Monday, January 30, 2006

Books - Read 'em

I have a lot of talented friends. Friends that amaze me with what they do. And I honestly don't believe I tell all of them this enough. One of those friends is Marcus Hart.

I know Marc from Ringling. The first time I realized he was a writer is when he submitted his play for production by the Student Theatre Association there. It was the first show I ever directed, and I count myself lucky to have been able to work with him.

To this day when I think if it, I cross my fingers, hoping I did him a little proud. Or at least the show justice.

Marc is a writer. There's no other way to describe him. For reals. Like for his JOB. And he's good. Very good. And funny. And smart. And no, you can't date him he already has a kickass girlfriend. But he DOES have a book you can read, you lucky ducks, you.

It's his birthday this week. Go download it and pretend you're reading it. Or read it and then tell him how kickass he is. You won't be sorry. Either way he asked me to get people to go download it and give it a chance, so that's what I'm doing.

Go here.

I'll give you some lowdown on it here, in Marc's own words:

"Caster's Blog is story of one highly unlikely year as told by the geek who lived it. The book is a novelization of the actual online journal kept by Ray Caster.

Ray Caster is a regular guy who drew the short stick on life. He works in a miserable office doing a miserable job. He gets no respect from his co-workers. For that matter, he gets no respect from his friends. Caster's existence is one pathetic downward spiral of TiVo and fast food until the day his life is turned upside-down by a goddess from an auto parts store.

With its snappy, conversational writing style, Caster's Blog captures the comedy and tragedy of geek life from a first-hand perspective. "

READ IT!! What you want to know MORE?! What is it REALLY? (again, stolen from marc's site)

"It all started with a simple question: Would it be possible to create an online persona ordinary enough to be taken as a real person, yet extraordinary enough to keep the interest of an audience? To find out, Marcus maintained a weblog under the guise of Ray Caster for one full year. With the exception of four accomplices, none of Caster's LiveJournal friends were aware of his true nature until the publication of this book.

What began as a writing exercise quickly took on a life of its own, becoming both a solid work of fiction and personal psychosis."

So there you go. How can you resist?!Now go! Support the arts! It's free even! Or at least support one of my fellow uber-talented friends! ;)


That's what I did this weekend. Nothing.

If I was supposed to do something for you? I didn't. I did nothing instead.

Well, that's not true - I showered twice and watched two movies. And whined to Sam constantly about being sick. And wanting ice cream.

But other than that? Nothing.

I feel awful and I'm at work anyway. Hopefully, I will be able to go home soon. Then I'll sleep and do, well, SOMETHING. Because I have a lot of somethings to do. Lots of work for friends, some freelance timelines to work out and, well, I start teaching next weekend.

So yeah, there's no more time for nothing.

And I HAVE to get back to the gym soon. blech.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Trying Again

We walked down the aisle and he said "go ahead, get what you need" and suddenly I almost smelt the Florida wind. My fingers ran along the stacks and I instantly started desperately trying to remember the math – the poundage, the pressing. I felt almost dizzy, trying at to once to get the best bang for his buck while still getting the quality I was hoping for.

Slowly, meticulously, I remembered the last time I had bought nice, clean, good tools. Could it truly have been that long? 5 years? More? My favorite brushes are a mess, well worn where my fingers grip them. I stood there, as he wandered patiently nearby and tested the ends, carefully spreading them apart with the tip of my finger - examining how they bounced back. Testing their weight, feeling their measure.

We walked up to the counter and I piled my supplies in front of the salesman; I wanted him to recognize this moment. See? I'm coming back! I'll do it again, now with a new perspective than before. Now with different thoughts, different hopes, different dreams. I'm not the child I was before. But I am still the artist. Do you see? I wanted him to somehow confirm my choices. Validate me. Validate my hopes.

We came home and I sat the bag down in the bedroom, to the side, where I couldn’t see it. The excitement from the store was gone; the intimidation of the blank page was creeping in. I've spent the last week dreaming of paintings. Of portraits filled with Dark Age mythology, the grace of a goldfish, the fire of a dragon. The simplicity and warm familiarity of my own smile. I'm hoping to overcome the fear; the nagging voice that says it's gone. That talent, that ease, that home.

