Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Seattle Blog 2…

Too much effort to go day by day of the trip and not really ecstatically pleasing for readers, so I’m just going to do bits.

The Seattle library was huge!!!

The library consisted of several floors the elevator listed 10 if I remember correctly. My Mom being a librarian was very interested in the library, we actually ended up going into a couple during the trip. The architecture is what interested me the most. Enjoy these photos. They are straight out of the camera and not great, but photos. If you go to Seattle, I recommend a trip to the library. You can get a 1 hour free visitors internet pass, if you like.
Outside view of the East side of the library. The picture really does not do the architecture justice-it's a must see in person.
Although a few blocks away, you can see the bay from the library.
The library has it's own cafe. I must have had low blood sugar and needed a snack because this photo is crazy blurry. Sadly the cafe was closed by the time I made it back to the 3rd floor to take the picture.
A bird's eye view from one of the upper levels looking down at the teenager section--they have their very own section, we didn't have that when I was a kid. (Wow, I am getting old using phrases like this.)
Look at the outside book return--there is a conveyor belt that carries the books back into the library, I'm not sure if the picture is too small to see it or not. The reserved/holds section of this library was about the size of the upper level of my Grandview library, insane.
This is just part of the bibliography section--can you image trying to reshelve all those books. Again, just one part of this section. There were basically 5 floors of nothing but non-fiction books.
There were many, many stairs, or the elevator if you can figure out how to get back to it. It took us a moment.
And you thought we were in the Seattle Library not a disco-tech. Break it down Mom! This is actually the 4th floor of the library, the meeting room floor, and yes the entire floor is red-very RED! This photo is with flash one.
This one is with the flash off, not as bright, but still very, very RED!
Go visit your local library, speaking of which, I have books coming due, I better make it to my Grandview library-although, no red floors there, as far as I know.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Seattle Blog 1...

I made it through yesterday. I got home and planned to take a nap, but discovered I had too much to do so ended up not making it to sleep until 11pm last night. Oh well, I feel tons better today, but did for just a moment consider taking a sick day today, but didn't.

Wednesday morning of the trip, Mr. A was kind enough to drive in and take us to the airport, saving us time and a bit of money. We made it into CML and to our flight with no worries, boarded to the first plane to Detroit, hopped a couple of fast walkers (the belts that run in airports, no idea there real names), and made our connection to Seattle with no worries. My Mom and I at this point met up with my sister. After a terribly long plane trip to Seattle we arrived at SEA. We called my Dad to make sure he felt part of the experience and because my parents are rarely apart for extended time, to tell him, "Hey guy, we just landed. Yeah we're at SEA". If you are over the age or 40 you may know this reference, for those who are not, my Dad is a big Bob & Tom fan.

The rental car experience was a bit of fun. They were out of the compact car I had reserved. My options were a large SUV, mini van, or a RAV 4. A co-worker drives a RAV 4 it's fairly small and likely ok on gas, so I got the RAV 4. We took the shuttle to the RAV 4. Well, the new RAV 4's are a bit larger than the one my co-worker drives, but I was willing to take it on. We loaded all the bags climbed in and were choked up by the smoke smell. I walked back into the office, requested a non-smoking car and was pointed in the direction of a shiny red Toyota Highlander. WHAT! Now, I have to drive this large SUV in one of the most environmentally conscious cities, in a city I don't know, that I don't know what the traffic is going to be like. I drive a little Hyundai Elantra and I had declined all the insurance options.

Smokey RAV 4

Highlander-only ours was red

Oh well, moved bags from stinky RAV 4 to red Highlander and off we travelled. My sister recently purchased a Tom Tom so we had help with the navigation. My job was simply to drive, it was their job to figure out how to get us to the hotel in downtown Seattle. I don't know if you have used a Tom Tom before but it gets pissed when you don't do what it says. It also tells you to turn left and if you don't do it right then it repeats it like you missed it or something. Helpful, but annoying also.

We did make it to the Hyatt, even though Tom Tom, got us a bit lost. We valeted the car, had the bags taken up, because at the Hyatt you don't take up your own bags. The room was extremely nice. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the soaking tub. Yes, I did take a hot bubble bath both nights we were there. So luxurious, so grand!!!

I didn't think to take pictures of the room, but did get this one. See the nice flat screen.

We haven't even gotten to the first night yet. :) Oh what fun these next few blogs are going to be.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Welcome Back...

