Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I ALWAYS have a book going. No matter where I am, I carry a book. I had a doctor's appointment yesterday & I took a book, but there is always at least a short wait. Mostly, I read fiction. It is a good way to get away from the real world, and live someone else's life for a bit. While sometimes that means being chased by huge, scary monsters in a Stephen King novel, or the mafia in a Sandra Brown, it can also mean traveling the Titanic with Danielle Steel or leading a life of luxury. Even if the novel starts out with the hero or heroine poor, usually the point is to follow them through their lives until they work there way out of poverty and into the lap of luxury.

Now that does not mean that I never read anything educational or enlightning, just that I prefer to read to relax.

My bff, P, came down for the wedding brought me a book that her mother had given her. (Her mother being the most socially conscious person that I think I have ever met.) P was determined to finish the book while she was here because she wanted to leave it with me. I didn't take it on my honeymoon, because she said it was depressing, but I started it on Sunday.

It is horrifying. I know there are poor people. I know people live in terror due to gangs, violence, AIDS, etc. This book has allowed me to see into the Bronx and Harlem. The book is breaking my heart every single minute. I am certain that is what the author intended.

The book is "Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation" by Jonathan Kozol.

In the fourth chapter Mr. Kozol is speaking of a child who died in a fire and gets him confused with another child who died in a fire and finally says

"In order to keep these different children clear in my own mind, I finally had
to make a map of the South Bronx and put it on the wall over my desk, placing a
marker on each block in which a child died, using one symbol for death by fire,
one for death by accident, and one for death by gunshot."

How do we live with ourselves? How do we function? What can we do to make it better for the poor? Especially the children?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Pre-Wedding Glitches**** Updated**** One picture added

I am certain that there is not a party held anywhere in the entire world that does not run into a few glitches. Maybe the food is late, the flowers are incorrect or the ice runs out. This is stressful for everyone involved in the process and in the party itself.

We were lucky, really. With rain almost the entire week before the wedding and rain scheduled for 3 days after the wedding, we were really holding our breathes. It was scheduled to be an outdoor ceremony! What if the weather was bad? What if it was windy? What if there was Red Tide?

It was amazing to wake up on our wedding day to the best weather anyone could ask for. A few wispy clouds hovered on the horizon, but it appeared that the weather was not going to be an issue.

The alarm was set for 0730 so that the family could get the tables and chairs setup early. We were all staying at the hotel where the ceremony was to take place. DSD jumped out of bed, ran to the balcony to check out the weather and ran back in to the bedroom. (silly me, thinking I could grap 2 more hours). "You better call the tent guy" he said. The tent was scheduled to be setup on the 19th, but the tent guy called that morning and said the weather was iffy. IF it cleared up in late afternoon (the rain stopped by 4pm), they would get to it. If not, they would be there at dawn. Dawn. Doesn't that mean sunrise? Now it is officially fall, but sunrise is still only a little after 6am. At 0730 they were no where to be seen. I called, was apologised to profusely and was told they were an hour away. I called again at 0930. They arrived at 10. That is not dawn!

Due to the fact that they were so late in arriving, the tent people were willing to wave the normal setup fee for the tables and chairs (we had chosen to do the setup ourselves to save a little money) and they would take care of it all. DSD took them the linens and the chart of the layout that we had decided on and I went off happily to get my hair done with my mom. The tent finally left the ground about 3! (This was a BIG tent) Left the ground. It wasn't done, just up. It was not tied down or strapped on and there were no lights yet. There was no way possible this would be done AND the tables, chairs, linens and centerpieces would be setup by the time the guests started arriving about 5. The entire family rallied, throwing tables, chairs, linens and centerpieces together in the shortest amount of time possible. I even have pictures of DSD's dad and brother-in-law helping strap the tent. I am still dumbfounded at the amount of work that was done in 2 short hours. By the time I exited my room, beautifully dressed and coiffed, everything looked exactly as I had pictured it.

Sadly, due to the fact that some family members were still setting up as late as 5, we missed out on a lot of the planned family pictures that were to be taken before the ceremony. DSD's mom arrived just shortly before the ceremony started and my bff, P, almost didn't take time to shower. They both worked terribly hard to ensure that my day was as wonderful as it could possibly be. Thank you both!

I am hoping to post some actual wedding pictures soon, but, Blogger is being a little uncooperative. I will try again later (that means tomorrow!).

****I was trying to add a picture of the view outside my hotel room window, but I couldn't find it on my hard drive. This is a picture of sunset right after the wedding.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Did I Lose a post?

