Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Farewell, Blogger

Dear everybody,
It's official, I'm done with blogger (though apparently it's only been glitchy for me, so if you have a blogger account, don't fret).

Of all the exciting options from the previous post, I chose the ever-creative

It's basically the same blog, but it gave me the chance to get rid of some links for blogs that haven't been updated recently (Ally, Amber, Tian, and Joe - you guys are hanging on by a thread). So update your links! That's where you'll find me now!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

PS - blogger is subpar

That last post took me an hour to post - and that was probably the last straw. Probably.

So I might quit blogger and switch to wordpress (?) which I've never heard complaints about.

What should my username be?

so far I've got:

I don't know what being a gangster of love means, but I'm pretty sure I am one.

Hey, suggest something why don't ya? I think at least 90% of you are more creative than I am.

Also, wordpressers (there are 2 maybe 3 of you?), let me know if wp is also glitchy and if I should just stick with what I've got.

It's freezing in here!

cold apples

This morning I drank coffee, it was pleasant because of the warmth.

"Somebody's cold" - my coworker in response to seeing me in my winter coat staring at my laptop.

I can only drink water if my jacket's on. Unless I heat it up.

Also, lunch, this apple is too cold.

Tomorrow I will post pictures of the biggest apple any of you have ever seen in your life. 3/4 the size of my head.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Weekends: a definition

Let me tell you a little something about weekends.

They start with Friday nights. Usually spent at church, eating brownies, drinking punch, and at a diner of some sort. This week I did all those things (except no brownies and no punch), and the diner we picked was the Uptown Diner.

I have, literally, 30 pictures of Anna Leisa eating a sandwich.

We told many an awkward story.

My favorite went a little something like this:

"In 7th grade I hung out with the gangsters. You know how some girls wear black lip liner? ....I tried that once." - Emily

Those several sentences induced a fit of tears. In fact, Emily could barely get it out without laughing.

Oh and Anna Leisa threw up after her first kiss. Pass it on.

On Saturday, Ann and Sarah and I did our last long run before the 10-miler next week! We ran 7 miles together - we talked and we sweated and we sprinted at the end!

Following that, we went to Keith's birthday party at Buca's!

The food was great. The cheese bread was particularly tasty.

Then we went our separate ways. I went home and took a quick nap before I had to be at Anna Leisa's house (for Chin's).

Before leaving for Anna Leisa's, I stopped by the rental office; I had a package waiting and I tore it open to find my very own copy of Mooch the Messy meets Prudence the Neat!!

Anna Leisa called me about that time to tell me she was running late, but that Beth was home and would let me inside. So after I got to her house, I read a few pages of Mooch meets Prudence and then trudged up the porch steps.

Now I couldn't say with certainty, but I was pretty sure a surprise party was waiting for me Saturday I expected a surprise...what I didn't expect was to find 3 PEOPLE IN BLACK HOODIES COME BARRELING TOWARD ME WITH JASON MASKS ON AND A PINK BLANKET.

"...What is this?"

An Emily-looking-Jason screamed at me "NO TALKING" and covered me in the blanket. I practiced passive-resistance by collapsing onto the floor and refusing to move, begging them to "let me walk."

So however they did it, they got me to the car, told me to "not talk" and "sit down." What I felt on my bottom was a trunk. "You guys are putting me in a trunk?"


They shut the door and in my heart I was full of glee (I love being in trunks). While in there, I finished reading Mooch meets Prudence by the bright light that shown whenever the Sarah-looking-Jason braked...(the book is great by the way). Eventually we made it to Sarah/Emily/Rachel's house (the voice in the trunk had to tell them to take Washington...).

Once we got there, a lot of people were looking at me, and I didn't know what to do! So I danced! I think Sarah got a video. While watching it, I reminded myself of my two year old neice - everyone watching her just dance and clap and act like a two year old.

The boys got me a pony dvd and Cranium (my favorite game), Adam C. got me sunflowers, Keith got me a cd, Jodi made me macaroni and cheese (one of my favorite dishes), the Brennes made tasty bars, Anna Leisa picked out the best candy ever for my UNICORN piñata. the Quickerts brought golden oreos, and Lee made me a crown. Am I forgetting anything? Many gave me thoughtful cards, and the girls gave me gold. Lots and lots of gold.

