Empty Elizabeth

In front of something, yet still behind...

Friday, June 23, 2006

Moving Day!

I am moving, my blog, that is. We have come to no immediate conclusion about the house.
Please update links, etc. See you there!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

My Kind of Town

Oooh, lookit me. Standing near some giant mirrored blob in Chicago. It's amazing, sometimes, what passes for art these days. The Art Institute was much better. We were there all day (just me and T). I got to see all the Impressionists I wanted. A nice abstract Japanese painting of a cat. The Chagall. I recommend that one doesn't spend the entire day there. There is so much to see and even trying to cram it all into one day doesn't quite do everything justice. Plus, you become really really sore afterwards. Which makes it hard to eat dinner since you'd have to walk to a restaurant.
T and I spent 4 days in Chicago. We found an awesome deal for the Hard Rock Hotel on Michigan that we couldn't pass up. Plus, when we checked in, they upgraded us to a king suite! It was very nice. Views of the river were from 2 vantages, being the room was in a corner of the building. Only two other rooms on that floor. Sheets were oh so soft and David Bowie graced the walls by the bed and the bathroom.
It was nice. The weather was pretty good, not too hot, not too cold. The hotel was close for walking and taking the subway. We became adept at using the RedLine and I convinced T to take the El on the way back from the Sears Tower (over-rated). We visited ChinaTown after a WhiteSox game. We caught a Blue Man Group show on the north side. Perused the Lincoln Park Zoo one afternoon. Chilled at some nice restaurants. Visited a nice little shop across the street for snacks and some wine.
That was the beginning of May. I get exhausted talking about it! We were glad to get back home to the kids, but still thankful for our time away, alone. Maybe next time, it will be a beach resort. I need to relax on my next vacation!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Smile Like You Mean It

Today is a good day. I don't think I've yelled once. That's a pretty nice feeling. SE got dressed all by himself, without me having to tell him to. SM has been so cooperative about diapers and sitting in the cart at the store. I actually remembered what I needed to get at the store. I got it all inside the house and put away. The boys played nicely. They even shared a snack and some milk in the car.
Why can't all days be like this? I would feel so much better.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Living in a Bubble

Can I live in an apartment? That was the question posed to me today.
Sure, I can live in an apartment. No problem!
I'm pretty sure I can stuff all our things into a 2 bedroom (with a den!) apartment. I know there's no basement, no upstairs and no backyard. But it so helps that the clubhouse has an exercise room with and attached play area where you can watch your kids through and big window whilst exercising. All the more reason to get off your ass, when you know the kids will be occupied. Also, a pool. And a little playground. And it's out in the boonies, so not a lot of traffic.
It is our plan to sell our wonderful house and live in an apartment for 1-2 years, the later part of which to build a house in. The extra money from the house sale will pay off our credit card debts and expenses for the apartment will be hundreds less than the house (with the added bonus of an attached 2-car garage).
I've already gotten berated by someone who thinks renting is throwing money away. Who, by the way, is renting. So whatever. But think: if the extra money from the equity we have and the higher price than what we paid will completely erase our debt, how is that not a good thing? We will also be able to save more money since we will not be spending so much on fixing up the house so it looks nice, because, let's face it, the house is pretty old (75 years) and things need to be fixed.
We will also be in a position to freely build a house and move into it without having to worry about a bridge loan or whether or not someone wants to buy our house at that time. We will have time to be choosy about where and what we build.
I also hear the school district is quite nice.
I will miss our house, but everything I love will be coming with me, so in time, I won't miss it anymore.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Solemn Vow

I swear that I will not cut my hair again! Really. Don't you believe me? C'mon, I swear. I swear! I just know that my hair will be beautiful if and when it gets past my shoulders. I meant WHEN! There is no "IF". Because I swore. Remember? Up there, a couple of sentences ago.

