Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Years Resolutions - A Retrospective

It's the end of 2007, and it's raining out. Football hasn't started yet, and lunch is over. All of this means that I'm a little bored, and a lot contemplative. Time to examine the success and failure of my various 2007 goals.
  • Spill less. Success. I can count on one hand the major, table clearing spills that I've taken part in this year. Whether this is due to less drinking, or simply a concious effort to hold onto my beverage, I'm not sure.
  • Don't get burned. Middling success. The year started off looking just like any other year, but I've learned some lessons in my life, and I'm going out feeling pretty good about hot stoves.
  • Stay healthy. Mind - Failure. I haven't read much at all this year. Rolling over to 2008. Body - Roaring success. Spirit - Success. I've had a fir amount of spiritual growth, and my stress level is at an all time low.
  • Hug more, put foot in mouth less. Stalemate. This goal wasn't SMART enough, so I can't say much about it.
How'd you do in your 2007?

2008 Resolutions to come.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Why America is The Most Indulgent Nation

4 Bottles of Pinot Grigio, full course dinner with Fillet Mignon's all around, and Bananas Foster to top it all off. Mike and I were treated to a VERY nice dinner tonight, and I've never eaten a better steak in my life, or enjoyed a better bottle of wine. It's easy to feel like a princess in that kind of environment, and hard to get over the guilt, when I stop to realize that I could have fed a small homestead in Swaziland on what I consumed tonight. A whole village could have eaten if you took the whole table into account.

But I'll justify it by reminding myself that this won't happen again for at least another year. So I'll enjoy the very happy belly feeling now, and digest.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

140 Characters or Fewer?

My initial thoughts on Twitter?

Great that I can update quickly from im and, theoretically, from my phone.

Fun that I can see some friend's constant thoughts on life and everything.

Limiting in that only two people I know are actually on it.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Here are the things that I've done this weekend in order to procrastinate from packing for my trip:
  • buy new running shoes
  • go running to test them out (more on those later)
  • take a long nap
  • check to see if Mike was online
  • go to church
  • eat snow
  • do my laundry
  • make a list of the things that need to go in my suitcase
  • check to see if Mike was online
  • watch several silly movies on TBS
  • make pancakes
  • go to Pulaski pool and learn how to lap swim. Maybe I'll do a triathlon this summer!
  • read the rest of the Internet. I think I may finally have reached the end.
  • go grocery shopping
  • clean the kitchen
  • make dinner for Tuesday night
  • wrap Christmas presents
  • fold laundry
  • check to see if Mike was online - he is, now I need to talk to him!
Honestly, through all of this, I felt so many of the effects of N.A.D.D., it felt like I was on some sort of drug. Many of the above activities were being completed simultaneously, as I moved from one room to the next, eyeing up some new project to work on instead of the one that NEEDED to be done. I was in the Place, not the Zone.

And as usual when I get Procrastination Sickness, once I started packing, I was done (as done as I can get) within a half hour. Sheesh.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What's With All The Ladybugs??

I mean seriously? Aren't they supposed to be hibernating, not landing in my hair? Where are they coming from?!

Current kill count in the past 5 minutes - 3.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Where My Peeps At?

Once in a great while, when I have an entire day to kill while it's snowing like crazy outside, I like to check my blog stats. It's not always easy tracking IPs to know exactly who's who, but it's interesting to note where my readers are, so that I can tailor my posts specifically to them.

Of special note:
  • My highest number of returning visitors comes from Elmbrook Church. This tells me that either the pastors are checking up on me (unlikely), or that the interns and ministry assistants have very little to do, and that I need to post more to amuse them (far more probable).
  • I have readers in Germany, Spain, Michigan, California, Minnesota, Montana, Florida, and Illinois. That's a lot of places, considering I only really know people from Wisconsin and Illinois.
  • I'm curious as to who works at Wells Fargo. They read a lot, and hae linked to my page from Josh's. Introduce yourself!
  • One of my readers uses a Linux system. That's cool.

The Reason for the Season?

For the past 3 years or so, I've started feeling increasingly uncomfortable with the extraordinary amounts of gifts exchanged in my family, and with my friends and loved ones. Don't get me wrong, I love getting presents. I love unwrapping things, and I love watching little kids unwrap presents and play with their toys. I also generally enjoy watching friends and family open gifts that I've thoughtfully chosen for them. But it just started to be so much, and when everyone just ends up with a pile at the end of the night, and there's pressure to find the perfect gift, because someone else is getting me a gift, I say Enough.

I'm not complaining here, and I'm not saying that my method will be for everyone. But this year, I'm not buying presents. No, no stores, no stress. There are a couple of people on my list for whom I've thought of specific gifts, which I will give. Several others will receive homemade gifts. For most of my family and friends, however, Christmas will be about time spent together. Time just seems so much more valuable to me than things that you can buy, and so much more personal.

Follow my lead, and maybe together we can beat the consumerism of Christmakwanzakuah. Unless you really enjoy giving gifts, in which case, carry on. 7 days left to order for free shipping from amazon.

