Friday, April 27, 2007

Retrospective Perspective

Advice columnists are popular people. They receive millions of letters and emails written by the confused, the angry, the love-sick, the needy and all sorts of other human beings who are searching for answers. But what do we really know about these unseen experts? Generally they are people who are educators and professionals, but not always. Sometimes the columnist’s picture will be posted next to their newspaper article or web page answers, but not always. We know nothing of them and yet we let them advise us on how we ought to handle the situations that are affecting our lives.

Well, no more sisters! It’s time to rise up against the secret world of advice columnists! Damn the man, save the Empire! Instead of seeking help from these unknown entities, wouldn’t you rather communicate with someone you sorta know? Someone you used to have a crush on perhaps? Yes?

Then I have some good news for you. Now two of the most popular heartthrobs from the 80’s have an advice column and are waiting for your questions. That’s right – Corey Feldman and Corey Haim are here to help. Simply go to Dear Corey at MSN TV and feel free to ask them whatever your heart desires. You know, important things like "Hey Corey's, why couldn't you have stayed young and gorgeous forever?"

Thursday, April 26, 2007

My Grandparents: Part 2

As my visits with my grandparents naturally dwindled as I got older, they seemed to become more tense. Now when I was there Grammy would mention that I NEED to make sure I come by more often. Then I started getting little religious speeches about going to church and she would quote bible verses to me and tell me that she prayed for me daily because of the life I was living. Please, I'm a fat chick - I was not living life nearly as dangerous as I wanted to because no one wanted me. But anyway, after a year or so of these little lectures taking up more and more of my visits, I realized it wasn't fun going there anymore. I was being scolded instead of welcomed. My visits became even more infrequent. And amazingly enough Grammy's bad attitude towards me increased. She began yelling at me that I didn't love her just like my Mom yelled it at me. Now, I don't know what made these 2 women think that screaming at me and crying hysterically would make me want to spend all my time up their asses, but apparently that was their goal. Both of them started going out of their way to make me feel bad about anything and everything they could.

I would cancel plans with my friends because Mom would call and ask me to go to Wal-Mart with her and me saying "I have plans" launched one of her crying spells that was so pathetic you actually thought she might shoot herself if you didn't go to Wal-Mart with her. Because we all know that saying "I love you" means nothing compared to being guilted into a 30 minute trip to Wal-Mart. But, this post is not about Mom - it's about Grammy. As I neared the age of 30 I began feeling sorry for my Mom because I realized she was a product of her raising. And my grandmother was 100 times worse than Mom was.

I was at my parents house one day about 5 or 6 years ago when the phone rang. I answered it and it was my grandmother. "Hi Grammy" I smiled into the phone while rolling my eyes. Immediately the side of my face became drenched in the venom that was being spit through the phone towards me. "Oh, it's you!!! I can't believe you even recognized my voice as much attention as you pay to me. You obviously don't remember where I live. I haven't seen you in over a month, after all I did for you when you were a kid. God is watching you, are you going to church yet?" I started to say something along the lines of "I'm sorry, I've been busy" because my guilt always caused me to lie to her and Mom about where I really was and what I had really been doing. They didn't actually care anyway. But before I could finish my sentence, Grammy interrupts me with "You listen to me, Young Lady!! If you cannot figure out how to come see me at least twice a month, then you don't ever need to come see me again. Do you understand me? That's an order!" At which point I turned and yelled for mom that she had a phone call. Of course, Mom was filled in over the phone about how disrespectful I had just been (? I don't get it either) and she started an argument as soon as she could. I told her Grammy had made the decision not to see me and that was fine with me. But guess what? Mom CRIED! And guess what else? I felt bad.

So after several months I started contacting and visiting them again sporadically. But things were never the same. I would call and say "Hi, I was calling to see how you guys were doing" and would hear "We're fine. Thanks for calling. CLICK!" Or, I would stop by for a visit and as soon as I stepped into the door I would get "Oh, I'm so glad you're here because the living room windows need washed on the outside. The ladder is in the garage." So I would go out and do the damn chore for her only to get done and be told "Well, it was nice seeing you. Come back again sometime. Be careful driving home. SLAM!" So, things just got worse and worse. And a few months ago the biggest blow up yet occurred. And because it's all so ridiculous I am just done with it. I am not speaking to her. Mom, of course, is about to lose her mind over it. But, I don't care anymore. That's the awful truth. I don't care anymore. Not just that I don't care whose mad, I mean I really don't care about my grandmother anymore. I know that sounds harsh, and I don't mean I won't be upset if something happens, it's just that I don't care to see or speak with her.