That's what it is. The fear of coming home, decades gone - afraid your old stomping ground is skyscrapers where there was once grass and green and wind. The fear of walls where there were once horizons. I want to open my wings and have them catch air, soar with ease and expertise. Instead I find myself scared, petrified. Terrified that I shall only discover my wings clipped, my feet anchored.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Wednesday, Still Boring

Ya'll? All this working out and eatting right makes me TYE-RED.
So I've not been updating like I should. AND I've been futzing with the layouts for our wedding album, and after consulting Joyce and Grace - designer GODDESSES that I work with - I believe it's done. And dear lord, am I excited. I think it's going to be beautiful and I want it in my hot grubby little hands



But alas, it has to be, well, printed. So it will be a while before I can carry it around EVERYWHERE and make everyone tell me what a pretty pretty princess I was.

Also, I've been longing after a puppy. We passed one the other night on our corner, and there he was in all his cuteness - MY PUPPY, Bosselman. Bosselmann is a French Bulldog and white with black spots. I shall dress him in sweaters and little hats. Here let me show you his ultimate cuteness:

Okay, so I don't get to have a puppy - but if I DID, this would totally be him. And I *would* totally dress him up. And if we get him from a breeder, his full name will be Grandma Max Bosselman, becasue he will have to have three names. Yes, for a boy. Grandma. Shut up. You can name YOUR dog whatever you want.

Well, that covers my life lately, wedding albums, working out, imaginary puppies. How have you been?

Monday, January 23, 2006


This is an A-typical Monday. Through and through. I woke up feeling awful after having the WORST sleep last night. And since then a million little things have gone wrong.

And, in addition, we got the proof of our wedding album back and it looks awful. Photos we didn't choose huge, photos of our family and friends infinitesimally small. And worse, the photos aren't even in the right order. The ceremony is all cufuggled up. This should not bug me as much as it does - but I was SO looking forward to getting it back. When I opened the link I just got tears in my eyes seeing page after page of wrongness.

I'm not sure how karma is working today, but I'm pretty sure I don't deserve this.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Week Two

I usually weigh myself on Mondays but we're going to a one woman poetry show tomorrow night with James. So I'll be having THAT wonderful experience later. BUT I feel like since I brought it up here, I'd keep you in the loop of the progress.

So far I've lost 2.5" off my waist. I'll let you know 'bout the weight later. I'm only measuring my waist becaseu - honestly? I don't really want to know the rest of my measurements. I prefer to live in a world where that's irrelevant information.

And PS - for those of you keeping track of my hipness, the scale has toppled. I just downloaded the Pussycat Dolls, Justin Timberlake AND Britney to work out to. I've reached pathetic mode. I'd like to think it doesn't count, my owning of these songs as they're strictly for gym use only. Um, yeah. See? Anyway. If any of you, however, have discovered good gym music - send recommendations. Currently a section of my playlist is such ( I apparently no longer need any of you to think I have good taste in music whatsoever):

"Beautiful" - C. Aquilera
"Live Through This" - Groovelily
"Hey Girl" - OAR
"Independent Woman, Pt. 1" - Destiny's Child
"Stronger" - C. Aquilera
"Toxic" - Britney
"Rock Your Body" - Justin (I feel liek I should keep them together in the list, I don't know why)
"Crazy in Love" - Beyonce
"Little Nemesis" - Groovelily
"Extraordinary" - Liz Phair

Someone should analyze that. I am sure it says loads about my personality. None of which I would care to admit.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Blood From a Stone

Family has always been incredibly important to me. Perhaps because I'm an only child. My parents were always amazing, close, protective - they gave me the world, often at great cost to themselves. Throughout, though, their attitude was always "that's just what family does." They showed me that equally with our "found" family. Living thousands of miles from our closest relatives, it was often their close friends that filled the gap of aunts and uncles. I learned early on the title "Uncle" was just as applicable to my father's fellow linebacker and best friend as it was to his brother.

As I got older, I too began to build a found family, who became as precious to me as any blood relative. To this day, these friends are my support and hope and everlasting love.

But the lines that connected me to those who share my blood, my genes, my smile, my eyes - were always precious to me. I see them as an invisible map, tracing paths and routes and roads from one to another, stretching from the past to an indescribable future. I find endless fascination in how I can stand with my feet pointed out, just like the grandmother I never knew long enough to remember. Or how I can so resemble my Nana - she captured forever smiling at nineteen, me laughing so familiarly at 31. So much connects us we cannot name.

I dance with cousins' baby and marvel at how like my long-lost-to-me Papa he is, or laugh at my father and how very much he resembles photos taken of his father half a century ago. What else entwines us? How amazing is it that we have these amazing similarities, reaching out across our families - a cobweb of smiles and postures. Of vernacular and sarcastic remarks. Of eyes and hands, style and song. What runs in our blood that refuses to be lost to time?

