Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

File This Away



I know there are a lot of Americans out there who are scared of Barack Obama. So scared that they are angry. So angry that they say prejudiced, hateful things. While I get enraged every time I hear a story of another Obama effigy hanging from a noose in the South or see a business sign saying that he is a socialist, I understand this is all rooted in fear. Naturally a lot of us are afraid of change. A lot of us are afraid to hope, for fear that we will be duped, led astray or disappointed.

In this election, it's as much about fear as it is about the economy and change.

For those who won't vote for Barack Obama for real reasons, I respect you. But he WILL become president because the majority of Americans see him as a turning point.

So please file away Obama's infomercial from last night and watch it when the anger and fear have worn off. You'll understand why scores of Americans have already voted for him and millions more will on Election Day.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Obama's Fantasy Team

There's nothing more American than a president who loves Fantasy Football, right?

* OK, maybe a president who was a POW? All right, fine.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Blantantly Partisan Post

My friend Meghan shared this after her friend posted it first.

And yes I do realize that most of the arguments (in terms of experience) made against Sarah Palin could be made against Barack Obama, too, if you're of the Republican persuasion. But I'm not. So there.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

That just happened

Gas in Joplin, Mo.

So depressing

Rock Chalk!

>
>

Rock Chalk!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Yummy

Thanksgiving Day at my house one of these delicious fall-inspired drinks is going to happen. Taste-testing anyone?

Monday, October 20, 2008

This is it, Kansas!



Today's THE day -- your last chance to register to vote in the upcoming election.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Review: Living History

Living History Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved listening to Hillary Clinton read this book. The book was excellently put together and it was interesting to listen to this only a few weeks after I listened to her husband's book. I will say I enjoyed the president's memoir more (especially the parts about his time at Oxford and talking about Vietnam), but I loved hearing both sides of the story.

View all my reviews.

Bringing Jayhawks and Tigers together?

Either Barack Obama knows a lot about college sports or his team is just really good. He made a joke about the KU-Mizzou rivalry at his rally in Kansas City yesterday.

Someone needs to send Obama a Barack Chalk Jayhawk shirt, stat.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Early Bird Special

Ryan and I are waiting to board a train for a pleasure trip to Van
Buren. We're easily the only people here between the ages of 8 and 50.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Late Night in the Phog



I can't believe it's already that time.

Re-Launch

So instead of working on thank you cards, my lastest must-read or cleaning the house, I worked on the re-launch of our home page last night.

I went for a simple design, but don't be surprised if it changes along with our life over the coming years.

Basically, www.michelle-and-ryan.com is a place to find anything and everything about us. Right now, it is fairly wedding-centric, with Web-quality versions of all of our professional pictures as well as our rehearsal dinner video. But look for a variety of content in the months and years to come.

Don't worry, our wedding Web site is not gone. Simply click on the link at the bottom of the home page, and it will take you there easy-peasy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy Birthday/Anniversary!



Happy Birthday to one of my dearest friends, JT.

JT was the first person I met in Arkansas who seemed somewhat normal. I soon realized how wrong I was about that, but we're still friends anyway. About 10 months ago, JT left me to move to Costa Rica to pay to do something noble. I secretly hope she'll move back to Northwest Arkansas broke as hell and live with me for a while.

I love you, JT! Can't wait to see you soon!




And, to Ryan, it's been a wonderful three years since we first kissed during a really boring Sunday Night Football game. We've come a long way.

I'm it!

Audrey over at Kentiga (check it out, she's awesome) tagged me.

5 Joys
1. Cleaning -- even though I loathe to do it, once I put on my apron, slip my iPhone into the pouch and really get down to it, cleaning calms me.
2. Making decisions -- whether it's a life change or picking out the perfect present, I get a bit of an adrenaline rush.
3. A really good book. I love it when I finish a book and I can't wipe the smile off my face.
4. Long gChat conversations about everything and nothing.
5. Pizza, diet coke and a good bagel -- but not necessarily at the same time.

5 Fears
1. Being stuck. The economy is REALLY scary right now if you haven't noticed, and I'm afraid that it will keep Ryan and I in Arkansas much longer than we should be.
2. Of being too careful. Kind of related to No. 1, I'm afraid of not taking good risks that will pay off in the end. I've been talking about going back to school for years, and I just need to do it.
3. That my friends and family aren't making the right decisions. (See Joys No. 2.) OK, I don't think I know everything ALL the time, but it is hard for me to sit back and watch people be destructive.
4. That I won't be able to have children.
5. That we won't have enough money to have the family life we want.

5 Obsessions
1. Reading -- once I start a book I cannot put it down.
2. Grammar and design rules at work. I'm sure most people think I'm a total know-it-all bitch, but we have rules for a reason people!
3. My shows -- I'm embarrassed to admit how many season passes I have on our DVR and TiVo (yes we have both).
4. Getting into other people's business. :)
5. My Realies.

