Thursday, November 29, 2007

Romo Vs. Favre - Who Do I Chose?

In my dear hometown of Burlington, WI there is a silent stillness in the air as the local bars begin their preparations for the Big Game tonight. Packer memorabilia hangs in doorways and on big sprawling bar windows, and the evening's drink specials are displayed prominently on large hanging banners. Green and gold is splattered throughout the 10,000 person city as it's residents anticipate the coming game that will determine their placement in the upcoming playoff games. What your blind eye won't see as you drive through this quaint little town this morning, is the utter confusion and distraught that many of it's residents hold as they struggle with one simple, game destroying matter.

THE COWBOY'S QUARTERBACK IS TONY ROMO!!!

Tony Romo. That adorable big eared kid that many of us (including myself) went to high school with and watched take our Demons to...non-impressive wins, but none-the-less...was there. Tony Romo. The star basketball player, star golfer, and every coach's pride and joy. Tony Romo. The small town Burlington, WI resident who left here when he was 18, and never came back. Tony Romo. The $67.5 Million Dollar starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys...the team our small town Wisconsin needs to beat to keep home field advantage. Tony Romo. Burlington's sweetheart.

So who do you root for? The man who put Burlington on the map, and whom we've all been rooting for since he was a 15 year old Freshman? Or do you finally hope to see Tony Romo lose for once...and stick with your beloved Packers.

Okay clearly we're in Packer Country up here so it'll be the Pack all the way. But you can't help but want to see Romo do well...no matter how much you love the Packers!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Quotes

"Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds."
-- Theodore Roosevelt

" Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving."
-- WT Purkiser

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Is This Thing On?

HI!!!!

Goodness. I think this is the longest I have gone without a blog update in a long time. I'm so sorry everyone (the few of you who faithfully read this). I HONESTLY am trying not to be such a stranger, and I clearly made a false promise to all of you a few posts ago in which I said I would be on more often. In my absence, I have proved that I lied.

I'm sorry.

To be perfectly honest though, you haven't missed much in my life. I promise. The new job is going great. I'm busy learning the industry and busy finding my place in the company. It's going to take a little bit to get my bearings around there, but I'm confident that I'll find them soon. I do miss Harley daily, but at least I still get to see some of my favorite people from there every now and then. I even still maintain regular contact with a few of my managers so I don't feel as though I'm completely removed from the company.

Hmmm...what else. Nothing. Sad right? As I get older, I'm finding my life to be more and more repetitive. Which I'm okay with. As I get older I'm also finding the need for my life to be more and more structured. It's less stressful for me that way =)

I'm excited about the upcoming Holiday weekend though (Aren't most of us?!). I have plans to head out with one of my managers from Harley on Wednesday and then probably out with some friends that evening (it IS the biggest drinking night of the year. I may be old, but I still like to go out every now and then!). Thursday is Thanksgiving, and then the weekend! Nothing big planned for the weekend. I need to get some laundry done (lame), clean my apartment (double lame), and hopefully head out with my friend Katie at some point (hooray!). And that's, that.

Please know that my effort is noble in trying to update this blog. In fact, I have a list of topics I want to blog about sitting in my email just waiting for their grand entrance onto babysteppingmyway. Hopefully with all my down town this week, I'll get to some of them!!!

Until then, Happy Holidays everyone. Eat tons and tons of food...because we can. That's what's great about this holiday, and we should be very thankful for that.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Little White Magnets

I have officially become slightly obsessed with the new Southeastern Wisconsin Radio Station contest being put on by KissFM. What does it entail? Magnets.

I know doesn't sound too interesting right? Well you're right, it's not really. But when the idea of a white magnet, being placed around the state that SOMEWHERE carries free gas for a year, I become a little excited. And I must admit it's not the free gas that makes me excited. It's the stupid little white magnet. And I would be ecstatic if I ever found one.

So now, when I'm driving, I'm not paying attention. I don't see stop lights, or stop signs, or people crossing the street. Instead, I see metal guard rails, and metal street signs, and metal electrical boxes and every time I see one, I stop paying attention to what I'm doing...and scout for a stupid white magnet.

It's sad, but I'm bound and determined to find it. And when I do, I'll post about it, and you can all basque in my excitement. And maybe as an added perk to it all...I'll have won a years worth of free gas. Because lets face it, I commute two hours every single day for work and I could probably use the free gas.

Even more than the free magnet.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Nostalgia with a Tinge of Jealousy

You know what’s a weird feeling? Finding out your high school sweetheart is engaged…to someone else. No matter how moved on I am, and how distant our lives have become, I have to admit that a piece of my heart sank when I heard the news.

It’s weird to think that could have been me. In fact, it was supposed to be me…seven years ago. But things are very different now, and although I know I wasn’t supposed to be that girl, it still hurts a little to think that I’m not.

I do wish them all the happiness in the world though. And although I love my life, and where I am right now, I think I’m going to be a little sad for the rest of the day.

I think that’s okay.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Finally, a Scary Halloween

Last night, I went to the scariest Haunted House of my entire life. I'm not kidding you guys.

Every Halloween, I become anxious with the thought of the seasons most scariest festivities. I often try to find the most scariest haunted house I can find, but usually just end up finding myself walking through yet another cheesy haunted house which provides me more laughs with my friends than anything else. The closest I ever come to be truly scared is when I decide to watch a horror movie by myself at 1:00 in the morning. Sleeping, is pretty scary after that.

But last night in Random Lake, Wisconsin I found myself an hour away from the security of my home and walking through the most terrifying place I have ever encountered. The place was called the Splatter Haus and it was deemed one of the most terrifying haunted houses in Wisconsin - it definitely lived up to it's name.

Dark, narrow passage ways lead to large open rooms that seemed quiet and still, but upon the flicker of a light, and the blare of Rob Zombie through the speakers I found myself cowering in corners as the most terrifying of creatures popped out of coffins, and curtains, and dark passage ways. They chased us with chain saws, and knives, and just plain ridiculously scary costumes. They never touched me, but they came close - very close.

The most terrifying moments:

Walking into a room with panels of what looked to be bandages hanging from the cieling. The panels obscured the view of the room but through the bandages, and the faint red glow an old white door could be seen in front of us. The famous Halloween theme music blared in the speakers around us, and we just knew that Michael Meyers was somewhere in that room with us. We pushed our way through to the door and suddenly the room went dark to which we instantly grabbed hands. Seconds later a strobe light re-lit the room and Michael was standing there, inches from our faces. I screamed and hid my face only to find that when I opened my eyes again, Michael was following us through the tiny dark tunnel. There was no escaping!!!

Minutes later without a moment to catch my breath, we happened upon a room with what appeared to be a small robot in a cage. Thinking I could finally catch my breath I suddenly heard the sound of machine guns blaring in the background and a light went on to reveal a HUGE 10 foot robot/ghost creature pounding it's way towards us, shooting at us with massive machine guns. I pushed our group through, trying to get them through the room faster so that I wouldn't be eaten by the scary robot.

On top of the scary creatures throughout the house, we were forced to crouch and crawl and climb and even slide to get through the house causing not only a visual fright fest, but a mental one as well. We walked through tiny tunnels that had me struggling for breath, and at a few points we found ourselves immersed in an airtight tunnel way that suctioned us from all angels. It was like walking through to large plastic bags. There was nowhere to go but right through, and pray that you could get out somewhere on the other end.

There were times when I thought, I can't take this anymore, I'm so scared and I seriously prayed that around the next corner I would finally see an exit sign. 25 minutes later, as our group found our way to the exit, I let out a sigh of relief. I had made it through the most terrifying half hour of my life.

I'm not kidding you guys, you HAVE to go to this place. I think it's open for a few more days so if you get the chance you MUST get there and let me know what you thought.

I can't WAIT to go back next year!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

For Better or Worse?

The other day, during a friendly get together, one of my friends said out loud to the group: “When you’re our age you SHOULD get married.” She justified it somehow by saying that we want babies and such, and that’s why we should get married, and nobody else seemed to be bothered by her comment, but I’ve found myself sitting here thinking about it over and over for the past few days and each time I do I get a little more bothered by it.

I SHOULD get married? Why?

Last I checked I was perfectly capable of being in a committed loving relationship without needing a piece of paper from the state claiming that we were. And also while I’m at it, I never realized that a marriage is what determined my ability to have a child or not. I’d sure hate to be in the same room when all my committed lesbian friends find that out.

I’m not religious, so I don’t believe that I need the church’s permission to join my life with someone, but it seems as though now I need to justify my relationship with society by walking down the isle and saying “I Do”. Like suddenly because I’ve been with someone for four years and haven’t yet taken that leap that somehow makes our relationship or our future together irrelevant? Can we not start a family and begin a life together without me signing my last name away? I’m not sure how I feel about that.

I’m not against marriage, and I definitely would like to get married some day and start a family and do all that traditional stuff, but I didn’t realize it was something I HAD to do, or that I SHOULD do. Aside from the religious aspects of a marriage, why does one feel as though I SHOULD be married? What does a marriage provide to my relationship besides a binding contract? Isn’t the commitment to each other the most important thing? And unless we’re making a commitment to God in front of the church (which I would never do), isn’t the rest just a tradition, not a necessity?

