Monday, December 25, 2006

Thursday, December 14, 2006

O Christmas Tree

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I think that I may take a little holiday break from posting here. I'm sure I'll pop in to share photos but for the most part the urge to blog has left me for the time being. I leave you now with our tree. In all honesty, it has been up since the weekend after Thanksgiving. I have become one of those people. In my defense though, all Christmas decorations always come down on New Years Day. ALWAYS.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Shufflin' On Down, Doin' It For You

I harbor no illusions about the possibility of the Chicago Bears winning the Super Bowl this year (despite their mind boggling 11-2 record.) However, I really want to see them at least make it to the big game if only so that we all can see the resurrection of The Super Bowl Shuffle.

Come on, you know somebody has it all re-written and ready to go.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

This Makes Me So Sad

I've been following the story of the Kim family all week and though it was incredible that the mother and two small children were rescued after being stranded for a week out in the cold, they just found the body of the father, James, a couple of hours ago. (He had left the family to go search for help.) Something about a tech guy with two little girls just really gets to me. So sad. I can't even imagine being that cold for so long.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Wanna Cookie?

So it turns out that I am going to be managing the cookie sales for Juliana's Brownie troop this year. It involves me going to a "Cookie Manager Training Course" at the Girl Scout headquarters this morning. Apparently selling tasty treats has become much more complex than when I last sold them in the 80's. I don't know. I do want to help. I'm just grumpy because I'm about positive that I gained back about five of the thirteen pounds I lost and now I've volunteered to surround myself with Thin Mints. Grrrr. I no longer have a scale-thanks to Ava spending time in the bathroom with a can of paint I left in the closet- but I'm going to try to get back on track health-wise this month. Because Christmastime is the absolute best time to be watching what you eat. Didn't you know that?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

This is what 1980's Michael Jackson does to people

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I believe Paul is singing along to "Billie Jean" in this picture.

The existence of this photo almost made me forget the pain of spending over three-and-a-half hours at the mall and the Sears Auto Center waiting room with an nearly-three-year-old waiting for a new battery to be put in my car.

Almost.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Peace is Divisive

Woman faces fine for wreath peace sign.

How much do you want to bet this woman gets tons of donations now to cover the cost of her fines? It's funny how things work out when people make such a fuss.

Question of the Day

Why is it that the bed is a thousand times more comfy right after the alarm goes off?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

This One's For Shiow

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She, who once uttered the grammatically awesome phrase, "WHERE'S HER?" will appreciate this one.

*This was a sign we saw in NYC for a tutoring program. Yes, people who named their business "Me Smart" will help your chldren with some book learnin'.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Outta Here/Happy Eating!

No news around here- unless you count both Juli and me pinching our fingers in car doors on separate occasions. Ouch. I'll be busy this weekend eating pie and then logging hours on the bike in my attic while watching various incarnations of Law and Order and C.S.I. (Did you know that at any given time of day you can find one of these things on? And they're the perfect length for a bike session.)

Mmmm. Pie.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Good Day to be a Girl

Payday was a few days ago which equals big grocery shopping day. Grocery shopping day also calls for comfort so I reached for my comfiest, baggy jeans and my sneakers. On my way to the store I looked down and realized I was not wearing what I thought were my "big" jeans, but rather what I used to consider my "skinny" jeans. (You know that pair that you can't quite get over your hips but you hold onto anyway just in case? Yeah.) The pair I couldn't even squeeze my badonkadonk into a few months ago I had now mistaken for my big old grocery shopping jeans.

Not to brag or anything (ok, maybe a little) but that has put a little spring in my step these past few days. Of course now Gluttony Day is nearly upon us. *Sigh*

Monday, November 13, 2006

La de da de da de-dadedade-da...

Saturday night Jason and I went to go see one of my current favorite bands- The Decemberists- at the Riviera in Chicago. I love the Decemberists because they marry together two of my favorite types of music- indie rock and Old Timey (for lack of a better word.) If you come to my house you will either hear the college radio station or the 1940's station so this band is almost like my new best friend (along with the guy who is going to build Jason's office in the attic allowing me to convert the old office into my very own- and Old Timey- library/study.)

I don't go to shows very often anymore and though the music sounded great it's getting harder for me to fully enjoy the music while packed in like a can of sardines, making friends with the back of some dude's hooded sweatshirt for two hours. I guess you could say it makes me feel a bit long in the tooth. (Of course maybe that's the result of me listening to The Andrews Sisters every evening?) And then there's the fact that most every show I go to I end up surrounded by seven-foot hipster boys that limit my view of the band to a couple of floating heads. Even in my tall shoes.

That being said the show was fantastic. They played almost every song I wanted to hear and they sounded awesome. Plus, how can you not love a band who actually encourages sing-a-longs and pits different sections of the audience against each other? I'm just wondering exactly how much it will cost for me to get those nifty private balcony seats next time.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Bring On The Lawsuits!

Just got back from voting. Ava is happily wearing "I voted!" stickers on her little hands. (I can see it now- "They're letting TWO-YEAR-OLDS vote in Wisconsin! VOTER FRAUD!")

Now I will distract myself until this evening as I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of Tim Russert and his ubiquitous dry erase board.

Monday, November 6, 2006

Filed Away for Future Reference

If you end up buying one of those cute little holiday shirts from Target that say "Naughty" across the chest and then wear it while answering the door to those religious people with the doomsday leaflets about false religion and harlots, let's just say that they probably won't see the whimsy in it as much as you do.