5 Surprising Facts
1. I am a tag virgin. This is the first time for me. (Smooches, Moth!)
2. I have never been high. (OK, this is probably not surprising.)
3. I'm a KU fan who likes football more than basketball.
4. I have never been to California or Florida.
5. I hate taking showers.

And I'm tagging...
1. Nems at Cast Sugar
2. Meghan at Wifestale
3. Jennifer at I'll Fly Away

I'd tag my sister, but I don't know if she wants all my friends reading her blog. :) So Shannon, if you're reading this, you're it!

I hate packing peanuts

These are the peanuts from THREE gifts we received from Borsheims in
the past week. Not very environmentally concious, I'd say.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

So what if Obama was an Arab?

I love Campbell Brown.

I think she says what many are thinking, and knows how to spin an issue on its head and get to the real problem.

Brown wrote a great commentary on the now-famous "Obama is an Arab and I don't trust him" comment at a McCain rally last week.



I applaud Sen. John McCain for standing up to one of his voters and correcting her, but his answer instantly left me unsettled. His answer: "No, old crazy lady, he's not an Arab. How could he be? He's a nice, decent human being!"

OK, he didn't really say that, but that's what it sounded like to me and apparently Campbell Brown.



Read it here.

Monday, October 13, 2008

"My idiot friend converted to judaism and shuns me"*

Best search term. EVER.

*I have an account with statcounter.com, which tracks where my readers are from, how they get to my blog and what they do when they're there. Apparently I have a reader from Staten Island who has some issues.

::Hugs OJ::

In this age of Facebook, MySpace, gChat and more, it is certainly possible to be friends with someone you haven't seen in years. Conversations are had through a few quick clicks of the keyboard. Smiles are conveyed with punctuation.

But is it possible that some of your best friends are girls you have never met?

Well, now I think so. So do about 100 of my closest friends.

About a year ago, I signed up for an account on a Kansas City message board. The idea was to trade wedding advice, get the dish on the best and worst vendors and complain about all the problems that come with planning the most important day of your life.

It started out simply enough. I would go days without checking in. I had no idea who these people were (save for one who I went to college with). But, very quickly, I knew everything about them and found myself confiding in them, even relying on them.

As a group, we have raised money for children in need during the holidays. We have celebrated weddings and births. Shared miscarriages and divorces. Helped each other lose weight, conquer a fear, laugh at themselves.

But nothing could have prepared us for this.

Today, we mourn the death of Orangina's sweet husband Robbie. OJ is now a widow at 24, something that no one, no one, should ever have to understand.

It's true that no one but us understands the connection that we have. Ryan simply calls them the "Realies," a nickname derived from our Web address, the nearest thing to a hangout that we have. He's even met a few at a Royals game.

But I think he finally got it this morning as he watched me cry about a girl I have never even met.

So from Snookies0608 to Orangina: ::HUGS::

At last...our wedding video

Ryan and I just returned from Omaha from the grand finale of our wedding celebration. We had a great time and I met some new friends and got to know others better.

We wanted to wait until after we returned to share our wedding highlights video with the World Wide Web. So, here it is.

I promise, I am almost done sharing wedding crap with you all.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Seriously.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Together again

Friday, October 10, 2008

Penguins!!!!

Shades of a Man

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Boy, am I hungry...



I don't know if I'm going to make it this year.

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (imagine that being said in a voice out of an old horror flick, and you get the point), began at sundown tonight. This is the my third year fasting, but my first when I didn't take the proper precautions (i.e. eating so much food that I pass out and wake up only hours before I can eat again).

You see, Ryan and I are driving to Omaha tomorrow for break fast and for our reception. Because of that, I was running around like a mad woman all day getting ready, leaving me little time for eating. I had a decent lunch (I cooked spinach and cheese calzones this morning), but after that it got a little sketchy. I managed to remember to eat some chocolate chip cookies (for blood sugar purposes of course) about 3 p.m. Then, as I was racing to Kol Nidre services, I peeled an orange, getting juice all over my shirt, and stuffed a Sonic Junior Burger down my throat with some water.

I can't with a straight face say I must eat, so I suppose I will suffer through the seven-hour car trip with my book and Ryan to keep my mind distracted from what my stomach is screaming.

For those of you who are read this by e-mail, I have changed your settings so that you only get a preview in your e-mail. My mother-in-law pointed out that those of you who read my blog exclusively via your inbox often miss out on videos and photos that I post.

So, sorry for the inconvenience, but you're going to have to do a little work to read this from now on.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

'That One'

I normally don't like to get into "gotcha" journalism, but really, McCain? You called your opponent "that one"?



