Thursday, December 30, 2004


"No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls.
It tolls for thee.�

-John Donne

I've been feeling kind of helpless about the huge loss of human life from the massive tsunami that happened in Asia this past week. It's the kind of thing that makes you feel not only incredibly sad but also guilty for complaining about everyday annoyances. I'm going to donate to the Red Cross today because it's the only thing I can think of to do. The whole world came together to help Americans when we lost 3,000 people on 9/11. I can't even begin to wrap my head around a number like 100,000 lives lost so I feel like I have to do my part, even if it seems tiny.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Winter Blahs

I always get in a little funk after Christmas is over. I think it has something to do with the fact that I'm the type of person who loves having stuff to plan for and a million things to do and when all of a sudden it drops off and I have to go back to my normal schedule I get a little crabby. I suppose the fact that my kids have had the sickies for the past few days hasn't helped either. I always hear about people who get depressed or stressed out around the holidays and it never makes sense to me. It's the months after New Year's and before spring begins that always gets to me. November and December are always exciting with lots of things to look forward to and people to see but the January and February are filled with cold and blackish-grey slush and cold and dirty cars and cold and EVEN MORE COLD. It also still gets dark ridiculously early and there are no more Christmas tree lights in the house because I'm also the type of person who can't stand to see Chrismas lights after January 1st (much less all the way into February and March- seriously, I can understand not climbing up onto the roof in the bitter cold to take them down but WHY must you continue to turn them on people??)

Anyway, on Friday we are all heading up to Milwaukee for New Year's Eve. It's the first time in five years that we've gone anywhere on this day since Russ was so nice to invite our little munchkins to sleep over at his house as well. And because I've been thinking about stuff like this all week, here is my list of things I want to do and/or see in the coming year:

1. Go to New York City (where I will of course, attend a taping of The Daily Show)
2. Visit Washington D.C. with the girls. Not only have Jason and I never been there, but I think it would be great for Juliana to see as well. Plus, apparently we can go have coffee and doughnuts with Dick Durbin and Barrack Obama. Yippee!
3. Go back to Las Vegas. Because why wouldn't I wan't to?
4. Since something on my list has to be non-travel-related: Get back into a regular yoga routine. I've been doing lots of Pilates and aerobics lately but not enough stretching so I really want to work on getting my flexibility back. Plus, my dad gave me a stationary bike for Christmas. (Not that a bike will get my flexibility back but still, Yay!)
5. Work on organizing/scanning all of our mountains of old photographs and negatives. This is my last major obstacle on my way to organizational glory.
6. Repaint our bedroom.
7. Enjoy my girls every single day, even if Juliana is determined to make me crazy and Ava has a never-ending stream of boogers coming out of her nose because someday they won't be living in the same house as me and I won't have any boogers to wipe or any punishments to hand out.

Speaking of my girls, this list will have to be continued later. Duty calls.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas Everyone



Now that the presents are opened, can we go back to sleep?

Thursday, December 23, 2004

A June Cleaver Moment

This afternoon, I am bringing Juliana and Ava to Aunt Shelly's house for a sleepover and Jason will be taking me out to dinner at Sullivan's Steakhouse in Chicago and then to the movie Ray. Because I won't have time to stop home and change inbetween dropping off the girls and meeting Jason downtown, I am sitting here in my black cocktail dress and heels at one o'clock in the afternoon. (We are leaving in just under an hour.) Also, since it's easiest for me to shower and dress while Ava is napping, I have been wearing this outfit since 11 AM, in which I vacuumed the living room rug, chopped vegetables for the veggie pizza appetizer I'm bringing to Christmas Eve dinner tomorrow, and made two batches of sugared pecans. I made sure to wear the handmade apron I got from my Grandma for Christmas a couple of years ago so I wouldn't spill any egg whites on my lovely dress. All I need is a strand of pearls and the"Leave it to Beaver" theme song playing in the background and I'm all set.


Monday, December 20, 2004

The Jokers I Spent Saturday Night With

The Lindens had their annual Christmas cocktail party this weekend. Here is some photgraphic evidence:

russ and julie
Russ and Julie with a stuffed monkey.

paul jordan

jenny jordan
Jenny. (We like to take pictures of other people taking pictures.)

tracey and jason at the lindens

tracey and jason at the lindens
Having a good time.

jeff with monkey blanket
Jeff enjoying the monkey baby blanket we got for him and Kim.

I'm kicking myself for not getting a photo of Kim since she is the happiest, most rosy-cheeked pregnant woman I've seen in quite a while. Grrr!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Tuesday, December 14, 2004



I'm going to go buy the Return of the King extended dvd this afternoon. Life is good.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Birthday Girl


opening presents

Opening presents...


Everyone loves Winnie the Pooh


Love is patient; love is kind
and envies no one.
Love is never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude;
never selfish, not quick to take offense.
There is nothing love cannot face;
there is no limit to its faith,
its hope, and endurance.
In a word, there are three things
that last forever: faith, hope, and love;
but the greatest of them all is love.

~ 1 Corinthians 13 ~

Friday, December 10, 2004

Christmas Eve, 1998


This photo of me and Jason was taken six years ago on Christmas Eve at his parents house. The funny look on our faces is probably a result of having to keep the secret that Jason's sister Michelle was pregnant with our niece Bailee at the time. When she finally told everyone the next day, we proceeded to give the worst fake surprised reaction ever. You should have been there. Anyway, I thought this picture was amusing because Jason had such a skinny head back then and I'm so very thankful that he has abandoned the goatee look now. THANK YOU!

Lots of stuff going on this weekend. We're preparing for Ava's first birthday on Sunday and I have some music editing for Juan to do. He should be coming out to Ava's party too so YAY! I got to go to his company's rehearsal on Thursday and I'm so happy that he is making good work. I have a lot of things on my mind but I just haven't had the time for a detailed post- plus I've been trying to have a positive attitude lately and not let all the things I read about get to me too much. (For instance, Ann Coulter claiming that Canada should be grateful that we "let" them live on the same continent as us. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS WOMAN? I can't figure out if she says the things she does to get publicity or if she really truly is just a sad, sad excuse for a person.)

Thursday, December 9, 2004

Acceptance is Controversial

There is a really interesting ad put out by the United Church of Christ that some networks are refusing to air. Since you probably won't see it on your tv, you can watch it here. I think it has a great message.

Sunday, December 5, 2004

Reason #187 Why I Love My Best Friend:

Because she drove from Milwaukee to my house on a Saturday night to watch my four-year-old and one-year-old (along with her own almost-four-year-old) so Jason and I could attend a wedding reception where we drank wine, danced to Elvis, and hung out with my eighth-grade math teacher reminiscing about 1992. Oh and did I mention that I got Jason to dance with me in public? And that I got to talk to one of my most favorite teachers ever- who actually remembered me after 12 years and who I'm apparently slightly related to? Ok, I guess I did, but I just had SUCH A GREAT TIME LAST NIGHT and I wouldn't have been able to go if it weren't for Steph. Plus, today she offered to change a poopy diaper even after she had spent her entire Saturday night with three girls whose combined age barely equals a third of hers. (I didn't really mean for that to sound like she is totally old, but I guess it did. Sorry!) Anyway, what more could you possibly ask for?

Thursday, December 2, 2004

"Sing of Good Things Not Bad, Sing of Happy Not Sad..."

