Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Oh NO!

Sources: Republicans pick Twin Cities for GOP Convention
Republicans have chosen the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul for the 2008 presidential convention, GOP officials said Wednesday.The selection was expected to be announced later today, said the Republican sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The choice of the Twin Cities would provide a major political punch for the GOP, capturing the media markets in Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota -- all battleground states in the 2004 election.Losing out were New York City, Cleveland and a joint bid from Tampa and St. Petersburg, Fla., cities that had sought the GOP convention.The four-day event will be held at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., home of the hockey team.

The Twin Cities also are in the running for the Democratic national convention.The Democrats plan to hold their convention Aug. 25-28, 2008, and the Republicans will meet a few days later on Sept. 1-4.

The Democrats, who last met in Boston, will announce a decision later this fall. A spokesman said 11 sites expressed interest in having the party's convention, but only four completed the proposals. New Orleans later withdrew its bid, leaving Denver, New York City and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

The GOP held its last convention in New York City, where GOP delegates nominated President Bush for a second term.The last national convention in the Twin Cities was in 1892, when the GOP backed President Benjamin Harrison in an unsuccessful re-election bid.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Anyone up for a little protesting in 08? I know I will be! It is bad enough when one of them comes to town and stops traffic everywhere. At least it will be a chance to bring some political voice to the cities, both good and bad. Still, I sure hope that the Dems have a viable candidate this year. This regime has got to change.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Reasons to be happy today!

* The sun is shining and the temp is beautiful!
* This weekend I cleaned the bedroom to an inch of its life and finally it is getting close to being clean and organized (closets too).
* I got through all my post-it note to-dos today!
* I got to see Emilie and Daniel on Friday and got to have a great lunch with them!
* I've been able to run my errands when needed lately.
* Everything went smoothly on Sunday morning for the first time this fall.
* My fantasy football team hasn't lost yet and despite a bad showing yesterday I still have a chance.
* I finally turned in my budget sheets for next year!
* I got free lunch!
* My shipments for Sunday School came a full week early.
* Dark chocolate M & M's
* Oh, and did I mention that it was a beautiful, sunny fall day. Perfect.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Quick update

Ok, so I have been negligent about posting. I really wish that I had something intelligent or deep to say at the moment but I don't. I've been just swamped at work and working 12 hour days hasn't been unusual lately. I hope that starting this weekend things will calm down somewhat since everything at church will have started again. Hopefully things will regain a sense of routine and normalcy.

Despite the being busy, life has been pretty good. There is something uplifting about working hard and seeing progress, and work has been that way lately. It has to be due to the workload but it is still nice to feel productive.

I've been feeling the itch for some serious cleaning/sorting too. I may have to do some of that this weekend, since Chris will be gone all weekend again. (He gets to go to a weekend long bachelor party, poor guy) We'll have to see. Hopefully there will be some girl kinds of fun that weekend too!

That's all from here right now. I have been mulling over a 9/11 post and hope to get that up here soon. And if any brilliant observations occur to me, I'll be sure to post!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The X-factor

I'm the first person to admit, I had a pretty calm and sheltered dating experiences growing up and becoming an adult. I've a several boyfriends, some serious, some not but I've been lucky. I've had no major blowup breakup experiences, no major boyfriend now enemy occurences, and very few awkward moments really. I'm still friends with some of my exes. I've been lucky.

Ok Liz, you may ask, why are you talking about dating when it was so long ago. You've been with your wonderful husband for over 6 years and married for 3. What's the deal?

Here's the deal. Today I had a situation that I can only describe as an Ex - encounter. This is not someone I've ever dated, thought about dating and doesn't even remotely deal with dating but the emotions seem compatible.

If you recall from several weeks ago, an active and friendly family from our church recently decided to leave to go to another church. The mom was one of my right hand volunteers and helped me with a wide variety of tasks around the church and in the ministry. I was floored when they told me they were leaving. I didn't see it coming and I didn't understand why. The reason that I was given was that they wanted their kids to go to Sunday School with the same kids they went to school with (?!).