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"Do You Trust Me?" "If You Trust Me First."

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One of my favorite actresses from one of the best movies ever made (in my humble opinion) was found dead last week of "apparent" suicide. Apparent? After reading the article the whole thing sounds a bit strange, and yes, very sad.

If you aren't familiar with Adrienne Shelly's work, get thee to the nearest Blockbuster (or Netflix account) and find yourself a copy of Trust.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

If I Can Make It There I'll Make It Anywhere

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Jason in his five dollar hat purchased from a street vendor. We like a good bargain. Maybe it makes up for the INSANE amount of money we spent on food and drinks? Uhhh...ok maybe not.

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Me next to the horse that pulled us through Central Park. The driver had me feed him a carrot (the horse not the driver, silly) but Jason wasn't quick enough with the camera. And I'm really freaky when it comes to things like putting my hand near a big stinky horse mouth.


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These were taken in our teeny hotel room before going out to the best meal I have ever eaten in my life. Hands down. You know, the kind of meal where every bite you take has you closing your eyes as they start to loll back into your head until you start giggling uncontrollably at the person across the table from you? Or is that just me? Oh New York, you rank this close to Vegas on my list of favorite places on Earth. (A fairly short list, I have to admit, seeing that I've really only ever been to probably five different places in my life on vacation. I need more vacations. Sigh.)

More to come. Sleep now.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

The Streets are Paved with Diamonds and There's Just So Much to See

Oh, did I forget to mention that I'm meeting Jason in New York City this weekend? Silly me. Well I am! And I'm soooo excited- even though a non-weekday trip means no attending a taping of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart or the Colbert Report respectively. (I've linked to The Daily Show so many times it's not even funny yet somehow I never get tired of it.)

I DO get to eat at this restaurant on Saturday night though. (Insert Homer Simpson drooling noise here.) What can I say? I gots me a good man.

And in the spirit of New York I give you the Statue of Liberty:
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I'm kind of loving life right about now.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Whatever Happens in Rockford...

After having a weekend filled with quips like, "I'm am SO totally blogging this moment!" there comes the pressure of actually having to live up to it in the blogosphere. (Yes, I said the word "blogosphere" but our President says "The Google" so give me a break.)

I will say this: You haven't really enjoyed your high school reunion until you've crashed the actual high school party next door. Yes, I'm talking a party with real live seventeen-year-olds wearing Village People costumes and NBA-style afros. They will boo you and call you lame but it will be awesome nonetheless, even if it's in your own mind.

Also, a little Bon Jovi never hurt anyone. Seriously, are we really that old that in a crowd of 70-odd people we could only get five or six to shake a little groove thing? It's not like we're going to be seeing each other for another ten years or anything...

Shout-outs to Shiow and Mr. Puri for rocking the Perkins at our own private reunion after-party. (Paul, where have you been all my life? My love for people with a penchant for sarcastic banter has no bounds. Hence, my love for Shiow.)

....Ok, I'm a terrible blogger and I can't live up to the hype. I will end now by asking anyone who was there taking pictures to please email some (because apparently many of you have found me here on the internet without my knowledge- what's up with that?)

Or maybe you'd rather save the photos and use them as blackmail in the future. Whatever.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Wish Me Luck

My 10-year high school reunion is tonight.

Woo AHS! 96!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I Can't Help It

I know I should just ignore the man but Rush Limbaugh makes himself such an easy target. (Yes, I know that's how he likes it.)

My favorite part (aside from how he's taking a page from the Bill Frist School of Armchair Diagnostics) is when he complains about Fox "shilling for a Democratic politician." And just who does Limbaugh shill for? Panda bears? If I was even remotely famous I'd be shilling everywhere. Obama wouldn't be able to get rid of me.


Since I like the fact that I figured out how to insert YouTube videos now, I give you the ad in question here:




Oh my, I must pull my head out of all this pre-election news. It is addicting and all the negativity makes me a sad panda.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

OBAMA!

Oh lordy, I love this man. It's the next best thing to Jon Stewart running for president.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

TV is Magic

I don't normally like many commercials (and thanks to DVRs I rarely have to see them!) but I really like this latest one of Dove' s from their "Real Beauty" campaign.



Neat-o. Just thought I'd share.

NEVER Go to Bed Early When The Bears Are Down 20-3 in the Third Quarter!

I can't believe I missed the end of this game. It sounds ridiculous beyond comprehension.

I guess the true fans are always rewarded for sticking it out until the end. ;-)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Shrinkage

I took a little hiatus from the weekly weigh-in post and am doing a two week update instead. I managed to drop two more pounds in the first week but during the second week I had a little slip-up so I stayed the same. Something involving a bag of tortilla chips and some mango peach salsa. And there may have been a few chocolate chip cookies present as well. And a hot dog. (I know, gross! I normally think hot dogs are pretty icky but for some reason it sounded really, really good at the time. Darn deprivation.)

So... I'm a bit stalled for now but my focus is renewed this week and I should be back on track pretty soon. Losing eleven pounds in five weeks is pretty cool but I'm also really concerned about gaining it all back so I'm planning on going over and above my goal for when I do go back to eating "normally." Whatever that is. Do I know what that is yet?

