Saturday, November 22, 2003

You are Bobby. Full name: Robert Francis Kennedy.
Nickname: RFK. A graduate of the University of
Virginia Law School, you were the Attorney
General of the US from 1960-1963. You are most
well known for your passionate crusading for
human and civil rights. People basically either
loved you or hated you. You served as a US
Senator for a few years, until you ran for
President in 1967. You were assasinated in 1968
in the kitchen of a California hotel. Your 11
children, all who loved you very much, took
your death hard. The deaths of two of your
children are considered by many to have been a
direct result of the trauma of *your* death.

Which Kennedy Male Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

"I am an idealist without illusions..."

John Fitzgerald Kennedy
29 May 1917 - 22 November 1963

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

One of my very favorite contemporary Classical music composers, John Corigliano has released a new Concerto, according to this interview from The Associated Press.

The reason why I like Corigliano so much is probably because he's one of the few composers I've actually met, in addition to Lukas Foss and Pauline Oliveros. While still at B-W I was fortunate to meet Foss and Corigliano during FOCUS Festival events. I attended a Masterclass given by Oliveros during my senior year, and since there were, maybe, 10 of us in the class, there was a lot of one-on-one time with the composer herself.

Anyway, Corigliano, in my opinion, has an impressive oevre, from song cycles (with text by Dylan Thomas...yum!), to concerti, to symphonies, to film scores, including The Red Violin, which I love.
It's official...
2 things:
First, Kevin is now, happily, employed full time by The City of Brecksville. His first day on the job was yesterday and he LOVED it. Thank God.

Second, this week I am in Television Heaven because of all the programming on the Kennedys. This Saturday, the 22nd, marks the 40th anniversary of JFK's assassination, which means there are actually decent programs to watch on TV other than the usual mindless network fluff.

So, last night I was watching American Experience: The Kennedys on PBS when I got a phone call at 10pm. It was Sue calling to tell me Andy proposed to her Sunday night! CONGRATULATIONS! YAY!

More links to Kennedy-related articles, photos, and stories:
JFK: The Unseen Photographs

Friday, November 14, 2003

We have not had heat in the office all week. Today I am huddled so close to the space heater under my desk, I will probably ignite my sweater. My fingers are practically frozen to my keyboard this morning, as it is a frigid 60 degrees in here. It feels like someone left all the windows open over night.

The repair guys have been unable to fix the heating system, since that involves climbing up on the roof, and since we have had such high winds here, they have been reluctant to do any work. (Go here to read about damage caused by the tornado touchdown in Wooster.) Incidentally, the winds were so high Wednesday night, they blew our backyard fence down. They also blew away the Century 21 sign in the front yard. Kevin asked me if we still had to sell the house since the sign is now gone. Yes, yes we do. *chuckles*

Thursday, November 13, 2003

It is rather we who did propose you fill up your chalice.
Enchanted with this contrivance,
you ventured the deed.
You were rich enough to become a hundred times yourself in one single flower;
such is the plight of one who loves -
nor did you think otherwise.

-- Rainer Maria Rilke

Saturday, November 08, 2003

point of grace
that heady feeling returns only for a moment
and i go back to a time of lesser everything
a walk around the block
alone together in the calm
in the dark with you
two paths once on the same journey
created by years
sustained by memories
forging on still because we do not know what is ahead of us
our two lights across an expanse
of meadow, of highway, of city
i can feel the distance
next to me
the unquiet mind
the lost hope; the emptiness and abandon
the unwanted life that hangs on
to what it only remembers to be real
all of it is nothing anymore
there is no life in this breath
there is no meaning in covenant
a face merely exists; a body's mass
inches apart yet miles away
and slowly i drift
as you just watch me go

-hew 11/7/03

Thursday, November 06, 2003

It's getting chilly here again. I think I can safely put away the grill for the winter. Last night we had our last bbq and I stood outside shivering in Husband's jean jacket while I flipped burgers. Brr.

I have choir practice tonight, to which I ordinarily look forward, except this year has been different. I realize everyone has 'stuff' going on in their lives, but people just can't seem to leave it outside the door when they come in for rehearsal. The last few weeks have been nothing but bitching and moaning, complaining and negativity. I am tired of it. Regardless of how bad things get in my own life, I try to keep my complaints to myself, because life is too short to be in a sour mood all the time, and it's contagious. So I say to them, 'walk a mile in my shoes, and then you can have bitching rights.'

On the agenda for the weekend...packing and cleaning, cleaning and packing, and another Open House on Sunday. I can't wait. *snort*

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Busy, busy, busy.

We're showing the house this afternoon, and again tomorrow evening. These realtors want to come in at the most inconvenient times. Last night, I got a call asking to come in this morning and I had to put my foot down and say 'no way'. Saturday morning is the only time I have to enjoy myself and get anything done around here. So they're coming about 2. Tomorrow we're showing at 5. Dinner time. Fantastic.

So, last night I gave in. Kevin previously had agreed with me that we'd skip trick-or-treat last night, keep the lights off, and hunker down in front of the TV. I think he was reluctant to talk to the nosy neighbors about us moving. Certainly everyone has seen the big honking Century 21 sign in the front yard, but we haven't really talked to the neighbors since it went up. Anyway, I think Kevin wanted to avoid having to answer too many questions, and understandably so.

But last night, right before I left work, he called me to tell me he had changed his mind and would I stop and pick up some candy on the way home. That was at 4. Trick-or-treat started at 6. So I hit Drugmart on the way home. They were out. Then I went to Tops. They were out. I came home, we ate dinner, and made a mad dash for Giant Eagle. They were nearly cleaned out, but we managed to get a few bags (7) of candy. We got home just in time.

Not a lot of kids this year, but I didn't hide in the house like last year and make Kevin do it alone. It was nice enough outside that we sat out on the front steps for several hours. Kevin and 80s Frank had their celebratory beers, and I had my mug of chai. The kids looked great. I am still bothered by the fact that no one rings the doorbell here. They just stand out there and yell "trick-or-treat". However, this year, hardly any of the kids even said that. Most of them just walked up the driveway to us, thrust their pillowcases in our faces, and stared at us. Some of them sort of grunted pre-historically till we gave up the candy, but most didn't say 'trick-or-treat' at all. Greedy little buggers.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

I think to be a part of music, music is something that chooses us, and it is truly an elixir. I've never experienced anything in my life like music, because it doesn't um make demands in a way that a relationship does. I do feel like it's boundless and endless. And when I've read that there's tone out in the galaxy... I was reading somewhere the other day that there was a place that had a B-Flat, that was its tone, one of my favourite keys, and I just was thinking to myself, the idea, the sounds that the universe makes, creates, and we're a part of that, when we want to give up and have a hard day, or we feel like we don't fit here on the planet, we have this opportunity to be part of creativity and that is just... that's why we're here.
--Tori Amos

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Whew. I just finished cleaning the basement, washing the basement stairs, washing the kitchen floor, and cleaning up the clutter in the office. Why? BECAUSE WE HAVE OUR FIRST SHOWING TOMORROW! ALREADY! AHHH!!!!!! I even have a first load of packed boxes. *sigh*
Birthday wishes today to Julia ! Happy Birthday, Jules. I hope you have time to celebrate today!

Monday, October 20, 2003

I'm pretty sure I've been firewalled out of my e-mail from work. Their little passive aggressive way of controlling things, I suppose, since no one ever told me I couldn't check e-mail from work.


The realtor came over on Sunday, went through the house and told me everything I'm doing wrong in my housekeeping. Well, of course I know I should clean up the cat hair that collects on the basement stairs, but when you work 55-60 hours a week, who has time for that? I saw some article somewhere on things you should do to help your house sell. These things include rolling your towels instead of folding them, to make your bathroom seem like a spa. Which I did, but don't tell anyone. It also suggested baking a pie for a nostalgic, comforting effect. Again, who has time for that crap?

The realtor also came back this morning to take pictures for the internet and to put a lock box on the door. I cannot imagine other people coming into my house and looking in my closets and cupboards. How creepy.

Our first Open House is this Sunday.

To make matters worse, Boss renigged on letting me have the day after Thanksgiving off. Originally we had planned to go to Columbus for a somewhat long weekend with my aunt, my mother, my sister and her boyfriend. I can forget about that now. I am really pissed off about that, because this was the only thing I had to look forward to. So I cried in the bathroom for 10 minutes after he told me I couldn't have the day off.

Unbelievable. Things just get worse by the day. And I'm not looking for pity, I just feel like shit lately - run down and unmotivated to do anything, let alone try to keep a positive attitude about any of this.

Somebody kick me in the ass, will ya?

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Relaxation is now over.

