Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Spotlight on me!! (I've been tagged)

Great news friends, I've been tagged! Finally, the answers to many of your questions about me (and some answers you never dreamed I'd reveal). I'm going to mix it up though - I'll answer some of the same ones as my friend Priscilla (the friend who tagged me) but I'm going to change some of them. So grab a mug of hot cocoa, wrap a blanket around your shoulders, and get comfortable. It's time to learn more about your favorite person: moi*.

5 Snacks that I enjoy:
1. Muddy Buddies, aka Puppy Chow (chocolate/peanut butter/powdered sugar/etc... covered Chex cereal)

2. Crispy bread with spreadable cheese
3. Fresh fruit
4. Tortilla chips and salsa
5. Veggies and dip

5 Things I would do if I were a millionaire:
1. Pay off my student loans
2. Give some money to the fam.
3. Travel
4. Buy a house
5. Become a snob

5 Deepest darkest secrets

1. Yeah right!

5 Pet Peeves
1. When my lotion pump gets guck on it and the lotion sprays out everywhere
2. When someone pulls out in front of me on the road, making me slam on my brakes even when there's no one behind me and they totally could've gone after me (I'm getting worked up just thinking about it!).
3. People who constantly reference inside jokes around people who weren't there. Sad.
4. Getting phone calls during Lost or the Office
5. Manipulative people

5 Favorite things

1. Spending time with good friends and/or family
2. Good conversation
3. Meeting new people
4. A new favorite song
5. A good book

5 Fears
1. Human cloning
2. Flying monkeys
3. Heights
4. Sharks
5. The E. Hognose snake

So there you go - do you feel like you know me better now? I hope so. I'd love to get to know you better too! So I tag any one of you who feels like doing this. You can use the same "top five" lists that I used, or make up some of your own.

*I hope you all know that that first paragraph was laced with sarcasm. I mean, I'd love it if I was one of your favorite people, or even in your fave five! But it's cool if I'm not. You can still read my blog.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Colors and changes

I took this picture today and I just had to share it with you - I know the photography isn't the best (I took the picture with my phone), but isn't the color gorgeous? I am always amazed every year at the beauty of fall!

To celebrate it's arrival, I planted a beautiful mum this weekend and I think that I'll make some pumpkin cookies this week. And with October coming up in a couple of days, I am getting very excited for Halloween! Some things I'm looking forward to: watching scary movies, going to corn mazes, carving pumpkins (a personal tradition that I don't think has caught on with other people yet), wearing costumes, and of course, waiting for the Great Pumpkin. And even though I know people love it, I probably won't go to a haunted house this year because I just get too scared. I end up closing my eyes the entire time and holding onto the back of the person in front of me to guide me through, so it's a waste of money.

To make this October special, I'm going to try to carve the best pumpkin I've ever carved! Luckily I've set the bar pretty low in my life time, so it shouldn't be too hard to improve on past years. Still, I think this year I'll try do do a truly impressive pumpkin. Is it cheating if I use one of the patterns that comes with the pumpkin carving kit? I don't think so either.

Another goal: eat enough candy corns to get at least one cavity. This should only require eating about ten pieces. I figure, I pay for dental insurance, I might as well use it, right? Plus, it's good to have goals. Also, it's festive.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mickey Mouse for President, 2008

Having a hard time deciding who to vote for this election? One group believes that the best thing fed up voters can do is to write in Mickey Mouse's name on the ballet. I heard recently that Mickey Mouse gets the most write in votes in every presidential election. Really? Mickey Mouse? He's ok I guess, but you know that if he's elected, it actually means that the Disney corporation is running the country and that scares me more that that other guy winning. (Most of you know which candidate I'm supporting, but I don't want to offend anyone so I'll keep it vague.)

So who should you write in? Well, that's your decision, but don't waste your vote on Mickey Mouse. If you're going to waste it, at least vote for a cartoon character who has the leadership qualities this country needs. Let's discuss a few of our options:

Lisa Simpson: A good choice, but too young, and I'm thinking too liberal to appeal to moderates.

Pros: Smart, passionate, hard working.

Cons: Know-it-all, young, wears too many strapless dresses which some won't approve of. Plus, if she won, I think that would mean Fox was running the country.

