Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Kim and Ashley's Visit!!

Kim and Ashley made it up for ANOTHER fun weekend visit! Ashley came up to look at the University of Minnesota because she's thinking of transferring up here next year...I say DO IT GIRL...we'd LOVE to have you here in the cities! I remember how AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL it was to be able to spend weekends with Larry and Dee (and family!) in Tipton, so I hope Robin and Dave and I can provide that kind of "hominess" for her as well. Now if we can just convince Kim to move up here too (in "theory" to be close to her daughter, but heck...we just think it would be fun to have HER around too!).

The weekend was the usual BLITZ of activity...with shopping, and eating out (which, for some reason, is the only thing I managed to take pictures of...the photos below are from our lunch at Big Bowl in Edina).

The only BAD part of the weekend happened the first night they were in town. They stayed at a hotel on 494 and France, and their car got broken into (the front passenger-side window got smashed out). Ashley lost all of her college books and notes (JUST before finals...natch), her IPod, and the backpack itself. They also lost a bag of food (??!!), and Kim lost ALL her makeup...yikes! They got the window fixed the next day, and HOPEFULLY insurance will cover some of the loss...PEOPLE SUCK!!!!

Anyway...it was a FUN, FUN weekend, and we always have SUCH A GOOD TIME with them...MOVE HERE GIRLS!!!!!!

Davey teaching Emilie to use chopsticks

Duane and Robin

Abigail, Ashley, and Kim!!!

Ashley and Kim

The gang at Big Bowl

Hope YOUR weekend was full of family and fun too!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ack! I'm in a Show!!!

I don't know how it happened...one minute I was QUIETLY sitting in my office at school, anticipating a LOVELY, quiet holiday season (now that I'm NOT suffering the injustice of retail at the holidays), and the next thing I know, I'm doing a show with Ashland Productions...HOW DID THIS HAPPEN???

I VOWED that I would NEVER again "bog down" my holidays with ANYTHING, after suffering through THREE YEARS of retail HELL...and the first "please do our show...we need PEOPLE" that I get...I FORSAKE my vow, and run off to perform.

I thought I was OVER the "theater thing"...but I don't think you can EVER truly "disengage"...the THRILL of the adulation (why pussy-foot around the issue...we do it for the adoration...plain and simple) is just TOO strong.

Anyway...the show is called "Once Upon a Christmas", and BASICALLY revolves around some kid finding the ture meaning of Christmas...blah, blah, blah.... There are FIVE men, and FIVE women rounding out the "adult cast", and it could be fun...(OF COURSE I asked if it was all "chorus"...or if there were still "solo parts" left...in TRUE diva fashion...!).

The show goes up on December 19th, 20th, and 21st, and I've been ASSURED that it's a light rehearsal schedule...we'll see how THAT goes. It's a good move...theatrically...as this will set me up (hopefully!) to be a contender when they audition for "Seussical: The Musical" this spring (although I don't really know the show, and THIS show might KILL ME OFF anyway, so I won't even be available this spring!).

Laura Osnes (recent winner of the reality show "You're the One That I Want", and SANDY in "Grease" on Broadway) has done some stuff with Ashland Productions, so...WHO KNOWS what connections I might make through the...ordeal...!!!

Check out their site at www.ashlandproductions.com. They are also doing a show with our students called "Pirates"...which sounds like it's going to be a hoot!!!

WHAT HAVE I DONE??!! Wish me luck...I'm going to NEED IT!!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Proposition 8

I've been ANNOYED for a week now, because of the passage of "Proposition 8" (I've renamed it the HATEFUL BUCKET OF CRAP ammendment) in California. I can't BELIEVE that people are still so SPITEFUL, and JUDGEMENTAL, and BIGOTED, and SHALLOW, and STUPID, and CLUELESS, and MORONIC, and STUPID, and EVIL, and STUPID...

Tena posted a GREAT video clip on her blog by one of my FAVORITE media personalities/newsmen...Keith Olbermann. I'm posting it here for those of you who read mine, so that you can see it too. He was very eloquent, and passionate, and sincere, and kind, and, if the world had MORE people in it like Keith Olbermann, it would be a MUCH, MUCH better place to live!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I Give Up!