Do you feel as though young women should get married? If so, why?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Blah Blah Blah

What is wrong with me. I have NOTHING to write about.

I, am not happy. I feel as though I have no emotions. I'm litterally staring at this computer screen with nothing inside my head except pain, from the headache that won't leave.

My job isn't stressful, but the lack of schedule I have in my life is. It's hard to figure out when you're going to grocery shop, and read, and do laundry, and clean the house, and spend time with myself...or my significant other, during the first few weeks of a new job/life change. I know that in a few weeks things will calm down, but until then I just feel so overwhelmed. I NEED order in my life, and I'm just not getting it right now. I've commuted almost my entire adult career so this shouldn't be so tough on me, but it always is at first. It's hard to get a schedule. But I NEED a schedule

Ick.

I can't wait until I get used to this. Maybe I'll actually have stuff to write about then.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Quick Update

Oh man, I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve updated. Switching jobs is pretty stressful on one’s personal life, especially now that I have a 45 minute commute added to my regular schedule. Getting myself back into some sort of routine has been tough and as a result, I’ve been absent from the online world that I absolutely adore so much! Facebook only exists through the random phone notifications I receive when someone posts something on my wall and as for the blogosphere? Yeah right. I’ve read maybe two of my regular blogs in the past two weeks…let alone post one my own. Needless to say, the transition has been a bit tough.

But the job? I LOVE it. Seriously. Although being the new girl isn’t always the best feeling, it’s nice to know that my current position holds so much potential for growth, and I’ve already learned so much in just the four days I’ve been here. Not to mention, one of my best friends works here so it’s nice to see here more often than every few months. It’s strange being back in Burlington, but I can’t say I can complain about being able to park right outside my office, especially now that the bitter cold Wisconsin winter is on its way!

I still miss Harley, but I’m grateful that everyone there has managed to stay in contact, and keep me updated on the happenings. It makes me feel like I’m still a part of it all somehow.

I’m in the process of getting internet (and cable) installed in my apartment, so I PROMISE as soon as that happens I’ll be around much more. Just hang in there =)

Friday, October 05, 2007

I Can't Help It, I'm An Animal Lover

Okay I realize I just posted like ten minutes ago, but in my morning blog-read session I came across this postcard on the PostSecret website and i couldn't help but share it with all of you. Because in all honesty, I feel the EXACT same way. And I don't need an anomyous posting website to share it with all of you.


Does that make me a bad person?

A Final Goodbye To H-D

Today, I say goodbye to Harley-Davidson. Yesterday, I said goodbye to my boss. And to be perfectly honest, I wanted to cry. In fact, I almost did, and so did he. Then again that's what I do, I cry. A lot. I can't help it.

I found myself incredibly sad yesterday as co-workers stopped by to say their final goodbyes to me and I found myself at the verge of a breakdown when my boss dropped off a custom painted gas tank, signed by everyone in my department. I couldn't believe I was just being handed the honorary gas tank, that each employee receives upon the end of their time at Harley (or in that particular department) as a token of appreciation for their efforts. I was also handed a beautiful leather bag filled with a cute Harley T-shirt and a travel Harley coffee mug for my new morning commute each day. Everyone knew that I would only be satisfied, if I could go out in Harley "style" =)

I'm going to miss this place, so much! The people, the job, the life-long friends I've made, and the amazing contacts I'll always have. I'll miss the smell of motorcycle exhaust as I enter the security turnstile at 8:00 am each morning and I'll never forget the little wave of acknowledgement from the morning security guards. I'll miss sitting in Amanda's cube and hiding out from the world as we gossip and plan the weekend's festivities or the morning overly energetic visits from Craig that always managed to put me in a better mood. I'll miss the convenience of the cafeteria and even all the unnecessary meetings that posed only to eat up more of my time and I'll miss the many nicknames I've accumulated in such a short period of time. I'll miss my unlimited supply of office supplies, the smell of my cubicle, and the noise my high heels made in our hallway that acknowledged to everyone that Christi was coming down the hall.

I hate goodbyes. I really do. I've only been her for ten months but it feels like so much longer. This place has become home to me, in that comfortable "home" sense that only a fantastic job can provide to you. It sort of makes one wonder if money really is all that important anymore, considering how unbelievably happy I am here!

But alas, the reality of the situation is that I have a much better opportunity offered to me somewhere else, and I owe it to myself to at least be open minded about it. I finally have the chance for financial stability, upward mobility, and the ability to grow with a company from start to potentially finish. The good thing about it is, if this doesn't work out, I always have Harley to fall back on.

And with that, I end my final post as an employee of Harley-Davidson Motor Company. It's been an amazing ten months!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Because She's Almost There

Hi!

My dear blog friend Krista is running a marathon. But not just because she wants to jump up and down at the end of 26.2 miles and say "I ran a marathon, what have you done", although I totally would, and I have. It was awesome. But this isn't about me. She's running for an adorable little girl named Amelia who has leukemia. Amelia can't run, but Krista can! And she is! But to help Amelia, Krista needs donations. And she's running out of time to get them!

Therefore, we're in super-hyper-get donations any way we can-even if it means posting a million blogs about it-mode. So here I am. Trying to help her out, and hoping you want to help as well!

The donations can be as big or as small as you're financially able to provide but every little bit helps. In fact, broken down, Krista has figured that she needs only $14 from 67 people. That's not bad. I know about 10, and I donated so that's 11! Assuming we all put in our $14, that only leaves her with 56 more people.

woot, woot!

Alright, enough begging. Let's get to the point. This is for a good cause. What better reason is there. You can donate here. I truly hope you do.

Thank You.

My New BlackBerry

Man, I'm sorry everyone for being such a Debbie Downer lately in my past few posts. This stupid mind of mine is on overdrive the past few weeks. It probably doesn't help that I have absolutely nothing to do at work since it's my last week so instead, I think. It's what I do.

In more upbeat, materialistic news, I got a new cell phone yesterday! I get really excited about new cell phones. As I do new shoes, purses, and office supplies. And new peanut butter. I love taking the first scoop out of a new jar of peanut butter. It makes me all fuzzy inside.

But back to the cell phone. It's cute.

The End.



Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Living For Today

"...and suddenly you are just one car away from having your number called"

That was how my boss felt as he described to me over lunch the terrible accident he had witnessed while driving up north this weekend. The accident involved three cars: car 1 contained a woman driver, her husband passenger, and their two children in the back seat; car 2 contained a family as well; car 3 contained a man and his son. Car one apparently hit car 2 head on (at 55 miles an hour) then proceeded to flip, mid-air, landing on top of car 3. Everyone except one person in car 2 was killed. At fault, was the woman driving car 1.

My boss described the horror he felt as he pulled who he could out of crushed vehicles, and worked to keep people conscious. He also admitted the complete defeat he felt as he realized there was nothing he could possibly do for those in car 2. As the silence deafened the scene, he realized the fatality that car had experienced.

"The hardest part about the whole thing was driving away. Because on Monday, my life will go back to normal, but these people's lives are forever changed."

It's so scary and completely humbling at the same time. I think it's hard for many of us to not feel invincible at the beginning of each day. We wake up, carry on our morning routines, and never really think that this very well could be our last day on earth...the last time we'll ever see our beds again or hear that alarm clock. We carry on thinking "It won't happen to me...at least not today"

At the back of my own mind, the thought of death is constantly there: how it's going to happen, will it be painful or quick, what will forever really be like, will I know I'm dead or will a light just suddenly shut off and that's it for me...forever. It scares the sh*t out of me and it makes me ill thinking about it. But even though I think about death on a daily basis, there is still a part of me that doesn't believe it will happen to me. I never truly believe that this could be my last day on earth. I always try to appreciate everything I encounter, each and every single day, but I wonder what I would do differently if I truly believed each and every day would be my last.

Honestly, it sounds incredibly exhausting. I think maybe it's easier for us to remain invincible in our heads...it keeps us enjoying the day, instead of dreading it's end.

Do you live each day as though it could be your last? If so, how do you do it?

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Effects of Housesitting

I'm really tired today. In fact, it's been a long time since I've felt this tired while being at work. Probably since my days of drunken all night binges until 6 in the morning, followed by an early 7:00 am shift at work where I would spend the day hunched over the desk, puking in the garbage can. Those days were tiring. And thank god they're over with.

Today, I'm that kind of tired. Only I'm not hung over, or still drunk. I'm just exhausted because last night, I didn't sleep. At all. You see, this week I am house sitting. And as a result I am sleeping in a strange house, with strange animals, in a strange city, in a very strange bed.

