Thursday, November 30, 2006


The weathermen were right, and we DID get snow last night! Is there anything better than getting out of bed in the morning, peaking our your window and seeing snow covering everything?

I decided to drive to walk this morning due to the howling winds I heard outside my apartment. The snow was dry and the roads were horrible (drove 10-15 mph the entire way to work), so I should have walked.

When I opened my door to leave, snow fell into my apartment. Due to the wind, my apartment building had snow peaks in front of our doors. I'll post pictures later.

I love the snow!

What is the weather like where you are?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Let it Snow!

We hit our high at 8 a.m. this morning, and the temperature keeps dropping. We have a 40 percent chance of snow this afternoon and could accumulate 1-3 inches. I don't know if this will actually happen, but just the possibility is exciting. I love the cold weather and I love snow! If it's a dry snow and not windy, and I like to walk to work in the snow. People think I'm crazy, but it makes me happy. With the low being in the teens tonight, I should probably turn my heater on.

I am in charge of organizing my company's float entry in our local Christmas parade. I know absolutely nothing about float building, so it should be an experience. All the major components are taken care of, but I think we have to get a generator or battery on our float to power the minimum of 1000 lights we will have. Not sure how that works. Also don't know how to outline a carriage in lights without damaging it. I guess I'll find out.

I lost half a pound over the Thanksgiving break. I only exercised twice, so I consider that pretty good. Especially since I made five pies, and there ended up only being five people at our Thanksgiving meal this year. Oops.

Saw Casino Royale and Stranger than Fiction over the Thanksgiving break. I like Daniel Craig as James Bond. I liked that most of the cheesy dialogue was mission from the movie. The action seemed more realistic. It's a prequel movie about James Bond becoming a 007, and they set up the character well. It was far too long, though. Stranger than Fiction I liked, but it's harder to describe and not as mainstream. It's like watching a book, but because the mediums are different, some of the more bookish elements didn't' quite work. It's why I think The Producers the movie didn't work. The Producers is made for the stage, and they essentially made the stage production into a movie without adapting it to fit the new medium. Stranger than Fiction works much better than the Producers though. I'm glad I saw it, but it was different.

I love the Dallas Cowboys and Tony Romo is my hero! He has energized not just the team, but the entire city of Dallas and the Cowboys faithful. I also think Romo is adorable. Here is a picture of his cute, smiling face. He's on 26 and he's the quarterback of America's Team! Crazy!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

How 'bout them Cowboys?!

I don't think I've been that excited about a Cowboys win since the days of Emmitt, Aikman and Irvin. As we got closer to winning, I moved closer to the TV, and I couldn't stop screaming. I was all alone in the house, jumping in circles with my hands in the air screaming. Anyone who saw me would think I was unstable. Your team beating the undefeated Colts, arguable the best team in the NFL, will make you do that. Now we just have to win again on Thanksgiving day and take that winning momentum with us to the Meadowlands and win us a spot in the playoffs!

I went to ACU's playoff game against West Texas A&M on Saturday, and we lost in overtime. We were up by 15 points with seven minutes left, so we should have won. College football games last too long; that game lasted 4.5 hours. Ridiculous!

Janie and I played tennis for an hour in this fabulously cool weather, and it was perfect. We had to drive around to three separate courts to find one with lights, but it was worth it.

I'm making a pumpkin spice cheesecake this year instead of the traditional pumpkin pie. Hope it turns out well. The second installment of the Biggest Loser Challenge started Friday, so I'll have to eat small portions and get plenty of exercise.

We have the whole week off, so I'm back in GP. I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving, wherever you are and whatever you're doing.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Vote Emmitt Smith

Tonight is the finale of Dancing with the Stars, and the competition is fierce! Emmitt Smith, the best NFL player ever, faces off against Mario Lopez, better known to many of us as A.C. Slater.

I'm a little worried that all dancing being equal, Mario is going to pull the teenage girl vote, which almost always decides who wins these reality TV shows. I'm sorry, but the NFL's all-time leading rusher, former Dallas Cowboy and three-time SuperBowl champ CANNOT lose to a washed-up, former Saturday morning sitcom actor, even if we all loved Saved By the Bell.

Emmitt needs your vote! You don't even have to watch the show; you can vote on principle. Vote here. (Of course you can't vote until after the show tonight.) You do have to register, but it is a simple registration that doesn't even ask for your address. Each registered email address can vote up to five times. So if you have roommates or spouses, they can register and vote as well.