After talking with Steph the other day about feeling the need to do something creative, I finally took a look at the Garage Band software on Jason's computer and recorded a couple of songs on my guitar. It's been so long since I've even tried to play anything, but I really miss singing so I thought I'd give it a try- even if the only people who ever hear it live in this house. I could practice more, but it's singing that I love to do more than playing the guitar. I guess I need someone to play for me! Or I could practice. Yeah. It's probably the dancer in me that likes to think of my actual body as the instrument rather than other extraneous objects. Around this time of year I tend to listen to more choral music and it makes me miss when I used to sing in the A Cappella and Madrigal choirs in high school. The music is so beautiful and I really enjoyed the challenge of learning a new piece. So I guess my point is that I like music and I should make it more, in whatever form it may take.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Best. Show. EVER.

arrested development

Well, it's pretty close at least- especially since I won't have any new episodes of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" for quite a while. I picked up the dvd of the first season last week and Jason and I have been plowing through them. SO FUNNY! Also, who would have thought that I'd be thinking how cute Jason Bateman is after say, 1988? And when can I have hair like Portia de Rossi already? (That is so totally not her real name. Come on now.)

Sunday, November 28, 2004

NEWS FLASH: People Travel on Holidays, Like to Buy Things

Boy, I can hardly wait for the all the reporting on last-minute Christmas shoppers, post-Christmas sales, and tips on how to lose the holiday flab!

Please, make it stop.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

I Don't Know What to Think About This

Tonight, Jason showed me a way to track all the traffic that comes through my website (not just this blog but the girl's blog and the photo pages as well.) Anyway, in addition to the cool data about where in the world people reading my site from as well as how many views a day I get and so on, there is also an interesting little list that shows what words people search for on Google that lead them to my site. Now some searches are for my actual name, while many others involve pregnancyand stuff involving babies and kids. A few searches mention things like Jon Stewart, certain movies I've posted about and a few politicians. However, a lot of things on this list quite frankly creep me out and I'm wondering just how a few of these key words would lead people to my little old website. I'm sure a lot of them are probably disappointed once they get here. I also don't know how I feel about people finding my site while searching for "sexy pregnant bellies" because that just makes me feel icky. Here is a sample of some of the things people are looking for (other than the name gessner) when they find my site (although some of the things I flat out refuse to list here. Ew!)

big belly
newborn baby
i hate tracey
how to get rid of a gummy smile
bicep girl
boy robot
alien in my belly
my little pony palooza
78 buick

peter krause
kerry eats babies
puffy girls
fetal development
dyson costco
ode to my tv
crazy tracey
birth stories
biker chick party
little baby squid
greg steffke
lyle lovett political views
when no one understands you
gessner crazy
goonies never say die
john edwards shirtless
nick stokes shirtless
tucker carlson shirtless
adrian brody shirtless
gargantuan belly
robot eyes
picture of beauty girls
tracey coulter
pictures of pinnochio from the burbs
get out belly
diet coke head
condi rice's hair
my little nugget
vampire attack
mina and lucy
what does the bible say about infidels?
how i get my arms skinny
really sad sad sad sad sad sad sad sad sad sad sad sad sad poems
goth birthday invitations
reese witherspoon eating ice cream
You have no idea how entertaining this is for me!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Note to the Guy on Ebay Who is Trying to Scam Me:

I am not stupid. You are not getting me to send my laptop to Nigeria for your "daughter's" birthday. I am not a stranger to ebay scams. Plus, if you're going to try to cheat me, could you at least not use the exact same email that is floating around the ebay message boards? I have a little pride here. Oh, and isn't just a wonderful coincidence that merely hours after I informed you that I do not ship items out of the United States (as stated in the auction details) I get a personal phone call from "ebay seller services" offering to help me sell my items in the worldwide market? I mean, ebay calling little me who sells items every now and again to help me make more money internationally? How sweet of them. The perky girl on the phone was pretty good though. Nice touch.

Suddenly I feel like I want to go rent Matchstick Men.


Well, I've been working on Ava's birthday video the past couple of days and I'm just so excited but sad at the same time for her 1st birthday. After I had Juliana, I always sort of knew in the back of my mind that I would have another baby someday (even though outwardly I denied it) so as each milestone passed I was a little sad, but I also knew that it would not be the last time I would witness a baby's first smile, tooth or step. Now that we have Ava though, and our family is most definitely complete, (yes, I'm serious this time!) I watch each new thing she learns with a little tear in my eye because I know this will be my last time for such an event. So let me just get this out of my system when I say: MY BABIES ARE GROWING UP!!! I have officially turned into a weepy mom who will sob at each major milestone in my children's life from here on out.

my girls

On another note, one thing I have learned in the past week that no matter what I do or say, there will always be people out there who will not like me, my beliefs, or my parenting style- be it because of my politics or simply because I forgot to put a hat on my baby on my last trip to the grocery store. It can't be helped. All I can do is to live my life happily and to raise my kids in the best way that I know how. Everything will be fine. Trust me.

Monday, November 22, 2004

No Real Reason for Posting This, I Just Felt Like It


Monday Morning Rant

Let's cut the nonsense and have single-issue bills in Congress already, right? Enough of the congressional pay raises snuck into education bills (and the "how could you vote against the children??"rhetoric that comes after it). Stop making it easy from people to bury propositions like making your personal tax records available at any time to two random committee chairmen in the latest spending bill. Maybe if if these bills weren't 1500 pages long with hundreds of little unrelated provisions then we could actually get some real legislation done? Not to mention then we could clearly see where our congressmen's loyalities lie when their reasons for voting for or against a particular bill become less complex. More money for public schools? YES or NO. Big bold type with huge bubbles to fill in with a number two pencil. And while we're at it, how about no more voting on these mammoth bills merely hours after they come into the hands of the congressmen's secretaries? Maybe we should take the time to read every word of what we're trying to write into law.

And one more thing, stop repealing laws that your party initially pushed for once it becomes clear that a person on your side of the aisle might be affected by said law. Here's looking at you, Tom Delay.

Friday, November 19, 2004

If I Had A Boat

If you haven't seen Jason's pictures of his and Juliana's boat experiment, you should check them out here. It's a pretty good story, if not a successful one.

What the World Needs Now Is Love, Sweet Love

Wow, I've been getting some responses lately from some people who seem to really disagree with what I say. I'm not going to comment much except to say that I'm happy that my life is filled with happiness and love. It takes so much energy to be hateful. Thus, I will continue my list of things to be happy about in order to keep the positive energy flowing:

Ava's gappy front teeth
Pictures with Santa- THE WEEK BEFORE THANKSGIVING (Whole story here.)
Listening to Etta James on a rainy day
Little Shop of Horrors
Lyle Lovett
Candy Land with Juli
Baking Cookies
Iced Tea
Have I mentioned how much I love the Daily Show with Jon Stewart? Yes? Oh. Ok.
Heather, Jon, and Leta
Jason (XOXO)

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


Oh wow. My neck still hurts from the Pixes show the other night. I bopped and bounced and jumped so much I'm surprised my head stayed on. It was so totally fun though! Even in my tall boots, it was next to impossible to see them, but frankly I couldn't have cared less because the music was AWESOME. One of the things that made it so great (besides the fact that they RAWK) is the fact that I never ever thought I would hear that music live in my lifetime. What a treat. I don't even care if I was spastic and jumpy and bumping into people because, seriously, why should I hold back? If I don't allow myself to freak out when seeing my favorite band ever, when will I? I got a new Pixies shirt too. It's pink. I'm happy.