There are a lot of details and conversations that were left out of this post because of it's length. But what it boils down to is this: When I was little I felt so loved by them. I never wanted to be anywhere else. At the age of 4 I ran away from home (for like 10 minutes) but had to come back to ask how to get to Grammy's house. Unfortunately, my grandmother has issues. For whatever reason she only associates love with how much time you spend with her. It doesn't matter to her that I loved her every day for many years and have such fond memories of being with her. It only mattered that as an adult who worked full-time, attended college and tried to find someone to love me that I didn't see her a certain amount of times each month. It's sad, but it doesn't bother me anymore. I just hope it doesn't get that bad with Mom but I can definately tell she is her mother's daughter. The older we get, the more trouble we have. But I'm trying to hang in there. I wonder if my Grammy ever wishes she had hung in there?

My Grandparents: Part 1

When I was a little girl I loved to spend time with my Grammy & Grandad. For those of you who don't know me really well, those are my maternal grandparents. When their first grandchild was born (I was the second) they got to pick what they wanted to be called and my grandmother apparently decided she was still a bit too young to be called Granny, so she changed the "n"'s to "m"'s and we've been stuck calling her that ridiculous name ever since. It wasn't anything I noticed as a kid, but once I reached high school and beyond I began referring to her as "my grandmother". Anywho, I'm getting way off course here.

So, as I was saying - I used to love to spend time with my Grammy and Grandad. My days there were filled with fun as a youngster. I have such great memories of Grandad teaching me and my brother to play pool on the pool table downstairs, of always getting to play in the sprinkler in the front yard, of eating macaroni & cheese with peanut butter on toast off of plastic Ronald McDonald plates, of getting to watch MTV back in the 80's when it wasn't offered through the cable provider we had at home. Oh, and Nickelodeon too. I always wanted to be best friends with Moose on "You Can't Do That On Television". None of these things would be memories if it weren't for getting to spend so much time at my grandparent's house.

They were such good, attentive grandparents too. Always willing to go out of their way to do something special everytime we visited. And there were summers where Chuck and I were there all day Monday - Friday while Mom & Dad were at work. It's not like they did something special because they only saw us 4 times a year. We were there all the time. Oh, I almost forgot to mention the tire swing in the backyard. Man, we spent a lot of time on that tire swing. It was hung from the perfect tree, in the perfect location. I can still see the extra thick black & white rope that Grandad used to hang it with. I never could figure out where he got such a thick rope that wasn't even rope-colored.

We got a lot of ice cream there. In fact, that's probably where my ice cream addiction first began. There was also a lot of Jello and Jello Pudding. My grandmother was even one of those people who would actually make the gelatin or pudding and then actually put it into individual little parfait cups (like the directions say to) in the fridge instead of leaving it in the mixing bowl and spooning it out for use later (which is what I do). It will really make a kid feel good when they not only get a dessert, but they get their own little individual dessert cup which has been lovingly topped off with whipped cream and a cherry.

I don't know if she still does that for people or not. I do know she doesn't do it for me, and honestly if she did I guess I would never know it. See, my grandparents and I don't speak anymore. At all. And yes, I'm the one who stopped speaking to them. So, in theory I'm the asshole of the story. But let's take a closer look at what happened.

We'll start with the fact that my mother and I have never had the best relationship. A lot of fighting and stubborness between us. But I had a very happy childhood and never hated Mom or anything. However, when I first went off to college I started noticing changes in Mom's attitude towards me. It seemed like the more I enjoyed college, the more I was in trouble and getting yelled at by her. Eventually I realized what the problem seemed to be. She didn't want me to have a big group of friends and enjoy being away from her because in her mind that meant I didn't need her for anything and didn't love her anymore. It wasn't hard to figure out that's how she felt because if she called me to come home for the weekend and I already had plans she would scream "YOU DON'T LOVE ME ANYMORE" into the phone and then hang up sobbing hysterically. Of course, I have always been Miss Guilty Conscience U.S.A. so that would really eat at me.

