Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Thoughts on Miss Teen USA

Did you see the Miss Teen USA pagent on Friday night? Unfortunately, in order to write this blog, I have to admit that I did tune in and saw about the last hour. I started watching in plenty of time to see the final, interview segment. A few thoughts...

1. The Miss USA pagent used to (and maybe still does, I haven't seen it in awhile) ask all of the final contestants the same question, and made it fair by quarantining them in a plexiglass capsule where they danced with headphones on in order to not hear the question in advance of their turn to answer it. Miss Teen USA, headed by Donald Trump with his infinite wisdom of beauty pagents, instead asks each contestant a different question. With questions ranging from "Pick your role model from Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, and Lindsey Lohan," (which, surprisingly, was answered by the ultimate winner), "What is the biggest risk you've taken and what did you learn from it?," "How do you know you're a grown up?," "What skill is most missing among teens?," and finally "20% of Americans can't find the United States on a map - why?" (more on that one later). How can you possibly have a fair competition with questions as across the board as this?
2. The set for this competition featured comic book type images, with big speech bubbles saying things like "I want that crown!" and "OMG!" as the winner was crowned. Wow. I don't even know what to say.

3. The biggest news story surrounding the pagent was not about the winner, but instead about the terrible answer given by Miss South Carolina in the above mentioned interview segment. She received the question "Recent polls have shown 1/5 of Americans can't locate America on a world map. Why do you think this is?" First of all.... seriously?! Where was this poll taken?! Even without doing my own poll, I can be fairly sure that anyone I talk to can locate the US on a world map. Who are these people they are polling? Second... Here is Miss SC's response to the question. Keep in mind that my first reaction to the question was "What?!" and she had to answer it on the spot. You almost feel sorry for the girl. Get ready.... "I personally believe that, U.S. Americans are unable to do so, because, some... people out there in our nation don't have maps, and I believe that our education, like such, as in South Africa and Iraq, everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should... our education over here in the U.S., should help the U.S., er, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future." I'm withholding comments on her answer specifically, and instead offer this... a possible billboard campaign for that 20% of America who can't locate the US on a map.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I simply adore...

Joey Fatone on The Singing Bee! I was never a real big fan of N'Sync, but I almost have a boy band crush on him now! He sings, he dances, he even line danced to Britney's Toxic! Say whatever you want about Brit - I'll probably agree with you, but the little electric slide was pretty darn cute! Ok, aside from Joey being the best thing about it, the show is quite a bit of fun too. Give it a shot. I'm willing to bet you'll find yourself singing (and dancing!) along to almost every song!

Monday, August 13, 2007

How sad...

I just got a new tv (ok, it isn't "new", but new to me - mom and dad sent it here from their house when they got a real new one) about a month ago. I was all excited to get rid of the smallish one I've had in my living room for the past 2 years. I came home tonight, tried to turn it on, and.... nothing. Dead. No picture. Big, black, blank screen. Thinking (hoping really) it might be a problem with the cable and not the tv, I brought my little 13 incher from my bedroom out to the living room, hooked it up, and... it worked. Check out the pitiful setup in my living room now. Still not sure what I'm going to do, except live with it for now. I'll keep you posted. Like anyone is really even interested! Ha, who am I kidding. :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

"Uyimbube, uyimbube..."

...or is it "A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh"?

You probably don't know who Hank Mendress is, but I'm sure you've sung along with him on plenty of occasions. Mendress, who sang vocals with The Tokens, who sang "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," died of lung cancer on Sunday.

In his honor, the complete lyrics to "The Lion Sleeps Tonight":
A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh (8x)

In the jungle,
the mighty jungle,
the lion sleeps tonight.
In the jungle,
the quiet jungle,
the lion sleeps tonight.
A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh (8x)

Near the village,
the peaceful village,
the lion sleeps tonight.
Near the village,
the quiet village,
the lion sleeps tonight.

A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh (8x)

Hush my darling,
don't fear my darling,
the lion sleeps tonight.
Hush my darling,
don't fear my darling,
the lion sleeps tonight.

A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh (8x)


Monday, June 04, 2007

You may have too many shoes if...

1. This is what your the entryway in your apartment looks like. (Also note, there are 5 purses in that picture - but each has been used within the last couple of weeks!) I'm not even going to bother to count how many pairs are there, but I know there are some missing that I've worn recently.