"When a problem comes along, you must whip it...."

I am very pleased to hear today that Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois was appointed the new House Minority Whip. I always remember the time he came into the gas station I was working at (before he was elected) and talked with me for a few minutes about his campaign. He seemed like a really nice guy then so I voted for him and I have been extremely happy with his performance as Senator. Now if I could just get the song "Whip it" out of my head.

Monday, November 15, 2004

I Have an Excellent Idea: Let's Change the Subject!

This is a photo of me and Steph back around the time we first started listening to the Pixies. Since they broke up right after we discovered them, we never thought we would get a chance to go to one of their shows and dance around like idiots. Now, we will finally have that chance.

It should be noted that this picture was taken on Halloween, 1994, hence the white gothy makeup. Even so, it still is probably a pretty good example of what we looked like at the time.

Na Na Na Na Boo Boo

I'm going to see the Pixies tonight! I'm going to see the Pixies tonight!

Warning: The Following is an Exercise in Sarcasm in Order to Illustrate a Point

You know what I don't like? These people who say they have "open" marriages. You know, married couples who agree to pursue relationships outside of their marriage while still remaining a committed couple? Personally, I think this kind of relationship is deplorable and not what god intended married people to do. Marriage is a union betweeen a man and a woman, "for better or worse, in sickness and in health until death do us part." It is not a union between a man and a woman and that hot girl who works at the TGI Fridays and Steve from accounting. It doesn't matter if the infidelity is consensual- it is an affront to the entire institution of marriage! Don't get me wrong, I don't hate these people. I just hate their actions. We simply must do something to curb this sort of deviant behavior. I mean, think of the children! I will not stand for these people threatening the sanctity of marriage and will speak out in order to educate the American public of this growing problem so we can properly defend ourselves. I think an immediate constutional ammendment is in order. If any married couple engages in such behavior, their marriage should be promptly nullified by the state. They are consciously and deliberately breaking a vow made in front of God and their unions should no longer be recognized.

Ok, I don't really believe this. Sometimes arguments I hear just sound so comical that I can't help myself. Here's the problem though: I don't think people are ever going to reach a consensus on issues like gay marriage. Neither side is going to bend. So what are we to do? I honestly don't know. People on my side will keep fighting for what they believe is right, just as people on the other side will do the same for what they believe. Sometimes they will pull ahead and sometimes we will take the lead. But we will never be finished. Sometmes I wish that everyone who has never known a gay person could spend some time as a dance major in Chicago. Not only would it be an educational experience, but it would be really funny as well.

Just as a side note, did you know that some of the states that passed laws banning gay marriage also made it illegal for two gay people to own property together?

Sunday, November 14, 2004


Things To Be Happy About (Other than the obvious things like my little girls, Jason, family and friends, my health...etc.)

1. The fact that I am going to see my favoirite band ever (the Pixies) for the first time in my life tomorrow night!
2. My TIVO
3. The 40's station on my XM radio
4. The recipe database Jason set up for me
5. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
6. My new living room floor
7. Bloglines (If you are a blog reader and you don't use this program- yes Steph I'm talking to you- I highly recommend it!)
9. Library Cards
10. Ray Charles
11. Chili
12. Christmas movies (yes, I'm one of those people)
13. Buffy and Angel on DVD
14. Moisturizer
15. Candles that smell like Pumpkin Pie and Apple Cider
16. Pumpkin Pie and Apple Cider
17. Desoto Records
18. Making music videos
19. South Park
20. Butternut Squash
21. Serenity, the movie
22. Spongebob Squarepants
23. Will Ferrell
24. My Sparkly Pink Scarf
25. Hot tea
26. Babysitters
27. Sundays

Hey this is fun! I'll have to continue this later. Now I'm in a good mood.

Friday, November 12, 2004

"And if I never see your face again, well I don't care..."

Get Scott Peterson off of my tv. Please.

When Will This Bad Dream Be Over?

Last night, I was watching footage on tv of the seige in Fallujah and aside from the coverage having the tone of a Jerry Bruckheimer movie, I was trying to remember exactly why we were even doing this in the first place. Does anyone remember? I love the freedoms I have in my country but if the President would have come to us two years ago and said we needed to invade Iraq for the sole purpose of liberating them and bestowing the gift of freedom and democracy upon them, what would the American public have said? Who will we bestow our gift upon next?

Fidel Castro in Cuba
Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe
Moammar Al Qadhafi in Libya
Kim Jong-il in North Korea
Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus
Saparmurat Niyazov in Turkmenistan
Than Shwe in Myanmar
Islom Karimov in Uzbekistan
Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan
Teodoro Obiang Nguema in Equatorial Guinea
King Fahd and Prince Abdullah in Saudi Arabia
Hugo Ch�z in Venezuela

Read more about the 10 worst dictators in 2004 here.

Oh, and I would just like to state for the record that just because people are not allowed to speak out in other countries does not make me a hypocrite for exercising my own right to dissent in my country. I think that if you love your country then you want it to be the best is can possibly be. This, coming from a suburban midewesten mom who does not live in either New York or California. Rock on.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Note to America


Thank you. It needed to be said.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

What Exactly Did You Mean By That, Dorothy?

Juliana and I watched The Wizard of Oz this afternoon and though I love this movie, I never realized how odd Dorothy's speech is at the end of the movie. She says:

"If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with!�

Yeah. Why should we think about leaving our little farm in Kansas? Everything we ever needed is right here! Doesn't seem like a very progressive statement, does it? I know, I know, she's just trying to drive the "There's no place like home" sentiment in but still, it seems a little short-sighted to me.

It's just a movie, Tracey!!

If Only My Insurance Company Had Such Wonderful Customer Service

So I bought an ionic breeze air purifier on ebay last year for a fraction of the retail cost and recently it broke. I called the people at the Sharper Image and they told me to box it up and send it to them so they could SEND ME A BRAND NEW ONE. I promptly sent it to them only last week and today my brand spanking new air purifier came to my doorstep. I wholeheartedly endorse this company from here on out. They rank right up there with the people who made my Dyson vacuum cleaner.

By the way, the ionic breeze rocks.

Tuesday, November 9, 2004

What Can I Do?

I've been feeling pretty helpless but at the same time fired up lately, but I don't know where to put my energy. I feel like I need to do something or get involved in order to help bring change in our society but I don't really know where to start. Jason likes to write letters to our senators and call their offices about issues he is concerned about so I think that will be a start. (Plus, I'd be giddy about getting responses from Barrack Obama's office. I HEART OBAMA!!) I don't really think that will be enough for me though. I feel like I don't do anybody any good by just reading about the world and then complaining about it. If anyone has any suggestions about how I can become super-ultra-mega-activist supreme (or at least just have my voice be heard a litte bit louder) please let me know.

Also, my friend Kesa sent me a link to this article giving the best arguments ever for not leaving the country. Please don't leave, people! This is our country too so don't let anyone push you out!

Sunday, November 7, 2004

Ok, So Maybe I Was Wrong About That Whole Purple Thing

And it get's better:

Have I mentioned how much I love the fact that I still live in Cook County, Illinois? Is it really an urban versus rural/suburban culture war?