I don't sleep well to begin with when I'm not in my own bed, let alone in a strange house that makes strange noises at 11:30 at night causing the puppies to perk their ears and stare intently out the bedroom door. I also can't sleep without the soothing hum of a fan. The dead silence of a room is too much for me to handle while I'm sleeping. The thoughts in my mind are entirely too loud...they keep me up! But this house...no fan. Not a single one in sight. Great. Lucky for me attached to their bedroom is a bathroom and inside said bathroom...a ventilation fan. Score! So I turned that on, and crawled back into bed. But it still wasn't loud enough, and I felt bad having it run for 8 hours straight because quite honestly, I don't think that's what they're made for. So I turned it off, and tried to go back to sleep, but I just kept hearing the weird noises, and the strange neighbors, and the puppies snoring, and then I couldn't get comfortable and I was tossing and turning, and then I had to pee......

It was a nightmare. Actually I wish it were, because that would mean I was actually sleeping...instead of staring at the ceiling.

Hopefully tonight will be better. I don't think I can handle a full week of no sleep.

I'm a Lemming

I was tagged by my oldest friend Mentle on her blog, The Everyday. Here is the game:

THE RULES:

1. Post these rules before you give the facts.
2. List eight (8) random facts about yourself.
3. At the end of your post, choose (tag) someone and list their name (linking to their page).
4. Leave them a comment on their blog letting them know they’ve been tagged!

HERE GOES

1.) I don't believe in ghosts (in the Hollywood sense), nor do I believe in the after life but somehow I am convinced that I was contacted by my dead grandmother, on the one year anniversary of her death. I was living in London, and she left me a message on my voicemail. I'm not kidding.

2.) My dream is to set foot on every single continent.

3.) I miss school and learning. I'm hoping to go back for my Masters someday soon.

4.) I really want to make it a more permanent goal for myself to start hand writing letters to people. I utilize electronic communication entirely too much to stay in contact with those around me. I feel the need to get more personal.

5.) Finding 8 things to tell about myself is really hard, considering I regurgitated 100 of them for my "100 Things About Me" post.

6.) I wish skinny pants and leggings would go out of style again. I think they're just hideous and refuse to wear them.

7.) I loathe morning radio. I cannot find a single solitary morning show on my FM dial that stimulates me in any way, shape, or form. I am officially switching to AM. And that makes me feel old. But I still want Ally Faith to be my best friend.

8.) Socks make me feel claustrophobic.

Hmmm, I'll tag......OC. You're it!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I Should Invest In Office Depot

Want to hear something really dorky?

I adore office supplies. I do! There is something so exciting to me about walking into an Office Depot and seeing all of the hundreds of different office supply choices that lay in front of me. Binders, and markers, and pens, and folders, and erasers, and post-its...I love it all. It all makes my heart beat just a little bit faster.

Today, when I arrived to work, I had a huge box waiting for me on my chair and when I opened it up, I realized my office supply order for work had finally come. Hooray! New Sharpies!! I try to stay casual about my love affair, but sometimes I can't help but burst at the seams as I anxiously await the moment when I get to write with my new gel pen, or use that brand new binder that smells so fantastic sitting in my cube.

I also love writing checks. But that's an entirely different post.

Make New Friends But Keep The Old

When I graduated High School, I remember being devastated at the fact that i was leaving behind some of the best friends I've ever had. It hurt to think our time together would never be the same, and that our relationships would slowly fade away. I remember crying thinking that "my girls" would soon become a distant memory and that I would soon have new friends to fill new memories with. But I didn't want new memories, I liked the ones I had already!

I of course got over that thinking, and did in fact make new friends, and I created a plethora of fantastic new memories, ones that I will never forget! But I was wrong about one thing. My relationships of my high school years didn't fade. In fact, they grew much much stronger. Sure I lost touch with a lot of my closest friends, but a majority of us still have consistent contact with one another. I have watched many of them marry their long time loves, and create a brand new life of their own. I have been with some through the deaths of parents and relatives, and have shared in the joys of new houses, apartments, and vehicles. I have danced my ass off, puked in ally ways, and sat on chairs and cried with these people. Through all these years they have remained my dearest, most cherished friends, and I will forever be thankful for the joy they have brought into my life.

People have often told me how rare it is to still have such a close knit group of friends from High School and I've often thought that maybe they were right. But then I came across this story in the Journal Sentinel this morning and I realized that we're not that strange after all. That people carry on life long friendships all the time. We're just one more group to add to that fantastic story of life.

I'm not sure where our respective lives will take us, but I hope that when we're all 75, we're still getting together and laughing about where we've all been together, just as these beautiful women are. How truly special it is, to be able to share in the journey of life, with some of your very best friends in the world.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Grrr To Cell Phones

In Orlando, I went into the pool. Actually, I got pushed into the pool. And I was holding my Kate Spade purse (complete with matching Kate Spade wallet), and those went into the pool with me. And inside that purse? My cell phone. Yes, that went in as well. All of us, into the pool, fully submerged by chlorinated, peed in water.

Fantastic.

And now? I'm without a cell phone. For the last 4 days actually. It's both liberating and frustrating at the same time. I've been trying with no success to salvage what's left of my overly priced cell phone, but alas I'm admitting defeat in that area. My cell phone plan isn't up for renewal until December, which means my only option for a new phone is to either suck it up and buy a new one (which I don't really have the money for) or live without contact for the next three months.

Believe me, that last option is sounding better and better each day.

Thankfully, my dear friend Amanda here at work had an extra cell phone for me to use, and generously saved my life by offering it to me until my plan expires. My next hurdle? Get the damn password to unlock the stupid phone from Cingular and Motorola.

"A response will be sent to you in 4 - 7 business days" Grrrrrrrrr!

Oh and by the way. My purse? She's fine. A little wet, but generally okay.

Looking Back on Summer 2007

Today in Wisconsin, it officially feels like fall. The air is cool and crisp, with hints of amber colored leaves blowing and moving below my feet. I stepped outside as the dawning sun hung lower than it has the previous few months, and I held my jacket closer to my body as I ran to my car to begin my morning commute. It was chilly, but a good chilly. The kind that makes you anticipate the coming months of crunching leaves, deep browns and oranges, and pumpkins sitting proudly at the doorsteps of neighborhood houses. I love autumn. Everything about it really. That is, everything except the fact that Winter is just around the corner.

I hate Winter.

Through my love for Autumn, I also hold a small place of remorse for the passing of Summer. That time of year when the sun shines brighter, the children laugh louder, and the idea of a front porch and a vodka lemonade never sounded sweeter. With the coming of Autumn, comes the end of Summer, and although I look forward to the coming months, I can't help but reminisce about what the last four have brought to me, and be thankful for all that I have been given so far this year.

Thank you Summer 2007, for giving me:

The chance to finally meet Tara's mom...too many years later
The Girls Next Door on DVD
My very first fishing license, followed by my very first fishing experience
My Barbie fishing bobber
The "On Your Honor Box"
An introduction to the amazing music of Jon Hainstock
A cure for my fear of flying
...lots of wine
The mountains of Utah
The ability to save
and a $300 a month savings on my loan payment
The Grand Ol Opry
A new lifelong friend
Golf
My new apartment
A sitemeter and google ads for my blog
The knowledge that thunder doesn't come from clouds crashing together
A 14 hour motorcycle ride through South Dakota
Runs by the lake
Walks by the lake
Get togethers with old, dear friends

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Goodbye Harley-Davidson

In two weeks time, I will no longer be an employee of Harley-Davidson Motor Company. It was such a hard decision considering the love I have for my position, my boss, and the company. But in Harley, I was offered uncertainty. A position that had no plans to become permanent in the near future, especially considering the future health at the moment, of a downward sloping industry. I wanted to cry as I had to spit out the words "I was offered another position" and yet I felt relieved as I watched my boss's face beam with happiness as he encouraged me to jump on opportunities. At that moment, I wanted to hug him. I couldn't have asked for a better person to have worked for these past 9 months and I know that should my life take another course, I'll be able to find my way back there...no questions asked.

As I say goodbye to Harley, I look forward to saying hello to another chapter of my life. One that provides a bit more financial freedom and a chance to express myself creatively. One that brings me back, yet again, to Burlington, WI to the city that for some reason or another I just can't seem to leave. I'm extremely sad to be leaving, but I'm optimistic about my future. I'm confident that this is one more baby step in the right direction.

A Humble Human I Am

As I flew to and from Orlando, Florida this past week, I had a chance to philosophize and wanted to share with all my blog friends, my thoughts on our existence on this planet.

Down here on Earth, humans seem pretty powerful. Standing at an average height of around 5'4" (depending on your country of origin), compared to the other living creatures around us, we're pretty monstrous. We build tall buildings that tower to the sky and drive around in vehicles bigger than anyone could have ever imagined would be necessary. Our cities become clouded with smog, we create garbage heaps tall enough to ski on, and we have recently been accused of altering the entire planet's temperature. From down here, we rule the world.

But has anybody ever taken a look at the world from 37,000 feet in the air? Suddenly, humans don't seem as powerful anymore. Massive sprawling cities become ant like in comparison and to make out a single human being would be near impossible. From 37,000 feet, it's nature that rules the world, not humans.

If we are that insignificant from 37,000 feet in the air, imagine how insignificant we become from outer space!