After years of that crap happening constantly, I began to realize that she developed that behavior because her mother, my grandmother, was the exact same way. It wasn't as noticeable to me in the beginning because I had a pretty good habit of stopping in to visit Grammy & Grandad several times a month. They were always happy to see me and there were never any issues. But the older I got, the busier I became and by my mid- to late-20's my visits to my grandparents dwindled down to about once a month. Not only was I working full-time and paying bills and living a life, but I also had a social life to attend to and my grandparents lived approx. an hour away from where my job and social activities all centered.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Random Humor

1. A day without sunshine is like night.
2. On the other hand, you have different fingers.
5. Remember, half the people you know are below average.
6. He who laughs last, thinks slowest.
7. Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
8. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese
in the trap.
9. Support bacteria. They're the only culture some people have.
11. Change is inevitable, except from vending machines.
13. How many of you believe in psycho-kinesis? Raise my hand.
14. OK, so what's the speed of dark?
16. Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.
17. How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?
18. Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines
23. Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear
bright until you hear them speak.
24. Life isn't like a box of chocolates . . it's more like a jar of
jalapeno's. What you do today, might burn your butt tomorrow.

Friday, April 20, 2007

New Baby Alert!

My friends Joey & Lisa just welcomed home a new baby boy. He's so adorable. And strangely enough, everytime I look at him I think he looks exactly like my friend Charlie. But don't worry, Charlie and Lisa don't know each other at all so there's nothing fishy going on. Just so happens that Charlie looks like a chubby-cheeked baby.

P.S. - Isn't his little outfit dangerously cute? He even has little baseball shoes on. I could just eat him up.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I'm Doing The Happy Dance !!

But only for a few minutes. See, I am finally getting a chance to change shifts at work. But, my new shift is almost as crappy as my old one. So, I'm only slightly happy. My current shift has me working overnight from 09:30pm - 08:00am on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday so I obviously don't get any weekend nights to go hang out. But, I do have time to go running around during the day constantly. And I have Sunday off which means I get to go to Sunday Dinner at Grandma's house which we have all been attending for YEARS! Sunday Dinner is THE BOMB! My g'ma makes the best desserts. And the best mashed potatoes. And a pretty mean meatloaf. I just love Sunday Dinner.

But my new shift will be Sunday 07:00am - 05:30pm, and then on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday 10:30am - 09:00pm. So, as you can see - NO MORE SUNDAY DINNERS! That sucks. Really. Muchly. Sucks.

But, I have spent 15 months having to leave everything at 08:00pm so I can go get ready and leave for work. I have not seen a movie in so long, I don't even remember what the last one was. I have had to leave my friends at bar-b-ques right as they're getting ready to turn up the radio and crack open a beer. No drinking for me. I have to go to work. Blah! Working the weekends has sucked ass. So, I decided to make the switch when they offered it.

Because when your days off are Sunday, Monday and Tuesday the rest of the working world doesn't care that you want to go to the movies or go out and have drinks. They all have to get their kids home, get in bed and be prepared to be at work in the morning. So, I'm really gonna miss Sunday Dinner. And on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday I won't have anytime in the morning or the evening (those hours suck). But, I got my weekends back! Well, as soon as they get someone hired and completely trained to take my spot. But, 10 weeks from now or so - I got my weekends back!

No Thank You!

I think I'll just stick to the old-fashioned way:

Doctors Try New Surgery for Gallbladder Removal

Published: April 20, 2007

"Doctors in New York have removed a woman’s gallbladder with instruments passed through her vagina, a technique they hope will cause less pain and scarring than the usual operation, and allow a quicker recovery. The technique can eliminate the need to cut through abdominal muscles, a major source of pain after surgery."

Rest of story HERE from the NY Times.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

How To Get To Paris, France

According to Google Maps, if you want to get to Paris, France from New York City it's pretty simple. Just follow the directions below. Although you may want to carefully read # 23 before you pack your bags.