I kept trying to foil their plans by making Sarah or Ben or anybody just admit they were throwing me a surprise party...I'm glad they didn't cave. And they did a great job covering up!! But this is how I knew:

- At Anna Leisa's birthday dinner Sarah said to me "your party is coming. Shhhhhh."

- Sarah emailed me asking if I'd like to do Chins Saturday night with the other girls (Chins is our spontaneous bible study that we like to do at Chinese restaurants). I knew a party was coming, and was suspicious that she sent that email to just me and not to all the girls at once.

- Sarah was really excited when I said I could come to Chin's

- Friday night Sarah asked if she could borrow my camera for the weekend

- At the house before Buca's I saw a bunch of chips and salsa. I said to Ben "What's all that for?" Ben said "Homeless Outreach." I said "Chips?" Ben said "The bananas are, I don't know about the chips - maybe we're having a chips and salsa party for the homeless."

- After Buca's Ben was on the phone with his brother Dan and said "We were just at a birthday Christine's is later." I look back and Sarah says "in a few weeks...I've just been too stressed out to plan anything. I'm sorry."

Ha! Everyone really did a great job of not letting it slip (besides maybe that last clue)! If I hadn't known a party was coming I would never have suspected, so great job!! And holy crap I didn't expect to get thrown in a trunk! I loved every minute of it!!

Exclamation points!

I am glad that you didn't get rear-ended during the abduction though.

Here is me beating my piñata with grapefruit juice. Just look at how joyful AL and Rachel are! Candy!

I love pictures where everyone is laughing:

Awww, girls (well, some of them):

Again! This time, Sarah, act totally trashed:

"This girl is hilarious:"

Frame ready:

And everybody:

(Go to Jodi's blog or Maren and Karl's picasa album to see more - there are some great ones of the guys in there that just didn't get on my camera for some reason).

Oh, weekends have Sundays too. This Sunday we had homeless outreach and afterwards we were talking about some possible new safety rules - like the girls trying to dress homely and playing down our femininity (hats, sweatpants, etc). Ben or Corey said to me "Christine, you dressed well today." We all began laughing because clearly that is code for "Christine, you dressed ugly today." Thanks guys, thanks (it was so unintentional).

Then Anna Leisa and I got coffee at Target and walked around until it closed.

And that is what some people call a weekend - a friday, a saturday, and a sunday.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Dr. Zhivago - check!

Imagine my dread putting in a dvd I knew would steal 200 minutes of my life away...

Now imagine my joy when it ended in one hour and 17 minutes.

1) I have no idea what those 77 minutes were about as I spent the entire time on facebook - eating wheat thins.

2) Despite the possibility that maybe I just saw the last 77 minutes of this movie (and the other 123 minutes were on the other side), I selected "play movie" not "play last 77 minutes of the movie" so I must assume I have now seen the full Dr. Zhivago.

3) Check! 48 more classic movies to go. Next on my list: Duck Soup.

Will I make it?

Tune in tomorrow to hear about how I was assaulted by three black hoodied Jasons with a pink blanket last night.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Yes! Make them like this!

Attn: my family!

I'm filling out this library thing, and when I was looking up Mooch the Messy (favorite childhood book of me and all three of my siblings) I saw that there is another Mooch book! Mooch the Messy meets Prudence Neat

I've already ordered it!!

This just in

Yesterday I got two pieces of valuable input. My boss told me that table is most likely to be called a "telephone table."

And my mom emailed me (because she couldn't remember having a table like that) and I told her that ours only had one shelf. She informed me that it is just a typical old fashioned end table.

So due to what my mom said and also due to the fact that telephones don't exist anymore, I guess "they just don't make 'em like that anymore."

Which is stupid.

I'm going to some thrift stores if I have time this weekend. Who's with me??

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

the endcase

I was going to blog about one of two things today:

1) The insanity of living next to a high school

2) The greatness of Arrested Development

But I will forego both these topics so that I can make a request. I am looking for a piece of furniture. It is an end table, but it is also a bookcase. This is an artist's rendition:

A) What would you call this thing? An endcase?

B) I think my parents had something like this in our basement. It's the most useful piece of furniture I can think of, and I would really like one. Where can I get one?

C) Will you build me one?