Are we insignificant enough to have absolutely no effect on the planet and it's changing weather patterns? I can't say for sure. But through the windows of an airplane, human life and our place on this planet become humbled against the sprawling landscape and open air around us. With our large egos and over-sized necessities I think we forget just how small we really are sometimes and take for granted just how powerful and massive the natural landscape around us truly is. I wish sometimes we all appreciated this, and wanted to care more for it, instead of trying to use it to our respective political advantages. After all, once we die...we die. And our time on this earth will be short lived. But our energy will remain here on this beautiful planet of ours, manifesting itself through heat on a hot day, or a brisk breeze on a cool fall day. It'll be carried in the wind of a tropical storm or in the rain of a Midwestern spring day. Through our death, we will become one with nature. We should care for it, as we would our own insignificant bodies. After all, it is more powerful than we will ever be or could ever hope to be in this human life of ours.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I Try So Hard

I'm going to be perfectly honest here. Because I can, it's my blog!

Staying informed is completely overwhelming to me. How do people do it? Every time I think I have a handle on a particular situation, someone else shows up in a debate and spouts out a million facts, figures, and quotations about how much I actually DON'T know. Where do people find the time to do all of this reading? When I open up the Journal Sentinel Online it takes me about an hour to read through everything. AN HOUR, and all I'm doing is trying to stay up to date on what is happening in the world! Now take into consideration that I like to get an all encompassing perspective on the news so I try to read through additional sources, from all ends of the political spectrum, to stay as up to date as I can about what everyone is thinking and feeling on certain issues. That's a LOT of information to take in in one day! And I certainly don't have the time normally to do it! Thank god it's been super slow at work otherwise I don't think I would find the time!

I feel as though staying up with all the issues is a full time job, and I'm feeling very stressed out about it. Clearly I am doing something wrong. What is the secret to staying informed, without it completely overtaking your life?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Supplemental Income

Guess what? I hit the $5.00 mark yesterday in my quest to make a living off of sidebar advertisements through Google! Horray!

Unfortunately, I don't get paid until that number reaches $100.00 which only puts me at $95.00 left! Therefore, going at this rate, by November 2010 I will have made enough money through blog clicks to get my first paycheck from Google Adsense in the mail. Maybe I can use it towards a down payment on my new house or condo. that I'm hoping to have around that same time. Or maybe I'll just buy a new pair of shoes.

Or a candy bar. Because lets face it, I have no idea how much they actually pay me. But I'm still excited, and even if it is in the realm of $.85..at least it's $.85 more that I can add to my "vacation fund" change jar!

::cough cough:: get clicking ::cough cough::

Monday, September 17, 2007

Going Out...Smoke Free

In the past, whenever the topic of a citywide smoking ban in Milwaukee has ever come up, I would be the first one in line fighting against it, arguing that it's not necessary to over-legislate! I LIKE living in a free country where we have the freedom to make our own choices, even if that choice includes lighting up a cigarette after I'm finished with my meal. Sure the stink in my clothes, the burning in my eyes, and the deep clouded breathing I would have to take care of after a night out was irritating, but it was something I learned to deal with over the years. After all, I had the option to not go out or to frequent establishments that DIDN'T allow smoking...although establishments like that are very hard to come by.

But then I began to realize that while I was looking out for the smoker's rights and fighting for their right to smoke, I was completely overlooking the NON-SMOKER'S rights and THEIR rights to NOT SMOKE. To NOT be exposed to second hand toxic smoke every time they go out. To NOT have to come home smelling like an ashtray every time they want to meet up with friends for drinks. To NOT have to put their own health at risk, every time they step into a public facility. And as a non-smoker, I can't believe my own rights never occurred to me!

My feelings on the matter were only elevated as I completed a night out in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin this weekend, which is one of the cities in Wisconsin that is already implementing a city-wide smoking ban. At the end of the night, my clothes didn't smell, my eyes didn't burn, and in the morning, i could breathe just as easily as I had been able to the night before. To know that I could throw on my jacket from the night before, and run out to get the morning paper without holding my breath the entire way was reason enough for me to know that something has to be done in Milwaukee.

I'm still not entirely convinced that a city wide ban is necessary, but I do believe that businesses should receive some sort of incentive for CHOOSING to go smoke-free. The City of Milwaukee should then PROMOTE these businesses so that us non-smokers can be sure to patronize these establishments and hopefully it'll encourage other businesses to follow suit, without having to get the government involved. At least this way, the rights of ALL parties are being considered...not just the rights of one side.

Friday, September 14, 2007

When I'm Bored, I Play Racing Games With The Internet

Okay you guys, I just spent the last 20 minutes racing the little "runtime error" box that pops up on my screen and I'm seriously laughing out loud, at work, at myself, at what an absolute FOOL I am. It goes something like this:

Log onto a website
Move mouse cursor a bit
Box pops up disabling mouse cursor saying "Runtime error. Debug?"
Hit No
Move mouse cursor a bit again
Box pops up disabling mouse cursor saying "Runtime error. Debug?"
Click No again
Move mouse more quickly this time to get to link I want to click on before box pops up
Box pops up disabling mouse cursor saying "Runtime error. Debug?"
Click No

And by this point, I'm racing it. With every No I press I try to move my mouse that much quicker and more accurately this time to see if I can somehow get to the link before the box pops up. I'm also not kidding you when I tell you that after a while, I was mentally calculating the distance between the No button and the link so that in one swoop of my cursor I could hit the link before the box even had a chance to pop up

"Runtime error. Debug?"

DAMN IT!

I was defeated. But highly amused.

And now you all know what a geek I am.

The End.

What To Do With 300 Extra Dollars a Month

Up until today, the greatest feeling I have had to date was the feeling of crossing the finish line after the Chicago Marathon. The feeling of accomplishment, of sheer pride, of knowing that after months and months of rigorous training the goal I had been striving towards had been accomplished, was almost too much to handle. In fact, the feeling was so overwhelming that I cried when it was finished like a big ol' baby. Then again, that's what I do. I cry...a lot.

I always said the only thing that could ever compare to the feeling I experienced on that day would be the feeling of holding my first child in my arms. Because, what else could bring about such intense emotions?! My wedding? Possibly. My first house? Maybe. Finding out I'm going to be saving $300 a month on my loan payment each month? Wait, now THAT can.

Okay, I'm being fairly dramatic, after all I am comparing a monetary issue with the production of LIFE, but then again it's been a HUGE stress on my back for the past year and a half and to have that tremendous stress lifted feels really good. Overwhelmingly good! I may cry actually!

You see, when it came time for me to apply for student loans I found that the only way I was going to get enough money to cover my costs, was to apply for Private Funding. The Federal Government had decided that my parents made too much and therefore, denied me Federal funding. Bastards. Enter, my HUGE chunk of Private Loans which at the time didn't seem like such a bad thing. Then, a year and a half ago, they came into repayment and I found myself with a 13.75% interest rate and a $680 a month loan payment. I could do nothing at the time but sit and stare at them, as consolidating a private loan is about as easy as convincing a gay man to make out with me. Mmmm. Okay bad example. But you get what I'm saying.

But then, about a month ago, Sallie Mae provided me with a rare opportunity to consolidate my Private Loans. I don't know why, but I wasn't going to ask questions and I filled out the consolidation application that day...then found a gay man to make out with. Within a few days I heard back and while I was approved, I was approved with the stipulation that I had a co-signer. They probably got word from the Federal Government that my parents make a butt load of money so now they're trying to dick me out of all they can...but i could just be paranoid.

Anyway, long story short, my parents co-signed and I just got word today that as of October 10, 2007 my loan payments will be dropping $300 and my interest rate down to 9%!!!! The excitement is bursting out of me. Yes, you heard that right, I'm excited to be paying money.

It may not compare to the marathon or my first child...but it feels damn good.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Nap In Exchange For Your Smoking Breaks Seems Fair To Me

Sometimes, I wish I smoked. Because smokers don’t have to work as hard, and that makes me jealous.

Smokers get AT LEAST two hours every day that they get paid to not work. Seriously you guys, I’ve done the math on this. At any given moment, many smokers at this facility are 5 minutes away from the designated smoking areas, and I’m being generous with how quickly they’re walking to said areas. So, 5 minutes to smoking area, 10 minutes to smoke, and 5 minutes back. That’s 20 minutes it takes these smokers every time they need to go out for a cigarette break. But it’s not as though they can have one and be done with it for the day. Nope, some of these people are out smoking once every hour!!! That’s 160 minutes just in daily smoke breaks!!!!

What’s with that?!

I wish I could get two hours a day to spend doing a leisurely activity and still get paid for it! (Okay, I kind of do when I play on Facebook…but let’s be realistic. Whether we’re smokers or not, we ALL have periods where we take care of personal stuff ahead of work stuff…which then just ADDS to the grand total of how much less work smokers do!!). I vote that we non-smokers get to cash in those two hours the smokers get and utilize them for a napping hour. The smokers can smoke all they want, as long as I get to enjoy my cozy bed for two more hours out of every day. I should form a Union. I bet they would support that equal trade.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

9/11, Six Years Later

In all, 2,974 victims were killed by the Sept. 11 attacks: 2,750 connected to the World Trade Center, 40 in Pennsylvania and 184 at the Pentagon. Those numbers do not include the 19 hijackers. - Associated Press, September 11, 2007.

