Monday, April 30, 2007

Open Letter to Christopher Nolan

Dear Mr. Nolan,

I love your movies. I don’t hesitate seeing them because I know I’ll be in for an intense and wonderful experience. I’m not an expert at film-making and am not really interested in how everything is done—that just takes away from the magic. So, this letter isn’t a dissertation of your skill as a writer, director, film-maker, skillful as you are. No, just an old fashioned, “Gosh Mr. Nolan, I really liked your movie” letter.

What brought all this on is that I finally saw The Prestige. I love being challenged and surprised in a movie. I sat enthralled as I watched Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale reading each other’s journals, intermingling real time with flashbacks. I admit to a little confusion at times, but I caught on. I have a problem with always trying to figure out where a movie is going instead of just enjoying where it’s taking me. Once I gave up that control, I enjoyed myself a lot more.

I think the fact that your movies challenge me is what I like best about them. They don’t take the easy way out by telling a straight-forward story. They have layers and elaborate twists of logic and are thought-provoking. The movie may end, but that doesn’t mean my thinking ends. I need time to recover before I can move onto something else. It’s the same when I read a good book; I can’t just pick up another one immediately. I have to contemplate it for a while, and if someone is around, I’ll talk about it. I really should watch your films with someone so that I can have a conversation afterwards.

Memento was mind-bending and brilliant, Insomnia was disturbing, and Batman Begins was fantastic. I can’t wait for The Dark Knight and I still need to see Following; I know I won’t be disappointed.

So, thank you. I’ve enjoyed your movies and look forward to what’s to come.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A Day Like Any Other Day?

Quick Update: Thank you all of you for your happy birthday wishes. New post coming this weekend sometime.

My close friend sent me the perfect birthday card; it expresses exactly how I feel about this birthday.

The outside of the card is a large cat with one of those stares. You know the one—“I’m looking at you but I’m not acknowledging your existence.” It says “It’s your birthday?” And the inside says


I didn’t always feel this way, just the opposite, actually. I was one of those annoying people who treated birthdays as such a special day that it had to be celebrated. Some people don’t like to acknowledge their birthdays, which I thought was just silly. Why wouldn’t you want a day where it’s all about you? And why wouldn’t others want to celebrate such a special day as my birthday with me?

I was the one beaming while the restaurant employees sang Happy Birthday to me. No feigning embarrassment for me—I wanted to be the center of attention.

So, I’ve always kind of insisted on birthdays being celebrated. Not just my birthday! I wanted everyone to celebrate their birthdays extravagantly. Of course, that way I could justify celebrating my own that way, too.

But I’ve decided to give everyone a break and stop my attention-seeking ways. Last year was a wonderful birthday; Al did a fantastic job making it feel like a special day for me. It’s holding over, and I don’t feel the need to be the center of attention any more. Besides, with our trips this year, my birthday kind of pales in comparison.

And it absolutely has nothing to do with the fact that with this birthday I’m officially in my f-f-f-f-f-forties. Not at all. I have no problem with being in my f-f-f-f-f-forties. OK, I have a little problem with it, but really, what’s so bad about being in your f-f-f, oh hell, never mind.

I think this year I’ll treat it as just another day. Except for the fact that I’m posting about it here for everyone with access to the Internet to possibly see it, thereby practically forcing “happy birthday” comments. Plus, Mom has no doubt written a sweet and slightly embarrassing post about me growing up. Jay has probably mentioned it, too, because that’s just the kind of guy he is. So, I guess there will be a wee bit of celebrating.

Al will take me out to dinner where ever I want to go, so I’m trying to find a place that has the best dessert. Funny how I used to try to find the most exciting and popular place to go, and now I just want a really good slice of cheesecake. My how things change as you get older. Although I did read that women in their forties have some kind of sexual surge, so at least I have that to look forward to.

So, maybe a little celebrating wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Maybe I can find a place with a good dessert and someone to sing happy birthday.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Aww Shucks

I’m so ashamed.

