18 October 2009

to blog, or not to blog?

Sometimes I think personal blogging is brilliant, useful and entertaining.

Other times I decide that the whole idea of keeping a personal blog is weird, almost narcissistic, and so 2007.

In the beginning I loved that blogging gave me a way to keep up with so many friends, and to quickly and easily share info about the life and times of me. It was nice to feel connected, with minimal effort.

Then blogging inadvertently became a primary means of communication with people that I used to actually talk to, on the phone or by e-mail, or even in person. (Sad.) Yes, I could still call you, but what would we talk about? Not only do I already know every detail of last week's trip to your parents' cabin, but I also know which park you took your kids to this morning, and what you ordered at dinner last night.

So, blogging. I'm back and forth. Mostly back.

But today, I miss it.

I want to write something trite, and send it out into the world! I want someone to comment on it! I want to post a picture of myself looking cute and autumny in my black suede boots! I want you to tell me how cute they are! On the picture thing, I think I can refrain. But not so much, I'm afraid, on the writing something trite. So go ahead. Read it. Validate me. Pretty please.

And then later, if you don't mind, I should probably just call you.

09 July 2009

insert interesting post title here

The trip to Sweden:
It was the perfect mix of familiar and new. Shay and I traveled down one side of the coast and up the other; did a lot of sight-seeing and wandering and hostelling. Later we spent several days in Karlstad, my Swedish "home," and we got to spend the midsummer holiday with friends there. All things considered (including the part where we had to wear SWEATERS and COATS for several days in JUNE), the trip was a sweet success. In a word, delightful.

Right this minute:
I'm huddled in a library cubicle at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Shay is working on a research project here, so we've been staying on the U of I campus this week. I've found Champaign to be a rather dull place. The city is small, and eerily empty in the summer. Luckily I brought books. Lots of books. Also looking forward to a day trip to Chicago on Saturday.

Up ahead:
Utah, we love thee! Shay and I are making a road trip out of our summer pilgrimage to the Homeland. We'll be in southern Utah for almost two weeks, from July 18 - 30. I would love to organize a get-together if any Utah friends want to get-together. E-mail me if you're interested and give me some dates and times that you're free. Alternatively, we can just assume that we will probably run into each other at least once at Cafe Rio.

And now:
I offer you my standard-issue slide-show travel report, complete with shaky, grainy video (thanks, Shay!) and mediocre snapshot photography (that's my specialty!) So wait for your motion sickness meds to kick in, be sure to use the restroom before starting the show (it's lengthy), and buckle up. It's going to be great.

11 June 2009

possibly still lost, soon to be found

It's entertaining to imagine my wide-eyed, 20-year-old self, still wandering around somewhere in Scandinavia. I spent so much of my time there completely and wondrously lost... the idea is not that far-fetched.

I'm off to see if I can catch a glimpse of that me. I'll let you know what I find.

26 May 2009

if i twittered

Everything you didn't want to know about today, conveniently packaged into installments of 140 characters or less.

8:23 I dreamed a dream. It had to do with airports. Also, zucchini. That's about all I can make of it at this point.

8:50 Taking Shay to the dentist. I fear this could be the most exciting outing of my day.

10:14 You did not just open your car door and set your big gulp, half full of Pepsi, in the parking lot before driving away. Common decency, people!

10:52 You go, Harold Meyerson. Nice editorial.

11:46 I'd say summer smells overwhelmingly like honeysuckle.

1:15 I refuse to swim until someone skims all the "cotton" out of the pool. A little gust of wind and it all happens so fast. Blasted cottonwoods.

1:17 I must be bored. I'm on facebook. Also just googled "cottonwood" plus "Kansas."

1:18 Turns out the cottonwood is the state tree of Kansas. Maybe I should have more respect for it now?

1:19 Shay says, "Cottonwood? Am I supposed to find that interesting?" Glad we can have respectful & productive conversation about important issues of the day.

4:05 Hotly contested battle for the title of "Most Exciting Outing" today. Will the bike ride to the public library win it all?

6:20 Coleslaw. I am newly converted.

8:30 Remember back when people used to answer their phones? Those were good days.

10:00 The Chocolate Chip Cookie will be the death of me. Mark my words.

18 May 2009

because I'm tired of looking at that silly sign

Would someone post here already? I have gotten a little bored with blogging and don't have much to say. But I check back here sometimes, hoping I'll see something new.

gateway arch - st. louis - some random hot guy

missouri botanical gardens - really lovely - made me sneeze

There. That's better.

15 April 2009

there's a recession on

Last week, we noticed several of these signs springing up in our neighborhood.

I'm definitely interested, but a little confused. Not quite sure whether there are just so many children available for sale that the event is going to be huge (there are, after all, more than 100 families in on the venture), or if the actual kids being sold are expected to be larger than average. I think more careful wording would have prevented this kind of confusion.

13 April 2009


One happy Easter weekend, the idea could strike you that it would be fun to dye Easter eggs using random foods and spices. I say, let the idea pass, and buy yourself a nice $.99 box of dye tablets. It was an interesting experiment, but mostly it was a pain in the butt. And in the end, all you'll have to show for your efforts are a few hard-cooked eggs covered with a clumpy film of spinach.

Instead you should invest your extra feelings of domesticity into making your own girl scout cookies. We made the thin mints, and mmmm. They were tasty.

(recipes here via Chelsea)

19 March 2009

broadcast yourself

I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that the stall adjacent to mine in the restroom at the public library is the wrong place for this phone conversation:

"Hi. Where are you?"

"Oh. I'm still at the library."

"I'm actually [lowers voice]... I'm actually just calling to tell you that Shawn is cheating on you."