Is it the red hair, the easy smiles, the quick tempers? Is it somehow more than that? Are we charged with carrying through what makes us, in essence, our namesakes? Charged with somehow passing that on? And how amazing it must be, to gaze at your child and see in them all the generations that came before.

This river, this running ubiquitous tie that overruns us, pulls and tosses us; forms us in so many ways . . . it is impossible for me to ignore. It places me in a specific moment in time, with so many like me behind and so many before. It makes me want to do them proud. Share my grandmother's smile as often as possible. Learn to dance like my Uncle Larry. Perfect Jack's wink. Carry my Aunt Judy's grace.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Defying Gravity

" . . . Something has changed within me
Something is not the same . . ."

I've been doing a lot of serious thinking about myself, about my life, and why I've been unhappy on a certain level these last couple years. What that's about and how I need to act to dissolve it. It's involved some hard realizations about myself, and some real honest looks at who I've become and what's happened to make me unhappy.

See, I am, overall, delighted with my life. Don't get me wrong. My life is blessed in more ways than I can count. But I still have days tinged with an unnamable sadness. Days when the blue and grey seep in at the edges, and sometimes those colors completely overwhelm me. They drag me down in ways I cannot explain. But its something I will not accept anymore. And I know this reaction I'm having, this dissolution of my normal brightness, if you will, is related to choices I'm making. To things I am doing or not doing. I have to own this, and I am determined to. Which brings me to the serious thinking and evaluating.

And I'm on my way. I'm still searching, still working, but I'm on the right path - I'm getting there. But every once in a while how far I have to go smacks me right across the face. Such was this weekend. We went out to CBGB's for an amazing awesome show. And once there, with our friends, sitting at the bar and chatting I looked around and realized how out of place I felt. How strikingly not okay I felt being there. I became twelve years old on the inside, desperately wanting to go home; change my make-up, change my hair, change my clothes - change me.

I don't know when this happened. When I suddenly felt so insecure with who I am. I don't like it. There was a time in my life when I could go anywhere and feel good. Feel cool enough, good enough, hip enough. Or rather, feel like whatever anyone else thought didn't matter. I was at home in my own skin.

This is what being so sick has taught me. When you fight yourself for so long. When you declare war on yourself - you lose part of yourself. I have spent the last three years dreading the doctor's offices for what they would tell me. Dreading the next round of problems, the next round of diagnosis, the next round of things I could not do like a normal person, the next round of what I came to think of as failure. I was at war with my body, and worse, I was losing.

That struggle, that frame of mind, has cost me much more than a year or two of feeling good. It cost me, in many ways, myself. The me I liked, that felt good and brave and beautiful and daring. I'm trying to find my way back to her. I've rescinded the war declaration. I'm trying to mediate to peace.

And as hard as that is: to relinquish control and accept that some fights I am going to lose, some things I cannot control - I am determined to rise above them. It's not failure anymore to be sick. Its' not my fault and it's not under my control. All I can do is focus all of my energy into being healthy - to raise the white flag and forgive myself for not being as strong I thought I could be. Not let myself be dragged down.

So I will draw, I will paint, I will read, I will learn. I will eat right (as hard as that is). I will move. I will develop strength and get to know myself all over again. I'm ready, finally, to do what it takes. To feel worthy again.

" . . .I'm through with playing by the rules
Of someone else's game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes: and leap! . . .
I'm through accepting limits
'Cuz someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I'll never know! . . ."

Monday, January 16, 2006

Go ahead, you know you want to.

Google "Failure."

God, I love those google guys. (And girls!)

Sunday, January 15, 2006

CBGB's on a Saturday Night

They're not boys, but they are pretty. And we went to hear them play this weekend. They were fantabulous - as were the bands that played with them. We had a blast. We met a whole crew of friends there and hung out a solid portion of the night - and as a testimment to how smashingly marvelous the music was, I actually made it to stumbling home at 3am. Go figure.

It was The Pretty Boys' CD release party and our friend Doug plays with them. He is, in fact,a boy. But, also, is very pretty. So he meets all requirements for the title. He'll love that I said that. But he and his wife Andrea are possibly some the best people we've met on our stint here in the big apple, and we wouldn't have missed this concert for the world.

