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!