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banned words and phrases

Every so often I ban a word or phrase from my vocabulary, either the word is irritating me due to overuse or because it sounds horrid. The first word I ever banned from my personal use was "ain't", closely followed by "cain't", "wicked", "you gotta be shitting me" and so on. Last year I began weeding "got" from my speech.

My brother has suggested "so" as the next word to go. I'm leaning more towards "anyway" or "of course". Rick put his vote in for "Richard!" (only when spoken in a certain tone though). Kari suggested the phrase "take Toby for a walk." Michael is all for striking the word "NO!"

So anyway, I'm having a difficult time deciding. Of course.



Rick will be going to Duke University's football camp this summer. I rushed to fill out the application and send it in since there are only so many spots and I wanted to make sure he had one of them.

When Rick attended camp at Davidson last year, we felt a bit old. Here was our son going to football camp at the same school where Robert played football and I managed football. But at least we were in a comfort zone. Rick had already met the coaches and several other people around campus. He knew that if he became overwhelmed he could pick up the phone and call Coach Fagg or Terry Hines and they would come over to see him.

This year Davidson isn't having a camp. We looked at the camp at Catawba College, just for fun. My great-great-uncle Gordon Kirkland coached there way back when. There's also a bit of a comfort zone since we know the head basketball coach there. But really, who wants to go to football camp at Catawba?

This led us to Duke and Coach Frank's camp. This is a more intense camp than Davidson's. Of course part of that is Rick is no longer in with the younger kids. Now he is in with the 8th thru 12th graders. Rick will be able to focus on one position -- defensive back. He'll learn how his position works with the overall defense. He'll also learn more intensive drills, about weight training, get to see how film is broken down....

Since Rick is wary of new situations and has difficulty socializing with others you'd think that his main worry would be all the strangers and the new situation. No. His main concern is about those supporters on his list of items to bring. I'll let Robert have this discussion with him. I wouldn't be able to speak thru the laughter bubbling up from my gut. Rick is really worried about wearing one of these things.


did I just hear that?

Michael sprinted up to Robert and exclaimed, "I have to go to the bathroom. I gotta pee."

"Well, go to the bathroom then."

Michael ran out of the room, knees together, hand over his crotch, "Darn penis. It's always doing this."


excuse me?

In the midst of the various articles on Title IX and Annika Sorenstam's decision to play in the Colonial there was a little poll on AOL. A poll that really ticked me off.

Should women coach men's teams?

What sparked the poll was Tennessee State's athletic director Teresa Phillips becoming the first woman to coach a men's Division I team earlier this month. She was a temporary replacement for Hosea Lewis who was suspended after a brawl during one of TSU's games. Her debut was less than stellar. TSU lost the one game she coached. But was this a fair test? She didn't have an opportunity to recruit, to develop players, to develop a game plan. She stepped in for Lewis for a single game. Yes, TSU lost, but they had lost 20 prior games this season.

Previously the only women to serve as coaches for a men's college team were assistants: Mary Fenlon at Georgetown, Bernadette Locke at Kentucky, Stephanie Ready at Coppin State and Jodi Hensen at Alaska-Anchorage. Although Fenlon was listed as an assistant coach, her true job was as academic advisor, a position she held from 1972 until her retirement in 1999. Locke (now Mattox), Ready and Hensen are all currently coaching. Ready is the only one still coaching a men's team -- the Greenville Groove of the United Basketball Development League.

Why is a woman coaching a men's team considered controversial when a man coaching a women's team is not?

One columnists opinion was that women do not garner the same respect from their players as men do, that even female players will listen more readily to a male coach than a female. So this is turned into women holding women back. After all, how can men respect a female coach when the women can't?

I believe that the controversy is caused by the rarity, not due to sex or qualifications. Who is to say that Pat Summitt, University of Tennessee Lady Vols coach, could not cross over and be an equally effective mens coach? She is a highly respected college basketball coach. Summitt's teams have recorded over 800 wins. Eight hundred wins.

