Tuesday, August 30, 2005


First of all, let me just say my thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by the hurricane down in New Orleans. It is a very sad state of affairs down there.

Secondly, I really have nothing to say other than Sirius radio is the best friggin thing next to my iPod.

Okay, so it takes me an HOUR to get to where I am working now, and what is there to do? Listen to music of course. I don't have it together enough to get some CDs from downstairs to listen to, so every morning I just scan Sirius and find what i like. If you are in the St. Louis area and you see some crazy lady belting out "Tiny Dancer" in her car to a packed stadium of ONE, yeah, it's me.

I have found some songs that Sirius plays over and over, that I love, including "Doesn't remind me" by Audioslave and some "These Words" song that my daughters love and has a great beat.

But, on my way down the highway, I have come across bumper stickers...NOT A LOT, but a few. So today I have for you......

TOP 5 Stickers I have seen on my commute on cars.

5. Calvin peeing on: Osama bin Laden, Work, Cubs, ex-wife. I hope calvin is finished relieving his bladder soon. I sure used to love the guy in college. He's different now.

4. "Who says Women can't fish" I didn't know someone did. I know they can't drive.

3. "Kerry/Edwards 2004" Let it go, buddy, let it go. And peace. go listen to some Phish.

2. "In memory of 3" There are many different varieties of these. I have a feeling we are not far off from a Tupac Shakur/Dale Earnhardt/Elvis Presley sighting.

and the top sticker I have seen on a car on my commute to work:

1. THE LAW. I don't know what it means, but they mean biness. (note, this was not on a police car, but a white dodge pickup circa 1980)

That is all for now hope the week is going well for all of you!

Monday, August 29, 2005


One year ago, my brother in law got into a bad accident. I can't believe it's already been a year. He was released from the hospital in november of last year, and went to physical therapy 5 days a week until the beginning of this month.

For all accounts, he should not have survived. He had two brain surgeries, and they took out a good deal of his frontal lobe. He was in a coma for 2 weeks. I wondered if he was going to even wake up. But he did.

It is very hard to see him sometimes, because he won't ever be the 'same', and to think of mourning that part of him is pretty much more than I can handle, so I am able to let myself just appreciate the fact that he is still here and still as sweet as he aways was.

It's so unfortunate that things like that have to happen to jolt us into appreciating what we have now.

Saturday, August 27, 2005


What. A. Flippin. Week.

I feel so completely uprooted right now, I can't explain it. I forgot what it was like to work so much. It has been 5 years since I've truly had a job, and this is nonsense. Seriously, let's all quit and go live on a beach. This is for the birds.

No, that's not true. I mean, I'm really, really enjoying this new job. It's just HAAAAARRRD (in my whiniest Wendy Whiner voice ever).

I have the upmost respect for all those working moms out there. Wowza.

And i miss my blogging friends, truly I do!! I thought, oh I'll just blog when I get home. Nope. I haven't been home at night either.

Whew, I'm exhausted just thinking about the past week I've had. It hasn't been a bad week at all, just, well, exhausting. All the stuff I did before I worked--you know, the stuff your husband doesn't think you're doing when you 'stay at home'...he just assumes you're eating bon bons and playing on the computer (uh...heh...whoops...). I mean the laundry, the dishes, the cleaning up of stuff...yeah when you work that stuff STILL needs to get done. So, I'm working 8 hours, driving in traffic, coming home tired and wiped out and there's dishes to be cleaned and laundry to do.

Now, don't get me wrong, LP is awesome and has totally helped out. It's just those little things I did before still have to get done, and I'm so wiped out it's hard to do!

enough bitching though. It's been good. I LOVE my job, and I absolutely love my boss and the people I work with. They're the type of people you feel comfortable with immediately and make you part of the 'team' and welcome you with big open arms and hearts. They've helped me out tremendously.

The hardest part about my job now is deciphering what the foreign doctors are saying. I spent twenty minutes on a word the other day, and finally figured out he was saying "abnormality". Oh my gosh, I thought it was some sort of cardiac procedure i'd never heard of. Ridiculous. But it is fun, and I enjoy learning all the new terms. This is definitely a job I could do. I love it.

I will be training for a few more weeks, and by then I should have my home office set up so I can work from home. That will be great. It will also allow my husband to let off some techo-steam and get another computer, so I have the old one for my work and the 'new' one for the rest of the family.