Home from the honeymoon and not very happy to be here. While real life may be great, it isn't even close to the wonderful time we had for the last week!

Sadly, I thought I posted last night after our return, but I can find no record of it. Maybe I was so tired I just commented on other blogs and then went to bed.

I am busily writing Thank you notes right now (well, not RIGHT now) and organizing the pictures that we have already recieved. I am hoping for several long posts in the near future about what went wrong (grrrr to the Tent Guy) and the wonderful parts that went right, including picutres.

Celebrating One Week of Wedded Bliss.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

At Last...

Well, the wedding went off without a hitch. We didn't run out of anything (ok, the crab cakes went quickly, but there was plenty of food left) and we could not have asked for a better turn out or better weather (which was amazing since we had rain Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and today this week).

There were glitches, of course, but family and friends took care of everything without even being asked. This allowed me plenty of time to relax and make myself beautiful (or as close as possible) and we were only a few minutes late starting the bridal march. The entire thing was completely wonderful and I was only sorry that the day had to come to an end.

I am now almost too tired to type and we are leaving tomorrow for a fun-filled trip to Orlando (where DSD will drink beer and I will ride roller coasters). I have already received some of the photographs and will post some of them after I return, when I have time.

I have been married before, but it was different. I was younger (a lot) and had no clue about life. While DSD and I have been together for almost 7 years and living together for over 6, it feels different being married. Different in a good way. Different in a way that feels exactly right.

Thank you to everyone who sent their good wishes our way.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

My 100th post, on vacation with One Week To Go

One hundred posts in seven months. Is that good? Is that bad? I read a lot of blogs and some of them post a lot more than that. I know that those bloggers are not more opinionated than I am, but they are obviously more productive. I am enjoying this blog. Of course, I thought that my blog would be picked up by everyone in the blogging world. I thought I would be on everyone's blog roll and would win awards. I did not realize how hard this would be. I certainly have a lot more respect for the blogs I read than I did before I started blogging myself. I hope that I am here to blog for a very long time.

I am on vacation for the next two weeks! Woo Hoo! I have not had a real vacation since March 2005 so this is wonderful. Since then I have taken 1-2 days off at the time, but that is all. I really hope I enjoy this time off.


One week from today I will be Mrs. DSD. We have planned this for over a year and things are going really well from a planning point of view, but there is still a lot to do. I don't know how much time I will have in the next week for blogging (none the week after, I will be honeymooning), but I will try to find a few minutes to either blog or comment on other blogs.

Thank you to those who comment here regularly. I appreciate you and the blogs you produce. I hope it is easier for you than it is for me.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Gator Nation Mourns

A senseless death.

A walk-on defensive back for the Florida Gators was killed early Friday when the
motorcycle he was driving hit a median at a high rate of speed, police said.

Michael Guilford was only a redshirt freshman and normally would not be known at this point of his career to the entire Gator Nation, but there was a nationally televised story on him (I think on ESPN) right around the time the Gators won the National Championship in January.

Apparently Michael was a very an integral part of that National Championship team despite his youth.
Guilford mimicked Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith during preparation for
the Bowl Championship Series national title game in January.

Rest in Peace, Michael.

With Liberty and Justice for All**** updated 10/13/2007

For all. For everyone. All of us.

Except for Martin Lee Anderson.

Seven former boot camp guards and a nurse were acquitted Friday of manslaughter
in the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit and kicked by the drill
instructors in a videotaped altercation.
The all-white jury took about 90
minutes to decide whether the guards were responsible for the death of Martin
Lee Anderson, a black teen. The guards, who are white, black and Asian, stood
quietly as the judge read the verdicts.
Surveillance video shows the guards
striking the limp boy with their fists and knees in January 2006. The case
caused protests in the state capital and prompted Florida to close its juvenile
boot camp system.

I wish I had something positive to say, but I am devastated. This was a CHILD. I don't know how anyone who watched that videotape could not hold the guards responsible. Sadly, I am wondering why the guards and nurse were not also indicted on lesser charges. Criminal neglect? Assault and battery? Child abuse and or neglect? Did the DA know that the evidence would not stand up to a manslaughter charge? Was that the plan all along?

Martin's parents received a hefty check from the state. The guards/nurse don't go to jail. A lot of prominent people received a lot of attention. And poor Martin Lee Anderson is dead, with no justice.

Rest in Peace, Martin.

*****Update: According to NPR(and I have not double checked my facts) the Feds are looking into pressing charges against the nurse* and seven guards that did this. Was this a violation of Civil Rights? Watch the video before you answer. I think it was.