If a coach has solid understanding of the game, leadership and teaching abilities and can recruit decent players, it shouldn't matter whether the coach is male or female. The decision to hire should be based on ability not sex.

But again...
"I think that now female athletes are accepted for being women that sweat, compete, and strive to be the best. I think we are finding more and more that they don’t mind expressing themselves in that way." ~Pat Summitt

...everything does boil down to acceptance. Women have to be willing to prove themselves, to risk failure in order to receive the same recognition that the male coaches do. Unfortunately for a time women will just have to work a bit harder to prove that they are worth considering as coaches of male teams.



A big thanks to Brian for moving all my stuff for me. I was hopelessly confused. Despite his patient explanations and Karan's vividly painted explanations.


up and back again

There is nothing more exhausting than a weekend trip. Especially one that includes bumpy flights, hailing a cab, visiting family, playing with a newborn for 2 days, visiting with a frail grandmother and cooking with my mother.

Thank goodness my dragonets didn't fly with me.

But my niece is absolutely gorgeous and sweet-tempered. She only cried when hungry. Hard for her to be cross while she's sleeping away her first days.


dead dead goose

Kappa Sig pledges at Davidson College lured a goose away from its gaggle and brutally beat it to death. Why? Nothing has been said yet, but the speculation is that this was part of becoming a member of this fraternity.

The fallout is that all the pledges and one actual Kappa Sig were arrested. They face criminal charges and the possibility of being expelled from Davidson. I hope they are expelled. They do not represent the majority of the Davidson student body. Because of them, Davidson has been placed in the national spotlight for something totally outrageous. All Davidson students have been tarred with their brush.

Kappa Sig has been suspended until the 2003-2004 academic year. The national order is considering revoking their charter. They should. Hazing of this sort is criminal.

When I attended Davidson initiations were fairly harmless. Phi Delt pledges had calisthenics early in the morning. Great fun the day the pledges were out there sweating in their boxers. The KA pledges had to light a match and recite three times before the flame burned out, "I, sir, am, sir, lower, sir, than, sir, whale, sir, shit, sir, on, sir, the, sir, bottom, sir, of, sir, the, sir, sea, sir." There's a trick to this in case you don't know. Hold the burning match horizontally, not vertically. Try it. You'll discover I'm right.

The only positive thing that can be said about this entire situation is that no humans were injured or killed.

Now hopefully the justice system will work.


my sil is in labor

Yesterday Gina and my brother went to the OB who declared Gina would go into active labor within 24 hours. I scoffed at this. I'd been 50% effaced and 2 cm dilated for 2 months with Michael. She was at 60% effaced and 2 cm dilated. Hmmph!

Well, the doctor was right. Gina went into labor last night and is in delivery now. Will she and Kirk have a boy or a girl? My parents are betting boy. Michael has been saying girl all along -- until yesterday afternoon. "Aunt Sheena havin' a girl -- noooooooooo, a boy! Sheena having a boy."


major problems

Still cannot post and publish. This is ridiculous!


spring is in the air

You can now vote on which Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover is your favorite. I don't have one but do believe that this would be Robert's choice. He had this picture pinned up in his dorm room for the end of junior and all of senior years. He had a thing for Kathy Ireland. I'm convinced of it.



Why will my posts for today not publish? This is ridiculous!

So I whine to the complaint department. My issue has not been reviewed yet.

And I did discover that jumping up and down in frustration doesn't help solve the problem or lower my frustration level.



Sometime soon, when I can figure out how to do so, this blog will be moving to it's own domain. Then again, it may not be soon. I'm fairly helpless at figuring out the obvious.


good morning

This week has to be better than last, doesn't it?

Nana came thru her mastectomy with flying colors. Her cardiologist had to prescribe some medication that would slow her heartrate. He's very leery of her having any surgery because she's at a very high risk for heartattack. Of course cancer is not something to mess around with. Nana said it's very strange to look down and not see a matching pair. She's come up with all sorts of things to say about her breasts this past week. I believe she is doing this to torment Robert. He keeps saying, "Too much information!" This simply eggs her on.