What I've been up to:
  1. I was inspired to make some aprons. So I found a pattern and made 2. I have plans to make a 3rd with some gorgeous red Japanese fabric with flowers outlined in gold.
  2. I got a pattern for children's coloring bags. It's cute. They have handles and little pockets on the outside for each fat crayon. I know, crayons in and out of little pockets, disaster! But! BUT! It's all cotton and of course, you get the washable crayons and you can just throw the whole thing in the wash. I made two with the sock monkey fabric I got the other weekend.
  3. I went a little tiny bit crazy (or bipolar, if you've seen that magazine ad) and bought another blanket for our bed. Hey, it was 22$! Matlasse! And pretty blue! Also, 400 thread count sheets for 29$. That's for the whole set, people! So very soft. And two big feathery pillows with blue stitching on them. That whole thing inspired me to make a pillow out of some fabric that I have that I do not know what the heck to do with that happens to match the aforementioned blanket and pillows. The pattern is in a book my mother-in-law gave me for my birthday. It's almost done, I think I'll finish it when I get home tonight. Pictures to follow.
  4. I don't have a 4, but I like the way it looks.

Again, to reiterate: I will not cut my hair!! I'm staging and intervention, on myself!

I will have to hide all scissors when I get home.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Found this over at Mrs. Kennedy's.

I am a colon!
Find your own pose!

I seriously do not know why it's called the Colon, but I think it is pretty accurate.

Things that go Vvrroooommmm

I do not know when a boy's fascination with cars begins. It could start just after they are born: we cart them around to all places in the car. It could start when they start learning words: cars are everywhere and many different colors making them an easy teaching tool (red, yellow, slow, fast, big, small). When my dad played with SE when he was a lot younger, he wondered how he knew which was the front of the car, for they always had to go down the ramp forward. I dont' know, I don't think I had taught him that. What I do know: the boy loves his cars.

Ever since the fascination started, everyone else contributes to it. Cars for Christmas, birthdays, Easter, whatever. The one in the picture he got from my brother Joe's "mommy"(girlfriend). We speculate that SE calls her "his mommy" because all the women we get together with regularly are with men, and usually married with kids, making them and mommy and a daddy. Though I cannot tell you why he doesn't call my sister's boyfriend "her daddy". (It could be because he's know him longer, but what do I know).

Another thing I know, is that I love my two little boys.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Slippery Subjective Significance

Is eugenics impending? The slippery, or maybe just slightly wet, slope leading there is discussed in a Slate.com article.
PGD stands for preimplantion genetic diagnosis. Simply put, it means that embryos for IVF(in-vitro fertilization) are screened for certain genes before they are implanted into the uterus. If an embryo has a specific gene (usually one associated with a type of cancer), the embryo is discarded or frozen. In other words, it's not used. The article goes on to try and define the "line". Where is the line drawn over what is screened for and what is not? Where is the line drawn for what is a significant risk of early- or late-onset disease? It further delves into treatability.
Regardless of most of these parameters, the significance of a certain disease and it's risk factors is dependent on the mother, or parents, of said embryo. Even though there may be "lines" drawn, the significance of any disease is subjective to the recipient. As Saletan writes, "if significance is subjective and anxiety is sufficient, won't some parents feel that severe asthma meets that standard?" One more step down the slope. Where does line finally get drawn?

As for Leather's assurance that PGD "can still only be used for a minority of
people if there is a clear history of cancer across generations of a family,"
why should anyone respect that line? Once genetic testing becomes cheap and
universal, why shouldn't anyone who finds out she has a cancer gene be able to
test her embryos for it?

This is why I can't bring myself to read much anymore, let alone drag myself off the couch. One article leads to another. Do I really want to know these things are going on in my world? Do I want to squander my time pondering the future in this world? I'd rather be watching "Mad About You". The problems never stretched far beyond the walls of Paul and Jamie's apartment.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Message From Mom

My parents recently babysat for 4 whole days. The next week, my mom sent me a little email with an observation I had to share:

"You know you've been around your grandkids too long when you go to take off your tennis shoes and realize you double tied the laces."

Thank you, Mom (and Dad), for watching the kids! We appreciate it so much!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Are there Limits?

My husband and I were watching TV the other day and I happened across Austin City Limits. The Killers were playing. Then a band called Spoon came on. I enjoyed them very much.
I haven't been "into" music for a long time. Time. That is what keeps from it. I no longer have time to listen and search and discuss music. I used to be a fountain of useless facts about bands that I loved. I could tell you that Shawn Smith from Satchel played on this certain Afghan Whigs song and that he, together with Greg Dulli from the Whigs now (and also at that time) are in a band called the Twilight Singers. And on and on. Only other people that liked these bands cared. It's sort of like "name-dropping". But, it kept me sane, I think.

