Thursday, September 30, 2004
Richard Gephardt: Air National Guard, 1965-71.
David Bonior: Staff Sgt., Air Force 1968-72.
Tom Daschle: 1st Lt., Air Force SAC 1969-72.
Al Gore: enlisted Aug. 1969; sent to Vietnam Jan. 1971 as an army journalist in 20th Engineer Brigade.
Bob Kerrey: Lt. j.g. Navy 1966-69; Medal of Honor, Vietnam.
Daniel Inouye: Army 1943-'47; Medal of Honor, WWII.
John Kerry: Lt., Navy 1966-70; Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat V Purple Hearts.
John Edwards: did not serve.
Charles Rangel: Staff Sgt., Army 1948-52; Bronze Star, Korea.
Max Cleland: Captain, Army 1965-68; Silver Star &Bronze Star, Vietnam.
Ted Kennedy: Army, 1951-1953.
Tom Harkin: Lt., Navy, 1962-67; Naval Reserve, 1968-74.
Jack Reed: Army Ranger, 1971-1979; Captain, Army Reserve 1979-91.
Fritz Hollings: Army officer in WWII, receiving the Bronze Star and seven campaign ribbons.
Leonard Boswell: Lt. Col., Army 1956-76; Vietnam, DFCs, Bronze Stars, and Soldier's Medal.
Pete Peterson: Air Force Captain, POW. Purple Heart, Silver Star and Legion of Merit.
Mike Thompson: Staff sergeant, 173rd Airborne, Purple Heart.
Bill McBride: Candidate for Fla. Governor. Marine in Vietnam; Bronze Star with Combat V.
Gray Davis: Army Captain in Vietnam, Bronze Star.
Pete Stark: Air Forc e 1955-57 Chuck Robb: in Vietnam
Howell Heflin: Silver Star
George McGovern: Silver Star & DFC during WWII.
Bill Clinton: Did not serve. Student deferments.
Jimmy Carter: seven years in the Navy.
Walter Mondale: Army 1951-1953
John Glenn: WWII and Korea; six DFCs and Air Medal with 18 Clusters.
Tom Lantos: served in H ungarian underground in WWII.
Wesley Clark: U.S. Army, 1966-2000, West Point, Vietnam, Purple Heart, Silver Star. Retired 4-star general.
John Dingell: WWII vet
John Conyers: Army 1950-57, Korea
Dennis Hastert: did not serve.
Tom Delay: did not serve. House Whip,
Roy Blunt: did not serve.
Bill Frist: did not serve.
Rudy Giuliani: did not serve.
George Pataki: did not serve.
Mitch McConnell: did not serve.
Rick Santorum: did not serve.
Trent Lott: did not serve.
Dick Cheney: did not serve. Several deferments.
John Ashcroft: did not serve. Seven deferments.
Jeb Bush: did not serve.
Karl Rove: did not serve.
Saxby Chambliss: did not serve. (The man who attacked Max Cleland's patriotism)
Paul Wolfowitz: did not serve.
Vin Weber: did not serve.
Richard Perle: did not serve.
Douglas Feith: did not serve.
Eliot Abrams: did not serve.
Richard Shelby: did not serve.
Jon Kyl: did not serve.
Tim Hutchison: did not serve.
Christopher Cox: did not serve.
Newt Gingrich: did not serve.
Don Rumsfeld: Navy flight instructor.
George W. Bush: six-year Nat'l Guard commitment (incomplete).
Ronald Reagan: non-combat role, making movies.
Gerald Ford: Navy, WWII
Phil Gramm: did not serve.
John McCain: Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart. Distinguished Flying Cross.
Bob Dole: Veteran.
Chuck Hagel: in Vietnam.
Jeff Sessions: Army Reserves.
JC Watts: did not serve.
Lindsey Graham: National Guard lawyer.
G.H.W. Bush: Pilot, WWII. Tom Ridge: in Vietnam.
Antonin Scalia: did not serve.
Clarence Thomas: did not serve
Pundits and Preachers
Sean Hannity: did not serve.
Rush Limbaugh: did not serve.
Michael Savage: did not serve.
Joe Scarborough: did not serve
George Will: did not serve.
Chris Matthews: did not serve.
Paul Gigot: did not serve.
Bill Bennett: did not serve.
Pat Buchanan: did not serve.
Bill Kristol: did not serve.
Kenneth Starr: did not serve.
Michael Medved: did not serve.
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
The other day, I was taking a picture of a huge, I mean huge, bruise on my leg. It is on the outside part of my knee, almost on my inner thigh. You might ask, "Why are you taking pictures of your bruises?" Well, it was so big that I thought I might email it to my friends and say, "Hey! Look at this big bruise!" Anyway, I am getting sidetracked....
