Saturday, January 31, 2009

25 things about me

Yes, I've been tagged to do this about a bjillion times on facebook. So I wimped out and will post it here, too, for my nightly post.

1. In the championships of freshman regionals in basketball, I hit a 3-pointer at the first quarter buzzer, I lost a contact (a woman in the top row of the stands saw it and came running onto the floor to pick it up for me), and I fouled out. We lost, but after that craziness, I was impressed with my showing.

2. The first time I had shrimp scampi was in Lake Lure, N.C., in a fancy restaurant where my sister fell asleep at the table. I was nine.

3. I sometimes wonder if I would have had a better experience playing volleyball rather than soccer in high school. But then I wonder if my knees would have gone out earlier than they did because of the additional jumping.

4. Hal generally cooks and I generally do the dishes. It’s better for everyone that way.

5. When I was a kid, we would sometimes scatter nails and screws in the street to see if we could make someone’s tire explode. We never did see one.

6. I met my sophomore roommate in French class first semester of freshman year. We bonded because our teacher seemed terrifying. Then we realized how awesome she was and stuck with her for several semesters. When we moved in, Heather wouldn’t say a cuss word. Halfway through the year, she called someone the b-word, and I knew I had ruined her.

7. I wrote a feature story involving an interview with an adult film actress. A website picked it up and changed the title to “Life as a porn star.” Which, with my byline directly underneath it, made ME look like the porn star.

8. When I was little, I thought my uncle Walt sold anvils door to door. He obviously did not, I don’t know why I thought that, but I always worried about his back.

9. I always wanted to be a camp counselor. For the past five summers, I have kind of been one, although we call it a “summer program” and it’s at UK, not at a camp. And my fellow counselors and I have a great time together, and we’ve only found one dead body (truth).

10. I was observed 18 times during my first year of teaching. 17 of those were by Mrs. Meyerrose, who taught me English for 3 years while I was in high school.

11. When my siblings are together, we speak with a different cadence. I also catch myself making the same faces as my siblings, especially my brother Donnie, even when we’re not together.

12. I am lucky to still have so many friends who I’ve known for most of my life.

13. My freshman year of high school, one of the junior boys, a friend of mine being a dork, asked my mom (a teacher at the school) what size bra I wore. She told him we were going bra shopping for Homecoming after school (we were) and she could tell him tomorrow (she didn’t).

14. My friend Joanna and I pushed my brother Donnie down our front yard hill while playing King of the Mountain. He took a wrong turn and cracked his head open on the concrete stairs. Any hopes I had of being a vet left then, as I couldn’t handle the blood.

15. I used to shoot basketball for hours. Most of the time, I would be making up and talking through fictional stories while I shot around. My neighbors probably thought I was crazy, but I have loved writing/storytelling for as long as I can remember.

16. Speaking of storytelling, I come from a great bunch of good storytellers. I regret that my grandpa Meihaus got rid of his writings, because I would have loved to read them. But we do have all my great-grandfather Tipton’s (my Pa-Pa’s) sermons (he was a minister).

17. My favorite and most used soccer move was an outside Maradona. Diego Maradona, whom the move is named after, was addicted to cocaine. That is not why it’s my favorite move.

18. When my sister’s volleyball team, which was supposed to be in a rebuilding year, walked into the gym for the state finals, I burst into tears.

19.Growing up, we cleaned the kitchen to “Inna Gadda Da Vida,” we blasted “Another One Bites the Dust” and “Taking Care of Business.” My father sang the paratrooper theme “Blood on the Risers” to us, and he always sang “That’s Amore” to me. I remember watching The Beatles Anthology with my dad when I was in the 8th grade and it was on TV for the first time.

20. I interviewed my mom for a column about how Stacie’s mom has got it going on.

21. I call my brother Stephen “Steve-o,” I call my brother Donnie “D.” Stephen and I look alike. He is one good-looking kid.

22. If you haven’t guessed by now, my family is the coolest.

23. I’m so much happier in grad school than I was in law school.

24. I loved working for the Kernel and I love my friends I met there. So many silly memories! I do wish we would have claimed just one Pacemaker while I was there, though (we were finalists three times).