We went to plan out kitchen remodel the other night, and they are coming this week to measure again and the new cabinets should arrive before my birthday in September! Yippee!! We've also been replacing all the trim in the house with new white trim, and putting in 6 panel doors. Before we were sporting the ugly dark 1970s wood throughout the homestead. Pretty awful. I will have before/after pics of our bathroom up soon, so you can see how that turned out. AND today we went and bought a new sectional for the den!!!! Woo hoo!!! Our house is finally coming together after all of these years. I'm thrilled.

Well, I thank you for being patient with me if anyone is still reading. I really wanted to do SPF this week too, but seriously, it's been absolutely insane around here. We had 2 soccer games just today so you can imagine our life is totally on full throttle.

Hopefully I'll be able to do some more blogging tomorrow. Have a great rest of the weekend.

Friday, August 19, 2005

first day of kindergarten

first day of kindergarten
Originally uploaded by Vajana.

Sorry I did not participate in SPD this week. I was too busy sending THIS gorgeous little thing to her first day of kindergarten. So I needed a little 'alone time' ya know. Yeah, I cried a little bit, so what?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Stealing it!

I dunno who started this or where I copped it from, but it's one of those I've not done yet:

10 years ago: August 1995 – I had just graduated from college and had just gotten dumped by who I thought was going to be the “One”. Overweight, no job, living at home, it was pretty pathetic. I met LP 6 months later.

5 years ago: August 2000 – Youngest one was 8 months old, so probably chasing her around the house. Getting ready for school to start back up again and return to my job as a drug counselor. Working out a lot.

1 year ago: My husband’s grandpa died last week last year, so we were funeraling it for awhile, helping out there. On August 27th was when his brother had his accident, so we spent the next 5 months at the hospital.

Yesterday: I transcribed in the morning, and then went to the girls open house at their school. Realized when I got home my FLY was open the entire F***ing time.

Today: Took the girls to Grant’s Farm. Did laundry.

Tomorrow: A’s first day of school, haircuts, soccer practice. Life of a soccer mom.

5 snacks I enjoy (but I don't necessarily eat anymore): Peanut butter anything, Chips Ahoy, Nutter Butters, popcorn, Toll house cookies

5 bands that I know the lyrics of MOST of their songs: Rick Springfield, Dixie Chicks, Led Zeppelin, Genesis, (surprisingly) Beatles. I learned the other day I actually know the whole song “Could’ve Been” by Tiffany. Yes I’m embarrassed.

5 things I would do with $100,000,000: Get a financial advisor, pay someone to watch my grandma, buy an RV and travel, get a personal trainer, give a bunch to the shelter I used to work at and one more--probably start an 80s toy collection (see last one)

5 locations I'd like to run away to: Australia, the Caribbean, south of France, Cabo San Lucas, sometimes the nearest bar

5 bad habits I have: procrastination, spending too much time on the computer, snapping under stress, taking things too personally, not doing my hair and just putting it in a ponytail

5 things I like doing: blogging, playing trivia, riding my bike, Mexican dominoes, going on float trips

5 things I would never wear: pleated pants, thongs outside my jeans, belly shirts, cowboy boots, gold chains

5 TV shows I like: Of all time- Wings, SNL, the Price is Right, Seinfeld, Simpsons
Current: Reno 911, Arrested Development, Medium, Kathy griffin on the D-list, Best Week Ever

5 movies I like: Clerks, Star wars movies, Say Anything, Breakfast Club, When Harry met Sally

5 famous people I'd like to meet: Alive: Kevin Smith, Will Ferrell, Amy Sedaris, David Beckham, Jon Stewart (so either be hot or funny, or both)

Dead: Abraham Lincoln, Cary Grant, eh I can’t think of anymore. Tupac? Then I'd know the truth!

5 biggest joys at the moment: Being with my kids/husband, new job, finally being able to remodel our house, the weather, having my iPod

5 favorite toys: none of your business…okay, well aside from those…uh, Tivo, iPod, my bicycle, snow sled, and the computer…as far as childhood toys: Smurfs, Strawberry Shortcake dolls, Weebles, my Colecovision, and Playmobile people.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Motif Monday--Fear

Each week mrtl gives us a topic for Mondays...which is great so I don't have to think about what I'm gonna write or bore anyone with a play-by-play of my weekend. (which is almost always boring in a soccer mom kind of way) Today's topic is fear, my old friend.

