Thursday, March 31, 2005

3/31 Okay, can I repeat that I hate Blogger sometimes?

I forgot and wrote my post directly into Blogger, and it all disappeared. For the first tme, the title was published but not the text. Crazy. And kind of pisses me off. I don't want to have to change providers, but will if this keeps up.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

3/30 Sad news

After writing about how blessed I feel, now I’m very sad. Last night my sister Jane called to tell me that Aunt Bonnie’s breast cancer has returned. She was in remission for 12 years, and it’s back in two places.

Jane referred her to the best oncologist in Springfield. Jane refers all her breast cancer patients there, and all have survived. So we’re very hopeful. But of course Aunt Bon is scared.

This makes me even more determined to work for a cure. And I’m happy that my sisters and I are already heavily involved in the Avon Breast Cancer Walk.

If you pray, please keep Aunt Bonnie in your prayers. She’s the last close link we have to our Dad’s family. If you don’t pray, please keep thinking positive thoughts.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

3/29 Sometimes I hate Blogger

I wrote a really long piece for today and Blogger LOST it. I hate that. Really should write this stuff in Word and then copy/paste. That way I wouldn't lose my posts.Maybe it got posted even though the error message said no. We'll see.The good news is that I sent out emails yesterday asking for donations for the Avon Breast Cancer Walk and I already have $345. I feel so blessed.

Monday, March 28, 2005

3/28 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer

I've started fundraising and have sent emails to some of my friends. If you're interested in finding out why my sisters and I do this event every year, you can go to my personal page at: My personal page. You can click a button right there to make a donation. What I just wrote there today:

3/28 I had to add I wrote my donation letter to send to friends, I was flooded with memories. First, being present with my grandma as she died from breast cancer. Then the memories of the men and women who make these long walks to fundraise. Some of the women have no hair, a legacy of recent treatment. And there's always someone in a wheelchair, pushed the whole 40 miles by loved ones. Then you see the signs and T-shirts--memorials to lost loved ones. It's so moving, and it's so can't help but want to do something, anything to make this horrible disease disappear.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

3/26 Busy weekend

Last night the arena wasn't full, although I did have 17 walk-ins. It was better than it looked when I just saw the reservations. And the audience was so much fun. Since I wasn't too busy (we'd canceled the 10:00 show--not too many people go out on Good Friday), I got to visit and joke with all the customers. That's my favorite part of the job.

Today I go in at 5 and work until 10:30 or 11. I'll sleep well tonight.

Friday, March 25, 2005

3/25 Hey, I walked!

I actually walked today. Since I'd forgotten to bring my lunch, I walked instead. Boy oh boy did I feel virtuous. Then I ate a few Easter cookies a colleague had made. A step forward, two steps back. But sometimes that's reversed. Those are the good days.

It sure doesn't feel like late March. Or rather, it does feel like late March--in Antarctica. I shouldn't complain though. I do love Wisconsin, and when summer comes I'd much rather be in this climate than in other places I've lived. Summers here are nearly perfect. They'd be downright perfect if we didn't have mosquitoes the size of hummingbirds.

I work at CSz tonight. So I'll be able to glance at the Wisconsin game on the big screen. It's a fair distance from the box office, but the screams will let me know who's winning.

The family is getting together for Easter. But I decided to stay in Milwaukee and work, and do my taxes Easter Sunday. I know it's weird. I'm going to Quincy in April, so felt no need to push myself to get down there for a short weekend. Jealousy will erupt though. I always wish I could be with them when they're having fun.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

3/24 More of same

Robbie called from Okinawa. It was nice to talk to him. They still have no word on when they'll be moving to Chicago. It's been two years since he was told he'd be leaving there.

Jill IM'd. It's wonderful that I can speak to both of my kids when they are so far away. Of course Los Angeles seems almost close compared to where Rob lives. Everything's relative.