Oh-my-god those cookies were so good.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Vote-a-rific

I'm registering to vote in Wisconsin for the first time this week! I love, love, love to vote. Even when the results leave me depressed and curled up in a ball for a week contemplating moving to New Zealand I still love to vote. And this will be the first time I will be voting in a mid-term election so I'm very hyped about that. I am cautiously optimistic about this year but I stress the work cautiously. I feel like the country may finally be ready for change but you never know what can happen in the final weeks and days leading up to a national election. Plus, my poor liberal soul is still smarting from two years ago and I don't think I can take that kind of letdown again.

Still, all four of us will excitedly trek to the polls on November 7th (we like to take the girls with because you're never to young to learn HOW IMPORTANT voting is) and I will no doubt stay up late that night to watch the restults roll in.

And hopefully there will be no talk about Hobbit holes.

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Boring McBored-y Pants from Bore Town, USA

I don't really have anything interesting to say lately. I've been thinking about food and exercise a lot lately because of this diet-thingy and although it helps me stay focused when I update about it weekly, I think it's a fairly boring topic to blog about and it makes me feel like I'm the kind of girl who goes around asking everyone, "Do these jeans make my butt look fat?"

Soooo......yeah. I was looking at the new lettuce I bought last week and I was mildly amused to see that the reason I like it so much is because it's ALIVE!!!

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Here's a closer look:

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Absolutely fresh because it's still alive!

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Rooty goodness. Dude, I'm totally only eating things that are living from now on.

All joking aside, it is actually is very good. In fact, I'm going to go have some right now because that's the kind of boring food I eat these days.

Sunday, October 1, 2006

Weekly Weigh-In

I'm down three more pounds this week and off the diet soda (for now) as well! I've been drinking lots of water and green tea instead. Yummy. Let's see if I can take off ten more before this reunion thingy at the end of the month. It seems like a good deadline and I like deadlines.

Go me.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Pick-Me-Up

I came home from dance last night feeling good, albeit a tad old since I'm fairly sure I was the eldest one in class amongst a throng of high schoolers and college students. (Not that I can't roll with the kids or anything, but I just happened to notice.)

This morning as we were going out the door to school Juliana looked me up and down in my t-shirt and jeans and said, "Hey Mom, you look like a teenager!"

Made. My. Morning.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Inching Along

Week two of my diet has passed and I only lost two pounds this week instead of four. (And that last half-pound is debatable because it keeps going back and forth the past couple of days.) The South Beach diet claims that in the first two weeks you should lose between eight and fourteen pounds. I lost five to six. Have I mentioned my metabolism blows now? I hear it only gets worse from here which is one of the main reasons I've become so committed all of a sudden. I'm turning 29 next year and I figure now would be a good time to get in the best shape possible if it will continually become more difficult after 30.

I'm trying to think of what I could have done to make last week better and the only thing I did different from the first week was drink Diet Coke. In the beginning I drank only water but after a week I coudn't take it anymore and brought back in the diet soda. The book says not to drink any caffeinated beverages and I wonder what kind of impeding effect Diet Coke would have on weight loss? I'm such a slave to it. Maybe now would be the ideal time to make a clean break? (She says while taking a swig.) This is my last one! I swear!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Graph-tastic Goodness

I had been looking for a link to this graph ever since I saw An Inconvenient Truth and I finally came across it this morning. It shows the changes in the Earth's atmospheric CO2 level, temperature, and sea level over the past 400,000 years. As you scroll to the right you can see that although the levels appear to go up and down in 100,000 year cycles (one of the arguments against global warming), at the very end the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere jump up astoundingly high- much higher than in all of the previous years and completely off the chart. It's just something to chew on.

What can little old you and me do about it?

More ideas here...

Ending lecture now.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Reality TV is Eating My Brain

Joey Lawrence and A.C Slater are dancing the quick-step on my television.

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Jerry Springer? Seriously! What is up with Dancing With the Stars?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Me: 1 Metabolism: 0

I lost four pounds this first week! Take that! I tell you this is the only diet that ever works for me but it is incredibly hard to do. Somehow Jason lost four pounds this week too which is no fair since he didn't suffer nearly as much as I did. I'm eating burgers without buns and salads without croutons! Not a single slice of bread, not a pretzel or a Wheat Thin have crossed these lips! And oh, the ice cream left uneaten... Ok, enough talking about carbs.

Let's see how long I can keep this up.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Yet Another New (or Old) Regimen

Remember earlier in the summer when I started running periodically? I was doing pretty well at it for while but I am notorious for getting all gung-ho about things at first and then tapering off. However, towards the middle of August when I began running less, I started riding my stationary bike more at home every night. On the whole, I think I had a pretty good exercise routine this summer and I can feel that I've really built up some good muscle in my legs because of it.

That being said, I stepped on the scale last week to find I had gained six pounds. SIX! I was trying to take off three or four but went six in the other way. Yes, I know that muscle weighs more than fat but it ain't all muscle. After spending the summer in floaty skirts and gaucho pants, I took my jeans out and they are t.i.g.h.t. Needless to say, I won't be enjoying that wonderful pumpkin ale for a bit. I decided to go back to the thing that worked best for me after I had Ava and I'm now on the South Beach Diet again for probably the next month. Right now I'm on day 4 and despite the fact that I haven't had success with it since the first time I did it two years ago, I think I'm just crazy enough to make it work this time. Mainly, I refuse to buy new pants. I like the size I wear. (And I like the size below it that I also own so if I'm changing sizes it's only going to go down!)