Wile E. Coyote: Let's be honest, he's a horrible choice. If we're looking for someone to catch Bid Laden, W. Coyote is not the guy. How many times have we seen him try to catch that roadrunner? And every time, he ends up running off the edge of a cliff or blowing himself up. Next!

Pros: Never gives up

Cons: Probably should give up. Why is he always trying to get that roadrunner anyway? Does anyone even remember anymore!?

Donald Duck: Seems like a nice enough guy, but who can understand him? Also, I just read that he was in some controversial propaganda films in WWII. You know that will come up in the campaign! Controversy!

Pros: Cute, patriotic

Cons: Speaks with a very heavy duck accent, making it hard to understand him. Has a bad temper! Doesn't wear pants. Yikes.

Papa Smurf: Papa Smurf seems like a great candidate although some might say his size is a problem.

Pros: Obvious leadership qualities, loves America (as evidenced in the picture at the left), after fighting Gargamel for so many years, is probably a good war strategist.

Cons: Only three apples tall. Also, doesn't wear a shirt. And one more thing, can you imagine the speeches he'd give? "Fellow Smurfians, I am very smurfed to be here today! This country was smurfed on hard work and smurfatism..." The use of the word smurf to replace certain verbs and nouns is gonna get old (and confusing) fast.

I hope I didn't offend anyone with my analysis of these candidates. (I mean, cartoon characters.) Did I leave anyone out? Let me know if there are any other candidates to consider or if I left out any important facts about the ones listed. I'll see you at the polls November 4th!

Monday, September 22, 2008

No name

To a two year old, saying my name is nearly impossible. I have been called many names over the years by kids: Bibis, Dit, Dawidabif, and Salibis, to name a few. The last one is what my 4 year old niece, Paige, currently calls me. But after being forced to try to say my name one too many times, my 2 year old nephew Ethan has given up completely and decided that both of his aunts are now Kafrin (Katherine).

And yes, I'm sure he is talking about me at least half of the time because tonight when we all got together to celebrate Katherine's birthday (happy birthday, Katherine!), Ethan pointed at me and called me "Kafrin" several times. I said to him slowly, "my name is E - liz - a - beth. Can you say that?" And he'd look at me blankly and walk away. The kid isn't dumb, mind you. He knows everyone else's name and can count higher than most two year olds. But he does not want to attempt with my name anymore. It's possible he's grown to hate it and I suppose I can't really blame him. It is a long name. I've even given him shorter versions, "can you say Liz?" But then he usually says "Wiz" and frankly, I'd rather be called Katherine than Wiz.

I still love him though and am going to brag about him and one of his sisters (Paige) by sharing some pictures with you:

Ethan insists on seeing every picture I take of him right after it's taken. I wonder what he thinks when he looks at the image on the screen? When I was a kid, the closest we had to digital cameras were Polaroids, and I don't remember being interested in seeing them when I was two years old. (Of course, I don't remember anything from when I was two.) Or if I was, it was just because I liked the idea of shaking the picture really hard to make something happen. In the picture of Paige, she's wearing a ribbon that was on one of Kafrin's birthday presents. It was nearly impossible to get a picture of her with her eyes open because she thought it was hilarious to close them every time I took a picture. (For the record, it wasn't nearly as funny as she thought it was.)

And since we were all gathered together tonight (except Sean and James, who couldn't make it) to celebrate Katherine's birthday, I thought I would include a picture of her too. Happy b-day Katherine!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Not a girl...not yet a woman

I guess that's not exactly true - I mean, I am a woman. But yesterday, I completely understood what Britney Spears was trying to say in that song. Guys, this is a post for the ladies. You're welcome to read on if you desire, but I'm not sure you'll be able to relate. Of course, I could be wrong.