Back to Spoon. Together with the wonderful custom sound adjustment on our TV set and the HD broadcast of ACL, it made for a nice experience. Not every band can put together a song that you can rock along to. Sure, all songs have a beat, but not all can make you move. It made me think about how, never before, has there been a song exactly like the one this band is playing right now.
Is music truly infinite? Are there a finite number of notes, or does the scale continue on: ascending and descending into infinity? If so, there is an infinite combination of notes and instruments possible, never producing the same song twice. It is true, people are influenced by other musicians and music, and you may hear that in the song. But still, that song is truly original.

Just like people, I suppose.

My Mother's Day

I got up early (since I went to bed early) with SE and SM.
I made the boys pankcakes.
I got dressed for church.
I changed my pants.
I changed my shirt.
I changed my pants.
We went to church (I love large liberal churches).
I got 2 carnations and a rose.
We went to the mall and ate lunch (easiest for picky eaters like me).
Shopped a bit.
Shopped a bit by myself (thank you dearest hubby!).
Purchased new jeans, 3 tops, comfy J. Crew flip-flops and some smelly stuff from the Body Shop.
Got a white rose from the lovely people at J. Crew. How sweet of them. (I was dragging SM with me at that store).
We went to Sam's Club to load up on groceries.
Went home.
Watched Grey's Anatomy. WOW.
Also, nothing says Happy Mother's Day like that thing that means you're not a mother again.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Random Thoughts... or The Beauty of Gray

this is not a black and white world / to be alive i say the
colors must swirl / and i believethat maybe today / we will all get to
appreciate /
the beauty of gray

Today, a nice little list:

  • Got new work shoes. They're a half size to small, but I could not find anything in my size, nor in the color that I wanted in any other shoe! Grrr... Kohls.
  • Finally printed out pictures from my trip to Kentucky back in November. I even set up the printer all by myself. FB must be proud.
  • SE has been "super" difficult yesterday and today. Just crazy nuts, not listening, being crabby, whiney, rude and mean.
  • Got Bodukon via Netflix. T and I did it once the other day. 20 minutes of yoga and then about 10 of the karate-type stuff. I liked it, but we haven't really felt like exercising since. SE's attitude takes a lot out of one.
  • Watched Elizabethtown over Easter weekend, since I was by myself. Not what I was expecting! I liked it. That is all I remember.
  • Watched Proof the other night with T. It was good. Reminded me a little of what I was like before going on the medicine. Though, I don't think I was ever that bad. I would like to watch it again. Gwyneth Paltrow did a really good job playing her character. And Jake Gyllenhal wasn't so bad, though I don't see why people think he is hot, or whatever. Anthony Hopkins also did a good job. Not once did I think of Silence of the Lambs. And that, Clarice, is a good thing.

Bette Davis Eyes

I've been meaning to post a link to My Heritage that I found via Rockstar Mommy last week or something. Then I was visiting Mary Beth's site, and she had done it too (check it out! she has pictures). So that prompted me to actually try it out and do the post I've been planning on.
I've done it 3 times so far (you can keep uploading new photos of yourself), but the second time, I wasn't pleased with the results. Anyhow, the point of it is: to see which celebrities you resemble using their sophisitcated "face-recognition" software. It even gives percentages. Memorable celebrities from the first picture I used were Gwyneth Paltrow and Tom Petty!
The most recent time I got a 74% for Bette Davis. It must be the eyes. (It also came up with Judy Garland, Mira Sorvino, Mary Kate Olsen and Marylin Manson on that same one).
Regardless, it was fun. I have to go through some more pictures and see what it comes up with.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

It's A Miracle!

Will wonders ever cease? I finished the stack'n'wack top today. Behold: It needs to be squared and then bordered. My sewing is atrocious (everything is cut on the bias, which makes it extremely stretchy), but you can't tell that from the picture. There is no turning back now, I must finish it!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Man Cannot Live on Bread Alone

But one can live on dark chocolate whipped creme eggs.

Monday, April 03, 2006

A Cat for all Seasons

Today was a pretty good day. I think I did too much television watching, though. But, to my credit, I stopped watching before Mad About You came on at 12:30. (I love Mad About You).