Then, when I went to look at the bruise, I was so grossed out at what my thigh looked like, I had to erase the picture right away. UGH. That was MOMENT #1 in the "Let's Get Real" campaign.
MOMENT #2 came today as I weighed in at school for our Loser's Club...a clever name we gave ourselves. Little did we know that we should have named ourselves the Gain Some Club. Each week, we weigh in. You pay $1 if you gained. You pay nothing if you lost. The biggest loser at the end of the month wins the cash. This month is was $20. That is a lot! But, I did not come close to winning the money because of the funeral and traveling. Oh, and I love to eat. Let's not forget that.
The winner was a woman who only lost 2 pounds. So, none of us were that impressive this month. So, I did some reflecting and relaxed that weight loss is going to have to be like anything else in my life that I have worked for.
I have to write a plan.
I have to be accountable.
I have to be aggressive.
I have to be relentless.
I have to want it BAD.
I have to work hard.
So, after months of talking about joining the YMCA, today I actually did it. I went to the YMCA, joined, and have an appointment to meet with a trainer tomorrow. I have also contacted someone about adult swim lessons. I know that I have written numerous posts about this struggle. Again, if this is my only big problem in life, I have it made.
People strive to beat things all of the time. People who have mountains to climb, climb them. So can I. I am being very dramatic about this, but I think I have to be. I think I have to let this control my entire life or it will get away from me.
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Why do some people stay in friendships when other people abandon friendships? Why do some people hold back when it is offered to them? Why do some people retreat to unhealthy friendships? Why do we put more work into some friendships and less into others? All questions that point out success and failure in friendships.
Or, is there such a thing as success and failure in relationships? Or is all about change?
I guess, I am one of those people who stay in friendships no matter the highs and lows. I love the history of a friendship. The roots and beginnings of a friendship are important to me when I reflect. I love to think about why people come together and build a relationship. Friendship's beginnings have been very different to me than any romantic or family relationships that I have had in my life. With romantic relationships, I was able to see every step of the process, and family relationships have always been. But with friendships, it evolves without a person really realizing it.
It took me many years to realize that I was able to CHOOSE my friends. I thought they just happened and were handed to me through connections and associations.
When I was seventeen years old, I realized that life doesn’t just happen to me; I was able to choose my path. I had the same group of friends for many years and they were terrific. In that group of friends, I had made some meaningful memories. I had made some kindred spirit relationships. Yet, I was growing restless with the familiarity of these relationships. As a circle of friends, we had experienced camp, school, and all things adolescence together. I craved some independence and some risk taking in relationships.
An opportunity shown itself for new relationships in a week at Girls’ State. Girls’ State is a chance for young woman from all around the state to gather at a university to learn about politics, government, and leadership. I did not know a single person and that had NEVER happened to me before. I always knew someone or had some connection that I could bring with me. I was alone and it was nice. Even though I no longer have contact with any of the girls, I learned a lot about myself during that week at Girls’ State. I learned that I could make new friends and I could choose them. It seems kind of silly now that I am an adult, but I never thought about the process before that time in my life.
My thought process went something like this…and still does...
“Hmmm…he/she is interesting. I like what he/she is saying. I think I’ll hang out with him/her and see what I think. I hope he/she likes me too.”
That same way of thinking still holds true for my friendship building. I try to put myself in new situations where I meet people. I can recall instances when I might meet someone new. I remember the first day of my senior year of high school when I decided that I wanted to be Amy’s friend. She fit the bill for me. She was interesting, smart, and funny. It was only later that I realized that she was more than that. Many summers later, I met another kindred spirit, Rachel. She was in a writing group with me and she was unique, smart, and compassionate. Again, so much more than these simple descriptions. Even though I started out with a drive to develop relationships with these people, they had a reciprocal spirit of friendship. They accepted my friendship.
Usually, I can decide instantly if they are a person that I would like to be friends. Sometimes, these new friendships grow slowly and some are a whirlwind. It takes very little to be my friend(even though I have some friends who might disagree with this). A few interests and laughs in common and there it is.
The older I get, the more I look at friendships with two faces. My first face wants to keep friendships just the way the have always been…no change, just stay the same. The other face says to make new friends, keep the old. The second face depends of old friends to change, but cherish the old memories.
So, even though I embrace new friendships and look for opportunities to find them, I consider old friends sacred.
But, as one of my favorite Indigo Girls’ lyric say “We're better off for all that we let in”.