Last year, on the way home from school, I saw a yard in which 50 or 60 "light up" snowmen were displayed. At first I thought they were INCREDIBLY tacky, but, as I drove by, day after day, and saw them all lit up, smiling happily at the people who passed by, I started REALLY liking them.

So...this year, I decided that I wanted to find one or two for my deck (now that I'm in the new place, and have outdoor electricity, and don't have to try to figure out how to run a cord through my sliding glass door).

Do you think I can FIND a plastic, "light up" snowman ANYWHERE in the cities, though??!! I've been to Menard's, Home Depot, Lowes, Target, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and even Mills Fleet Farm. They have TONS of tacky "blow up" snowmen, santas, nativities, and even moose on merry-go-rounds. They have LED light up mesh snowmen, santas, candy canes, and animals. They have wreaths, and ornaments, and bows, and trees, and stockings, and sleds, and holiday turkey deep fat fryers, but NO PLASTIC "LIGHT UP" SNOWMEN!!!!

To be honest, I DID find a scary looking one at Menards (I would have nightmares if I had THIS one looking in at me from my deck!), and K-Mart had a "smaller than normal" snowman that didn't look too scary, but the "paint job" was COMPLETELY substandard...whoever they have supplying them with plastic "light up" snowmen needs to learn how to use a spray gun!

So...unless E-Bay or Goodwill has anything, or my dad runs across one at an auction, I'm just going to have to settle for a string of lights and some pine boughs...WHERE'S THE TACKY WHEN YOU WANT IT??!!!

Hope YOU are able to find all that YOU want to use to make YOUR place more festive this holiday season!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Revolting Recipes # 1

As I scour antique stores and used bookstores for vintage cookbooks and recipe card boxes, I run across some INTERESTING recipes. I do not know WHY people would come up with some of the creations that they do, and I've always been fascinated/mortified with the concept of jell-o and vegetables as an actual offering.

So...in an effort to "inform the world" of how truly AWFUL some recipes can be, I've decided to, periodically, share some of the more DISGUSTING offerings. This "delicacy" fell in to my lap at school yesterday (figuratively speaking, of course!). I was looking through my non-fiction collection, and noticed So-Good Meals, by Better Homes and Gardens, circa 1963. The 60's were a bad, bad time for jell-o related dishes, rivaled ONLY by the 50's (and maybe the 70's).

So...without further "ado", for your culinary scoffing (or enjoyment...??)...

Winter Garden Loaf

2 3-oz. packages lemon-flavored gelatin
3 1/2 cups hot water
3 tablespoons vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
9 to 12 canned whole green beans
3 of 4 long strips pimiento

1 cup cooked cauliflowerets
1/2 cup cooked sliced carrots
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup sliced radishes
1/4 cup sliced green onions

Dissolve gelatin in hot water; add vinegar and salt. Pour about 1/2 inch of gelatin mixture into 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Chill till set.

Divide beans in 3 or 4 bundles; circle each with pimiento strip. Arrange on gelatin in pan. Chill remaining gelatin till partially set; pour enough over beans to cover; chill until firm.

Meanwhile combine remaining gelatin with rest of vegetables (but do not chill). Pour over firm gelatin in pan, then chill till set. Unmold on lettuce. Serves 8.

Serves EIGHT???!! I'm thinking at a dinner party of 25, you'd STILL have leftovers!!!

Hope YOU have your OWN favorite jell-o delicacy to enjoy today!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Photos from "Party Like a BARACKSTAR"!

Just got these photos from the OBAMA party I went to Tuesday night. Except for having THREE chins in some of them, they aren't bad!

Janelle, Jill, Keri, and Me!

Look at the bows in Pat's hair!!!

We voted!!!