I have made my fear of sock monkeys quite clear to everyone, so I won't bother to repeat myself. I think we can go ahead and say that the idea of any toys coming to life just really freaks me out. My mother-in-law bought this freaky plastic 'lifesized' doll for my kids a few years ago and I know that if I try to get rid of her she will chop me up in tiny pieces and burn my house down so I keep her in the basement in the closet.

My fear of flying is all encompassing, but I tend to avoid flying on a plane so the fear is rarely surfaced. I truly believe this fear stems from watching "La Bamba" and "Sweet Dreams" ad nauseum on HBO as a kid.

My biggest fear nowadays is either something happening to my kids or an intruder. The feeling that is in the pit of my stomach when I'm in a store and they've got into the next aisle and when I call their name the first time and they don't answer, that sick feeling gets stronger and then when I call out a second time and they don't answer, I go running around the aisle like a madwoman and of course they're both sitting on the dirty floor reading some new Junie B. Jones book and totally ignoring me, while in my head I've already conjured up eight billion images not suitable for younger audiences.

My husband used to go to work way before I woke up, but he always kissed me goodbye and then knowing he was gone I could never go back to sleep.

One morning very early, I woke up when he gave me a kiss, and sat at the computer for a little bit. Suddenly I heard a voice coming up the stairs. Immediately, I knew it was an intruder, and in my groggy state, I went to the basement door and held the door handle (like that was going to stop the intruder) so he couldn't get up. The doorknob started rattling, but I was strong, my adrenaline pumping. In my head I'm trying to figure out how I can get the girls out of the house, and call 911 while holding this guy off. I hear a strange, deep, muffled voice saying, "Open the door! Come on!" Oh my god this is really happening? i can't believe it. Then the intruder says, "I'm late! Open the door!"

WTF? Why would an intruder be late?

I let go of the handle, and there is my husband, with his RADIO in his mouth, that could have possibly caused his voice to sound, uh...muffled. And the cats that he was talking to at his feet. In his workout clothes coming up from the basement from, uh, working out. Coming upstairs to get ready to go to work.

Oh he was laughing so hard. But I yelled at him, "Why the hell did you kiss me then? You only kiss me when you're leaving!!!!"

"But you look so cute when you are sleeping, I couldn't resist."

Yeah, do you think I've ever lived that one down? No. No way. He told everyone he works with so when I called there later they asked me if I'd checked the basement lately.

Which leads me to my other fear, public humiliation, but I think we've done enough damage for the day!!!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Stuff portrait day: On the Road

Kristine over at Random and odd, and one of the coolest people out in blogworld, has come up with Stuff Portrait Fridays. Basically, we show her (and you) our STUFF. Enjoy!

Today's theme is On the Road:
1. Your ride
2. A mile away from your house
3. What you love about the area you live in

Sorry I was a little late with the post today, we had our kitchen estimator here. Yeah, guess who is getting a new remodeled kitchen! ME! Yeah! That's right! ME! Woo hoo!

And by the way, if you haven't noticed, my CAMERA has returned safe and sound! Yippeeee!!

It's a good day in Vajanaland!


Originally uploaded by Vajana.

I'm sporting the Dodge Grand caravan look. I love my van. I am trying my very hardest to drive it as little as I can now that gas is $2.60 a gallon.


Originally uploaded by Vajana.

A mile away from our house, we're still in our subdivision!! It takes a LONG time to get back to our house. We usually offer shots to people who can find our house on the first try. It's that complicated.

Bike trail

head tilt
Originally uploaded by Vajana.

This is my favorite part of my area near my house. This bike trail is only minutes away, and it is so pretty, in the spring, fall or summer. Even though we've had several bad incidents here, it's also been very fun for all of us.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


I have a confession to make. It may not come as a surprise, as I've mentioned this before, but for some it may be hard to digest.

I don't watch reality shows.

Now, WAIT, don't go just yet. I'm not a 'reality show' snob or anything. I've sat down and seen episodes of a few of them, but I've never gotten 'hooked' on any of them.

I've never seen an episode of the "Amazing Race" or "America's Top model". Never. OR the "Bachelor/ette" OR "Simple life", "Apprentice" or "Rock star INXS." Not one.

I'll admit to watching "Surreal Life", and "Being Bobby Brown" (doodie bubble?) and uh, let's see, oh I had to watch the trainwreck that is "Chaotic" at least once. I watched the first "Survivor" season finale.

