REM sleep works and all I probably dreamt this dream around 6am based on waking at 8-ish.

    So then I read about this killer tornado hitting the campus of my Big 12 Champs about 8 am CST...

    I must be psychic.

    Now you have to go back and read my dreams and see what else has come true!

    Friday, February 17, 2006

    Not too shabby...

    I'll credit Cesar for finding this...a personalized map of all the US states I've been to. When I was in my mid-20's and started doing some traveling, I decided that I was going to make it a personal goal to visit all 48 continental states before the age of 30.

    Moving to Portland at age 27 kind of messed with the plan as it took alot of funding as well as moved me much farther away from the parts of the country I had left...but I still don't think it's too shabby.

    And now when I visit them, I get to do it with my wonderful husband!

    create your own personalized map of the USA

    Noland with the Wrong Shoes?

    Don’t ask me why. Don’t ask me how. But apparently Noland and I are running a marathon. Or at least attempting to. We got all signed in. We got our lockers. We’re good to go.


    I’m still carrying my purse and I’m wearing Birkenstocks. I need to get back into my locker but I don’t remember the combination. I go to the office to see if they have the combo on file. There’s no one working, but the file box in on the desk so I shuffle through that until I find my name. Get the combo – head back across the campus to the locker area.

    Pop the locker open – there’s all kinds of stuff in there – but no running shoes.


    They’re at home. Noland looks down and realizes that he doesn’t have running shoes either. I give him my keys and he’s going to try to get home and back with our shoes as fast as possible We think there’s still time to make it, but man we’re pushing it.

    Not the way to start off for your first marathon.

    Tuesday, February 14, 2006

    I got this card for my birthday last month

    I laughed so hard I almost had to pee my pants. Not that anyone who would be reading this doesn’t already know, but:

    A – I am from Topeka

    B – My brother is a forensic chemist for a law enforcement agency (and no his life is not nearly as glamorous as CBS would like us to think....'geeks in lab coats' would be his take on their job.)

    So when Susan, my groovy friend in Iowa, found this card and sent it to me for my birthday I really did just about spit beer laughing.

    Apparently the folks in my hometown do not see the humor.

    And the best is that due to this quote….

    "I find it offensive," Mayor Bill Bunten said Thursday. "It's probably drawn up by somebody from West Virginia who hasn't been here."

    …West Virginia has now demanded a public apology from the mayor.

    Maybe Kansas are just sensitive.

    Several years ago I was sent this hysterical magazine article about someone born and rasied in NYC moving to Iowa - not even to Des Moines, but to Pella or Story City or something like that....they wrote about all the humor they found moving to a small rural town after being used to a metropolis.

    There were some amusing observations.
    Some pretty obvious about people loving the Olive Garden and driving pick up trucks.
    Some were things that I, having lived in cities - but cities in rural dominated states, might not have noticed as strange or amusing until someonw else pointed them out. Then I thought - wow - that is kinda funny. I never noticed it before because I'm used to it.

    So I forwarded this on to several fellow former and current Kansans and Iowans who I thought could also see to laugh at themselves. I received scathing replies from two such friends. Telling me that if I wanted to forwarded them jokes, or good luck wishes, or personal stories that was fine - but if I was going to just tell nasty mean things about our wonderful place of childhood then they would rather not hear from me.

    Of course one of these messages came from someone who - when her husband was offered a temporary job in another state - in a beautiful part of the country where his company would:
    - raise his salary
    - pay for the move and storage of anything they didn't take with them
    - pay for their housing & living expenses during the two years they wanted him there
    - pay for their transportation during the two years they wanted him there
    - pay for he and his family to fly back to visit their family twice a year for those two years
    She did nothing but complain about how horrible it was going to be.


    Funny thing is - he works for Hallmark.