Today, I read the above statement while catching up on my morning news on jsonline.com this morning. In six years I have heard the death toll numbers stated over and over to me and never once had I stopped to think about the 19 hijackers. I don’t want to say that I assumed they were counted in the deaths, but I guess I never stopped to think that they weren’t included either. On four planes, in a matter of hours, 2,974 people had their lives taken to them by 19 men who will never be remembered as anything other than “the hijackers”. Their own cowardly deaths remain unaccounted for, while our own innocent citizens receive celebration for their courageous and tragic deaths on that fateful day. The number 2974 will never be tainted by evil, but will be remembered in reverence.

And I have to admit that that simple fact alone made me smile from within.

Friday, September 07, 2007

My Couch Arrived!

Yesterday, my couch arrived. Yes that one...the one to the left. And no...it's not pink. It's red and it's fabulous!

I arrived to my apartment following work yesterday and excitedly ran into my new living room to see if that adorable little Steinhafels furniture piece looked as good as I hoped it would on the showroom floor.

And it does! It's a perfect size, perfect color, and it's 100% me! I'm so excited to begin decorating around it. I have big plans with no money, so I'm not quite sure how I'm going to accomplish it yet but I'll find a way. Believe me!





Thursday, September 06, 2007

I Didn't Graduate With a Fashion Degree For Nothing

Just around the corner in every woman's mind - is a lovely dress, a wonderful suit, or entire costume which will make an enchanting new creature of her. ~Wilhela Cushman

I love great clothes. More importantly, I love the image you can project about yourself simply by throwing on a great pair of stiletto heels. Clothes have the ability to make whatever statement about yourself that you’d like to make, to transform you into a completely different version of yourself, and all you have to do is change your shirt!

When I walk outside with my Betsey Johnson heels on, and a great fitting pair of jeans, I am transformed from every day broke Christi, to confident, successful, over the top Christi! Forget the fact that I have a car that is seven years old and is falling apart from every crevice imaginable, or the fact that my student loan debt leaves me frustrated and stressed out at the end of each and every day. Never mind the idea that I’ve been running on the same running shoes since I ran the marathon THREE years ago, or the fact that I have to do all of my interneting at work because I can’t afford it at my own apartment. With great clothes, none of that matters! Because when you look great, you FEEL great, and people notice that!

Clothes can make you become just about anybody! When I want to be lazy Christi I throw on my sweats and a tank top and lounge around my apartment. When I want to hide out from the world I throw on my baseball cap and everyday jeans and wander through the city trying to go unnoticed. I can be a Goth princess for a day, a sporty jock, or a successful business woman! I can liven my mood with yellow, darken it with black or calm it with blue! Clothes can suggest, persuade, insinuate, insult, and even lie! All of that power wrapped up into a few tiny necessary pieces of our every day lives. It’s pretty amazing if you ask me.

With that, I come to you. Do any of you have that ONE piece in your wardrobe that just makes you become a different person? Does it make you more confident or more creative? Does it make you feel sadder, darker, or sexier?

Another Google Search

Want to know how else you can find my blog? Search for the following:
"buses going to cranberry festival from milwaukee"
What's funny about this search: I hate cranberries.
Except for Bacardi/Cranberry...which is probably why this person found my blog.
I'm just staying.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Do You Want To Know What Is....

Sad: I haven't stepped foot into a bathing suit all summer. Not once. Not even to try one on. That hasn't happened since the year of my birth...when I was too small to wear a real swimsuit and when wearing one wasn't necessary because your ridiculously huge and sagging wet diaper was enough coverage for your 1 year old bottom.

Unsettling: I have had a little over a thousand visitors to my website in the past month and yet I guarantee I don't have a thousand comments. I doubt I even have half of that. In fact, I've never even seen the likes of some of the people that my little meter says frequents my blog. HELLO! YES YOU...IN NEW YORK...(and you in San Francisco)...I'M TALKING TO YOU! WHO ARE YOU?! I'm Christi, nice to meet you. Now please comment so that I know you're not just one of my many stalkers. Because lets face it, I'm interesting.

Awesome: I got mad props at work today for my event planning abilities and I'm now getting requests from additional managers wanting me to coordinate their events as well. Horray for doing a good job at my job.

Pathetic: I have spent about 7 of the 8 hours that I have been here at work playing on Facebook. Please don't be jealous of my coolness. Please pretend like I am still doing a good job at my job.

Exciting: I'm going furniture shopping tonight. I can't afford a new couch, but I need one. I currently have two pillows on my living room floor playing the part of one couch. They're not comfortable, and they're ugly. That's reason enough.

Adorable: My neighbor Tracy's Siamese cat wears a huge pink bow around it's neck. And he's a boy. I love big gay cats.

Boring: My day. Which is why I am writing this blog post. Because lets face it, there's only so many hours you can spend on Facebook. The rest must be filled in with eating, blogging, and daydreaming about the vacation that I am definitely not taking.

A Traitor to the Woman's Movement?

I'm not going to lie and pretend that I don't like chivalry. Because I do. I love when a door is held open for me or when someone allows me to enter an establishment before them. I love getting flowers and a paid dinner every now and then and I simply adore when a gentleman stands up at a table when a woman does the same. I'm not ooey and gooey and overly romantic but I can't help but feel flattered when someone goes out of there way to make me feel special and important...and taken care of.

...even if I can take care of myself.

I do love to feel a bit vulnerable from time to time. To allow someone else to take the reigns over me every now and then. Yet there is a very large part of me that craves the independence that I have. The ability that I have to live on my own and pay for my own meals. To drive my own car and hold the door for others as opposed to it being held for me. I like buying my own flowers and taking myself out on dates and smiling at the end of the day that I did things for myself...by myself. Because I can and I do!!

I'm making my fellow feminists proud here. Except I can't consider myself a feminist. I like chivalry remember? And we can't expect chivalry and independence from male domination simultaneously.

Or can we?

Can I enjoy when a man opens the door for me yet stand up for my right to hold my own as well? Is a chivalrous man someone to be feared or thanked? To be an independent woman, do I have to give up my appreciation for chivalry as well? Am I trying to have my cake and eat it too?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

It's Going To Be a Bright Sunshiny Few Hours

This morning I stepped outside, rounded the corner to my tiny little convertible waiting patiently on the road in front of me, and for the first time in days…put on my sunglasses. After days and days of rain I awoke to sunlight…and it was fabulous! I have a feeling my moment will be short lived as the forecast calls for more rain as the day progresses, but for right now I am overjoyed at the fact that the sun has finally showed it’s face. It was greatly needed let me tell you! There are only so many gloomy days that I can handle before my mood begins to take a quick downward spike towards depression.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sturgis Bike Rally - 2007

Okay, I’m sorry I’ve been absent for so long. For some reason I just can’t seem to find the time to update this blog lately!!! Work is crazy busy and I don’t have internet yet at home so I have to try and fit it in between projects and traveling and….

No excuses, I’m sorry.

My two weeks at Sturgis Bike Week were awesome. I got a chance to go on a 14 hour bike ride through South Dakota where I saw Mount Rushmore, Custer National Park, Deadwood and of course, Sturgis itself. I never envisioned South Dakota to be so gorgeous. It makes me very excited for next year’s rally. Hopefully by then I’ll have my own bike and I can ride out myself.

At Mount Rushmore

This is the buffalo that almost ate me. It was literally 10 feet away from me.

Driving down Needles Highway.

Okay, so I don't REALLY ride, but it was fun to pretend.

Harley employees definitley know how to have a good time


Other than that, since I’ve been back I’ve been settling into my new apartment. Everything is unpacked and put into its respective place and I’m just now starting to compile a list of everything I have yet to purchase for my new apartment. It’s a growing list, as my wish lists usually are, but I’m hoping that in the next few months things with my job are going to progress a bit more and then maybe I can actually afford that new couch that is so badly needed!! Unfortunately a few things have been misplaced due to the move and because of that, I can’t seem to find my camera charger. As soon as I have it though I promise I will post pictures of the new pad. It’s just too cute not to show off. =)

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

More Celebrity De-Humanizing

Has anyone seen this site? Maybe you yourself are playing along!!

I'm sorry, but it really disturbs me!

Monday, July 30, 2007

I'm Almost Home

The moving process has officially begun and hopefully by this evening, I will be out of my parent's house and into my very own. Thanks to the generous help of my family on Friday evening I was able to move everything out of my storage shed and into my new apartment and by tonight I will have all my furniture moved out of my bedroom at the 'renties pad in B-Town. I'm feeling a bit stressed as I obviously have a lot of unpacking and settling to do, but it's going to have to wait a few more weeks as I leave for the Sturgis Bike Rally on Wednesday of this week. I hate the feeling of being unsettled, it's not good for my chi. I need to feel settled, and centered otherwise my mood becomes irritable and I get depressed. Seriously. I just can't wait for all this work travel to be over with and all this moving to be finished so that i can sit and relax...and just be. Ahhh, the feeling of being.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Shame On Me

You know what pisses me off? Last night, my brother and I got into a discussion over dinner about Thunder and it's origins. Without hesitation, I began discussing how the clouds crash together in the air because of something to do with the high and low pressure and then they...I stopped as I saw my brother staring me straight in the face trying desperately not to laugh.