25. Hal and I have lots of traveling to do this year. I can’t wait.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Beeps and bells and whistles and annoying songs

Tomorrow Hal and I are going to the first birthday party of one of my classmates' daughters.

Tonight, we headed out to Target to look for Arin's birthday present. We were so clueless. I called my mother to ask what you get a 1 year old. She laughed and told us to look in the education baby aisle and find something.

So we did. The first thing we found was this cube-shaped thing that was about 8 kinds of awesome. It had wires with beads on it. It had cut out shapes and blocks to put in the shapes. It had numbers and a phone and a piano and a clock. It was sweet. So we picked it up.

It started blinking and playing a song.

Oh, that's cute! we thought, as we looked down the rest of the aisle.

I turned.

It started blinking and played the same song.

Interactive! How great for a one year old.

I leaned over to look at another toy.

It started blinking and played the same song.

What am I doing to make this blink?!

I turned to Hal.

It started blinking and playing the same song.

"Why does this keep making noise?!" I asked him.

He pulled on one of the wires that held the bead things.

It started blinking and playing the same song.

"That must be it!" he announced triumphantly. "You have to pull the wire thing."

I handed the cube to him.

It started blinking and played the same song.

"I didn't touch the wire!" I told him.

"You must have touched the wire," he responded. To illustrate, he pulled on the wire.


"Wait -- what?" he asked the cube. He brought it eye-level, peering at the words on the wrapping.

It started blinking and played the same song.

Hal, frustrated, went and put the cube down on the shelf. I followed. "But it's interactive! It's got shapes and letters and numbers!"

"It keeps playing the same song!" he replied.

"We need a Mom," I whined, looking around for an expert on this baby thing.

I leaned over and scooted the cube.


"It's off," said Hal.

"Is it?" I asked. I tried to push a number button.


I grabbed the sides and started to lift.

It blinked and started playing the same song.

We looked at each other.

We bought a different present.

One that doesn't blink or play songs.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Annabelle Lee: A story of love and plagairism

For those of you who don't know me very well, I can be a huge procrastinator or slacker. Especially in high school, I was very lax about reading my homework. Why this is, I don't know, because I love to read. Teaching high school was sometimes problematic because I had to read all of the stories and books I never read when I was a freshman.

There was one time when this really came to bite me in the butt. Since it's such a silly story, I will recount it here.

When I was a freshman in high school, I dated a junior boy. He is a very nice guy and we are friends to this day.

But when we were dating, he was a hopeless romantic and often gave me notes and poetry and other things. Half the time, he would jot down song lyrics and present me with them.

The song lyrics I usually could pick out because they were often ripped off of well-known sappy love songs or popular songs.

The poetry, however, was not always that easy to pick out.

Case in point: One day he presented me with a very long poem.

It started:
"It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Stacie"

And went on (and on) from there.

So I'm reading this poem. And I'm getting more and more confused because, not only is it a little dark, but it also is off a beat or two. I mean, I guess it was good, but that rhythm problem was kind of annoying. Being a student of junior high angsty poems, the darkness wasn't nearly as problematic (even though I appeared to die at the end). I soon forgot about the rhythmically-challenged poem.

Fast forward two years. I am now a junior. I walk into my Acc. English class and sit at my desk. I flip open the tome of American literature that we used for junior year and began to quickly scan the poems we were assigned the night before.

Why does this seem so familiar? I thought to myself as I read this incredibly depressing Edgar Allen Poe piece. "I was a child and she was a child,/In this kingdom by the sea." Where have I heard this before?

Oh. My. God.

"OH MY GOD!" I exclaimed out loud to everyone in my English class. My teacher, startled but non-plussed, looked at me as I buried my head in my book and started cracking up. The class paused. My face burned red. Tears of laughter were swimming in my eyes.

"Jarrod said he wrote this," I gasped, laughing. "Changed Annabelle Lee to Stacie. That's why the rhythm was off. Oh my God!"