I'll be honest with you, I haven't been watching the show. I watched the season premier, and Emmitt looked like he was having a blast out there. I've read the same thing in commentaries on the show. But nothing beats hearing from the man himself.

"Cheryl [his 22 year-old partner that won last year] understands my strengths as a dancer, and she keeps the routines as fun and upbeat as possible. She encourages me to shimmy and shake my hips like nobody's business, but mostly I think she does that so she can get Carrie Ann to keep calling me Twinkle Toes. [how cute is that?] Cheryl has adapted each dance so that we can make it our own and give it our own flavor, which is why we have so much fun performing them. I can't help but smile through the whole routine because I really am enjoying myself. I hope the viewers are, too.

"I already have three championships from my days as a Dallas Cowboy, and on Wednesday, let's hope Cheryl and I get another. The only difference is that this championship has a trophy instead of a ring. But I've already told Cheryl that if we win it, we can get it melted down into championship rings so we can each wear them proudly, as I do the ones I've won for my Super Bowl victories."

Let's get out the vote, and help Emmitt Smith win!

Dancing with the Stars is on at 8/7 C on ABC if you actually want to watch. I TiVo three shows on Tuesdays, and there is enough overlapping that I can't TiVo this show. I think I'll only be able to watch the first hour, so hopefully Emmitt dances first.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Devil's Playground

I watched the documentary Devil's Playground yesterday. I'm sure all of you know what movie I'm talking about, but just in case you've forgotten, here is the premise. When Amish teens turns 16, they have the opportunity to be part of "english" culture: movies, cars, fashion, and lots of drinking, smoking, drugs and sex. At the end of this period, called Rumspringa, which can last any length of time, they can choose to commit to the Amish church and be baptized. Like church of Christers, the Amish don't consider you saved unless you've been baptized.

I did not know this about the Amish. Almost everyone they interviewed said that at the first party they went to at age 16, they got drunk. One of the main "characters" in the movie was an 18 year-old guy that used and dealt drugs. He knew he wanted to become Amish, but wasn't ready.

As I was watching the movie, I wondered what kind of retention rate the Amish church has now. I'm sure decades ago it was much harder to get a hold of the alcohol, cigarettes an drugs. Would the teenagers prefer that lifestyle and not want to give up their freedom or would more teenagers miss the simple life? Turns out the retention rate is 90%, the highest since the founding of the Amish church.

I also found out that the Amish church began when they split from the Christian churches in Europe because they didn't believe in baptizing infants. They thought being Amish should be a choice, thus the Rumspringa period.

They talked about being a chosen people, being the light of the world, being known by their good deeds, living a simple life to focus more attention on God's creation and each other. Those are things all Christians believe in or strive to achieve.

One of the girls that was joining the Amish regretted a lot of what she had done during Rumspringa. No one gave an opinion of whether they though Rumspringa was a good idea or not, probably because they don't question tradition. One guy did say he thinks they have this period so they can experience the outside world just enough to not be tempted later in life, and feel like they had a choice in how they lived their life. And once they are baptized into the Amish church, they are expected to adhere to all the rules, for lack of a better term. They didn't really address how many Amish stray, but it seemed like once they made the commitment, they were happy with their decision and maintained the Amish way of life.

The Amish situation is different because they are raised in isolated communities. The rest of us live in the world and are exposed to what the Amish only experience during Rumspringa all of our lives. For us it's a juggling act. Each person decides for themselves how much they can be in the world without being of the world. Do you watch R rated movies? Do you go listen to a band you like in a venue where everyone is drunk? Do you drink a glass of wine with dinner? Do you watch TV during dinner or sit around the table together with your family?

What do you think of this Rumspringa period? Do you think we would see less hypocrisy in our churches if everyone experienced the temptations of the world and then choose to give that up? Technically that's what we do, but I would guess the majority of people raised in the church didn't experience everything that was out there before they made the decision to give their life to Christ. Do you think you have to experience something to decide if it's something you want or not?

Before you think I'm having a crisis of faith, these are just the things the movie made me think about, so I thought I would put them out there for you to think about as well.

'Tis Done

I no longer have a date with the bus driver. He called to see what I was doing Monday, and I told him I couldn't go out with him because the age difference made me uncomfortable. He was nice about it. I'm glad I got it out of the way before the weekend.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Isn't it Ironic?