Here's the problem: I'm very unclear about what department I'm supposed to be shopping in in department stories. I find something I think is cute, then I realize I'm in the juniors department and I panic. I mean, I don't want to look like I'm trying to look "young." I was at Kohls yesterday, and I kept second guessing everything I thought was cute. I eventually had to take a picture of something with my phone and send it to Katherine to find out if I was too old to wear it. She said I wasn't too old, but she may have just been trying to humor me. I'm just really not sure anymore. I know I'm too old for this:

but I'm not sure I'm old enough for this:

It's a problem. If I go to stores like Gap or The Limited, I'm fine. But what about stores like H & M, American Eagle, or Forever 21? After all, it's been forever since I was 21, so I feel a little self conscious in there. I suspect everyone in there knows how much over 21 I actually am, and I fear that they might pity me or think I'm a poser (or is it poseur?). Last night when I was in there, they'd changed the layout and I wandered around, confused and disoriented. That's how I knew that it might be time to retire from Forever 21. A couple years ago I was in Hollister because my cousin was working there. I kept wondering why they didn't turn more lights on, then on my way out I got tangled up in a fake tree. That's how I knew I was too old for that store.

So, my friends, I need some help. How do you know something is too "young" for you? I know that I'm not "old," but I'm also not a teenager and I don't want to look like one. At the same time, I don't want to look older than I am. And I'm not retiring my style just because I can no longer wear sweat pants that say "juicy" on the tush. I'm at a crossroads here and I have to make sure I go in the right direction! Any tips?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Brave new world

Well guys, it happened. You know what I'm talking about: new facebook. We were finally forced into it against our will. We knew it was going to happen - we saw the warning signs (literally, there was a warning posted). Some of us kicked and screamed, some were in denial. I even joined a group to protest it: 1, 000, 000, AGAINST THE NEW FACEBOOK LAYOUT! And even though 2, 191, 531 joined, we were powerless against the force that is Mark Zuckerberg.

So, along with you, I have been busting my butt, pulling all nighters, and calling friends in desperation in an attempt to figure out new facebook. I panicked when I couldn't find Scramble (don't worry, I found it). And worse, today was my friend at work's birthday, and even though I sent her a piece of flair that says "happy birthday, " I don't think she got it! Last I heard, she couldn't find her flair board on new facebook. I may never know because I'm not 100% sure how to find the flair board on her profile either.

Ok, I'll admit that I am exaggerating my reaction to the new facebook. But it has been pretty amusing this week to see the status updates in my news feed as one by one people are forced onto new facebook. There's been a lot of:

"Jack Shephard misses old facebook!" and even...
"Angela Martin is hating the new facebook and wants to go back to old facebook!!'

I changed the names, but I didn't change the drama. What do you guys think? Have you been able to find your important facebook info yet? Has the change turned your worlds upside down? ;)

Monday, September 15, 2008

It's a jungle out there.

I prefer working out after dark - not really late at night, mind you, but around dusk. My main reason for this is that I really don't look my best when I'm working out - huffing and puffing while I'm jogging, or riding my bike with my pant leg rolled up (or worse, tucked into my sock - yeah, I've done that). And the thing is, when I exercise during the day I'm constantly being told by friends, "hey, I saw you jogging yesterday!" Then I have to ask in a semi-angry tone, "Oh, was that you who honked at me?" One of my pet peeves is being honked at when I'm on a walk or jog. It always scares me to death, and instead of waving at the person who honked, I always glare at them. Then I feel bad when it turns out to be my grandma, or someone from church. One time it was Kathy and I felt really bad when I realized it was her after I'd glared. I tried to wave to make up for it but I think she had already passed. Her husband was in the car, and I think that was his first impression of me. So I guess I have a few reasons for exercising after dark: 1) less visible, 2) less honking, and 3) less remorse for glaring.

The only problem is that many consider being out after dark dangerous. I usually laugh when I hear that because I live in a fairly safe town. The only real danger around here is the animals. It's not the wild or anything, but there's a surprising number of wild animals around here. You know, chipmunks, bunnies, skunks, deer, squirrels, and some coyotes. Some animals are less scary than others. I've known there were coyotes in the near vicinity for awhile, but so far they've let me be. But now I have a new reason to be afraid of jogging alone after dark: wild boar. You heard me correctly. There was an article about it in the newspaper today. They've been spotted right here. The article said that if you have a valid Michigan hunting license, you should shoot them if you see them. What!? That makes me a little nervous.

I went for a jog tonight and happily, didn't see any of those boars. I mean, I've seen Lost, people! I know the dangers of boars! Maybe I should re-watch the first season and get some tips on hunting boar. Although, I've never even held a gun, so I don't think watching a t.v. show for tips is going to get me very far.