3/24 Home again

The site visit was informative and even fun. But we put in 10-12 hours every day, and so I'm quite tired. Luckily the agency folks were warm and welcoming, and my fellow peer reviewers were a riot. I really enjoyed their company.

Now it's back to the daily grind. I've got tons to do, plus am working three days at CSz this week. It will take quite a while to catch up on my relaxation time.

Regarding Terry Schiavo: it's a heartbreaking story, no matter which side you agree with. I have one comment about it. If the conservatives are so adamant about keeping Terry alive, to be consistent they need to change their opinion on the death penalty.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

3/20 First day of site visit

Two of us began reading files at the facility. I'm tired, and I'm ready for dinner. The third person just flew in this afternoon so we'll meet her tonight. We're going to dinner at 6:30 so I'll just have to keep chugging water until then. My suite has a bag of popcorn I could put into the microwave, but I'm afraid I'll eat too much of it and then won't want dinner.

Guess I'll take a nap. Yeah....

Saturday, March 19, 2005

3/19 In Michigan

We had six inches total of snow at my home, and it was really coming down when I left this morning. I love having 4-wheel drive. But when I went through Chicago there was no snow at all.

The drive here took about 3 1/2 hours--not too bad at all. For lunch I had a salad and a baked potato and felt pretty good about it, but now I'm chomping on chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven. The desk clerk insisted I take more than one. Plus she put me in a mini-suite. I have a king sized bed, couch, coffee table, 5--count 'em 5--chairs and a mini kitchen.

She didn't give this to me because she liked me, although she's happy I'm not a complainer. But the room I was in had the "free broadband internet connection" broken. Since I'm here for four nights/five days, it was important I got to work on the computer at a high-speed connection. She remarked something about that I wasn't mad. I said when you travel a lot you get used to things happening. I said, "It's not like you were incompetent or something. The connection just didn't work." I told her I was pleased that she realized she needed to be nice to me to make up for the inconvenience.

So other than losing two hours of my life on the phone with SBC Yahoo tech support in India, I've not lost anything. In fact, I probably gained something-- weight. Mmmmm, cookies!

Friday, March 18, 2005

3/18 Friday at last

This week has been brutal. (Have I used that expression already? I'll have to check.) The earliest I've gone home this week is 6 PM, and the latest is 7 PM. Don't know how late I'll be here tonight. I'm taking a break to write this while I'm eating cake. Yep, cake.

Today we had so many fun things going on here. I took a short break to celebrate the imminent birth of a co-worker's first baby. We all gave him advice and it was hilarious. Had some cake there.

For lunch we celebrated a co-worker getting sworn in as a lawyer. The owner bought pizza, salad, and garlic bread. I grabbed lunch and high-tailed it back here to my office to work while I ate. (Any wonder I got indigestion right afterward.)

Then they just announced that there's a cake in the lunchroom for the same guy. I saw people from my department going, and I yelled through my closed door, "Are you guys going for more cake?" The three (thin) women all said Yes, so I went too. This is another night when I won't need to make dinner. Fine with me. I've got tons to do at home too.

I have to do my laundry, pack and straighten up my place. The cleaner is coming tomorrow so I have to put junk away so she has room to clean. I should have been doing a little each night, but I've been so drained by the time I get home, that I've just plopped.

Tomorrow morning I leave for that business trip to Michigan. Even though, on these site visits, you tend to work around 12 hours each day, it will still be a reduction in stress, because that's all I'm going to have to worry about.

That is--if I get other things done today. So back to work I go.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

3/16 Another day like the one before...

...with one exception. Today is my dad's birthday. He'd be 80 today, but he died at 60. What a neat guy he was. He generally was kind, and loved each one of us so much. He's the one who taught me that gossipping was bad for the soul. Dad had something good to say about nearly everyone. And most of the time, if he didn't have anything good to say, he didn't say anything. I never got spanked, but my youngest brother did. But if I'd had my way, I would have spanked Jimmy too. What a spoiled little kid. Luckily he turned into a great adult.