Jason says he is dieting "in spirit" with me. Basically that means he tried the South Beach thing for about six hours until he saw the Chipotle chips and guacamole at the Kite Festival on Saturday. (Avocado is fine, but the chips are a big no-no.) Then he wanted a bun on his burger. And then a beer. Soooo... technically he is trying to eat less and eat healthier. I'm pretty much going by the book though, albeit with the occasional Diet Coke thrown in. (Caffeine is also not recommended on the diet, but hello? Can we say Diet Coke addiction?)

Hopefully my attempt at this will not go the way of my running. I also hope to report positive progess and not have to come slinking back to the internet with my tail between my legs.

Unrelated: Did you see the Bears/Packers game yesterday? Do I dare to dream this year?

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Enjoying...

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Mmmm. Bring on the autumn.

Monday, September 4, 2006

Processing...

“We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were for the moment unpopular."

-Edward R. Murrow

P.S.Keith Olbermann rules.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Changing the World Three Dollars at a Time

Jason sent me this link to an article about compact fluorescent light bulbs and because I like energy efficiency about a thousand times more than I like Katherine Harris, I thought I'd use this article to bump her off the top of my blog.

I am a Target shopper through and through but I can appreciate Wal-Mart's efforts in the name of conservation. Now if only they would clean up their cluttered shopping aisles...

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Senatorial Candidates Say the Darndest Things!

Rep. Harris: Church-state separation 'a lie'

You know me, I just love to legislate sin. I do it all the time! Can't get enough of it.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

96! 96! 9-9-9-9-96!

Ok, guys. I have to send back the RSVP card for my ten year high school reunion next week. It's an all-weekend party bonanza! Should I go? And if I do go, should I attend all three events? Should I tell them to bite me? Jason won't go anywhere near it. Who's with me? Shiow? Mappy B? Help me out here.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

It's That Time of Year Again

Juliana's birthday is next Saturday and I haven't even started making her birthday video** yet. Those of you who wondered how long it would take me before the birthday video tradition became in danger of falling by the wayside- I'd say the answer is about six years. I'm still going to make one this year (even though we're not having an official family party but rather a girly gathering at a place called Wee Imagine) but it is definitely becoming a time problem, even though I've been thinking about starting on it for weeks now. Making the videos became harder once I had two children to create for of course, but I love the finished product so much that I'm not ready to retire them just yet. It's bad enough that I hardly have time to blog anymore, I can't imagine dropping the music video project just yet. Plus even if Juliana becomes too old for me to make sappy music videos about her I still have to make them for Ava for at least as long as I do for Juli so it's equal treatment, right?

Don't you hate it when real life gets in the way of your attempts to document it?

**If and when I do finish this year's video, I'm thinking of posting it on the girls' website. Maybe I'll even post all of the ones I've made over the years, though possibly with a password required. It's high time I figured out this whole video on the interweb thing.

Friday, August 11, 2006

I'll Say It Again: My Daddy Loves Me

Dad helped me put a fresh coat of paint on the front porch last weekend. Maybe he's just really bored with retirement? We're keeping him occupied.

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(It's still light green, just a shade paler.)

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Yep, those are the reading chairs. Awe. Some.

Sorry Excuse for and Entry (Otherwise Known as Yes, I Am Alive, Albeit Very Cranky)

Not much happening around here. Ergo not too many posts as you can see. With two kids at home this summer I've been feeling a bit like a maid and that my friends, takes up huge amounts of time. (See: human vacuum cleaner.) Today though, I received notice in the mail that says school starts up again on September 5th! Can I have a Woo!? And possibly a Hooooo! I love Juliana, really I do. But the girl needs constant mental stimulation that I simply cannot provide and the solution does not lie in having her spend more hours with the Nintendo. Along with school starting, soon will come soccer! And ballet! And quite possibly Girl Scouts! I will no doubt trade in my maid's apron for a chauffeur's cap. And the world will be as it should.

Monday, August 7, 2006

Four Words To Charm Me

"Are your parents home?"

Thank you door-to-door AT&T salesman.

Thursday, August 3, 2006

Surreal Life

I can't believe I'm sitting here watching modern dance on prime time television. On FOX of all networks to boot.

Yes, I have been sucked in by So You Think You Can Dance?. Granted it has it's share of garbage on the show (and what's with calling all the dance pieces "routines"?) but anything that gets people interested in watching dance is good in my book.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Boo On You Milwaukee Traffic Cops

Here in Milwaukee you can only park on one side of the street at night and that side changes back and forth depending on the date. Odd numbered days I can park in front on my house and even numbered days I have to park across the street. When we first moved here in winter I assumed this was for the snow plows but apparently it is enforced all year so to rake in the dollars for the city when people like me forget to go out and move their cars before bedtime. Just this week we added up our parking tickets and decided to really crack down on remembering to park the car in the right spot every evening (this really only applies to me since Jason gets to park in the driveway out back and our tiny garage is full of junk.) Yesterday morning I had yet anohter ticket waiting for me because even though I was parked on the correct side of the street I had stuck my parking permit sticker on the wrong side of my windshield. I kid you not. How awesomely desperate is that? Somebody out there must have been having a really bad day. Or they're just a big jerk.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Look What I Found!

I finally got around to taming the wild patch of raspberries in the backyard and as I was ripping one section of them out of the ground I started to uncover a patch of purple flowers that were previously almost completely obscured. I have no idea what they are called but they sure are purdy. Just tell me they're not weeds.


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Even after tearing out all those raspberries there are a ton left so we will still have berrilicious goodness. The berries have just started to come out- though in this picture here the patch appears to be a massive pile of leafiness:

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Ok, one more shot and I'm done. I'm working hard on this garden!
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That gigantic leafy thing above is rhubarb. Anybody know how to bake with rhubarb?