2. You have two pairs of the same shoe (and a third that was recently thrown out), just because you like them so much, and can pick the ones that are least worn each day you want to wear them. That means there are really 4 pairs of the same shoe!

3. You decide to finally throw out some of the old shoe boxes you've been keeping in your closet (don't ask why), and find a lone boot in one of the boxes. Not sure where the other one is, but I'm guessing it's the same kind of situation as in #2... I know they were pretty comfy at one point.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Bachelor

This Bachelor has to be the least eloquent man ever to be on the show. The way he dropped Bevin was almost embarrassing (although I was glad he did!). I understand that it has to be a difficult thing to do - to tell a woman who has told you she loves you that you're going to propose to another woman - but I would expect that you might think through what you would say. He fumbled for words, didn't seem to have any idea what to say, and then just stared at her crying for awhile... it was a mess! One other thing.... I would not want the man who proposes to me, the day before he does it, to be saying that he could see himself proposing to another woman too. I would want him to be a little more sure than that.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


Check out this fun site I found!

So what does this say about me?... Read on.

Mood: Sofisticat - You're romantic in your outlook and love a good fairytale. You're a bit of a dreamer, you've got a great imagination. When it comes to art, you appreciate precision and hard work - real craftsmanship. You appreciate the history of a piece, the story it holds - you are a touch sentimental! As for music, it's the soundtrack to your world. An open road, your favorite tracks - cliches are there to be enjoyed! Your choice of treat reveals either real exhaustion, or a bit of laziness? Either way you're never happier than when you are rugged, and snuggled up, eyes shut.

Fun: Escape Artist - You love to be far away from your everyday life. You love the sun, and like to live life at a slower pace than most - you know how to take things nice and easy! For kicks you like to indulge - treat yourself to whatever you like. After all it is not all the time that you live like this. When it comes to holidays, you reckon they should always be indulgent - a very special treat and chance to recharge your batteries in luxurious surroundings as well as spending quality time with family and friends. What grosses you out? Nobody is perfect but some bad habits aren't acceptable; you realize that health is wealth.

Habits: Junkie Monkey - Even if you have a healthy approach to life, you still have your little vices that keep you going. It is all part of the routine, you're a creature of habit. You're not neurotic about making healthy choices... You've got more of an easy going and carefree approach to your lifestyle... and a sweet tooth too. As for the home, you have very cool and contemporary taste. You have a simple approach to style, but you like things to have their place.

Love: Love Bug - You're a bit of a softie. Love is unconditional and loyal. When you think of freedom, you think of being in charge of your direction. The open road and a full tank can take you pretty much anywhere.

What does your VisualDNA look like?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I'm a Hokie

So I haven't posted in a long time... not for lack of events or things to write about, more for lack of time, ok, maybe it's motivation, to post. More on me later, I promise (because there was a great vacation with some great pictures since I last posted), but for today - and this week - it feels like there are bigger and more important things to write about.

Not only am I a Badger this week, but I'm a Hokie too.

(At the risk of offering a bit of humor when discussing a terribly sad event, apparently the way freshmen at Virginia Tech are taught to respond when asked what a Hokie is, is by saying "I'm a Hokie." This week that response seems even more fitting.)

From all reports, Blacksburg, Virginia seems to be like any typical college town. The students there love their school, and each other... much like the students at any other campus. I guess that's what makes the tragic events of Monday, April 16th seem even more frightening. It reinforces the idea that crazed gunmen really can show up anywhere. It could happen in Madison. It could happen in Sheboygan. Random crime isn't isolated to big cities with notoriously high crime rates. It can happen to anyone.

Those gunshots hit a young woman, just starting her college career, who loved to dance.

Those gunshots hit a professor in his 70's, who had inspired, taught and advised countless students, and was denied the chance to touch that many more.

Those gunshots hit a 25 year old man, due to graduate from grad school in 3 weeks, who was anticipating starting his career in engineering.

Those gunshots hit a 35 year old German professor, and left behind his wife to go back to work at the same university, likely in the same building, where her husband took his last breath.

Those gunshots hit a middle-aged professor, studying cerebal palsy, and left behind his wife and three children whom he coached in youth sports.