My First Snow Day of the 2007-2008 School Year

I'm beginning to doubt global warming. Over the past two years, I've seen more snow days than I ever saw as a child growing up in public schools. My district has canceled school for bitter cold, blizzards, and now an ice storm. Every time I think I hate winter in Wisconsin, I ask myself, "Do schools in Florida or California ever get a random day off in the middle of the week, without some major tragedy befalling their region?" I think not.

Snow days are great, for several reasons.

For starters, the announcement always co mes as a surprise to me. My blinds are closed, so i can't see the snow, and I missed the phone chain call since I was in the shower. In this case, it was one of my roomates that pointed out that many many schools are closed today. Yippee!

Secondly, because the news came late, i was already out of bed, showered, with my hair dried. This means that I won't be wasting my day lazing around in bed. I'll be wasting it lazing around on the computer, with the hopes of doing some very productive things, like rearranging my bedroom, going to the gym, and making homemade Christmas gifts. More on that later.

The final reason this day is so wonderful is the fact that I have many teacher friends, who have off when I have off. So when we get bored, perhaps we'll go sledding!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Look, I'm Sending A Christmas Card This Year!

To you and yours this holiday season, from me and mine. May your Christmas be blessed and full of joy, family, and friends.

Love, Jessie, Katie, and Kristin

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Mr. Fuchs Got a Blog

Mike finally gave in and started himself a blog. I helped. Currently he's out-posting me for the month of December. But in my defense, he doesn't use spell check, and he has a little more to write home about. Check it out at

Friday, December 07, 2007

Please Feed the Jessie

Lately, ever since starting to run more, I've noticed some weird trends in my eating.

1. I eat like a boy. Seriously. The more, the better. Give me a buffet, I'll match you plate for plate. Then I'll get up an hour later and go again.

2. When left to my own devices, without needing to pack a lunch for work, or meet someone for dinner, I really hate to cook. I'll just find something else to do, or eat crackers. This strikes me as odd, because I really enjoy cooking. I just don't see a point in wasting time cooking a nice meal just to eat it in front of the tv.

3. When I do bring myself to put a pot to boil on the stove, I find that I come up with some great recipes, without the benefit of any actual cookbooks. Such as Kickin' Mac N' Cheese, or Zesty Italian Tortelini (created just this week).

Cooking is an adventure. When I can bring myself to do it, it's one I can enjoy - a lot.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

We're Not Idiots Here

Thanks to Josh, I discovered that I could test my blog's readability using a handy, likely highly-accurate online tool. I was pleased to find out that...

I then tested other known blogs, with the same result. I thought to myself, "Ah, what a cute tool, it tells everyone their blog is written at a high level so they feel good about themselves." But then I plugged in a certain difficult-to-swallow blog of a long lost friend, and lo and behold...

So it does work.

The Sunrise This Morning Is Stunning

As much as I'm beginning to hate winter, with its short days, cold cold weather, and roads too icy to run on, there's just something about watching the sun rise above the now covered roof tops while I sit inside eating my hot oatmeal with Craisins. I feel like I've been given a gift, every time.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Mere Marriage

A long time ago, I got into a long discussion with Eric about marriage and how it should be recognized, by the state or by the church, and who should be allowed to marry, etc. He proposed the idea that the church should recognize (or not) the marriage of whomever it wants, and the state recognize civil unions of anyone.

I don't know who else has proposed this idea, or if it was original, but I was surprised tonight when working through my Book Club reading, to find that that it was endorsed by C.S. Lewis over 50 years ago in (essentially) his catechism of the Christian faith, Mere Christianity.

P 102
"My own view is that the Churches should frankly recognise that the majority of British people are not Christians and, therefore, cannot be expected to live Christian lives. There ought to be two distinct kinds of marriage: one governed by the State with rules enforced on all citizens, the other governed by the Church with rules enforced by her on her own members. The distinction ought to be quite sharp, so that a man knows which couples are married in a Christian sense and which are not.

Lewis's discussion of the institution of marriage happens to be in the context of divorce, and whether laws banning it should be enforced on all citizens. As I recall, the discussion in question from long ago centered around the issue of homosexual marriage, during the heated amendment process.

Stay tuned for continuing thoughts on Lewis, and Why More of the Religious Right Really Ought to be Logical, Rational and not Crazy, Thus Giving More Credibility to Christians As a Whole.

90 in November - And Freezing

I always have sort of low expectations of myself, it seems. I figured my mileage this month would be less, since I've been staying inside a bit more, or cutting a lot of my runs short due to unbearably cold weather. According to my training log, however, I ran the exact same mileage in November as in October. Good. I didn't let that awful weather get to me after all. But it's interesting to note that in October, it took me 14:31:13 to run 90 miles. In November, it was a whopping 16:25:00.

It's only getting colder, and I fear I'm only getting slower. I don't think I'm going to make it to 300.