The class, especially since everyone including my teacher knew Jarrod, started cracking up, and my English teacher even threw back her head and had a hearty chuckle.

As seniors a year later, we recounted for our English teacher (the same one) our favorite memories from English class over the last three years (she taught us sophomore through senior year).

The plagiarism of "Annabelle Lee" came up quite a few times.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Day

Today, we woke up to this:


School was delayed until noon and then canceled. Although Hal works at the university, he is not "essential" and therefore, since he is not a maintenance person or a dorm cafeteria worker, he was able to stay home. We spent a lot of the day being lazy and we ate grilled cheese sandwiches and Mrs. Grass soup for lunch (yum!).

Not all of us were lazy, however. Poor Layla...



Layla did an excellent job in the "backyard," running around in snow that was up to her chest!

Actually...she also spent plenty of time being lazy. Here she is UNDER the covers on the bed:


(We need to trim her nails!)

After lounging around for most of the day, Hal decided he had had enough of indoor stuff. We knew we couldn't get the car out (people were spinning their wheels in the parking lot all day), but we live relatively close to some restaurants and stores. So he decided we should walk to dinner.

Here he is, in all his walking to dinner glory (looking like the Unabomber):


And walk we did.

We set off for Chili's, which is the closest restaurant (besides McDonald's and Pizza Hut) to our townhouse. We walked the 15 minutes, our glasses fogging up, my nose getting colder and colder. After a couple of minutes, I said, "Are you sure this place is open?" Hal, indeed, was not sure, and I told him that I was going to be very angry (I said pissed) if we walked all the way there and it was closed. So he called the place and they were indeed open.

We had a delightful dinner of chicken tacos and walked home. At times I took off my glasses becuase they were so foggy. Then I came to a large dark spot in the sidewalk (this particular stretch was pretty clear). I gingerly stuck my foot out and tested it.

"Is this a large gaping hole?" I asked.

Hal laughed. "That is a manhole cover."

I put my glasses back on.

Tomorrow we go back to the grind, but it's always nice to have a SNOW DAY!


We are CLOSED.

(Hopefully this won't impede the signing off of the thesis. Sigh.)

Snow Delay

We are waiting patiently to see if our snow closing extends beyond noon. (My prof, good for her!, has already sent an email saying she'll have class if school is open. I don't mind going to class at all.)

If not, I do not look forward to walking to the bus.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The White Death is Upon Us

It's hereeeeeee.

The White Death.


You would think the world is ending. The Cincinnati Enquirer proclaims that the ice storm may be THE. WORST. EVER. Bloomington's paper has released some sort of statement from the police about traveling on certain roads (but we can't read it because their website is subscription only -- we can only see that the police have released some statement tantamount to our safety). The high school is off for TWO days in a row (unbelievable!) and apparently my county is closed tomorrow.

There is always a good snowfall every year. But it creates mass chaos from people who have, year after year, no idea how to deal with the snow. Luckily, Bloomington is small enough that Hal doesn't have to drive far for work. There are few hills in town and no expressways. So that's good.

Mrs. Kyle, the Latin teacher at my high school, must have overdone herself with her snow dance.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Dumbest Generation?

I just finished a book today entitled The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future. As you can imagine, this was for class. I reacted to it in a very mixed way. The author uses great numbers of knowledge tests to assert that youth today have less knowledge than ever before, due in part to lack of reading, internet and television use, education pedagogy that focuses on "self-centered" knowledge rather than traditional knowledge, and other things. Knowledge seemed to be defined, per these tests, as basic rote memorization: who is the Speaker of the House, for example, identify this or that. Is this the best way to define knowledge? (His argument is that without these building blocks, you can't get to the in depth thought of true knowledge.)

So, what do you think, internets? Are we in BIG TROUBLE because the internet is making us dumber?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Adding to the blogroll

I need to add some blogs to the blogroll. There are several out there that I read and just haven't gotten around to adding yet. I thought I would give you the opportunity to leave a comment and point out good blogs to me or to inform me of your blog so I can add it to my list!