Monday, July 17, 2006

24 Across: Dork, Sci-Fi Nut, Trekkie perhaps?

Another movie Jason and I have seen together recently is "Wordplay", the documentary about crossword puzzles and the people who work them. The film interviewed puzzlers famous and non-famous (including my favorite celebrity crush, Jon Stewart) and it culminated with the 2005 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. (This makes two documentaries on consecutive Saturdays for us as it seems we determined to make our babysitter think we are the nerdiest couple on the planet. ) This movie was so much better than I had expected and ever since then Jason and I have been attempting to work through crosswords on the computer. Doing this has proven that though we may be nerds on the surface, we're definitely not the sharpest nerds in the pack seeing that I have trouble finishing a Monday crossword from the USA Today. Anyway, my point is that I'm recommending this film if it comes your way. And say what you will about former president Bill Clinton, but the man does the New York Times crossword in blue felt tip pen. Badness.

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Friday, July 14, 2006

The Warmest Year on Record Since, Well, Last Year

First half of 2006 warmest on record in U.S. NASA calculates 2005 global temperatures as the warmest, followed by 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2004.

"It's difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."

-Upton Sinclair

Speaking of Mr. Right

"You know, I think that if the president took the time to really learn in-depth about an important scientific or historical subject, so much that he became an expert and then wanted to share that information with the public through some sort of documentary- I really think that despite my feelings for the man I would at least give him a shot and go see it."

"Well, you won't have to worry about that happening anytime soon."

Ok, I guess he has a point.

We have always been at war with Eurasia. Eastasia is our ally.

"The president is always right."

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Sunday, July 9, 2006

Peeking In

Something I've learned while not blogging:

Passions is still the awesomest, most awful soap opera ever. Witches and supernatural tomfoolery? Check. Rich evil patriarch with a sneaky bag of tricks including smoke bombs for quick getaways? Check. Young woman with amnesia who thinks her cousin's boyfriend is her fiance and the "doctor" encourages them to go along with the delusion lest it be too "traumatic" for said girl to learn the truth in her fragile mental state? Check, check, check-a-roo.

But it's not all about the soaps, thankfully. Last weekend we went to go see An Inconvenient Truth. I intend to write more about this shortly but for now I just want to urge anyone and everyone to go see this movie. First of all, get over the fact that it's Al Gore's movie. I had to do this myself. (Even uber-liberal me has some serious beefs with the man. But that's another subject.) Second, don't think it's another film along the lines of Fahrenheit 9/11 because it's not. You won't be scolded and bombarded with images and quotes taken out of context. Go for the science. It's extremely thought-provoking and maddening at the same time.

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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Nothing To See Here. Move Along.

You know how I haven't posted in almost a week? Well I am officially posting to say that I probably will not be posting for about another week. (Aren't you glad you stopped by to read this?) Things are busy and I have stuff I could share with the interwebs but I'm lazy and I'd rather be playing Nintendo. Or running. Because running is fun and addictive and a little bit like crack for healthy people.

So you can stop checking and refreshing this page like mad until at least next weekend. Because so many of you do that, I'm sure.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Running is Hard Yo

Yesterday I broke down and called one of our babysitters to come watch the girls for two hours while I ran some errands. Since school has let out I'd rather stab myself in the eyeball than go on a huge grocery trip with two small children. One of them is fine- more specifically the one who is still small enough to sit in the shopping cart and doesn't ask for every brightly-colored cartoon character-adorned box of junk stragegically placed at eye level for people under four feet tall. (Thanks a lot marketing people!)

So.... since I was munchkin free for the shopping trip I finished in a mere 45 minutes, leaving me time to drive down the the lake and go for a walk on the bike path. I popped on my headphones and attempted to alternate between brisk walking and jogging. Two minutes of running alternating with five minutes of walking for about 35 minutes. (Hey, I'm a beginner so don't laugh!) And so in the end I learned that all of you people out there who are runners? Ya'll are crazy. And you know why? Because even though I could barely huff and puff my way through each two minute running spurt, I totally want to do it again. Not only because I felt really good afterwards but because I am officially at war with my body and I will make it run whether it wants to or not.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Grumplestiltskin

Every day when I take the garbage out there is fresh new spider web stretching across the gate to the garage. Every day I destroy the poor spider's home with my garbage bag as I pass though. I can't help it! But I know that the next afternoon the web will be rebuilt, fresh and new. Oh spider, I feel we have a strange sort of affinity.

Another reason for the grumples: I've been working hard lately on exercising regularly but I have yet to see any results so I fear I may have to ratchet it up a bit. I'm sure it's because I've been eating very poorly lately. And I like beer. (That's what I get for moving to Brew City.) I still believe I will be victorious though. Darn you beer. And darn slowing metabolisms.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Snarkity Snark

Check out this video of Stephen Colbert interviewing Congressman Lynn Westmoreland about the Ten Commandments. (Thanks to Billy for the link!)

I'd consider putting up a video of the day here but they would probably just turn out to be all clips from Colbert's show and Jon Stewart's show. Regardless, this particular video is pretty darn good.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Lunch With Soon-To-Be First Graders

"Hey, did you know that my mom is thirty-three?"

"Oh yeah? Well...Juliana's mom is older than that, right? Juliana's Mom! How old are you?"

"I'm twenty-eight."