As I said, I didn't get spanked but once when I was in college I said I was going out, and Dad said no (I'd been out every night that week.) I insisted, and so did he. Finally I said I'm going anyway. Dad was sitting at the dining room table eating french fries and had a plateful of ketchup. He lofted it up in the air in a perfect arc and it hit me right in the butt. My beautiful white shorts were a mess, and definitely not going to be worn that night.

In retrospect, the cool thing about it was that it didn't hurt at all. He tossed it in such a way that it caused no pain, but tons of embarrassment.

Did I go out? Well, after going to my room and bawling, he gave in and let me go.

Happy Birthday, Eddie! I still miss you, Dad.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

3/15 Payday

Just thought I'd put that in the title, because I love payday.

It's been crazy inside my little office. Today I have to finish and submit an article I'm writing for a journal, begin gathering articles and editing a newsletter, and start reading a BOX FULL of manuals. That's besides the regular stuff that pops up during the day. It's no wonder the day goes by so quickly. I do love that part of it.

The box that contains a ton of manuals is here because I'm preparing to go to Michigan to do a site visit for an agency--for the Council on Accreditation (COA). I only do this twice a year at most, but it's quite enjoyable. Except of course for carving out the time to read all the manuals ahead of the visit. Yikes.

I've been adding more music to my iPod. I think I'm addicted. Okay--I know I'm addicted. But at least it's not candy. That reminds me--I haven't had a Snickers bar since December. I think it's time. Snickers or iPod--which addiction shall I choose?

Just a few minutes ago a new staff member asked me if I performed Sunday night at CSz. Turns out her cousin's husband was in my show also. And Olivia meant to come but forgot. :) I know how that is. I meant to not eat Snickers--but I forgot. Yay for selective memory on my part. (I believe that Olivia really forgot.) Anyway, I thought it was cool that we have this connection.

Monday, March 14, 2005

3/14 It was fun!!

The show went so well last night. I think it was the best I've ever done. Thanks to my friends who showed up. I appreciate it.

I'm probably going to take another stand-up class. And am thinking about the Rec League at CSz. I don't really have a team any more. So I'll need to either find an existing one to join, or start my own. I don't really have the energy to start one. Maybe that's just because I'm so swamped at work right now. I may feel differently by next month when the Rec League starts.

Am going to Michigan to do a COA site review. Will leave early Saturday morning, so I won't be able to work at CSz this weekend, but might be able to work Thursday night. I have about 10 binders worth of material to read for that visit, and I haven't even started yet. I feel like a pathetic loser. And a desperate one at that. How stupid to procrastinate on this arduous task! I've done several of these site visits and know how much work they are to prepare for.

Okay, I finished eating my Subway Vegetarian Delight, so must get back to work.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

3/13 Tired

I worked from 5-11 and then went to an early St. Patrick's Day party. Got home at 2 AM. It was fun though. Luckily I was able to sleep in today.

Lots to do here at home. Then I need to be at CSz by 5:30 for our 7:00 show. Can't wait.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

3/12 Getting ready for Avon Breast Cancer Walk

The website says 84 days until the walk. Even though I crew instead of walk, I'm on my feet all day long--from 4:30 AM until 10 PM or after. So I do have to train--and get my body used to not sitting in front of a computer. :) My Avon fundraising page is up but it's kind of empty. There are words there, but no donations yet. I have to send out my fundraising letter, and also put it on the home page of my website. My company is donating a nice amount again this year. I'm grateful.

I work at CSz from 5-11 PM tonight and then will go to a St. Patrick's Day party. Tomorrow night is our workshop performance. I'm psyched about that.

Guess it's time to be domestic and do my laundry, so I actually have clothes to wear tonight and tomorrow.