Those gunshots hit 27 other people, who will not be forgotten. One of whom was the gunman himself. While it is easy to villify him, and deservedly so, I can't help but also grieve for him. A 23 year old man who was so lost, and in need of so much help, that he was desperate enough to destroy so many lives. He committed a terrible act, and that should not be forgotten. But there is also so much we should be able to learn from him.

Were mistakes made by police, school administrators, and professors? Possibly. But at this point, let's not get so wrapped up in placing blame or questioning the use of email to issue warnings. There will be plenty of time for those questions, answers, and new policies later. Right now, let's remember the lives that were cut too short.

"We will continue to invent the future through out blood and tears and through our sadness... We are the Hokies..."
-Nikki Giovanni

Monday, February 26, 2007

999 visitors to the blog.... who will be number 1,000?!? Check the number on the very bottom of the page, if it's you, leave me a message/comment to let me know who you are!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

We're #1!

In case anyone has been under a rock for the last week.... My Badgers are ranked #1!!! (Ok, yes, I know, they are #2 in the ESPN/USA Today poll, but let me bask in my glory for a minute, or a week.) Go Bucky! Or should I say.... Fuck 'em Bucky!

As I type, they are beating Ohio State. Keep your fingers crossed. More updates throughout the game.

Though he's not my favorite, the polar bear just got hurt! Did anyone else see that elbow? I know know that you can dislocate an elbow, but it looked like they were trying to pop it back in somehow... Poor Brian! :( Tears!! :( :( And they called the block on Brian on the play! That makes it hurt even more. Another Butch note... Krabbenhoft got the start over Brian today.... Way ta go Joe! (I like him better.)

Halftime report: Down by 3, but can't complain about that. Mike has to pick it up a little too. Have to like the rebound situation more than last Tuesday though!
Ok, I just lost my satelite signal (probably because of the snow that finally started to fall outside), thus, no game. Until I found it on the local station. That means I'm watching it through shitty reception, but I guess it's better than not seeing it at all.
J Bo has started to turn it on now... "That's the uncousious nature of an 18 year old." Knocking the 3's down! We need that!
Oden can keep turning the ball over too, that's fine with me!
Down by 1 with 2:00 to go... No more blogging until the game is over. I have to watch a little closer!
Sad... :(

Monday, February 19, 2007

Making a difference

A young man walking down the beach observed an old man picking up starfish that had washed up on the shore. As he got closer, he saw the old man throwing them back into the ocean. He approached the old man and asked, "What are you doing?" The old man replied, "If I don't throw the starfish back in the water, they're going to die." "But there must be thousands of beaches, and millions of starfish. You can't save them all. Don't you know you'll never make a difference!" The old man reached down, picked up a starfish, and simply replied, "I'll make a difference to this one."

I've come across this story three different times in the past week, in three different places. What does that mean?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The mourning period for former president Gerald Ford is finally over.

You can again fly your flag at the top of the flagpole.

In case you hadn't noticed, flags all over the country were at half staff for 30 days. Why you ask? Because that, apparently, is standard policy for the month-ish following the death of a president.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for Pres. Ford (well, to be honest, I really don't know that much about him, so maybe I shouldn't say that), but 30 days of mourning, for a guy who was already in his 90's? Doesn't that seem a bit excessive? I could definitely understand if it were a sitting president who died, but I don't know about a former president - who was in office 30 years ago.

Call me insensitive, but it seems like a bit much to me.

In keeping with the flag theme... a "trivia question of the day"... Where is the flag never flown at half-staff? Leave me your guesses... I know of at least two answers - they will be posted in approximately a week.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

A painful past comes rushing back...

The concept of completely eliminating people from one's life seemed foreign to me about 3 years ago. Sure, there had been occasions when I have thought that I'd like to forget about people who have hurt me, but the idea of forgetting a past, and cutting relationships and all ties just doesn't make sense, or really seem all that possible. At least not treating it as if its as simple as the flip of a switch. One day we're friends and share a history. The next we aren't and we don't.

Since then, two people have done just that to me. (Yes, the thought that this has something to do with me has crossed my mind, but I'm not about to get into that now.)

There is a reason I'm bringing this whole topic up today, so stick with me...