1. Head southwest on Broadway toward Warren St 0.2 mi 1 min
2. Turn left at Park Row 0.1 mi 1 min
3. Slight right at Frankfort St 0.3 mi 1 min
4. Turn left at Pearl St 56 ft
5. Turn right onto the F.D.R. Dr N ramp 0.4 mi 1 min
6. Merge onto FDR Dr N 7.7 mi 12 mins
7. Take exit 17 on the left for Triboro Bridge/Grand Central Pkwy toward I-278/Bruckner Expy 0.4 mi 2 mins
8. Merge onto Triborough Bridge Partial toll road 0.4 mi 1 min
9. Merge onto I-278 E via the ramp to I-87 N/Bronx/Upstate N Y/New England 0.6 mi 1 min
10. Take exit 47 to merge onto Bruckner Expy/I-278 E toward New Haven 1.9 mi 2 mins
11. Take the I-278 E exit toward New Haven 0.3 mi
12. Merge onto Bruckner Expy 5.0 mi 6 mins
13. Continue on I-95 N Partial toll road Entering Connecticut 62.1 mi 1 hour 12 mins
14. Take exit 48 on the left to merge onto I-91 N toward Hartford 36.8 mi 37 mins
15. Take exit 29 for US-5 N/CT-15 toward I-84/E Hartford/Boston 0.4 mi
16. Merge onto CT-15 N 1.7 mi 2 mins
17. Merge onto I-84 E Partial toll road Entering Massachusetts 40.7 mi 38 mins
18. Take the exit onto I-90 E/Mass Pike/Massachusetts Turnpike toward N.H.-Maine/Boston Partial toll road 56.0 mi 56 mins
19. Take exit 24 A-B-C on the left toward I-93 N/Concord NH/S Station/I-93 S/Quincy 0.4 mi 1 min
20. Merge onto Atlantic Ave 0.8 mi 3 mins
21. Turn right at Central St 0.1 mi
22. Turn right at Long Wharf 0.1 mi
23. Swim across the Atlantic Ocean 3,462 mi - 29 days 0 hours
24. Slight right at E05 0.5 mi 2 mins
25. At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit onto E05/Pont Vauban 0.1 mi
26. Turn right at E05 Partial toll road 17.3 mi 22 mins
27. At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit onto A131/E05 heading to A131/Rouen/Paris/Evreux Partial toll road 9.1 mi 8 mins
28. Take the exit onto A13/E05/L'Autoroute de Normandie Partial toll road 20.3 mi 17 mins
29. Take the exit onto A13/E05/L'Autoroute de Normandie Partial toll road 56.5 mi 47 mins
30. Take the exit on the left onto A14 toward Nanterre/La Défense Partial toll road 12.5 mi 16 mins
31. Slight right at N13 1.4 mi 3 mins
32. Turn right at Avenue de Neuilly/N13 269 ft
33. At the traffic circle, take the 4th exit onto Avenue de la Grande Armée 0.7 mi 3 mins
34. At Place Charles de Gaulle, take the 5th exit onto Avenue des Champs-Elysées 1.3 mi 3 mins
35. Slight right at Voie Georges Pompidou 1.4 mi 3 mins
36. Slight left to stay on Voie Georges Pompidou 440 ft
37. Slight right at Quai de la Mégisserie 377 ft
38. Continue on Quai de Gesvres 0.2 mi 1 min
39. Turn left at Place de l'Hôtel de Ville 194 ft

This post brought to you courtesy of Bate's Klog which is where I stole it from.

Wacky Weather

It's Official! Springfield, MO has the most varied weather in the United States. And here's a map to prove it. (white representing the area with the most variety)

Check out the rankings of how cities measure up weather-wise on this page to see that "we're number 1" (and that's not a good thing).

Hillary Rodham Clinton - Picture from College

I'm not sure what I like more - the pants or the sandals?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Mute Math - Typical

The band, Mute Math, spent weeks learning to play and sing this song backwards before shooting this video. Once they had it down, the cameras never stopped rolling. The entire video was shot in one take, then reversed. It's AWESOME!

Mute Math, as a band, hails from New Orleans. But take the time to learn a little more about the members and you will find that the drummer, Darren King, is a native Springfieldian. That's right - the way this band is gaining popularity, Springfield, MO is going to have yet another claim to fame.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Meth Moths?

Student wins science fair award with new meth-finding tool
by Chad Plein, KY3 News

KAISER, Mo. -- A high school senior has piqued the curiosity of law enforcement officers by showing them a new tool in the war against illegal methamphetamines. The discovery came out of Lei’La’ Bryant’s science fair project and law enforcement officers say it works.