That reasoning it appeared may not have been the only reason based on information from other congregation members and the pastors conversations with them, however we may never know fully. Nevertheless, given their close help to my area of the church, I felt hurt, abandoned and wondered what I'd done wrong in this "relationship." I even felt mad. I felt like if things weren't working the way they wanted it too, they had a responsiblity to stay and try to fix things. I have a hard time with the "church shopping" philosophy today. It seems that everyone is looking for what a church can offer them without stopping to think what the church needs of them. But I digress..

Today, I heard voices outside my office and one of them was a colleague I needed to speak with. I went out in the hall and there was the mom from this family chatting with two co-workers. (Her daughter still attends our preschool here (?!).) I wasn't expecting her, and I confess that I jumped back into my office thinking "I don't think she saw me!" And I don't think she did because she left shortly afterward. It took me a long while to want to leave my office again though. I didn't want to run into her, but I was hurt that she didn't come say hi. I didn't know what to say and I was a coward. The nearest thing I can think of is comparing this to avoiding an ex. There is a sense I wanted her to see how good things are going....look at my fabulous redesigned billboard, and all the new programs we're running, aren't you sad you left? But I also didn't want to see that their leaving made me emotional, or that my office was still a mess. I was torn between wanting her to see that we were fine without them, but also aware that I still cared what they thought and that kinda pissed me off.

It was a surreal experience in the end. I don't know how to describe it. I know they are within their rights to go to any church. I wish them the best. I still think the world of their kids, who were adorable and smart. And they are still wonderful people.

So their you go. I may have been a dating novice, but chalk one awkward Ex-encounter for me, even if it isn't in the traditional sense.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Long time, no post.

Hello everyone!

No, I have not dropped off the face of the earth. Instead I fell into the black hole that is the week before Rally Day. Given that I work in a church and do Children's Ministry, Rally Day is the equivalent of our first day of school. It is a busy time, which requires organizing teachers, cleaning out classrooms, orientations and all sorts of little details that need doing. Needless to say, it was a crazy busy time for me and I spent a lot more time at work than my norm.

All in all, Rally Day went quite well. There were a lot of new people signed up for Sunday School and it was nice to have the energy and chaos (the good kind) that comes with the fall beginnings. There were some conspicuous absences that I felt deeply - two families who left the church this summer - families who were regulars and involved. But for the most part, there was a lot of good progress and good things going on. The chaos of the new beginnings haven't ended, and won't until our brand new Wed night program debuts on the 20th. Still it is good to be out of that pre-Rally Day stress.

Yesterday ended up being a great day too thanks to Chris and my birthday present! For my birthday last month Chris gave me tickets for a train ride. (Big deal? you say...Yes! it is!) Some background: My husbands family are deeply interested in the history of the locomotive, particularly steam locomotives. Since meeting Chris, I have embraced this and found that there is a beautiful sense of history and nostalgia associated with this trains, and that when they are run they are some of the most impressive machines I know of. It is true that airplanes boggle the mind about how they are able to fly, or scientific discoveries or medial machines that are important and life-saving, but the steam engine is unlike anything I know when witnessed.

So we were going on a train ride being pulled by the steam engine 261. If you ever have a chance to go see a steam engine it is something you won't forget easily. I've been lucky to go on several train rides and witness several others, including some fun "train chasing" This one was wonderful too. It was an icky day yesterday - rainy and cold and we had tickets. We got to watch beautiful countryside go by (rainy countryside) safe and warm in the train. We even managed to get a little compartment to ourselves so we had a lovely time talking and enjoying ourselves - without homework, work, tv or anything to bother us. It was a great, great afternoon. Once we got back the rain had let up some so I was able to take some train pictures. I hope that you like them! :)

P.S. They have fall color train excursions each October where they go down to Winona and you can enjoy the colors and the steam engine if anyone is interested. It is an amazing day!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

It's coming...

It's almost here...

Are YOU ready for it?

More I?


It's on its way...


it is....



Be not afraid, I shall protect you. For I am the Children's Ministry Director! Writer of curriculums, master of phone calling, supreme ruler of the Education Wing. Never fear. Rally Day will come but all will be well.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Solitary Confinement

I been having a quiet, unplanned weekend alone at home. My husband is up north camping with his family at a tractor/train festival thing that they go to often. I was supposed to go too...or rather he wasn't go to go. It's a long story.