"See! I told you she was older!"

"Nuh-uh! Thirty comes after twenty so my mom is totally a lot older than that!"

"I'm sure she's glad you're defending her honor."

Monday, June 12, 2006

My New Book Will Keep Me Warm at Night

Jason is in NYC again until Thursday so I picked up a new book at Target this morning. Summer vacation starts on Wednesday and hopefully I will be sucessful in making time for me this year inbetween all the kiddie stuff. I plan on logging some quality time in the back yard on a lawn chair this week.

(Thanks for the book recommendatons by the way.)

Thursday, June 8, 2006

My Daddy Loves Me

My Dad came up last weekend and terraced the front yard so I can plant flowers there. He also power washed the house, front porch and fence, and took down a hideous aluminum awning in the back. He has a lot of energy.

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Notice how the hostas have not yet deviated from thier world takeover plan.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

There's A Good Reason Her Book Was Released on 6.6.06

Ann Coulter on 9/11 Widows: ‘I Have Never Seen People Enjoying their Husbands’ Death So Much’

Video from the Today Show Here

Don't say I didn't warn you! Seriously though, when will people stop putting this psychotic on television? My favorite part is when she calls Matt Lauer "testy" after finally letting him get a couple words in. I think we have a problem when I feel like defending Matt Lauer.

I wonder how much money she has made speaking and writing about 9/11. There's a "millionaire broad" for you.

Monday, June 5, 2006

This Is Not A Completely Transparent Politcal Maneuver! Not at all! Why Do You Hate America?

Bring on the election year politics! (Like you didn't know it was coming...)

Note to self: Register to vote in Wisconsin ASAP. This year will be my first time voting in a non-presidential election and I intend make it a point to vote from now on in any election that will have me- no matter how small.

Sunday, June 4, 2006

Help!

One of my goals this summer is to read more than I have in, well, let's say the past five years or so. I have always been a book lover so it's a bit shameful how little I read these days that's not on my computer screen. It's not that I don't have time necessarily, but rather that I fail to make room for it. I try sometimes but with Tyra Banks and Mark Burnett cranking out two seasons of America's Next Top Model and Survivor a year respectively, my schedule can get kind of cramped. However, with all of my reality shows on hiatus until fall and with the HBO season finales tonight, I suddenly see my summer opening up with time for me to lounge on the front porch with a couple of good books. And maybe a glass of wine. (Except for when Project Runway is on.)

So my question to you is this: What is out there right now that's worth reading? I"m almost finished with the latest David Sedaris book and I have Mary Roach's "Spook" on order, but with the lack of any Harry Potter books being released this summer I'm at a loss. I love sci-fi and fantasy as well as a lot of non-fiction but I'm pretty much open to anything.

And no, I will not be reading the Da Vinci Code.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Bring it.

Nothing like a family vacation followed by a holiday weekend filled with sloth and cheesecake to get you back on the summer fitness wagon! And oh, how I had fallen. Of course, if you're going to be bad, you might as well be reeeely bad right? (Then again that's probably the same logic that probably turns shoplifters into bank robbers. But you know what I mean.) So I'm starting again today. For reals. And it doesn't help that the older I get the more work I have to do to keep this here body in shape. (I know, boo hoo.) It's not enough to do a little yoga and handweights in the evening anymore, I'm sad to say. It seems I have to beat my swiftly-approaching-thirty-something bum into submission to get any results these days.

And to that I say: It's on.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Feed Me Seymour

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Some "Little Shop of Horrors" plants have sprouted up in the garden. Be afraid. Especially if you are a motorcycle-riding, nitrous oxide-addicted dentist.

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First fruit salad of the summer! Yummy yummy.


Surfing the web this morning: Why does Al Gore continue to be a thousand times cooler than he ever was when he actually ran for president? Grrr.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

I'm Just Saying...

Running into old high school classmates at a pub after nearly ten years is amusing to say the least.

And that's all I have to say about that. Carry on.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Return

Well, we're back and it appears the hostas in our front yard have a plan for world domination:

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Also, "1950's Dad" stopped by to mow our lawn:

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We are no longer the scourge of the neighborhood. Yay 50's Dad! Love the shorts and black shoes look.

Oh, I kid. More to come later. Because I'm a lousy blogger who only occasionally pops in to post pictures and a few piddly sentences.

UPDATE: Speaking of posting pictures, check these cuties.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Crossing My Fingers

We're heading up to Wisconsin Dells for the weekend in a couple of hours. Maybe this will snap me out of my funkadelic mood. Woo!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Attention Little People Who Live In This House,

I am not a human vacuum cleaner. Sorry to have to break it to you this way. No matter how exciting the idea is of me sprouting an accordian attachment from my nostrils like the Nunu from Teletubbies, alas and alack it is not to be.

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-The Management

P.S. Sorry for the uber-crabbiness. Your real Mommy will return as soon as she regains control of her cold-addled head.

You Give Me Fever

Dear Stupid Head Cold,

Thank you for ruining my Mother's Day. I hope you are happy.

Hatefully yours,

Tracey



Friday, May 12, 2006

Don't Even Start About Mother's Day Just Being Corporate Hallmark Holiday Because I Have To Take What I Can Get And I May Have To Smack You

Mother's Day is on Sunday! Sooooo.... what's on the agenda?

1. Sleep, glorious sleep.
2. A big ol' breakfast.
3. The squeaky brakes on my car will be "magically" fixed. Don't you just love magic?
4. An uninterrupted chunk of time where I lounge around and read my David Sedaris book. (Preferably outdoors but it looks like Mother Nature is not pro-Milwaukee Moms this year. Stupid nature.)
5. A little gnome will come and finish painting parts in the house that along the ceiling where it is too high for me to reach. (Ok, a very tall gnome. And cute.)
6. Fruity martinis during the Survivor finale.

I would also like to add that there will be no dish washing, laundry folding or poop scooping done by me. (Of course, that probably just means that I will take care of all that stuff the night before, but STILL. None of that on Sunday!)

Monday, May 8, 2006

No Witty Title Today

Jason's been in Arizona for the past couple of days so it's just me and the chipmunks. School days are fine but it's a bit overwhelming being the only parent around on the weekend. Juliana does this thing where after we've played outside all morning and gone to the movies in the afternoon she will turn to me and say, "So Mom, what do you want to do with me next?" Like we've just been sitting around picking our noses all day or something. Jason told me not to get stressed out and I am trying not to. Sometimes though when I've just finished cleaning up a big pile of yogurt on the dining room table only to find that Ava has drawn all over her legs with marker and dumped a full glass of water on to floor it gets a bit hard.

I'm also feeling a bit frustrated because the list of house "wants" keeps growing but we seem to be reaching the bottom of the well when it comes to house funds. I know we've only lived here for four months but there's still so much that I want to be able to do and it occupies a lot of my mind. Too much, I think. Then there are the things that need to be done which won't take a lot of money, but rather a lot of time and manual labor- for instance sanding and refinishing all the wood trim in the house (as well as the built-in china cabinet and some of the doors.) Words cannot express how much I would love for this to be done but unless I grow four extra arms or a clone- not to mention some more upper body strength and a lot of patience- it's not going to get done for a while. A few extra hours in the day wouldn't hurt either.

I spent the afternoon at Steph and Greg's house yesterday and found that Greg is essentially me in male form. We both suffer from the same kind of home renovation anxiety where as you're finishing one project you're already visualizing and obsessing over the next one. I have to say that Stephke's plans for an attic master suite at their home are proving to be a wee bit inspiring. The wheel's are-a turnin'....

Friday, May 5, 2006

Full Bloom

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Surprising things keep popping up and growing in my backyard. This week was one of the best surprises so far.

Monday, May 1, 2006

Because I Really am Kind of a Crazy Person

Yes, more paint!

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And yes, that's a new sink in there too. Squeals of glee! I'm really, really done painting rooms in my house now. Really. At least I'm pretty sure. If it ever stops raining I'd love to move on to working on our yard. But you know, the rain. It can be hindering to the yardwork. Apparently when it rains I look for things to do indoors and end up repainting entire rooms over again. But this time I swear I'm happy with it. I really am.

In other news, we had our second Saturday in a row out! Have you heard of this wonderful thing they call a babysitter? Well we have TWO of them now. I think I've had a divine revelation.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Yet Another Example of the Need for Single Issue Bills

The $100 gas rebate the Senate is trying to pass also has that pesky Arctic National Wildlife Refuge oil drilling proposal attached to it. It's amusing how many bills they keep trying to staple it to. Well, at least now if it gets voted down we will be sure to hear "Senator So-and-So voted AGAINST the GAS REBATE that would benefit MILLIONS of WORKING CLASS AMERICANS!!!" in the next election.

I can't wait.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Home


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Life is still happening. Just not blogging about it lately.

Oh, and I know ya'll are probably tired of pictures of my house, but if you click the photo above it will take you to a Flickr gallery of all the changes we've made in the first four months. (It's mostly for the fam down south.)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Monday, April 17, 2006

Poo.

I just realized today that I have absolutely no idea how to potty train a child. No idea. It's amazing that Juliana ever got trained at all because I just remember an entire year of fighting and struggling with her about it until one day it was just done and I honestly don't know how it happened.

You might that think the second time around would be easier but then I would have to tell you what a quaint little thought that is and pat you on the head.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Painting OCD

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I don't remember if I posted photos of Ava's room before, but last month I spent a couple of days painting the dark wood paneling a pale yellow color. It was tedious but in the end it was a large improvement over what we used to call "the Cowboy Room." Well, yesterday I decided to re-paint the room again with a turquoise blue (the same color as the girls' old bedroom in Bartlett.) Apparently l like to torture myself with never-ending painting jobs. I am, however, very pleased with the results.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I Hate Fashion

Ok, I lied. I love clothes. But has anyone else seen this business about the skinny, tapered leg jeans coming back in style? I like the 80's as much as the next person but I'll be darned if tapered jeans look good on anyone who doesn't have the body shape of a ten-year-old boy. And if that isn't bad enough, there are people pairing them with FLATS of all things. Thanks for nothing Kate Moss! Fashion icon indeed. As if us short-legged girls are begging for more trends that will make us look like a squat little pear. I'm all for low-rise jeans dying out since it's near impossible for me to find pants that cover my behind but I'll keep my boot-cuts and flare legs, thank you very much.

Friday, April 7, 2006

There Was Some Interest Expressed So Here It Is:

Here are the photos of our "finished" upstairs bathroom! I say "finished" in quotations because although it does not yet have a walk-in shower and a retro claw foot tub, the decor no longer makes me want to poke out my eyeballs when I enter every morning like the old version used to.

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Yes, I am aware that I haven't finished painting above the tub and yes, I do realize the hideousness of the medicine cabinet. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Tidbits

I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard Lisa Loeb's 90's one-hit-wonder, "Stay" playing at the grocery store. I think it may have finally surpassed Madonna's "Borderline" as the most frequently played shopping center song. (And no, I cannot help myself from singing along, against my better judgement.)

Oh! And did you hear? Massachussetts is the most awesome state ever!

Also in the news: Tom Delay. Heh.

Today is Jason's birthday! That mean's we're eating steak tonight...

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Protecting the People

Did you know that Home Depot now keeps their cans of spray paint locked up in a cage? Not only did I have to have an employee unlock it for me but then I had do show my I.D at the checkout as well. It was like trying to buy cold medicine.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Ask And Ye Shall Receive

SUN! I should pout to the internet more often because right after I made my mopey post the sun came out from behind the clouds for the entire day yesterday. Ava and I spent a couple of hours in the backyard (me putting together patio furniture and her digging up piles of dirt) and it was glorious. It looks like today might be shaping up the same way too. Wooo! Plus, my laptop is fixed so I can go pick it up today. Good times.

My eating habits still kind of suck. I was lucky and only gained a half a pound back during Girl Scout Cookie Week and now after week three I lost another pound so I'm down a total of 3 1/2. But overall I don't really feel like I'm eating that healthy in general (just eating less) so I sort of feel like it's undeserving. Plus, although I do my pilates and weights every night I still don't do any cardio because I simply don't have the time and that bothers me. I love how it makes me feel to work out but with taking care of Ava all day I can't fit it in. When Juliana was a baby I used to take aerobics and kickboxing at the Bartlett community center because they had a kids playroom there. I should find a place like that around here.

Blah blah blah.

Jason and I want to make a family band called the Von Gessner Family Singers. We'll be sort of like the Sound of Music but without the Nazis. And with cuter outfits. So far our set list includes "The Rainbow Connection" and "I'd Like to Visit the Moon." We kind of have to work on Juliana's attention span though. We're also thinking about getting Ava a tambourine since she loves to clap along when we sing.

We played poker on Saturday night with Billy and Heather and I totally won. For the first time ever. Now if I could only beat this girl.

I also played Jason's bass guitar this weekend. Rockin'.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Won't You Take Me to Funky Town

As in funk. As in the one I am in.

I miss the sun. We are in the middle of another series of grey days here in the cheese state. We had a glimmer of spring on Saturday for a few hours (in which Jason demolished the 50's style aluminum awning in the back yard- yay!) but now it's back to grey skies again. This type of weather makes me very unproductive and I hate that. Especially because being a stay-at-home mom I feel the obligation to be super-ultra-mega productive all the time to make up for the fact that my children do not pay me for my work (darn them!) Lately I've been spending way too much time on the computer, lolling around the house and going to bed early. I missed my dance class last night because I had a headache and a sore throat most of the afternoon and ended up turning in at 8 o'clock. The same bedtime as my five year old.

Woe, woe, woe is me.

I'm going to get my hair done this week. That always helps right?

Friday, March 24, 2006

Darn You HBO! Darn You to Heck!

I am officially in love with Big Love. As in the new tv show on HBO. At first I didn't want to get involved because that would mean an hour of my life gone again every Sunday night but the preview ad before the Sopranos last week hooked me. It's so good. (It also doesn't hurt that Bill Paxton is extremely easy on the eyes. I think I may have sucessfully filled the void that Peter Krause left when Six Feet Under went off the air.) So far I think my favorite character may be Margie, the youngest of the three wives on the show. I feel an odd affinity with her much in the way I do with Charlotte from Sex and the City. (Regardless of the fact that I have not, nor have I ever been a doe-eyed, prudish brunette.)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Cheesehead

Well, I warded off the evil cookies for a day. A whole day! Today was not as successful though. I hate being healthy. It used to be so easy! Ten years ago I would have a bagel and a diet coke for dinner and now Jason makes me dinners with things like the word gratin in it. I looooove gratin. And I miss it so. (And it's only been a week and a half!) So I lost three pounds the first week of my new get-Tracey-in-Springtime-shape regimen, which is good, but now this week I think I will be happy if I simply haven't gained it all back. Have I mentioned that I hate being healthy? I totally lied to the State of Wisconsin when I filled out my height and weight for my new driver's license last week. I don't want to be a liar! (No, I didn't tell them that I was six feet tall. That's ridiculous!) What is it with Americans that we celebrate every gathering with food? My dad and my brother came up to visit on Sunday and we went out to the neighborhood Italian place. Mmmmmm. That's my problem. I'm just too darn American.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Exercising an Ungodly Amount of Self Restraint

There are Girl Scout cookies in my house.

GIRL SCOUT COOKIES. IN MY HOUSE.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

I Want a Sunday Kind of Love

The girls spent the night at Aunt Shelly's house last night which meant we could enjoy dinner out, a movie (V for Vendetta), followed by a couple of drinks and then sleeping in until 9am. I still woke up at 7 out of sheer habit but just lolled around there for a couple of hours. This morning I made myself breakfast and have been trolling around on the web while listening to the 40's station on the radio.

I haven't had a lot of motivation to blog lately. Isn't it funny how sometimes a thing you started doing for fun can end up on your to-do list?

Today looks good. The sun is shining. My Dad is driving the girls back from Rockford in a few hours. I think I'm going to take a long hot shower and have another cup of coffee.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Power of Home Renovation

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This may not look like much but it's making me sooooo happy right now. Tomorrow it will be finished!