ahhhhhhhhh!!!! 11/30


It has been the crazy week from ?????

and the pressure is on. Putting in 14,000 words this evening before midnight so I can submit my novel to the NaNo org on time to get my certificate and be declared a winner.

I feel a little like this at the moment...

But I plan on celebrating by midnight. Anybody wanna help me out with a pledge to the ACS if I make it? You don't have to pay if I can't do it... just comment with a pledge. Oy. That's pressure, huh?

Okay. Turning off the internet like I said I was going to and going back to the novel. Distractions, distractions.

BRAIN FOOD FOR WRITING: Chocolate toffee pistacios, old fashioned peppermint sticks, water, fries, garden burgers topped with lettuce, tomato, mayo..., fries

Playlist for writing: Ben Harper, Chris Garneau, Bright Eyes, Yusuf Islam, Ani DiFranco, David Bowie, Dave Matthews, David Gray (the Daves HA!), Josh Rouse...


Shhh... Writer at work! The month is nearly gone!

Somebody tell me where November went???
What happened to November?

Working steady but a long way to go...

and tonight? Dancing penguins!

In my head: my entire collection from The Weepies...


A huge victory for my friends...

I had a massage today. And it was good.

And I got some very good news today about a cause that is near and dear to my heart. Well, the news came down to me a couple of days ago but the newspaper reported it today and while I normally don't read the newspaper, I caught sight of the headline as the newspaper was sitting on the chair of the coffee shop and I got to read the details and clear up some of my confusion. I haven't reported anything about this story for a very long time. I'll provide a few links here to past stories if I can find anything that hasn't been archived off or that you have to pay to get the information. And I'll provide a link to my dear friends' website, too.

The link to the news article isn't working so well for me because I've been to the paper a few too many times today. heh. So here is the article in all it's beautiful glory with the reporter credited fully!

O'Connells' lawsuit gets response
Wilmington, Del., diocese agrees to identify priests who abused minors

Pioneer Press

The family of a slain Hudson, Wis., funeral home director has won its first legal battle with U.S. Catholic bishops to get the names of clergy accused of child molestation.

The Diocese of Wilmington, Del., one of 194 Catholic dioceses named in lawsuits filed across the country by the family in August, has agreed to release the names of 20 priests who have admitted sexually abusing minors or been found to have abused them.

"The suit (against the Wilmington Diocese) will be dismissed. They have come clean," Jeff Anderson, the family's St. Paul-based attorney, said Tuesday. The lawsuits are still pending in area dioceses, including Superior and La Crosse, and the Archdiocese of Minneapolis-St. Paul.

The names and locations of some 5,000 alleged child molesters — not money — are what the family of Dan O'Connell, who authorities say was killed by a Hudson priest in 2002, wanted when they filed the unprecedented lawsuits against the bishops.

The O'Connells filed suit after they became frustrated with what they saw as inaction by the Catholic Church to live up to its recent reforms and ensure that pedophiles can no longer enter or stay in the priesthood.

"The attitude and stubbornness of some of these bishops towards us is unbelievable," said Dan's brother Tom O'Connell Jr. "It makes you wonder what kind of men, what kind of religious men, they are. But it can be done. And one bishop has done it and there is now no excuse for the rest of them."

According to the lawsuit against every member of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: "The bishops and the USCCB have established a policy of harboring and protecting suspected child molesting agents, thereby endangering numerous children throughout the United States."

The lawsuits seek their names and locations so they can be publicized, which the O'Connells hope will help prevent clergy sex abuse. The Diocese of Wilmington published the names of the 20 priests in the Nov. 16 issue of its diocesan newspaper.

The O'Connells, in a letter sent Tuesday to Wilmington Bishop Michael Saltarelli, thanked him and called for more bishops to comply.

"We are glad that you see the value in letting the public know about these dangerous men. We hope that other bishops will follow your example and release names within their own dioceses," said the letter, signed by Dan O'Connell's parents, two brothers and sister.

The Diocese of Wilmington is home to about 220,000 Catholics and includes the state of Delaware and nine counties on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

The O'Connell lawsuit came at a time when the Wilmington diocese was already under pressure from local parishioners to address clergy abuse.

In addition to making the names public, Bishop Saltarelli asked Pope Benedict XVI to remove each of the men from the priesthood, which would also end their pensions and other benefits.

A spokesman for the diocese said Tuesday he had not received the O'Connell letter and declined to comment. Over the weekend, Saltarelli issued a letter, which was published in the diocesan newspaper, addressing the issue and the release of the names.

"The first obligation of the church is to assist in the healing of victims," Saltarelli wrote. "The abuse of children by priests and other clergy is shocking and reprehensible. Victims and their families have suffered devastating harm. The faithful of the church, and the overwhelming number of good priests who serve them, also have suffered through this crisis. …"

Saltarelli released the names, he wrote, to help those hurt and prevent others from being victimized.

Dan O'Connell, 39, and University of Minnesota mortuary science intern James Ellison, 22, were shot to death Feb. 5, 2002, at the O'Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson.

In October 2005, a St. Croix County judge ruled there was overwhelming probable cause that the Rev. Ryan Erickson of Hudson's St. Patrick's Catholic Church killed them after O'Connell, a parishioner, confronted Erickson with evidence the priest had been sexually abusing boys. Erickson, 31, later committed suicide.

For the last year, the O'Connells, with the support of the Ellisons, have sought answers, accountability and action from bishops.

"The vows taken in priesthood should reflect doing what is right to protect children and support victims," Tom O'Connell Jr. said.

"We hope the Wilmington bishop is a model for others. … The pope recently said the church wanted to be aggressive with child molesters. Well, let's do it then."

Kevin Harter can be reached at kharter@pioneerpress.com or 800-950-9080, ext. 2149.