I was walking across campus today, and a male student I know well was sitting on a swing with a female student. As I was getting close enough to exchange pleasantries, he said, "Hey hottie. How's it going?"

In light of the information I've been sharing with you lately, I found this statement ironic.


I cannot believe it is 90 degrees outside in November! We are supposed to experience a cool front with a 20-25 degree drop in temperatures tomorrow. That still makes the high 65-70, which is too warm for two weeks before Thanksgiving. Crazy.


Elisa commented that judging the Biggest Loser competition by weight loss only might not be fair. I agree with her. I've been running, spinning and toning. I have not lost any weight, possibly gained a half pound, but I am thinner. Probably not noticeable to many people but apparent to me. Most of it is in my upper body and torso, but today when I put on my Capri pants I haven't worn since the summer, they were noticably looser. But when I weigh Monday at the conclusion of the Biggest Loser competition, I probably won't notice a difference. It doesn't help my team out, but it's still good news.

Several people have asked to extent the Challenge another eight weeks to get us through the holidays; I think our office is going to continue participating. My spinning class will be over, but I'll just increase the frequency, intensity and distance of my runs.


I was surprised that Donald Rumsfield resigned.


If you missed the Daily Show/Colbert Report LIVE Midterm Midtacular, you missed one of the signature Colbert rants that makes his show worth watching. I've already rewatched it several times. Gotta love TiVo. Colbert's delivery is half the reason his show is so funny, but here is the text.

"Tomorrow you're all going to wake up in a Brave New World, a world where the constitution gets trampled by an army of terrorist clones created in a stem cell research lab run by homosexual doctors who sterilize their instruments over burning American flags. Where Tax and Spend Democrats take all your hard-earned money and use it to buy electric cars for National Public Radio and teach evolution to illegal immigrants. Oh, and everybody's higigh! Whoo!"

Stephen Colbert was my favorite correspondent on the Daily Show. One of these days I am going to get a copy of the "wrath of God" segment that made me love him. I'll settle for the Colbert Report until then.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


I've decided to back out of my date with the bus driver. He used to drive one of the student groups to events, but they stopped using him. The sponsor had to remind him that these were college girls, and they were uncomfortable with his flirting. A male and female student on this particular truth described him as creepy, and said that he "weirdly hit on" one of the girls.

Those of you that know about the crush I had on a student worker my first semester here probably find this ironic. But I NEVER acted on it, and always thought it was inappropriate. And I was only three years older than this guy. Bus driver is 36 and hitting on 18-22 year-olds. No. And he smokes. If I was cruel I would post a picture of him so you could see for yourself how old he looks, but I won't.

So when he calls back I am going to tell him I am uncomfortable with our age difference, and let that be the end of it.


Tonight the Daily Show and the Colbert Report are broadcasting the Midterm Midtacular live from 10-11 p.m. CST on Comedy Central. Their humorous and ironic take should be entertaining. In case you've never watched either show, they do a great job of pointing out the ridiculous and hypocritical in events, circumstances and people. And they seem to excel during election cycles. Watch it and laugh!

I hope everyone voted. It's probably not too late where you live, so get out there and exercise your constitutional right to help decide which direction our country is headed!Besides, you can't complain if you don't vote.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Bus Driver Asked Me Out (UPDATED)

I thought it was over. I went to see Billie off for her Branson trip this morning, just like I always do. The 36 year-old divorced bus driver was there. Not much interaction. He called me this morning because Billie asked him to relay a message to me. I come back from lunch and have a message from him. He wanted to talk to me about a trip on Monday. What trip? He's on Billie's last trip of the season. I check the basketball schedule, and he’s not driving the teams anywhere. I call him back, and he’s acting all awkward, and I know it’s coming. The trip is that he wants to know if I’d rather have lunch or dinner with him when he gets back. Oh yeah, that’s how he asked me out. I was kind of shocked, so my reply was, “What?” Hey, it’s better than laughing. Anyway, I tell him, “Sure” and I don’t think he was overly thrilled with my blah response, but I did not expect him to call and ask me out while he’s technically working. For everyone concerned about safety, he returned my phone call when the bus was stopped for lunch. So I told him to give me a call when he got back and we’d figure something out.