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Lunch with Ann

Thanks for lunch today Ann, I'm sorry that I choked so hard on my sandwich that I began uncontrollably crying. Thanks for not making me feel bad about it!


So as you know, I'm reading about Winston Churchy. It's great. But often, when reading, I feel I am not retaining much/any of the content (college anybody?). I thought this was true again with this book as I'm trying to get her done as quickly as possible, but now I am no longer sure. This is due to the conversation I just had with Ann in the stairwell. I got all excited about Winston Churchill and the conservative/liberal/labour parties, I unleashed uninteresting facts, and then my eyes lit up as I said "I can't wait until I get to Hitler!"

"I can't wait until I get to Hitler"

What is happening? Am I going to grow a horn soon? Will people begin referring to me as a unicorn? Might as well. The Apocalypse is near.

Why am I blogging? I have an inner unicorn-nerd that is trying to emerge - I should be reading!

PS (Post-Script): I got a lead on some Transformer dolls if anybody is interested.

Blood Drive: rejected again

I don't know how many of you heard my blood drive story of last spring...but long story short: I got roped in and then rejected.

Well here it is again. I armed myself with a full breakfast this time (even skipped the coffee), I was ready to go! I go down there (with my friend Winny to keep me company). I sit with the woman, talk with her, and then she pricks my finger (ouch!) and puts it in the doohicky.

One minute later:

"Your iron is too low"

"What? I'm rejected?"

Cue Peanuts Sad-Moment-Music. My head is drooped.

Doesn't anybody want my blood?

But not all is lost, I'm eavesdropping on a phone conversation, and I've learned that my coworker met a cute girl in the gym today. I get to have lunch with Ann, and I discovered a way to watch cable for free (the fitness room!).

Oh yeah, and it's cold out! Time to break out the long johns everybody!

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Sum of all Weekends

This weekend I went to church. I saw an old friend I hadn't seen in a long time. I also got the chance to meet someone I'd never met before and who I took a liking to immediately (on the way to the bathroom of all places)!

Afterwards, three of us went to Perkins, we laughed so hard we cried (to potty jokes, of course). Our waitress had a sense of humor of the dry kind. Every time she came over my love for her was refreshed. "I love her." "I really love her."

We went to an 80s party - we were out of place. In the new millenium. Or the 60s.

Saturday my laundry got clean, but I accidentally washed my clothes twice when I mistook a washer for a more expensive dryer. This gave me more time to read from this book I've been wanting to read for awhile (I am now 4 chapters from its finish, it is amazing).

Games night! Anna Leisa and I planned on spending the evening with Angie and Justin, at first we were thinking movie...then all the "cards" just came together:

"Okay movie is fine, I can bring Phase 10...or Skip-bo too in case anyone wants to play games" - me
"Ooh, I'm always up for games" - AL
"Yeah, I really want to play games" - me
"I just talked to Angie and suggested games and she started SCREAMING in delight and as she was doing so you could hear Justin in the background saying 'why don't we play games, we haven't done that in a while'" - AL

So, games it was! I should note that the radio was being very good to me Saturday night on the way to Angie and Justin's. It started off with Captain & Tennille and finaled with the magic of "Lonely Boy" (see previous entry), this was possibly the greatest car-ride that has ever been.

Upon arrival in the warehouse district, the four of us plus Justin's friend Jared got our game on (with snack foods, wine, and soda!). We played the longest Phase 10 game in history (coming in at a little over 3 hours) and then we played Cranium. We all had our mascots - Angie's was a turkey, Justin's was an elephant, mine was a gnome, Jared's was a ninja turtle, and Anna Leisa's was Albert Einstein (who passed out in the jelly belly's - I have got to get ahold of some of those pictures).

One of my favorite moments was when Angie confessed to us that she didn't like Schindler's List, and also when Einstein went through his aged hippy phase. I also enjoyed humming "Brick House" and standing during the last round of Phase 10 (so much pressure mounting!). Fifthly, I look back fondly on Angie's ginormous goblet and Justin's desire to fill it high. Also, do you not know where Armenia is? Just hop in the shower, search the curtain and become geographically wiser (there were no showers taken on game night). Seventhly, Monster. How happy you and Anna Leisa are together.

At 2am we departed toward home, and went to sleep.