These people are some of the most precious people on earth. They have hearts bigger than you can imagine for what they have been through. Read their story. Support them in their efforts. And cheer their victories.

When you finish reading about it? I'd love to hear your opinions. Truly. Let me know what you think. Let me hear your cheering and happiness. Because really, how big is this news? I'm grinning from ear to ear. Nobody is above the law. Or outside of it. Nobody.

Thank you.


Don't Miss the Bus!

Okay people. Don't miss your seat on the bus. Get all of the information you need to attend the event of the year - The Rick Springfield Benefit Concert for Sahara Aldridge! Find the info right here at my dear friend Michael Manning's site. He's arranged for a bus to travel to the event. Go read all about it. This is going to be such a fantastic event, people.

Sahara and Rick

And in other big news, Dr. Noah Drake is heading back to General Hospital! How exciting is that! Woohoo!

The concert is coming up fast. Go read all about it!

Why I like my macbook so very much...

I'm really thrilled (and I do mean THRILLED!!!) to have a laptop that I can take to the coffee shop with me and which has the whole wireless internet thing going for it. It's more than the whole convenience thing. I mean, that part alone is great. Being able to walk into the coffee shop and not have to wait for one of the two computers that are offered for the public's use to free up. Yeah, what can be better than that? Well, I'll tell you what. Some people may remember the discussions that have gone on about things like, oh, the terrifying blankets and pillows on airplanes and the coverlets on hotel beds and let's not even discuss the carpets... (well I remember those discussions - not the details, so please do not remind me, I am only recently able to stay in hotels and travel without being the biggest freak in the world and I understand that there are other friends who are far worse than I ever was, so this is good... I have not moved into the world of needing medication to travel yet, and I'm not slamming those of you who do, so no hate mail, please)... getting back to my topic... I love my laptop and I hope it is loyal to me forever because recently as I am tapping away I have begun to notice a disturbing trend by those utilizing the public computers in my coffee shop and other public places...


Nose picking.

What is it that people utilizing public phones, public computers, public whatevers are driven to doing things like picking their noses or cleaning their ears or whatever other body parts they see fit at the time? I just do not understand! And as I sit there watching you surf for your next date over your shoulder, I wish that your dream dates staring out at you could see you, too.

In my head: The Shining from Badly Drawn Boy (I admit to loving the horn part in that song...)

at it again to avoid "da pain! da pain!"

Another meme, this one found on Lazy Life's blog

One word answers only.


1. Yourself: keri
2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend (spouse): uhhhh
3. Your hair: bedhead
4. Your mother: deee
5. Your Father: duzitall
6. Your Favorite Item: macbookpro
7. Your dream last night: phonecall
8. Your Favorite drink: macchiato
9. Your Dream Car: Vespa
10. The room you are in: bed
11. Your Ex: blond
12. Your fear: holes
13. What you want to be in 10 years? healthy
14. Who you hung out with last night? Lorelei
15. What You’re Not? looping
16. Muffins: Omentum
17. One of Your Wish List Items: sofa
18. Time: passages
19. The Last Thing You did: msn
20. What Are You Wearing? pajamas
21. You Favorite Weather: SUNSHINE!
22. Your Favorite Book: this
23. The Last Thing You Ate: donut
24. Your Life: fabbo
25. Your Mood: cranky
26. Your best friend: Keli-o
27. What are you thinking about right now? migraines
28. Your car: messy
29. What are you doing at the moment? meme-ing
30. Your summer: fast
31. Your relationship status: why?
32. What is on your TV? blackhole
33. What is the weather like? gloomy
34. When is the last time you laughed? midnightish

Was it just me or were there too many questions regarding the car? kinda weird. Whoever wrote it was obsessed with the car and the status of the relationship. I dunno. Memes are just strange in general, I think. And CursingMama, I blame you for my current food hangups. Thank you very much. I ate the donut with my mind constantly on Omentum. I'm thinking Black Coffee for my drink today. *sigh* Fresh Fruits? Vegetables? You suck. Thank you very much. I never watch Oprah. But you sucked me right on over to the webcast yesterday with clicky clicky clicky on your links. Thanks. It isn't that I don't love her. Because I do (I mean heck, if it wasn't for Oprah, I wouldn't know my dear friends Beanie, KathyK, KathyC, KatieK, Liz, Trudles, Colleen, and Amanda!). And now my friend Michele tells me that the Grey cast was on. And so she taped it for us. More Oprah. One of these days I'll end up with a television I'll have to throw dramatically out a window like another friend. All you helpful people...

Migraines Suck

And because they suck, I haven't been doing much for fun (or blogging).

Fun as allowed by current migraine:

  • Much lying around feeling sorry for myself.

  • Some surfing the blogs of funny people in an attempt to laugh and forget about migraine. This works for the two point three seconds I have the burst of laughter. Then the pain comes shooting back and I remember again. Sucky migraine.

  • Watching Ross the Intern videos at his My Space site (all of which are hysterically funny, by the way... I love Ross. Thank you Michelle for the introduction to him... At least I think it was you who pointed me his direction. If not, forgive me, I just can't think of who else it might have been... *sigh* I see a lot of stuff over the course of a few weeks and it was a couple of weeks ago I came across the Steve Irwin/Ross video) and 30-second bunny videos. These can make me laugh longer, but as the bunny videos by their definition only last 30-seconds, well... *sigh*

  • Researching season one of the Gilmore Girls. Yep. This current season has us completely convinced that someone out there is... never mind.

  • Catching up on the current season of Grey's Anatomy via the beauty of the internet. Yes. I have fallen for McDreamy. We were at the Mall of America the other day. There is a store which shall go unnamed there in which McDreamy and his Intern are pictured larger than life in several beautiful and romantic shots and yes, the power of ridiculous blatant marketing in such fashion pulled us right in. Normally I would never enter this store. On this occasion not only did we walk PAST the store more than normal but we went IN (Keli, too!). They didn't get me to buy anything, but I did check out the prices and look at items that I wouldn't have had he not been looking out at me with his McDreamy eyes. Damn him.