Most women worry about jogging after dark because they're afraid of crazies who might abduct them, but oh no, not me. I mean, yeah, that scares me but I try not to think about it. But the boar...I don't know. Maybe I should just join a gym.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Book recommendations?

I've been looking for new book to read and I wondered if you guys had any recommendations. I am looking for an interesting, fun book. When I say "fun" I don't necessarily mean light. For example, I love the book Coming up for Air by George Orwell and think it's really fun (well, funny), but it's also serious and somewhat meaningful. Which reminds me, some of you might want to check out that book - it's one of my favorites. Although it's by Orwell, it has a different tone than Animal Farm or 1984 (both of which I also love).

But anyway, I'm not doing a very good job describing what kind of book I'm in the mood to read. It might be easier to describe what I'm not looking for (not right now anyway): 

serious non-fiction
Archie comics 1960-2008 (I've read them all)
anything with Fabio on the cover ( " )

But seriously, any recommendations? Have you read a book this year that you loved?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

When it rains, it pours!

You guys know that saying, when it rains it pours? I have really found that expression to be true. First, my car was in the hospital (the Saturn dealership), then I had to go to the hospital (the actual hospital).

Last night around midnight, I started to feel very ill. I thought it would just go away, but a little before 2 AM I was in so much pain I felt I had no choice but to go to the hospital. And trust me, this is not something I normally even consider, no matter how sick I am. But the pain in my stomach was so intense I felt I'd better go.

The thing about the emergency room that I've always found funny (not haha funny) is that no matter how much pain you're in, they make you sit there at registration and answer questions like you're just there for a routine appointment.

Desk person: "What's your date of birth?"
Me, confused and in pain, "What? Oh....(gives date)"
Desk person: "What's your address?"
Me, not able to remember address because of pain, "Uh.......what was the question?"

I can't really complain though because they got me in pretty quickly. Then the tests began. I don't even know what all they tested me for, but I know that some of those tests are pointless - like the pregnancy test. They never believe you when you say you're sure you're not pregnant. I didn't even know it, but it turns out that was one of the things they tested me for. The lady in the x-ray room told me that she could do the x-rays because the pregnancy test came back negative. Doi!!

At one point I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and decided I'd better fix my ponytail if I wanted to look presentable. Have you guys ever tried fixing your ponytail with an I.V. in the inside of your elbow? Youch!! I gave up on that. I figured I wouldn't see anyone I knew anyway. A little bit later, a familiar face peeked around the curtain of my room and said, "Elizabeth?" It was my old friend Kendall, who I hadn't seen in years. She was there with someone and had seen me being wheeled by on my way back from x-rays. She stayed for awhile and talked, and it was a nice distraction. I hope she didn't notice my messy ponytail.

Well anyway, after many tests, x-rays, and some morphine (which didn't help), I got the news about my stomach. It's nothing to be scared about - I've always had stomach problems. I'm on a new medicine now and should be totally better soon. Today I feel like I got punched directly in the stomach last night, but I'm doing much better. Needless to say, I hope this "rain" lets up soon!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hump Day!

Happy Wednesday! I don't know about you guys, but I'm feeling fairly happy today. I got my car back, it's massage day at work (every other week a masseuse comes in and does seated massage - it only costs us $10!), I'm getting my eye brows done later today, then it's girls night with Sarah. It's shaping up to be a pretty good day!

Before I move on, I feel I should quickly say that although a couple of things in that paragraph make me sound high maintenance, I'm not. Contrary to what Justin says. I get my eyebrows done once every few months, and it's very inexpensive. But whenever I mention that I have an appointment for it, Justin always says, "Again!?!" And hints that I might be high maintenance. Do you guys think getting your eyebrows done is high maintenance? I always just tell Justin that not all of us can be naturally beautiful.

Girls night is what I'm really looking forward to. Sarah and I started a new tradition this year of getting together after a regular workout every now and then to veg out. Translation: we go to Subway to pick up some dinner, then we go back to Sarah's to eat while watching I Love Lucy episodes on DVD. Before we started doing this earlier this year, I don't think I'd ever seen an episode of that show all the way through. The funny thing is, the show is quite old yet because I discovered it so late, I felt I had to tell everyone how funny it is. They'd just look at me like, "yeah... I know. It's funny." I guess I'm the last person to find out how funny I Love Lucy is.