After lunch, SM was snoozing peacefully in the playpen and SE was in his bed. After SE had "rested" for a bit (he wouldn't take a nap), he came out in the living room and read a little bit by me. When reading got to be too much for him, he decided to check on the birdfeeder outside the living room window. Usually, many different birds have come for a snack, but lately, I've noticed a pair that seems to have claimed the feeder as their own. There is also an errant squirrel that seems to think we put out food in the window feeder for him alone, despite having moved it higher on the glass. It must be the bricks he has been climbing. Occasionally, when my husband is in the kitchen, he will come running out to loud shouts from SE. He is only trying to scare that squirrel away! Well, today, instead of birds, there was a medium-sized calico cat peering at the feeder. SE was excited and I came to the window to look. The cat seemed to be looking at us, for there were no birds at the feeder. She would also look at us when we said something. I left the window for a moment and when I came back, the cat had crept closer to SE in the window. Now she was in the pachysandra.
This made me think of how we got our first cat when I was little: The house where we lived had an enclosed screen porch with a door to the other half of the porch. You had to turn the knob and pull the door to get in there, and the door was always kept closed. One night, while my mom was getting dinner for my sister, brother and me, she looked out the window onto that porch and there was a black cat staring back. My mom thought it odd, since that door had to be opened, that a cat would be on our porch. After a while, she decided to bring the cat in. She had gotten a box from the basement and had a little bowl which she put some milk and bread into. I think she coaxed it into the house with the milk. I don't remember much of what happened after that. I do remember her calling one of my aunts and asking her some questions. I don't remember what my dad said when he got home, but we ended up keeping the cat. I named her Muffin. Soon after we got another cat, which my sister named Katie, after her friend.

Remembering this, I decided to go out the front door and see what the cat would do. What was I thinking? I don't really know. What if the cat came over by me? I don't think T would have let us keep it. I don't know if I would want to keep it. It's another thing to care for! I already have 2 kids and a husband, and myself! But, the idea sounds nice. So nice that a while ago I had taken the kids to the Humane Society to look at cats. I even put down a deposit to hold one (the nicest, sweetest orange tabby ever) so we could come back the next day with Daddy and see what he thought. But then you get so close to actually bringing the cat home, and it all seems overwhelming. Needless to say, we didn't bring Sugar home.
We do have another cat, who lives now with my in-laws. They're retired and they like the company, though the birds they got from someone else don't like the terrorizing they receive. There have been talks to give him back to us, but there has been a breakdown in communication, so I don't think they're up to letting him go. Just as we are not quite up to taking him back.
Still, once in a while, SE will say he wants a kitty (and the other day he wanted a dog and a cat). I think eventually we might get one. Or one might get us.

Friday, March 31, 2006

I've been all over the internet and all I found was this silly meme

I've been across the internet and back and I've found this "meme" (whatever that is... oh, wait. click on the title and find out. wow.) everywhere. This one I actually got by email from my friend Amanda (Hi Amanda!). Enjoy.

Four jobs you have had in your life:
1. Reference Page at the local library
2. Circulation and Stacks employee at college library
3. Soil, plant, water and feed tester (I don't think I had a title there) at a little lab in Oshkosh
4. MT at a large hospital

Four movies you would watch over and over:
1. When a Man Loves a Woman
2. Emma (with Gwyneth Paltrow
3. Jurassic Park (it's Knee Socks!)
4. White Christmas

Four places you have lived:
1. Fond du Lac
2. Oshkosh
3. Waukesha
4. New Berlin

Four TV shows you love to watch:
1. Grays' Anatomy
2. What I Like About You
3. NOVA Science Now (in HD!)
4. TOH

Four places you have been on vacation:
1. Mexico, in high school
2. Cinncinnati, OH (3EB, baby!)
3. Key West
4. Fort Knox, KY, to see my little (ha! he's 22) brother graduate from basic

Four places you WOULD LIKE TO GO on vacation someday:
1. Italy
2. Canada
3. Boston
4. Maldives

Four websites I visit daily
Go Fug Yourself
2. various blogs (see list on your left)
3. work intranet (woo, exciting)
4. yahoo!

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Dark chocolate
2. Home-made macaroni and cheese
3. Tomato soup and grilled cheese
4. Green beans

Four of my favorite drinks:
Good Earth Original tea
2. Black cherry vanilla Coke(diet)
3. White Reisling
4. Water

Four pets you have had or want to have someday:
1. Muffin Marie (cat)
2. Alex/Ally (cat)
3. Rocket (fish who was eventually eaten by one of my sister's fish)
4. Baxter (cat)

Four Friends that I have tagged that I think will respond
1. Hmmm...
2. Could
3. Be
4. Anyone!