"What"?

"Do you REALLY still believe that?"

"Isn't that what happens? I learned that in like third grade. I've known it for years. In fact, I can still remember the tiny exercise that my teacher had us...."

"No Christi"

He proceeded to explain to me what really happens when we hear thunder and I wanted to curl in a corner and die at how embarrassed I was. ALL THESE YEARS believing a LIE!

Bound and determined not to let it happen again, I went on an hour long Internet search of Thunder, Lighting, and all things associated with said storms and I came to the conclusion that my brother was in fact right...and I was sadly mistaken.

But it makes me so incredibly mad! As a young child, your educational needs are put into the hands of your teacher in front of you and you're trusting that the information they are providing you is accurate and true. I realize that as an adult we are taught to never take information at face value and to discover the truth on our own, but at the age of 10 how much questioning do you really know how to do? I sure as hell didn't and therefore I took in what I was taught, studied the information I needed to know, and regurgitated it in test format for my teacher to grade and give me that big ol' pretty sticker with a "good job" marked in red ink beside it. And that was it, I never thought of it again. I went on with life, carrying with me the "A" answer I gave on the test, never thinking about it again..until last night.

I consider myself an educated individual which is why it embarrasses me immensely to know that I took another aspect of my education for granted. I trusted a single source as fact.

Stupid Christi.

And stupid third grade teacher for misleading me =)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Google Rocks

According to my new sitemeter, somebody wandered over to my blog because of this song lyric:

this time i'm going to let it all come out this time i'm going to stand up and shout i'm going to do things my way its my way my way or the high way

It's only natural a Limp Bizkit song would lead someone to my blog =)

Oh, and I probably should give Krista proper acknowledgement for this post idea. =)

It's Not So Fond For Everyone

I sometimes wonder if my high school experience would have been any different, if certain factors were changed throughout those four years of school. What if I had never dated one of the “hot boys” or my mom had never taught me how to properly apply makeup. What if I had a wooden leg or hair on my face or was 150 pounds heavier? What if I dressed like a boy, had uncontrollable acne, or walked with a hunch in my back. Would I still have had the same friends, the same experiences, the same unforgettable memories?

I’d like to think the answer would be yes. That no matter what, my experiences would remain unchanged and my friends that I made would remain my friends no matter what. I mean, I’m still me right? And our class wasn’t like all the other high school classes that you read about in books and see in movies. We didn’t push kids in lockers or tease them because they were different. We didn’t throw spitballs at them at lunch or trip them in the halls while they were walking. The lines between “cool” and “uncool” remained obsolete. There wasn’t a popular crowd or a nerdy crowd. We all just kind of blended together. You could be who you wanted to be, friends with who you wanted, and that was okay with us...with ALL of us.

Or was it?

I can remember standing in our grand football stadium, cheering on our Burlington Demons during our Homecoming game my junior year of High School. I, dressed in my pom-pom uniform, was giddy with joy as my boyfriend hugged me from behind and we chatted with friends as the Color Guard took the field during half time. Moments later, a group of my fellow classmates began cheering loudly and mocking someone on the field. I turned to see what all the fuss was about and there, at the edge of the field stood a boy one year my senior dressed in satin and sequins, holding and twirling his flag high and proud. He smiled as he “danced” to the beat of our high school marching band and looked so proud that he was out there doing something he loved so much, even if it wasn’t exactly the “cool” thing for a guy his age to be doing. Travis was one of the few openly gay students in my high school and for the first time in my life, I witnessed the intolerance that my school held. As the marching band finished their song, the Color Guard turned towards the crowd and began to walk off the field, just in time for the boys in my class to combine their efforts, and toss the small souvenir footballs that had been given out at the night’s game, directly at Travis’s head. They laughed and cheered as each football took its turn, hitting him in the back, in the leg, and in the face. I remember the anger I felt as the last football had been released and these boys that I had called my “friends” looked so proud at what they had done. I glanced down at Travis, now walking away from our section of the stands, and I couldn’t help but feel overcome with such sadness for him. How absolutely horrifying that must feel to be singled out and humiliated in front of hundreds of peers and their parents.

I quickly pulled myself away from Dave’s grip and stormed directly over to the boys in my class, hoping that my angry words would affect them in some way. But they fell on deaf ears and I found myself a few minutes later depressed and sad that I could do nothing to save Travis from sheer embarrassment.

I don’t know if there were more stories like this in my high school. I never thought of my class or my school as being cliquey and mean, but I could just be naive to it all. Regardless, it’s so sad to me that a high school experience can be completely altered, simply by how you look or what hobbies you choose to partake in. I consider myself very lucky every single day that I can look back on my four years at BHS with fondness but it makes me sad to think that there are children who wake up every single day hating school and everyone in it. They’re depressed, and inverted, and occasionally angry and suicidal. Some drop out, turn to drugs, or shoot up their schools. And a lot of it has to do with the simple fact that they just don’t, “fit in”.

How do we change that? How do we teach our children to be accepting of ALL people and to not punish those people who don’t have similar interests as us? How do we change a school system that praises the popular and ignores the rest? How do we ensure that all of our children have the chance at a happy educational career?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Number Of The Day: 400

Do you guys want to hear something absolutely startling?

Ever since I decided I was going to turn over a new leaf, and teach myself how to save money and spend less I have been paying careful attention to where my money is going and in some cases, documenting said money into a spending journal (read: scratch paper on my desk at work). Taking it one step further, I also went through my bank statements yesterday and consolidated all of my expenses into categories (Bills, Dining Out, Starbucks, Etc) just to see where most of my money is going. I am seriously not kidding about the following statement:

Every month I spend close to $400 on eating out alone.

$400!!!!! Can you guys even imagine throwing away that much money on a monthly basis? And I wonder why throughout this period at my parent's house I wasn't able to save nearly as much money as I had wanted to. $400 is just absurd. I've never heard of such a ridiculous thing! I've always been told from my significant others that "I've never eaten out as much in my entire life as I have since I started dating you" but I always assumed everyone was just exaggerating. After all I didn't think I ate out THAT much.

But my $400 dollar a month restaurant bill seems to prove me wrong.

I am SO thankful that I started doing that little exercise because without it, I seriously don't think I would have ever changed my habits! I never in a million years would have imagined that my love of restaurants was having such a dramatic effect on my checkbook. I'm excited to move into my new apartment and start grocery shopping again, and cooking for myself and hopefully saving a little more money now that I understand how much I can be saving by doing so.

It may be a wake up call a little late in the game, but at least I'm up now.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The ONLY Mention of Harry Potter You Will Probably Ever See On Here

Okay, I know I am setting myself up to be pelted by e-rocks but I am willing to take that chance because this just has to get off of my chest otherwise I may blow.

I am so sick and tired of Harry Potter. If I have to see one more blog post (mine doesn't count =) ), one more news story, one more poster broadcasting the release of ANOTHER friggin' book I am going to go ballistic.

Harry Potter has taken over the world. If he could run for president, I bet everyone would wait in line to vote for him.

Can the books really be THAT good? I mean really. Were Beanie Babies really THAT valuable? Was the Furby really THAT cool? And seriously, does the world really need another sci-fi obsession? Wasn't star-wars enough?

But I digress. The Furby was pretty damn cool, and I do give JKRowling a ridiculous amount of credit for accomplishing what she has. I mean hell, she's making reading FUN again...for everyone!!!

Maybe if I actually read the books I'd have a different opinion and maybe if I gave the movies another shot I'd be more willing to accept the fact that Harry Potter and his friends really are cool people worth every 4 hour line. But I think you'll have a hard time convincing me that ANYTHING needs this much hype, unless there's some cure for the incurable disease.

I just can't wait until this whole thing has blown over, the depression of the final book has finally had it's chance to pass on through, and the world can get back to it's regularily scheduled program.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Another Post Doncha Know

You know that one language stereotype that Wisconsin has? The one where we all speak using words like “Yoder hay” (if I even spelt that right), “Doncha know” and “you betcha”? I have spent the majority of my adult life defending the Wisconsin name and adamantly sticking to my guns in saying that we do NOT talk like that. After all, I have lived in Wisconsin almost my entire life and I have yet to meet someone who has said any of the above three words, let alone all three of them repeatedly. Sure we say our “o’s” a little funny and I’ll admit that the word Bubbler does exist in my vocabulary, but I never understood where the stereotype came from!

And then, I spent the weekend in Fond Du Lac/Oshkosh and I realized just how right on the stereotype is.

