Friday, December 29, 2006


Scanning a few other blogs this evening I ran across these 48 questions that sounded kinda fun to answer for myself. Then I thought, why don't I just post them? It might be interesting to a few people out there...

1. The phone rings. Who do you want it to be? My answer would have to be either one of my kids, or Andrew.

2. When shopping at the grocery store, do you return your cart? Yes, always.

3. In a social setting, are you more of a talker or a listener? I guess this would depend on how I was feeling about myself at the time. I've been in situations where I feel very confident and I am a talker. Other times I do a lot of listening and tend to blend in with the surroundings.

4. If abandoned alone in the wilderness, would you survive? Yes. I grew up doing enough camping that I think I could take care of myself quite least for a while.

5. Do you like to ride horses? I love to ride horses. I have quite a bit on and off throughout my life. Even had a horse for a time growing up. I haven't ridden for a few years but I really want to again.

6. Did you ever go to camp as a kid? Nope. I probably would have been way too homesick to survive that!

7. What was your favorite board game as a kid? I remember playing Sorry and Monopoly as a kid. I liked them, but I remember enjoying playing with Fisher-Price Little People a lot more.

8. If a sexy person was pursuing you, but you knew he/she was taken what would you do? Eeeww! I'm REALLY not into he/she's!

9. Are you judgemental? Hello??? I'm gay. Duh.

10. Would you date someone with different religious beliefs? Well, since religion plays very little or no part in my life, I guess I wouldn't have a problem with it.

11. Are you continuing your education? If I ever get throo Hookt On Fonics, I mite go to collej!

12. Do you know how to shoot a gun? Do the B.B. guns at the fair count? Oh, wait, either way, no.

13. If your house was on fire, what's the first thing you'd grab? Well, since the question is "thing" and not "who", I would have to say my car keys and cell phone. I didn't say the dog because he always knocks me down getting out the door anyway!

14. How often do you read books? Not often enough. The last book I read was The Confession by James McGreevey. I love reading books. I should take more time to do it.

15. Do you think more about the past, present or future? I'm a dreamer. I guess I think more about the future.

16. What is your favorite children's book? I always loved reading "Green Eggs and Ham" to the kids when they were little. I always read it in funny voices that made them giggle.

17. How tall are you? 6'2" and shrinking.

18. Where is your ideal house located? Some place warm all year. I love southern California.

19. Last person you talked to? Andrew, when he called me from Seattle about 3 hours ago.

20. When was the last time you were at Olive Garden? Gosh, it's probably been a year and a half. I took the kids there for dinner one evening.

21. What are the keys on your keychain for? My car, 3 for the house and 1 for my parents' house.

22. What did you do last night? Came home from work, made some dinner, installed XM radio in my car, read blogs and watched T.V. Boring evening.

23. Where is your current pain at? My heart. Andrew is still in Seattle and won't be home till late tomorrow night.

24. Do you like mustard? Yes. Always on my burger.

25. Do you like your Mom and Dad? I love them both very much.

26. How long does it take you in the shower? Usually about 10 minutes. If I'm cold or tired I might spend 15-20 minutes showering.

27. What movie do you want to see right now? I was just saying to Andrew a few days ago that I'd really like to see "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" again. I love the soundtrack. In fact, as soon as I finish this, I'm going to watch it.

28. Do you put lotion on your dog or cats? "Cats"? I'd never have a cat....but why would ANYONE ever put lotion on their dog or cat??? weird!

29. What will you do for New Year's? Make a resolution that I'll stick to for 10 minutes and then watch the Times Square countdown on T.V. (Probably sans Dick Clark this year. That will be weird)

30. Do you think The Grudge was scary? Didn't see it. I hate stupid horror flicks.

31. Do you own a camera phone? Yes, but it takes shitty pictures.

32. What's the first letter of your middle name? I. figure THAT one out. No one ever guesses it.

33. Who did you vote for on American Idol? Chris Daughtry until he got voted off, then I kinda lost interest and didn't vote anymore.

34. How many hours of sleep do you get at night? usually about 6-7.

35. Do you like Care Bears? Jesus, who wrote these, and WTF are Care Bears?

36. Do you know how to play poker? I have to be taught each time I sit down to play, so I guess I'd have to say no.

37. Do you wear your seat belt? Religiously. Oh, THERE'S a religion I do follow. :-)

38. What do you sleep in? Usually a T-shirt and underwear in the winter and just underwear or nothing in the summer.

39. Anything big ever happen in your hometown? Yeah, lots of stuff. Well, big for this town, anyway.

40. Is your tongue pierced? No, I don't think I'd like it. Although I do find it rather sexy on other guys.

41. Who is the funniest person you know? Probably Andrew. He always makes me laugh.

42. Do you like funny or serious people better? Funny, of course.

43. Did you eat a cookie today? Yes. Someone brought homemade Christmas cookies to work today. I felt obligated. :-)

44. Do you use cuss words in other languages? Nope. I use cuss words when I WANT others to know what I'm saying.

45. Do you steal or pay for your music downloads? Ummm...I've never paid for a music download. That's all I'll say.

46. When was the last time you said "I love you" and meant it? About 3 hours ago when Andrew called home from Seattle.

47. Is your cell phone usually on Vibrate or ring? Usually on ring unless I'm at work, then it's on vib.

48. Do you need a boyfriend/girlfriend? Nope. I have everything I need right here at home. (Well, he's away right now, but he'll be home tomorrow!)