Bryant says, when looking for a project for the state science symposium, she started thinking about students and infants who she's seen affected by meth. Her project, How to Find Meth Labs, won a best-in-the-state award.

“I wanted to do something to change things,” said Bryant.

The evils of meth concerned Bryant so much that she hatched a plan to help law enforcement.

“It’s innovative to take something small and lead to chemicals,” said Camden County Sheriff John Page.

“Meth in Missouri has its own world ranking,” said Bryant.

Seven meth busts in her neighborhood over the last two years bugged Bryant. She had to find an answer.

“Yeah, I train moths,” she said.

That’s right: moths. The experiment is based on Pavlov's dog. She exposed moths to a meth chemical shortly before feeding them.

Rest of story HERE

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Nov. 11, 1922 - April 11, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut was not an author that was beloved by all. Most of his works were considered controversial and hard to follow. In fact, I only read "SlaughterHouse-Five" because I wanted to see what the big deal was with it. And after I read it, I liked it despite the obvious reasons most people don't.

My first experience with Mr. Vonnegut's writings was back in either junior high or high school (I can't remember which because it was so long ago)when our reading book included his short story "Harrison Bergeron". I knew then I liked the guy because that was such a great story. Unfortunately, the 2 works I mentioned here are the only things I've ever read of his. Maybe now I should find time to read some more of Vonnegut's works. I hear "Cat's Cradle" is a good one.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Random Thoughts For The Day

Thank God, the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals finally won a game this season.

I probably should have slept sometime between getting off work @ 7:00 am this morning and being back at work @ 09:30 pm today. I'm starting to feel a liiiitttle bit tired.

Cadbury eggs are the bomb!

Josh and I had a good day reliving our favorite songs from 80's hair bands.

Today, I got to eat some of grandma's world-famous sugar cookies that she is making for Easter. I got to sneak some 2 days early because I'm her favorite. Nananana booboo.

Okay, Josh got some cookies today too. And so did Sabrina. And so did the kids. But, she wanted me to get the first ones. I'm sure of it.

I'm going to Disney World baby!

I drank 1 wine cooler 3 1/2 hours before coming to work - don't tell my boss.

Have I mentioned that I'm tired?

Happy Hoppy Bunny Weekend!!!!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Daycare Easter Party

My little cousin, Keaton and Bobbie's neice, Lexi both attend the same daycare and today was the day they did their Easter Party. Bobbie and I were both available, so we went over to witness the little kids have their fun. They both got quite a few eggs and Lexi even found one of the special prize eggs *cough* Cordell accidentally helped her *cough*. I didn't get as many good pictures as I wanted because they were both running very quickly in random directions, and as soon as they stopped all 600 kids that were there piled in on top of each other and began dissecting eggs in search of candy. But here is one of each of them during the thrill of the hunt.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Random Picture

I love photography, but I have a 6.0 mp Nikon Coolpix L1 instead of a digital SLR so a lot of times my pictures are simply snapshots. But that doesn't stop me from one day dreaming of owning a Nikon D70 and it also doesn't stop me from trying to take fancy little artsy pictures with my simple little camera.

As a result, I end up with hundreds of pictures a week that I don't want to delete or store, but I digress. I also occasionally end up with a decent shot.

Here's one I took Saturday morning as I was leaving work and heading out to the parking lot. This is a shot of the new construction at St. John's Hospital. The weather was kind of cloudy and stormy, but there was still a hint of possible spring sunshine in the air and I just loved the way the newly installed glass panels were reflecting the sky.

Now It's Officially Spring

Do you know why it is suddenly official that spring is here? It's because last night I attended my first "hot dog-roasting" bonfire of the year. Yeah! We even had smores! Now my warm-weather hyperness has kicked into full swing.

We went to Chris' house where he and his friend Grisham built us a small fire:

The fire was awesome, but was not quite suited for roasting hot dogs - you couldn't get too close without your face melting off:

But, we finally managed to burn a few beyond repair and enjoy some good food and company:

After sunset, the fire was perfect for keeping us warm:

All in all, it was a beautiful spring night. Great times, great friends, and I guess I better say great family or else several of them might be offended.