Friday, November 5, 2004

Hee Hee

I'll be submitting my own photo to this site shortly:

I Don't Care What People Say, I Love Michael Moore

From his 17 Reasons Not To Slit Your Wrists:

17. Finally and most importantly, over 55 million Americans voted for the candidate dubbed "The #1 Liberal in the Senate." That's more than the total number of voters who voted for either Reagan, Bush I, Clinton or Gore. Again, more people voted for Kerry than Reagan. If the media are looking for a trend it should be this -- that so many Americans were, for the first time since Kennedy, willing to vote for an out-and-out liberal. The country has always been filled with evangelicals -- that is not news. What IS news is that so many people have shifted toward a Massachusetts liberal. In fact, that's BIG news. Which means, don't expect the mainstream media, the ones who brought you the Iraq War, to ever report the real truth about November 2, 2004. In fact, it's better that they don't. We'll need the element of surprise in 2008.

Not Red or Blue, But Purple


Screw You, Alan Keyes, You Hateful Little Man

Keyes blames media, GOP for loss in Ill.

Alan Keyes blamed the media and fellow Republicans on Thursday for his lopsided loss to Democrat Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate race in Illinois.

Keyes also said he did not congratulate Obama after the race was called, a tradition among politicians, because doing so would have been a "false gesture" because he believes Obama's views on issues like abortion are wicked.

"I'm supposed to make a call that represents the congratulations toward the triumph of that which I believe ultimately stands for and will stand for a culture evil enough to destroy the very soul and heart of my country," Keyes said. "I can't do this, and I will not make a false gesture."

The former diplomat and two-time presidential candidate, who lost to Obama by 43 percentage points Tuesday, gave his first post-election interview Thursday to a Christian talk show host.

Keyes said that despite the loss, he thought he did a good job spreading his message of moral values in the short time he had to campaign. Republicans drafted Keyes in August after primary winner Jack Ryan dropped out amid a scandal over sex club allegations in his divorce files. Keyes is from Maryland and had never lived in Illinois.

He also said he was disappointed in what he called the number of "Republicans in name only" in Illinois. An Associated Press exit poll showed that four in 10 Republicans voted for Obama, a liberal state senator from Chicago.

"I had counted on the fact that Republicans would come back home on Election Day rather than vote a socialist into office who stands against everything they profess to believe as Republicans," Keyes said.

Keyes noted that 1.3 million people voted for him.

But Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs pointed out that 70 percent of the vote went to Obama, more than 3.4 million votes.

"The people of Illinois rendered a very clear decision on Tuesday by handing Alan Keyes the greatest election defeat in Illinois Senate history. Barack Obama's attention is focused on the important work he now must do for all the people of Illinois."

Keyes said a major difficulty in his campaign was overcoming the "stranglehold" the media had on trying to define the issues of importance in political campaigns.

"I refused to accept their authority, and I still do," Keyes said.

1.3 Million People Voted For Him???

Thursday, November 4, 2004

Reasons to Be Optimistic

1. Bush mush clean up his own mess in Iraq. Nobody will be able to say, "Well, we WERE on the right track until we voted in Kerry!"

2. The movement on the left is more organized, structured and fired up than ever before. I intend to take part.

3. If I truly am wrong about Bush, then the country will be ok.

I don't want anything bad to happen to our country. I honestly don't. I truly wish that in the next four years that Bush will become a great president, bring the country together and PROVE ME WRONG. The future of my country is more important than me being right or getting to say, "I told you so." A lot of people are saying that we are going to be sorry and that people are going to suffer because of this decision, and though I tend to agree with them I really hope that this turns out not to be true.

That being said, I don't really buy the olive branch extended to Kerry supporters in Bush's acceptance speech yesterday. How can you say you will reach out to unite everybody when you based your entire campaign on being as divisive as possible? I want to feel optimistic again but I know that the once Supreme Court nominees start popping up and Roe v. Wade begins working it's way through the courts it's all going to go out the window. I can't stand for that.

I really need to find a way to get involved more than just reading and ranting. However, I also need to take a break from all this and clear my mind. I need to focus on other things for a while. My baby's first birthday is coming up and the holidays are coming along with (maybe, hopefully?) another trip out to Vegas so let's find reasons to smile! Don't give up everyone!

"In a democracy, people get the kind of government they deserve."

-Winston Churchill

Wednesday, November 3, 2004

My Future Home?


You know I really truly thought that this country was ready for a change. I really felt that I was going to be a part of something BIG that would be the start of a major turning point for our country. I thought we were going to be making history. Now I see that I was just on the losing side of the most bitter, negative, nasty political campaign in my lifetime. I was thinking this morning, how can my beliefs be so different from 51% of the other people in my country? Am I just not getting the memo? What does it say about us that we can be so split? Are people like me and the other 49% that are completely crushed at the prospect of four more years of the same just faithless wackos that don't get it? Why do people think that George Bush has the lock on American morals and values? Too many questions without answers. I'm so scared of what might happen in the Supreme Court over the next four years. I'm scared of the role that religion is taking in our government. I don't know what more needs to happen for things to change. How can the things that I believe in so strongly not matter to so many people? I was so hopeful yesterday and now I'm just so sad. There was so much momentum for change and I just don't understand what happened. I really believed in my heart that it would be different.


So the #1 issue on most voters minds yesterday- more than the war in Iraq, terrorism and the economy- turned out to be "morals and values?"

Code Word: We Hate Gays.

I feel like the world I'm living in can't possibly be real.

I woke up this morning and was greeted by one of the biggest, stinkiest diapers I've ever encountered, in more ways than one. I'm going into hiding for a while.

Tuesday, November 2, 2004


What is going on. I can't believe this is happening. I want to cry. What on earth has to happen in order for things to change?

Woo Hoo! I Like Stickers.


Monday, November 1, 2004

And The Clock Winds Down...

I was just sitting here looking at my election countdown clock feeling excited and worried, but mostly just filled with dread at what is most likely going to be a very ugly day tomorrow that will probably stretch into many days beyond that. The past couple of weeks I've been feeling fairly optimistic, reading about record new voter registrations and a projected massive voter turnout among young people, but the still razor-thin magins in the polls and the thousands of lawyers lined up and ready to argue in the battleground states has my stomach in knots. I just want whatever happens to be decisive. No lawsuits, no Supreme Court involvement and for gods sake, PLEASE DON't LET THERE BE AN ELECTORAL VOTE TIE! The only thing worse than the courts deciding the next president would be the House picking the president. Seriously, one vote per state? That means California would get the same weight as Utah? And you thought the electoral college was outdated and unfair. I know people are probably sick and tired about all the arguments for or against keeping the electoral college but consider this: the people of AFGANISTAN can vote directly for their president and WE CAN'T. What is fair about giving the votes from residents of Wyoming or South Dakota more weight than people in New York or Illinois? What ever happened to one person=one vote? The electoral college was established in an attempt to give states with smaller populations an equal voice but the ratio of electoral votes to population by far favors the small states. My vote certainly doesn't carry as much weight as somebody who lives in a state like Utah. And if I was voting Republican in Illinois (I know, gasp!) my vote would essentially get thrown out and not count at all since the rest of the state always votes solidly blue. No matter who ends up with the 270 electoral votes, I still think the system needs to change. Bush could very well win the popular vote and lose the electoral college and I would still argue the same thing.