I'm back. Yeah! Seattle was awesome, the trip was great, and jet lag kills. That's my experience in a nutshell. I promise fun details, stories, and even photos soon, however today I'm simply trying to make complete sentences and make it until 4:30pm. After 4:30pm, I'll be sleeping, hopefully like a baby. I did not expect such jet lag. I didn't have any going out, but man today is killing me. I guess I should have gone to bed right when I got home instead of waiting until 10pm last night. I thought I would be smart and get back on Ohio time straight away. In theory I should have felt like it was 7pm, but it did feel like 10pm.

However, I will get through today and promise fun Seattle blogs to come.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Rain, Snow, Sun, Rain, Clouds, Sun...

The phrase "If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes and it will change," definitely applies to Seattle. I have seen a bit of everything. It's very unlike Ireland where the sun will be out for 30-40 minutes at a time, here I've been rain for 5 minutes, sun for the next 5 minutes, and then cloud cover for 10. It's crazy and great!

I spent the day going up, around, and through Mt. Rainer. When we got to the top it was clear for about 5 minutes, well clear enough for a bit of sun to shine through, then the snow hit again. It was a bit freezing, so we took a few pictures, the started the decent down the mountain again. All well worth it. Most of the roads are still closed for winter, they will not likely open until mid-May I'm guessing. The snow was pretty heavy the closer to the top we got. We started on one route this morning, which we thought was Mt. Rainer, but now think was another peak. We got as far as we could until the road was closed. I have had to pee so bad, I had to pee outside on the poor mountain. I also peed on Mt. Rainer, but in the actual public restroom, not as exciting really. I have this habit of having to go when there is not a facility around. So peeing in the wilderness is not new to me. I peed in the Connemara National Park, poor Ms. S had to keep watch as there was quite a bit of traffic.

Ok, well I'm currently in the Seattle Public Library. The architecture if petty neat, the building kinda looks like a rocket ship on its side from the outside. There are 5 floors and the place has tons of computers and books for all that would like to use it's facilities. I'm using a 1 hour guest internet pass and I'm using this time to post a blog for you readers, all for you.

I'm off now to the waterfront to see what times for the ferries for in the morning. I'll blog as much as possible, but don't know if I'll have access to the net again.

Happy Thursday!!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Seattle or bust...flight out tomorrow morning. YEAH!!!!!

Monday, April 21, 2008


An average person might respond to the question, “What did you do this weekend?” with a variety of answers. They might say the mowed the lawn, planted a few flowers, enjoyed the sunshine, took a walk, watched a movie, had margaritas outside on the veranda, or played a game of Ms. PacMan. These are all likely things you may have done this weekend. I did indeed play a game of Ms. PacMan Friday night. I had a margarita but the veranda was full, it has to be drunk indoors. I too enjoyed the sunshine.

I doubt the average person would tell you they clipped little pigs this past weekend. An average person would not likely have taken grooming clippers and shave the hair off of little pigs to be taken for a sale in a few weeks. An average person would not likely have had their hand go numb from working the clippers for multiple hours. An average person would not have likely been shaving the little butts, noses, legs, chins of little pigs this weekend. An average person would not likely say they were pooped on by little pigs this weekend. I, as you should know by now, am not average, I am well above average, for I can say I did all of these things. Yes, that’s right kids, the average day on a working farm in by no means the average for most. So this must make me and my family superheros or something since we are obviously above average. I would like to have taken pictures for you to have seen, for it must have been a site. We had a car of people stop to see what in the world we were doing, because they had noticed us doing it for HOURS! It was great to be part of a working circus act, while smeared with hog shit. Just Great!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Something Clever…

I wish I had something clever to write about today, but alas I don’t. I can tell you I’m planning to have a delightful meal this evening with Ms. A. I will then be traveling to the parents to work at the store and then returning Sunday. Please to not use Saturday to TP my front lawn! However, if you want to drop off a few roses or flowers, please feel free. The Spring Game is this weekend, enjoy if you are going. A few of the students in my department are playing, so cheer them on.

It’s delightful outside today-lovely, bright sunshine. If only I had started investing at age 1, I could not work and be out enjoying the brilliance of it all. I did venture out a bit at lunch, just to get a small taste. Why didn’t I stick with teaching? I could have my summers off! I’d work my butt off the other 10 months, but two months in a row—oh to dream.

Oh guess what is now making rounds in my department. That parrot is going down!!!

Happy Friday People! Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

So Sad...

Last night while at the Marrieds, a moment of silence was observed for Alias.
Ok, it didn't exactly happen like that, but a brief discussion of the former TV show Alias was brought up. Why, oh why, did they cancel this lovely show? It's depressing really. I felt I should pay tribute to this fine show and it's cast. May the show live on in syndication and DVD's, and may we never forget Rambaldi.