  • I did visit with my SIL and anonybro briefly during a trip to the big city of RF yesterday. We had a short business meeting and so on. There was a bit of laughter, a bit of hugging and then I came back home where I hoped to knock myself over the head with something heavy for the next 48-hours or so. That didn't work.

I'm just really glad the frequency is down a LOT. Because doctors definitely do not know everything. I sometimes wonder if they know anything. Sorry doctors. But seriously?

In my head: the annoying nasally sound of the la la la stuff on the Gilmore DVDs


GASO - Great American SmokeOut!

Today's the day! I should have posted this at midnight because the day is so far gone already.

I hope those of you who are participating are having a successful time of it. Thank you to Chiatt for this link to a new area at the American Cancer Society web site. Please visit. It's an awesome site with a whole bunch of great information. You can find information on quitting, statistics, videos to watch and even how to join the fight on making communities smoke free. Head on over.

Or hit their Great American Smokeout pages. They're also a wealth of great info.

If you know someone who is trying to quit? You can go there and send them a "You Can Do It" e-card.

Thinking about quitting? Do it today. Do it for your loved ones. Do it for your health. You'll be glad you did. And your lungs, skin, teeth, bones, every cell of your body will thank you for it.



Team Hoyt

Dick and Rick Hoyt are a father-and-son team from Massachusetts who together compete just about continuously in marathon races. And if they're not in a marathon they are in a triathlon - that daunting, almost superhuman, combination of 26.2 miles of running, 112 miles of bicycling, and 2.4 miles of swimming. Together they have climbed mountains, and once trekked 3,735 miles across America.

It's a remarkable record of exertion - all the more so when you consider that Rick can't walk or talk.

As any regular reader knows, I'm a blogger who's focus is on fighting cancer and raising the funds to help in that fight. Well tonight I just want to share this beautiful non cancer-related story with you because it inspires me. And it reminds me more than a little bit of another Rick that my family lost not so long ago.

You'll notice when you play this video that Dick mentions he is in the best shape of his life at age 59 because of his son. Well, Dick just ran this latest Boston Marathon at age 65, I believe. So the video isn't the most recent you will even find online. But it is the best one I've found so far. Because it has Dick explaining things in his own words. I'd rather hear that than some of the inspirational music that people have put to it.

Also, during one of their recent events in the past couple of years, Dick had a heart attack and they say had he not been in such great shape he may not have survived it. And he has most likely added a good fifteen years to his life because of all the exercise.

I have spent the past 90 minutes trying to get Google to post the video to my blog to no avail. I'm afraid you'll have to hit the link and go elsewhere to play it. But grab your box of tissues first. (You too, dad... Seriously.)

Enjoy. Be inspired. I sure have been. Welcome to the world of Team Hoyt. Welcome to Rick's world. What an amazing couple of men.

Team Hoyt Video


Why quit???

When Smokers Quit – What Are the Benefits Over Time?

20 minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drops.

12 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.

2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.

1 to 9 months after quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.

1 year after quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's.

5 years after quitting: Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker 5 to 15 years after quitting.

10 years after quitting: The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker's. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decrease.

15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker's.

And if you won't/can't do it for yourself, consider those around you who love you. They want you around for the long haul (yeah, I'm talking to YOU anonybro - and now it would seem that I'm talking to another significant person in my life too, who shall go nameless). Here's a little bit more info about some other kinds of benefits to those around you:

Health of Others
Smoking not only harms your health but the health of those around you. Exposure to secondhand smoke (also called environmental tobacco smoke or passive smoking) includes exhaled smoke as well as smoke from burning cigarettes.

Studies have shown that secondhand smoke causes thousands of deaths each year from lung cancer and heart disease in healthy nonsmokers.

Smoking by mothers is linked to a higher risk of their babies developing asthma in childhood, especially if the mother smokes while pregnant. It is also associated with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and low-birth weight infants. Babies and children raised in a household where there is smoking have more ear infections, colds, bronchitis, and other respiratory problems than children from nonsmoking families. Secondhand smoke can also cause eye irritation, headaches, nausea, and dizziness.

Setting an Example
If you have children, you probably want to set a good example for them. When asked, nearly all smokers say they don't want their children to smoke, but children whose parents smoke are more likely to start smoking themselves. You can become a good role model for them by quitting now.

When I attended the Leadership Summit we had a wonderful and charismatic speaker. This gentleman had never smoked in his life but had lost a lung to cancer because of the effects of secondhand smoke. As he put it, "If there is a smoking section in the workplace, none of the workplace is smoke free."

The latest report from the Surgeon General concludes that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.

The report, The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke, finds that even brief secondhand smoke exposure can cause immediate harm. The report says the only way to protect nonsmokers from the dangerous chemicals in secondhand smoke is to eliminate smoking indoors.

Here Come the Wisconsin Survivors!

I know that it is hard. Believe me. As Mark Twain said, "Quitting smoking is easy. I've done it a thousand times."

Head over to the ACS Guide to Quitting Smoking today. There are people there to help you.

Double your chances
of quitting for good.
Call 1-800-ACS-2345
to speak with someone who can help.

Great American Smokeout Day Approaches...

In an attempt to get you ready...


It's nearly time for Great American Smokeout day. Would you like to quit? There is help out there for you.

Make a plan today!

In my head:


What? A meme? Insights into me...

Well because She was doing it...and she had some really awesome answers (far more interesting than mine, which were unbelievably readable and cool and made me say WOW on more than one occasion... it just made me want to do it. *sigh* Sorry for the thievery, Meeta! :)

and did anybody else notice there are only 9 firsts???