It was my first time at the NYC landmark, and it was awesome. The crowd was awesomely diverse, and while I am pretty sure I am not as cool as I should be to go there - we were with some amazing friends and had a blast. And I didn't feel too unhip. I mean, John did wear a suit jacket.

Anyway - good music, good people, good fun. Apparently it's the magical quotient to keep me up past 10pm. Who knew?

Friday, January 13, 2006

Hagan Phillip - A Day Early

Dear Hagan,

Happy First Birthday, Buddy! I hope this year turned out aright for you. I cannot believe it has already been a year. It's strange for me, it seems just yesterday I was calling your mom from my cubicle - asking her if she, if you, were okay. How your daddy was holding up. But it seems now, every time I see you a lifetime has passed. It breaks my heart in a way. You change, you grow, you become a whole new person every time I see you. I know now you've grown worlds since October. I hear you on the phone: talking, laughing. I can hear in your voice you're on the cusp.

The cusp of becoming a little boy. You're very close to not being a baby any longer. I want to freeze time, stop it now - be able to hold you and play with you like this always - you're so damn cute.

But the cool thing is? I always feel like that - and every time I see you next I'm amazed and astonished at how much cooler and wonderful you've become. So, while part of me wants to freeze time, in my heart I can only try to keep pace with you and know that each of these turns, each of these stops, are worth keeping and treasuring for the split second we have them. Because what's coming is only going to be better and brighter and more fun.

More fun. Of course. Always.

And you know, last time I wrote you, I promised you your parents would rock the Kasbah. I was right, huh? Chalk that one up to Auntie Kitty knowing her shit. (Am I allowed to say that still? Probably not. I think we're officially into the "adults have to clean up their language" phase of your development. Hm. Anyway.) You know, when I made that promise, I was just basing it on how great of friends they were. Seeing them this past year with you. Well. They really have outdone themselves. The crazy-good friends they are was only a precursor to the mad-marvelous parents they became. Damn, kid. You're one lucky babe. We share that luck, you and I, getting to have your Mom and Pops in our lives. They'll always be my best friends, I cannot wait to see them grow as parents thru the next years. I have a feeling you'll keep them on their toes.

Oh, and before I go - this year's a doosie. There's walking and dancing and talking. There will be some milestones. Lots more food you can chew and throw. There may be some solid trips on your future, too. Your world will get a bit bigger, this year. No worries, though. Just remember as long as one of us is around, you'll always be safe. And THAT's a lifetime guarantee.

Take care, Boog. I miss you something awful. Pretty soon, I'm hoping you'll get to know me enough you'll miss me too. Selfish, I know. But I'm hoping that's a lesson your Uncle Sam and I can teach in the years to come. Love stretches real real far (stretch our your arms - see that? Bunches of that.) And sometimes, people seem real far away. Don't give in to that feeling. They're, we're, not. We're closer than you think. We always will be. If there's something you can count on, it's that your Auntie Kittie and your Uncle Sam will always be at your beck.

We love you, Spud. And, amazingly, you've got us loving your moms and pops even more than we did before. Thanks for the past year - I wish you nothing but puppies, trucks and cake in the year to come.

See you soon.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

75 Days

He holds my hand even when it's cold.

He brings me flowers for no reason.

He makes me laugh until I cry. Until I SOB. And I still have giggles trapped in me.

He holds me tighter in the car when we make turns, or stop short.

He dances with me any where, any place. Music or no.

He packs my lunches in the morning and puts them into my Tinkerbell lunchbox, with no sense of irony.

He does the laundry, every week. And never complains about the five flights of stairs he has to climb, or my exorbitant amount of dirty clothes.

He does the dishes.

He squeezes my knee under the table when he knows I find something someone said hurtful.

He knows all my favorite artists, even if they're not his.

He hides notes in my purse telling me he loves me.

He's been to Disney World at least four times in the last couple years, and enjoys it, because my parents and I enjoy it.

He always gets a taxi when I'm tired, even though it's a waste of money.

He never makes me feel like the things I want are a waste of money - even though sometimes they are.

He buys me things like flour sifters and never makes fun of how excited I get.

He never gets sick of me being sick - and pushes me always to never let it hold me back.

He's passionate about whom and what he loves. (Which actualizes many episodes of quiet brewing and yelling at the TV.)

But if I interrupt him during such an episode, he always smiles at me.

He accepts my limitations without diappointment, and plans amazing things for us to do regardless.

Our children will have the most beautiful eyes. And astonishing smiles.

He believes I'm beautiful and makes me feel that it might be true.

He loves my family like they're his own, blood and found.