Monday, September 27, 2004
Sunday, September 26, 2004
In our household, we enjoy the all of these fall favorites, but there is something that has not been mentioned...the new television season.
Yes, I know. That sounds a little pathetic, but it brings joy to our house. Tim has his favorites and I have mine. Sometimes we share favorites. Tim has been talking about this week for a long time. It is my goal to limit or cut some shows this year. I am going to limit my reality television shows and TRY to limit my television to one hour a night...Primetime, that is. News and Vikings football doesn't count. Tim is not adopting this plan of less television and it doesn't bother me.
Hopefully, with this new goal, I'll be writing on a more consistant basis.
Friday, September 24, 2004
If a man owns land, the land
owns him.-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Spruce Grove Township is the birthplace of both of my grandfathers. It is a small piece of land in Northern Minnesota where birds are watched and the weather is kept under tight scrutiny. A stretch of gravel road is still home to many that have the family name. As a child, I enjoyed asking my father as we drove to my grandparents, “Who lives there?” He would always answer with, “Oh, my cousin” or “Oh, my aunt and uncle”. This land is owned by my family, immediate and out reaching as it is.
Since I was not raised in this world of Jack pines and pastures, there are words and names with which I am familiar, but have never experienced. Cousins speak about Four Town and trails, and I feel connected to these places through my family’s place in this rural setting. I believe that even with my outsider status, I belong because this is where my family started their lives in this country.
Acres and roads are sacred in this world. What is now my father’s cabin was once owned and built by my Grandpa Karl. He chose the wood from the trees in these 40 acres. He put them through his own sawmill and created a sanctuary for himself and his band of brothers and nephews. The cabin had character when Grandpa inhabited it, and now my father takes pride in its appearance and story. When my Grandpa sold the land to my father, I am sure it was easier to part with because it would stay not only in the hands of a family member, but also, a lover of this northern land.
The large garden that was sown by my grandparents' hands has grown over with weeds, but I do not concern myself with this. I know someone, an uncle or cousin, will grow from that again. I do not feel sad to think of the little metal bucket nailed to the tree is missing. The same bucket that Grandpa Karl used to tell a story about a woodsman who never returned for his lunch. As children, we believed him everytime without question. These are stories that will be retold and altered by someone else, probably family, for many more years.
This land is a place where things will not change. It won’t matter how many years past or how many dollars are spent. Life will stay the same in Spruce Grove Township where folks talk about the deer season. Family members may leave. Family members may return. The landscape might see a new house or fence, but this peaceful way of living will continue.
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
I do not chat with people at airports, rather I have encounters with people at the airport. I observe them. An airport is one of the few places in the world that you can get away with blatent staring. No one would say, "Stop staring!".
Even though there are many "types" in the airport, I encountered my favorites today in my air travels. First, I met Angry Victim Traveler. He usually has more than one piece of carry-on luggage. He is certainly bothered when asked to remove any metal objects and even more annoyed when asked to take out his laptop computer. He'll always place his objects on the security belt as if he has taken great offense to the whole process. He does not consider others as he slams his gray, plastic container into someone else's belongings. Angry Victim Traveler disappears midflight only to reappear at the baggage carousel. He picks up a suitcase he mistakes as his own and then shows great disgust and cannot believe someone else might have the exact same navy blue suitcase as he has. Of course, he doesn't gently lay the mistaken suitcase back on the conveyer belt, but rather throws it on top of a fellow travelers garment bag with little consideration for the contents. Sadly, Angry Victim Traveler is not a rare breed.
Sometimes, Angry Victim Traveler is sometimes morphed with the Very Important Traveler. She can be identified by her use of not one, but sometimes up to three electronic devices that show how VERY IMPORTANT she is. She might like to talk on her handsfree cell phone as she checks her PDA to see how many important meetings she has tomorrow. Very Important shares the common characterist of many carry-on bags with Angry Victim.
These are just a few of the characters that can be found at any airport anywhere in the world. I encountered just a few today.
Sunday, September 19, 2004
Today, I was at a bridal shower where a woman was sharing a fact about laughing. Children laugh more than 200 times a day but the average adult only laughs 4 times a day. Who are these adults? They are not my kind of people. Maybe that is why I have a job where I hang out with people who laugh more than 200 times a day.
Friday, September 17, 2004
I looked out of the window and I witnessed a patchwork of warm colors separated into acres. The mighty Red River wound through these acres. I knew North Dakota was flat, but I had yet to observe the flatness from this angle. It was flat.