10 first:
First best friend - Therese S.
First car - the Escort that had fake wood panel stickers on it.
First love - Barnabus Collins
First vacation - India- Wisconsin Dells (before it became Waterworld)
First job - Babysitting
First piercing - ears at 13
First concert - Rick Springfield (please go see what he's doing now!)
First record/cd bought - Either The Osmonds or The Jackson 5 :)
First real love - Eric D (shut up, you...)

9 latest:
Latest alcoholic beverage - if beer doesn't count (Corona) I'm in trouble - I suppose it would be a strawberry daiquiri in the dells served by this gentleman.
Latest car ride - Riding with Mystical to and from Mineral Point (wheeeeeeeee!)
Latest movie watched - The Birdcage (twice!)
Latest phone call made - Keli (duh!)
Latest jacuzzi bath - Wow. Who knows? Before moving out of the old house. Months prior, probably.
Latest played cd - The Hour of Bewilderbeast by Badly Drawn Boy
Latest time you cried - Saturday
Latest meal - Bucca at Michael's house before seeing State Fair on Saturday evening
Latest curse - at my iPod.

8 have you ever:
dated one of your best friends - yes
been arrested - no
fallen in love at first sight - yes
been in a TV program - sort of
had your heart broken - of course
said you love someone without meaning it - yes.
made a prank phone call - who hasn’t done this??

7 things you wear:
1. purple. Lots and lots of purple.
2. Relay gear. heh.
3. silver jewelry (if you are looking for gift ideas ROFL, skip the gold unless it is white gold)
4. iBuds *snickers*
5. Keen sandals and shoes :)
6. a pair of Candies "vintage" heels for "old times sake" and because I love them.
7. Did I mention purple and Relay gear? Okay, jeans.

6 things you’ve done today:
1. Had my lemon detox drink with MUCH cayenne pepper (YUMMY!!!!!!!!!)
2. Email
3. blogged
4. messed with iTunes and damn iPod, including downloading music
5. Texted with Keli
6. drank coffee (duh!)

5 favorite things:
1. My family
2. My laptop
3. music
4. my cell phone
5. coffee

4 people I can tell anything
1. Keli
2. Mystical
3. Anonybro
4. Bonnie

Black or white? Black
Summer or winter? Fall and Spring
Chocolate or chips? Chocolate and Chips

2 things to do before you die (only two???):
1. Go to Italy...
2. Live in New Mexico for the winter.

1 thing you regret:
Don't have any of these. Used to have a baby one, but I feel I did away with that a little while ago. So yeah. Don't have regrets people. Regrets are bad.

In my head: Delta (Little Boy Blues) Badly Drawn Boy

Told ya! November!!!!

Bumped because It's important darn it!

Lung Cancer – A Statewide and National Epidemic
From Beth Lunow
Pewaukee, Wisconsin

The barrage of media and advertising focusing on breast cancer has subsided and gone is the seemingly unending sea of pink products that were so clearly visible throughout October. While marketers, the media and the general public may feel they have done their duty helping to fight cancer for another year, our jobs as crusaders against cancer are not done. Now that November is here, we all have a responsibility to help make people aware of the deadliest form of the disease, lung cancer. As the main cause of cancer deaths and also the most preventable cancer, how can we afford not to talk about it and share the facts as readily as we do breast cancer facts?

Lung cancer may not capture that coveted group of product and media consumers known as “women 25 to 54” the way that breast cancer does, but it is killing more of these women than breast cancer. Since 1987, more women in the U.S. have died each year of lung cancer than breast cancer. The pink is gone but the fight against cancer must continue.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. and in Wisconsin for both men and women.

Lung cancer accounts for nearly one third of all cancer deaths in the U.S. It kills more people than breast, colorectal and prostate cancer combined. This year in Wisconsin there will be more than 3,000 lung cancer diagnoses and 2,800 deaths. The 5-year survival rate for all stages of lung cancer combined is a bleak 15 percent. Nearly 60 percent of those diagnosed with lung cancer die within one year of diagnosis and nearly 75 percent die within two years. Lung cancer often takes several years to develop and does not cause symptoms until the tumor becomes very large. It often spreads to other parts of the body before it is found.

Smoking is by far the leading risk factor for lung cancer.

Smoking accounts for 87 percent of cancer deaths in the U.S. Half of all Americans who continue to smoke will die from their cigarette addiction. Cigarettes kill more Americans than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide and illegal drugs combined. Almost 90 percent of adult smokers became addicted by or before age 18.

Other risk factors for lung cancer include secondhand smoke inhalation, occupational or environmental exposures to radon and asbestos, certain metals, organic chemicals and radiation, air pollution, tuberculosis, and genetics.

The American Cancer Society is committed to decreasing lung cancer incidence and mortality rates.

The American Cancer Society is helping to fight lung cancer by focusing on five major goals which are: preventing youth from starting to smoke, encouraging youth and adults to quit smoking, improving access to smoking cessation treatment services, eliminating non-smokers’ exposure to cigarette smoke, and eliminating disparities in tobacco use and its effects. Smokers can get help finding a Quitline phone counseling program in their area by calling the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345 or by logging on to www.cancer.org.

As the facts clearly show, there is too big a price to pay if we ignore lung cancer. Please do your part in helping to fight this dreaded but completely preventable disease. Urge someone you know to stop smoking. If you are a smoker put out your last cigarette and start down the road to healthy lungs. Talk to your children about the dangers of smoking. It’s all of our responsibilities to continue to fight cancer in Wisconsin and throughout the United States.

In my head: Speed Trials Elliot Smith

Things that make you say hmmmm...

I thought this was interesting.

LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

My maiden name was a little more rare. There are only 7 people in the USA with that particular name.

Found at I Dare You to Top This Life.