On Sunday I holed up in my apartment, watching Episodes of The OC ("don't call it that" - AD), taking a break between each episode to read a chapter from the book I've been reading (with a 10-minute interval for Andrew-Gold-Dance-Time).

It's Monday morning now and I am thankful! I'm thankful for the whole Rock community (that continues to grow). I'm thankful that I have the means to waste 14 quarters on superfluous laundry washes. I'm thankful for wise teachers like the author of the book I'm reading, who are honest, challenging, and encouraging. I'm thankful for my pastor, who cares so deeply for the members of our church, and puts forth every effort to guide us rightly. I'm thankful for games where no one is overly competitive. I'm thankful for laughter, for dancing. I'm thankful to not live the lives of those on The OC - who never have to practice restraint as they receive everything they want the very moment that they want it. I'm thankful for God, that because of Christ's obedience I have been justified, the curtain has been torn, and I can pray to Him whenever I want. I'm thankful for a book full of His wisdom that is always at my fingertips (I am thankful for the three in my car, the three on my kitchen table, and the one following me around on the internet all day at work. At what point does it become too many?). I'm thankful for my nephews and neice and Brenna (I don't know what she is to me, second cousin?). I'm thankful for Muffin, who has probably taught me more about life and God than most humans ever will (plus he's sooo cute).

Dear Blogosphere, how was your weekend? Thankful for anything today?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

we'll dress him up warmly

It's been a great weekend! I may have even gotten a new favorite song out of the deal. Lonely Boy by Andrew Gold. Perhaps you've heard of it?

Ohhh, oh what a lonely boy.

Friday, September 15, 2006


Blunder of blunders. I posted my bible study post on the wrong blog. Sorry about that for the four or so people who visited in the last hour.

Subject: Everywhere

I am now 36.9% done with the first volume of the two volume biography of Winston Churchill.

It's a good thing I'm fascinated because I know even if I hated it I'd keep reading until I was done with all 1800+ pages. Good thing Winny, good thing.

I also really like words that have a b followed by a p. skip-bo. skiPBo.

Blog material is kind of running low this week...

This is not true.

This week I went to one funeral, one birthday party, and I sent in a positive rsvp to one wedding (and was struck by all the contrast). I met two people for coffee, watched at least 5 episodes of Arrested Development, and I got two free lamps. I ran 4 miles with Ann, Erica, and AL (we all made it in under 40 minutes - pretty exciting). I slept at least 8 hours every single night this week. Yesterday I hit the snooze button 10 times (that means I got out of bed one hour and 40 minutes after my alarm went off). I ate bread with Flax. Muffin tried (failed) to eat my cottage cheese - not cool, Muffin.

But what I'm really thinking about?

I had an email conversation this week with the Miz (short, but good). It was about things that don't make sense, and yet are undeniably necessary (like tears, or grief, or even laughter). He made a good point that we should be humbled by these things we could never possibly understand.

Three people died this past weekend, all were sad, but the one I was probably the most disconnected with was also probably the most depressing.

Our high school band teacher (I had her in 8th grade) died this past weekend due to complications with her pregnancy/childbirth. I don't know many details, there must have been SOME sort of warning during the pregnancy (so I don't mean that to frighten friends/family who are pregnant), but yet - how terribly sad! I keep thinking that this new life came from her before she had to die. Is that hopeful? I'm not really sure(as I admittedly am not grieving over this death like many others are), but I hope it's hopeful.

My Aunt Lois said to me on Monday as we looked around at our ever-multiplying family "Thank God for children." That had to be one of the biggest doses of truth I'd heard all week.

There's something about children that makes death seem a little easier, isn't there? At the funeral, my Uncle Wally's grandchildren brought up, one by one, all these things that were reminders of his life (tennis shoe, baseball, deck of cards, etc.) and although most of the faces in the church were red and tear-stained, I don't think any could hold back their smiles watching those adorable children parading up to the altar.

So that's what I'm thinking about this week: Winston Churchill, sleep, death, life, children, Skip-Bo. Scattered? Yes, but also somehow grounded.

I'm looking forward to church tonight!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Happy Birthday Anna Leisa!

It's good to be an '82 Bordeaux. Happy birthday AL!!!

Here's every picture of her that I could find:

Watch out MN Daily employees:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

She's the president everybody! Wish her a happy birthday or she'll fire everybody!!