It's almost FRIDAY!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My Pictures on a Wall...

My co-worker took a couple of my pictures, enlarged them, and put them on his walls a home. This started the insanity of my potential business. He finally sent a picture of them on his walls. I'm conflicted on what I think of them. Would they really sell... I wonder.

Back on Track…

So, yesterday I was having a crap pot of a day if you couldn’t tell by my blog post. I attempted Monday night to eat on the side of my mouth that I had recent dental work on. BIG MISTAKE! I paid for it Monday and all day yesterday. The annoying pain took over my entire day. I had a horrible time focusing on my student’s problems. I should have been out enjoying the nice weather, not trying to sleep through the annoying throb. I should have been reviewing the game plan for my upcoming trip, not wishing I had simply pulled the damn tooth. I should have been doing more research on my potential business plan, not wishing I had a regular drug supplier. ARGH! Will it ever be normal again? The dentist assured me it would be; it takes time to get better; its like a broken bone that takes time. Ok, well I’m trying to be patient, but it’s not something that comes easily to me.

So, today, I feel a bit better, seem to be functioning at least and able to concentration on the issues at hand today. I’m a bit nervous, I have my first “photo shoot” tonight. It’s with the Marrieds and their happy children. I should not be nervous, I should be normal, I see them all the time. However, I get this way. I believe before almost every new or major event I have vomited. Not really a pleasant thought so early in the morning, but it’s true. So, I’m nervous, I have this fear that it will go well. I have this fear it will go horrible. It’s not as if my entire business plan is based on this one event tonight, but it will have a significant impact. I can’t write any more about it, my stomach is churning and really don’t want to ruin my morning coffee.

I’m taking advice now from you the reader. If any of you have been to Seattle and have any suggestions on “must see/do” while I’m there, I would love to hear them. I fly out a week from today. Yeah!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Monday, April 14, 2008

Did You Know…

Actress Sarah Michelle Geller is celebrating her 31st birthday today. Ms. Geller, not related to Ross or Monica (as far as I know) was the star of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This holds little significance for most of you, but as a friend was exiting the country for a peace-crops tour and to help her stay afloat of the important stuff I created a newsletter. This hard copy newsletter was titled-wait for it—According to Alison. Yes, this blog was once an actual newsletter mailed out usually once a month. The topics covered were updates on Buffy and crew, Ohio happenings, and other fun ditties.

Thanks to Buffy and my Leo-ness, According to Alison was born, circa 2003.

Friday, April 11, 2008


It’s that time of year I guess. Lots of scholarship deadlines coming up soon. I think I’ve typed about 10 recommendation letters in the last couple of weeks. So, in the event any of you need a recommendation, let me know, I’m becoming a pro.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Spring Has Finally Sprung...

I went on a little stroll a couple of days ago and have discovered, spring may actually really, finally be here.

Down the block-crappy camera work, but nice flowers

Weeds or flowers?

Church garden

Full bloom

My own backyard--do you remember the kid's magazine by this title?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

A Pleasant Surprise…

Yesterday afternoon, I arrived at my homestead following a good day at work, only to have the day get a bit better. Yeah!
I saw a very long Fed Ex package leaning against my door. What can it be, I wondered. Ok, well really, I kinda knew what it was going to be, but I didn’t know for sure and if it was what I thought, I didn’t know what it was going to look like exactly. Packages are fun, much more interesting than MasterCard bills.

The Box…

The contents inside…my official “rough” template of the Hallmark card and my check. Woo, Hoo!

Now, have you been voting? I know it's a pain in the butt, but you can do it.

Even if you don’t vote for me, at least go in and vote for something, get that dumb parrot off the top of the heap. I hate birds. Pigs Rule! No, wait, I don’t think that sounds right. Hmmmm?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Frustrated Student...

I have been trying to learn how to use my new Photoshop purchase. However, there are so many bells and whistles it's just overwhelming for my little brain. I have gotten a couple of books out of the library, but it's as if they are speaking Greek. I'll get the hang of it, but until then no earth shattering photos to share. I do hope to get some in soon, now that green is starting to return to the grass.

Until those are available, enjoy Lou's random romp through my stuff.

I don't enjoy cleaning, but decided to make it a bit more fun. I took a few pictures of random items in my life that I adore, but don't necessarily think about everyday. I adore these pearls. I have only actually worn them out once. The wonderful Ms. L brought them to me from her foreign travels. They are not every day pearls, only to be worn on special occasions.