Anyway, I'm not sure if I will be posting over the next few days or not. It all depends on how things play out. I may be too angry and disillusioned- but then again maybe I'll be too busy celebrating in the streets! I honestly cannot believe the intensity that people have for this election, on both sides of the coin. I heard somebody on the radio today say that half the people of this country are going to be absolutely crushed after this is over no matter what happens. And then what will we do? All I know that tomorrow night we will be up to the wee hours of the morning watching the results come in, blue martinis in hand and nervously holding our breath.

Friday, October 29, 2004

For Once, Mister President, I Agree With You

"A political candidate who jumps to conclusions without knowing the facts is not a person you want as your commander in chief." GWB, 10/27/04

Plus, Bin Ladin's back the Friday before the election! Who's shocked? Ladies and Gentlemen, your October Surprise has arrived.

Monday, October 25, 2004


Must. Stop. Making. Myself. Crazy. Watching the polls at

Good news though: We're going to a little election night party where we will either end up celebrating with friends or stopping each other from jumping out in front of traffic, (assuming there is even any traffic in Crystal Lake, Illinois.)

A Case of the Mondays.

Well, there's not much going on here today. Juli is next door playing with Anthony, Ava is sleeping, and I'm basically procrastinating doing the laundry. It seems I always have a huge to-do list that never gets any shorter. There are always dirty clothes, dirty dishes, dirty kids, stinky litter boxes, cat fur on the couch... I could go on but I won't. I don't have anything real to complain about so I feel bad when I gripe about stuff. I've got it pretty good. The family had a pizza party on Friday to celebrate my Dad's retirement, and Michelle and I went to a bridal shower for Smiley-Cousin-Erin on Saturday. I don't think I can say Erin's name without calling her Smiley-Cousin-Erin, because, well, that's exactly what she is. I've got a huge pile of clothes that I want to list on ebay to make some extra cash but I keep putting it off so I should just suck it up and DO IT ALREADY!! Ok, I'm not really saying anything here so I'll get to work.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Just When I Thought Alan Keyes Couldn't Get Any Crazier...


"U.S. Senate candidate Alan Keyes told a rally Saturday that incest was 'inevitable' for children raised by gay couples because the children might not know both biological parents. 'If we do not know who the mother is, who the father is, without knowing all the brothers and sisters, incest becomes inevitable,' Keyes told the Marquette Park rally held to oppose same-sex marriages. 'Whether they mean it or not, that is what will happen. If you are masked from your knowing your biological parents, you are in danger of encountering brothers and sisters you have no knowledge of.'"

The argument is fascinating for how bizarrely nonsensical it is -- which, perhaps was the point. You have to wonder if Keyes says this stuff just to get attention. Using Keyesian logic, adopted children everywhere who don't know who their biological parents are will be doomed to lives of incest because they will inevitably meet up with their siblings and mate. Wow, who knew. "


Jason just posted this video on his site and I simply had to share.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Project Get Rid of Crummy Carpet: Before and After

On My Mind

-City of Schaumburg: why on earth would you have a six lane road with a speed limit of 35 mph?

-On the radio this morning there was an interesting story about the women's suffrage movement and they said that one group's argument against suffrage was that giving women the right to vote would be detrimental to families (in that it would undermine their traditional role in the American family). Sounds like a similar argument going on today, eh? Defense of marriage anyone?

-O'Reilly, O'Reilly, O'Reilly. Oh my goodness.

As if I needed another reason to love Jon Stewart, he brought the smackdown on Tucker Carlson on CNN's "Crossfire" the other day. If you didn't read this story already, read the short version here or read the transcript here and smile along with me.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Mo 'Tussin

Ok, I've been taking care of sick people all week, hence my only posting goofy bar photos and adverse reactions to debate rhetoric. This is what's been happening in my house this week:

Lots and lots of boogers.

I've been wiping kid noses and administering Robitussin every four hours and refilling the humidifier when it empties out. Juliana, being that she's four years old and attending pre-school is probably going to be sniffling and coughing all season but poor Ava doesn't understand why her breathe-hole is pluggy and why Mommy keeps shoving tissue in her face all day long. She just doesn't get that I'm trying to help her! It is getting better now but we had a rough couple of days. We had such an awesome time last weekend that I knew I was going to have to pay for it somehow! The Channels show was great. Greg's band Seahorses was also great. Plus, I got to go out with Stephanie, sans kids, and not have to drive home at one in the morning for the first time in oh, THREE YEARS. Seriously, what is wrong with us? We've gone out a couple of times to concerts (Ani Difranco, Henry Rollins) but I always have to be back in the morning to watch the girls so I end up driving on 94 in the middle of the night with a big cup of coffee and slapping myself in the face every thirty seconds to stay awake. This time, however, Jason and I got a room at the Astor Hotel (and a babsittter- thank you Michelle!!) so we were actually able to hang out after the show and have a few drinks before getting a ride back to the hotel to sleep. And I slept until 9:30!! We also got a chance to stop by the Hi-Fi so Jason could check out Maddie and Juliana's art show. Me=Happy. I almost don't even care that I'm probably going to get sick now. In fact, I'm getting ready to unleash my army of compassion to liberate all the germs in my house.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Unleashing My Army of Compassion!!

The above is my most favorite Bush-ism from tonight, by far. Now that all the debates are over, I have to say that I am pleased, hopeful and INCREDIBLY NERVOUS. I don't think I'll sleep a wink on the evening of November 2nd. Oh yeah, and did you get a load of the HUGE dodge Bush did over the Roe v. Wade question??? Egads.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Thursday, October 7, 2004


"The first time I ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight"

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

The Big Debut

Well, Juliana and Maddie's very first art show finally went up this past Sunday and here are a few photos in case you didn't see them on the Gessner Girls page. I don't always assume that people who read my ramblings want to see every single photo I take of my girls but I've talked a lot about working on this project so I will share:

The rest of the gallery can be found here.

Speedy Delivery

I just wanted to pop in to say MY NEW HARDWOOD FLOORS HAVE BEEN DELIVERED!!!

I'm excited.

Saturday, October 2, 2004

Public Speaking is Like, Sooo Overrated

Here is s list of excuses I have heard in the last 24 hours regarding the president's poor performance in the first debate:

1. I don't know what you're talking about. The president clearly won!
2. Well, the president was very tired from comforting the Florida hurricaine victims.
3. The podium was set way too high, making the president appear gimpy next to Kerry's much taller stature.
4. No fair! They promised no cut-aways to the candidates while they were listening to their opponents responses! (Becuase god forbid we see somebody's face while they are live on national television.)
5. Well, the debates don't really matter that much anyway and won't really change anybody's mind.
6. We need a commander in chief, not a debator in chief!
7. It doesn't matter that the president is a poor public speaker. People love him anyway.

So, if I'm hearing this correctly, the spin morphed from Bush won the debate easily to debates are unimportant in the long run and you don't have to speak well to be president. But if he truly won, wouldn't they play up how vital the debates really are? I hate spin- on both sides. I wish we could be allowed to watch for ourselves and not have some pundit or campaign advisor tell us what we just saw and what to think about it. Honestly, I was expecting it to be a draw or even for Bush to slightly edge out Kerry, simply becuase foreign policy is supposed to be his strongest area. However, I was very surprised to see Kerry perform better than expected and Bush perform poorer than expected. Did it just get interesting? I still think that Kerry needs to definitely win the remaining two debates to make it a race but at least Bush has his work cut out for him now.

To be fair, there are many conservatives (not directly linked to the Bush campaign) that are telling it like it is. In fact, many right wing bloggers are not defending the president's performance. Here is an interesing post from the managing editor of the (right wing) National Review magazine.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Debate Night!