For years, flat held a negative meaning when people would complain about the state. For me, I find it beautiful. That doesn't mean that I don't find mountains and hills beautiful, but flat can be just as beautiful, especially with the browns, greens, tans, and yellows. In every acre, a little spot was visible from my seat. A little farmhouse and barn created a corner for each acre, but also allowed me some imagination. I imagined what they farmed, if their farmhouse looked like my Uncle's farm, was that a gravel road.
North Dakota is not a home to many people, less than a million. I loved to look out the window and see how much land there is and how few people. Very unlike the busy places that I usually enjoy so much. So, I am capable of loving this semi-desolate landscape as much as the skyscrapers of the metropolis. It is just a different kind of appreciation.
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Things to think about on my 28th birthday...
- Life is not supposed to be some prescribed way of being. Life happens to you and you happen to other's lives. Just because the society tries to make people believe that first comes college, then job, then marriage, then house, then soccer van, then dance recitals, then retirement; doesn't mean you have to do it that way.
- I should read more and watch less television. I will begin my reading log today to figure how many books I can read in a year.
- I teach now, but who knows what occupational adventures lay ahead of me.
- When is it time to settle down? What does settle down mean? If it means marriage, I am settled. If it means a steady job, I am settled. If it means more than that, I am not settled.
- I couldn't be happier than I am right now. I have it made.
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
There is so much more to karaoke than just the singing.
It all starts with the choice in venue. I have not had a wide range of karaoke hang outs, but I like to call them diverse. There's been the Crow's Nest where I saw my first official bar fight with shirts being ripped off to look more ferocious and tables being knocked over to make room for the fight. There is the classic Sportsman in Minneapolis where one sits on fraternity couches and munches on free French fries. Billy Joe's Lounge was nice, but a little too crowded for me. I didn't get to sing nearly as much as I would have liked. The Okoboji Bar and Grill was not seedy enough for my taste. There wasn’t a haze of smoke that limited my view of the audience. All of these joints had some character, but The Chalet in Maplewood, Minnesota beat them all.
The folks at The Chalet were the supportive type. They sang, they clapped; they even slow danced to the ballads that were sung. We decided that we wanted to choose a song that would make The Chalet customers move to the music. Janelle and I sang a new karaoke favorite, “LOOK AWAY” by Chicago. (You know the one…the one you sing to when you are listening to the radio.)
Our karaoke strategy that night was to sing new songs, not the regular old songs that we always sing. Amy sang some Bruce Springsteen. I sang, “These Boots are Made for Walking” by Miss Nancy Sinatra. Janelle sang karaoke for the first time in more than ten years. She impressed us even though she kept spouting that she was “more of a dancer than a singer”.
I always like to take a stage name. I was Dixie. Janelle was Misty. Amy was Amy. Amanda was Roxie, and Sara was …I forget.
I don’t know how anyone can be in a karaoke bar and not want to grab that microphone like they are the next Aretha. It is kind of a practical joke on myself like when I paint my nails bright red. It is fun.
Check out the pictures. Sorry, the ones of the singers didn't turn out very well.
Monday, September 13, 2004
Good bye, bagel. See ya, tortilla. After awhile, chip. Farewell, cereal. Adieu, all things crispy and crunchy.
This is a self-impossed break up. I am going low carb. I know that this may surprise some people who know me as hardcore Weight Watchers, but I can't do it. I get so bored with it. I also have a desparate case here. I have a bridesmaid dress to fit into in 5 weeks. Right now, I have two buttons that just can't button. My friends have informed me that one can lose weight and inches fast on the low carb diet. That is exactly what I want.
I know it is not a healthy lifestyle choice to eat loads of bacon. Don't worry, I am not. I will be eating the same meats that I usually do. Who knows, maybe I'll really like this food change.
After reading about it, it isn't that bad. I can still eat lots of veggies, cheese, and meat. I will not be able to eat fruit for two weeks, but I will after that. I will be able to eat carbs after two weeks just in moderation. I guess, that is what healthy people do...moderation. I want to be a healthy person. The low carb offers me something else that Weight Watchers does not. I get to learn about something new and totally different. I like that. There are a lot of books and websites devoted to low carb eating.
I walked at a good pace for 25 minutes, lifted my 5 pound weights, and did a number of sit ups. Hooray for me. I must do it again tomorrow.
I felt satisfied today with my food choices. I did miss some crunch though. You know, chips, pretzels, cookies. So, after two weeks, I can have nuts. They crunch.
If you have any advice for me regarding low carb, I would appreciate it.
Friday, September 10, 2004
Sometimes, the Internet gods smile down on you. They say, "Let's show her something good. Really good. She has put her time in."