My brother is bouncing off the walls waiting for his first child to be born. He's such an impatient person. I almost hope this baby decides to be 2 weeks late. Anyway, Kirk bought Gina a watch to give her after the birth of their baby. Being impatient, Kirk has already given it to her. I think this is his less than subtle hint to get on with the whole birthing process.

How come Robert never gave me anything when any of our three were born? Dad didn't give Mom anything either. Nana told me how Papa gave her a pearl necklace when Mom was born. *sigh I'm simply jealous.

Robert watered the lawn this morning. The sprinklers came on and nailed me and the Tobadiah when we were out starting our walk. Since he watered the lawn, rain has decided to fall. Good thing I didn't wash the cars yesterday.


on hiatus


on the positive side

The laundry is done.

Miriam Oliphant looks to have things under control for today's elections.

Frog loves me and is sitting on my chest while I type. He's rubbing his head along my jaw. Kitty hugs.

Our front entrance just needs more mulch and it'll look beautiful with it's new "hacienda" bricks that edge the walkway. I do want to replace the light, but that'll have to wait until I repaint the house next month.

Michael is still sleeping and the other two have gone off to school.



I am sick and tired of being brushed aside by my own family. I've spent the past 13 years doing things for them and ignoring myself. I've even spread out my psych appts so that we didn't go further into the medical debt hole. Rick was able to go once a week for 2 years and then every other week for the past year and a half. He's gone over 130 times in the past 3 years. I've had fewer than 20 appts.

Most of yesterday was spent trying to find a psychologist that I felt sort of comfortable with after an initial interview. Seems that the majority of the psychs on our plan have heavy accents that make it difficult for me to understand them. If there isn't an accent problem, the psych doesn't deal with bipolar disease. They deal with the more glamorous (?) problems of anxiety and/or anorexia. One even asked me if I was sure that I cycle from depression to mania. Could I perhaps just have an extended case of post partum depression?

So once again I'll step outside my plan and take an absolute financial beating for several more years. Rick sees a psychologist outside our plan to the tune of $175/hr. Our insurance reimburses us a whopping $43. We won't mention that they don't have a single psychologist listed that deals with children who have Aspergers.



Last week my brother and I had pretty much the same dream. We both dreamed that our grandmother Helon died. In Kirk's dream Dad changed her name to Helena. In my dream Dad changed my name to Helon. Quite bizarre. My grandmother Helon died in 1984.

Kind of creepy considering our other grandmother then received a diagnosis of cancer.

Nana asked if I'd had any waking or sleeping dreams about her death. No. Had I had the urge to compose music for her? No. She sighed a sigh of relief, then asked me if I'd lie to her about it. No. I can't lie to my Nana. Ever.


temper temper

No one in this house is a morning person. This includes all the pets.

I woke Rick up first. I gently shook his shoulder and told him it was time to get up. He snapped at me, "I'm getting up okay!"

When I woke Kari up at 6:55, she mumbled, grumbled and stumbled her way out of bed and down the hall. She spent 10 minutes complaining about how there's never anything good to eat for breakfast. She wants me to buy her chocolate cereal and chocolate milk for breakfast. Don't think so.

Now it is 7:05. I head back into Rick's room to wake him a second time. I pull all the covers off of his bed. He leaps out of bed and begins to bitch me out. "I was up. You didn't have to do that. I was ready for school. I took my shower, got dressed and brushed my teeth." Really? So why was he standing there in his underwear with a severe case of bedhead and morning breath?

Toby wass dancing around because it's past the time for his morning walk. He decided that since I was moving slowly, he was going to pull me awake. He jerked and pulled, bayed and whined. He wouldn't heel and my shoulder was still too sore to deal with his shenanigans, so I clipped his collar to the backyard line. Toby could run around the backyard while I took my own walk.

At 7:40 I was back after my 2 mile walk. Toby was growling at me, Rick was refusing to speak to me, Kari was giving me the cold shoulder and Michael was screaming at the top of his lungs. Not a pleasant scene.