Zork Lore

In a narcissistic wikipedia search of my surname, I came across something that can only be described as "frightening & wonderful."

An excerpt:

It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue...

> what is a grue

The grue is a sinister, lurking presence in the dark places of the earth. Its favorite diet is adventurers, but its insatiable appetite is tempered by its fear of light. No grue has ever been seen by the light of day, and few have survived its fearsome jaws to tell the tale.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

New Kasey today!

The new Kasey Chambers album comes out today! Yay!! I've been so excited since Valleyfair day (it was released in Australia that day) when I groggily wandered around Best Buy wondering where, oh where, it was...

I'm going to go get it in 21 minutes!


I'm trying to think of the least depressing thing I can blog about, and I think this is it:

Several hours ago I had a breakfast fit for the Cracker Barrel: Frosted Mini Spooners, a sliced banana, and turkey sausage.

Live the fight, America.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The people demanded freedom...

So in case you don't have facebook, there has been a serious uproar on this college hotspot (by the way, this is the 7th most trafficked site on the internet, did you know?) this week.

They introduced a new feature - the feed. Basically it just tells you every change that any one of your facebook friends makes. When I opened facebook I found out that Michael Hadady (The Miz) had become friends with some person I'd never heard of. That Dan Waller added the Steve Miller Band to his list of favorite music. That Lisa Ahlness was in a relationship with some dude - hey there's his picture even! I was pretty creeped out...and so was the rest of the facebook community.

Many groups began to pop up with names such as "I hate the new facebook" "Facebook has gone too far" "Students for Facebook Privacy." My favorite facebook-change-related-group was started by my friend Mark. It was called "The Irony That I Can See You Joined an Anti-Stalking Group is Delicious" with the info reading: "Yeah, we all know that you don't like the new Stalker Facebook thanks to the new Stalker Facebook. Hilarious, Facebook, truly hilarious." To further prove his point, I saw on my feed immediately that he'd started this group - I joined it two minutes after it was created. No invitation necessary, that's how well this feed works!

This may seem ridiculous to you non-facebookers, in fact it may not even make sense, but if you even signed on this past week you would realize that this was a genuine (catastrophic even?) uproar. People were boycotting the website! Within 48 hours, 650,000 people had joined the facebook group "Students against Facebook News Feed (Official Petition to Facebook)."

I'm willing to bet thousands of blogs, such as my friend Matt's, were confined to the subject of facebook all week.

Ahh, facebook.

My own opinion? I don't think it's the end of the world, but they've definitely gone too far. It's a great site - superior to Myspace in almost every single way and, when used appropriately (many people waste waaay too much time on it), it's a pretty good way to keep in touch with old friends, remember birthdays, and share photos (unlimited quantity!!). The site achieved internet-perfection when it added photo albums - they should have stopped there.

When they started feeding in blogs a few weeks ago I remember thinking "uhh, this might be a bit much..." and then this feed happened. Mostly the feed just offers us information quickly that we could find out ourselves if we looked hard enough, but still it felt a little...creepy. On the other hand, I've gotten more than my fair share of hearty laughs over the whole debacle and, yes, I loved it when a few of my friends started spamming the feed.

Anyway, I wondered what would happen. Could the creators ignore this? Would its members' clear opinions about this new feature make a difference?

I guess so! I opened facebook today and saw this:

An Open Letter from Mark Zuckerberg:
We really messed this one up. When we launched News Feed and Mini-Feed we were trying to provide you with a stream of information about your social world. Instead, we did a bad job of explaining what the new features were and an even worse job of giving you control of them. I'd like to try to correct those errors now.

When I made Facebook two years ago my goal was to help people understand what was going on in their world a little better. I wanted to create an environment where people could share whatever information they wanted, but also have control over whom they shared that information with. I think a lot of the success we've seen is because of these basic principles.

We made the site so that all of our members are a part of smaller networks like schools, companies or regions, so you can only see the profiles of people who are in your networks and your friends. We did this to make sure you could share information with the people you care about. This is the same reason we have built extensive privacy settings – to give you even more control over who you share your information with.