In my head: baby's romance from Chris Garneau


Extreme Home Makeover

Are you a fan? Doesn't really matter if you are or not. You should totally watch tonight. I will be. And I don't even have television. I'll be watching at a neighboring village. All of the surrounding Relay volunteers have been invited to watch at a local watering hole and a portion of the proceeds will go back to ACS.

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life means so much to Shawna, and after walking laps in the "Extreme Relay," I can see why. It was amazing to realize how people coming together as a community can make a difference in supporting survivors and fighting back against this disease.
— Paul DiMeo, designer
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

It'll be an Extreme Relay Makeover! Tune in and let me know what you think... You'll get an idea what this crazy thing is that I'm so addicted to, maybe. And perhaps it will get a few more of you involved in my addiction, too. And how bad could that be? :)

In my head: Velvet Snow from Kings of Leon

Livefree. Smokefree.

If you're a smoker looking to kick the habit, there's no time like November 16, the date of this year's Great American Smokeout. You already know why you should quit. The American Cancer Society can help you figure out how to do it and point you to resources that can help. Go smoke-free -- it's one of the best decisions you'll ever make for yourself and your loved ones. (lifted lovingly and directly from the ACS website...)

And the following comes from here. Please go there to buy YOURS today.

The orange Livefree. Smokefree. wrist band can help start a lifesaving conversation about quitting smoking. Wear this band to help the American Cancer Society spread awareness about the benefits of living a healthy, smokefree life and share them with friends and family to encourage them to kick the habit.

Smoking is by far the leading risk factor for lung cancer, so wear the "Livefree.Smokefree" wrist band to support those undergoing treatment for lung cancer, to honor those who have been lost, and to celebrate those who have survived. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women — more than 163,000 people will die of the disease in 2005.

Join the American Cancer Society in celebrating the Great American Smokeout’s 30th Anniversary on Thursday, November 16. Make your health a priority. Find out what inspired others to kick the habit, get quit tips, and more by visiting the Great American Smokeout Web site, Livefree.Smokefree at www.cancer.org/livefreesmokefree.

For more information about quitting smoking, clean indoor air, and lung cancer, as well as to view the American Cancer Society's prevention and early detection guidelines, please visit www.cancer.org.

Click on the bracelet to buy yours today! Clickity Clickity Click!


Holy Cow...

I was complaining about that little dusting of snow the other day. A friend of mine had to drive back from a conference in the Dells that day. Took her a lot longer than it should have because the highway was closed due to accidents from the snow. People, people. It isn't like we've never driven in snow before. But then again, it usually doesn't dump 16 inches on the 9th of November, either. That was happening between here and there, I guess.

KathyC, did you get here last night like you had planned for that 4H thing? Smooches to you if you had to drive in that crap. Blech.

I haven't had five minutes to write today. It's been a busy day!

Going to do a few minutes at it now, I think. Had a little bit of brainstorming on the way home from Michael's play tonight. Lots of laughter and fun. Thank you to all who participated in that.

Seth? You are a dream of an actor. That part was you all over. Wonderful work. Sara? You are a vision in pink and that VOICE. Michael, it was a wonder to see and hear you on that stage. Sing often. You are lovely. (These beautiful teens will never see these words but I send them into the universe in hopes that they land on them in little bits of inspiration anyway. What a wonder to know that kids will still walk out on stage and take part in awful musicals from American history and give it their all for the love of the applause or whatever it is that inspires them.)

I'm so exhauted that NaNo may not be gotten to tonight after all. Will I get any writing accomplished this weekend???


In my head: All I Owe Ioway from State Fair (Oscar Hammerstein)



A bulleted list of my day...
because this is the kind of bullet that is fun!

  • Got up fairly early to snow. Yes. Snow. Kim, you can have it. You and Trisha. I'll send it your way as soon as I can scrape up what is left of it in my teaspoon. *cough* shut. up. I will complain as much as I want to. It is what I do about winter. Just wait. You ain't seen nothin' yet. (That was for you, Kel...)

  • Went to the folks to make my lemon detox. Added double the cayenne I put in last time. It has honestly turned brown now. It is my new wake-me-up drink. Better than caffeine, I swear. And yet from there...

  • Went to Dunn Bros. Directly to Dunn Bros. Did not pass Go. Did not collect $200. DID collect world's best caramel macchiato with skim and no whip. Thank you Michele. Now that I have sampled the Gingerbread latte I will be able to resist them until closer to the holidays. Because it is only early November. No matter what the weather is doing.

  • Got two seats by the fire and an outlet. Mystical was meeting me so we could work on our novels for NaNoWriMo and we are both writing them on our laptops. Before writing could commence, we needed to enjoy some beverage for waking and some pumpkin donut and some idle chatter. Also, I was surprised by a visit by Anonybro and his son, Anonephew. This was a terrific treat. I don't get to see nearly enough of my nephew so that was cool.

  • Did too work on my novel. I have not changed my word count because I started a different novel and you will not see a new number there until the new novel surpasses the old novel in number of words or until I go back to the old novel and pick up the thread of that one. Because you can't add them together. Them's the rules. (That was for you too, Kel.)

  • While very busily working on the novel I also managed to do a little Christmas shopping at my very favorite new online store. I'm not telling any of you what it is because a few of you will be receiving gifts from there this year. And I don't want you to see anything from it until after the holidays or it will blow everything. But suffice it to say? Funny and clever and I wish I had thought of it first. What a hoot. ;) (That was for Kathy.) I also managed to write a blog post, instant message with my daughter, email with a couple of friends, and take notes on novel number 3 (the one for which I have the high word count). So don't anybody ever say I can't multi-task. OH! And I did some date planning for the next month. Because I have things to do, places to go and people to see. (Hi Vicki, Jen, Kathy and Iki! Woohoo!)