Anyway guys, happy Hump Day. Only two more days till Friday!

Monday, September 8, 2008

It could be worse...

As you know, I've been having car problems lately. I took my car to my mechanic last week who fixed some stuff, but when I got it back it still wasn't running well. People kept throwing around the word "transmission" and you know what that means ($$$$). So with a heavy heart, I took it to the dealership today (if you own a Saturn, you have no other choice). A few hours later I got the good news: they could fix the part of the transmission that was broken for $1000. I was happy to hear this - not elated mind you - because that's still a lot of money, but I found myself feeling relieved and happy. Then I thought about how ironic it was that I was suddenly ok with spending over $1000 (including the money I paid to the mechanic last week). Of course, I was happy because I was very aware of how much it could have been, but still.

That got me thinking about how everything is relative. For example, gas prices. You know what I mean - we're happy when gas prices go down to $3.65. Then we get angry that we're happy about that because we all remember when a gallon of gas was less than $2.00. But we're happy about it anyway because it has been worse, and there's always the threat that it could go up again.

Thinking about this made me realize that there are some things I hope I am never ok with. Here are some things I hope I never happily say:
  • Thank goodness it's only Ebola!
  • I'm glad there are only two sharks circling me now.
  • Only eight more months till my full body cast comes off!
  • I'm pretty sure my hair will grow back.
  • I didn't like that car anyway.
  • At least rabies is curable.
  • Well, I still have six fingers!
  • Great news, the house is almost ghost free!
  • I'm pretty sure all the spiders are out of my hair!
  • In ten years I'll be allowed back in the country!
You know...making that list made me realize that things could always be worse. Suddenly my car problems don't seem so bad.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Thank you, me lady.

Someone said that to me today. Where, you ask? Why, where else would someone say something like that? At the Renaissance Festival, of course!

If you guys have never been to a Renaissance Festival (which I will henceforth refer to as the Ren. Fest. because it's much easier and faster to type), I would highly recommend you get to one. The one in Holly is great. It's in a village specifically made for the Ren. Fest. and it is pretty impressive. I went last year for the first time, and made it a point to get back there again this year. It's running every weekend for the rest of this month, so you still have time!

Now, the Ren. Fest. isn't for the faint of heart. I should warn you, there are some bawdy performances (PG-13, I'd say), and a lot of barely covered bosoms. But if you think you can handle that, there are a lot of great things to enjoy at the Ren. Fest. Below are a couple pictures taken today. One is of Katherine and me in olde timey hats. The other is of the washing well wenches. I really hope you know which is which or I will have to be very offended!

Below are a couple more pictures. The one on the left is Emily and I eating only the most traditional of all Renaissance food. Of course I am talking about the giant pickle. I heard that Queen Elizabeth ate them at every meal! Earlier in the day, Emily had another traditional renaissance food item - the quesadilla. The other picture is of Joe and Katherine watching a completely fascinating show. Jen was with us too, but for some reason, I have no photographic evidence of that.

The best part of the Ren. Fest. is walking around checking out all the cool olde timey Ren. Fest. products, such as the shape shifting "illusion spinners" in the video below. I have it on good authority that these were hanging in all the castle windows during the renaissance.

The Ren. Fest. gives sort of conflicting information and ideas about what was actually available and used during that time, but it's a lot of fun and provides some great people watching. It's very impressive and probably a beast to organize. It was a blast today and I look forward to going again! I'll see thee next year, Renaissance Festival. (Please pretend I didn't say that!)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Time traveler

I thought I'd get on the yearbookyourself bandwagon! Several of my friends have been doing this lately and it's very funny. If you guys haven't tried it yet, I would highly recommend it for a few laughs. You just go to the website, upload a picture of yourself, and let the magic begin. I used Katherine's picture last night to show her what she would look like throughout time and it mostly received eye rolls from her (accompanied by a few light laughs). But I know that secretly she was cracking up as much as I was.