Somehow we missed this point with Feed and we didn't build in the proper privacy controls right away. This was a big mistake on our part, and I'm sorry for it. But apologizing isn't enough. I wanted to make sure we did something about it, and quickly. So we have been coding nonstop for two days to get you better privacy controls. This new privacy page will allow you to choose which types of stories go into your Mini-Feed and your friends' News Feeds, and it also lists the type of actions Facebook will never let any other person know about. If you have more comments, please send them over.

This may sound silly, but I want to thank all of you who have written in and created groups and protested. Even though I wish I hadn't made so many of you angry, I am glad we got to hear you. And I am also glad that News Feed highlighted all these groups so people could find them and share their opinions with each other as well.

About a week ago I created a group called Free Flow of Information on the Internet, because that's what I believe in – helping people share information with the people they want to share it with. I'd encourage you to check it out to learn more about what guides those of us who make Facebook. Tomorrow at 4pm est, I will be in that group with a bunch of people from Facebook, and we would love to discuss all of this with you. It would be great to see you there.

Thanks for taking the time to read this,


This is fantastic - I'm loving all the controversy!

I haven't checked out the new settings yet, but I'm guessing they're substantial. More than anything, I'm interested in what you guys think, so...

Facebook members: Do you think these new settings are enough? Do you think all the uproar was a total overreaction? Do you think it's funny? Are you upset/did you feel invaded by the changes? Do you even care? Lee Ferron, as a new member of facebook (as of this week), what do you think of all this hubbub?

*Thanks to Matt Barnes who created the picture I stole for this entry.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


In the words of Anna Leisa Sauser: "They're just giving this stuff away!"

The last couple days the gas station nearest my apartment has been fluctuating between $2.45/gal and $2.47/gal for unleaded. This is exciting! When I need petrol, I'm going to save myself at least 3-5 dollars!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Elbow bites

Guess who got mauled by a dog tonight!



Okay, I was running through the woods/marsh when I saw a large dog, approximately the size of a medium sized bear. Easily frightened by animals of great size (ask me about my fear of deers), I froze in my tracks as it came stampeding toward me barking ferociously. I screamed louder than I've ever screamed out loud before (except maybe that other time I was attacked by a dog at Will's cabin). I saw the owner walking behind him and was immediately embarassed at my probably unnecessary scream...

I quickly composed myself, sighed, and said to the dude "Your dog scared the crap out of me."

Then the dog continued to bark and circle me and jump on me and BITE ME! The owner came over (maybe could've come quicker?) and held the dog down as I proceeded to run away.

I am grateful to be alive.

And I think I might hate dogs.

Las Vegas Weekend

Man, was I sad to come home last night...

It's weekends like these that make me want to pack up and migrate south:

These are my "I love my niece and nephew!!" pictures from the weekend:

Asleep on Jene:

Eric pouring freezing cold water over the kids:

Concentrating on the ducks:

So focused on their dad in the pool:

Papa Vegas with Andrew. I love this picture:

I may not look particularly happy in this picture, but this was probably the cutest half hour I've ever spent. Check out the drool spot:

I just want to also note that Charlotte is getting really good at her animal impressions! My favorite are her fish and monkey impressions (the monkey one is really lifelike "ooh ooh AHH AHH", and the fish is just her silently opening and closing her mouth)

Pre-airport-date with Anna Leisa

We went to Ikea and bought a plant that we could grow together, and then got as much intestinal refreshment as we could for under $5:

This is 5 of say 20 pictures of us trying to properly capture the moment and FAILING. After the one where we held the plant behind our heads I began crying. It was everything we could do to contain ourselves, then we found we actually could contain nothing.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Grandma and Grandpa's favorite bar

This morning after we got the Bearses from the airport, we went to one of my parent's favorite restaurants for breakfast.

Jene, my mom, and I were walking Charlotte into the restaurant when this happened:

"Charlotte, nana and papa love this place! This is our favorite bar." - Mom
"Yeah, Charlotte, do you want to have breakfast at grandma and grandpa's favorite bar?" - Me
Jene and I look at each other and laugh.
"Now that's one for your blog" - Jene

Also I found my flight over here humorous. I somehow felt out of place on my plane unable to peel myself away from my Winston Churchill biography - one of these things are not like the other, if you will.

Let me set the scene, college kids and middle aged vikings fans alike were getting the labor day vegas party started with their costly specialty drinks. I think every single person in my radius ordered a drink that was 3 or more dollars. Which is fine. I just felt like I might've gotten horribly ridiculed after the plane ride was over. Sirens going off, people screaming "nerd alert." That kind of thing.