We were going to go with his family and camp for the weekend. The only questions were weather and Chris' homework level. Well, Chris decided he could do it with homework, only the weather for the weekend looked totally terrible (early this week). So we weren't going to go.

And I got asked to sing in church and we were already staying in town so got guilted into saying yes. Saturday morning I wake up and go to the gym. When I get home I hop in the shower, looking forward to going to the State Fair with Chris that day. When I get out of the shower (ok, I had to shave but it didn't take that long), Chris announced that he was going anyway and left to go meet his family.

So I feel doubly bad and left out. I really wanted to go, but thought we weren't. And I couldn't back out of a commitment. And I feel bad because my own plans got ruined. I feel bad that I'm letting the family down being the only one who's not there. But still, I'm glad that Chris got a chance to go.

Still, so far it has been a lonely weekend. I didn't do anything Sat with a headache due to allergies. I did email a few folks to see if they were around, but to a person they were all out of town or had plans. What is worst about it, is that sometimes I look forward to being alone, but I've felt very isolated from my friends lately (they all have busy lives, and many have kids to work around too) and an unplanned weekend alone was the last thing that I wanted.

Today I went to church to sing and tried to track more people down. With no luck. I did manage to make a trip to Target but other than the cashier and a brief call from the family I'm been friends to the tv, the computer and the cats all day long. I've watched lots of crappy tv, the Twins lose and a couple of movies this weekend so far and I have the majority of tomorrow too.

It hasn't been all bad. I had a particularly lovely evening watching The Chronicles of Narnia:The Lion, the Witch and the Wardobe, eating mac and cheese and early halloween candy from Target. But more than anything I was looking forward to seeing people, doing something social, and feeling loved, but other than kitty love it has been scarce this week.

I suppose I shouldn't be in such a funk. A lot of folks would love a quiet weekend, but it doesn't suit my state of mind right now. Work is stressful, the house is a mess and I just wanted to do something fun. Ok, I know that I should stop the pity party, but its my blog and i'll whine if I want to! :p

I hope that you are all having fun with your family this labor day. I'll be out of confinement tomorrow sometime!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Pinky and the Brain

Last night, Chris and I were listening on the radio to the debate between Mark Kennedy and Amy Kobuchar for the Senate seat here in MN. Naturally, the debate was disappointing in many ways, and we didn't end up listening to the whole thing, mostly because I'd start arguing with the radio!
One of the most annoying things was that Kennedy was spouting the party line to a tea. He responses might have been written by Coleman or Cheney or whoever. It was extremely frustrating to listen to his stock answers.
After we'd given up on the debate something reminded me of a cartoon from my youth. Now I was a little old when this cartoon came out so I don't know it well but my younger sister would watch it and that was better than homework so I'd watch too. The cartoon? Pinky and the Brain. (The link takes you to the opening theme song...the words are also below.)

Pinky and the Brain Theme Song
They're Pinky and The Brain
Yes, Pinky and The Brain
One is a genius
The other's insane.
They're laboratory mice
Their genes have been spliced
They're dinky
They're Pinky and The Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain Brain. Before each night is done
Their plan will be unfurled
By the dawning of the sun
They'll take over the world.
They're Pinky and The Brain
Yes, Pinky and The Brain
Their twilight campaign
Is easy to explain.
To prove their mousey worth
They'll overthrow the Earth
They're dinky
They're Pinky and The Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain

The cartoon was always funny but now as I thought about it last night it seemed strangely prophetic. The cartoon has two mice, Pinky and the Brain. The Brain is a genius whose goal is world domination. Pinky is just rather slow and nuts. They work together each night to try to take over the world, with Pinky trying to help Brain's plans but more often than not screwing them up. Recalling this I made a dramatic connection...


Think about it. One is dumb and sort of nuts, the other is the brains of the operation, using his partner to achieve his goal...WORLD DOMINATION. Scary, huh?

(Of course, I'm joking...mostly)