Lou also discovered my two favorite rings. One I purchased myself in the jewelry shop I worked in when I lived in Ireland, the stone is Connemara Marble, native to Ireland. The other was a gift from my parents (ie Mom). It's a claddagh design, again Irish.

Not everything I adore is jewelry, I also adore my kettle. I use this daily. I can make a quick up of tea or heat water for jello shots, it's awesome. I have hot water in moments!

Hmmm, I'm not sure how much cleaning really was accomplished.

Monday, April 07, 2008

My Interview with My Personal Rachel Ray...

Are you a daily reader of According to Alison?

I am now! After tuning in just once, I am a fan! Fun and intriguing reading, I must say.
Great answer! I feel like a peacock strutting with my feathers on display. You have done my Leo ego well. Thank You!

Do you personally know Rachel Ray?

Ha! No, I do not. I wouldn't mind attending one of her show tapings though. I have definitely gained some great tips from her by watching. She is real and very practical in the kitchen. (Secretly, Rachel and I have striked a deal--I slide in some Pampered Chef products for her to use on the show, and she gives away all her fast and witty cooking tips for me to use at MY shows!! Just kiddin', but wouldn't that be fun?)
I think Rachel is a hoot and I thoroughly love the fact she passes her info on to you. I mean who else can say they have their own personal Rachel Ray? I say, you keep up that deal!

What if your favorite meal or food to cook/bake/create?

Hmmm...I love trying new appetizers--mainly because I could make a meal out of them! I am also big on trying new desserts. I have a few special friends that come over a couple times a month to be my "guinea pigs" and let me whip up something new in the kitchen for their critiques and approvals. Maybe you know them? :)
Well, I don’t know if you like making them or not, but I have to say the chocolate chip cookies are right at the top of my favorites list! Oh and there was those brownie things with ganache. I enjoy being a guinea pig; it’s rare that I like to be used, but in the case of food-bring it on. I have yet to try a dish I did not like; well maybe that one time-there was a lemon cake moment. However, any time someone says, “Oh, it so easy, I just have to whip up a bit of ganache”, I’m in amazement. My personal Rachel Ray, you amaze me!

You have a unique job—what do you do?

Well, you know how you see people like Rachel Ray on TV doing those cooking shows? That's what I do, except I'm not famous! I am an Independent Consultant for The Pampered Chef. I absolutely love my job!
You are famous! You are! You have made many appearances in According to Alison!

If I was interested or one of my readers was interested in getting started with this company, how would we do that?

It is really very simple-- for an investment of only $155, you will be able to jump start your business with over $500 worth of products, all of your paperwork and catalogs and endless training tools, incentive trips, great income and recognition for your accomplishments! If you or any of your readers were interested, just email me at: or visit my personal website for more info: can even sign up right online via my website! "Share the dream, Live YOUR dreams" is the Pampered Chef motto and I am a believer!
Sounds like a great investment. I’d be interested, except I’m looking into this other business adventure right now (more details to come soon-hopefully-maybe.) I do love the PC stones and that mixing bowl thing that also has a pouring spout. Oh and the can opener, no more cut fingers—love it!

Just a few of my favs--that I actually use when I'm in my kitchen!

What do you like most about your job?

I am home with my children, I am my own boss and the income is great and has the potential to be fabulous as I build my dream team. Not to mention, the products are incredible and there is always an opportunity to earn them for FREE as a consultant. Lovin' it!!!
I too love my job. It really makes a difference in your life when you do. For most people their job is their second home, so if you can enjoy it that makes your days and life more enjoyable. Also, it means you (my personal Rachel Ray) can spend countless hours chef-ing it up for my benefit! It is all about me.

If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?

I'll have to say, this question can be intense and maybe hard to answer for some. I think I would have to pick the White Ash. I certainly can't argue that I like my space. I'd like to believe that I show my true colors. I love being in the water with lots of sunshine, preferably on a deserted island somewhere far away, however I don't think that's possible for a White Ash, and right now, not possible for me either... :(
I’m just amazes me that all my interviewees seem to know so much about trees. I know so little, but there is only so much room in my little brain, I don’t think tree knowledge will fit. I would love to be on an island, but not a deserted one. I don’t camp! I would require a hot shower and real bed at the end of the day. A deserted island would imply I would be sleeping on the sand and ick-no thanks!

Even though you are my personal Rachel Ray, even Rachel Ray has to go out to a restaurant now and then. Do you have a favorite restaurant/eatery?