  • From there it was off to Jimmy Johns where they make the screaming fast sandwiches!!! that also happen to taste dogdamn good. (Try the number six if you are a fan of guacamole. oh my.) Keli was in the mood for the number six so I picked up some lunch to bring home with me (because what else would a Gilmore Girl do? You do remember what my refrigerator looks like, don't you?)...

  • When I got there we had a little lunch together and I got to see the birthday gift the kid had created for her best friend (can't tell you in case they are surfing the net tonight since she hasn't given it to her yet) which reminds me - HAPPY BIRTHDAY KELSEY YOU GORGEOUS DOLL YOU!!! I LOVE YOU, SWEETIE!

  • Finally, I brought my own gorgeous doll to RF so she could see all of her friends this evening before the big second night of the high school musical (State Fair) in which she has many friends starring.

  • And now, I wrap this boring account of my day by saying, I think I'll head in and do a little more writing at the coffee shop to increase the word count of the day, hand off a crochet pattern to someone who is looking for it, and then perhaps scrape up a date for another showing of that play for tonight. Maybe. We'll see how on a roll I get with the writing first. You never know, after all.

In my head: Believer Ben Kweller (you'll find a sample of it on this page) has moved into my brain and set up residency. I haven't actually heard his music for a couple of days now, but there it is. The minute the music I have been listening to is silenced and the house is still, his voice comes in loud and clear.


I'm supposed to be working on my novel right now. Marge is sitting her beside me at Dunn being very well behaved doing the same. It is our writing morning. But I just thought that I would check in here and do a quick post first. Because I am a blogger first. Before I am a NaNoer. Blogging is a 365 day occupation. NaNo is a one month a year thing. Writing is, of course 365 days too, but whatever.

So it is snowing here. Yes, snowing. And quite heavily. And my daughter is delighted. You might say that when she found out about it at 7 am, her mood was quite like this:

I'm glad someone still gets a little joy out of snow. I'm sure there are plenty who do, actually. I just don't happen to be one of them.

In my head: Kaboom! Ursula 1000


So when I told you...

When I told you all to go vote, I was actually hoping you might come back. :(


Didn't get as far on the NaNo yesterday as I would have liked, so I'm devoting the morning to it today. And this afternoon? Much driving. And the evening? I'm Ginger Rogers. Without the fancy dress or Fred Astair.

Like Ginger, only less fancy...

In my head: Big Blue Sea from Bob Schneider


November is...

To put a little focus back where it belongs in this place today... I found this information on a wonderful blog and provided by one of my favorite cancer info bloggers.

Everyone knows that the month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness month (unless you were buried alive for the month and only just emerged and that has happened to you every month for the past several years that things have been painted pink all month) and I love to find out what other "months" get highlighted for awareness in the cancer world so that I can really promote the heck out of them. In my opinion, you cannot become aware enough to this hideous disease.

So November? Lung Cancer. And if you are a smoker, please know that coming soon is Great American Smokeout Day. You'll be hearing more. Lots more. I'll be pointing you to info. I hope you'll consider taking part. If you aren't a smoker but you blog? I hope you'll consider linking the info up so even more smokers can find the information and take part.


In my head:

I know, I know...

But while we're waiting? The fabulous Heather sent this to me and I thought it was fun (while at the same time making me feel old...)

Enter your age in the pop up window and see where you fit along the time contiuum. And when you finish that one? Head over to the TV timeline and see where you fit among the tv stars. Or the movie stars. Fun! And mindless. And a distraction from NaNo... I know, I know!

In my head: How To Save a Life from The Fray (Who can tell that I downloaded the Grey's Anatomy season 2 soundtrack? Great music gets played on that show.


Have you done it yet? Huh? I mean voting is the easy part. Look what my friend CursingMama is up to today!

Well why not? Get out there and do it! Go on! I'll still be here when you get back! Trust me...

I'll wait.

I mean, the cool kids are back and the music here at Dunn is just fine...

In my head: Whatever happens to be playing on the radio at the moment today... (because of the cool kids... heh)


Who doesn't love

Who doesn't love Dave Matthew's Dream Girl?

You? Don't tell me. I don't even want to know. That man has one of the sexiest voices around.

Okay. I'm outta here. To have my spine all aligned. Miracle worker she.

Shoo be do be do...

No words today. Not yet.

I've had too much going on with stops in many places. And I will see the miracle worker at noon.

Drank the lemon drink this morning (thanks mom). Ten days in a row. It wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. I mean, I normally do like lemon. This was just lemonade with cayenne pepper in it. I think tomorrow? More pepper. That last swallow had a lot and it bit me, but it was good.

I did have a few forgetful moments this morning in my running around. I forgot to take season one of GA in the house with me so Pop could start watching it if he so chooses. Will have to stop by with that again after the chiro appointment. I also forgot my

The cool kids are back! Michele made this most fabulous macchiato upon which I am sipping while hearing Sting jam on the speakers overhead. She seems a bit harried behind the bar at the moment. I don't think she was quite ready to return from her break. :( But it isn't like everybody gets to take three weeks off from their job to go play around in the woods. *cough*

It is a very hazy day today. The weekend contained incredible weather (yesterday hit 60 and was beautiful with blue sky and warm air) and felt so springlike I drove around in typical spring fashion (ie windows open and radio sharing its music with everyone! So generous! LOL)... And today? Also like a spring day in that it looks like a day that follows several warm days which have created much snow melt resulting in this moist hazy gloom in the air. I wish that it really was spring!

My stomach is growling like crazy telling me that I haven't eaten in days! Can it be? (hardly - baked spaghetti and fabulous desserts after a morning full of macchiato and cocoa and donut, remember???)

So now I'm importing new Snow Patrol cd into my iTunes and will be off very soon. After I'm all adjusted and straightened I will get to make a couple more stops on errands and then? Yes then I will be adding to the number count. Because then I will be filled with inspiration and will have so much space for the inspiration and chi and everything else to flow in my straight body that the numbers at the end of the day will be amazing... Just wait. Just wait and see.

I wonder if it will be a dark and stormy night?

In my head: Shoo be do as sung by Hutch and me back in the day...

Sunday was a day of...

  • NaNo at Dunn with macchiato and blackberry cocoa and even a pumpkin donut. Because it takes a little bit of caloric intake to get some of that creative output. There was some blogging between sentences and some emailing and some phone texting as well. There was a little chatting with Dunn employees and fellow customers who knit a thing or two (oh the stockings...)

  • Laundry at home and a new game I've invented in which I... oh never mind. Suffice it to say it involves 5's. That is all. And the laundry got done.

  • A trip to Chan where I picked up a friend and we drove to MOA which was much much busier today than it was the last time we were there. I guess people have decided to really get an early start on the holiday shopping this year because we had to actually drive around in search of a parking spot! But not being picky about needing a spot up close to the door or anything, we found one very quickly and began the walk to the building. heh. Shopping then did ensue and the Apple store was once again happy to see us and I was happy to see it! Look! My chiropractor will be happy to know that when I NaNo after this, I can have my shoulders down in a more natural position while the notebook is up on the table at eye level. Ah happy technology.

  • Dinner at Tucci Benucch where as much as I love the baked spaghetti, I will remember from now on that I do not need to go there for anything more than the perfect and heavenly desserts. At this time of year, the Pumpkin Cheesecake is so heavenly you will just want to curl up in a bowl of it and never climb back out again. It was the best thing I think I have ever tasted. Unfortunately it wasn't mine and I only got two little bites (but could have had more if I'd wanted due to the generosity of my dining mate. But I had a dish full of absolutely sinful creme brulee to eat in front of me. And it was quite perfect all by itself. (Yeah, I wasn't quite as in the mood to share mine. I ate nearly all of it without giving it up... oh man it was so good...) And the service there? Also fantastic.

  • The latter part of the evening was spent bringing Kel back to her apartment and helping her with some homework. Sunday evenings are tough because she usually isn't quite ready to get back to life on her own and I'm never ready to give her up. But we're surviving the whole leaving the nest thing. And our Wednesday night tap dancing class is such a treat and fun way to see each other. And now we are planning a little warm-weather break during her winter school holiday. So the first year of school is going fast.

So here I am (photo hound!) celebrating with the apple store purchases (well, part of them)... I have decided to name the mouse Chester. ;) What do you think? ROFL! Love you, Kel. Smooches!

In my head: The Way by Fastball


Strange Coincidences

The level of noise here at the coffee shop was beginning to rise so I pulled out the headphones and opened iTunes. I turned on Gomez and played How We Operate and as the song began to wind down the song that was playing in the background of Dunn started to leak in around the iBuds in my ears. What was that tune? Yeah. How We Operate. Weird. (because even when the cool kids are absent they sometimes play good music up here... bring back Michele soon DJman. *sigh*)

In my head: The Fear You Won't Fall from Joshua Radin


Oh yeah...

8:30 pm and I have put away so. many. words.

And so now here is your evening blog update.

First of all you must know what wonderful cool people there are in the world of heroes.

You remember Sahara, of whom I have spoken on a couple of occasions here in the past. Most recently in mid-October when I returned from my trip to the Dells to learn that she had gotten to go home from MDAnderson's cancer facility (woohoo!!!). Well, one of her heroes happens to be an old heartthrob of mine Mr. Rick Springfield (yes, HIM!). Turns out, the very handsome and mega-talented Mr. Springfield is putting on a show to benefit Help for Hoops, the foundation created to help pay Sahara's medical costs. HOW COOL IS THAT!? He rocks in so many ways, I cannot count them. Check out these sites for more information... Sahara's blog, Rick's site, Tickets for the show can be purchased here and at Tickmaster outlets (I sure wish I was going!), Michael Manning's blog where he's trying to get a busload of backers heading to the concert... :) People love you, Sahara!

Now a word about a hero of mine... :)

Lance Armstrong is running the NYC Marathon tomorrow as a personal challenge and to raise money for his foundation and for cancer research. One hundred runners have signed on to run as a part of his team and have raised more than $600,000! This is so totally cool to me.

Now I have done my NaNo duty for tonight. I loved ShellyNoir's comment about NaNo from earlier today... :) She's of the HellNoWriMo crowd! I want to know the requirements for that group.

Edited to add: Added a new name to my inspiration list today but I hated to have to add him to the Memory list because I learned of him so late in his battle. :( Roger is Grandpa to Amy. I'm not quite certain what I want to write all to link up or say yet so I'm going to just put his name on the list and link the article Amy had hooked up to her blog about him. I hope that's okay with her. (Let me know Kathy or Amy if you want me to take that link down at any time...) I don't have a big readership, so... yeah. :( My condolences to the family. Smooches and hugs. I'm glad he doesn't have to fight the battle anymore for his sake and the sake of the family because it is a painful thing to watch. Love and peace to all of you.

In my head: From the Morning Nick Drake is singing directly into my brain right now through my headphones.

Caffeine = Novelist Fuel

Procrastination is running rampant today in the life of Keri. But there were many very important things to be done. Like picking up da kid and taking her to brunch. Complete with pie. Peanut butter cup pie for me. (We won't even talk about the toenails involved with her own delicacy grandma, but suffice it to say she will perhaps stick with your homemade stuff after this.)

But truly, I have to get going on the words. The words!!! For I am drinking today's caffeine from my beautiful new mug... I think music is as much the fuel for my brain as the coffee is, though. It stops up my ears and blocks out all of the crazy conversations that are going on around me no matter where I am. And don't tell me to stay home for my writing. It is far too quiet there. If this doesn't make sense it is because you aren't a writer. That's okay. You just don't understand me! Artist's temperament. Something like that.

Off to the Word document. I'm sure I'll be back later. I'm always back later. I can think of no better distraction than hopping and skipping through the land of the blogosphere. Slapping a blogger here; smooching a blogger there. It's a big www out there. And when I get tired of reading or writing or posting, I have a blog to help prettify for my daughter to write in. Because she needs another creative outlet. And tonight is the indoor marching band concert and silent auction. In case these other things aren't enough to occupy my free time. And I have mittens to finish and Christmas stockings to start. I'm busy darn it!

Good thing I have caffeine to fuel all of these projects.

In my head: How We Operate from Gomez downloaded and playing on repeat... Can I help it if Grey's Anatomy has me hooked on some of today's best music?

Simple Rules

Five Simple Rules for Happiness:
  1. Free your heart from hatred.

  2. Free your mind from worries.

  3. Live simply.

  4. Give more.

  5. Expect less.


My additions - drink more skim caramel macchiatos (no whip) and laughter. Always laughter. ;)

Dancing and music are a nice compliment to above, as well.

In my head: Perfect Time of Day by Howie Day


Today I am grateful for:

  • laughter as taught by kathyhowe

  • Howie Day music

  • Wild Rice soup served up by my local Dunn Bros coffee (OMG the stuff is addicting in its goodness...)

  • hot cocoa with blackberry syrup as concocted by Natalie (something totally new for me and completely scrumptious

  • completing a goodly number of words on the NaNo tonight after a complete day's worth of procrastination

  • my thoroughly lovely daughter

  • bulleted posts

In my head: Believer from Ben Kweller (thank you Sara)


Okay, no really...

It's only 6 pm and I've got a little bit of time free and now I'm going to write my NaNo stuff. Right now. Really. Today's words. Now.

In my head: A Message from Coldplay's X&Y

Too much fun and right on the money...

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Midland
The Northeast
The South
North Central
The West
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

I would have to say my percentage on that since they don't show the bars on here the way they should was somewhere around 75 to 80%... Pretty accurate I suppose because I do get asked if I'm from Wisconsin when I'm out and about. :)

In my head: A conversation I had on the phone with someone (you know who you are if you are reading, hahaha) who was still living in Colorado shortly after I moved back to Wiscahnsin. About 15 minutes into the conversation he said, "I can't believe how fast your accent came back." I asked what the heck he was talking about and he told me that my o's were very strong and I said the word "about" like I was from Fargo or something. And I sat there play arguing with him because I swore I sounded Just.Like.Him.

Isn't that right Jen? We don't sound any different than you or Dash when we get together for our mini BlogHer fests, do we?!


Life is Good

As I sat laughing at myself (and others and my computer) in one of my regular seats at the coffee shop this morning a friend said (twinkle in eye), "I wish you were a happier person." It's true. I'm pretty happy these days. I do a lot of laughing. Laughter is good medicine. I put myself in situations that are going to induce laughter as much as possible. I read things that will bring laughter. I listen to music that will make me feel good. I take tap dancing lessons with people who will make me laugh and the lessons themselves make me laugh (how could they not???).

I tend to spend time with people who are uppers rather than downers whenever possible. If I'm offered a chance to go do something that is a new opportunity and puts me in the line of positive energy and laughter and fun? I'm more likely to take that chance than not.

As a friend recently told me, I'm in a unique position at this time to look for employment that is uniquely me and would make me happy and not just make me money. I have the time and the opportunity to figure out what more I want. I have figured out something just this week that I am pretty certain on the employment scale that I do not want. And it shocks me all to pieces. But I'm really glad to have discovered it now. And so the search continues. With everything else. I appreciate any and all advice. And laughter.

Always laughter.

Speaking of laughter... Here I sit using my mad typing skilz (can't say mad writing skilz - this is after all, NaNoWriMo) at the coffee shop... It makes me laugh my butt off because my head looks SO HUGE on top of my shoulders... Ahhh perspective. And I don't look like I'm having a lot of fun, either. But I am! REALLY!

In my head: Dreaming Tree by Dave Matthews

It has begun and so have I... barely.

But there is a long way to go and I'm behind if I wanted to average 1600 a day to get there on a nice steady continuum. And Vicki? Honestly. A week? You finished in a week? That's a crime. ;) My lovely daughter provided me with a writing idea. When I've run through the first three ideas and hit brick walls on all three of them I'll try hers. Because it is usually the third or fourth one that sticks.

If I don't surf into your blog anytime soon, don't take it personally. This is a crazy month. The holidays are coming and I want to get the truffle site done this month so we can take orders online (Oy.) and I want to assist in making truffles and I want to get a novel written and I want to do Relay stuff. So yeah. I may not be posting frequently here either.

It's too bad NaNoWriMo and Blogathon don't hit the same month. That could be interesting, eh?

And it must be nearly winter. My hands are riddled with scabs and fresh paper cuts. I'm in pain. How can a writer write with so many injuries all over her hands?

Had a phone call from my uncle this morning. Yes we finally connected, Dad. He decided it was fruitless to call me in the evening because I'm never there so why not try the morning and yes! I was home and we made connection! Anyway, we talked about several different topics and even about a movie he recently watched. He asked if I'd seen this movie that was just so gruesome called, Misery. Funny thing is that I just recently saw it again myself. So we did some laughing about it, because as gruesome and painful as it is, it is pretty humorous, too. I think Mr. King meant for it to be, don't you?

It was a fun conversation. He's a fun guy. And it was nice to connect with him. My dance partner. :)

Okay. I've blown off enough and procrastinated long enough. Now to work. It doesn't have to be good, it just has to get done.

And there is real work to do, too. Right my truffle making partners? We need a meeting. Must talk with them. Soon.

In my head: O. Lover from Jason Mraz