It's looking more and more clear that Barack Obama will become our president, and more and more Americans believe he's ready. (A poll taken of independent voters after the debate actually showed Americans believe Obama would be a better leader, a big change from just a few weeks ago.)

And just because this is probably the funniest thing I've seen in a while:

Sunday, October 5, 2008

It's not too late!

Today is the deadline to register to vote in the November election in Arkansas. You must either postmark your registration form today or register in person. The form can be downloaded here.

If you're in Kansas, you still have until Oct. 20 to register in Kansas. Go to maps.google.com/vote if you are unsure of your deadline.



If you'd like to share this video (and you SHOULD!), click here to go to YouTube in order to pass it on.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Review: The Audacity of Hope

The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream by Barack Obama

My review

rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
The book wasn't as good as I had hoped it would be, but it still made a good read. I would definitely recommend the chapters on faith and family (the last two parts of the book) to anyone -- conservative, liberal or somewhere in between. Obama's views on the topic are so common sense, so base, that it's almost unfortunate how revolutionary they seem in today's society.

View all my reviews.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Great Bend = Heart = Home

I sit here at 11 p.m. Friday (that's 3 a.m. in grandma time) at a computer desk on Monroe Street in Great Bend, Kan.




The computer desk is one of the few modern conveniences of this house my grandparents first purchased two generations ago. Above the desk hangs an art print that features farm implements, an old barn and a windmill -- a perfect contrast to the newfangled technology. The computer is a desktop, mind you, with a loud keyboard, obtrusive speakers and a huge CPU. Someone has taped the top of an e-mail exchange between my mother and grandma -- just in case the addresses are forgotten I'm sure. Behind the computer monitor, my grandfather's "Internet for Senior Citizens" diploma hangs, recently covered up by a laminated copy of his funeral program.


The computer desk has a single drawer that I love pawing through. My grandma has no secrets, I've discerned over the years, but I still take great delight unearthing benign tidbits of her:




  • Even though she uses Microsoft Outlook, she obviously has little faith in its contact list. She rips the top inch of e-mails in order to keep the address for her relatives. Some of these scraps of paper date back to 2005, which is like 1968 in Internet years.


  • As if those scraps weren't enough, the drawer and desktop are littered with napkins from a host of occasions and holidays, most with e-mail addresses meticulously copied onto them. On her desk alone, there are napkins for St. Patrick's Day, Easter, autumn, graduation and spring. Apparently only pretty napkins are allowed near the computer. The Bounty ones (likely a generic brand actually) are relegated to the kitchen table.


  • Other relics from our recent past include a filofax, a magnifying glass, a dainty watch and enough phone books to surely locate a number for anyone in Barton County if she doesn't already have their e-mail written down on a napkin.

After a long day at my grandmother's, I love sitting in this chair and noticing details that could be recent or touches of my grandparents' from decades past. The window treatments next to me are pinned shut to keep the light out. Nearby, a flashlight rests on the floor, propped up against the wall. I like to imagine that my grandma pinned the drapes shut 20 years ago so I could see the television more clearly and that flashlight might have dropped from the nearby buffet six months ago when grandpa was fumbling around for his glasses.


These bits are pieces of my grandparents, reminders that no matter what religion you practice or what your last name is, parts of you will always be the same. No matter how much time passes, with seasons marked by napkins, a grandparent is your time capsule.




Review: What the Dead Know

What the Dead Know: A Novel What the Dead Know: A Novel by Laura Lippman

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
Hmmm, I'm not so much into mysteries, but I got pulled in by the promise that this book had more depth. It proved to have plenty of depth, but I found the twists, turns, whodunit, could it bes? a lot more gratifying than the actual ending.

View all my reviews.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Great Schlep



I had heard about The Great Schlep all week but I still hadn't seen it until my sister-in-law passed it along (thanks, Erin!). This has got to be one of the funniest things I have seen in a while.

I'm excited about the debate tonight, though I'll be working. Hopefully my boss will let me control the work TV (usually it's on football).

The debate does worry me, however. I don't understand why journalists in the traditional and nontraditional media have decided to play into the McCain camp's game. The expectations for Sarah Palin are SO LOW that if she gives one intelligent answer -- which I'm 100 percent sure she will -- she will come out a winner. McCain strategists are smart. They know this.

Oh well. At least Sarah Silverman is good for a few laughs.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Good-Bye Baleboosteh Bible


Dear Jewish Living,

I, for one, am so sad to see you go. I was actually thinking about buying subscriptions to you for all my Jewish gal pals, but I see I am too late.

I was one of your first subscribers when you opened shop last year and I looked forward to your bimonthly issues. Now I wish I had saved them all. I will miss your kosher recipes, smart articles on everything from mikvah use to whether tattoos were kosher.

It's been a good 10 months.

Signed,
Michelle

P.S. So, um, could you not run that credit card for my next two years' subscriptions? Thanks.