You guys, I’m not kidding when I tell you that on an hourly basis, while sitting at the softball fields, I heard someone yell out “Oh you betcha” or “sure, sure”. I even heard a few “Oh for the Christ’s” thrown in there and I couldn’t help but laugh each and every time I heard them because seriously…who talks like that, really! What’s funny about it all is that I lived in Oshkosh for almost a year and I don’t remember EVER hearing people talk like that, but now that I’ve been out of there for a number of years it’s more prominent to me than ever!

Sure I always giggle when my Oshkosh friends call me and I can hear their new “northern” accents becoming thicker and thicker but never have I heard them use the word “betcha”. But this weekend I realized that people DO say it, just north of my “neck of the woods”! Every time I heard someone say “Oh sure, sure, you betcha” I would laugh at them thinking they were obviously joking, but after about the third time I realized they were not in fact mocking the stereotype, but they WERE the stereotype.

*pause*

*blank stare*

Wait, you really do talk like that don’t you?

I’m glad to have gotten out of there before I adopted the language myself, but I can definitely appreciate it from afar! Sure it sounds funny, and it makes me giggle when I hear it, but I love it because it’s Wisconsin and this fine state of ours wouldn’t be the same without them.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Apartment Woes No Longer

I got an apartment, I got an apartment, I got an apartment!!!!!!

I

Got

an Apartment.

After months, and months of searching and stressing out I am FINALLY going to be moved out of my parents house and into the CUTEST apartment!! Unfortunatley the claw foot tub place didn't exactly work out but I found a bigger and better place in Bayview that I just adore. It has a huge kitchen with a porch extending out into my cute little backyard, a bedroom off the kitchen, hard wood floors and a carpeted loft bedroom. Mmmhhmmm. Home Sweet Home.

You guys have no idea how amazing it feels. I've been at home for ALMOST a year now and I have hated every single second of it. Not that there's anything wrong with my parents because they really are two of the greatest people ever! But after living on my own for so long, and then suddenly being thrown back into their house, with very little space to call "my own", I quickly became miserable as I pined for the streets of Milwaukee that I adore so much.

But no longer. On Monday, I will sign the lease to my Bayview apartment and hopefully in the next week or two I will be completely moved in and ready to throw that house warming party I've been planning since I moved back in with the 'renties.

I seriously cannot wait. The excitement cannot be contained.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Golfer I Am

I’ve always said that the best job I’ve ever had was the three years that I worked at the Golf Course (two years at Geneva National Golf Club and one year at Hawksview Golf Club, both in Lake Geneva). I loved getting up bright and early in the summer morning, and pulling around the bend to the clubhouse with the sprinklers misting in the distance. My love of golf began in the morning with the smell of expensive leather golf bags perched high in the pro shop and ended as I turned off the Masters Tournament on the TV at night. I loved talking handicaps, and course slopes with the members of the Golf Club and I loved the superiority I felt when I told golfers “90 degree rule today out there. Have to keep our greens alive!” Yes, life at the golf course was heavenly…and I wasn’t even a golfer.

Until now.

Summer 2007 marks the official date that I, Christi N. Anderson picked up her first golf club and hit a little white ball (okay I’m not going to lie…it was pink) across a fairway and (eventually) onto the putting green. It was AWESOME! And you know what? I didn’t suck half as bad as I thought I was going to. In fact, if I do say so myself, I think I was quite the natural, which is a huge accomplishment considering I’ve never been “natural” at ANYTHING! My dad, who has been golfing for like 20 years, said my swing looks like I’ve been doing it all my life and when I actually managed to hit the ball…it went straight! STRAIGHT! And sometimes it even went far! It was so much fun. I’ve been itching to go to the driving range now and practice up on some of the techniques I was taught throughout my nine holes on the Grand Geneva Highlands course.

Thinking back to my years working at golf courses I can now fully understand why working there was such a joy, because people were there to do something that they truly enjoy doing. And it’s really a lot of fun! It’s no wonder it would be a happy place to work! I can’t wait to eventually head back to the establishments that I hold so dear in my heart only this time as one of them…a true golfer.

Not just a girl in the pro shop =)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Let Me See If You Can Run It, Run It

I just got back from the most UNBELIEVABLE run through the Washington Highlands here in Milwaukee. I think I heard that the Mayor has a house in there, but I could be wrong on that. Regardless of what political figure does or doesn't live there, the neighborhood is by far one of my Milwaukee favorites, and I welcome the opportunity to discover it on my own two feet any day!

One of the things I love most about this city, is the abundance of adorable neighborhoods, all within such close proximity to one another. It's unfortunate that the city itself is being overcome by poverty and crime, because there are so many beautiful places to be seen. Between the Highlands, and Bayview, the Eastside and the Third Ward, Milwaukee has some amazing places to discover. Not to mention the close bording cities such as Shorewood, Whitefish Bay, and Wauwatosa that remind you, "Someday, I'll be rich enough to own one of those houses!"

Oh and speaking of being rich, can I PLEASE have Victoria Beckhams hair cut..now! Thank you.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Home Sweet Home

AND, I'm home. Nashville was great, although I didn't really get a chance to see much of it. It's sad to think that I was in such a fabulous city (or so I've heard) and the most I saw of it was from the window of my taxi cab while heading to eat. I did get a chance to see the Grand Ol' Opry though so at least I can say that much about my week there. Oh AND, round two of my new found flight status....FABULOUS! Yes, my return flight was equally as stress free as my flight there. I'm back everyone! =)

Back in Milwaukee news, I put in an application for an apartment today. It's about flippin' time right?! The selling point of this apartment...a stand alone claw foot tub. Pretty sure, it's my dream bathroom and I'm super excited about it. I reminds me of those candle commercials where the women are sprawled out in their tubs with their legs hanging over both sides and the bubbles are overflowing the tub while they relax to the sweet smell of lavender glade candles...I'm hoping that will be me as of August 1st. Oh yeah, and the owner has two pugs. TWO....PUGS. I think I was a bit biased there as well. I only hope I get it. There's a lot of interest in the apartment and I don't think I was the first to get my application in. But I guess we'll see!!!

Friday, July 06, 2007

A Milestone

Today, marks the first time in well over three years that I got onto a plane...worry free. HORRAY! It felt so good to board that plane this morning and actually enjoy the 1hr 15min. flight to Nashville, TN.

I gazed out my little airplane window at the cities moving quickly below me. I followed I-94 Eastbound until it hit Chicago and I smiled thinking how different it all looked from 30,000 feet in the air. I found myself saying silently, "Look that's the exit I would take to my apartment", or "so THAT'S the direction I'm going when I merge onto that highway!" You sure do get a brilliant perspective from way up there!! I guess I wouldn't know considering I've spent the last 50 airplane trips huddled in the fetal position with tears in my eyes.

But not today! =)

Nashville is great so far. The people are SO fantastic and this hotel you guys, A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. If you haven't heard of them before, check out their website. Whenever I travel for work we always stay at one of their facilities and I must say with each city I become more and more impressed with the establishments. They're like Vegas hotels, without the gambling!!!

Sadly, I'm being charged $.40 a minute to sit here and update my blog so I must end this quickly. But I just wanted to check in and update seeing as how I'm going to be pretty busy here for the next two weeks. I'll try to come back as soon as I can!!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A Penny Saved is a Concept I Just Don't Understand

Okay two things. 1.) This is my 150th post. woot woot! I'm not really one for anniversaries, or significant numbers so I'm not going to do anything special for this particular post (even though I did make a super fun "100 things about me" list for my 100th post...but that was more so because I like excuses to talk about myself...and the 100th post seemed like the perfect opportunity to do that).

2.) Isn't it ironic that you have to spend money to get a book about personal finance? Okay maybe I'm misusing the word "irony" in this situation but regardless, it sucks that I have to spend even more money (that I don't necessarily have) to learn about how to not spend so much of it!

I have money issues, this is no secret, and for the past few months I have repeatedly complained to this blog, to friends and family, to co-workers, and to anyone that will listen really, about my financial troubles. But the truth of the matter is, I truly have nobody to blame but myself. I spend as if I can...and I totally can't. I love martini bars with the girls and expensive dinners on the weekends. I love driving in the Cabby as often and for as long as I possibly can, and don't think twice when I re-fill my gas tank twice, sometimes three times a week, with the $35 expensive fuel. I eat out 5 times a week for lunch, and occasionally even more than that on the weekends. I buy $250 pairs of jeans, and $200 high heeled shoes and I sadly spend even more than that on my hair every three months. I buy drinks for others when I'm out, go on Vacations that I can't afford, and don't think twice about losing the few dollars that I put through the wash on a daily basis. Yes, the word budget is definitley not one that is in my vocabulary and if I don't start making changes right now while I still can, I'm going to be in major trouble later in life.

Thankfully the only debt I have is one hefty student loan payment each month.