Michael was refusing to get dressed so that we could take Rick and Kari to school. He and Robert were yelling at each other. Binky was on the bed hissing at everyone and no one in particular. Frog was eating out of Toby's food dish which ticked Toby off and prompted a chase thru the house.

I'm now just waiting for Robert the crabby lion the head off to work, but knowing my luck, he'll go in late. Traffic on 75 S is backed up for miles and miles and miles...



We have tons of Thomas the Tank Engine tapes and dvds. The tapes are all about 10 years old and have been watched numerous times by Rick, Kari and now Michael. Michael's most favoritest tape is now kaput. Totally worn out. The tape is frayed.

Michael is devastated.


Toby saw a pitbull this morning and wanted to make friends. No way. Absolutely no way. The pit was lunging and growling. His owner almost lost control of him. Toby whined and whimpered wanting to go play. All of a sudden he jerked at his leash and my shoulder popped and made an awful grinding noise. I let loose with a loud, "Verdamnt!" Scared the tar out of Toby who promptly heeled and trotted quietly home. My shoulder is now swollen, so I'm icing it. Just once I'd like to have a normal shoulder that thinks subluxing at the drop of a hat is totally ridiculous.


Ooh, Duke is playing Clemson tonight at 6:30. Hopefully the game will be on tv. I'd like to catch a glimpse of my old college coach.


blah blah blah

In December Robert told me he would be working 4 weeks of overtime. Yesterday he informed me that the overtime shifts would continue off and on thru June. Excuse me? There's a huge difference between 1 month and 6 months. "Oh, I thought I told you."

Yeah right.

Robert is one of those people who will take a message, stick it in his pocket and forget to give it to you. He has done this so many time to me he's probably set a world's record. One of our neighbors has been known to give him a message for me and then call him back in an hour to remind him. He forgets until he hears the phone ring and me saying, "Hi, Cindy." Never fails.

Richard is the same way. Once he was supposed to come out to the car and tell us that his teacher wanted to speak to us. Did he? No, he climbed in the van and told us about his day. Ms. Richardson called us at home, laughing, to tell us that she had had someone for us to meet. Oh my.

At least Kari passes on messages.


this morning's bizarre event

I laughed at someone who phoned our house and identified himself as a Secret Service agent.

"Yeah, right! Did my brother put you up to this?"

"No, ma'am, this is Agent .... with the Secret Service."

Okay, I took his name and number and called Robert.

"Robert, someone from the Secret Service called and left his name and number. He needs you to call him back."

Laugh from the other end of the phone line. "Someone from where?"

"The Secret Service. Don't laugh. I already laughed in his face."

So Robert calls. Seems our phone number cropped up during a current investigation. Now how is that possible? We don't know anyone with that name.

Recommendation -- always know where your cellphone is. Who knows who will use it to do what when you aren't paying attention.


wondering where

Aaron Edwards was one of my closest friends in college. From the instant we met he was like family. We could be absolutely silly together, cry on each other's shoulders (he didn't literally cry, that was left to me), study together, etc. He's the reason I became so involved in with the football team.

Others on campus didn't approve of our friendship. For awhile some of the men on campus wouldn't speak to me, a white girl who had a male friend who was black. In their minds I was obviously sleeping with him. But we were just friends. Eventually they realized that Aaron was my friend and part of my family.

Aaron looked out for me. He'd come by whenever I had a date to check out the guy and approve him. If Aaron didn't like him, I usually didn't go out with him. He was protective of me, and I was protective of him. My parents thought a lot of him too. How can you not like someone who respects himself and others, who is honest and upfront, who acknowledges his faults and who has a wicked sense of humor?

Unfortunately we graduated from college and have lost all contact with each other. He's the one person that I miss horribly. When Robert and I sent him a wedding invitation he didn't respond. I've tried to find him thru the alumni office, thru his old address. No luck.