Friday, March 11, 2005

3/11 Fun in unexpected places

My boss moved into the office next to me. So she had to clean out 15 years of accumulated "stuff" from her old office. I felt ashamed of my messy office, so decided to clean it. Everyone thought I was moving too because I had things stacked everywhere. Had to get rid of a nice credenza to bring in two more file cabinets. Too bad.

Today I found something from 2001. Right before I moved back here I'd started a non-fiction book. Very unlike me, because I enjoy writing mysteries (not-so-good ones at that). The stuff I'd written brought my cleaning and organizing to a stand-still, as I sat on the floor reading.

Nostalgia flooded over me as I read. And somehow a sense of loss wiggled into my heart. Not loss for my old job, because I'm happy here. But I really feel the loss of the prison ministry that was such a huge part of my life in St. Louis. The Writers' Club, The Hamlet Project, REC, and more. I did so much volunteer work in maximum security that it was like I was finally eligible for parole. :)

But I really miss that. I made an impact on people's lives, they made one on mine as well. Now, my life consists of work and comedy, and sometimes trips to see my family. It's like a different me. Not bad, just different.

3/10 Okay I forgot

I normally always post during the week, and usually skip Saturday. But I didn't post yesterday, so am writing today about it.

For 3/10:


Wednesday, March 09, 2005

3/9 Some things don't change

I can't see out of my window--really.

My desk is piled so high with "stuff" and I'm short. Can't see a thing beyond my desk.

That depresses me. There's WAY too much to do. But I'm taking time to charge up my new iPod mini, and I'm listening to the Chieftens, so things are looking up.

Rehearsal was fun last night and I think we'll have a good show on Sunday. Saturday I work at CSz from 5-11, so I don't know if I'll be able to make the St. Paddy's Day party that I've been invited to.

We had a silly discussion about St. Patrick's nickname last night. Two guys insisted that it should be spelled St. Patty, and nothing R and I said would change their minds. It's so funny to me, because you see St. Paddy in print all the time. I wonder why they've never seen it. I said the real name is Padraic, so Paddy fits better.

But out of this funny, smart group of 12, more than half had never even SEEN asparagus, much less eaten it. Even now I can't believe adults don't know what asparagus looks like. They were trying to mime it for a game; that's how the subject came up.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

3/8 Home again, home again

This morning, after breakfast, I'll take down the exhibit. I should leave for Milwaukee late morning. There are only 5 exhibitors. I'm kind of disappointed at how small the conference is. But it's their first one and will be sure to grow. The guy next to me, from Dallas TX, is married to a Samoan woman and I, of course, talked about my Samoan son. We had some great conversations as we waited for the participants to come by.

Tonight is the last practice for Tuesday's CSz show. I'm so psyched and ready for this. Will write more later if anything develops.

Monday, March 07, 2005

3/7 In a hotel in Illinois

I'm at the Hilton in Springfield IL--here for a trade show. They have a really neat business center and high speed access is free. I'm thrilled with that.

The visit with my family was so much fun. Saturday I did TaeBo with Jan and Jane, and Sunday I walked three miles with them. We're all working for the Avon Breast Cancer Walk in June. We walked from my niece Kris's house out to the cemetary where we have our annual New Year's Day beer with our parents. I got tuckered out, because I haven't been walking.

Last night Jane went back to her own house and Jan and I watched Their Eyes Were Watching God. Halle Berry is absolutely gorgeous. I know that you know this, but every time I see her, I'm struck with that fact. I thought she did a good job. But I absolutely loved the book, and the language in it is a little more colorful than on the tv screen. But my oh my they had some good kissin' between Janey and Tea Cake.

I set up the exhibit and will be greeting folks after 5:30...hope it goes well. Then tomorrow morning again; then I'll drive back to Milwaukee.

Will go back to Quincy in April when I fly by for another trade show in Kansas City. Then I'm done with trade shows for the year.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

3/6 It's SPRING in the country!