I know, this can come to some people as quite a shock. But hear me out. I have serious, serious ADD. I've taken the test, and gotten 100%. I cannot stay focused. Ever. My husband gets SO mad at me because I cannot even stand to watch a commercial, I'll just flipflipflip until I find something that is NOT a commercial. Even if it is a documentary on the life of carpenter ants.

(oh and btw TIVO has alleviated this problem a lot, god TIVO rocks and if you do not have one, GO GET ONE NOW I say in my best James Lipton voice.)

So this is why I do not watch television. It just doesn't suit my need for rapid information.

This is also why I have an internet addiction, but that's an Oprah for another day.

But I have seen the light and that light is in the form of a redheaded foul-mouthed goddess named Kathy Griffin.

She is starring on Bravo's new reality show Kathy Griffin: My life on the D-list. She is so friggin' hilarious I have to make sure I drink during the commercials (or at least while I'm fastforwarding through them) otherwise I may spit it out with laughter. She has her husband who is funny, her assistant who may very well hate her, and her two 'best gays', who are friends of hers that tell her the truth about everything. (and reminds me I should get more gays, I could use the encouragement) They rock, her parents rock, the whole show is stinkin hilarious. Because Kathy does not take herself at ALL seriously. And she makes fun of people that DO. And that is what is so brilliant about her.

Go check it out, you won't be disappointed!!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

New beginning

I did not actively decide to become a 'stay at home mom'. When I was pregnant with R, my youngest, I told LP that I would no longer work at the children's shelter I was working at. Not because I didn't love the job. It was great. It was b/c I worked weekends and holidays, and so was he at the time. We worked opposite shifts, and never saw each other. It was tough, but we got through it. Sometimes I think we survived because we didn't see each other and weren't physically able to strangle one another.

As soon as I had her I quit, and when she was 3 weeks old, an former co-worker from the shelter invited me to work at her company on a part-time basis.

Right about this time my grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. First time I realized this was when she asked me who that little boy was visiting my house. It was my oldest daughter. Crushed me to know she had no recollection of her.

I worked as a drug counselor at the local high school for almost a year. It was fun, easy, and very flexible. I remember one day teaching a 6th grade class about peer pressure while cradling R in my hands and pointing to the chalkboard in another. Maybe I should've been talking about sex education.....


It was becoming obvious my grandpa needed more help with grandma, and my mom asked if I would help out. LP and I discussed it, and it was the easiest decision we've ever made. And probably the best. I quit my job.

This was December 2000. My grandma didn't know who I was by that time. I'd come over, get her dressed, feed her, talk to her, try to keep things light. My grandpa would try to keep control of the situation, and I felt for him, watching the woman he loved so much forget everything that meant anything to her.

I learned more about my grandparents than I ever knew. I learned about my grandpa being shipped off to relatives when he was 8 to work on a farm because he dad couldn't hold a job. He told me about how his father had come home from school one day and his family had left, so he changed his name. There is no way we can trace his family back farther than that since no one knows what their name was.

I learned that my grandparents walked to breakfast every morning hand in hand.

I learned my grandma and grandpa used to go to Chicago in the heyday of swing and dance the weekend away at the Riviera.

I learned that when my uncle, while stationed in Vietnam, only wanted to buy a Pioneer stereo when he got home. He came home, bought the stereo, and died in a car accident on his wedding day. My mom still has the stereo.

I also learned that the only thing that made my grandma happy was the Lawrence Welk show. She would dance and laugh, and sing. She knew every single word. But she didn't remember me.

My grandpa died in February of 2002. Three months later, my grandma died too.

I learned more about my grandparents in that year and a half than I'd known in the years prior to that.

Afterwards, I decided that helping my kids grow up was more important than earning money. It has been HARD, and sometimes I really wanted to run out of the house and drive out into the sunset. We've scrimped. We have had to buy used stuff. We have had to stay at home and eat leftovers.

But I KNOW it was worth it. I know that I will remember all those great moments with my kids, treasure them, because time with them will always mean more than money.

I hadn't meant to pour all this out, but today I got a Job. A real, honest to goodness Job.

I'm glad and thankful I was fortunate to be able to stay at home as long as I have. Now that both girls will be at school, I'll be able to help out financially and I'm glad. It's time, I'm ready, and I'm excited. I'll be doing what I went back to school for, and making decent money.

I'd trade it all in for another day with my grandparents, but I can't.

But now I can cherish those 2 years I had with them.