Sunday, December 24, 2006


I like musicals. No, I didn't say that I "loved" musicals. I guess I don't fall into that old stereotypical "gay" category of loving Broadway musicals. Although, I really should admit, this was only the third Broadway musical I have ever seen. Sidenote question: do you HAVE to see it on Broadway IN New York for it to actually be a Broadway musical? I have to say, that has always been unclear to me. I've seen two musicals in New York, of which, neither was actually in a theater ON Broadway, and now one in Chicago. All three STARTED on Broadway, I believe. So, does that make them "Broadway" musicals? Please, someone set me straight on this!

Anyway, having said that I'm not a lover of musicals, this is by far, the best I have seen. (Not really saying much, having only seen 3 so far)

The set was great, and it always blows my mind how the set designers can really help tell the story with their talents. I think set designers are often overlooked and not given enough credit for their amazing work.

Wicked is the story of the three witches of Oz. The wicked witch of the East, the wicked witch of the West and Glinda, the good witch.

I loved The Wizard of Oz as a kid as do my children now. We all grow up knowing this movie, and if you're anything like me, probably never missed it's airing every year on T.V. as a child.
If you have not seen Wicked, you probably THINK you know the entire story of Oz and all of it's characters. Well, let me tell you, my may be quite surprised...
This play is so much fun! It will change your mind about who really is good or bad in the story of The Wizard of Oz. I'm not going to say too much here and give away the story for those who have not seen Wicked, but I went into this play not really knowing much at all what it was about. I guess that may have been a good thing. I'm guessing that if I'd known the premise going in, I may not have been so surprised by the story as it unfolded on stage before me.

Wicked will take you on a journey through the lives of the threee witches as they are growing up, and take you all the way up through the story of The Wizard of Oz. The thought that went into the writing of this play is fascinating! It will take you behind the scenes of various things in the movie that you never gave a second thought to. Like, the tornado that carried Dorothy, through her dreams, to the land of Oz, the flying monkeys, the tin man, the scarecrow, the cowardly lion and the witches themselves.

This play combines drama, comedy and suspense to make 3 hours seem to go by in a flash. The music is wonderful and I really have to give the Chicago cast credit on their amazing singing! Fantastic voices!

I didn't go to Chicago planning to see Wicked. As I said in a previous post, it was a total surprise to me when Andrew took the tickets out of his pocket just 45 minutes before the show. However, I'm glad I did see it. If you saw The Wizard of Oz as a kid, I would highly recommend seeing Wicked. It's a show that you can take the whole family to, suitable for any age. I now really want to take my two kids to see it. I know they would be totally mezmorized by the story and come away thinking about The Wizard of Oz in a whole new light.

Monday, December 18, 2006


Frank Lloyd Wright's home & studio, skaters at Millenium Park, The water tower on Michigan Avenue, the Christmas tree in front of the John Hancock Building, The Wrigley Building from Wacker Dr.


Andrew and I had another great weekend in Chicago. Being there anytime is wonderful, but at Christmas time it's spectacular!

We left Cedar Rapids Friday at about 5:45pm. We took Andrew's new Toyota Rav 4 on it's maiden voyage to Chicago. It's first of many, I'm certain. The Rav 4 has come a long way since it's beginnings of a very small mini-SUV. For 2007 it's gotten rather spacious! A very comfortable ride as well. We would have had plenty of room for another couple AND their luggage. A mere 4 hours later we were well into the city and following the directions to our hotel. Now, with the I-Pass and open road tolling, we sailed through all of the toll booths at full speed, saving at least 20 minutes off of the trip.

We drove straight into the Loop where we quickly found our hotel. The Club Quarters.
Located in a great location right downtown in the financial district. Perfect for the places we had planned to walk to while there.

Andrew had an itinerary all written out. (He's such a planner)
Saturday: Breakfast at Starbucks (have you had their breakfast sandwiches? darn good!)
Walk to North Michigan Ave for some Christmas shopping. Spend a good part of the
day there.
Dinner reservations at Vivere at the Italian Village.
Then walk around enjoying the Christmas lights in the city.

His itinerary was only partly true.

We did everything as planned until we left the restaurant. We talked about walking over to Millenium Park on Michigan Avenue and maybe doing a little ice skating there. I should have known he was up to something when he said he thought that was a good idea. Will I ever learn?
So, we're walking toward Michigan Ave. when we stop at a crosswalk waiting for the walk signal, when he pull a couple of tickets from his coat pocket and said, "you wanna just go here instead?" I looked down and in his hand were two tickets to Wicked at the Oriental Theater. We had just walked past the theater earlier that day and I mentioned that I'd love to see that show and we should maybe plan that for our next trip. Not knowing he'd bought tickets a whole two months before. More on the show in a future post. It deserves it's own post!