I'm having the best time with my family. We're from Quincy IL and most of the family still lives there. But sis--Jan--and b-i-l Tim--built a home right across in the Mississippi near Maywood MO. They're closer to Quincy than I am to my office, but it's just in another state. Their home is beautiful. Last night brother Jeff and s-i-l Deb, came over with 2 year old Riley Jo. Jan and Tim collaborated on a deliscious dinner, then we played games until about 11 or so. Then when others had gone home, Jan, Jane and I went into the hot tub. Tim took a few pics that I think are really decent. I'll post once I get back to Milwaukee. We ended up watching TV until about 1 AM, so I slept very well.

Today we're going to a craft show, and then run around town for a while. I don't have to be in Springfield until tomorrow. More later.

Friday, March 04, 2005

3/4 I have a good heart!

Literally. Well, maybe figuratively too, but I'm not talking about that. Had a cardiac stress test this morning, and everything looks wonderful. The radiologist has to look at the imaging they took after injecting me with radioactive stuff. (Now I'll never be able to have children.) But I don't anticipate there being any problems.

The GI doc just wanted to rule out any heart problems, so they'll know that everything I've experienced recently is from the NERD.

I'm thinking I have to incorporate NERD into my stand-up routine. I mean, hell--that's funny. It's a real diagnosis, but it's funny. Maybe I can come up with some other silly acronyms for made-up diseases. I'll have to think about it.

Tonight I do laundry and tomorrow I'm leaving fairly early for Quincy.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

3/3 Lunchtime ramblings

Had a good time last night. The Minor League show was at 7:30 but I didn't want to stay in my office until then. So by 6 PM I was sitting at the CSz bar, drinking a club soda and doing a ton of reading. It was great. I got to see a lot of people and I also got my work-reading done. Felt productive.

Today is going well. I'm getting a lot done. Well, not a lot of things, but a lot of one thing. I interviewed someone on Tuesday and I'm transcribing it now. This digital stuff rocks. I love my new recorder. It downloads the wav files to my PC. Cool. The interview is taking a while to type, but it's still a lot easier than with the microcassettes I used to use.

Then I have four more interviews to type--I spoke to those people last Thursday and Friday and haven't had time to transcribe yet. Plus I just set up for a magazine to interview someone here (not CSz, but my full time job), and I can't be there to assist. It's tomorrow morning and I'm out of the office.

Have to have a stress test. A cardiac thing. There's nothing wrong, but the GI doc said with the symptoms I had and am having, we should rule out heart problems. It's fine, I'm sure. Well, it might be still broken, but other than that, it's cool.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

3/2 I'm having fun

Last night's rehearsal was great. We ran through the whole show. Since there are 12 of us, we're in 4 teams of two groups will play the first half and two groups the second half. I'm in the second half, and am pleased. My teammates are Pogo and Lee--we'll work well together.

The whole group is going to practice next Tuesday together, even though it's not an official rehearsal. Then Sunday the 13th is the performance. This group of folks is fun to work with.

My team is playing Spelling Bee as a head-to-head game against the other team. It's so much more fun as a head-to-head rather than a team choice. (For those who don't know what I'm talking about, attend a ComedySportz show and you'll understand.) Then our team choice is What? which cracks me up. After that we're playing Four Things as a head to head. Great game and I love gibberish. There are only two females in the 12 folks. And it turned out Maria and I were both the "guessers" for our teams. We got them all. Cool. Then finally the first half teams will come out and we'll close with Double Blind Freeze.

Then we'll drink.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

3/1 It's MARCH!

Spring is in the air somewhere I'm sure. It was seven degrees here this morning, but we're going to have a high of 27 so I'm looking forward to that.

Having fun writing today--so much to do. Yesterday I was working, and happened to glance at the clock and noticed it was 6:30 PM. Wow--the day flew by. I'll work until 6 tonight probably--I have rehearsal at 7.

Spoke to Jill and the kids last night. It was wonderful hearing "I love you" so much. Can't wait to get back out there and visit. April seems so far away, but now I can say I'm going next month.