Speaking of airport facilities - why did Las Vegas Airport think it was a wise use of money to hire washed up celebrities to do their moving walkway voiceovers and security videos? I hope to meet you someday in real life, Joan Collins (or was it Rivers?), to thank you in person for letting me know that I am indeed approaching the end of the moving walkway.

Must be funded by the airport slots.

Hoping all your labor day dreams are coming true. Don't go to the fair. Just don't. It's actually just a bad choice.


Friday, September 01, 2006


I am checking out everybody!

Thanks Sarah and Emily for surprising me this morning at coffee!! You made my morning!

Thanks in advance to Anna Leisa for the incredible date we're about to have in 30 minutes. You ready for this, Jodi?

Have a wonderfully laborious weekend, everybody!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Happy Birthday Eric and Christine!!

Happy Birthday to my oldest brother, Eric!! I'm so thankful to have you for a brother, and I can't wait to see you and Jene and the little guys tomorrow!

Also happy birthday to Christine Two!! Chicago may not have any giant cowboy boots, but I hear you've got a normal-sized pair in your closet! Throw caution to the wind, Christine. Go line-dancing!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Googling Australia

Hello everyone,
I spent some time on Google Earth today and, as always happens, I ended up wandering the streets of Australia and I couldn't help but remember lots of good times spent in these places with my friends.

Where I lived:

At the top you'll see the complex I lived in (College Square), untagged just above that is the Independent Grocer of Australia (IGA) where I had to make runs for milk and crackers during commercial breaks of Big Brother.

Top right is the safeway - also there was a Borders, a coffee shop, and a movie theatre.

Safeway and College Square were on Lygon Street - world famous for its Italian restaurants (go ahead, google it). Just to the right of this picture there was this incredible Italian restaurant that had a Nutella dessert - Erika and I enjoyed this masterpiece on many an ocassion.

To the right you'll see Uni Melb - just where the little tag is you would find the union - in the union there was a rancid sushi joint, a store that sold award-winning lotion, a wonderful coffee shop where Erika and I would hang out every Tuesday afternoon, the computer lab, and lots and lots of smart people who care about stuff and held protests.

"Kiddy Corner" (American phrase) to my apartment building was the Jewish Cemetary. It's big. My friend Joe once chased a fox in there on our way to the playground (tagged below the cemetary). There was a gravestone for Elvis in there.

Above the cemetary I have pointed to where I saw a dead bat on the sidewalk once.

Mid to low in the picture you'll see Erika's college. A college in Australia is what we would call a cross between a dorm and a fraternity. They had a ball - we would have called it a dance, but they did not. We went to it.

Down low is the Melbourne Zoo. Jess and I saw some otters there. This is a picture from that fateful day:

Speaking of pictures, this is one of Erika in my apartment building on halloween:

Downtown Melbourne:

Up top you'll see a casino. It's an indoor city with pillars of fire outside (literally). Erika and I saw a movie there once (the remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre if you're interested) and had to walk all the way home afterwards as the trams stop running after 1am. We ate free popcorn and strangers tried to talk to us along the way (see tag).

There's a music venue in the middle of downtown. This is where I met many of my wonderful Australian friends.

Below that is where I once tried to climb on the briefcase of one of these strange statues and wiped out onto the sidewalk below:

Then there's Chinatown.

Then Nando's Chicken joint - where they proudly boasted "No Fat Chicks."

In the lower right is the Queen Vic Market, where fruit is purchased.

Townsville, The Strand:

This was my most exciting find. I spent Christmas in Townsville. December is summer in Australia, so there was a Christmas parade - I remember there was Mary and Joseph, a manger, and several camels. Knowing I'd never seen a camel before, my friend Frog hooked me up with the meeting and petting of one of the blasted creatures.

If you look to your right you'll see a bathroom. Jen and I were in the bathroom one evening, and the boys were outside waiting for us. Then some Bogans came up and said to Joe (wearing a brown and orange polo) "nice shirt." Joe responded "it's the way of the future man." Then the Bogans began throwing beer bottles at the car and the boys were fleeing the scene as Jen and I exited the bathroom. We sprint to enter the moving vehicle as the bogans are chasing us. Once we were safely inside, Jordan sticks his head out of the car window and yells "God Bless!"