The picture on the above left is me, 1952. The weird thing is that I look almost exactly like my mom when she was younger. Below is a picture of her in case you want to compare for yourself.

The picture below, left, is me in 1964. Boy I remember that year well. That was the year I got glasses and was going by the nickname Libby. That was sort of my awkward phase. Then in 1976 I highlighted my hair (we called it "frosting" your hair back then) and feathered it back more. I also started going by Liz. That was a pretty good look for me, in my opinion. I'm sure you agree.

As you can see, no matter what decade I'm in, I make it work.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Car problems

I only wish my car were as cute as this picture, or that getting it fixed were as adorable. Yesterday on my way home from work, something went wrong with my car. My limited car expertise makes it nearly impossible to describe to you what was happening. Nor do I feel like reliving it. It happened again and again on my way into work this morning. Hopefully tonight I'll be taking it to my mechanic, Dale (who by the way, does not wear a stethoscope like the man pictured. And come to think of it, I'm glad he doesn't because I bet he'd charge more).

Besides the obvious complaints of cost and inconvenience, I have two other complaints about getting my car fixed:

  1. When they ask you what the problem is, you almost always end up having to make car noises to describe what's going on. Then, after you've earnestly mimicked the sounds your car was making with as much accuracy as possible, they look at you with a smile on their face and say, "can you do that again?" And you realize what you must have looked like and you feel like an idiot.
  2. My second complaint is more likely to happen when your dad or car-fixing-friend takes your car around to see what the problem is and suddenly your car is on its best behavior. This has happened to me many times. I'll tell my dad all about the problem and then he'll take it for a ride. When he gets back, he says, "it seems fine! I didn't notice anything wrong with it!" I mean, come on! Is my car playing some kind of joke on me!?

I just wish I'd paid attention all those times my dad tried to explain car terms to me. My mind is like a sieve when it comes to mechanics. He'd call me out to the car and tell me what he was doing and I'd nod and say, "oh ok!" or "so that's what the problem was!" But I never retained any of that information. Or for that matter, I never really listened in the first place. Sigh. I guess when I'm making car sounds to Dale tonight and he's listening with an amused look on his face, it will be my own fault. Well, I also partly blame my car. It really hope it's in a helpful mood tonight.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Magic and wonderment

I just got back from a weekend up north in Ludington. What can I say? The weather was perfect (I mean it - perfect!), I was with great people, the food was divine, and the location was the best. When we'd get in the car to go on one of our adventures, Emily would say, "magic and wonderment, here we come!" And she was right! I went up with Katherine and Emily but my parents, brother, and nephew joined us for a day which was fun.

I love northern Michigan. It might be partly nostalgia that makes me love it so much. I remember going up north with my family every summer as a kid- sometimes several times per summer. We'd go up to Mackinac City and Mackinac Island, Ludington, Traverse City, and other places along the way. The smell of pine needles and suntan lotion are some of my favorite smells because of these trips.

This weekend was full of many of my favorite "up north" things. I suppose you can do these things anywhere, but I usually only do them up north, so for me that's what they are. We kayaked, had (many) campfires, told ghost stories (I told Leo's and it scared my nephew to death!), swam, hiked, and enjoyed the aforementioned gorgeous weather.

I'm sure you don't want to hear all the little details of my weekend, but I'll share one little story with you. While we were out swimming in Lake Michigan and beating up waves (a new "end of summer tradition") Emily noticed a man dancing on the shore. The beach was absolutely packed that day, and this man was breaking. it. down. His moves are unparalleled. I've rarely seen anyone so uninhibited. I almost drowned twice because waves were crashing into me while I was watching him. (But what a way to go.) I'm not saying he was good, in the traditional sense, by the way. In fact, he was...well, he was a free spirit so I won't make fun. He was listening to head phones and took a deep bow at the end of every song. No one clapped; people were either ignoring him or watching with confused looks on their faces. A man in the water near me told me he'd been dancing for over an hour. It was awesome, I'll leave it at that. Katherine took a video and I'm going to try to get her to post it on her blog.

Anyway, the weekend was great and I think that maybe after having had one last fling with summer, I'm ready to let it slip into fall. Or at least, I have no choice. But after this weekend I'm more ready than I was. Summer's been good to me so hopefully fall will be too.