It's a damn shame.


the "c" word

Nana, my grandmother, was diagnosed with breast cancer this week.


what's for dinner


1/3-cup butter
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
¼ cup minced onion
1/3-cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup canned chicken broth
1-cup light cream or half-and-half
1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons sherry
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
½ cup whipping cream, whipped
1/3-cup Parmesan cheese

Melt butter. Add mushrooms and onion and sauté until tender. Blend in flour, salt and nutmeg. Cook over low heat until flour is thoroughly blended. Remove from heat. Stir in chicken broth and cream. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for 1 minutes. Pour a little hot mixture into egg yolks; return all to saucepan, blending thoroughly. Blend in sherry. Set aside 1 cup sauce. Add chicken to remaining sauce. Spread ¼ cup filling on each crepe. Roll up. Place in buttered 13 X 9 baking pan. Fold whipped cream into remaining sauce and spoon over crepes. Top with Parmesan cheese. Broil 4 to 5 inches from source of heat until lightly browned and bubbling – approximately 6 to 8 minutes. Makes 6 servings.


1-½ cups flour
1 ½ cups milk
3 eggs 1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter

Mix all ingredients in blender. Pour batter by 1/3 cup onto lightly greased skillet. Cook as you would pancakes. Place wax paper between cooked crepes to keep them from sticking. Note: if you let the batter sit for 30 minutes after mixing, the flour will be better absorbed and the crepes will for some reason turn out much better. Go figure.

And, by the way, these do freeze well.


things I wonder about

Why does the female praying mantis eat her mate's head and when she devours his head in the middle of copulation, how does he finish?

How do we know that no two snowflakes are alike?

How much of our behavior is determined by nature and how much by nurture?

Do animals other than humans suffer from mental illnesses?

Why does my husband keep tinkering with the computer when all he does is bog it down with all his tinkering?

Why are some people allergic?

How have human physically evolved in the past 5,000 years? And I don't mean how much taller and heavier, because some of that must be attributed to better nutrition and medical care.

Why do people perform horrible acts of aggression and violence against others in the name of their god when their god stresses peace?

Why are we so intolerant?

And how and why does my house get so messy so fast?


how many times

There's something wrong with schools these days -- public and private.

Rick was to be tested in early November to determine which math class he should attend. Here we are in February and they have yet to test him. So he has been in a low-level math class this year after having finished pre-algebra last year and receiving an A in that particular class.

Why was he moved to a low-level class? A test. The wonderful STA-9. Two years ago Rick received a score of 98. Last year a 27. Hmmm. If I were his teacher this would have raised a red flag. Why would someone who is doing well in pre-algebra and who scored so high on the previous year's test suddenly test so low? Was there perhaps something else going on that affected this score?

The work he did last year didn't matter to the school's new principal. He ordered the teacher to put Rick back despite the evidence that Rick was capable of doing higher level math.

They didn't consider that Rick was emotionally having a very difficult time and we had taken him to school for the test under protest. Being on death's door was the only excuse they'd hear for him missing the test day. They didn't want to have to find someone to be his proctor for a make-up day.

Dr. H. even went to the school and explained to them that what they were doing was injuring Rick's self-esteem and confusing him. He laid Rick's STA-9s and report cards for the past several years in front of them. This evidence didn't sway them in the least. Rick was totally bewildered by the whole math question. He couldn't understand why he had to be moved backwards when he had the highest grade in the class. We couldn't explain the principal's reasoning, because it made no sense to us either.

So I'm off to the school today without an appointment and determined to hash this out for the last time. An ambush really since they haven't a clue I'm coming in. That should teach them to return phone calls and to answer letters.

I call to my friends, picking lotus,
Wonderfully afloat on the clear river,
And forget, in my delight, how late it grows,
Till gusts of evening wind whirl by.
Waves scoop up the mandarin ducks;
Ripples rock the broad-tailed mallards;
At this moment, sitting in my boat,
Thoughts pour out in endless streams.