I just wanted to add that I am super-duper hyped about the first presidential debate tonight! We will be having a few friends over to grumble, eat chinese food, and drink beer. I really have absolutely no idea what to expect tonight, despite all the meaningless speculation and expectation-talk I've been hearing on the radio and reading online. I think that at this point it's getting down to make it or break it for Kerry though so we'll just have to wait and see what happens. Nothing like getting all riled up and yelling at your tv on a Thursday night!

Fun and Sun

Here are a few photos from our vacation last weekend:

jason in the floatie
Jason thinking he is just so funny.

tracey and ava in the pool
Me and Ava relaxing in the pool.

walking on the beach
Our post-hurricaine walk on the beach.

Juliana's footprints in the sand!

If you would like to see the rest of our photos you can find them here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Weekend Good. Homecoming Hectic.

I feel like reverting back to caveman speak right now- grunting once for affirmative, twice for negative. But more on that later. First of all, vacation was fantastic! Highlights included enjoying dinner and beers while watching the sky turn funny colors over the water as Hurricaine Jeanne moved onto the Florida mainland. (This was enjoyable and not terrifying since Naples was well southwest of the actual storm.) Also notable was a beautiful post-hurricaine walk along the Gulf, collecting shells and skipping through the waves. Two tasty meals out were enjoyed along with one lousy one (note to everyone, if you're ever in southwest Florida- DON'T EAT AT NOODLES ITALIAN CAFE unless you want mediocre food and rude service!) Ava adjusted wonderfully to travelling. She slept like a dream and was hap-hap-happy the entire time (except for one incident involving a turtle floatie pool toy that was apparently too scary for her.). Juliana enjoyed being whisked away into the land of mega-bubble baths, makeup and candy treats. So much, that she was very sad to leave and I think is still angry at me for taking her away from Grandma Joanie. We even arrived home to a spotless house because I'm just so disciplined like that.

Today, however, I could have done without. Ava, who slept fifteen hours a day in Florida in her comfy-comfy little playpen suddenly decided that she slept enough on vacation to last her until next Tuesday. Juliana, being jet-lagged and grandparent-free now has returned to her usual tricks. Sassy sassy girl! I know she's just over-tired and sad that she had to leave the land where she is the center of attention at all times but I think my voice is ready to give out from lecturing and time-out giving and counting to three a hundred and fifty times today. Thankfully my TIVO was at work taping stuff for me all weekend so I'm now going to go upstairs and see what wondrous treasures it is holdng for me. Couch. Television. Bed. Now.

Score One For Comedy Central!

The folks at Comedy Central were annoyed when Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly kept referring to "The Daily Show" audience as "stoned slackers." So they did a little research. And guess whose audience is more educated?

Viewers of Jon Stewart's show are more likely to have completed four years of college than people who watch "The O'Reilly Factor," according to Nielsen Media Research.

O'Reilly's teasing came when Stewart appeared on his show earlier this month.

"You know what's really frightening?" O'Reilly said. "You actually have an influence on this presidential election. That is scary, but it's true. You've got stoned slackers watching your dopey show every night and they can vote."

Comedy Central executives realized, and O'Reilly acknowledged, that he was poking fun. But they said they didn't want a misconception to persist.

I watched that episode of O'Reilly and about choked when he pulled a completely made-up statistic out of his bum that 87% of people who watch the Daily Show are drunk while watching. I was so happy to see this new little blurb in the news today! The whole article is here.

Oh yeah, and we picked up Jon's new book this weekend. Whee!

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Bob Wiley, Eat Your Heart Out

Well, I really should be packing right now instead of on the computer, but I just wanted to pop in and say I'M GOING ON VACATION TOMORROW! Of course, this is a family vacation to Florida to visit my grandparents with our children in tow but it's a VACATION nonetheless. A real live, honest-to-god vacation. Oh, and by the way, did I mention I'm going on VACATION tomorrow? Tomorrow we will vacate! I'm vacating! How many times can I say the word before it loses all meaning? There will be much documentation of said vacation so look for pictures in the next few days. Now, I must pack. Ahoy!

(Just so you know, I just saw the movie What About Bob? on tv the other day for about the hundredth time and it keeps getting funnier every time I see it.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

"I'm through with love, I'll never love again...."

Well, this past Sunday was spent helping my sister-in-law and her daughter move out of her now-ex-fiance's house and back into her parent's house. Super fun for all! Wait, not really. I feel really bad about the whole situation but mostly I will never understand how a person can go from "Yes, I want to marry you and spend the rest of my life with you because you are my favorite person in the whole world and I never want to be without you" to (with no explanation) "Um, I don't think this isn't going to work." Yeah. Either you must be a completely cold, unfeeling person or you never understood the significance of the whole thing in the first place. I'm thinking the latter.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

This Breaks My Heart

Ever since the day I found out I was pregnant with Ava, I became a lurker on a couple of message boards for women that were expecting babies in December 2003. It was through the December 2003 Babies board on where I first read about a family with an adorable little baby girl named Allie who was diagnosed with leukemia this past spring. I have followed her story all summer through the mother's online journal and I was incredibly sad to read this week that baby Allie passed away. I can't even imagine what a horrible thing that must be to go through for those parents. This is the link to their online journal, but I'm warning you, don't read it if you aren't ready to cry. It really is heartbreaking. I will never understand why things like this have to happen.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Good Mail, Good Times

I got my voter registration card in the mail! Yipee!! I was starting to get worried about it since I sent my registration info in about a month ago and hadn't heard anything back yet. However, I found a site yesterday where Cook County residents can check whether or not you are registered to vote and where your voting facility is located at and I breathed a sigh of relief to find my name listed. Thank you Cook County election department! Can you imagine if after all my whining and complaining about the government if something had gone wrong and I was unable to vote in the election? Egads. Well, all is good and I am ready to go. Now, if only I was registered to vote in Wisconsin, then we'd be talkin'.

Other news: I have been asked to dance in a piece that will be performed in February of next year! It's actually the same piece I performed in over a year ago for Motivity, but the choreographer has been asked to show it again so that means yay! Big fun for me! I don't have a lot of details, only that I will be starting rehearsals again soon (and scrutinizing the video from the last show since I seem to have lost almost all memory of what I actually did in the piece.) I'm excited to work with Sasha again and to perform with the other three girls since we got along so well and really had a great time creating it together the first time around. Plus, this time I can guarantee you I will not be ten weeks pregnant and trying to hide it from the world when I perform. Sigh. It will be so nice to dance again and I really miss performing so I'm completely excited about this.

Plus, a little taste of Juli and Maddie's art show, opening this October:

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Hee Hee

Smurf Name Generator

If you type in George Bush, you get Naughty Smurf, while John Kerry is Fictitious Smurf.

Hours and hours of amusement, people. (And if you must know, I am Junkie Smurf).

Other good ones:

John Ashcroft: Hannibal Smurf
Donald Rumsfeld: Talk to the Hand Smurf
Condoleeza Rice: Fundamentalist Smurf
Bill Clinton: Pimpin' Smurf

Thursday, September 9, 2004

French Toast Sticks....

Do you know what it means that I now have a child attending school within the U-46 school district? It means that I get to order food from Market Day! It seems like just yesterday that my mom was ordering me chocolate chip cookie dough from them. Mmmmmm..... pre-packaged goodness that is soooo bad for me.....

Wednesday, September 8, 2004

Scare Tactics? We Got 'Em!

��It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on Nov. 2, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States," Cheney told supporters at a town-hall meeting Tuesday.

Because if Bush wins, terrorism will go away and there is no way we will ever be attacked again. Am I right? Be afraid people, and never forget it.

Plus, more funny Alan Keyes news!

Tuesday, September 7, 2004

Hate Fest, Schmate Fest: Whoopi Ain't Got Nuthin' on Zell

Week old news, I know, but since I only watched smatterings of the RNC last week I didn't see the hilarious footage of Zell Miller challenging Chris Matthews of Hardball to a duel until over the weekend. OH MY GOD THIS WAS FUNNY. What is wrong with Zell that he couldn't handle being questioned on some of his talking points? Easier to take the "shut up" approach O'Reilly style, I guess. There are less words to remember at least. I didn't think I'd ever say this but lately I'm really really liking Chris Matthews more ane more.
But anyway, I don't think my jaw could have hit the floor any harder after watching his speech last Wednesday. Anyone remember just a few months ago a little Hollywood fundraiser for Kerry in which everyone had a hissy fit over some dirty jokes Whoopi Goldberg told referring to Bush? I seem to remember the words HATE-FEST being repeated over and over the next day until they were practically tatooed in my brain. And those were celebrities taking part in the bashing. The fury unleased last Wednesday was by actual government officials, and it was applauded. Can you imagine if the DNC had had a night like this one? I can:


I don't really care about a little bashing and sniping on either side, but stop boo-hooing about it when it happens to you. Both sides are guilty of it and to accuse your opponent of a holding "hate-fest" and then turning around and having one of your own on national television is just a little bit hypocritical.

I probably would continue to be angry about this if that whole dueling scene hadn't played out, thus causing my head to practically explode from laughter. That really made my day.

Sunday, September 5, 2004


I'm very disappointed in people lately. Just really appalled at how weak they can be. That's all I have to say. Once again, I find myself realizing how incredibly lucky I am.

Thursday, September 2, 2004


" Throughout his political career Bush has adamantly denied that he got a Guard pilot spot through preferential treatment. That, despite the fact Bush was jumped ahead of a nationwide waiting list of 100,000 Guard applicants, while achieving the lowest possible passing grade on his pilot aptitude test for would-be fliers, and listing"none" as his background qualifications."

Ben Barnes, the former lieutenant governor of Texas, claims to have pulled strings to get George W. Bush (along with other young men from wealthy families) into the Texas National Guard in 1968. He will be the focus of an upcoming story on 60 minutes this week.

Swift Boat Veterans? Pshaw. Let's see if anybody cares though.

Also, is Alan Keyes part of some social experiment that the Republican Party is conducting? Even the republicans don't want anything to do with him! They would have better to just concede the Illinois Senate seat to Obama and try the next time around but instead we have crazy old Keyes running around calling gay people selfish hedonists. (Of course a lot of people in the party probably agree with him- they're just not saying it out loud.) The people at the RNC this week are trying so hard to make people believe they are moderates and Keyes is spitting in their faces! It amuses me, and frankly I need something to be amused at after hearing this week that the Republican party's new platform calls not only for a ban on gay marriage but is against civil unions and any legal right for gay partners as well. Plus, before the ink is even dry on this documnet they start parading Rudy Giuliani and Arnold around like they are even close to being an accurate representation of what the party stands for. And they said the Democrats we're being deceptively optimistic and patriotic at their convention? Honestly, I haven't been able to stomach any of the convention coverage this week, although I've done a lot of reading about it. I know I really should watch since I watched the DNC last month but honestly, at this point there is really nothing anybody, anywhere could ever see to make me vote for Bush. I think somebody would have to tell me that Kerry eats babies in order for me to even consider rethinking my decision. (And don't you think somebody right now is trying to spin something Kerry once said into "He wants to eat babies!) So I will continue to run and hide in the bedroom when Jason turns on the convention again tonight, sticking my fingers in my ears and singing "Mary Had a Little Lamb" until it's safe to come out again- or at least until it's time to watch The Daily Show.

Monday, August 30, 2004

One Ring to Rule Them All

Well, I took a semi-break from reading the news last week since I was pre-occupied with family stuff but I'm gradually getting the old anger-meter up and running again. I know it's totally old news by now but can I just say to the Swift Boat Vets: GET OVER IT. If you really had that much of a problem with Kerry 30 years ago, you would have said something about it thirty years ago. Are we really at the point now where it's okay to attack war veterans? Or better yet- war veterans attacking other war veterans because they think the other guy DIDN'T BLEED ENOUGH? (Yes, I'm looking at you Bob Dole.) I think our friend Chad stated it nicely this past weekend when he said it didn't matter to him if Kerry went to Vietnam and cried in a ditch because at least he went. On the other hand though, what is up with Kerry just sitting back and taking it? I know he wants to take the high road and blah blah blah with the civilized campaign and all that but isn't it about time he spoke up and got really angry like the rest of us? I may have the man's banner on my site, but make no mistake, I'm definitely fueled more by Bush-Hate than Kerry-Love. Isn't that what really makes up his so-called base? It's going to take enough people getting fed up and all out MAD with the administration to get him out of there- not the mushy undecided soccer moms or NASCAR dads or "Sex and the City" single women voters (don't even get me started on that one). I'm so incredibly excited about the election but completely scared at the same time that I may have to seriously consider moving to New Zealand next year. The thought of four more years of the Bush Dynasty is making that Hobbit Hole look very appealing.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Birthday Weekend a Success: Must. Sleep. Now.

"Mommy will you open this? Mommy can I play with this? How does this toy work? Will you play this game with me? Mommy can I ride my bike? No wait, can I fingerpaint? Oh, I changed my mind- can we look for bugs outside? Or maybe we should draw with my new markers? Oh yeah, I need my new markers opened! And my watercolors and my lip gloss and my new Kelly doll. Can you please help me?? What's wrong with you, Mom???"

God, I love this girl but I am BEAT. Thanks to all who helped make the birthday party a success. I always feel a bit on edge around large groups of people and this was the largest amount of people I'd ever had inside my house (yeah, thanks a lot GOD for all the RAIN), so I apologize now if I didn't get a chance to chat with anyone in particular for very long. Hopefully nobody hates me too much. :-) Even though I'm exhausted I feel incredibly happy and very lucky right now to have the life that I do. Mish mish mush, I know. I don't know what I ever did to deserve the big slice of karmic chocolate cake I've gotten but I'm definitely not taking it for granted.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Where A Kid Can Be A Kid

Note to Rockford: Another reason why I don't like you= your Chuck E. Cheese restaurant is G-H-E-T-T-O. You ain't got nothin' on Streamwood's digs. I don't care how many birthday parties I attended there back in the day- the Rockford joint is a run-down, dirty, overcrowded MESS compared to ours. Of course it probably helped that we went out on a Thursday night rather than the weekend but still I was very impressed by the how clean and shiny the place was- and oh, did I mention that all the games worked??? I had forgotten how much I used to love playing Skee-Ball (and I'm not too shabby at it either.) All in all, a night well spent. Today I've just been preparing for our big par-tay tomorrow. Gonna watch some Bill Maher in a bit and do a little stretching and Pilates. God, I ate an absurd amount of pizza and breadsticks last night.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004


I just found out that Jason and I share our wedding anniversary (although five years apart) with the Dooce and her husband. I suddenly feel much cooler than I did five minutes ago.