Tonight, the god of Internet music shined down on me when I went to the National Public Radio website to read more about a story I had heard today. I was soon distracted by the MUSIC link. I remembered how I stumbled upon this lengthly list of artists where you could hear a song...an entire song, not like a snippet like Amazon. It is like hitting the new music jackpot if you are like me. I like when I hear new artists or old artists that are new to me.
Here are some of my favorites...
- Patty Griffin
- Flaming Lips
- Tegan and Sara
- Brad Sucks
- Eva Cassidy
- Nick Drake
- Kathleen Edwards
- A Girl Called Eddy
- The Jayhawks
- Taj Mahal
Wednesday, September 08, 2004
Tonight, my library trip yielded some treasures. I was excited to receive a call from the library telling me that my most recent reservation was in...Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris. I must have been excited to read this because I strayed from my normal Tuesday night routine of online scrabble and phone calls to friends to pick it up.
As any library trip requires, I had to browse through the CD section. Tonight's selections are varied and semi-new to me.
Under Rug Swept-Alanis Morissette
Say You Will-Fleetwood Mac
Every Single Day-Lucy Kaplansky
The Definitive Collection-Stevie Wonder
Who knows what I will like? I don't understand why a person would donate a CD like Stevie Wonder to the library? It is a CD one could listen to anytime. A classic. The library offers so much. It doesn't matter what your taste is...magazines, books, computers, videos, travel books, and computers.
I like to pull out travel books and read about places that I hope to visit. I like to browse the stacks for bindings that catch my eye. I always run my thumb across some "classic" that I should have read at this point in my life. I'll put it in the pile in my arms. I usually will explore the DVD section, but rarely check anything out. I like a lot of movies, but I hate a lot of movies too. Even though the periodicals area is well-hidden, I find my way to read a range of magazines. First, I check out the news magazines, but break down and read the pop culture/entertainment "ruubish". I never limit the amount of CDs that I check out, but I limit myself to two books because I am not a speedy reader. I know that I can usually finish one book before the due date. I choose two books so if I need to abandon my first choice, I have a back up. Tonight, I did not check out two because I have a good track record with David Sedaris.
Monday, September 06, 2004
***I took this picture! It looks pretty good, I think.
I am a strong advocate of the mini-vacation. It consists of 2-3 days of out-of-town fun. The mini-vacationer should try to see some tourist traps, family, and/or local specialties. In our most recent mini-vacation, we did all three.
After some driving, we arrived to a warm welcome at Aunt Suzy and Uncle Bill's house. Their three Shitzu dogs, Gizmo, Gadget, and Sammy, gave us a warm welcome. Sammy is the happiest dog that I have ever met. Joe, Tim's brother, and Ellie, Joe's fiance, arrived a little later than we did. We sat up and chatted and then hit the hay for the next day.
On Saturday, Suzy made a big breakfast and we left for St. Charles Old Main Street. Lewis and Clark once arrived on these banks so there are many statues and park areas devoted to that history. It is also the site of the first Missouri Capitol. As we do not have a Midwestern favorite, Steak and Shake in our area, we had to stop for a delicious shake and burger.
In the evening, Suzy and Bill barbecued for the family. Some watched the St. Louis Cardinals on the television and some of us played Sequence and Scrabble.
We started off early the next day in St. Louis to meet Cousin Matt. The five of us (Joe, Ellie, Tim, Matt, and myself) went to a St. Louis speciality, Imo's Pizza. I was told it is a local speciality because the Provel cheese was created in St. Louis. It has a crispy, thin crust and is cut into squares rather than the traditional pie pieces. It held up to it's reputation. It was delicious. We had sausage and onion. The guys sat around the table and told stories about when they were little and Ellie and I laughed along.
After pizza, we drove to the St. Louis Cardinals game. And it was hot. Darn hot. We had good seats along the third base line. I usually enjoy the snacks at the game, but I was in more need of liquids so I drank lots of lemonade and water. I purchased a St. Louis Cardinal visor to protect my face. The game went into extra innings, but it was worth it because the Cards won 6-5 in the eleventh inning! Hot.
With the weather cooling off, we ventured to the St. Louis Arch, Gateway to the West. We walked around by the river and enjoyed the view. With a ride on the St. Louis Metro, we arrived back at Union Station where we had some supper and conversation.
This mini-vacation was great. For one thing, Tim gets so excited about his sports teams and he has loved the St. Louis Cardinals for a very long time. He hasn't been to a game since he was a little boy. We also were able to spend time with family and that made the weekend even better. It was a perfect end to the summer.