Sunday was pretty relaxing. We strolled around the city just taking in the sights and watching the ice skaters at Millenium Park. Then we headed to Oak Park which is just west of downtown Chicago. Oak Park is where Frank Lloyd Wright built a home and studio for himself and his new family at the age of 22 just as he was beginning his truly amazing career in architecture in 1889. His home, complete with a studio added in the very early 1900's, has been painstakingly restored to how it looked at around 1909.
I have been a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright for many years. I've read books about his life, toured Taliesin, one of his later homes in Spring Green, Wisconsin; been to the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, which he designed, and have learned quite a bit about him over the years. He was definately not without his faults, but one thing is for sure, he was amazingly ahead of his time and a shear genius in his design abilities.

We left Oak Park around 3pm and headed back home. By 6:30pm we were back in Cedar Rapids. It was another fantastic weekend in Chicago. We're already talking about our plans for the next trip back to the windy city in a couple of months!

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Christmas time is also a time to torture a certain poodle just a little bit.

He has his own set of reindeer antlers that, as you can tell from the picture, he just LOVES! (for exactly 3.5 seconds each year) As soon as the short love affair for them is over, he takes them off and tries to eat them. We do it every year. I think it's more fun for us than it is for him. Oh well, it's good for a picture or two around this time of year.


Well, the trees are up and the mess of dragging everything out of storage is cleaned up. It's officially Christmas at our house.

Every year we put up a real tree and an artificial tree...except this year. We put up two artificial trees. With our work schedules this year and taking into consideration the 25 minute drive to the tree farm where we usually get our real tree, we decided that by the time we could actually get there after work to look for a tree it would be too dark. So, we decided to save the $40 this year and put up both fake ones. I think they actually turned out nicely this year.

We always do one tree in red and gold only and the other with all of the ornaments that are homemade and/or given to us as gifts, with a few store-bought ones to finish it out. Though the red and gold tree is always beautiful, the one with the ornaments that were made by the kids, souveniers from trips that Andrew and I have taken together, or given to us as gifts has always meant more to me. I love getting out the boxes of ornaments every year and remembering who or where they came from as we unwrap them and hang them on the tree. I guess I'm just a tad sentimental that way.

The decorating is done and now the shopping frenzy begins! do I get the money to do that?? Andrew says I should just sell my body. ...any takers???


I know this is a little out of order of events, but I felt the need to devote a little space to Robin's 10th birthday. After all, it's a pretty big deal to finally enter the double digits of age! (at least she thinks so now. Sweetie, just wait...)

We celebrated Robins birthday last Sunday Dec. 3rd. (her actual birthday) We had my Mom and Dad, my grandmother, Barb, Robin's mother, Jeremy and Andrew and I for a spaghetti dinner and birthday cake. I had to work part of that day at Starbucks, so Andrew, the wonderful cook and my savior, prepared the meal. I baked Robin's favorite, angelfood cake with fluffy strawberry icing. I'm sure you can tell by the picture that she has this whole "pink" thing goin on. Yeah, she's a girly girl.

Fun was had by all and the dinner was fabulous! Of course, Robin made out like a bandit, having so many people who love her tons, showering her with gifts!

She is definatley Daddy's little girl. Happy 10th birthday, Sweetheart!

Friday, December 08, 2006


Ok, I know... I haven't been here to post anything new since November 26th. Shame on me. I got home tonight to an email from Matt scolding me. Yes, Matt, I AM a bad blogger. I'm so sorry.

I have tons of excuses: I have been working WAY too much lately. Andrew is ALWAYS on the computer. My fingers are broken. The dog ate my homewor...oh, wait no.

Actually, I have been working tons lately. And, the time I am home, it seems like we're running here or there, taking the kids places that they need to go, or crashing into bed so I can get up in 5 hours to do it all over again.

We haven't even put up our Christmas trees yet, or decorated for the holidays. Christmas has crept up on me so fast this year.

The kids are here this weekend, so my plan is to have them help me put the trees up on Saturday morning and then when Andrew gets home from work, we'll all decorate them. (One tree in the family room and one in the livingroom) Then we'll have hot cocoa and stand around singing Christmas carols. Umm, prolly not.

Here's how it will actually go...

Andrew will get up at 4am because he opens the store tomorrow morning, I'll sleep in till around 6. I'll get up, make coffee and sit at the computer reading other people's blogs for an hour and a half. Then the kids will get up, turn on the TV in the same room where I'm computing, then I'll take a shower and then take them to Starbucks for breakfast. We'll come home around 10:30am and I'll get the boxes of Christmas trees and decorations out of storage. I'll start putting one tree together while they go back to the mindless TV that they adore so much, and 3 hours later I'll have the first tree put together. I'll be sick of that by the time Andrew gets home and won't want to finish decorating it. I'll say, "I just spent 3 hours putting this stupid tree together. YOU'RE putting the other one together!" Then nothing will get done the rest of the day.

Jeez, I amaze myself at how I can see the future sometimes.

Tune in tomorrow and see what REALLY happens.

Oh, and by the way...I mulched the leaves. It actually LOOKS like I raked.