There's a Realtor coming over tomorrow to go over the house with us. Which means that today we must clean, clean, clean.


Thursday, October 16, 2003

Yesterday the planets in my world seemed to be aligned for the first time in ages. Everything sort of fell in to place, and miraculously, I was relaxed! (I'm sure it was no coincidence that after I had mentioned to a co-worker how great it would be if someone brought in Halloween candy, more specifically, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, which are my favorite, that one of the students ACTUALLY HAD brought them in.) Divine intervention it was. And at home things were good last night.

Today is a different story. I think my planets are maligned, judging by how my morning went. Got up, stepped out of bed right in to a huge pile of cat puke. In bare feet. Ick. I turned on the light to look around, and it was ALL OVER the floor next to my side of the bed. I felt like I was in a horror movie.

Now I can't for the life of me get into my Hotamail account because apparently the web site is experiencing technical difficulties. Yet, through the use of company e-mailed I've discovered that my daily e-mail buddy isn't having any problems with his account. Grr!

I'm maligned.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Where does one draw the line between being honest and being tactful, and not feel guilty for doing so?

Someone once told me that you cannot force a person to feel guilty - that person creates his or her own feelings of guilt and chooses to feel them or not feel them. I don't know how much truth there is in that statement. I know I personally do not have that much control over my feelings. I feel what I feel, when I feel it, based on the surrounding circumstances. I suppose the only way, then, to control my feelings would be to also control the circumstances which affect them. Ha!

And now to get into a little he-said/she-said heresy: yesterday my husband told me that my mother-in-law told him that I said my friends thought I should leave him. Which of course did not happen, nor would it ever, I suspect. I suppose I should just leave this one alone, but where on earth does Mother-in-law get off making such presumptions? Grr! And do I confront her about it? I've learned that with her, all I can do is take what she says at mere face value.

Monday, October 13, 2003

At least the dogs get along.

Bad day...a pumpkin rots all over my table and leaves a stink throughout the entire house. The grass needs mowed, the dishes need washing, the laundry needs washing, and I am unmotivated.

I know moving is the best possible thing I could do for us...for our marriage at this point, if even that is to be saved.

I have always believed that things happen for a reason. I don't necessarily believe in pre-destination, but I do think I am on a particular path. My choices affect that, of course, but I think eventually I will get to go where it is I'm meant to go. My choices just may postpone me getting there. And I'm sure I'm supposed to learn along the way.

Today at work a customer felt the need to tell me her life story on the phone - her son had recently been beaten within an inch of his life, and consequently she was so depressed she tried to kill herself. Now why people feel the need to unburden themselves on me, I don't know. But one thing she said struck me: "Heidi, I've been through hell."

Lady, you don't know what hell is.

Friday, October 10, 2003

You are Westley. You started out as a farmboy, and
then faked your own death so you could make it
as a pirate. You're strong with steel,
strength, and intelligence. In the end, you
came back and won the heart of Buttercup.
You're everyone's hero!

"As you wish."

What character from The Princess Bride are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, October 09, 2003

god i love to turn my little blue world upside down
god i love to turn my little blue world upside down
inside my head the noise
chatter, chatter, CHATTER, chatter, chatter
you see i'm afraid i'll always be
still coming out of my mother upside down

don't you love to turn this little blue girl upside down
oh i know you love to turn this little blue girl baby upside down
but my heart it says
you've been shatter, shatter, shatter, SHATTER, shattered
and i know you're still a boy
still coming out of your mother

but when you gonna stand on your own
i say the world is sick
you say tell me what that makes us darlin'
you see you always find my faults
faster than you find your own
you say the world is getting rid of her DEMONS
i say baby, what have you been smokin'

well i dreamed, i dreamed
i dreamed i loved a black boy
my daddy would scream
oh yeah

don't you love to turn this little blue girl upside down
any kind of touch i think is better than none even upside down
but you see i'm tangled up
got a kitten, kitten, kitten, KITTEN in my hair
cincinnati, i like the word
it's the only thing we can't seem to turn upside down

well i found the secret to life
i found the secret to life
i'm okay when everything is not okay
i said i found the secret to life
i found the secret to life
i'm okay when everything is not okay
is not okay

oh, we turn and we turn our little blue world upside down
i said, don't we love to turn our little blue world baby upside down
inside my head a voice
chatter, chatter, chatter, chatter, chatter
and it says girl you're all the same
still coming out of your mothers
still coming out of your mothers upside down

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

it's happy my mailbox

Many thanks to Courtney for sending me cute package in the mail yesterday...she sent me Happy Bunny stickers, Happy Bunny candy, Happy Bunny mints, and my favorite - a yummy bubble gum flavored Happy Bunny car freshener that says "hey you made me throw up a little". After the week I've had (our house goes up for sale today), I definitely needed cheering up. Thanks, Court.

Thursday, October 02, 2003


I woke up this morning and what did I see? A light dusting of SNOW on my car. I'm not ready for that yet. It makes me want to hibernate 'till next June. Where did Autumn go???

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

wisdom comes from all places

Isn't it amazing that George Carlin - mouthy comedian of the 70's and 80's, could write something so very eloquent ...and so very appropriate:

A wonderful Message by George Carlin:

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years.

We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships.

These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to

It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all
mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.

Courtesy of Mike, and found in my inbox this morning. A good way to start the day.

Monday, September 29, 2003


Had a very nice, but very busy weekend...full of surprises.

Beth ended up coming out not till Saturday morning, then we drove about a half hour South on 71 to go to the Outlet Mall in Lodi. What a gorgeous day to walk around outside. I made a few purchases - I had wanted to get started on my picture frame shopping (we're giving wedding photos as Christmas gifts) but Mikasa had jack. I bought clothes instead, and a few more pieces of Pfaltzgraf to add to my collection.

So, we get home, and the phone rings, and it's Julia. This is how our conversation went:
Julia: Hi!
Me: Hi!
Julia: Can you hear me ok? I'm on my cell phone in the car.
Me: Yeah. What are you doing?
Julia: Traveling.
Me: Traveling? Where are you?
Julia: I'm on 480.
Julia: What are you doing right now, because we'll be there in a half hour?

We had a good laugh over that one. Inevitably, every time Julia and Matt come to visit, we have a new story to tell.

Saturday night we went to my favorite sportsbar Cleats - they have the best burgers I've ever had. There was a group of 7 of us, 3 which were from New York. We all got ID'd (even Gerry who is 40), but the management gave the New Yorkers the biggest hassle because of the out of state licenses. Beth got a little irate, and I think probably could have punched the waitress in the face.

Sunday after church we went out to brunch where Kevin was lectured about smoking several times by the restaurant's owner. He stood over our table explaining that he has had 4 heart attacks and detailed the specifics of his open heart surgery to poor Kevin who has been through enough health related issues as it is. Meanwhile the rest of us tried to choke down the remainders of our breakfasts.

It was a good weekend.

Friday, September 26, 2003

I hate you so bad
you are the "I hate you so bad" happy
bunny. You hate everyone and eveything and your
not ashamed of it.

which happy bunny are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Today my parents celebrate their 32nd wedding anniversary. Unheard of, practically, in this day and age, although happily lots of my friends' parents are still married to each other. I suppose I can only hope my own marriage will last as long as my parents', and survive as well as theirs has. Speaking of which, my first anniversary technically is in three weeks. Yikes!

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Courtney and I occasionally swap recipes. Here's the one I shared today:

Simple & Sweet Kielbasa Appetizer


2 lbs. Kielbasa
1 24 oz. jar applesauce*
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Cup brown sugar**


Preheat oven to 325. Simmer Kielbasa for 20 minutes in about 1 inch of water. Drain and cool to touch. Slice kielbasa in to 1" pieces, on the slant. Spray 9 x 13" baking dish with Pam. Add kielbasa, onion, applesauce, and brown sugar. Mix together well. Bake uncovered 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

Makes a nice appetizer, but I've had it over brown rice with a salad, which is fantastic.

*You can use cinnamon applesauce if desired.
**Use dark brown sugar with regular applesauce, or the light brown sugar if you use the cinnamon applesauce. I think using the dark sugar with the cinnamon applesauce makes it just a little too sweet.

This is SO yummy.

Feel free to copy, and enjoy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

happy fall

I love Autumn, but most especially I love Autumn food. Ok, I love to eat no matter what time of year it is. It's a wonder a don't weigh 200 pounds. (Two jobs, 3 cats, 2 dogs and a husband keep me pretty active.) I am so looking forward to apples - apple pies, apple crisp, etc. I also have my food pet peeves. I cannot tolerate foods flavored like other foods, i.e. Barbeque or Sour Cream & Chive flavored potato chips, strawberry flavored applesauce, grape flavored bubble gum, anything flavored orange or banana. You get the idea. To me, these are the grossest foods imaginable.