1. A guy I dated for a month or two in high school, but remained friends with. The dating thing was never going to work out, but he was a nice guy. Even though he lived on the other side of town, about 2 years after we quit dating, he ended up buying a house a block away from my parents, and moving in with his girlfriend. We ran into each other in the neighborhood on occasion. My brother helped mow his lawn. I was there the day his dog was hit by a car, and drove him to the vet as he made the decision to euthanize her. A few months later, I got an email from him talking about how his relationship with his girlfriend made it impossible for us to remain friends or even talk. A quote from the email, which shocked me so much I don't know that I'll forget it for a long time... "As I no longer want to have to speak your name to anyone, if you see me or my car, please just go on by like I don't exist and I will do the same." As much of a shock as it is to hear something like that, I was lucky enough to have people in my life who could think objectively about it, and realize that the whole situation was absurd and I was better off not having to deal with it, and what a great door he provided me by which to let myself out gracefully.

While hearing things like that is like getting hit in the head with a brick, it was almost easier than this...

2. There was a guy I had been friends with for as long as I could remember... literally. We started going to daycare together when we were three. He was my best friend for a long time. One of those where you can go for months when you talk everyday, and then go for a month without talking, but when you do, it's as if you didn't miss a thing. We went to daycare, elementary, middle, and high school together, and both ended up at the UW, where we remained friends. Until about our third year in school. There was the email he didn't reply to. The phone calls he didn't answer, and voice mails that wouldn't be returned. Then there was the days where we'd walk right past each other on the street or between classes, and it was as if I'd passed a total stranger. This was more of the unspoken end of a relationship, where you never really know what's going on or why it's happening. It's been probably 4 years since we actually talked, after 17 years of solid friendship.

Don't get me wrong here. Neither of these relationships are things that keep me up at night, or that I think about on a daily basis... at least not anymore. Of course, for awhile, it was all I could think about.

In a pretty scary way, both of these guys came rushing back into my life in a small way this weekend, and sadly brought all these feelings of confusion and rejection with them.

Guy 1 came back earlier today, at of all places, a Bridal/Wedding Expo. I had arranged to meet Nicole, mom, and Gina there to plan all things Nicole and Justin. As I was waiting for them outside the entrance, who walks by but 1. with aforementioned girlfriend (apparently now fiance), and two moms. As tempted as I was to walk up to him, introduce myself to her, and catch up with what's been going on the past year and a half, I resisted. It took me awhile to get over having him in my life, and it was so important for me to not let him slip in again anymore than the situation required. Seeing him there was tough enough. Talking, or doing anything stupid would have made things even more difficult. But blogging about the whole thing is a little therapeutic...

About 18 hours earlier, I was going to dinner with my family at Paisans in Madison (the new one for all of you Badgers out there - with University Square being torn down, they moved to Wilson St. and now have a lot more space, the same cool booths, and lake views now! Check it out if you have the chance!). The place was packed, but as we headed into the bar to wait for our table, I saw a table full of familiar faces. Three girls from high school, along with guy 2. It was obvious they saw me walk in, so I knew I had to make a stop at their table and at least say hi, as ackward as it would be. Thankfully the three girls were there, as I was able to keep most of the conversation with them, but was able to make myself look at him twice, and even ask him a question (granted, it was the "what are you doing now?" question that was making its way around the table, and it would have been terribly obvious had I not asked him). I tried to be as graceful as I could, but kept things to a minimum, and quickly made my way back to catching up with my brother... who is someone who as much as he sometimes may want to, I am confident will never forget about me completely.

Strangely, even though the situation with guy 2 was harder, more mind-boggling, and hurt the most when the relationship was ending, it was easier to see him than it was guy 1. Maybe because 2 did hurt so much, I was able to process everything completely, and get through what really is a grieving process, which I may not have totally done with guy 1. That may be exactly why this post was so on my mind, and so necessary....

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Keeping with the "one a month" blog update trend I have going, here it is for January.

The holidays were fabulous! The family came up for church at Crossroads on Christmas Eve morning (and enjoyed it! Yay!), and then we headed to grandma's and Ann's to celebrate a little Christmas. Overall nothing incredibly exciting (except that 1,400 piece, K-nex rollarcoaster we tried to put together), but it was all just really relaxing. I can't complain. The rest of the week off was pretty good too! Pretty nice perk of working at the Big K!

One other bit of exciting news to report....

Nicole and Justin got engaged!
(Only after 7(?) years!)
Congrats guys!
I can't wait for October 6!!