Be On the LookOut for a basset hound that answers to the name of Toby. He escaped from our house when we were running in and out while bringing in our purchases from our morning shopping expedition.

Toby is a tricolor basset and was wearing a green collar when he fled the premises for ~~ somewhere...

Be careful. He could lick you to death.


Found! One basset who jumped into the mail truck with our mail deliverer. Robert had to go get Toby who reluctantly picked himself up off the floor of the truck and clambered into our van.



Now Rick has a cold and my sinuses are full. Robert is being a crab. Toby is being a vindictive hall pee-er. Binky is in a jealous snit (Frog slept next to me last night). Michael is upset because yesterday Toby snatched his waffle.

Kari is the only one on an even keel.

At least we are having gorgeous weather.


on love

Mansi wrote a wonderful piece on love. So kick back for a few minutes and read How deep is your love?.


something for the Raiders to remember

Employers are obligated to provide accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of applicants or employees that are due to the disability. This means that in order to receive accommodations you must tell the employer about the disability and how it limits your functioning.

In addition, employers are not required to provide accommodations to employees who are not qualified, that is, unable to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodations. What this means is that employers are not obligated to hire you or keep you if you cannot perform the skills needed to do the main parts of the job.

The Raiders knew that Robbins suffered from depression and bipolar disorder. The Raiders employ more than 15 people in their organization. The Raiders could find themselves in legal hot water if they release Barrett Robbins because of what happened the day before the Super Bowl.

One could argue that Robbins couldn't not perform for the Super Bowl, but he had performed well during the regular season. Obviously something changed before the "big game." Perhaps he stopped taking his meds, something no depressed person or person with bipolar should do without a medical professional monitoring. Perhaps the additional stress was more than he could handle and his meds were not sufficient to help him thru this stressful period. What matters the most is that his employer knew that he had a serious mental condition and that he was acting out of character and incoherent, irrational and suicidal.

Someone needs to sit down with the coaching staff and the players and explain to them what is going on in the mind of someone who suffers from depression and bipolar disorder. Only thru education can we battle the unnecessary stigma of mental illness.

Note: bipolar disorder is part of the reason I quit my job in 1999. Becoming a mother for the third time was the main one, but I couldn't function successfully at work.. Too much stress, too many detailed projects, a child with aspergers, being pregnant -- all had the better of me. Am I glad that I followed my doctor's advice and quit? You betcha.

Do I think Robbins should quit his job? Absolutely not if it's a job he loves and feels he can continue to be successful in doing. Yes, if he feels the stress of the job will lead him to an early grave.


one of my windows

Didn't exactly crop this well, but the picture was taken at an angle. oh well.

Kane wondered what Freud would say about my fascination with windows. Hmmm. Guess it would make a difference that I focus on windows that do not open. But am I on the inside or outside?

On another window note, my great-aunt used to write poetry about what she could see from her window: "From my window, I can see...".

I hit a line drive right through our living room window once. My parents had replaced that particular window only the week before. My brother watched in awe when I marched inside to admit what had happened. We weren't allowed to play baseball in the street after that.

When we lived in Maine, the snow would be so deep and well-packed that I could walk right out my bedroom window and not have to step down.



This morning at 5:57 I stepped into my bathroom to get dressed and brush my teeth. There was an awful yowling at our backdoor, so I strolled out to the living room to see what Frog had done now. As I was walking, I was swinging my bra around. Bad idea. Toby took this as an invitation to play. I opened the door, he grabbed my bra and ran with it. Across the backyard, around to the front and down the sidewalk. I chased him in my eeyore pjs and slippers. Wouldn't you know it, Max was out front getting ready to go to work. Toby leaped into his car and very casually dropped my bra on the driver's seat.

Toby bayed. Max laughed. I blushed, grabbed my bra and ran back inside.



Okay, so today wasn't all fun and games. First off our drive of 7 miles took almost 2 hours. Second, the gates were supposed to open at 9:30, didn't open til almost 10, the line to get in was 1/2 mile long (and that was just the line coming from the southside) and we missed most of the first act which started at 10:30. Totally obnoxious. Kari really wanted to see Tanya Tucker.