I haven’t been keeping up with my blog reading lately. I go through spurts where I just check in on my brother and my mom, then in whatever time I have, I read other blogs. I get caught up eventually, but I’m usually a couple of posts behind on some of my usual stops.

And that’s how I missed something very kind and flattering. JD at Global Wandering handed out his favorite “thinking” blogs and I was one of them! I’ve come to expect thought-provoking posts on JD’s site, so I was very flattered that he would mention me. If you haven’t been over to JD’s blog, check it out. In addition to commentary on current events, social issues, and travel, you’ll see pictures of the cutest Shih-tzu puppy the family recently got. I’ve learned a lot reading his blog.

And while I’m on a roll, go over and check out Lisa at A Clear View to a New Life. She’s introspective and a fantastic photographer. She comments on everything from her travels to politics to her beloved Chicago Cubs. She even makes baseball interesting to me.

Please don’t think I’ve forgotten the rest of you! I’m not very good at this emotional talk. I’m more in the “you know how I feel about you, right? I don’t have to say, right?” category. I may not keep up, but I always catch up. I’m usually lurking out there somewhere.

So, you know that, right?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Fuzz

We rarely go to the movies together. Al has what I have come to call “bad movie karma.” Inevitably, a small child who is too young to be there sits next to him or the tobacco-chewing good ol’ boy sits in front of him or the so-much-important-than-you person who can’t be bothered to turn off the cell phone sits behind him, and of course, the phone rings at least once.

So, Al doesn’t go to the movies very often. But this weekend, I made a command decision when my friend R called and asked if we wanted to go to the movies with them. They were going to see Hot Fuzz, even though she really didn’t have any idea what it was about or what to expect. I, on the other hand, couldn’t wait for the movie to come out, and since I knew Al wanted to see it, too, I told him we were going.

Actually, I wasn’t nearly as decisive as that. I told her we’d meet them there but would call if we couldn't make it. Then I asked Al if he would like to go. But I knew he’d say yes.

Hot Fuzz is by the same people who made Shaun of the Dead, which is one of our favorite movies. Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright wrote the screenplay and Wright again directs. Pegg and Nick Frost pair up again, leading a long list of talented and famous actors, including Timothy Dalton, Jim Broadbent and Edward Woodward just to name a few.

So, you knew I’d love it, right? Well, I did. It’s hilarious and oh so very clever. I don’t think calling it a parody, which some do, does it justice. Hot Fuzz is an homage to cop movies. They take their adoration very seriously, as they did with zombie movies in Shaun. Even within the movie, there’s Danny (Frost) who loves cop movies and peppers newcomer Angel (Pegg) with questions, wondering if he had ever done the things he’s seen in the movies. And as the movie goes on, he’s able to act out all his favorite movie moments.

Londoner Angel (Pegg) is an outstanding police officer (not policeman, that’s sexist). He’s so good that he’s making everyone else look bad, so he’s transferred to quiet and quaint Sandford. There is no crime in Sandford, but there are an awful lot of accidents. Angel begins to think there’s more to these “accidents” and starts investigating, uncovering the serial killing of townspeople. To tell you any more would ruin the fantastic second half of the film.

Pegg and Frost are brilliant. This is not Shaun of the Dead in police uniforms. No recycling here—new story, new characters, new conflicts.

The jokes are so fast and so many that you may want to see it twice to try to catch them all. And then, unless you know every cop and cop-buddy movie inside and out, I’m sure you’ll still miss something. But in the end, who the hell cares? Just enjoy it because it’s good movie.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Good Eatin'

The Nebraska Food Co-op has been operating for a little over a year, and I’m so glad to have found it. This is my first foray into a food co-op and so far so wonderful.

The Co-op encompasses everything I’ve been wanting: local food produced by local farmers; hormone-, pesticide-, and herbicide-free food; and the opportunity to develop a relationship with the farmers I buy from.

I have gone to local Farmer’s Markets, but I have to get there really early to get the good stuff. Since getting there early means 8:00 on a Saturday morning, I don’t get there very often. Plus, the markets are only from May until August or September. I do like being able to walk around and look at the food, but the largest market, which is downtown, is starting to turn into everything but farm products. Not that I mind the Greek food booth selling baklava or the home-made salsa, but I’d like to fill my basket (yes, I take a basket) with food I can go home and cook.

Once a month, the Co-op posts the Product List for customers. At my leisure, I can read through all the offerings with detailed descriptions about the food and a link to information about the farm. Then the ordering window opens, and I place my order online. Then I pick it up, come home, and cook!

It’s still a little early for the vegetables and there’s not an abundance of those anyway from Nebraska farms, being a beef-centric kind of state, but what I got was great. For my first order, I got some raw unfiltered honey, free-range eggs (which were beautiful, pic below), Chevre cheese (goat’s milk), and skirt steak. So, for dinner, we had a frittata with Chevre and toast, spread with butter and honey. I think I’ll marinate the steak tomorrow then make fajitas. Or maybe I’ll sprinkle it with Italian seasonings, grill it, slice it thinly, and layer it on toasted baguette slices with tomatoes and some more of that creamy cheese. I just don’t know yet.

I can’t wait to see what they’ll have next month!

Thursday, April 19, 2007


As I type this, my eyes are dilated because I had my eyes checked today. They’re in good shape, except that they’re getting older and small print is a little harder to read. But they’re fine, which is good because trouble with the optic nerve is very common with MS.

I have a separate appointment to get new contacts and to be re-trained on putting them in. I hate putting in my contacts. They’re large and they let oxygen in so they are comfortable, but I keep missing my eyeball and it takes me forever to get them in. I mentioned this to the MS nurse and she said it could be the MS, so when I told the lady who handles contacts she offered to sit down with me and help me figure out a way to put them in so that it won’t be so frustrating. I never even thought about that. I’ve taken such a strong attitude of just living my life as usual and living with whatever symptoms pop up, that it never occurred to me that there could be help out there! What a concept. Other people have this disease or work with people with this disease and they know some tricks on how to get around the irritating things.

Ya learn something every day. Thank goodness.


My friend that I attend a quilt group with said she found the perfect t-shirt for me in the latest Signals catalogue. It says “English Major. You Do The Math.” I wanted to put a picture of it here, but the website cleverly disabled my right click. So, you’ll just have to go there to see it.

There were some other clever t-shirts:

As soon as I finish this chapter (see here)

Lead me not into temptation . . . especially bookstores (see here)

Careful, or you’ll end up in my novel (see here)

The Queen is not amused. (see here)
Silly Boys. Trucks are for girls. (see here)

Am I getting older or is the supermarket playing great music? (see here)

Al got me a t-shirt that said “does anal retentive need a hyphen” But it irritated me because it was a question, but it didn’t start with a capital letter nor end with a question mark.

Telling, ain't it?

Monday, April 16, 2007

For the Victims

Please pray for the families who lost their loved ones at the terrifying shooting at Virginia Tech. Please keep the injured in your thoughts and hope for their quick recovery.

Let's also hope and pray for healing for the people touched by this tragic event.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Weekend Warriors

There are a lot of great things about being a stay-at-home wife, and things have been going pretty smoothly around here, so I'm not complaining. But there is one drawback--all the days run together and weekends aren't that big a deal. Because Al works during the week, many of our weekends are spent doing yard work, cleaning cars, fixing things around the house, and if he's the one doing the work outside, I'm usually doing something like laundry or cleaning or knitting while inside. And that's just not much different than what I do during the week.

But this weekend, no work, only fun.

Saturday I went to the ladies' spring luncheon at our church. We learned how to arrange flowers, which I've never been very good at. By the end of our lesson, each of the groups had made a lovely arrangement.

The man who was our teacher was a retired chemistry teacher. For his retirement, he's been growing irises and entering flower arranging competitions. He was really very helpful because he put flower arranging in very concrete, almost mathematical terms. First choose a line (like a tall iris or a cattail) and put that in the center. Then choose your focal flower (peonies today), something bright and big, and put those (for example, two in the front) on either side of the line, forming a triangle. Then add all the fillers around to cover up the foam you've been sticking the flowers in and to balance the other flowers. Oh, and don't forget the long, skinny blades of grass--they look very cool in the arrangement. It helped me to think of analytically--my creative mind tends to lean towards the technical sometimes, so this was a nice way to use both sides of my brain.

But here's the funny thing. At one point he turned around to us and said, "I hope these colors look good together. I'm color blind and it's hard for me to tell." What? A color-blind iris grower and flower arranger? Purple looks blue to him. That's just too wild. No wonder he uses the overall shape to dictate the arrangement.

Anyway, we had a nice lunch of salads and dessert (everyone brought one or the other), and I won one of the flower arrangements. I rarely win door prizes.

The best thing, though, was that while I was at the luncheon, Al went to the open house at the BMW motorcycle shop, so I didn't have to go! They are very nice people, but they like to talk about their near-death experiences on the bikes. It's not something I want to hear as I'm watching Al suit-up to test ride an R-1200. So, it was nice to have an excuse to miss it without hurting his feelings.

We went out to dinner Saturday night to the new brewery in town--Lazlo's. The beer was great, the food was awesome, and we talked all through dinner. This is a pretty momentous thing because Al is really quite, even with me, and we've had many a conversation-less dinner.

Sunday was just as busy and a very fun day. The weather was gorgeous--not a cloud in the sky and mid 60s. We put the top down on the Miata and headed out.

First we went to Mahoney State Park for an Art Show and Rib Fest. Now, these aren't as polar opposites as you would think. Most of the paintings and photographs were wildlife art. So, somehow looking at paintings of pheasants, wolves, and bears fit right in with the cowboy-themed rib dinner outside.

The art show was in the lodge:

And we rode the trolly around the park before heading out.

But we didn't eat here because our next stop was the Czech Folk Festival, and we both were salivating for kolaches.

Who knew there was such a large Czech population in Omaha, NE?!? The place was packed!

There was band

And polka dancing

And there were booths of games for the kids and products from the Czech Republic for sale (mostly Christmas ornaments and crystal).

But *sniff* all the kolaches were gone *sniff*. And we were so looking forward to those. I was going to use up all my extra calories for the day on one of those *sniff*.

Oh well, it was fun anyway. But we didn't stay much longer once we realized there were no more baked goods. Instead we went to Paradise Bakery and split a chicken sandwich and a chocolate chip cookie. It wasn't the same but it was damn good.

So, banner day for Kell. It actually felt like a weekend.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Goodies in the Mail

Newt had a contest and I won! I won good. She sent me my prize and look what I got:

Does she know me well, or what? She made the jewelry (check out the cool closing clasp on the bracelet) and post-its with the book! I'm starting the book today. I've been wanting to read it for a long time, so I guess the Harry Potter re-reads will just have wait.

Thanks, Newt. I can't wait for the next contest!

In other news in Kell's world, I’m knitting a shawl for my friend I’m going to Italy with. Not only is her birthday happening while we are there, but also her husband has bought her an expensive dress so that they can get dressed up and go out to dinner while we are there. Al and I are passing on that, BTW. I like getting dressed up, but I don’t want to bring all that stuff with me. And Al’s idea of a special night isn’t defined as wearing a suit and paying a lot of money for a little bit of food with a lot of sauce around it. He likes it more than he used to, and he did say that if I want to go, we’ll go. But nah.

Anyway, her husband bought her a dress, and I said I would make her a soft, pretty shawl to go with it. Me and my big mouth. I forgot about his taste, so it’s been a struggle trying to find a good yarn to go with it and to decide on a pattern. The dress is metallic green and gold and strapless. I was thinking it would be a little black dress with a little bling, but no, it’s a lot of bling. She’ll look lovely in it, and even though it’s not my style, it is pretty.

So, I bought an ivory silk yarn. It has a little shimmer and it feels luxurious. I was going to make a rectangle shawl because I thought it would be more dramatic, but after 4 goes at this thing and not being happy with any of them, I’m making a triangular one with no pattern instead. It’s just easier. I’m also knitting it on larger needles so that it will look kind of lacey and because I have, of course, waited until the last minute and now have to knit in my sleep to get it done in time.

That's all for today. Y'all have a great weekend.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Two more weeks of the Winter Weigh Down program at the base hospital. One more weigh-in, then they’re going to cut us lose. They’ve given us the sample menu, the food diary know-how to keep track of what little calories we’re allowed in a day, the pages and pages of what to have instead of that cookie or those chips, and the calorie-counting cards that tell us how many calories and how much fat is in fast food, so as to scare us off forever. All of us in our group have done very well sticking to the plan, writing everything down, making good choices, eating the correct portion size, and it shows in our weight loss.

But I just have one question. How the hell do skinny people eat like this all the time?!? I’m going to turn in to a freakin’ carrot. Healthy schmealthy, I want a hamburger and a sugar cookie with a bunch of gooey icing on it.

You know, I might feel differently if after losing almost 30 pounds in the last year someone would say, “Wow! How much weight have you lost? You look great!” But no. Doesn’t happen. My friend M that I’m doing this with said that the nutritionist that she’s been working with was deliriously happy to tell M that she has lost enough weight that she was no longer morbidly obese and she was now just obese. There’s a compliment in there somewhere.

They had someone from Life Skills come talk to us about the psychological side of weight loss—how to stay focused and on target. So, I asked him “I’ve read that I should reward myself for my short term goals that I achieve. But a reward to me would be food, like cheesecake. So, how do I overcome that first thought being for food?” He said that I could have that cheesecake, just not to overdo it. And another lady turned around to me and said, “You’ll get to where you just don’t want that because you’re changing your lifestyle.” Uh huh. OK. But no one would tell an alcoholic that she could have that beer, just don’t over do it. That’s extreme, but you’ve never seen me at a bakery. He just didn’t want to come out and tell me that it all comes down to me making that decision. I hate all that personal accountability stuff.

But one of the ladies at my table understood me. She said that she just can’t stop herself from eating ice cream. She loves it, it satisfies something in her, and she can’t seem to only have it in moderation. The guy from Life Skills said that she should just look in the mirror and admire how good she’s looking and think about how she wants to look even better and that can be her encouragement.

Him: “What do you say when you look in the mirror?”
Her: “Hi Mom! When did you get here?”

It would probably help if I would stop watching Food Network all the time. It seems that every time I turn it on, they are focusing on sweets or fried foods. Al says I’m the person advertisers live for—I’m so suggestible.

Actually, Food Network is on right now. They’re going to make sweet potato cheesecake. Oh dear. Hey, that would be a healthy choice, right? Sweet potatoes are a better choice, right? Isn’t it a veggie? A starch veggie, but a veggie all the same.

No? OK, OK. I’ll get the carrots.

UPDATE: I've added a post on my travel blog. This one is about arriving in Islay and the Bunnahabhain distillery. And it's only half a day!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Catching Up on My Reading

I've read a couple of books in the last few week that I haven't talked about. I bought both of them at a used bookstore in Inverness. Some women want to look for jewelry or clothes while on vacation, I like to find the used bookstores. This was a small one that we just stumbled on. I found out later that there was a large used bookstore just a couple of streets over! Oh well, next time.

Anyway. I read Hidden Depths by Joyce Holmes on the plane ride home. I've tried one of Holmes's books in this series before and had a hard time getting into it, but I really enjoyed this one.

Tom Buchanan is a barrister in Edinburgh. Throughout the series, he is drawn into mysteries by Fizz Fitzpatrick, a free spirit who is trying to settle down into a law career. She started as a clerk, but now she has taken over Buchanan's job in the firm he has left. They go to great extremes to ignore the attraction between them. And what was annoying in Fizz earlier in the series (her stubbornness, her lack of compassion) have softened a little and become almost endearing in this book.

Fizz gets a call from her old friend Kerr, telling her that Irene, another old friend and Kerr's wife, has disappeared. They are living on a Scottish estate, and Irene was restoring art work in the home. Unfortunately, the Rubens she was working on has also disappeared, and everyone assumes Irene must have taken it and run off. Everyone except Fizz and Kerr believes that.

The mystery unfolds, and Buchanan and Fizz are once again working together. What I really liked about this book is the way Holmes alternated her point-of-view in chapters featuring each of the two main characters. So, chapter 1 is from Buchanan's point-of-view, chapter 2 is from Fizz's point-of-view, and so on. It works for me because it keeps me interested and I feel like I really understand these characters. And I think a whole book from just one point-of-view would be boring (in the case Buchanan) or annoying (in the case of Fizz).

The second book I read was Tell No One by Harlan Coben. I haven't read any of his books before, but a friend recommended them. I picked out one that is not part of his mystery series featuring Myron Bolitar.

In this book, David Beck has tried to rebuild his life after his wife, Elizabeth, was killed by a serial killer and he was left for dead. But he's loved Elizabeth since the second grade, and he can't let her go. Then one day he gets an email that only Elizabeth could have sent, and an image of her caught on a street camera mouths the words, "I'm sorry."

The case reopens when bodies are unearthed as well as a bat with Beck's blood on it. Now, he's suspected of killing his wife. But the more he investigates, the more horrible facts come to the surface, and Beck doesn't know who he can trust any more.

The story was gripping and exciting, with enough twists to keep me reading. For the most part, it is in first person, narrated by Beck. Other characters have their own chapters and sections of chapters, but they are not in first person. So, there is no confusing who this story is about.

I don't usually like stories where the main character is on the run and having to prove his innocence to the dull-witted and arrogant police. I find them frustrating. But it is only one aspect of this story, and it didn't bother me.

Next, I think I'm going to re-read a couple of the Harry Potter books to get ready for the release of Book 7. I don't remember very much about 5 or 6. I remember not liking 5 very much, so I wonder if I'll feel differently now.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Easter

Thursday, April 05, 2007

For All the Nerds Out There

I watched Wordplay the other day. This movie is a documentary about the NY Times Crossword Puzzles and the people who play them and the people who create them. I really liked it, especially the part where the guy creates a puzzle using the theme WORD PLAY right there in front of the camera! That was just too cool.

So, how big a nerd am I that I liked a movie about crossword puzzles?

Politics As Usual


Bush can't get what he wants, so he waits until everybody's back is turned, then he does it any way.

Bush appointed John Bolton UN ambassador. But with spring break, everyone's gone, so who's to stop him? Bolton is secured the position until a new Congress comes in, which will be January 2007.

The papers like to tout Kerry as the reason Bolton's nomination was refused, but there were plenty of reasons not to appoint him ambassador besides his connection to Swift Boat.

According to the CNN website, "as undersecretary for state for arms control and disarmament, Bolton tried to get intelligence analysts who disagreed with him transferred or fired." And Senate members accused Bolton of providing false information on the questionnaire when he didn't admit that he had been "questioned by the department's inspector general as part of a joint probe by the State Department and CIA into allegations that Iraq attempted to obtain uranium from Niger in Africa." Oh, he's admitted it since. Last week. And in the "business as usual" category, the administration cited "executive privilege" in not releasing documents the Senate called for during the nomination process.

Bush said that he did this because we couldn't wait to fill this position in this time of war, even though his refusal to release information delayed things.

But Bolton is a harsh critic of the UN, as is his party, so where better to send him than the UN. I guess they think he's really going to clean things up there.

Reading this in the morning paper was not a good start to my day.

Oh, also in the news, the LA Times says that "in a direct challenge to Congress and the way it does business, the White House on Wednesday unveiled an online list of all the pet spending projects lawmakers tucked in the federal budget for the 2004-05 fiscal year."

Interesting way to put that. It makes it sounds like this was all Bush's idea. But it was the Democrats who were pushing for this reform, unable to do anything until they were in control. You'll also notice that the information goes only up to 2005. That may be because according to the Congressional Research Service, "under Republican congressional leadership, the amount of federal funds earmarked has nearly tripled since 1994, reaching $67.1 billion in fiscal 2006." (Quote from related article in the LA Times. Go here to read it.)

Oh, and none of the earmarks requested by the administration were included, so it lists fewer earmarks than other resources. However, the LA Times says that some of this will be addressed next year, "when congressionally authorized earmark disclosure data are released." After Bush leaves office?

Politics. I feel like I need another shower.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Lessons Learned

When Fixing Things

Al spent hours--hours!--trying to fix the headlight on his motorcycle on Saturday. He took off plastic stuff, changed the light bulb, and got scratches on his knuckles. Then on Sunday, since nothing else seemed to work, he decided to check the fuse. He came inside and showed it to me and said, "Do you see anything wrong?" I looked, and sure enough, it was cracked and I told him so. He said, "So what have we learned?" I don't know. "Always check the fucking easy stuff first!" It took him, I think, 30 minutes to fix it.

When Completing a Project

Is it all men, or just the ones around me? They never estimate enough time to complete a project. The guy who did our bathroom remodel (pics coming soon), said he should have it done by the time we got back from Scotland. But he ran into some problems, including another job that he didn't finish when he thought he would, and didn't get as far as he thought he would. Then he said he'd have the majority done on Wednesday and finish up on Friday because he was going out of town on Thursday. But he didn't get as far on Wednesday as he hoped. And he got back later on Friday than he planned, so now it was going to be Saturday. But not to worry! It should only take a couple of hours. He got there around 1 (an hour later than he planned) and he left around 9 that night. The same kind of thing happens when Al works on the car. So, when I'm told it'll take so many hours, I just double it in my head and tack on an extra day.

When Eating Out

I have a favorite restaurant here, Wheatfields. It's a great place with a huge menu of comfort foods. They have the best quiche, and when my friend called wanting to go to lunch, we knew just where to go. In addition to the great menu choices, they have a phenomenal bakery, which you see and smell first when you walk in. I quickly scanned all the yummy caloric offerings as I headed to the table where my friend was. The servings are huge, so I was a good girl and only ate half of my meal. But even eating half, I was really full. I had every intention of getting an Easter Egg-shaped sugar cookie with lots of gooey icing as I left, but I was just too full. And it was just after 12, so it was packed with people. So, I *sniff* decided to be good, again, and not get one. Next time, I'm going to eat dessert first. Or at least get one and take it home with me to eat later.


If you can complete the crossword puzzle without cheating, you're going to have a great day.

If you ask someone to call you back, he or she will do it while you're in the shower.

If you tell your husband about an upcoming event 3 times, he'll still forget about it because it didn't include power tools, cars, or motorcycles.

If you buy a big-ass snowblower, the military will move you to the deep south on your next assignment (hasn't happened yet, but we're waiting).

If you check the mail but it's not there, it will come as soon as you step back inside your house.

If you put away the winter clothes and turn off the heat, there will be one more cold snap.

Well, that's all I can think of for now. So, what have you learned?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Where's That Crystal Ball?

I answered a MEME for a friend of mine the other day. It was pretty much the typical questions you see: What’s your favorite color? Where’s your favorite vacation? Do you have any tattoos? I’ve answered these many times, usually with the same answer. I think one of these days I’ll answer yes to the tattoo question and say I got a ball of yarn and knitting needles on my upper right arm and see if anyone notices.

But there was one questions that threw me off. “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” I sat staring at the computer. I had no answer. I had no witty retort, no inspiring dream, no extravagant plan, not an inkling of what to put down. So I said, “I don’t know.”

Honesty cuts right to the point.

It’s a little sad and scary to me that I have no goals or plans for what I want to be doing in 10 years. I’ve been so busy taking things a day at a time and just trying to get through the days of the last couple of years, that I’ve forgotten how to look ahead.

I asked Al the same 10-year question, and he talked about being retired in 10 years and how much money he wants us to have in savings and in our retirement accounts. OK, that’s very practical and very necessary. But why? Because we need money to fall back on if he can’t find a job immediately. Find a job where? What kind of job? What do you want to do? He doesn’t know either.

Two people living one-day-at-a-time, hoping for an answer to appear out of the sky. Or maybe on the cover of a magazine: “Where you should be in the next 10 years, Kell.”

This is where I put on layers of black clothing, slather on pale make-up, grab a notebook and start writing pity poetry. And I would, if I had any of that make-up. Where do you get white foundation, any way?

Actually, the Welbutrin works way too well for me to wallow for too long. But it doesn’t completely numb the emotions, so I still have my moments of despair. They are usually triggered by moments like this, when I’m forced to think about my life. It’s a very nice life, I’m very lucky and appreciative of that. So, why is there a nagging little voice whispering, “I want more,” in my ear? Maybe it’s not saying “more.” Maybe it’s saying “something else.”

When I was in college, we had to write an essay about where we want to be in 10 years. I didn’t have any idea then, either, come to think of it. I guess planning ahead has always been an issue with me. But I’ll never forget what one of the girls in class said: In 10 years, I’ll be sitting on the beach, outside of my home, with someone I love, waiting to hear if I have been nominated for an Oscar for best screenplay.

Wow. Is copying someone’s dream the same as plagiarism, because I really like that one. And do you know when I heard that, I didn’t doubt for a minute that she would achieve that dream. Some in the class giggled, some just did sympathetic nodding, and the teacher praised such great ambition. But I admired how she knew so well what she wanted that she was willing to put it in writing and have it read for everyone to hear. Even if I new what I wanted, I wouldn’t have the guts to admit it. What if they laughed? What if they nodded sympathetically, knowing that never in a million years could I make that happen, let alone 10.

So, is it easier to not think big, just in case it doesn’t work out? Is it easier not to make plans, just in case things don’t turn out the way you hope? Maybe you should not express what you hope, just in case it doesn’t turn out, that way no one will be disappointed or worse, say “I told you so.”

Hell no! That’s just the fear talking. I don’t have to be nominated for an Oscar, which would be really difficult to achieve any way since I have never written a screenplay. But I could get an article published in a magazine. Or I could write on a blog and have supportive people chime in (shameless begging here).

So, let’s think about this. What do I want to be doing that’s different in the next 10 years.

I’d like to be going to the UK at least once a year for a month at a time. This 2-weeks stuff isn’t long enough. I just start to feel comfortable and know the coins when it’s time to leave.

I’d like to have a business of my own. That’s as far as I’ve gotten with that particular idea. I’ve thought about owning a craft shop, a coffee/lunch place, a kitchen store with a lunch place, an alpaca farm, a pub. The fact that I would have no idea what I’m doing doesn’t dissuade me too much. Ina Garten had no idea how to run a shop when she bought the Barefoot Contessa, and she did ok. And I don’t have an annoying nervous laugh like she does. What I’d really like is to have a business with my brother because I know he wants to have a business of his own, too, and I think we’d work well together.

I’d like to say I’ve been to Alaska. I’ve wanted to go to Alaska for the last 10 years. I really don’t want to go another 10 years without going.

I’d like to own some land. I haven’t decided what to do with it yet—alpacas, rescue animals, sheep (but I don’t think I want to work that hard), or just one big ol’ garden. Or nothing, just somewhere to spread out and breathe.

It hasn’t escaped my notice that if I’m 10 years older, my mom will also be 10 years older. So, I’d like to have an apartment or a suite for her to move in to with me if she needs to. She’s pretty resilient, but I want us to be there when she needs us.

I want to be outdoors more. I want to spend more time hiking, walking, and camping. We’ve been playing around with the idea of getting a camper, maybe we should think a little more about that.

I don’t know where I’d like to be living in 10 years, besides Scotland, but I don’t think I can get Al to do that. So, I’d like to spend the next few years seeing different areas in this country and make plans for where I want to live. Oh, and Al can live there, too, if he wants.

I think that’s enough for now. Oh, I would also like to be 135 pounds in 10 years. If I’m gonna dream, I might as well dream big.

That wasn’t so scary. Of course, I stayed pretty safe, I think. I just can’t seem to take that extra step and look a little deeper for what my heart really wants me to do in 10 years. But I’ve got plenty to think about in the meantime.

So, where do you want to be in 10 years?