Monday, September 22, 2003

I have to come to work to recover from the weekend

Friday night was wedding rehearsal night, after which I was exhausted. It was a long week.

Saturday, the wedding I played for was a piece of cake, if rather boring. All the Brides like the same music, wedding after wedding, regardless of how tedious it is for us church musicians to play the same thing (Canon in D) over and over again. I'm sick of it, really. I played extremely well, except for a little problem I had with the Principal stop on the Great sticking, which was easily remedied by a registration change. (Our organ is the most archaic piece of CRAP imaginable.)

Saturday night we went to Lou's 25t birthday party. Good food, but obnoxious Romanian relatives, who were all dressed to the nines for an outdoor picnic...ties, 3" stilettos, tons of make up and perfume. Ick. One lady was even wearing a green leather business suit.

Sunday after church Kevin and I spent most of the afternoon with Harley at the Akron Emergency Vet Hospital. Turns out she has a urinary tract infection that probably could have waited till today for her to see our family vet, but I was a little concerned (ok, PANICKED) because of the urination of blood happening with her.

Needless to say I got nothing accomplished over the weekend around the house or the yard. This week is just as busy as last week with Kevin's doctor's appointments, more Vet appointments, and Beth's visit possible on Friday for this weekend. Sheesh!

Friday, September 19, 2003

Subject: The Cleveland Browns

Q. What's the difference between the Cleveland Browns & the Taliban?
A. The Taliban has a running game

Q. How do the Cleveland Browns count to 10?
A. 0-1, 0-2, 0-3, 0-4, 0-5, 0-6, 0-7, 0-8, 0-9, 0-10

Q. What do the Cleveland Browns & Billy Graham have in common?
A. They both can make 60,000 people stand up & yell "Jesus Christ" !

Q. How do you keep a Cleveland Browns player out of your yard?
A. Put up goal posts

Q. Where do you go in Cleveland in case of a tornado?
A. To Cleveland Browns stadium - they never get a touchdown there!

Q. What do you call a Cleveland Brown with a SuperBowl ring?
A. A thief

Q. Why doesn't Akron have a professional football team?
A. Because then Cleveland would want one

Q. Why was Butch Davis upset when the Cleveland Browns playbook was stolen?
A. Because he hadn't finished coloring it.

Q. What's the difference between the Cleveland Browns and a dollar bill?
A. You can still get four quarters out of a dollar

Q. How many Cleveland Browns does it take to win a Superbowl?
A. Nobody knows and we may never find out!

Q. What do you call 47 people sitting around a TV watching the SuperBowl?
A. The Cleveland Browns

Q. What do the Cleveland Browns and opossums have in common?
A. Both play dead at home and get killed on the road

the effects of Isabel

It has been raining for about 14 hours straight in Cleveland. Today is the first day since May that I've worn a long-sleeved shirt to work, socks, and actual shoes rather than sandals. This is how I know Autumn is right around the corner.

The Hurricane headlines amuse me, because my cat is also named Isabel. Darkenss, Death in Isabel's Wake, Isabel Leaves 13 Dead, Isabel Still Cutting Power in its Path, etc. While I realize to some the situation is grave, I can't help but chuckle just a little, because these headlines make it sound like my baby kitty is terrorizing the entire East Coast.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

"Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in

waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the

frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses

and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid

deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe."

fall onto me onto her fall onto me the sky's crimson tears

It's almsot Autumn here. This is my favorite time of year because the seasonal change is never so apparent as it is in Autumn. Some of the trees have brown and orange poking out a little already. I think I'm ready for it this year, ready to embrace it. I used to try to fight it off, which is silly, because everyone knows you can't fight Mother Earth. But this year, something feels different. It feels like there's a hidden message in the cold, brisk air of these mornings.

(I still despise Halloween, though, which I will probably never get over...too traumatic during childhood and the teenage years.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

you won't see me surrender, you won't hear me confess,
'cause you've left me with nothing, but I've worked with less...
your walking
on the water Bit
by far
favorite one,
But now
it seems
we're drowning
in a
drop of water
and even as
I'm climbing up the stairs
I know there's Heaven
and then Empty arms
that comes with the
Morning Star

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Monday, September 15, 2003


I have such a busy week....meeting with the pastor tonight, class tomorrow, Choir on Thursday, a wedding rehearsal Friday night, then Saturday I'm playing a wedding. No rest for the weary, I suppose. Pretty soon it will be Christmas!

I thought I was going to be able to get church stuff done at work this morning because Boss was supposed to have gone to Philly. Turns out his wife got sick at the last second, which always happens, so the trip has been postponed. Boy was I surprised at 9:30 when he came in and I have church paperwork spread everywhere on my desk. Oops! So Boss also brings in his hulking yellow lab Duke, who has subsequently slobbered all over my new shiny red-burgundy pants. I told Boss he owed me a new wardrobe, since inevitably I always wear new clothes the same day Duke visits. Go figure.

Friday, September 12, 2003

Things to do in Cleveland this weekend: Berea Arts Fest

herbal tea drinkers beware

I just love the little news teasers MSN puts on my Sent Mail page. This morning it was "Herbal Tea Linked to Seizures?" Being a regualr consumer of herbal tea, of course that caught my attention and almost caused a little panic. So I click on the link, which takes me to this article on MSNBC. Turns out only drinking Japanese star anise tea is dangerous, according to the FDA. All that worry for nothing. I've never even heard of Japanese star anise tea, let alone consumed it. Why do people do this? Why do these idiots give news stories headlines which are completley unrelated to the story? I honestly thought I was going to have to stop drinking herbal tea to avoid having seizures. Geezus.

Happy Birthday, Gretchen!

Today my little sis turns 22.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

"come back i'll show you the roses that brush off the snow and open their petals again and again"

I find it extremely funny how things from the past can come back to you at any time. (Not funny hah hah, funny odd.)

Everything has its season
Everything has its time
Show me a reason and I'll soon show you a rhyme
Cats fit on the windowsill
Children fit in the snow
Why do I feel I don't fit in anywhere I go?

Rivers belong where they can ramble
Eagles belong where they can fly
I've got to be where my spirit can run free
Got to find my corner of the sky

Every man has his daydreams
Every man has his goal
People like the way dreams have
Of sticking to the soul
Thunderclouds have their lightning
Nightingales have their song
And don't you see I want my life to be
Something more than long....

Rivers belong where they can ramble
Eagles belong where they can fly
I've got to be where my spirit can run free
Got to find my corner of the sky

So many men seem destined
To settle for something small
But I won't rest until I know I'll have it all
So don't ask where I'm going
Just listen when I'm gone
And far away you'll hear me singing
Softly to the dawn:

Rivers belong where they can ramble
Eagles belong where they can fly
I've got to be where my spirit can run free
Got to find my corner of the sky

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

good days

I went to the third NAMI sponsored Family to Family class last night. The facilitators had some time set aside for everyone to tell their "stories" - why they were there, attending the class. I went toward the end, but when it was my turn, I felt relieved, in a way. Out of the 25 or so people attending the class, I'm probably one of the luckiest situation is not nearly as bad as other people's. So many of the other people, who were there either for their children or their parents rather than spouses, told stories of suicidal tendencies, police restraint, disappearances, etc. Horrible, horrible things. None of which I really had to go through, other than Kevin's hospitalization. Thankfully. Maybe my story will provide the others with some hope - that there are medications that will work. Kevin is living proof of that. I think we're almost back to being in a good place.

On another positive note, we're actively planning a little weekend getaway for our first anniversary next month. (I love it - we celebrate our first anniversary only 2 months after our wedding. Heh!) Well, I am, really. As a surprise for Kevin. I'm looking at a little Bed & Breakfast in Amish Country.

And... I'm also excited for the new Tori Amos album coming out in November - a "best of". I hope it's good, because I would hate to have to call her a sell-out. Amazon already has a listing for Tales of a Librarian. We will see!

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

How far do our feelings take their colour from the dive underground? I mean, what is the reality of any feeling? -Virginia Woolf

Friday, September 05, 2003

even more depressed

I just found out my co-worker's wife died this morning of cancer. She had been ill for a long time, but I don't think that prepared any of us at all, really. I didn't know Pam at all, but I've worked with her husband for 3 years. I started thinking about what it would be like to lose my own spouse. In a way I already have, because mental illness takes a person away almost entirely. All I'm left with is someone who looks like my husband, but who is a complete stranger to me. It's a living nightmare, really. Now I think about how I will react when it's time for my parents to go, and how will each of them react to the other's passing? Scary stuff. I'm not ready for any of it, mostly because I still feel like I'm 12 years old sometimes and couldn't possibly survive without my parents in my life.

depressed in Ohio

Our economy, that is. Just out of curiosity, I went on line looking for jobs this morning and now I feel like crying. There is nothing.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

blah, blah, blah; bored, bored, bored

Here's one thing I really hate about my job: when business is slow, I have nothing to do. I've been entertaining myself with the Internet for the last 2 hours, eagerly awaiting lunch time. 14 minutes to go. Still no word on whether Boss is closing up shop. I know I'll have a job at least through the end of the month, since we have some events planned. But after that, I don't know.