There were tons of people there, many already drunk by 10:30. How in the world can people start in on beer so early? Kari and I did a lot of people watching. We played a game of "I Spy" which ended after 20 minutes of searching for someone without a tattoo. One girl had a butterfly tattoo on her back that covered her entire back. She had a smaller butterfly over her left breast and on each ankle. I kept waiting for her to flutter off into the trees. Another girl was 15 from what her parents said. This child had green-streaked blond hair, tattoos, a pierced nose, eyebrows and multiple ear piercings. She wore her pants so low you could see not only her butt crack but also her pubic hair. Ewww! Her parents bought her beer and when she begged a cigarette off of someone and they refused, her mother said, "It's okay. We let her smoke." What?!

Towards the end of the afternoon an very drunk young man sat down on our blanket with us. He didn't quite comprehend my "shove off." A male friend of his came over and started rubbing this dude's chest, kissing on his neck. The next thing I knew they were dry humping. A female behind me threw her lemonade on them. Well, that started a fight between the two males. Each accused the other of dumping lemonade everywhere. They scuffled and shoved. They ran into the people on their right before running over me, knocking over our drinks and our dinner. Very obnoxious.

Kari was fascinated with one person in particular and spent most of the day gazing at him. "Mom, do you see that guy dancing? Why is he dancing like that? Is he a stripper?"

What?! "Kari, how do you know what a stripper is?"

"Mooooom. I watch Law and Order you know."

This man was beautiful from his head to his toes and very comfortable in his skin. He danced all day long. He would ask women who were just walking by to dance with him. He didn't ask just the pretty young things either. He danced with the young, old, fat, thin, beautiful, plain, ugly, married, single, pregnant... He even came over and asked me to dance. I told him to go dance with someone young and beautiful like him. He dragged me to my feet and told me that I was gorgeous. Made me blush. Kari just kept eyeing him. I don't know whether to be worried or not. She is only 10. Are 10 year old girls aware of gorgeous males yet?

Another stroking of my ego had happened earlier in the day. Kari and I were buying our drink tokens when Tanya Tucker sang "Delta Dawn." I thought no one was nearby so I sang along with her and embarrassed Kari almost to death. We both blushed when the men at the Bud truck applauded my performance. They probably thought I was already drunk. And my friend Kim can tell you that I can't sing to save my life. Doesn't stop me though.

All in all a fun day.


and today will be spent...

sitting on a quilt at the park listening to various country music stars. Kari and I go every year to the Chili Cookoff. She's been addicted since we heard Faith Hill and Tim McGraw sing in 1999. She even picked up her room so that I wouldn't refuse to take her.


a face from the past

Way back when, during college sometime, our baseball team lost to Carolina. Not shocking in the least, even if we did have 5 players from that team go on to pro-careers. One of the guys that played for Carolina had all the girls giggling. They just drooled all over the thought of meeting him. Being that I was one of the guys and kept the stats, I walked on over and shook his hand. Really nice guy.

Today I read that this same player is trying to get back on the Orioles' roster. Imagine how shocked I was to realize that he's now 38.

Good luck, BJ.


7 candles lit

Earlier in the week Brian posted about the Challenger Explosion. What are the odds that another shuttle, the Columbia, would be lost just a few days after that anniversary? And within a week of the anniversary of the Apollo disaster?

Kari and I were placing our order for Rick's breakfast sandwich when we heard the announcement over the radio. I couldn't speak. Kari had to climb over to my side and order. She doesn't quite grasp what the big deal is.

How do I explain to her that this has affected me many times more than the events of September 11th?

NASA's space program represents possibilities to me. The loss of the Columbia is a loss of possibilities. What discoveries were closer to being made by the experiments conducted on the shuttles? What worlds would become open to us because of the space program?

We can't dwell on what ifs, but we can feel pain at the loss of what could have been.

"Earth laughs in flowers." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson