Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Schools back in sesssion

Man, nothing makes you NOT want to go to school like working 9 hours straight....

I hate the first day of class. I'm not even sure why I show up, except to prevent the teacher from giving away my seat in the class.

Break down of class:

- Teacher is 5 minutes late. I work on the crossword.

- Teacher hands out syllabus. Reads it to us for 30 minutes as if (1) we cannot read, and (2) we have not heard the exact same thing from every professor we have been in front of since the beginning of time. "Wow, you mean the grading scale is 90%+ is a A, 80%+ is a B, etc? Gosh, how original!"

Teacher spends the rest of the class explaining things that any undergrad had BETTER have learned in order to have graduated with a computer science degree.

Lucky, the professor is not half bad, although she tends to get lost as she is talking about each topic. Perhaps I am just complaining because I was so tired from work that school was the last thing I wanted to do. I blame Sue. She makes me want to come home just as soon as I can:)

Monday, August 30, 2004

Back to the grindstone

Well, today I went back to school. I was happy to go back since it is my last year and I was getting a little bored, but today I got a lot of information about how busy my life will be from now until Christmas! Geesh. At least the end is near, May 15th and I will be graduated...again. I am really excited about this semester though since I get to work with babies, kids, and critically ill patients. These are the three areas I am really interested in doing when I am done with school and I am a RN (real nurse). Well, my brain is sleeping now and I have tons of chapters to read before Thursday.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Some thoughts on Politcs

I've been trying to not post about politics since it is a hot topic among people, but I had to write something about some things I saw lately. Eric and I don't want our blog to be all about politics because we are about so much more than that!

I read in an article today that Dick Cheney has a different idea about gay marriage than the rest of the Republicans. In a recent campaign rally in Missisippi he talked about his own daughter who happens to be a lesibian and stated that:

"With the respect to the question of relationships, my general view is freedom means freedom for everyone. ... People ought to be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to.

I find it ironic that super Republican Dick Cheney may actually have the hint of a real heart and soul. Could it be that this is a sign that some republicans may actually care about freedom for all after all? We can only hope that he would use his leadership position to help this issue and to help his daughter. I also find it ironic that great Republican leaders are dead set on certain issues until they affect their own family or interests. Cheney is one example, Regan (Super Republican in GOP's eyes) also did a 180 in the topic of stem cell research when it came to saving his own life when he got Alzehimers.

Another thing, I just had to post was that last night Eric and I watched the Daily show with Jon Stewart and who was his guest: JOHN KERRY! I thought it was great that he would actually appear on this show. His appearance on the show made him seem more like a normal run of the mill guy unlike Bush. He was very funny and Jon Stewart made some good points:

"I watch a lot of the cable news shows, so I understand that you were never in Vietnam," asked Stewart, host of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show."
"That's what I understand, too, but I'm trying to find out what happened," Kerry joked.

As Kerry launched into one of his lengthy monologues about
why President Bush avoids talking about issues like the economy, jobs and the environment, the comedian interrupted. "I'm sorry," Stewart said. "Were you or were you not in Cambodia?"

"Are you the No. 1 most liberal senator in the Senate?" he asked, joking about claims that Kerry is "more liberal than Karl Marx, apparently."
"No," Kerry answered. "Are you or have you ever flip-flopped?" Stewart asked.
"I've flip-flopped, flap-flipped," Kerry said, poking fun at the GOP's label.

Stewart also sought answers to another hard-hitting question:
"Is it true that every time I use ketchup, your wife gets a nickel?" The
candidate's wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, derived her wealth from her
late husband, an heir to the Heinz food fortune. "Would that it were," Kerry said.

When the conversation turned serious, Stewart asked Kerry how he
would counter Bush's ability in debates to turn issues into a choice between his position and the opposition. Kerry said the debates would be a challenge. "The president has won every debate he's ever had," Kerry said. "He beat Ann Richards. He beat Al Gore. So, he's a good debater."

I think that's why he lost," Stewart said.
"No, he won," Kerry insisted, then jokingly offered to hold their inauguration on the show.

Kerry offered an interesting observation on life as a presidential candidate. "You'd be amazed at the number of people who want to introduce themselves to you in the men's room," he said. "It's the most bizarre part of this entire thing."

I was very pleased with how Jon Stewart brought up all of the ridiculous anti-Kerry things that are thought up by the GOP and Kerry was not afraid to talk about them. It seems like the GOP love to attack their opponents but do not like to talk about what is really important... the issues and how they will handle them. Kerry is out their doing just that. I wish the GOP would stop using their time and energy to invent ridiculous words like "flip-flopped" that sound like elementary school and would start telling us their plan. I also wish that the GOP would stop attacking Kerry's military history. He was in Vietnam and he served while Bush was over here in America doing "National Guard" duty where he was snorting crack, drinking beer, and having a good old time! I hate how our political system's leaders has become so much like kindergarteners than like real men. Why does politics make Americans act crazy? Why can't we have civilized conversations about things that are really important to us. It is not just GOP, but everyone; even Mr. Nader's followers. Frankly, it makes me wish that no one in politcs could lead us. Where have all the good men and women gone and why are they so afraid to run for office? Why does it take so much money for a person to run? Our political system has major problems that I know I can't fix.

I hear Tony Blair talk and he inspires me. He is a really good leader. He says logical and profound things that Bush would not even be able to say. Blair admits his mistakes and takes the blame. Why can't our president admit that going to Iraq was wrong?

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Random thoughts

I love the Olympics and all, but this evening they had a "Gymnastics Gala". Its a non-scoring, non-competing get together where all the gymnasts perform their events with no pressure, annoying music, and pretty lights. Basically, an excuse for NBC to have one more gymnastics event that they can make ratings/money on.

It is one more example of the media whore fest the Olypmics have become.... (not to be confused with the Olympic whore fest I described yesterday:)

Monday, August 23, 2004

Five Days without a post?

Its been five days without a post. Can you believe that?

In keeping with the Olympic theme that I have been running with for the last few days, I saw this story about the amount of sex being had in the Olympic village:


You have to respect any article that starts with a description of someone on the US team having a five-way with four guys from the German rowing team on top of their dorm in full view of other Olympic dorms.

Favorite quote:

"It's not an orgy," says one alpine skiing champion, Carrie Sheinberg, "but it is socially vigorous."

Socially vigorous huh? So that is what the young kids are calling it now....

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

New Olypmic Sports

I think the world needs some new Olypmic sports. No offense to the IOC, but some of the more bizzare ones just don't cut it for me anymore. Sue and I were discussing yesterday what the "Porn Olypmics" would look like... Suffice to say that I cannot reveal the events we came up with in this public forum:) Anyways, I was thinking about what new events I would like to see:

1) Greased Pig Wrestling: Maybe I have been in Alabama too long... Maybe I just like the idea of a woman chasing down a greesed pig for the chance at Olympic gold....

2) Olypmic Freeze Tag: Can't you just picture the silly game of freeze-tag played by guys who can run the 100m in under 10 seconds :) We could play in on a football sized field just to make it interesting.

3) Laser tag: Man, I loved laser tag as a kid. What a great idea!

4) Ultimate Frisbee. I know the Huntsville Party Possie would watch that.

5) And finally: Pirating. Argggghhhh! Thats all I got. Just arggghhhhh.....

Monday, August 16, 2004

Olympics are Back again

I have a secret confession to make... I love the Olympics. I was only 6 years old, but I can still remember watching the track and field events in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angles.

The funniest thing about the Olympics is that I can get excited about events that would not care about any other time. For example, the other day I was watching rowing. Not the most exciting event, but I was riveted to the TV; yelling at it to "GO..... GO!!!!" (BTW: The US won by only ~0.20 of a sec).

I could do without the commercial whoring that the Olympics has come to be. I know that putting on the Olympics costs a HUGE amount of money. I know that a lot of the people who compete the Olympics have no other way to pay for the 4 years of training to compete in the Olympics. But still, it would be nice to go back to the old days where the Olympics was more about amateurs competing for the glory of winning, not giant endorsement contracts (I know that is not every athlete, but NBC has been gushing about that Phelps guy now for the last 10 minutes and it is starting to get to me).

Sunday, August 15, 2004

We're Back!

Hello all. We have returned from our vacation to Canada/Michigan. I thought I would give a recap of our lovely trip. It was our first trip home in 6 months!

Eric, Bob, Bella, and I first arrived at Eric's parents home in Brighton, MI with slurpees in hand. MMM... Slurpees. It was a cool and lovely 56 degrees. We arrived at about midnight so we went to bed.

The next day we picked up two of our friends Kien and Kelly from MI and headed out to Toronto, Canada. MMM... Canada. I love Canada. I really miss being only an hour away from it. It took us 5 hours to drive to Toronto, an hour just to get through Detroit rush hour and customs. It actually frightened us that it was harder for us to get into Canada than to come back to the U.S. On our way into Canada, they asked for all of our ID's and only passports or birth certificates would do and asked us plenty of questions like we were used too. Then they didn't like that we had Alabama plates (not MI), so we had to pull to the side area and they searched our car. It was only a 5 minute search but it delayed us and we were a little worried that we would not get through. I am also guessing that they did not like Eric and my new punk hairdos so they probably thought we were transporting drugs. Silly Canadians, eh. We were lucky not to get a cavity search.

So we arrived at our hotel in downtown Toronto at 10:00 pm where our great friends Paul and Sue were waiting for us. At a little after midnight we walked to the club System sound bar What a kick ass club. It was huge. When we arrived they had a DJ competition and they were playing some great trance music. There were even half naked club dancers that were painted on the chest. There were boys and girl dancers for everyone to enjoy :) The club had plenty of areas to sit and chat with friends including a curvy velvet couch. This place put the Atlanta clubs to shame. We danced and chatted until about 5 am and then we made our way back to the hotel where we stayed up and talked until about 9 am. We had to have three to a bed, but we were all pretty comfy. We slept until about 3 pm and then some people went to get lunch. We then walked around the city of Toronto and took in the sites. The CN tour is pretty cool to see in the middle of the city. That was my third trip to Toronto and Eric and I had been there before so we did not do the tour of it. At about 5 pm the four of us said goodbye to the wonderful Paul and Sue and we headed back to MI. On our way back in to the U.S. the customs guy asked if we were from the U.S. and if we had any fruit from Canada. That was it. He didn't even ask for our ID's or talk to all of us. Crazy!

The following day we went to visit our two college friends, Alan and Tracy, that just had a new baby. He was so cute! We were able to talk to them and catch up on things. Then, after fighting MI construction, we met up with the rest of our college friends for dinner. We enjoyed seeing all of them again. After dinner we went and played some pool. We didn't get to spend enough time with them since we saw them on a Sunday night and everyone but us had work the next day. Guys, we miss you, please come visit us if you can!!!!!!

Monday morning we packed up the car and our dogs and headed up north to Houghton Lake, MI. We went to Eric's grandparents home on the lake where his parents, brother, sister in law and their two kids were. We visited while Eric's grandma made too much food for lunch and then we went out and rode the jet ski's for a while. MMM... jet ski's. We love going out on the water and doing donuts. Later we went for a ride on the pontoon boat with the dogs and his family. It was only 70 degrees, but with the sun out it was tons of fun.

The next day it was only 55 degrees and rainy so we did not get to enjoy the lake so we stayed indoors and played with the baby until Eric's brother left to go home.

The next day was another cool, rainy day so we went to Mackinaw City with Eric's parents and grandparents. Eric's grandparents wanted to take us all to a musical that was in the Mackinaw theater, so we bought tickets. We had three hours to burn so Eric, his dad, and grandparents drove over the Mackinaw bridge to St. Ignace to gamble at the casino. MMM... gambling. Everyone won something. Eric's mom and I stayed in the city and went shopping at the little stores. I bought Eric some Mackinaw fudge, the best fudge ever. We met up with everyone else and went to this musical, which ended up being horrible. It was about three guys ice fishing in Wisconsin. It did have a lot of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and yuper (upper MI pennisula) jokes, but it was ridiculous. Eric's grandma was mortified by it and it was funny to listen to her. We did enjoy a great dinner and then headed back to the lake house.

Thursday, the weather was still cool and windy and we even had to turn the fireplace on. We curled up and talked and played games all day with Eric's two young cousins that arrived that day with their mom. It was great to feel cool weather again.

Friday, my mom, stepdad, and two little sisters came to the lake house for the day. It was 68 and mostly cloudy, a little cool. We went out anyway. We are from MI dammit and cold doesn't hurt us. We spent the whole day jet skiing and boating. What fun. We went out to dinner and enjoyed some custard from the custard shack. Eric's favorite place. MMM... Custard ice cream.

Saturday, after a home cooked breakfast we started out on our trip back to Alabama. We were glad to be back at our house but sad to be coming back to the heat and this far south. Everytime we go back home, we miss the family and MI. Eric's mom was crying bacause we had to leave and that made us a little sad to leave too. You don't realize how much you will miss family and close friends until you move 600 miles away.

Thoughts on our trip:

1.) Canada rocks and I am sad that I live so far away from it. I wish I could got to that club in Toronto once a month!! With the currency exchange rate it is a cheap trip to visit Canada.

2.) Why doesn't Alabama have freakin 7-11's? What the hell is the matter with this place. It is hotter than hell and no slurpees? We are still confounded by this. We had a slurpee everyday but two when we were in MI even when it was only 50 degrees:)

3.) I don't like the southern heat. I miss the cool non humid Michigan days. It was great to be able to wear a sweatshirt one day and a t-shirt the next. It was nice to have 50 degree nights so you could sleep with the window open and curled up with cozy blankets.

4.) I agree with Uncle R's post about going to a liberal area and being able to talk with people that share your liberal views. Coming back to super Conservative, super religious Alabama makes me feel misplaced. Being able to play the lottery, gamble in casinos, and drink in every county is a wonderful thing! Yeah Michigan! Also being in a battleground state again made you think that your vote meant something. MI is divided and so there are commercials every 5 minutes for Bush/Kerry and they were both visiting many towns there. In Alabama, it doesn't matter who you vote for since stupid Bush will win.

5.) We have to move closer to Paul and Sue and the MSU crew! Every time we go back everyone asks us to move back. This time we were able to say that yes we definitely plan to move back north to the NY, MI, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana , Penn. area when possible. We will miss all the great people we have met here, but the pull from home is stronger. We have missed so many things in our families lives that we are saddened by it.

Well, we are back and we have tons of work to do outside with our yard. I have two weeks of freedom before classes start to I will enjoy them the best we can. Drinking the next two weekends is a must!!! Then I will drive through this next year of nursing school and I will be done! Yeah. Later.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Funny Apathy

Who knew that Apathy toward the government could be so funny?


Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Hilarious Will Ferrell

The video on this website is really funny. One sided of course, but still really funny:)


Tuesday, August 03, 2004

In Memorium...

I just read today on CNN.com that Alexandra Scott died yesterday. Many people may not even know who she is. She was a very special little girl that I did not know personally, but I was inspired by her and all of the things she accomplished in her 8 years of life. She was diagnosed just before her first birthday with neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of childhood cancer. She decided to set up a lemonade stand to raise money for treatment. She took in $2,000 the first year, and a series of stands had raised a total of $200,000 after four years. She was on the Today Show and Oprah and many children across the U.S. set up lemonade stands, one in every state, to help her reach her goal to raise $1 million for cancer research. She was an inspiration to many people and it is sad to see her lose her fight, but at least she went peacefully and she is no longer in pain.

This type of devastation makes you think about what is important. This little girl was fighting for her life and yet she took the time to go out to raise money to help save others. She was unselfish. She was brave. Cancer and many other diseases doesn't recognize evil, race, age, kindness, or sexual orientation, it attacks all, but we can do research to try to fight them. This is what we need in Washington, more efforts to help our people fight disease.

If you want to, you can go to her website and donate to her cause and read about her and her life: http://www.alexslemonade.com/

Monday, August 02, 2004

Are Those Wedding Bells I Heard?

Kien beat me too it, but I also want to publicly congratulate my good college buddy Paul on his upcoming nuptials. Paul proposed to his 10 year girlfriend on Saturday. Sue and I, who have been married for three great years and think everyone should be married, have been waiting quite a while for this :) Ok, actually I have been pressuring Paul to do it ever since I found out that he was considering it. My plan was to waste 2 minutes of phone time every time he called the house until he finally asked her. Apparently my economic sabotage has finally paid off (do you know how much 2 minutes to New York must cost? While, I bet it is at least 50 cents!! )

I have two things to say to about this whole Paul + Sue Wedding:

(1) It is about fucking time. My God! <Gross Point Blank Quote> Ten years man! TEN! Ten Years! TENNNNN YEEEAARRSSS!!!! Ten years...</Gross Point Blank Quote> Also, per Marge Simpson everything is better when it is paired up together (I will now proceed about the house pushing random things together, like the blender and the George Foreman Grill).

(2) This is going to be the best wedding reception I have been to in quite a while... :)

A note on Nader....

This is yet another editorial published in my Alumni's newspaper that I wanted to share. The editorial staff put how I feel about Ralph Nader running for president into words when I could not. Here is an article written today in the State News for MSU:

Drop the suit
Nothing solved by Nader action against Mich.; candidate's platform, though noble, is worn out

A running contention of our bipartisan system of politics has long been the exclusion of those who lean neither right nor left. The Republican and Democratic parties are not - nor have been - tailored to suit every ethos, ideology or belief under the sun. What the major parties accomplish, however, is being inclusive just enough to champion our bipartisan way of life.

Those who identify with neither party, then, are left on the outside looking in on Washington, D.C. They're just as politically active, their voices are as clear and loud as any and their convictions hold true - it's just usually not enough to cause a political paradigm shift.

That said, this particular contention is responsible for political action by the dissatisfied voter or candidate, a wholly productive endeavor. Those who find the bipartisan system flawed work to correct it, they give leadership to the millions just like them and factor in to most major political moves. In the aggregate sense, the independent works for other independents to make America a better place. And that said, we admire independents. Independents not named Ralph Nader, that is.
Most recently in Nader's death rattle campaign for president, he's run across a snag in Michigan. Running as a candidate of the Reform Party, Nader's name stands to be absent from ballots this November. Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land has cited a schism within Michigan Reformers - the formerly unified party is now split - and the validity of endorsement is justifiably questionable. Accordingly, Nader filed a lawsuit last week against the State of Michigan, citing a breach of his First Amendment rights to run for public office.

We get it. We got it in 1996, we certainly got it in 2000 and we get it this year, too. Nader makes himself into the dissident icon every four years. It's his constitutional right to do so, he surely inspires the apolitical and his record of consumer advocacy is nothing short of remarkable. We have to ask, though, when does that stop being virtuous and start to be stodgy? Nader has already proven that the little guy can take on big business and sticky bureaucracy and come out clean. At this point, however, the message is stale and the tone is redundant.
Moreover, the Nader campaign has become something of a national spectacle. In order to be placed on the ballot for president - and effectively take away votes from Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry - some Republicans exploited his image by collecting the required signatures. Ulterior motives aside, Nader's campaign is becoming the benefactor of low-road political scheming. His high visibility is not for his platform, but for the threat he allegedly poses to Kerry's voter base. As long as Nader is running for president, the story is still going to be back in Dade County, Fla., circa 2000. He is known for his image - not his politics. Exploiting that image for the sake of visibility is nothing short of hypocritical for the man who bemoans the frailties of two-party politics.

We get it. We understand Nader's rights and in many cases celebrate them. We admire his challenge to authority and tradition, but we don't admire a run at the Oval Office for borderline-selfish reasons.
We get it, Nader. We just don't agree.

Time to Leave Again

Sue and I only 3 1/2 days away from our first trip to Michigan since Christmas. I can't wait. We already have much planned in the way of seeing old friends and family (my apologies to anyone we are not going to see during our vacation home). Friday night we are heading to Toronto to do some serious techno-clubbing into the wee hours of the morning.

I'm ready. I'm excited! Sign me up for some of that hang-over prevention medicine they sell....