He takes me to ballgames and always offers to buy me a sundae-in-a-helmet.

When people ask me what I do and I answer with my day job, he always adds "painter."

Every day is like this.

And this.

And this.

And I always feel like this.

I never wanted to be a wife.

Now I know it wasn't that, I just always wanted to be his wife.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

First Steps

So I always MAKE the resolutions and then, come the second or third week of January I lose interest, get busy - forget completely I was ever totally psyched about time management, fitness, or prioritizing my goals.

SO, in an effort to make this year the year I overcome that - today I (and Sam, god bless him) begin the Discovery Body Challenge. It's an eight-week program with meal planning and progress-tracking; all that goodness. And while initially setting it up and planning your meals is somewhat intensive - it's totally worth it. I'm not following the exercise program exactly, as I have some pretty specific and major changes I want to make, but the meal planner is awesome. I've always sucked at counting calories and it's nice to have a tool to help me do that.

On the site, Sam and I are the "Aloha Warriors". You can make teams that allow you to go see how everyone progresses and lend support (without having to enter some sort of chatroom with strange people). If you want to join, let me know - I'll send you an invite! If not, regardless, you'll be hearing more about this. I plan to update here on how I'm doing. You know, the whole accountability thing.

That and you can all tell me how slim I look next time you see me. ;)

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Would You Trade in Your Life?

This is a great concept, though a little creepy in the execution. . .

Resolutions - Everyone's Doin' It

SO this past two years I've spent a lot of time sleeping, or laying, or generally feeling like if I moved at all I might empty out the entirety of my inner organs into the nearest round, washable object. And whle it's increased my ability to pretend everything is quite fine and I feel quite normal despite the pain radiating from my every joint or the feeling I may spew at any moment - it's not been too fun.

And this makes me mad, actually. At myself, at my body - at everything that's just not right. And while I can't FORCE my body to be healthy, and while I know there are some things that are just plain out of my control right now, stuff I have to just trust my doctors to watch over and take care of - I can certainly treat myself better. So that's my resolution.

THIS year? Healthy. I cannot remember the last time I felt good for an extended period of time and that is now my goal. If I feel crappy this year it will be for situations totally out of my control, and even then I'm going down fighting. And I'm not just doing the whole join a gym thing, or cut out chocolate as entire meals. I'm COMMITTING. To HEALTH. Mental, physical, spiritual.

So that means:

1. Regular trips to the gym and actually eating ALL five servings of fruits and veggies everyday.

2. Take time to center myself, to be present in the moment and celebrate all the days I feel and believe are special in ways I have always wished and hoped to.

3. Find books I'm interested in and take the time to sit and enoy them regularly.

4. Start my Urban Saints series of paintings.

5. Learn a new skill - maybe Spanish, maybe Irish Step dancing. I haven't decided. Maybe both.

6. Learn to say "no." and not feel guilty about it. No waiting to cut back until I'm overwhelmed and parsing out hours to live, but just being able to say "Yeah, I don't have time, but thank you. I'm booked doing things that make me happy."

I think that's enough. A good start. I've just reached the point where I know I have a good life - an amazing husband, a beautiful apartment in an awe-inspiring city, a creatively challenging job with fantastic people - and I'm not wasting one more second feeling too tired or too sick to enjoy any of it. I refuse to - and it starts NOW!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

2005 - A List, AGAIN

I'd hate to give 2005 the shaft by doing nothing but sing the anticipation and praises of 2006. 2005 was one of my best years ever, and I want to acknowledge that.

It was the year my best friend had her first baby. I waited anxiously by the phone all day and into the night, praying for her and the baby and Phil - and the three of them fought through the madness valiantly. I'll never forget talking to Sarah that next morning. She told me he was beautiful and worth every second - and when I met him for the first time a few weeks later, I saw she was absolutely right. This little guy has captured my heart completely, and Sarah and Phil have shown me firsthand the kind of parent I want to be, the kind of parents Sam and I CAN be. They are the coolest, most patient, wonderful mom and pop. That Hagan, he's got himself a good deal.