Happy 7th Anniversary Day!!

Monday, August 23, 2004

"How A Movie Can Move the Voting Public"

More stuff that makes me smile! Just a few of the dozens of emails posted on Michael Moore's website:

�I have been a dedicated Republican for all of my life. Never really depended what they supported. I would vote because they were Republican. I saw �F/911 today.� I was moved beyond words. I had to write and simply say thank you. Because of this movie, this year I will not vote Republican for the first time in my life.� �J.W.

�I have been so positively shaken by your documentary. I haven't felt this inspired since...well...actually...I don't think I have ever been this inspired!

I have seen your movie TWICE in 24 hours. I even brought my 55 year old, Born-Again, Bush LOVING :), Republican-since-the-day-she-was-conceived Mother to the film. She walked in swearing that you were a �Commie� and out to criticize our nations �fine� Christian leader. She walked out a completely different was a an actual miracle. She came out disgusted at all the lies that she has been supporting. She loves human life and will never vote for Bush ever again.

That was the best 25 bucks I have ever spent in my life.� �N.N., Minneapolis, MN

�As a republican I reluctantly went to the movie, with preconceived ideas and expecting to dismiss the movie as left wing drivel. The movie, to my total and utter dismay has convinced me that I cannot with good conscience vote for Bush. Although my personal best interests would be better served with a republican in power, and I have concerns with Kerry's VP choice, I still feel that my vote has to be against Bush. I went to the movie with another hardcore republican and he feels the same way!

Excellent job.

If you do publish this letter, please do so anonymously.� ��Shocked Republican�

�I have to tell you that for the longest time I believed in Bush and what he was doing; I believed we were doing the right thing in Iraq�and I'm married to a Palestinian! Imagine the push and pull that has occurred in my marriage and with my in-laws ever since 9/11.

So my wife went to see your film the day it opened and I chided her; I said, �Why are you putting money in that $#**!'s pocket?� She said she wanted to see for herself. Of course she came back stunned; couldn't say enough about it.

So I went, expecting to get angry, just as I did when I read Stupid White Men�or at least, at sections of it.

Well guess what? I came home and told [D.], �Bush has to go�TODAY. NOW.�

So strongly was I moved and so significant was my paradigm shift (I HATE being lied to, and Bush has lied in the most Machiavellian sense) that when I heard Mike Gallagher (Dallas/FW conservative mouthpiece filling in for Sean Hannity this past Friday, July 2nd) I called and got into it with him. Now, down here in the DFW area anyway, most callers to shows like his either agree with the microphone or they cower under pressure of being on the air. But I'm a professional writer, teacher and theater director, so guys like him don't faze me a bit. So shaken was Gallagher that he began shouting me down, interrupting me, screamed that I was a LIAR because I said that I was a former Bush supporter who no longer has any faith in the man and will NOT vote for him under any circumstances, and, when Mike couldn't get me to buckle, he cut me off in mid-sentence.

I've seen the film twice here in Grapevine (near Fort Worth), and even though this is Bush country, the theater was packed both times, and both times people laughed, cried and broke into spontaneous applause.

I hated your politics at one time, Michael, and I don't always agree with you; but in this case you turned on the light and have sent the rats and roaches scurrying. God bless the First Amendment!� �H.J., Keller, Texas

�Saw Fahrenheit last night.

Thank you.

I registered to vote today.� �T.W.

Friday, August 20, 2004

This Made My Day

Hee Hee.


You'd think since I stay at home with my kids that I'd actually have time to get a lot of things done every day, but it seems like my to-do list is constantly growing and I never get ahead. Of course the fact that I've crashed out on the couch every night this past week starting at 7 to watch gymnastics probably hasn't helped. (Yes, I like gymnastics and I will defend it so don't give me any crap.) Anyway, this is my attempt to organize my brain:

1. Juli's birthday party is next weekend and I still have to figure out when I'm going to go buy her present because she's big enough now where I can't exactly buy something for her and keep it a secret when she comes with me everywhere! Hopefully I get a chance to go out by myself this weekend.

2. I'm still trying to slowly prepare Juli and Maddie's artwork for their upcoming show in October. Jason found a bunch of frames in the basement and I had some plexi glass cut for them the other day. Now I just have to cut the photos and drawings to fit. I think I'm going to shoot photos of the drawings and use them so I don't have to part with Juli's original drawings. This is of course assuming that people will be in fact willing to purchase a three year old's artwork but come on! Why wouldn't you buy a drawing of a princess holding a balloon??

3. We should be shooting the intro for Juliana's birthday video this weekend. The title sequence will involve a time lapse of chalk writing on the driveway.

Ok enough kid stuff, now for me:

4. We've decided to put in hardwood floor in the living room (YAY!), so on Saturday we'll be going back to the lumber liquidators to get some more samples. Bye bye stinky carpet!

5. I've decided my body just doesn't work at 5:30 in the morning. I tried for a couple of days to get up and do yoga but instead of feeling energized I just was tired from getting up too early. I'll have to go back to doing it in the evening. I wish I was one of those people who could get up at the crack of dawn and go running. *Sigh*

6. I need to have a garage sale. Seriously. Even though I regularly donate to the local veterans groups we still have just tons and tons of crap. It seems that whenever we move to a larger home we look at all the extra space and think," This is unacceptable! Must fill with garbage!" Really, spending an entire Saturday sitting in my garage doesn't sound like fun (I'd much rather be out at other people's garage sales but that's probably how I acquired so much junk in the first place) but I have so much baby stuff that I really need to get rid of and I should be able to get a decent amount of money for it. I'll just have to suck it up and do it before it starts getting cold. Is it really almost September?

More later. I am needed elsewhere.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Phooey on Fox, Yay Olympics!

Well, I've calmed down since the other night when I was absolutely seething and speechless with anger. Jason and I finally watched the movie, Outfoxed, and after not having such a great day to begin with, let's just say that this was probably not the movie to watch if you want to kick back and relax. The funny thing is, I wasn't as angry about the facts in the move (since I already knew most of it) as I was about the fact that most of the people in the country that probably need to see this movie either won't have the chance to see it, refuse to see it, or just won't care either way. Bah.

Completely unrelated though: Yahoo for the Olympic Games! Juli and I are looking forward to watching the opening ceremonies tonight and she especially wants to see the 'nastics (her term) and the diving. She basically just likes to see people flip around in the air I think. The past couple of weeks I have been enjoying watching documentaries on ESPN Classic about past Olympic games so I'm all primed and ready. There's something about sitting on your butt while watching people perform amazing athletic feats that makes one feel like kind of a blob though. Maybe if I drink water and do crunches while staring at the television I won't feel so bad? We'll see.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Return of the Poop-Head Crown

steffke crown

This post is for Steph. I am once again stepping up and performing my best friend duties. In the words of G.W.: "Fool me once, shame on---you. Fool me... Can't get fooled again."


Wednesday, August 11, 2004


Tom Waits is releasing a new album in October!! Me=Very Happy. Also, Jason dowloaded the "Future Soundtrack of America" album put out by, which also has a Tom Wait's song on it in which he mentions missing good old Rockford, just south of the Wisconsin border. Whaaa? I am very amused at this nice, yet puzzling, shout out. Although right now I technically posess the MoveOn album illegally, I do intend to purchase a real copy just because I like those guys so darn much.