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Every once in awhile I make Hal watch movies that he should see so when they come up, he can say he's seen them. We did American Beauty, Capote, etc. etc. etc. This is hard for him, as he like shiny happy movies (which is totally fine!) so his tastes tend to go toward Pixar/other fun movies. (I used to review movies and tended to be a little snotty about my movies when we first met, but I've calmed down a lot.)

Now, he did like American Beauty and Capote, and he's done well with many of the movies I've suggested he watch. (He did have to watch something happy after he watched Capote, but I can totally see where that came from.)

However, last night I may have pushed the envelope a bit.

He mentioned being interested in seeing Magnolia the other day. As I used to own it (one of my friends has stolen my VHS copy of it, which I couldn't watch anyway because we don't have a VHS player currently), I was interested to hear this. So we rented it tonight. I warned him it was long and considered it good training for Benjamin Button, which I hope to see sometime soon.

Turns out, while watching the opening half hour of Magnolia (which, mind you, is 3 hours long), Hal kept questioning where Edward Norton was. I couldn't figure out why he thought Edward Norton was in Magnolia. It seems that he somehow confused Magnolia with Fight Club? We aren't sure how this happened -- but Fight Club is also on the list of things he should see for cultural references.

So poor Hal got 3 hours of Magnolia, and I got one confused face looking at me at the end of the movie.

Then, because I am overzealous, I played him part of the score for Requiem for a Dream, which was featured as part of a list on ListVerse the other day (great site -- check it out at I wanted him to listen to it because I had mentioned before how chilling it is to me. Then I had to explain to him why the cacophony he was experiencing made sense within the context of the movie. Which led me to show him the trailer. Which was plenty.

I think we'll be on a strict Disney and comedy diet for the next six months after this.

EDITED TO ADD: My cousin wrote on Hal's wall on Facebook last night:

"OK Hal...that's a deduction of two man points. It would be more except you're a newlywed. But no more chick flicks."

Apparently Stan thought I made him watch Steel Magnolias.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Tales from the Bus: Ears are funny like that

So I'm on the bus the other day and overhear a conversation between a guy and a girl.

Girl: I used to pierce my ears all the time. I had the professional earrings from when I first pierced my ears and I just did it myself. I did it like four times down here [her lobe] and then I did it once up here [the cartilage]. But then that one got a really weird bump on it. It was gross. I don't know what it was, but I had to, like, go to the doctor and he had to freeze it off.

Boy: Ears are funny like that.

Me: [internal dialogue] Wow, what a story to be talking about on the bus. Weird ear bumps getting frozen off by doctors. Why do we need to share medical information? Even though this isn't that bad as the big bloody tumor of last year. At least she's talking about this in person and not on her cell phone--

Girl: So what's your name?

Boy: Ben*.

Girl: Well, it's nice to meet you. I'm Fanny*. This is my stop.

Me: [internal dialogue] SHE WAS DISCUSSING HER FROZEN-OFF EAR BUMP WITH SOMEONE SHE NEVER MET BEFORE!!!!! baSdfjaklsdfjbshieknadksanfkds [head explodes]

One day I am going to do a blog post about "Rules of the Bus."

*names changed to protect the bumpy

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I am back, so quit your whining ;)

So apparently several people (who, ahem, never comment) are angry with me because I haven't updated this blog in a week.

I do apologize. I have been scrambling on my school work this weekend because I didn't get anything done while on retreat. (Which seemed to go well -- I hope, anyway.)

Several things are going on this week. First of all, I'm going to send out a little note to my Me Ma, my grandmother, who is having an angiogram tomorrow. We're keeping our fingers crossed that any procedure to come will be minimal and easy to recover from. We all love her very much!

Second, the time has come. The swim club's HOME MEET is in two weeks. I will be signing up to swim at least one event. I know I will be swimming the 50 butterfly. I am considering putting 3 minutes down for my time. Stephen told me that I should be able to do it in his fastest time, which is 28 seconds. I assured him that I MIGHT be able to do a 25 fly in 28 seconds, but there is no way I will do a 50 in that time period.

