Monday, August 13, 2007

"Our state fair is a great state fair"

I saw a miniature mule dressed up like Raggedy Anne this weekend.

And I was visibly upset when she didn't take first place.

From my air-conditioned perch at my employer's booth in the Mathewson Arena, I saw many things I never dreamed possible: Shetland ponies staining to drag 400-pound loads, their muscles rippling, their knees buckling; teen farmers-to-be tossing a cow-pie discus and leaping six-foot-tall hay bales in a single bound; and, most fabulous/disturbing of all, a mini-mule fashion show featuring pint-sized beasts of burden in their Trick-or-Treat finest.

A few times I ventured out into the sweltering heat in search of "bargain" $3.50 corn dogs, and I made the rounds at the Varied Industries and Ag buildings to browse the vendors (though I did not purchase anything). I soon found myself back at my stool in the Mathewson center, saying hello to cranky, sweaty fairgoers and attempting to entice them to subscribe to the magazine.

The days were long, and although the building was air-conditioned, the crush of people kept the air sticky. When the time came to pack up, I was ready to leave, though I must say being at the fair amused me. Although I am from the Midwest and am descended from farmers, it's rare for me to see such a concentrated display of agricultural pride. The fair is full of "now that's not something you see everyday" moments. I enjoyed it. But I'm also glad I don't have to go back.

All things in moderation. I've had my fill of funnel cake for the year.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


I've discovered the ultimate snack mix.

In tupperware container (or empty almond tin), toss together the following ingredients:
•3/4 cup Wheaties
•Handful lightly salted, dry roasted almonds
•Handful dark chocolate chips

It's the perfect blend of sweetness, saltiness, and crunchiness in every bite. And it's not entirely devoid of health. My new favorite.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

All-time low

My hometown U.S. representative, Brad Ellsworth, may stink at keeping campaign promises, but at least he's bringing sexyback to Washington, D.C.

Why am I not impressed?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

In memorium

One year ago today...

Perhaps I'm just a sucker for anniversaries, to ascribing meaning to personally historic dates. The evening of Wednesday, April 26, 2006 was a pivotal point not only for me, but for an entire university community. It was a time of lost innocence, but more importantly it was a time of courage and grace amid grief. As the world around me unraveled, I discovered anew the ultimate insignificance of everything outside of relationships, outside of love.

The Virginia Tech shootings actually brought all of my feelings back with shocking intensity. No, the five slain Taylorites weren't senselessly gunned down by a bumbling madman (instead they were impaled by an overextending truck driver), but somehow I could relate to the Hokies. I know what it feels like to wander aimlessly around a college campus fresh on the heels of tragedy. I know what it's like to wait in agony for the names of the dead, all the while wondering if I really want to hear the list. And I know what it's like to graduate shortly thereafter, knowing that this event would define my college years.

I've heard several VaTech seniors ruminate on that last point in various news outlets. While I understand the regret such a circumstance triggers, I don't feel its a bad thing that the week of April 26 encapsulated my Taylor experience. I pray that the class of 2007 at Virginia Tech will experience the same freedom and perspective that only comes from surviving pain. The faces of the dead will never leave my subconscious, yet the memory of their lives will never cease to inspire me to make the most of my time here. Their lives and their passings beseech me to choose love, to laugh more, to be a better friend.

No one lives forever, but in the memories of our friends and families, we are immortal.

Laura, Betsy, Monica, Brad, Laurel... I remember.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

"Because our hearts are so shy"

Relationships can do one of two things: Blind us to our inadequacies (via blame) or make us painfully aware of personal shortcomings. While these may seem like two mutually exclusive realities, the dichotomy is not so severe. Indeed, it's almost easy to grab hold of moral superiority all the while knowing in your heart you harbor much deeper deficiencies. Perhaps that's why we all fear being known, i.e. intimacy. It's just easier to sleep at night without the gnawing sensation that some flaw needs to be addressed. When no one knows you, there's no reason to fix yourself.

I read the Song of Solomon a short while ago. It shook me. In Searching for God Knows What, Donald Miller said salvation is actually about relationship. The Song paints a portrait of that Truth while pointing to the great human need/fear of intimacy. Which brings me to the Question that's been hounding my soul for the past nine months: Have I found the One my heart loves or will my own insecurities keep me from committing? Can time tell?

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Sick cycle

According to some talking head on the news, the frequency of illness during the winter is no longer attributed to the cold weather outside; rather, people get sick because everyone is huddled inside where the air is dry from heaters. Once one person gets sick, everyone else gets sick. I have found this to be true in the last 48 hours.

Over the past week, several people in our newsroom were sick, so I was not surprised to find last night as I groggily assembled this morning's paper that I may have caught the bug. Sure enough, as the night stretched on the tightness in my throat became more of a throb. When at last the time came for my weekend to begin, I staggered out to my car feeling utterly defeated. The disease had caught me.

I awoke this morning to the distinct feeling one gets after swallowing a porcupine. And so I have spent the day chugging green tea and chicken noodle soup while laying on Cliff's couch trying desperately not to infect anything. Although my present state of discomfort reeks, I am quite thankful for several things:

--Cliff... and his couch
--My last two bags of Zen tea
--The chicken noodle soup recipe I invented two weeks ago

Life, love, labor... Missouri style

I've long neglected this little blog, but I have an excuse (and a pretty good one at that). I don't have internet access in my apartment. It's one of those things I haven't quite figured out how to fit in the budget. And with WiFi available in many public places (and in my boyfriend's apartment), my very own hookup to the information superhighway is just not a priority right now.

I am on the internet a lot at work, but that's work. One is not supposed to update one's blog at work. I think that's a Commandment. Anyway, I still read other people's blogs while I'm at work waiting for stories to come in and what not. I figure if everyone else gets cigarette breaks, I'm entitled to my blog breaks. I'm sure my lungs will thank me later.

Since last I opined, I moved to Missouri. It's been a pretty good move if you ask me. I'm still loving the newness relocation begets. I suppose in my heart I'm still a nomad.

I now live very near to Cliff and that is an incredibly wonderful thing. Absence may make the heart grow fonder, but it does absolutely nothing for the growth of a relationship. I commute an hour each way to work, which I actually enjoy and might even love if it weren't for high gas prices, scary semi-trucks and ice/snow storms. I don't have a TV, so I've been able to reconnect with one of my favorite forms of mass media, the radio. It's a pretty sweet medium for me because I can listen in my home and on the road.