[Bathroom noise]

"Well I've heard about it from two very reliable sources."

"No, I'm not... I didn't call you to start a fight. It's just that [sniffle] I care about you [sniffle, sniffle] and I thought you would want to know."

[loud flushing noise]

[yelling to be heard over flushing noise] "Stop saying that! I know you don't want to hear it, but it's true! He's definitely been cheating on you. For awhile."

[while washing hands, shares intimate details about the nature of the infidelities]

[walking out the door] "No, I swear to you, I haven't said anything to anybody else. You're the only one I've told."

15 March 2009

excited about nothing

Do you see this? All those little spaces on next week's calendar are blank. No plans. No appointments. No meetings. Not even any to-do lists. Just two precious words: Spring Break. Hallelujah. Can I get an amen?

16 February 2009

i know you thought about it

It's not too late to add your six-word love story here. You know you want to try it. And I can't wait to read it.

13 February 2009

summing up love

A couple of years ago Smith magazine asked people to sum up their life story in six words, and submit their "six-word memoirs" for publication. The resulting collection, Not Quite What I Was Planning, was a fun read-in-the-bathroom sort of book, not that I read while I'm in the bathroom, because I don't, except for sometimes the newspaper. Anyhow. There were some good submissions, for instance:

"We were our own Springer episode."

"Never really finished anything, except cake."

"Near-death experiences are my forte."

Then the other day I heard on a radio show that Smith has published a new collection this year, called Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak. They read several excerpts from the book, and then had people call in to give their own shot at condensing their love story into a six-word sound byte. Some of my favorites:

"He sees the me I don't."

"Loved him. He died. Love didn't."

"Love makes calculus seem like cake."

"Young love, then kids. Thanks, God!"

"I groom for her, no others."

"Surprise! It gets better with age."

"Our prison visitations were surprisingly romantic."

"He loves me anyway. Go figure."

So folks, it's almost Valentine's Day. Let's celebrate. Can you sum up your love story or your thoughts on love, in exactly six words?

My shot:

10 February 2009

get excited

It's kind of like Oprah's "Favorite Things" episode, except with less squealing and crying. Also you should know up front that I'm not giving anything away. So basically it's nothing like the Oprah bit. You're still welcome to scream and cry if that's your thing.

I give you: Lex's Favorite Things At This Exact Moment (TM).

Favorite grocery store: Aldi. Will the day ever come when I make it through the aisles at Aldi without causing a scene? Perhaps. But until I can get control of myself, you'll recognize me as the one stopping to marvel with every item I put in my cart. "We need eggs. What? 79 cents? Shay! Hey, Shay! Did you see this?! Large eggs are 79 cents. 79 cents!! I'm not joking."

Favorite card game: Set. It's kind of nerdy. I am in love with it. Shay hates it. Will someone come play it with me?

Favorite snack: Stacy's pita chips. "Simply Naked" is the best of all the flavors, and not just due to its slightly scandalous name. Oh my heavenly snack. These are delicious.

Favorite day of the week: Wednesday. I actually have time to exercise. The crossword puzzle isn't too hard. It's a good day for me at work, schedule-wise. Shay has late class but I eat dinner with him on campus in an eatery that is almost always empty except for the two of us. We sit and talk for an hour over food. It's nice. Wednesdays have gotten good reviews lately.

Favorite voice: Ray LaMontagne's. It's gritty and smooth at the same time. How is that possible? I do have to conjure up my own picture of what he ought to look like when I hear his music, though, because his actual physical appearance is unappealing. The Jesus-era facial hair does not seem to be working for him.

Favorite phrase: "I'm just saying." Actually I think this phrase is silly, but I find myself saying it all the time these days. I guess it's my subconscious favorite now. What does it even mean?

03 February 2009

it's still just once a year, right?

This is pitiful. A thousand people freezing their butts off waiting to worship a rat. What a hype. Well, it used to mean something in this town. They used to pull the hog out, and they used to eat it. You're hypocrites, all of you! You have a problem with what I'm saying, Larry? (from Groundhog Day)
I watch it every year. Yes, every year. And while half of me finds it annoyingly stupid when watched with such frequency, the other half of me still appreciates its charming message about turning your worst day into your best day, by looking beyond yourself. It's tradition, anyhow.

These creepy-but-cute creations

are another February 2nd favorite. We made a lot of them this year. You've got to spread the Groundhog Day love, you know?

(Do you want to make them too? I know you do. They aren't that hard to replicate. But if you want, you can click here to be enlightened with more detail.)

21 January 2009

hello, beautiful

Oooh. A warm sunny day. I'll take it.

Two things today:

(1) Thanks for all your kind words. They are just words, you know, but for some reason they mean a lot when they are offered up in support.

(2) Totally unrelated: figured out this weekend which of our neighbors this crazy lady was looking for, all those months ago. Pretty sure he does broker illegal transactions in the middle of the night. Shady.

16 January 2009

world spins madly on

Things have been gray here. We experienced a tragic loss, and I had to fall off the face of the earth for a little while to figure out how to deal. This will sound silly but I am serious when I say I appreciated your phone calls that I didn't answer, your e-mails that I didn't reply to, and your invitations that I didn't accept. Now that I am starting to rejoin reality, I feel lucky to have so much catching up to do.

I woke up feeling optimistic today. As I wandered around getting ready for the day, I thought, "You know what, I could really use a warm, sunny day sometime soon. Maybe today is my day."

And then the universe had a good chuckle, and I stepped out into this.

So in terms of the weather, perhaps today is not my day. But in other ways the sky is starting to clear, and all the good things in life are becoming a little more obvious.

Hope you're enjoying the good things today too.