gsp Thoughts From A Diva: 4/1/07 - 4/8/07

Thoughts From A Diva

Random images and thoughts from a misplaced Minnesota Diva trying to survive in Wisconsin.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


I belong to Classmates and have never really poked around there much, but I have had some good things happen due that site. I mean, my daughter found me, I managed to locate some really good friends I hadn't seen in 30 years. It has brought me lots of joy.

Today, it brought me astonishment and disbelief. I found this in my inbox:

"Weird how the world goes round! My name is {name deleted}...We met years ago before you went into the Navy! {name deleted} was my piss pore boyfriend at the time, you know the one you cheated on {name deleted} with...nice! I grew from that one and the nice threatening letters that all your bunk mates sent me...that was classic!"

Okay. Nice to see you have moved on since 1985.

Let me clarify a few things. First of all...I was 17! Second, I didn't cheat on {name deleted} with {name deleted}. We hung out, but {name deleted} and I never did anything other than hang out. Not because I didn't want it to happen, but because he wasn't interested.

As for threatening letters...what threatening letters? By the time I joined the Navy, {name deleted} and I had been broken up for god knows how long. I had moved on.

This poor woman still lives in the same town we went to high school in. She never left town and actually married a guy in our class. I'm sorry to say I don't even remember who she is. I have moved on with my life and have left all that behind me.

I could be catty and say something snotty about her spelling, but I won't. She is, after all, simply a by-product of the Oregon school system.

I grew up by moving away...and people wonder why I won't move back to Oregon. Ha!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Book Meme

Stolen from Baboon Pirates. He has a few different rules, but if you want to see them, you gotta talk to him.

The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)

Emma (Jane Austen)
Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
Sense and Sensibility

To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)

Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (J. R. R. Tolkien)
LOTR: The Two Towers (J. R. R. Tolkien)
LOTR: The Return of the King (J. R. R. Tolkien)
The Hobbit (J. R. R. Tolkien)
The Silmarillion
The Book Of Lost Tales Vols. 1 & 2
Unfinished Tales

Anne of Green Gables (L. M. Montgomery)

Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
Dragon Fly in Amber
Drums of Autumn
The Fiery Cross

A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (J. K. Rowling)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (J. K. Rowling)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (J. K. Rowling)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (J. K. Rowling)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (J. K. Rowling)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
The World According To Garp (John Irving)
The Hotel New Hampshire

Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)

Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)

The Stand (Stephen King)
’Salem’s Lot
Night Shift
The Dead Zone
Different Seasons
Skeleton Crew
The Green Mile
Hearts in Atlantis
From a Buick 8

Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë)

The Catcher in the Rye (J. D. Salinger)

Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
Little Men

The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)

The Life of Pi (Yann Martel)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Life, the Universe and Everything
So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish
Mostly Harmless
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

Wuthering Heights (Emily Brontë)

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
Prince Caspian
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Silver Chair
The Horse and His Boy
The Magician's Nephew
The Last Battle
Out of the Silent Planet
That Hideous Strength
The Screwtape Letters

East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
Of Mice And Men (John Steinbeck)
The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
The Red Pony
Tortilla Flat
The Pearl
Cannery Row

Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)

Dune (Frank Herbert)
Dune Messiah
Children of Dune
God Emperor of Dune
Heretics of Dune
Chapterhouse: Dune
The Dragon in the Sea
The Santaroga Barrier
The Dosadi Experiment
The Jesus Incident
The White Plague
The Lazarus Effect

The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)

Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
We the Living

1984 (George Orwell)
Animal Farm

The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
The Forest House
Mistress of Magic
The High Queen
The King Stag
Lady of Avalon
Priestess of Avalon

The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
Eye of the Needle
The Key to Rebecca
On Wings of Eagles
Lie Down with Lions
Night Over Water

The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)

I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)

She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)

The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)

The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)

The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
The Valley of Horses
The Mammoth Hunters
The Plains of Passage
The Shelters of Stone

The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)

Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)

The Bible (OK, big chunks of it, anyway...)

Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy)
War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy)

The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
The Three Musketeers
Twenty Years After
The Vicomte of Bragelonne aka The Man In The Iron Mask

(If You've ever wondered why I tend to use la langue francaise on the blog frequently, blame Dumas. He wrote of La Belle France when it wasn't composed entirely of unwashed Commies and sullen poofters.)

Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)

The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)

A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens)
Great Expectations (Charles Dickens)
Oliver Twist
Nicholas Nickleby
A Christmas Carol
David Copperfield

Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
Red Prophet
Alvin Journeyman

The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)

The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)

The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)

The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)

The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)

Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
The Brothers Karamazov

Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
The Vampire Lestat
The Queen of the Damned
The Tale of the Body Thief
Memnoch the Devil
The Vampire Armand
The Witching Hour
The Mummy, or Ramses the Damned
Servant of the Bones

Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)

Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Márquez)

One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)

Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)

Les Miserables (Victor Hugo)

The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

Bridget Jones’s Diary (Helen Fielding)

Shogun (James Clavell)
King Rat
Noble House

The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)

In The Skin Of A Lion (Michael Ondaatje)

The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)

The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)

The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)

Charlotte’s Web (E. B. White)
Stuart Little
The Elements of Style

Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)

Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)

Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)

Watership Down (Richard Adams)

Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)

Blindness (Jose Saramago)

Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
The Fourth Estate

Lord of the Flies (William Golding)

The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)

The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)

The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
The Matarese Countdown
The Road to Omaha
The Bourne Ultimatum
The Bourne Supremacy
The Aquitaine Progression
The Parsifal Mosaic
The Matarese Circle
The Holcroft Covenant
The Chancellor Manuscript
The Gemini Contenders
The Road to Gandolfo
The Rhinemann Exchange
The Matlock Paper
The Osterman Weekend
The Scarlatti Inheritance

The Outsiders (S. E. Hinton)
That Was Then, This Is Now
Rumble Fish

White Oleander (Janet Fitch)

A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)

The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)

Ulysses (James Joyce)

Monday, April 02, 2007

It has been a long week already and it is only Noon on Monday!

I have 2 huge French assignments due and I can't figure either one of them out. Four of the computers at work died and had to have mother boards replaced (I hate Dell). I think we might have a test in health today (I hope not, I haven't studied at all!). Plus, Anthony leaves a week from today and I won't see him to tell him goodbye.

This sucks.

On a brighter note, Meghan convinced me to let her get her hair cut. She has long, beautiful blonde hair and I was very hesitant. But she finally convinced me and it is really cute! It is shoulder length and at that length, it has a bit of a wave to it. Very pretty. Guess she knew best this time. Although I will never tell her that!

Photography class is getting better. I did some reading on how to make better photos, so I am hoping that will improce my shots. Some of them just look really bad. But at least now I know why. Compsoition, framing and all that.

Rachel is trying to convince me to move out there. I have though about it now and again, but I just really don't want to move back to the Pacific Northwest. There are just too many memories there that I don't want to deal with.

I think if I were to go back, I would try to go to Willamette University in Salem. But I just don't know if I could do it. Maybe we will go visit this summer and see how it feels. Last time I went, I was almost in a panic to get out of the state. Claustrophobia. Everything is too close together...trees, buildings, mountains. After living on the plains and in the high desert for more than 10 years it is hard to go back to that.

I love the mountains, but I just don't know if I can live without my wide-open spaces anymore.

Anyway, I am off to class. Have a good day.


My favorite local band...Waiting for them to hit the big time!

Dad at Comedy Barn

No matter how many times I see this, I laugh until I cry. Laughter is what we need on this dreary Monday morning!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Tribute to a fallen Marine, firefighter and fellow American

The following story was sent to me by my brother Kreg. As Anthony prepares to leave for the Persian Gulf and parts unknown, this is very touching. Thank you to Mark for allowing me to share.



I am a firefighter in a small Oregon coast town called Yachats (Ya-hots). I received a phone call one evening from my fire department asking if I would like to go Newport to pay tribute to a fellow firefighter. He left their department to join the Marines after 9-11 and had been killed in action in Iraq. I wasted no time getting to the fire station.

On our way there we listened as other departments in our county called the dispatch center saying "Enroute to Newport for detail." After arriving at the their main station I learned what the plan was for this event. As each department arrived it was clear that this was going to be a special evening.

We were kept updated of the location of the procession that was bringing this man home. A plan was made as to where we would stage to join in to pay tribute. Toledo fire had staged at a small town called Burnt Woods on highway 20 and called to tell us that there were over sixty vehicles so far when they joined in.

When this long line passed our location it was a sight to behold. Cars and motorcycles with flashing lights and American flags flying from most of them. Toledo fire broke off from the procession and Newport, Yachats, Waldport, Seal Rock, Depoe Bay and Siletz rolled out to join in for the final leg of the journey. Our radio was in scan mode and we listened as the Newport police had the intersections shut down for us as we approached.

My fellow firefighter, Kreg Evans, looked at the highway in front of us and was awestruck by the beauty of a seemingly endless string of lights. My feelings were the same and when I looked in the side mirror to see what was behind us...

Wow! A sea of red, white, blue and amber lights as far as I could see! The magnitude of this tribute made me feel very honored to have been asked to be a part of. When we made the turn toward the funeral home we were greeted by people lining the street waving flags and being saluted for our participation in this procession. I found myself unable speak for a moment as I listened to the radio traffic from my fellow firefighters saying thank you to one another.
I can't recall the name of the man we honored that evening but it matters not. As I write this there is a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye as I remember the pride I felt to be asked to pay tribute to a fallen Marine, firefighter and fellow American. I shall not forget that sea of lights and how I feel to be an American and a firefighter.

Please pass this on to your friends so that we may not forget those who have died serving us in our armed forces or at home as firefighters, police and emergency medical personnel. God bless us all.

Mark Nessel, Assistant Chief, Yachats Rural Fire Protection District.