This weekend I plan to catch up on some things around the house, and get myself organized for the new Choir year at church. I had planned to do that over the holiday weekend, but I was distracted first by my parents, and then by the neighborhood girls who wanted to come over and play with Harley, Merlin, and the cats. (I did get carpeting ripped up in the hallway, though.)

I want to try to get to Columbus in the next week or two, to get the first of my Reiki treatments from my Aunt, who has recently become a Certified Reiki Practitioner. Some people think healing with energy is a lot of hocus pocus, but I really believe in it. And, I'll try anything to relieve the stress in my life, because it's just about unbearable at times.

Friday, August 29, 2003

A family distraction

Today my Mom and Dad are coming in from Rochester for the holiday weekend. Already I have made big plans to keep us occupied. I think tonight we'll have dinner at The Great Lakes Brewing Company, since my Dad's never been before but has had to listen to my Mom and Julia and her parents gush about it. Saturday, I will enlist my Dad's help to rip out the carpeting in the hallway, which Oscar has been using as a toilet recently. Sunday we will celebrate Kevin's grandfather's 84th birthday, followed by a picnic and the last Cleveland Orchestra concert of the summer season at Blossom. Should be fun stuff, and a much needed distraction from recent events.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

May the fleas of a thousand camels infest the crotch of the person who screws up your day and may their arms be too short to scratch.


I think my Boss is looking to get out of the piano business, which means I also think I could be without a job in the near future. We are so far in the financial hole these days, that the situation seems hopeless. The Boss has been investigating franchise opportunities for Cold Stone Creamery and Quiznos Subs. He's even been out scouting locations. The other clue that makes me think something is up at work is what has been happening as far as our Year End routine goes. Normally I go through all the books and make sure all the figures match each other, and match the inventory still on the floor. This year Boss wants me to do everything completely different, including counting every book and brochure from the manufacturers we have. In the 30 years this company has been in business, to the best of my knowledge, that has never been done before. I just know something is going on. Just what I need.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Back in "school"

Last night Kevin's Mom and I attended our first of 12 Family to Family classes. This class has been described as "the light at the end of the tunnel" - a real life-saver. That's what we're hopeful for.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003


When it rains, it pours. Merlin's been in the hospital for several days now. He went into surgery for a spinal tap yesterday, and the doctor found 2 broken vertebrae, some hip displaysia and a disease of some kind in his knees. The good news is that eventually he will be ok, but recovery time will lat several months.

Friday, August 22, 2003

To the dogs

We changed Lucy's name to Harley (my idea). Kevin wanted something a little more "vicious" sounding for the little squirt. He has his heart set on keeping her, but I'm not so sure yet. That, and this morning Merlin had to go to Emergency for having excruciating pain in his hips. He cried all night last night, and this morning couldn't move. The vet gave him a shot but it didn't work, so Merlin goes back this afternoon. Let's hope he won't have to have surgery.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Never thought I'd see this one...

Interesting: Willie Nelson and Ani DiFranco (one of my favorites) will be touring together and performing benefits, called Concerts for Kucinich. Come on, Ani! I expect more from you than this! So far only 2 concerts have been scheduled in Iowa and Cleveland. Lucky us.

The world is her toilet

Now I remember why we have cats, and why we share Merlin with Lou (Merlin also was already potty trained before he belogned to us). Lucy and the kitties got to know one another a little bit last night, before we went to bed. There was some hissing, but no major incidents to speak of till I was awakened by wet feet at about 3 am this morning. Yes, that's right. Wet feet. Lucy is too little to jump off the bed to make it to her puppy pad, so she peed on the bedspread. Also she pooped on the bedspread. So Kevin and I were up changing sheets at 3 am. When my alarm went off at 6:45am, I got up, looked around, and discovered another little "deposit" on the floor near Kevin's side of the bed. Things went downhill from there after Lucy ate breakfast. I'll not go into anymore detail.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

I'm a sucker

We may have adopted another pet, to add to our "Family Petting Zoo". In the words of my Mother-in-law: "Are you nuts?" Um, no, just a sucker for a stray animal. Our neighbor down the street rescues dogs and cats, nurses them back to health, and finds homes for them. Recently she found an abandoned Cockapoo, and last night while Kevin and I were out walking Merlin, we stopped by to say hello. The puppy, Lucy, found her way to my feet and collapsed on the toes of my sneakers. I bent down to pick her up, she licked my face, and I was in love. So, today we brought her home for a "trial", to see how the cats will do with her. Merlin already loves her after meeting her last night. But he loves anyone who doesn't hiss at him and swat his face.

Monday, August 18, 2003

got enough guilt to start my own religion...

Wow what a weekend. I have to start first by highlighting the fact that we did indeed make it down to the Tori show on Saturday. We launched the boat about 4:30, despite the small craft advisory which expired not long after we went out. We cruised down the river a bit, which I was concerned about, because of the "millions of gallons of raw sewage released into the Cuyahoga River" during the Blackout (according to The Plain Dealer). Luckily, there wasn't really a stench, just very brown water, which is normal.

We cruised by the concert venue just as Tori was finishing her Sound Check. Never heard a Tori Sound Check before. I was in Heaven! I was so excited. I got out the binoculars. Lou coaxed Merlin up on the bow of the boat in the hopes that someone would see him (Tori) and want to come on the boat with us, or invite us up to her trailer, which we could see clearly from the water. We were so close! But I didn't want to be too obvious. Yes, I had on my Tori T-Shirt, and yes, we were playing Tori CD's in the boat, and yes I was watching everything with the binoculars glued to my face. Suddenly I felt like a crazed stalker and got really paranoid that Tori would hate me if she found out I was "spying" on her. So we left and cruised up the River some more, till it was show time.

We came back to the Amphitheater just as Ben Folds was finishing up his opening set. We pulled the boat up as close as possible and slyly dropped anchor. Which you are not supposed to do, anywhere in the River. Then Lou said, "I wonder if she would be pissed that we didn't care enough buy tickets and instead are seeing the show for free...?" I hadn't thought about that before. Immediately I felt guilty. That quickly subsided, however, when Tori bounced out on stage and I had the most perfect view of her throughout the entire show. I couldn't have had better seats if I had purchased a ticket. Go here to see the Set List and Concert Reviews. Even Kevin got excited about this...clapping and whistling. It was his very first Tori show. I'm so proud!

Friday, August 15, 2003

In the Dark

I suppose I should account for my experience with this blackout, but I am really sick of hearing about it. I really would just like for our WATER to be restored. I was at work yesterday afternoon when the power went off. The drive home, which normally takes me 10 to 15 minutes, lasted 45 minutes because the idiots on the roads out here just barrel through the intersections without stopping first.

No one showed up to choir practice last night, presumeably because they were stuck downtown. (We're going to have to wing it on Sunday.) I went over to Kevin's grandmother's apartment last night to check on her and make sure she wasn't stuck in her electric recliner, which she wasn't, thankfully, and also to bring her a cooler and ice for her insulin. My mother-in-law was nice enough to bring me a few gallons of gas for my car, since Kevin's car was stuck in the garage (electric), and we couldn't find the key to open the back door. Kevin didn't have to work last night, so despite the heat, we went to bed relatively early. Did I get any sleep? Of course not. Aside from it being a torrid 85 degrees in our bedroom, the wind-up alarm clock ticked away next to my ear all night long, keeping me awake.

The power finally came back on this morning about 5am. Alas, however, we have only a trickle of water coming from the faucets. Therefore, I was really unable to shower this morning, and as of this minute, there is still no water at our house that I know of. I may have to go to Medina tonight, to shower at my mother-in-law's, because it's now 90 degrees outside and I STINK.

We're still going to see Tori tomorrow, though!

I wonder if there will be a Baby Boom nine months from now....

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Tori at Tower City

This weekend we have planned to go down to the Flats on the boat to hear Tori and Ben Folds at the Tower City Amphitheater the during the Cleveland leg of the Lottapianos Tour. We're supposed to go on the boat and hear the show from the river (for free!), but Lou is notorious for backing out of things at the last minute if he can find something "better" to do. Kevin isn't strong enough yet to do the boat by himself, and I unfortunately still don't know what the hell I'm doing with that thing. So, we wait in anticipation. If we end up getting to go, I'm going to wave to Tori from the boat. Maybe she'll want to take a ride around the river with us.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Getting there

I know it's been a while since I last posted. Things have been busy at home lately. With Kevin recovering slowly from his hospital visit, I've got a lot of extra stuff to do at home until Kevin reaches 100% again.

This past weekend I nearly finished redoing the Master Bedroom...Gerry came over to help me paint. We got the ceiling fan hung, and then on Sunday I ripped up the ratty old carpeting and padding, and pulled the staples and tack strips off the floor. We now have gorgeous hardwood flooring in the bedroom. Yesterday Gerry and I hung up the curtain rods and my red curtains. The room is unrecognizable now, and I love it!

Thursday, July 31, 2003

What to do this weekend

This is the first weekend in several months where we haven't really needed to get something done. Yesterday Kevin and I were debating what to do. After opening all our lovely wedding presents and receiving so much glassware and breakable items, we realized we have no place to put that kind of stuff, out of kitty reach. So we went out to find a curio cabinet. However, because I am so picky, everything I looked at was either too big, or just not right. We're thinking of taking a day trip down to Amish country on Saturday to do some poking around. Plus everything is cheaper down there anyway.

The other thing we thought we could do is finally get started on our bedroom. We've had plans for remodelling for months....we have the paint colors picked out, and I have the drapes (red!) purchased as well as the new ceiling fan. We hope to get the bedroom done before Labor Day Weekend, so maybe we should get started on that and wait on Amish country. Decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Back Home

Kevin was discharged from the hospital yesterday afternoon and is continuing his recovery at home for the rest of the week. He'll be able to go back to work on Sunday night, thankfully. He seems to be doing fine, though not quite himself just yet. However, his prognosis is good. We were even able to open up wedding presents yesterday afternoon! Yay! The first meal Kevin wanted when he came home? McDonald's. Of course.

Sunday, July 20, 2003

If you've never prayed before, now's a good time to start.

I'm signing off for a while. Yesterday afternoon I took Kevin to the Emergency room. He's going to be hospitalized for a while. We're not sure yet what is wrong, but I do know that he's not well. I'll be back in a week or so.

Thursday, July 17, 2003


We're still trying to get over the fact that there aren't 10 people staying in our house anymore.

Aside from the sudden quiet, things are almost back to normal. Our wedding ceremony was perfect. Kevin was handsome as ever in his tuxedo (yum!). Pretty soon I think I'll have pictures up somewhere for everyone to look at, once Andy gets his stuff together. I'll make sure I post the link. There's just so much to write.... I think I'll leave it at what Julia said: "Good times."

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

It's Over, *sighs*.

I know you are all probably anxious to hear about the wonderful wedding we had. However, I am still recovering from it all. Until I get a chance to post the details, please visit In Java, Literally..., Julia's Blog, for a brief summary of the weekend's events. I'll write more when I'm not so tired. Promise. :o)

Monday, July 07, 2003

5 Days

My weekend consisted of the following: shopping, shopping, shopping, yard work, more shopping, more yard work, more shopping, and picking up the piles fire cracker debris all over our yard from my idiot neighbors.

There was some excitement on the actual 4th of July. Just as the fireworks were beginning, we got a collect call from Lou who is Kevin's best friend and the Best Man at our wedding. It seems Lou had a bit too much to drink, fell off the boat up at Catawba Island, ripped a huge gash in his leg, and had to be life-flighted to the Toledo Hospital. 48 stitches later, they promptly kicked his ass out of the hospital. He managed to get himself a Taxi to the nearest Holiday Inn, but required Kevin to come up there for some reason, still unapparent to me. I went along to help keep Kevin awake, but the whole trip was pointless and nothing that couldn't have waited till the following morning. We arrived in Toledo about 1am, picked up Lou who had already gotten a room, and drove him back to Catawba Island so he could sleep in his truck. *shakes head* Maybe he was just too doped up on pain killers to realize what a colossal waste of time he caused us. We got home at 4am. Lou is now walking with a severe limp. I hope he can still make it down the aisle.

Thursday, July 03, 2003

9 Days

Mom came in last night and immediately I felt better about all the craziness going on. She even found 3 different pairs of shoes in Rochester for me, which I tried on last night. One pair really has potential, but I still have to try it on with the dress. She also got the "something old, something new" stuff covered for me as well, not to mention the fact that all our prayers worked and she was able to find 2 photographs of my grandparents' wedding from 1935. (I plan to put a display up in Fellowship Hall of our relatives and friends who have passed and will not be with us next week.)

Something old: Silver Pin from Williamsburg with my grandmother's initials & the linen baby bonnet I wore home from the hospital which turns into a handkerchief with the snip of a few stiches.
Something new: Let's see...underwear, shoes when I finally get them.
Something borrowed: My Mom borrowed a "sixpence for my shoe" from a friend, since she couldn't find hers.
Something blue: The same friend who lent us the sixpence embroidered a small piece of linen cloth with Kevin's and my name and our wedding date, in a nice shade of blue, which my mother will sew into the hem of my wedding dress.
And a sixpence for your shoe: See above.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

10 Days

I keep repeating to myself, "Relax, relax. Don't panic." Mom is coming in to town tonight, so hopefully that will ease some of the pressure I'm feeling lately.

Monday, June 30, 2003

"Aw!", "Ew!", & "Whew!"

Yeah, that about sums up my weekend. In addition to working an extra 7 hours of overtime (which was a lot better than the 16 I thought I was going to have to work), here's a re-cap of the weekend's events:

Worked 10 - 2. I then hit Old Navy to purchase the annual, matching $5 Flag T-shirts, as I do every year. Kevin gets a kick out of wearing matching clothes with me. Then I hit up Home Depot's sale on Perennials, where I got a ton of Coreopsis, and also some Zinnias and Blanket Flowers.

After I came home, Kevin convinced me he wanted to go to the Brecksville Home Days. Little did I know this was a trick! Instead of going to Brecksville, he took me to Center Woods, where we hiked a ways out till we could see the Cleveland skyline. It was a gorgeous day, not a cloud in the sky. Kevin then produced a small box from the pocket of his shorts and opened it. Inside were our wedding rings. Aw! I didn't want to see mine before the wedding, but he was so anxious to show me. Probably, because the my ring is more like an engagement ring than a wedding ring, since there really was no formal proposal. I was a mess - crying all over him. Mostly because I was a total pill hiking to the spot - I kept tripping on branches and rocks, stubbing my toes, complaining the entire time. Then he brought out the rings and I felt like such a jackass. LOL

That night, we worked out in the yard, doing some landscaping around our snowball tree and transplaning some grass plants. We wanted to get everything ready for Sunday, the day of roto-tilling and grass planting. I was in the middle of transplanting some Iris bulbs, when I discovered a mass of carpenter ants in the landscaping timbers next to the garage. Grossness. So, it was back to Home Depot again, at 11pm, to get ant spray. And I was a wreck. Covered in dirt and filth, wearing ripped jeans and a ripped t-shirt. I was a sight to behold.

Played my service in the morning, then headed back to work where I "worked" from 12 - 3. Kevin had gotten up at 5:30am that morning to go out and finish getting the yard ready. His parents came over early, tilled the backyard and the back garden, put down the grass seed and hay, and watered. We have grass planted!! Whew. I planted the Coreopsis in the front, gave our Weeping Cherry Tree a massive haircut, and pulled out all the Creeping Myrtle that had started to take over the front flower bed.

I am exhausted.

Saturday, June 28, 2003

it's almost here

The countdown begins: 2 weeks from today we'll be walking down the aisle.

Blues in the News

The House of Blues is coming to Cleveland. While it's been no big secret around town this was happening, an officialy announcement was released yesterday. Subsequently, the Mayor of Cleveland, Jane Campbell, also announced that part of East 9th Street was going to be re-named "Rock and Roll Boulevard". Not to mention that other hot debates include the location of Cleveland's new Convention Center. Pretty soon I won't know where anything is anymore.

Oh, and did you hear about the Cavs' draft pick the other day?

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Come on Sugar, bring it on, bring it on; we used to be friends...

Last night I had meant to get out some old letters and re-read some things. I do that every once in a while, to remind me of things that happened in the past, because usually I block them out. I guess I've been in a nostalgic mood as of late. So last night I thought, I'll get in to bed early and read. I read my journals from 10, 11, 12 years ago, but I couldn't bring myself to look at letters from various people. Maybe I just wasn't ready for that yet. But I like to do this sort of thing every once in a while, to remind myself of mistakes I've made, and to help me not repeat them.

Things in my life have changed so much in the last several years. There have been times when I've felt everything was completely out of control and spiraling toward disaster. Most of all, though, I think the things that have changed the most are my relationships. I've made friends and lost them. I've gotten friends back who I thought were long gone. And it continues even today, these changing relationships.

Monday, June 23, 2003

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You are the center of your universe

I had a nice weekend, these past two days. Courtney came out for a much-needed visit.
After preparing a really gross tuna/tomato/cheese dish, we indulged ourselves in leftover cake and champagne. While watching slides. As planned, we got out our Australia pictures and journals and laughed ourselves silly over our anecdotal memories. It's funny how we each remember different things about that trip.

A relaxing morning where we didn't have to do a thing - Kevin cooked us breakfast. We stuck around to watch the 3 truckloads of dirt get dumped in my backyard (it's level now!), then headed off to do the day's activities. First, Courtney got the tour of Berea and Baldwin-Wallace. Then it was on to Mazzone's so I could pay the Baker for our wedding pastries. Next was the highlight of the day - The Cleveland Museum of Art. We spent hours in there, walking around, commenting on what we liked and why. My favorite still is the Armored Court, while I think Courtney liked the 2 Picasso galleries the most. We drove through Little Italy on the way up to Coventry, where we walked around for a bit. We grabbed a coffee and headed home about 5.

Went to brunch at 1 in Olmsted Falls, then went to a Flea Market across the street at the Grand Pacific Junction Historic Shopping District. We climbed on the trains, but it was so hot we didn't stay long. I don't think I was in the sun for more than an hour or so, but my skin got roasted.
Courtney left about 3, and I used the remainder of the day to re-pot some plants and bake cupcakes. Very relaxing.

Friday, June 20, 2003


Last night was my annual End-of-the-Year Choir picnic. Or so I thought! I arrived with my yummy Spinach Salad dish-to-pass (for which I'll post the recipe since everyone was hounding me last night), and as I was walking up to Darlene's front door, several others were arriving with gifts. I was confused, but pretty soon it was clear they were having a shower for Kevin and me. I was totally oblivious. I thought it was someone's birthday and I had forgotten to bring a gift.

Now, Kevin was at home sleeping. I called him at about 8pm and convinced him to come over to the party. Everyone joked that Kevin is a myth, since only 2 out of about 20 people had met him. When he showed up, we cut the cake...a gorgeous Angel Food Cake with strawberry filling, decorated with real daisies and white chocolate. Mmmmm. It was so good. Then came the presents, but Kevin had to leave to go home and get ready for work. At least he made an appearance. I was so touched by everything. It's nice to have that second family around, since mine is all the way in New York. What a blessing.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Our Own Reunion

This weekend Courtney is coming in for a pre-Wedding visit. We are both so excited we can hardly keep it together. Courtney and I met just over 11 years ago, through the People to People International Student Ambassador Program, in a crowded classroom for our introduction to Australia meeting, back at IHS in 1992. (I have to laugh when I start naming years I did things...seems so long ago.) Anyway, we really hit it off on the plane to New Zealand, since we had hours and hours and hours to kill. It was instant-friendship for us. Last year was our 10th year anniversary of the trip and we wanted to celebrate it. She and I sort of made attempts at organizing a reunion, but despite our efforts we just couldn't get it together.

So, this weekend we're having our own reunion, complete with pictures, slide shows, travel journals, memories, souvenirs, and lots and lots of alcohol. Heh heh. I'm really looking forward to it.

Isn't this ironic..."People to People - the power of people, acting as individuals, to respond imaginatively to the world's need for peace." -- President John F. Kennedy, who was one of nine U.S. Presidents, including George W. Bush, to serve as People to People's Honorary Chairman

Yet another reason why my Kennedy-obsession is justifiable.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

This is not self-punishment

I am so proud of of my New Year's Resolutions was to not watch as much TV. Well, I haven't really followed through on it till recently. And I am pleased to say that the TV in my house has not been turned on in 2 weeks. Instead, I've been hurredly getting the house and yard ready for the wedding celebrations. It's not just that I haven't had time to watch TV, but I don't even miss it at all. I can get my daily dose of current events from my addiction to NPR. Maybe this no TV thing will become the rule rather than the exception.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003


I have never tasted a strawberry as sweet as the one I grew myself. My strawberries are out and ripe for the picking. Yum! Now if only I could get rid of the weeds in my garden behind the garage.

The Dress is done, but still no shoes

I'm almost in panic-mode. Just when I think I've got everything under control, suddenly more last minute stuff pops up and I get super overwhelmed!

Well, the good news is that my Dress is finished, and is home with me in the closet in the guest room. Hopefully Kevin won't peek. But I still have no shoes. I ended up buying the pair I thought were ok, only to be criticized by my Mother and Julia's Mom because they are not closed-toe. Good grief. So, Gretchen and I did more shoe shopping while I was in Rochester, but alas, everything I tried on made me look like a Sasquatch.

Atleast I have the dress. Atleast I was able to have a little fun while in Rochester, with my sister and Courtney. Atleast for a few hours I was relatively stress-free.

Saturday, June 14, 2003

Happy Gretchenfest 2003

Thursday, June 12, 2003

One Month and Counting...

The "big day" is exactly one month away. I think we pretty much have everything under control. Last weekend we took care of the rest of the bakery (little tarts in many flavors...yum!), the guys' clothing (we decided tuxes would be easiest, cheapest, and classier than anything else), I purchased my, a-hem, "Bridal Underwear" (nothing exciting....thank you, Courtney!), and we got more flowers and plants to make our yard pretty for our party.

However, I'm going back to Rochester this weekend for my final dress fitting and I don't have my shoes yet! Yesterday after work I went to 7 shoe stores and nothing. I came home with a lovely pair of black sandals, but no wedding shoes. I have the strangest looking feet, so nothing looks right on them. I must have been to every shoe store in Northeast Ohio. I think I'll go back to Kohl's tonight after work and purchase the pair I thought came the closest to not making me look like I have elephant-feet.

Monday, June 09, 2003

Friday, June 06, 2003

The Baghdad Blogger

After hearing so much about the Baghdad Blogger on NPR, I finally decided to go check out Salam Pax's Blog for myself. Interesting. The pictures are great. Sort of makes me feel like my own leetle Blog is rather insignificant.

I let the cat out of the bag

Last night at our last choir practice before the summer begins, I slipped up and told the Big Secret. While pretty much everyone knows Kevin and I are already married, there were a few people who didn't - mostly my side of the family, because my Mother didn't want them to know, and my co-workers at church including my choir. So, last night we were discussing our successful year, how we've grown and improved as an ensemble, etc. We started talking about rehearsing for the wedding, at which they will perform, and suddenly I said "I have to let you in on a little secret - I'm already married." I really shocked them! There were squeals of delight, and there were rolled eyes, and there were looks of disapproval, but all in all they were pretty surprised. Then I told them not to broadcast it all over the church. Yeah, right. No one gossips more than church-goers. It's going to be a long month.

Thursday, May 29, 2003

weekend plans shaping up nicely

Last night I planted some of my annuals, finally. I love the smell of Petunias. Yum!

Tomorrow looks like it will have the best weather this weekend, so we're planning on testing out Lou's new para-sail. After work I think we're heading down to the lake to test it out. Hopefully it won't be too cold.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

foot-in-mouth disease

Why is it that as soon as I think I can't possibly stand my mother-in-law, and after I've said some very not-nice things about, she goes and does something absolutely amazing for me?!?!

Sue and Courtney arrived about dinner time. I expected my mother and sister to arrive shortly thereafter, however, my father called to tell me my Mom had forgotten her luggage. So Courtney and I went to Pennsylvania Friday night. My Dad met us at a rest stop at the Ohio/Pennsylvania border where I picked up the forgotten luggage. Courtney and I got home about 11-11:30 that night. But I do have to say that while it was a major pain in the ass, we had a good time catching up, hearing about the last 5 years of each other's lives.

...the day of my lovely bridal shower. It was so nice - I was so touched at how many people from Kevin's side of the family attended. Kev's Mom threw a lovely party, complete with yummy food, decorate-the-bride-to-be-with-toilet-paper-games, and lots of presents. All for me. Kevin's Mom was astounding - she gave me a Queen Sized quilt which she made herself. Aside from the fact that she still thinks purple is my favorite color, the quilt is sort of a tribute to my three kitties, complete with fishbowls and patches that look almost identical to my babies. I cried the instant I saw it, then she cried, and we embraced, and it was such a nice moment between us. I couldn't believe it. And now I feel like an ass because of some of the really not-so-nice things I've said about her.

My Mom, my sister Gretchen, and I finished the butterfly party favors today and relaxed in front of the TV. We watched Adaptaion, About a Boy, and Life or Something Like It. Since Kevin, my brother Scott, and Lou were in Canada, we waited up for them to get home. When they finally came in around midnight, it was like a mini-family reunion. *Smiles*

How nice it was to sleep in for once! We had a leisurely brunch at Noon. I made a feast of French ("Freedom"?) Toast and eggs, while Gretchen made hash browns from scratch. While Kevin, Scott, and Gretchen went to Sears to use the gift card my Mom gave us as a shower present for Kevin, Mom and I went out and got my annuals. I didn't get any plants in the ground though, because it started raining right when we got home. The rest of the evening was spent relaxing with my husband before he had to go to work.

What a nice weekend. *Sighs*

Friday, May 23, 2003

maybe i'll grow up to be wise, as good as he

I smile every morning on my way to work, as I'm driving down the side streets in order to avoid the morning rush on York Road. I smile because every morning at 8:30, just as I pass the school and make the turn onto Kader, there's always an old man out taking his morning walk. I smile because he wears a beret with sweat pants, and his down vest is the brightest shade of aqua I've ever seen. Mostly though, I smile because every morning as I drive past him at 8:30, he waves to me. I've never met him; he doesn't know who I am. Yet, every morning there he is, waving at me. And I wave back.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

My weekend in New York

Perhaps Wedneday is a bit late to be talking about the weekend, but wow I haven't had time for anything since I came back Monday night!

I left Cleveland about 2pm. The car trip was uneventful, except for some rain right over the P.A./N.Y. border. Got into town about 7, after stopping a few times for a potty break. I have the world's smallest bladder. Luckily Mom and Dad had dinner waiting for me. I really wanted to go out and see some friends I hadn't seen in a long time, but once dinner was over and my mother and I started talking, the next 5 hours flew by and at midnight I went to bed. After several glasses of Bourbon.

I awoke with a slight headache at 6:45am, got in the shower, and by 7:30, Dad and I were on the way to Potsdam. Mom had already left to pick up her Godmother Barb, who is like my surrogate grandmother. After stopping for coffee and breakfast somewhere between Fulton and Antwerp, I felt much better. We met up with Mom and Barb at a gas station, got out the walkie-talkies, and continued up to Potsdam taking turns spotting for cops. Heh heh. Sometimes my Dad's love of gadgets really comes in handy.

We got into town about 2-ish. Checked into the hotel in which my parents were staying, in Potsdam, and Mom, Barb, and I took a much needed nap. at 3:30, Mom, Barb, and I left to go to Massena (20 minutes away) to check into the hotel where Barba, my aunt, and I were staying. Then we went to the Massena Airport to pick up my aunt at 5pm, who had flown in from Columbus. I've never seen such a tiny airport. One room! And the plane on which my aunt flew in was a teeny prop plane. I'm glad I didn't fly.

Dinner was at Maxfield's in downtown Potsdam, where Scott, Gretchen, and Gretchen's boyfriend Dan met up with us. A very nice dinner we had. The was the first time we had all been together, except Kevin, since Christmas. Later that night we headed back to the hotel so Gretchen could open her graduation gifts. Barb, my aunt, and I drove to Massena at about 11, and Probably everyone was in bed by 12.

I was up at 6:30 again, and looking out the window, the weather seemed doubtful. So I showered and hoped for sun, since Potsdam graduation was to be held outside. We got to graduation about 9:30 and the sun was shining, and it was warm! So warm, in fact, that all of us got a massive sunburn. First, though, before anything else, I have got to complain about how disorganized this graduation ceremony was. None of the names were called in alphabetical order, so no one knew when his or her child would be walking. Therefore, everyone felt the need to leave his or her seat, crowd around in front of the stage, and completely block the view of the polite people who remained seated. Idiots! It was mass pandemonium up there. Of course, when Gretchen's name was called, we couldn't see her walk across the stage or shake hands with the Dean. I was able to see her exit off the stage to my left, but that was it. So I made sure I screamed as loud and obnoxiously as possible: "Yeah, Gretchen!!!!" I got a lot of stares, but I didn't care.

After the ceremony, we did the whole picture-taking thing, followed by 3 hours worth of helping Gretchen pack up her dorm room, where Scott and I did most of the work. Finally, at about 4 we were back on the road to come back to Rochester. I was exhausted when we got back, and after unloading the cars (mine and Scott's), I was able to spend some time with my little brother, which I thought was much needed. So we went out for a ride in his new Thunderbird, and then played Euchre with Dan, and some other friends of his. It was a nice time.

Now it's back to the routine. The first day back after vacation is always hardest, and it didn't make things better that all my co-workers called me "Lobster" all day yesterday. Not to mention I feel like I'm a day behind. I only have 2 days now to get my house ready for my visitors this weekend!

Friday, May 16, 2003

The Long Road Home

This afternoon I'm heading home to Rochester for the second time this month (3rd time this year!). This time I'm going alone, as Kevin has little vacation time left. I always start to feel anxious about these trips when I make them alone. There's a kind of duality about I'm 2 people separated by the long stretch of I-90 between Rochester and Cleveland. When I make the trip, in a lot of ways I feel like I'm going back to my former self. I have done so much growing and changing since I left Rochester that going home really feels like I'm just temporarily visiting some foreign place. Yet, when I get there, the place will seem familiar. I, however, will feel awkward. I don't know my way around anymore. I don't have a room at my parents' house anymore. My old neighbors don't recognize me at all, and I have a fear of running into old high school acquaintances who never left.

These visits always make me nostalgic. I'm sure I'll spend a lot of time day dreaming and writing in my journal. Maybe I'll even get to see a couple of the people there about whom I still care. There are a few. The good thing is that my time in Rochester itself will be brief. Saturday morning we head to SUNY Potsdam to meet up with my sister who graduates on Sunday. Then it's back to Rochester again Sunday afternoon after the graduation ceremony. Then it's back to Cleveland on Monday.

At least I'll have the long car trips to help prepare myself and make peace with my anxiety. It's really not that bad. Just different.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

invite a Guest up until you announced that you had moved in

I re-ordered my invitations yesterday, which cost me an arm and a leg. I've spent every morning at work this week so far addressing my envelopes before my boss comes in and sees me slacking off. If you read this blog and you are sent an invitation, here's a head's up: I know the RSVP says by June 1st. I don't care if you can't RSVP by June 1st. The invitations are going out late because of all these last minute changes, so I'm ok with not having an RSVP by the 1st. No worries.

Monday, May 12, 2003

Your alter poet is Thomas Stearns Eliot. For you,
life rocks pretty hard!

Who is Your Alter Poet?
brought to you by Quizilla

I saw this quiz on Julia's Blog today, and I just had to take it myself. I find the results particularly interesting and ironic, since I am addicted to T.S. Eliot. So much so that in high school, I did my senior year AP English research project on him. Then, in college, I wrote a song cycle to some of his Wasteland text. Hmmmm....

to advance or not to advance, I hear you calling

The wedding planning is back in full swing again. This weekend Kevin and I went down to his parents' house to pick up all of our picnic stuff, our 15 bottles of booze, and the pop we've been purchasing on and off for the last six months. I got a weird vibe from his parents while we were there. I know they are not happy about what happened, yet they pretended everything was fine. Oh well. Now we can proceed with a relatively finalized plan. I feel badly that this had to happen, but I feel like we did our best to compromise. At least Kevin's Mom didn't cancel my bridal shower to spite me. I was worried about that.

This weekend it's off to New York again....

Thursday, May 08, 2003

just released

I am so excited for the next Tori Amos Show in Cleveland, on August 16th at the Tower City Amphitheater. I can't wait! Probably since I am way too cheap to pay $42 for a ticket (even for Tori), I will try and convince Lou to take me down to the flats on the boat so I can hear the show from the river, and not pay anything. I quite possibly might even be willing to perform sexual favors for this. That is, if I can convince him not to go to Nascar, which is the same weekend.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

I spoke too soon...

We now have the final verdict on our wedding plans. Kevin's Dad called me last night to tell me they don't want to have the reception at their house. He said they thought it would be best if we did everything elsewhere. Translation: they have lost control of the planning and no longer want anything to do with it. If it's not their way, it's no way. They did however, still offer to pay for the caterer or give us the money we've already spent. This means we are back to Back-Up Plan B, and that is for us to have the wedding at the church in the early afternoon, have a punch-and-cookies reception in Fellowship Hall afterward for everyone, and that night have our immediate family, the bridal party, and our out of town friends over to our house for "Barbeque and Booze". (I like my little code name for that. Heheh.)

I think this whole ordeal has been unbelievable. Kevin doubts his parents will even show up for the wedding, let alone the Barbeque and Booze. He even thinks his mother quite possibly would cancel the shower she is throwing for me, and either send out a letter to everyone she invited, or just not tell them and turn them away at the door in order to spite me. It's too bad they feel they have to behave this way, because everyone else has been great. They will look ridiculous if they don't show up to our wedding, but that's their decision. I refuse to let them run our lives. I know that if I caved in this one time, they would try and control every decision Kevin and I ever make throughout our entire marriage. Not gonna happen!!

My parents, on the other hand, don't gove a hoot what we do, as long as we're happy. My Dad is tickled that he gets to put on his shorts and sneakers and bring the half-barrel grill, since he'll be the honourary BBQ chef. And this way we'll get to spend time with the people we never see; the people who have supported us throughout this whole thing.

Changes in wedding location: 3
Changes in reception location: 3
Number of times invitations were printed: 2
Number of arguements with in-laws: too many to count
Doing things our way: PRICELESS!


Last night after work I went out and finally started my wildflower garden along the fence next to our driveway. Last year I planted several Purple Coneflowers and Black-Eyed Susans which have already started to poke out of the soil. So, yesterday I planned out the plot and got out my flower seeds and went at it. I planted Giant Sunflowers in the back to give us privacy from the neighbors who are nosy. I also planted Shasta Daisies, Cosmos, Gypsophilia (Baby's Breath), New England Aster, Columbine, Coreopsis, more Black-Eyed Susans, and Nasturtiums in the flower boxes on the fence. Since this was my first experience with starting flowers from seeds, let's all say a little prayer and hope they come up.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

not so bad

Last night Kevin and I had a "discussion" with his Mom about our change of wedding plans. The conversation actually went smoothly, about which I was rather surprised. There was no yelling or screaming, which I had greatly anticipated. I calmly explained to Kevin's Mom how we would proceed with things, and though she had a lot of questions, I had all the answers. I was assertive and she was receptive. The only thing she did say was that she still needed to "run it by" Kevin's father, who is supposed to call us tonight. We'll see what happens.

talk about preoccupation

Below is a note I wrote to a co-worker yesterday regarding a piano lesson cancelation:
Karen S. has to cancel her wedding this week but will be here next week.

Monday, May 05, 2003

one can squish a lot of activity into only 2 and a half days

Here's the low down on our wild weekend:
Ok, so I usually do not like car trips, but I have to say that travelling with my husband was fun. 4 hours on the way to Rochester gave us a chance to catch up on things. We haven't spent very much time together since he started working nights. We arrived in Rochester about 11pm. I was exhausted, but Kevin was still hyper, so he went out to Mastrella's with my sister Gretchen and her friend Lauren to hear my brother Scott's band Freestile Walkin'. I am bummed I fell asleep, because Kevin said they were awesome. That's not because he was drunk and couldn't tell the difference.

Got up early to go to my dress fitting. Julia's Mom is truly an artist. My dress looks so much like my grandmother's, I couldn't believe it. After the fitting, my Dad cooked us one of his famous brunches (eggs, bacon, toast, the works....mmmmm) and then insisted on driving us by the scene of this huge accident that took place near where my parents live. Read the article here. A gasoline tanker truck crashed, spilling thousands of gallons of gasoline and scorching the better part of an entire neighborhood.

Then it was on to meet with our minister. We snuck into the back of my old church to watch Merle officiate a wedding ceremony, and afterward Kevin and I were able to have a brief meeting with him about our own wedding. Even he said it would be bad professionally for me not to include my church choir at our wedding.

Sue and I headed to Park Place Deil for lunch, where I had what I consider to be the best egg salad in the entire city of Rochester. It was such a treat! Shortly after, Kevin and I left to come home.

This by far was the best day of the weekend. After church, we packed up the car and the boat and headed down to the lake. Yes, it was a little chilly, but we were heavily bundled. Once we got on the river and the wind died down, so it wasn't too bad. The sun was out, we were with great company, we had on some great music, and the water was so relaxing with the sun shining on us. We cruised up and down the river for about 4 or 5 hours, till the sun started going down. For the first time in a few weeks, Kevin and I were stress-less, which is a fantastic feeling. It makes you realize how insignificant little things like stupid arguements are, and how in the grand scheme of things, really all that matters is your own happiness. So, in the words of Bob Marley, "Let's get together and feel all right."

Friday, May 02, 2003

one more thing

I have forgotten to mention my new addiction: Manor House. Reality TV hopefully has a new standard. Find out how much of a snob you are (I'm 70% snob) with the Snob Status Quiz. Heh heh. It's fun.

nothing yet

Tonight Kevin and I are off to Rochester for a brief visit and my dress fitting. It will do us good to get out of here, even if it will only be for 24 hours. The stress of the wedding planning is starting to get to both of us.

There still has not been a resolution to the in-law problem. Kevin had a "discussion" with them the other day, but nothing was decided, really. There was a lot of guilt-tripping and yelling. I didn't even get to say my piece. They told us we had to decide what we're doing by Monday. So I have a phone call to them planned for late Sunday afternoon/evening. I just hope they are willing to hear me out and I hope they are willing to compromise. If they are not willing, then I guess we are not willing either. All I can say, however, is that my parents are being so supportive and flexible. I'm very lucky.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

A Plan for Peace

Leave it to Robin Williams to come up with the perfect plan... What we need now is for our UN Ambassador to stand up and repeat this message. Robin Williams' Plan...(Hard to argue with this logic!)

I see a lot of people yelling for peace but I have not heard of a plan for peace. So, here's one plan:

1) The US will apologize to the world for our "interference" in their affairs, past & present. We will promise never to "interfere" again

2) We will withdraw our troops from all over the world, starting with Germany, South Korea and the Philippines. They don't want us there. We would station troops at our borders. No more sneaking through holes in the fence.

3) All illegal aliens have 90 days to get their affairs together and leave. We'll give them a free trip home. After 90 days the remainder will be gathered up and deported immediately, regardless of who or where they are. France would welcome them.

4) All future visitors will be thoroughly checked and limited to 90 day visits unless given a special permit. No one from a terrorist nation would be allowed in. If you don't like it there, change it yourself, don't hide here. Asylum would not ever be available to anyone. We don't need any more cab drivers.

5) No "students" over age 21. The older ones are the bombers. If they don't attend classes, they get a "D" and it's back home, baby.

6) The US will make a strong effort to become self sufficient energy wise. This will include developing non polluting sources of energy but will require a temporary drilling of oil in the Alaskan wilderness. The caribou will have to cope for a while.

7) Offer Saudi Arabia and other oil producing countries $10 a barrel for their oil. If they don't like it, we go someplace else.

8) If there is a famine or other natural catastrophe in the world, we will not "interfere". They can pray to Allah or whomever, for seeds, rain, cement or whatever they need. Besides, most of what we give them gets "lost" or is taken by their army. The people who need it most get very little, anyway.

9) Ship the UN Headquarters to an island some place. We don't need the spies and fair weather friends here. Besides, it would make a good homeless shelter or lockup for illegal aliens.

9b) Use the buildings as replacement for the twin towers.

10) All Americans must go to charm and beauty school. That way, no one can call us "Ugly Americans" any longer.

Now, ain't that a winner of a plan. "The Statue of Liberty is no longer saying 'Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses.' She's got a baseball bat and she's yelling, 'You want a piece of me?'"

- Robin Williams

Monday, April 28, 2003

particle by particle she slowly changes

What a weekend. Aside from working an extra 27 hours in less than 3 days, nothing much happened besides more fighting with the in-laws.

In my previous post I mentioned I wanted to have some additional people added to the guest list. Yesterday Kevin's parents gave us their final decision on the issue, which was an emphatic No Way. I was pissed, so Kevin and I talked about moving the whole wedding to my church in order to accommodate everyone, which is really important to me. Sensing my frustration with the whole matter, one of my choir members even offered her house to us, which I thought was a very lovely gesture. However, when Kevin told his parents we may change the location, they exploded. They said not only would they not attend the wedding if we moved the location, but they would also tell all their relatives and friends not to attend as well.

Good grief. Should we call their bluff? My parents think so.

Tonight, Kevin and I will probably go to his parents' house and get the stuff we purchased already, including our 15 bottles of booze, and bring it home, in order to send the message that we're serious about this. We will offer to have a discussion with them. We will offer a compromise - we will have the actual wedding at the church. The reception can either be at their house, or there will be no reception. What we would do instead is have a small cook out/ get together at our house for immediate family and the closest of friends. However, if anyone raises her voice, we will leave. If any certain mother-in-law feels inclined to make a snide remark or an unkind comment, we will leave and the decision will have been made for us.