The story gets more interesting. I end up telling all the ladies in the office this story. And I talk about how the nine-year age difference bothers me. And one of the ladies in the office tells me that her son (who also works here) is 37. I go into how I don’t view guys his age as potential dates. My exact quote was “I don’t go around thinking Mondy is hot." This gets a big laugh from everyone, and literally seconds later Mondy is at the door! We all completely lose it laughing, and he is so embarrassed.

I think I'm going to agree to a casual lunch with him, and meet him at the restaurant of my choosing.

Apparently he made a comment in October that his divorce was final or about to be final. So, yeah, I’m going out with a guy that has been divorced for LESS THAN A MONTH!

Oh, a guy in my office thinks he looks much older than 36 due to his grey hair. Mid-40s is the consensus. For those of you that didn't think the age thing was a big deal, he looks much older than he actually is.

I'll keep you posted.

UPDATE. He called me back right before 5 p.m. to make sure I knew that he was serious before, and he wasn't kidding around. I tried to play it cool this time, but I couldn't believe he called to tell me he was serious! I just told him I assumed he was serious. He gave me a chance to get out of the date, but I didn't. I'm just going to assume he was extremely nervous, and after my unusual response, he started second guessing himself. But why would he think I thought he was joking? Who jokes about something like that with a stranger? Definitely a lunch date now. And if he calls me anymore during this trip, I may just have to cancel on him. Just kidding. Maybe.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sunday Afternoons

I love Sunday afternoons during football season, especially when the Cowboys are playing. They don't make me quite so happy when we lose games we should have won.

Met the 36 year-old divorcee last week. He sat at my table, but didn't talk to me.

Last week we had gorgeous Fall weather. Blue skies and highs in the mid-50s. Perfect. So I was surprised Saturday when I walked outside at noon and was hot in my long-sleeve shirt. All this week the high is predicted to be in the mid-70s. I'm disappointed that the Fall weather isn't sticking around. But I enjoyed it last week.

In fact, on Halloween, I spent two hours standing outside in the grass, shoes off, handing out caramel apples to faculty and staff. The weather couldn't have been better. It's nice to work at a place where I can pass my afternoon that way.

Has anyone seen The Departed? Tried to see it Saturday night, but it was sold out. I don't understand this town. That movie has been at the theatre for about a month, and it sells out? I did get some gelato out of the botched trip to the movies, so that was nice.

I'm currently reading Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama. Obama lived in Indonesia for several years as a child. I don't know if the Senator is going to run for President in 2008, but I thought I would check his book out from the library while it was available. I don't have a definite opinion on him as a candidate yet, but I do appreciate his intelligence.

I only have two more weeks of spinning class left. It's so hard. I don't think I like it. I'm a slow, steady runner. Spinning is a complete change of pace. From the moment the class begins, I can't wait for it to be over. I'd rather run six miles any day. I've actually stopped running due to inflammation of the tendons in my left foot, but I think I'm going to start it back up again tomorrow. Must finish strong for the Biggest Loser Challenge. Our department has only lost 1.59 percent of our beginning weight. Another department has lost more than 3 percent of their beginning weight, so we're not winning.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Interesting Development

I was informed this morning that a 36 year-old divorcee kind of has a crush on me.

Billie, a woman I work with that leads the bus trips for senior adults, was giving me all sorts of grief after I said I wouldn't be attending her trip reunion luncheon. I normally attend, but they always serve chicken fried steak, mash potatoes and gravy. Yummy, but not an ideal meal when you are trying to finish your Biggest Loser Challenge strong, and have eaten that meal twice in the last month. Anyway, she kept pestering me about it, which I thought was odd.

She finally asks me into her office and informs me that the driver for her last trip "has an eye" for me. He actually manages the bus company, and only drives for her and the girls' basketball team because he's good friends with the coach. She tells me he has a degree, he's really nice and funny, everyone loves him. And he told her he would come to the luncheon if I was there. I don't remember ever meeting this guy! She said he's always asking if I'm coming to things, and wants Billie to convince me to go on their upcoming trip!

I'm not supposed to know this, but when she realized I wouldn't be coming to the luncheon after I'm sure she told him I was, I think she got desperate and told me. I don't think I want anything to do with a 36 year-old divorcee. My MO is cradle robbing, so I'm thrown by his age, but it's the divorced thing that makes me not interested. Lots of baggage. (His wife cheated on him.)

I just think the whole thing is odd. And humorous. Should I go to the luncheon and at least meet this guy?