    Monday, January 30, 2006

    Retro Vegas and Animals with German Accents

    The Vegas trip in December was great – but it must have really been good beside I decided to go back last night with all of my girl friends from high school. It was a pretty amazing job considering who was there and the last times that I have seen most of them before this:

    · Amy was the one I thought would absolutely positively be around forever, but just a few months after a really emotional holiday together where I was so glad we could still talk like that, she stopped talking to me when I told her that Noland and I were getting married, so it’s been three years since we’ve exchanged more than a polite greeting card.
    · Beth and I remained great friends spending much time together when I was home for the summers during college right until graduation – but once I moved back to Des Moines to find a real job after that graduation summer I don’t think I ever saw her again.
    · Tami and I had a great time at our 10-year reunion (more than 7 years ago now) but that was the last time I’d seen her after we drifted apart sometime during our college years.
    · Neither Rebecca nor Stephanie was at that reunion – there have been occasional emails or random bumping into when visiting our folks over the holidays – but we began our drifting apart process once we were off at college so the visits were few and far between.
    · The other Amy was part of a grand in-fighting drama and a bit of an exile from our group just before graduating high school.
    · Robin, Tanya and LaNelle were part of ‘the love bunch’ as we were known – but a bit more on the periphery – although I did enjoy catching up with Robin a bit at that reunion.

    So needless to say, the 10 if us getting together in Vegas was a pretty amazing feat! The weirdest thing was that other than my Amy – I’d been to Vegas with all of them in the past at some point. Unfortunately we didn’t get to go very far or do very much. As we were standing around gathering everyone up just gabbing, someone noticed that I had weird spots on my skirt. Looked up and they were all over my shirt as well. Oh, and hey, there was blood running down the side of my head from just above my ear. And for it to have traveled all the way down my whole body like it did it had been flowing for a while – so off to the emergency room we go.

    So when I wake up, I’m at home resting and the dogs are totally freaking out in the back. I get up to check on them and of course they have no water or food, so I feed them and water them and toss the ball a bit. But they are still just going nuts at something. I look around and don’t see anything, so I go back inside. A day later I go out and check things again – this time I see it – and while I didn’t see it before I know it was there. A big shiny gold birdcage with this tiny little yellow and white bird inside. I think I should get the bird some water and some food so I go back in to do so, but somehow get distracted and don’t get back out again until the next day. By the time I get over there, the bird is just laying down in the cage – it looks like it might still be breathing, so I toss in some breadcrumbs and try to figure out how to pour water into this tiny little container that seems to be the water dish – when the bird nibbles on the bread – and just pops right up. It’s asking me – not talking, but somehow I know it’s asking – for water. But I just cannot seem to get anything into that tiny dish. So I open the door of the cage to let the bird out to drink from the pitcher I’m holding – which it does.

    Now this is where things get a bit sketchy. Not only does it take a drink of water. But then it proceeds to transform into a human being – and dude – he was pissed that we’d left him in the backyard with the dogs, no food and no water for so long. I think that must have been when I decided that I was out of there.

    Wednesday, January 25, 2006

    Laws are for sucks

    So how do we get this sort of power at the voting booth? If George can reserve the right to ignore laws that he doesn’t like – can’t we do the same?

    I voted against the extra Multnomah County income tax – shouldn’t I have the right to ignore it? When I placed my vote against paying for other people’s kids, while they get tax breaks for having them, shouldn't I have had the option to sign a little piece of paper that says I have no intention of paying even if the majority of voters agreed to it.

    I voted against Measure 36 that discriminates against marriage equality. I’m sure that all those people that got married before the measure was passed, whose marriages courts now says are null and void, would have loved to sign something that says – thanks but no thanks. I’m ignoring this law.

    Our fearless leader has conveniently decided that he is above the law, or that he is going to ignore what our leaders and voters have decided more than 500 times in his first 5 years…more times than all other Presidents combined.

    Early President’s used the right a few times each if at all – Carter used it 24 times, Reagan 71, Bush Sr. 146 (2nd runner-up with only 4 years time) and Clinton 105 times.

    More than 500 times.


    I take that back. It’s totally believable.

    Friday, January 13, 2006

    Don't do it

    If you drive a VW do not get a license plate that says "Bug"
    If you drive a Jeep do not get license plate that says "Jeep"
    If you drive a BMW do not get license plate that says "Beemer"
    If you drive a "Blank" do not get license plate that says "blank"

    Get it? Good.

    'Cause if I see it again.
    I might have to hurt you.