Third, the second draft of the thesis will be turned in tomorrow. Hopefully that will be the end of it, as the time I have left is drawing to a close. My adviser asked if I really thought I could sneak past her the fact that I had only one paragraph on the theoretical contribution of my study. I told her I hoped she simply wouldn't notice. (Perhaps in the sheer brilliance of the rest of the piece.)

Fourth, Hal and I are 98 percent sure we have a home to rent starting in June! We are very excited about this and we hope that it does indeed work out. The lease is signed and in the mail, we're just waiting for the owners to receive it. Once that happens, I will tell you all about it. It's safe to say that we will have plenty of room for visitors, the dog, and our 10 billion pounds of junk.

I am back to my regularly scheduled posting -- so look for more here tomorrow!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A weekend away.

I was all set to go. My bags were packed, my car was loaded. I was heading home today to go on the high school senior retreat. I was going to spend the night at my parents' house and then head to the retreat center tomorrow morning.

I turned the key.


Today my car's battery decided not to work. I called Hal and he came and tried to jump the car.

My car will not jump. Perhaps because it was -11 degrees with the wind chill (about 4-6 degrees normally).

So I am still in Bloomington. I rented a car and will pick it up tomorrow morning, and then I will drive the 3+ hours to the retreat center, where I will spend all weekend with an assortment of characters from my first year of teaching. I hope it's a good weekend for the kids.

In the meantime, Hal will try to get my car fixed (assuming that it warms up enough to jump).

So in essence, I will not be reporting live on the blog this weekend. I will be in the internet-less wilderness (we'll be in a retreat center, don't worry) trying to stay warm and thinking holy thoughts. I suppose this blows my "post every day of 2009" idea, but I realized that with the amount of time I will be spending out of the country this year I will have missed some days anyway. I might as well miss the first two or three for God! :)

Wish us luck and keep the kids in your prayers this weekend. I'm hoping for good things.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tales from the Bus: Express

My bus route picked up an extra bus that only runs from my spot to a corresponding spot on the other end of the route. We call this route the Express.

Because of this, when you're taking the Express, instead of stopping at my stop, it turns before my stop and actually goes down my street to turn around.

The first time I was riding this, there were only about 6 of us on the bus. When it turned, one of the girls sitting near me looked up in a panic.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!" she said, clearly confused and frightened that the bus had kidnapped us just like in that one book I read back in middle school. (Did anyone else read that book? I can't remember how it ended.)

Another smiling passenger soothed the "whoa-ing" girl's fears.

The bus driver actually let us all off closer to our homes than normal, and we went on our merry way.

(And the bus has been waaaaayyyy too quiet recently. I haven't been able to eavesdrop on any good coversations lately!)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I have never seen anyone play basketball like Jodie Meeks did tonight.

54 points! Enough to be the almost 40-year-old single-game record for UK. What a fantastic game.

We have surmised that Meeks' basketball prowess has come from my brother, who was in his accounting class/his accounting partner, something to that effect. Good job, Stephen! ;) My father said that there was only one time he had an athletic performance like that -- he was in the Dunkin' Donuts throwing donut holes/munchkins into his pie-hole. (And he said pie hole.)

As always, fantastic sports things make me a little emotional, and I sat shivering in my chair while watching the game, either from cold or just because I was keyed up. (Don't get me started on my sister's senior year in volleyball -- waterworks will begin...) I put off my homework to now, so I'm going to be reading a bit before I go to bed. However, it was totally worth it. What an unbelievable performance.

Monday, January 12, 2009

First Class

Something happened today that has never happened in all my years of education.

My professor videotaped the class introductions.

She apologized for being cheesy and wanted to videotape us so she could remember our names. It was odd and funny, especially since I was sitting in a weird place in class where I had to keep looking back and forth to the professor and the rest of the class.

The class seems really interesting and I'm excited about it. Hopefully tomorrow goes well, too.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Drive and tomorrow

My drive back to B-town included a fishtail while on Route 1, a two-lane road heading toward the expressway for my second expressway portion of the drive, and a bit of a slide while turning onto the entrance ramp of that expressway. Once off the expressway (where traffic was moving about 50 mph, down from its normal 70 speed limit), the snow was behind me and the rest of the ride was uneventful.

School starts back up tomorrow. I have three classes this semester and tomorrow I have my religion class I am taking. One of my concentrations in the PhD is health, and I'm partially interested in the religious aspects of health. This class is about illness and healing, along with religion, so I figure that it will be very interesting, at least, and very helpful in thinking about the health question from a different viewpoint. We will see.

Back to the thesis, which I'm currently revising.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mom is a pro!

Mom is turning into a scrapbooking pro! We went shopping today for some extra paper and things and she went crazy in the scrapbook store. We came back and she knocked off several pages without me having to do anything -- she doesn't need me anymore!

In other news, I picked up prescription goggles today. My eye doctor was thoroughly appalled that I was swimming nightly in contacts, even with goggles over them. Apparently the pool is disgusting and she was afraid that my eyes would carry away some terrible bacteria that would then live in my contact case waiting for a day to strike me and poke out my eyes just like Oedipus' mom. She decided to try to prescribe me DAILY contacts JUST FOR SWIMMING. Which, of course, if I was Michael (or Michelle) Phelps, that might be a good idea. However, I am not close to being Michael (Michelle) Phelps and therefore the added expense of daily wear contacts just for swimming is silly.

So I picked up the prescription goggles. The term "prescription" is kind of a misnomer. They have a circle of goggle eyes with different strengths and you look through them until you find what you are. Of course, I am the worst prescription that they have (a -7.0 in both goggle eyes, I think I'm actually -7.5 in a regular eye, but they didn't have -7.5s), but I now have goggles that I can wear to class if I break my regular glasses (How funny would that be?!).

Friday, January 9, 2009

Mom and scrapbooking

My sister says that my last couple of posts have been too intense.

I have come home this weekend to help mom with a very important task. That's right, I'm teaching her to scrapbook.

Mom is doing a very good job. She is making a scrapbook of her Mediterranean cruise she and Dad took in September. We have been organizing pictures and getting things ready. We also were able to complete three pages today!

This is a huge accomplishment, as Mom is scared of crafts. She doesn't like crafts all that much; she was the mom who "sewed" on our Brownie patches using hot glue guns. So I'm very proud of her for working on the scrapbooking, even though the supplies are taking up the entire dining room table.

I hope that she'll have some good progress this weekend!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The internet conspired against me!

I sent my thesis last night.

I checked my email several minutes later. I had an undeliverable message.

I sent it again. Same message.

I sent it again. Yet again the same message.

I sent it from my other email address. Same message!

I couldn't get it to go through until this morning, when Hal sent it from his email!

I included a note: I am taking this rejection personally and assuming that it's a reflection on the quality of my work. (With a winky face, because I was teasing, of course. Mostly.)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

At 2:39 A.M. January 8, 2009...

I submitted the first draft of my thesis.

I am worried it's too short. It's only 31 pages, but it's a quantitative study, and there are only so many tables a person can include! If it's too short, I will make it longer.

Piddly post

So this is going to be short and sweet because, that's right, I'm FINISHING MY THESIS.

I have been making tables all day. My findings are complete. I need to edit my discussion and methods sections, finish my background, and read the whole she-bang to make sure I've change it appropriately from a study covering two newspapers to a study covering four newspapers.

SPSS (the statistics program) and I are best friends. I've tackled the t Test. I've conquered the Chi Square. I've finagled the frequencies, and dabbled in descriptives.

Tomorrow, I turn in the first draft.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

52000, or I am a moron

So in doing my thesis, I have more than 52,000 slots in my data set. As you can imagine, most of those are blank. However, to run some of the tests, I have to fill in all the slots, which means that I have to fill my data set with zeroes.

Last night I tried and tried to figure out a way to put those zeroes in more than 1 at a time. I could not figure it out.

So I spent HOURS entering zeroes by hand. My hands were killing me. My head was hurting from annoyance.

This morning, one of the PhD students responded to my plea for help on facebook.

The answer: Copy the zero and highlight a bunch of slots and paste.

Which is about as basic as you can get. I am such a moron.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Uncle Bob

One of my most faithful readers is my Uncle Bob. He always mentions something he has read on the blog when I see him.

Uncle Bob had open heart surgery recently. Dad and I took him some lunch on Saturday. When it's below 40 degrees outside, he isn't allowed out of the house because of the stress the cold places on his heart. He's in great spirits and as well as some pain, and we were able to tease him about his "Perkies" (his Percocets he was prescribed for the pain). After eating, Dad and Bob (who are brothers) sat around reminiscing.

It's always a gift to sit around and listen to stories of the past. Not so long ago, I was listening, rapt, as my grandfather would tell his stories in the same kitchen. I love learning about the strange neighbors and goofy moments growing up. I found out, among other things, that Bob used to hide in a playhouse in the backyard of a family who loathed children (despite the fact they had their own). They hated whenever anyone stepped on their yard, and always made a big deal, screaming and yelling, to chase children out of their yard. It was precisely because of this that Bob would often hide there -- he did it because they were so rude about it; he did it to get their goat. (I didn't know that Bob was so mischievous!)

So, Uncle Bob, thanks for reading and FEEL BETTER SOON!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Christmas is over

I am always sad to take Christmas down and put it away.

The trees, nativity sets, lights, snowmen, and Rudolph all make me so happy. But we took it all down and put it away tonight. Our house currently seems rather bare (and a little bigger). It's too bad it's not cool to leave it up all year around.

Luckily for my parents, this weekend got really warm for our area -- about 50 degrees! Because of this, my dad had three very willing helpers in taking down the lights. Hal, Jennie, Dad, and I finished the job in record time. It was weird to be doing that work in January wearing just a sweatshirt!

So we're back in Bloomington. Which means back to the thesis. I'm getting done with it (at least the first draft) by the end of the week. Then I am heading back home by myself to help my mom start her scrapbook for her Europe trip she and Dad took in September. Why didn't we start it earlier, you ask? Well, because I totally forgot to bring all my tools home with me. So mom had... tape.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Trivial Pursuit

Tonight my parents, Hal, Jennie and Peter, and I sat down to play Trivial Pursuit.

This doesn't happen often. In fact, the box was covered in a layer of dust we could trace smiley faces in.

Hal and I went first. I then had to ask a question for mom and dad.

I looked at the card and couldn't believe my eyes.

"I'm just reading what the card says," I say, and begin laughing.

I read the card.

"What roll in craps is called the Big Dick?" the card says.*

Everyone starts cracking up.

Later on the question turns to my sister. "What is the nickname of Kentucky?"

She screams, "Wildcats!"

Which is, of course, the wrong answer. We all started banging on the table, cracking up. Peter, her partner, was infuriated. She took back her answer and said, "The Bluegrass State!" which worked better for everyone.

In the end, my parents won, and we all had a great time.

*The answer is 10.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Culture: Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Tonight my cousin invited Hal and I to join her and her husband for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Cousin is in marketing and the tickets were left over.

What a crazy show! I'm very happy we don't have epilepsy, because it was definitely seizure-inducing with the strobe lights and lasers. The best parts of the show involved the lights along with the music.

Well, the other best part of the show was watching the people sitting on the floor in front of the stage. We decided that they must have gotten to the area at around 2 o'clock to practice their rhythmic clapping and the way the would leap to their feet in unison! It was sometimes much more entertaining to watch these people, many of whom were playing "air drums" or mimicking the actions of the singers.

Other than that, a nice day. We ate lunch with some family friends of ours, which we always enjoy. The youngest child (out of 3 girls), who is 17, is my parents' god-daughter. It's always great to see the girls because we grew up with them.

So we are definitely enjoying our trip home!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

What do you think?

Should I try to post EVERY DAY for 2009? I actually have no idea how realistic that would be for me!

New year's was spent at my cousin's home with some of her friends. We had a wonderful time and counted down the new year with good ol' Dick Clark!