*I am in deep contempt for this nurse who watched a child beaten and then lied on the stand that he was conscious the entire time. There is no way in HELL I would allow this bitch to nurse anyone I cared about... or even anyone I hated!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Heartbreaking But Encouraging

Look, I knew at the beginning of the season that the chances of Florida repeating their National title run was between slim and none. I KNEW that, but there is always that little kernal of hope. It is, of course, dead now after back to back SEC losses. The loss to Auburn was painful. The loss to LSU was expected (by me) until the loss to Auburn. After losing to Auburn I just knew there was no way the Gators would lose again a week later. And they lead for 58 minutes 51 seconds of the game! The last 69 seconds were a bit of a letdown. :-( Heartbreaking, even.

But if we take a long look at this young, young Gator team, there goes that hope again. These guys are YOUNG. These players are (for the most part) sophomores, freshmen and redshirt freshmen, led by a sophomore who will probably be sticking around for the duration. I can't believe the Tebow family would be pleased with Tim ditching his studies and making the NFL jump. So while that means back to back losses this year, it makes it possible to dream big next year. There is still a possibility that the Gators could win the SEC year, although that would mean a rematch with LSU. But there is a HUGE likelihood that they will win it next year and possibly the year after.

So the loss was tough, but Gator fans learned a lot about the soul of this team. And we have hope!

Just a sidebar: that was one of the worst called games that I have ever watched. I don't think the penalties (or lack thereof) changed the outcome of the game in anyway way (not like many games that I could name), but how does one of the most penalized teams in 1-A ball go the entire 1st half without a pentalty? There was blatant, nasty holding on both sides and one helmet to helmet on Moore that I was not sure he was going to get up from.

Monday, October 1, 2007

My Responsibility

As I sat there Saturday night staring stupidly at the TV, I shook my head and realized that this was all my fault. A 17-20 loss to AUBURN, in the Swamp. Why? Because I broke the mojo. I am truly sorry to the Gator Nation. Please accept my heartfelt apologies and do not disown me.

mlmintampa (for whom I can find no information whatsoever) over at Alligator Army seems to think he is partially responsible

Despite the defense making Brandon Cox seem like Joe Montana and the lack
of imagination in the play calling, I also share some blame in this loss. I did
the points spread poll without including the "lose outright" option and I got a
hair cut today, which you never do during a win streak (you can get a cut, but
not on a gameday)...I had Mich Light, but my timing was off and I also had
problems with the computer...I've been looking ahead to the LSU game, and I
wasn't focused...I could have gone to the lucky clothes in the second half, but
I have them reserved for LSU and was afraid to use them...I'm also
thinking about the Yankees in the playoffs. (By the way, I'm very serious about
this. My level of superstition is quite high. You're talking to someone who asks
Saints and the Virgin Mary to protect the Gators and Yankees. I screwed up today

But he does not know the truth. It is a long sad tale and it is painful to admit, but here it is.

Last year a friend of ours was in town over the Christmas holidays to see his parents. Now, Kevin was raised in Ohio, attended BGSU and is a HUGE Buckeye fan. I am sure the fact that his father is an enormous Wolverine fan makes for great Thanksgiving holidays, but I digress. As you know by Christmas we all knew that Florida was scheduled to play OSU on Jan 8 for the National Championship and everyone just knew that my Gators were going to get killed. (HA!) Well, Kevin, being something of a smartass, got me a Buckeye T-shirt and copies of all of the OSU songs, pledges, whatever. I laughed about it, took the shirt home, washed it put it away. And then laughed again when Florida massacared the Buckeyes and the shirt stayed in my dresser. Now fast forward 9 months to Sep 22. Florida played @ Ole Miss at 1130 (CDT) and squeaked by with 30-24 win. OSU played Northwestern with a 2:30 (CDT) kickoff time. I stayed with the Gators until the end of the game and then switched over to the OSU game and changed my shirt. What was I thinking? What did I do? I never, never, never take off my game day shirt until all football has been played. Sometimes I sleep in it, just to ensure the magic continues and I put on an OSU shirt in the middle of the afternoon? Sure DSD appreciated the gesture, but at what price?

So while the team didn't look great and there were a couple of questionable coaching calls, it wasn't their fault. There wasn't a lot they could have done for a win. I apologize profusely and promise IT WILL NOT HAPPEN AGAIN!

I just hope I haven't broken the mojo for the rest of the season. And, yes, I am dead serious about this.