Youthful exuberance.

"Dynamite Charles Spurgeon quote"

"Seeing that we have such a God to trust to, let us rest upon Him with
all our weight; let us resolutely drive out all unbelief, and endeavor
to get rid of doubts and fear, which so much mar our comfort; since
there is no excuse for fear where God is the foundation of our trust.
A loving parent would be sorely grieved if his child could not trust
him; and how ungenerous, how unkind is our conduct when we put so
little confidence in our heavenly Father, who has never failed us, and
who never will!"

(A nod to Anna Leisa for passing this one on)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

$5 Date Challenge

I've never been one to let my singleness take me away from a challenge - and neither has Anna Leisa. That is why we are the newest competitors in the $5 Date Challenge.

The best part is we don't have to cater to those boy-girl-boundaries-in-not-hanging-out-late-at-night-alone-in-your-apartment rules. Booyah!

Hey AL, how's about we share a blanket and watch a documentary sometime?


Monday, August 28, 2006

A Day at the Fair

After a late evening of Mafia and that blasted Apples to Apples game, I woke with the sun (9am) to venture to Valleyfair - with Ben and Joe.

I just need to note that as we were approaching the fair, we all agreed to this: "We are definitely not going on the stupid antique cars due to their lameness."

When we arrived we headed for the Enterprise. After the spinning and the screaming and the upside downness, I was feeling a little wobbly (Ben sat that one out knowing its effect). We proceeded onto Chaos and Steel Venom and then we went to, my personal favorite, the Monster.

Now at this point Ben and I could really no longer take it (Joe is still young)...we debated whether food was a GREAT idea, or the worst idea ever. I decided it was great, and we headed to panda express where I quickly out-ate the boys.

Afterwards we looked at the antique cars and decided it sounded like a really wonderful idea. Ben and I just wanted to sit and let Joe drive us around. Joe really wanted to drive. Perfect.

Here are pictures from that joyous ride:

As we were nearing this area, Ben proclaims "look, it's the antique car graveyard:"

There was something about these statues, something funny. I don't remember what it was:

I took a picture of this wonderful woman (that won't load for some reason) and she walked towards our car mouthing, "put your camera away, NO CAMERAS!!!"

I put it away, and then seconds later I defied her by take a picture of an antique-car-ride water fountain (not interesting enough to post).

This ride did the trick. I still felt disoriented and woobly, but we all felt better in the tummy. We went to the Excalibur and had the time of our lives! Then I requested we go to the white roller coaster...Ben and Joe anticipated a crappy ride. Boy were they surprised to find it is SO fun. Up and down, up and down. It's just fantastic.

On our way to the white roller coaster we overheard (from the waterpark) that song that goes "every time you go away, you take a piece of me with you." It was in my head, and I proclaimed that those lyrics made me sad. Ben and Joe argued with me - they were good. I said "no, no, the lyrics should be more like 'everytime you go away, I'm sad because I really enjoy you, but I'm still okay.'" This spawned much laughter and many more corrective lyrics. "It's like what you say to an old high school friend: 'I kind of like you, you're okay to be with, when you go away I miss you a little.'" I wish I could remember some of the more funny corrections. Joe, Ben: help me out will ya?

Later we went to the Wild Thing where I thought I was definitely going to die. I kept expecting the car to ride right off the rails where we would plummet to our deaths on the mini golf course. Horrible.

Then I requested the Tilt-a-whirl. I think Ben was less than enthusiastic. We took note of the people in front of us who had the most spins - it was the ones who were not trying. So our theory was to "relax." Once we got on the ride we realized that wasn't getting us anywhere...Ben yells out "relaxing isn't working!!!!!!!!!!" and we all shift to the left. I yell "COMMIT TO A SIDE!!!!!" and then someone yells "committing isn't working!!! SHIFT TO THE RIGHT!!!!"

Have you ever been so happy all you can think to do is laugh? This was the sort of joy we experienced as we spun and spun and spun:

Later we went home, and I watched Schindler's List with a room full of people who don't cry. From the time that the man with no arm was shot and onward I was a complete basketcase.

Valley Fair and Schindler's List - great combination, huh?

Happy Birthday everybody.