Keri, Kate, and Pat

Jill, Keri, Me, Pat, and Kim

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Thoughts

I was trying to figure out what to say today, regarding my thoughts about the election. So many things have been running through my head. Then...I read my friend Tena's blog (http://www.gleaminggloat.blogspot.com/), and didn't need to think any more about it. Her thoughts on this whole thing are BRILLIANT, and ELOQUENT, and PASSIONATE, and REALLY, REALLY POIGNANT. I'm posting HER WORDS here on my blog, because they really spoke to me:

I had no idea I'd cry so much tonight.
I cried when I realized it was possible.
I cried when the networks projected a winner.

I cried when John McCain spoke.
So eloquent.
So gracious.
So classy.
I hurt for him.
He truly is a hero who has sacrificed more
than I ever knew I had.

I cried when I saw Barack Obama speak to more than
a million people.
I cried because I was happy.
I cried because I was scared.
I cried because I was relieved.

I cried because our country has taken another step.
A step toward growing up.
When Geraldine Ferraro said in 1984 that
"America is the land where dreams can come true for all of us,"
it wasn't really true.
I cried tonight because now it is,
or at least we're a lot closer to where that is.

I cried because the hope is so big
it feels like it's going to burst through my chest.
The hope that we can be respected again in the world.
The hope that we can have peace.
The hope that we can all just get along and be proud Americans,
no matter what our beliefs or philosophies.
The hope that we can have differing opinions
but still respect each other and work together.

I cried when Barack Obama talked about his grandmother.
I miss mine,
and I know how it feels to have wonderful things happen
and to wish the people you love the most were
there by your side.

I cried because I'm proud.
I'm proud to be an American.
I'm grateful to live in a country where I have the right
to speak
to teach
to debate
to vote
to dream

to hope.

Hope and gratitude.
Important words in my life.
I'm so filled to the brim, they spilled out.

I cried.

Wow! What amazing insight into the whole thing!!!

As HAPPY as I am that Barack Obama is going to be our next president, however, I can't say that I'm COMPLETELY satisfied with how things turned out...Michelle Bachmann got reelected to another term, and she's a COMPLETE and UTTER MORON...Proposition 8 passed in California (barring gays from getting married...incidentally, I found it interesting that an article online today stated that a LARGE number of blacks came out to vote for Obama, and, in exit polls, stated that they voted for the proposition...hmmm...they have THEIR civil rights, but are voting to keep another group of oppressed people from having theirs...that sounds a little BIGOTED and PREJUDICED to me...).

We also didn't pass our technology levy for my school district, which means next year is a HUGE question mark...technologically speaking...AND the proposition to have the city of Eagan buy the defunct golf course behind my townhouse. and keep it as "green space" was defeated...which means the guy who owns it can now put in a combination of houses, townhomes, and low income housing...GREAT...maybe I WON'T buy this place...just in case they rip out all the trees and build a GHETTO back there...

Overall, however, I AM thrilled, that Obama is our president elect...although it FLOORS ME that it took 200 years to finally elect a non-caucasian president!!!! Another article that I saw online today stated that Obama is TRULY our first "international" president...father from Kenya...raised for part of his life in Asia (Indonesia?)...spent another part of his life in Hawaii (okay...not TECHNICALLY an international location, but tropical, anyway!)...I can't WAIT to see what the next four years will bring!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


As I was EXTOLLING to Duane the virtues, yet again, of my GT Xpress 101 (well it really IS a cool gadget...!!) the other day, he coined a new acronym for me...apparently, I have TCSS (Television Commercial Susceptibility Syndrome)!

I have to admit, he might be right...when I SEE the infomercial for the "Greatest Hits of the 70's Collection" I NEED the "Greatest Hits of the 70's Collection" (even though the Air Supply guys look REALLY old!)...when I SEE the ab roller thingamabob I NEED that ab roller thingamabob (to get those tight abs simply by "rocking" for 15 minutes a day!)...and when I SEE the tube thing where you can cook spaghetti noodle in a FRACTION of the time in your microwave I NEED that tube thing where you can cook spaghetti noodles in a FRACTION of the time in your microwave (even though I don't HAVE a microwave).

I wonder if there's a pill I can take for this??!!

Hope YOU saw something YOU couldn't live without on the "boob tube" today...wait...that not a good thing to close with...dang...maybe there's a support group I could join...!