And I will always be able to watch Lawrence Welk and smile.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Top 5 things my brother told me to torment me when I was a kid

My brother is 3 years older than me and totally used that to his advantage. I in no way hold it against him, except when he tells Mom about the time he found me smoking pot with my friends instead of going to the movies.

5. He told me that my hometown was the #1 target for the Russians to drop a bomb on. This was the "Day After" era. I had nightmares for weeks. Months. Hell, sometimes I still have them. Yakoff Smirnoff still freaks me out.

4. My toy box opened up when I wasn't looking into a REAL toystore. There was this toy store when I was a kid called "Toy Chest" and the commercial had some jack-in-the-box opening up a toybox into the store. So he wasn't original, but there were several times when I almost saw the opening. But somehow, every damn time I walked in the room, it closed up.

3. My parents didn't love me. Well of course. He was the Golden Child. This didn't scar me so much as it confirmed my suspicions.

2. Indiana Jones used to live in the woods by our house. This wasn't so much a torment as it was just an insult to my intelligence. Really.

and the number one thing my brother told me to torment as a kid:

1. Tocka-Tina. Oh my god. Again, not original, but he knew where my weak spot was. In the 70s there was a doll called Dancerina Ballerina. Every single one of my friends had one. I'm watching a commercial one day for the doll, and my brother proceeded to tell me a story of this possessed doll who would kill her owners and make it look like an accident. The only way she made her presence known was by saying, "Tick...tick...tocka TEEENa" Then BAM you're dead. I'm over at a sleepover, getting no sleep because this damn ballerina doll is staring right at me, yummy kid flesh for her to devour. Sometimes when I was in my room, for shits and grins he would just stay by my door and say it, "Tick...tick...tocka TEENa". I know I had to change my drawers at least once when he pulled that crap. Years later, I learned he completely ripped it off of Twilight Zone.

Lesson learned here? If you're going to be tormented, make sure you are very well read on pop culture, so you can throw it back in the tormentor's face that he is a big fat, poopyhead liar. Neener neener. So there.

Friday, August 05, 2005

SPD Friday--OCD

The main thing that is causing my anxiety this week is our bathroom remodel, but I can't show that to you because of my digital camera being somewhere in the mail right now. So, without pictures, I present to you...

Stuff Portrait Day Friday, brought to you by the wonderful Kristine.

Today's subject: Obsessive-Compulsive Anxiety.
1. Horrible Habits.
2. Something you obsess over.
3. Something that causes you anxiety.

HORRIBLE HABITS: I procrastinate. Like now. I should be doing laundry and getting dressed, but I'm not. I'm in my PJs and I haven't even put my contacts in yet. I'm a wait-till-the-last-minute kinda gal, and I always will be. It's a horrible habit. I also have a habit of spending WAY too much time on the computer, but if I expand on that, it would make me spend even more time on the computer and I just can't do that today.

SOMETHING I OBSESS OVER: I have a problem re-living the day. That's mainly why I have just bad insomnia most of the time. I think about a conversation I may have had with someone and worry about whether or not I said the wrong thing, or if I offended them in some way, or if they took it the wrong way, or if I was nice enough, etc. etc. etc. It's pathetic. Boy this topic is just making it all better isn't it! At least I have chocolate in the house.

SOMETHING THAT CAUSES ME ANXIETY: This is going to sound very strange, but it is the Caprisun straw wrappers that cause me SO much anxiety. I FLIP out when I see one on the floor. I just don't understand why this one little piece of plastic is so damn difficult for my daughters to throw the crap away! I find them everywhere. In the bathroom, down in the basement, in the couch crevices, very rarely anywhere near the actual Caprisun itself. Why this causes me much anxiety, I do not know. I guess I can appreciate that this causes me anxiety and not like, you know, UFOs coming and landing in my backyard or something. Oh yeah, that freaks me out too. Never mind.

Well, off to the dentist with my youngest. LP and I spent 2 hours picking out tile last night at Home Depot only to come home and have it totally not match at ALL. So back we go today.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Practice what I preach

I should not even post today. I try to be a pretty upbeat and positive person, but it just isn't going to happen for me today. I don't know. I spent all day yesterday painting our master bath and it turned out INCREDIBLE. Maybe the paint fumes got to me and put me in a funk. At any rate, all the time I spent in that tiny, non-ventilated room, got me doing some 'stinkin' thinkin'" and I started analyzing things I've said, done, caused, etc. in the past. Just bringing up a whole bunch of stupid shit, (10 years ago of stupid shit!) for no reason whatsoever. Like how T completely stopped talking to me and I still don't know why. Or when L said something about N and N thought it was me. Or the time...well, I did that yesterday, I don't need to do it again today.

I would LOVE to show off pictures but of course my digital camera is on its way to the digital hospital. Hopefully once the tile is in and the vanity is set I will be able to take some.

In the meantime I'm just going to sulk and buy balloons for this pity party I've decided to throw. I would invite you, but really, it isn't going to be a good time.

I'll be back tomorrow when I'm in a better mood.

In the meantime, Jerri can cheer us all up.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


This blogging community has caused such a ruckus. For some, it can lead to problems.

Please, hand these out to those in need.

Blog depression pamphlet.


Originally uploaded by Vajana.

Here is Alex in the wave pool. She would have spent the entire day there, but we made her get out when we saw some kid puking in it. I'm not so much for pukewater.


Originally uploaded by Vajana.
I was able to retrieve my pictures from Holiday World from my card...we are launching ourselves for liberty.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Uninvent, part two

If you recall, my loving husband got me a digital camera for Mother's Day. It wasn't fancy, but it was small, and served our purposes (do you see already I'm using past tense here?). We took it to DisneyWorld and I found it took excellent, clear pictures. I thought, for a moment, I could keep up with the picture-taking mothertruckers that abound here in the blogosphere. While that really isn't true, I could at least get some decent photos.

This past weekend, I unzipped the zipper to the Wal-Mart camera case I had adorned on my belt loop, and pressed the "On/Off" button on my digital friend to snap a quick, fleeting moment of my daughter on a water slide.

I got nuthin.

I played with it a little, you know, shook it, pressed the buttons even with MORE ferocity, waited a second then tried again. Still, nothing, except a little note in the corner that said, "E18".

Now that I've become completely co-dependent on my digital camera, I was unable to take pictures of the rolling Indiana hills, my daughters diving in the pool, a Bavarian church, and my dad sifting through the trash looking for marlboro miles. I was. PISSED.

LP came home and immediately went to town to do the research (uh, could've done this PRIOR to purchasing the camera, but I will digress on that one) and found that the E18 error is known in some parts as the "Dreaded E18 Error".


My camera has been rendered completely useless.

I sent it away back to the company (CANON btw) from whence it came.

I will NOT go gently into the good night without a digital camera. No, no no. This situation will be rectified shortly. I have a baby going into kindergarten in 2 weeks, wtf? How the heck am I supposed to document that? What, use a regular camera? Who am I, a Neanderthal?? Nonsense.

Okay. maybe I'm overreacting a bit. Abraham Lincoln had to sit 4 hours for someone to paint his damn mug, so things could be worse.

So in the meantime, go and enjoy HDL's pictures. They are fabulous.

Have a good one!!

Uninvent this

Today, mrtl's topic is about what invention would I uninvent. Well, only a few days ago I visited Lincoln's Boyhood Home in Indiana, and seeing how many inventions he went without, it's tough to say I'd want to uninvent anything we've got going on here. I'd probably uninvent the "Super Size" meal, maybe we as a nation wouldn't be so gosh darned tubby.


My weekend at Holiday World was a pretty good one. The park itself was crowded, and we waited 45 minutes to ride a ride on average. We rode the Legend and the Raven, which have been voted #4 and #1 best wooden roller coasters in the world. We also rode the Tilt-A-Whirl which should be voted most nauseating. The water park was packed, and we left when we saw a kid throw up in the wave pool. That was enough for me, thanks. But for free parking, soda and sunscreen all day long, it was a pretty decent little park.

We stayed in Jasper, Indiana (home of Scott Rolen, and if you know who he is, yeah you rock) which was a fantastic little town. It was mostly German so the architecture was brilliant. There was a hiking trail behind our hotel and it was along a small river. Very scenic.

The best part of the trip was walking along the path with my dad early in the morning. Ever since he was diagnosed with diabetes a few years ago, he takes walks every morning. It was great to spend some quality time with him, talking and laughing. He's a great guy.

I did have to question his sanity however, when I discovered his penchant for looking into trash cans for Marlboro miles. He insists he only looks on the top, but still, GROSS DAD. He found two on our walk, and he said he was saving up to buy my uncle a Stetson hat.

"How many did you find?"

"Oh two of them! Good day today!"

"How many do you need for the hat?'


Watch out, dumpsters, trash bins, and garbage cans. My dad's coming to take your Miles.