I really enjoy Buca di Beppo and Japanese Steakhouses. And I love being your "personal Rachel Ray"!!! I don't think I am quite to her standards though...but thanks for the compliment!
Not up to her standards? Not up to her standards? I have never used the word ganache, I even had to look to see how it was spelled, because it’s not in spell checks memory-and it’s correct because I had to find a cooking dictionary online—do you see readers—do you see my commitment to you? I have images of a little troll like man, who really is Spell Check, and he is in there judging me with all my spelling miscues. Don’t judge little troll. But, I digress-- You my personal Rachel Ray, you use this term without hesitation, and refer to the making of ganache as “simply, easy”. That alone put you in the same column of Ms. Ray and Ms. Ray doesn’t have your adorable munchkins.

If you could holiday anywhere in the world, no worries for funding or childcare, where would you go and why?

Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. The pictures are beautiful and I think I could be "swept away" there with my husband. Ahhhh, one can dream, right? So when can I go and not worry about funding or childcare?? Can you make that miracle happen someday soon please? K thanks.
I don’t work in miracles; I leave that to Catholic Priest, Pastors, and others who feel they can provide miracles. Sorry. However, I do agree to provide the childcare for a limited time, if indeed you do make it to Cabo. You and your husband deserve a nice break--how did you get such a nice one-well that's a question for another time I guess. I’m a bit afraid to tell you a friend, Ms. H, just took holiday in Cabo. Her photos were lovely. She allowed me to post a couple. Don’t hate her, she makes me black bean lasagna—although it’s been awhile—Ms. H can you get on that? See, it’s all about food and it’s all about me!

Ah, an sunny getaway! I can see the appeal!

Ms. H, on holiday in Cabo

Thank you Ms. A for a delightful interview. I am inspired by all these adventureous business minded women around me. It may encourage me to take the next step in my own business ideas. Maybe, I am a bit of a procrastinator and I do tend to ignore positive advice, so it’s a crap shoot really. Oh and I hope you are working on the next batch of those chocolate chip cookies. *grin*

I do enjoy these little interviews, I think I may make them a monthly item on my little blog here, and it is mine so I can. :)

Welcome to Monday Kids, Welcome to Monday!

Friday, April 04, 2008

I Got It…

No, I did not solve the worlds problems. No, I didn’t even solve my own problems. I DID get my gas card for having the name I submitted for the newsletter chosen as the winner. YEAH! It was kinda silly really. The Chair and the dude creating the newsletter both came into my office with a mock up of the first front page of the newsletter. The name I created right at the very tippy top.The Chair said, “You are a part of history.” My return comment was, “Don’t forget this when my evaluation comes up.” She did laugh, she did, thank goodness. Let’s just see if she really remembers.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Last night I attend the preview of the new George Clooney movie Leatherheads with Ms. A. We were just walking into take our seats and the radio personality from the station sponsering the event (130.9 with Mark the Shark is much better!) was asking if anyone had a birthday in April and if they did please stand up. Ms. A of course will be celebrating her birthday in a couple of days so when we arrived at our seats she remained standing. The personality, I use this term very loosely, narrowed the field down to those who had a birthday in April 1-15th. Of course Ms. A had no idea why she was standing and lucky they did not decide to stone the 6 or so people with birthdays during this time. She actually won a prize, a Leatherheads T-shirt and ball cap. That Ms. A, she has all the luck.

The movie finally started after some crappy sports trivia. The witty quick exchanges between Clooney’s character and Renee Zelwinger’s character were amusing. I smile a few times and even laughed out loud a couple of times. The dude from The Office is not bad to look at for two hours. However, the best part of the music was the 1920’s music that fill the background noise. I believe you would have to be a football fan to get much from this movie (and I am one), I would not pay full price for it. If anything wait for it to go to the $1 movie or check it out at your local library once it hits DVD. Overall I give the movie a “C”. Ms. A put it well as the movie ended and we were walking out, “It wasn’t life changing.” Indeed Ms. A, indeed.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

On This Fools Day…

The Indians won their opening day game yesterday. This of course puts Indian fans on the path of thinking, undefeated year. Don’t be fools, think of how many games they must pay all season!

The Cubs lost their home opener on Monday. Sad news for Cubby fans, but chin up Sports Illustrated has the Cubs going all the way to the Series. They don’t predict they will win, but that they will at least make it to the event. No fooling.

I very much enjoy baseball; I have plans of attending at least one game at Clippers Stadium this year. Yes, it’s the Clippers, but it’s the last year in the Stadium, it will be a bit of history to attend at least one game. Their opening night is Thursday. I don’t believe I’ll make Thursday’s game, but there will be plenty of games to come.

A few words of wisdom on this April 1…

It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and leave no doubt. --Mark Twain