I don't really have a clue on where to start budgeting and that whole investing concept and 401K and blah blah...it frightens me really. But I KNOW that I need to start thinking about these things. I am 25 after all, not 15. SO, I'm starting things off with a trip to Barnes and Noble this evening to purchase some much needed guidance on how to begin my personal finance future and hopefully in the next few months, this blog will consist of POSITIVE money posts, as opposed to the traditional ramblings about how I can't afford the apartment of my dreams because I had to buy a new handbag last month instead =)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Apartment Woes Part II

Uy, I am STILL apartment hunting. I feel as though this chapter of my life is never going to end. I’m going to continue living with my parents until I’m 85 and only then will I finally find the apartment of dreams because old people get ALL the cool stuff in their senior housing apartments. Hell, by the time I’m 85 I feel as though my parents will just be turning 90 so maybe we can be neighbors and I’ll officially never leave the nest…ever.

And now I’m depressed.

Alright, so I’m being dramatic, but I’m just frustrated. I thought that getting a roommate would take some of the stress out of this whole situation but now I’m just finding that we have TWO people who can’t be pleased. And it’s not that I’m hard to please at all. In fact, I’m extremely low maintenance!! I just don’t feel like I should have to pay $1000 a month in rent and get nothing in return for that! It’s ludicrous to me. I’m willing to negotiate and compromise on most things that I ultimately want in an apartment (in unit washer and dryer, heated parking garage, big ol’ deck), but in order to do that I have to find something that’s even worth LIVING in first off!!! How can landlords even think that some of these places are livable!! Who could live like some of these people do!!!! What landlord would willingly SHOW a place in such poor condition?!.

I have appointments to look at three more places this afternoon and if nothing pans out with them then its back to the drawing board…and craigslist.com. I must admit I get a little excited every morning as I make my way to craigslist and peruse the posting that appeared overnight. I just know someday soon I’ll get lucky!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Park City, Utah...A Tiny Slice Of Heaven

What an unbelievable weekend I just had. My time in Park City can only be described by using the word, wow! I know, I'm a literary genius aren't I?!

I wasn't sure what to expect as I arrived into the Salt Lake City Airport late Wednesday evening. To start things off I was DRUNK after the plane ride (I don't fly well, so I decided to cure my stress with wine...4 glasses...it worked!) and ended up getting fairly sick on the half hour drive to Park City. Part in fact due to my alcohol intake, part in fact due to the winding, twisting roads and the altitude I'm sure. By the time I got to our Condo. I wasn't exactly in any mood to party and really just wanted to go to bed. But alas, I hadn't seen my brother in a while and I was excited to spend a bit of time catching up with him...even if all I really wanted to do was puke over the side of our deck.

Our condo. was gorgeous. It was right on the mountain and had a beautiful view of the Park City mountain range around us (which I wouldn't find out until the next morning). We had two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a fireplace, and fully stocked kitchen complete with a wonderful little gift basket provided to us from my brother's boss Michelle (we stayed at the hotel my brother works at right now). We chatted for a little bit, and I called it a night around 2:00 am Park City time. I was EXHAUSTED and wanted to get a good night's sleep to rest up for our busy few days ahead of us.

When I awoke the next morning and stepped out onto our deck my jaw literally dropped as I scanned the horizon. Towering mountains covered with fluffy green trees sprawled out around me and I couldn't help but stare in awe for a minutes as I took it all in. THIS is what my brother got to wake up to every single morning. It sure makes me feel a bit jealous that I live someplace as visually boring as Wisconsin (although I must admit Lake Michigan's views are something to contend with). I awoke the rest of the family as I giddly anticipated our day outside, playing among these mountains that I so rarely get to see.

And playing we did!

We spent the next few days outside doing every outdoors activity we could find to do. We played on the mountain, and riding a few of the touristy rides: Zip Line, Rollar Coaster, and Mountain Slide. They were a lot of fun, and a great excuse to be outside but I tired quickly of the ride concept and so we headed out, this time to the site of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Here we toured around the facility seeing where all the great athletes of the world competed and watched some olympic training ourselves at the ski/snowboard practice facility. I was in awe as I watched men and women younger than my brother barreling down a mock hill at a rapid speed and catapulting themselves through the air, all the while bending and stretching and flipping their bodies and landing safely in a pool of water. It was awesome!!! I'll post pictures as soon as I have them I promise.

We were also able to do a bit of hiking on our trip as well and we ate some amazing meals as well. But I have to admit that I was most happy when we were simply driving around Park City in our little Xterra, checking out the views that the mountain city had to offer. I tried to take in every site I could and take as many pictures as I could, but as with most things in life, a picture just doesn't seem to do it any justice. The beauty remains instilled in those mountain tops for every visitor to see.

Although my trip was amazing, and the city extremely beautiful, I must admit that I was really happy to be home in Wisconsin. I wish I could wake up every morning and see a towering mountain in my back yard, but I'm really thankful that I don't have to maneuver around them every single day to get to work or to get to a grocery store. I love an open road and the occasional flat stretch of path that lay before me. I love open grass lands and the way Lake Michigan smells on a cool spring day. The mountains are a great place to visit every now and again, but I don't think I could ever call that small little mountain town home.

I'll leave that to my baby brother.

It really was a truly fantastic weekend...busy, but fantastic. I would gladly visit Park City, UT again ANY day. You all should too.

And that's all I have.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I'm Leaving On A Jet Plane...and I Know When I'll Be Back Again

About a year ago my baby brother Mikey, headed for the hills of Utah in search of his life long dream of bumming it out on the ski slopes, growing his hair to ridiculously long levels, and probably sleeping on numerous random couches and dirty floors. You see, unlike his big sister, my brother is a "free spirit" if you will. Not quite a hippy in the sense of tree hugging and acid trips and world peace, but he generally doesn't give a rats ass about big business, corporate america, and wearing his pants at it's natural intended place on the body. In fact, when he was a Sophmore in college, he and his buddies took a week trip to Spain for spring break and instead of sleeping in hostels (or hotels with little soap samples like I would prefer), they opted for the "au natural" approach and slept on park benches and beaches throughout their stay. It's not exactly my style...but it fits him.

Needless to say, as he approached his Junior year of college he found that he wasn't experiencing everything in life that he felt he needed to be experiencing and thus packed up his truck, and drove to Park City, UT where he took a job as a snowboard instructor on one of the very large mountain resorts in the area. He absolutley loves what he's doing, and he's perfect for the job, but him being so far away from home gets a bit sad sometimes so I vowed to take a trip out there sometime before he returns home for good.

That opportunity presented itself this weekend and I jumped at the opportunity to spend a few days in the mountains of Utah doing what Utah-ians do...hiking, biking, hyaking...I'm not really sure what's all in store for my time there but I'm sure it'll be a lot of fun none-the-less. I'm very excited to board that plane tomorrow afternoon (rest assured I have an entire bag full of my spaz spills, as I like to call them) and just spend some time in the outdoors with my entire family. If there are three people on this planet (besides Jon Hainstock and his music) that can lift my spirits it's my mom, my dad, and my baby brother. I feel very fortunate to have such a tight knit family, and one that I thoroughly enjoy spending lots of time with.

With that said, I will be absent for a few days as I frolick in nature, but rest assured I will return with plenty of pictures, and hopefully some good stories. Or maybe just a really good tan, which I would be completely okay with as well.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Jon Hainstock Rocks My World

Live music, and great company will cure anything…I’m not kidding!

I was feeling really sick and down in the dumps on Friday and ended up getting into my car at the end of the day and just crying to myself. It felt really good to let it all out and just be sad for a second instead of constantly putting on the flippin’ happy face. I called Tara immediately, and I felt better after I unloaded on her. I was very grateful for her kind face and words. I sometimes feel as though I have nobody to talk to these days, but then I remember that no matter what Tara has always been there for me…a shoulder to cry on. And it makes me feel a little better to know that.

Shortly after, Tara made me a daiquiri which instantly made me feel better, but I couldn’t shake the icky feeling in my stomach or the sickness in my body. I was slightly dreading the rest of the evening, as I had made plans earlier in the week to meet up with some friends at Live on North Ave. to see Jon Hainstock’s show but I knew that being around good friends would make a world of difference for my mood.

It most definitely did.

John’s show was amazing! He has quickly been thrown to the top of my list of "live musical acts to see whenever possible", and everyone else at the bar seemed to be thinking the same thing. Tara, Nicky, Joe, Sara and I grabbed a table close to the front of the stage and enjoyed our half priced martinis and free Bud Lights, courtesy of the Bud Light girls running a special promotion there that evening. Jayne and her posse arrived shortly after and I was thrilled to be able to spend a little bit of time catching up with a dear friend whom I see not nearly enough. In between sets you could hear the rumble of the crowd singing sounds of praise for what they were hearing that night, and the friends I arrived with that evening said they would definitely be willing to see him again. Score! By the time the show ended I was a proud owner of a new Jon Hainstock CD and a certified fan no doubt. He rocked, seriously. I need to talk to his “manager” about getting him to Milwaukee more often!!

We left the bar early as I was sick and needed sleep desperately but I was thrilled that I trooped it out for the evening and went to the show. Music is my safe haven to a world of chaos. No matter what happens, or how I’m feeling, a good song and a great sound will heal almost anything I’m feeling…even if it’s only temporary. Throw in some great friends and some yummy drinks into the equation and you have your own personal psychological treatment facility right there at your fingertips.

It felt good to smile that day.