I got my first real teaching job this year. First teaching Management Communications and then Marketing and Promotions for Non-Profits. I feel like I learned as much as I tried to convey, and it was a huge opportunity for me to try something I always wanted to do. I drives me crazy, I get anxious, I get nervous, I can't sleep - and then somehow I walk into the classroom and it all comes together. Teaching is something I think I could be really good at, and would like to do "for reals" in the future someday. (i.e. as Job #1, not just on the weekends while trying to juggle another challenging job)

And speaking of challenging jobs, this year my "real" job really had me running. But in a good way. I got a lot more opportunity to shine, and I feel like I did truly well. I wasted not one opportunity. I got a raise, there's talk of perhaps a promotion, and everyday I walk through the door greeted by some of my best friends. It doesn't get much better. We're doing a lot less tobacco work and a lot more work in my target market and I'm having a blast. I look forward to the next year and even knowing all the hard work and long nights to come, I can still say this is the best job I have ever had.

This year I went to Montana for the first time. I got to go see the space of land Sam loves most, and live his best life for a while. I met one of his best friends and the three of us had an absolutely amazing time. I learned to play poker, shot a compound bow, I hiked ten miles and I rode horses (well, even!). I even broke out my easel for the first time in a long, long time. It was a wonderful trip and I cannot wait to go back. Before we left I was nervous as hell. Scared we'd get there and I'd get sick, or not be able to do all the stuff Sam wanted to do. I envisioned myself alone in a cabin miles away from anyone else, no phone, no email, nothing; reading books and feeling left out. I proved myself wrong on all counts and couldn't' have been happier. I can understand why Sam loves it so, and now, much like him, I cannot wait to take our friends and show them how amazing it is. We've already made a deal with James - one tour of Montana for a tour of Kenya.

I turned 31. Which while not monumental means I have officially left my 20's behind. It was with very little fanfare, unlike most other of my birthdays, but it was nice and good and I felt like it was okay. I was always fearful that I'd reach this point and be disappointed in what I had accomplished so far, but, refreshingly it was quite the opposite. I felt like there were only great things ahead and so far I hadn't done too shabby in the "doing something with my life" department. Pretty cool.

Of course, hot on the heels of that birthday was the wedding. Which, I must say, is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. Aside from the mountains of kindness and generosity showered on us by everyone we love most, aside from the fun and laughter and pumpkins and parties . . .I got to marry the man of my dreams. I sounds trite, I know. But for the last 67 days I have done nothing but feel like the absolute luckiest girl in the world. Our wedding, the ceremony itself, not the dress or candles or party or cake, was the most important and wonderful thing that I've ever done, been part of, been given.

So,2005, please don't feel overlooked. It's because of you I feel such hope and happiness for all the months to come.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Things I Look So Forward To In 2006 I May Burst

1. Ben and Angie are getting Married! Woot!
Sam's brother Ben, whom I adore, is marrying his super-cool lady love, Angie. Sam's a groomsman, I'm a maid, and much fun is about to be had people. MUCH. FUN.

2. Hagan turns One Years Old.
Um, hi. This kid? He's the cutest and he gets a PUPPY PARTY. Where, in a cruel turn of events, he in fact does not get a puppy. Sam and I briefly discussed finding a way to ship him one. 'Cause, you know, Uncle Sam and Auntie Kittie can do things like that. But we can't. Not really. Or Papa Phillip may never, ever, let Hagan VISIT Uncle Sam and Auntie Kittie. So we're waiting until he's five. To buy him his first baby-cita.

3. Alphabit (aka Adeline Bell Compton) is born!!!
Seriously, I can never have my own kid, I shall now be way to busy spending all our money on all the other people's kids. My plan is that Alphabit and Hagan shall one day meet and fall madly in love, thereby consolidating trips to see those I love most. And, in case you're wondering, she IS named after me. Or so I say.

4. Joyce is getting married! To Mark! In Ireland!
And we're SO GOING! *sigh* This rocks, and I cannot begin to say how much. They trekked to Kansas for us, we're totally hopping the pond for them.

5. Disney. In March. With Little Leslie.
Good times garunteed. She and Andy moved away this past fall and are now living the married life in Naples. This is very sad for me, as I miss them very very much. So Sam and I said screw that! New York in March sucks anyway! And we're headed down for a weeekend of much merriment. AND it's Les' birthday. Double bonus.

And last but not least, though I really should try to think of an even ten just cause . . .

HAWAII 2006!

There has been much planning. Much scheming and more than a little impatience. The Schambergers and Stiers shall unite for one blessed week long FAMILY VACATION IN THE TROPICS, and seriously, it doesn't get better than that.

I shall drink only colorful things in glasses involving large fruit and umbrellas. I shall wear a grass skirt AT LEAST once and shall gush over ridiculous things like tiny reptiles and gigantic flowers. And it shall be good.

Very very good.