Saturday, December 31, 2005


The start of the New Year was delayed overnight, with the addition of the first "leap second" in seven years.

The Paris Observatory said an extra second has been added to clocks worldwide, at the stroke of midnight on December 31. Leap seconds are required every so often to keep our clocks in sync with solar time used by astronomers.

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Friday, December 30, 2005

Before I came here I was confused about this subject.
Having listened to your lecture I am still confused.
But on a higher level.
- Enrico Fermi, physicist

I love Fermi!
In fact, I chose Fermi as my first camp name (but campers kept calling me "Wormy," so I changed to Reep).

Thursday, December 29, 2005


One might suspect that one is in trouble when someone at work says, "Jul-eeee" in such a suspicious tone.

But one wouldn't know for certain that one was in trouble until suspicious-tone-person walks over, points a finger, and says, "You have a blog! You're a blogger!

Of course, she didn't accuse me quietly.
Everyone heard. (One person even ran over to her computer to see).

It's not a problem.
This site has a (loosely enforced) good name policy,
(not to mention I like working at VE)
So there's not a lot of incriminating stuff around here.

But I was surprised!
I've been so careful to refer to work as "VE"
And I watch my logs; there have been no hits for me on a work related subjects!
Very Surprised!

It was the Bartlett post thatgave me away.
Ms. Marketing Director was searching google for Hymn to Potatoes Reviews, and stumbled upon my entry about the office pet.

Her first thought was, "Wow. This person has been in our office and seen the potato."
Then she realized that JulieVW was me.

Ms. Marketing Director says she wants a blog now.
(I'm think she should title it "The Potato Decective.")

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


My Girl Scouts wanted to go ice skating.
So I took today off to go ice skating with them.
I packed a large thermos of hot water
Thew some hot cocoa mix and plastic cups in my backpack
Searched through the hall closet for extra mittens/scarves/hats.
Cleaned out my car
And even looked through all my stuff for my never used Wells Fargo check card
(Because Wells Fargo customers get free skate rental!)

Alas, none of the girls showed up
I thought I might have gotten my days mixed-up
But then my co-leader showed up.

I'm sad.
Ice skating was their idea
And I was looking forward to taking them downtown.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


It's time to write about Diane
Diane got a breif mention back here
And is one of the most amazing people in the universe

Diane was my 5th grade Sunday School teacher.
That was the year they split girls/boys
(Which was a really good thing).
Diane introduced me to Japneese culture, Sushi, homemade doughnuts, and Giodanos pizza.
Being an all girls class, we could do things like sleepovers, and window shoping trips in downtown Chicago.
Diane talked to the homeless people
And honestly talked with us about homlessness/being drunk.
(Other adults thought these topics were not appropriate topics for 5th graders).
Diane was also one of the few Sunday School teachers that allowed questions about anything. (In fact, she answered questions even before I could ask them).

Diane was the first adult to admit that she got C's in school
(That blew my mind - I thought that someone as smart, pretty, fun, and wonderful as Diane MUST have been extremely popular and with fabulous grades!)
You have no idea how warm and fuzzy I felt knowing that Diane was an overweight, C student, who had to sit by herself at lunch.

Diane lives a constant adventure
When I was in 6th grade, she went to Japan to teach English
She came back for a while, and now teaches in Africa
For a while, Diane dated this guy I hated,
But then they broke up (and I was happy - maybe that's mean of me - but Diane is way too cool to get married!)

5th grade was one of the more difficult years of my life.
Diane knew exactly what not to say.

In 6th grade, the powers that be decided to return to co-ed Sunday School classes.
And Mr. Ted took over the class.
[grumble grumble]
Halfway through 6th grade, Diane moved to Japan.
But when she came home to visit, she ALWAYS came over for Giodanos pizza.

Diane finished her Masters degree the same year I finished my Bachelors.
We were given cutsey little "congratulation" books by our home church - but the guy handing them out got mixed up and gave me the book with the inscription to Diane.
The book is third rate garbage
But I'll never get rid of it, because I like having her book.
And, I'm honored to think someone could ever get me mixed up with Diane.

Monday, December 26, 2005


I might write more on this stuff later, but here's the quick-and-easy summary!

+ Sunday Christmas equals an extra travel day!
- Sunday Christmas means no excuse for missing church
- Family church day means biting one's tounge (constantly!)

+ Spending Christmas visiting and eating
- Having to wait until January for presents
+ Hanging out with old people, babies, and everything in between

- Banket made by D.P. (yuck!)
+ Jr.'s Hot dogs (yummy!)

+ Crack-baby foster cousin is cute, and cuddly
- Crack-baby foster cousin's brain is too mesed up to laugh, play, or smile.

+ Winning at rock, paper, scissors (and thus, being able to sleep in a bed!)
- Loaning my sleeping bag to a bed wetter

+ Playing spoons with my cousins (subsituting knives for spoons!)
+ Being spoiled by my grandmother
+ Talking, eating, cooking, and being with my grandmother
- Leaving my Grandmother (I hate saying goodbye).

Thursday, December 22, 2005


From a teacher in the Minneapolis Public School System:

Actually, we're going to quit teaching and just test students from now on.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


I'm 17 and I'm crazy.
My uncle says the 2 always go together.
When people ask your age,
he said, always say 17 and insane.

from Fereinheit 541 by Ray Bradbury

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

PART 1 - White Socks
I planned to wear two layers of socks yesterday.
It was cold outside,
And two layers of socks keep a person a bit warmer than one layer.

So I put on my white polypropylene "liner socks"
And planned to put black wool socks over it, but I got distracted. The dog started puking, then the microwave beeped, and I forgot all about my second sock layer.

PART 2 - Dinner with Jon
My brother came over for dinner on Sunday
All of my brothers are incredibly intelligent
But Jon is the smartest
(Because he's the only one that doesn't make me feel stupid)

Jon and I talk about everything
And our conversations tend to wander.
One minute we're talking about pacemakers, and the next minute we're talking about the merits of frozen bananas, religion, and kittens.
(Great conversations!)

So Jon and I were talking, and sine waves came up. (Don't ask how we got to the topic of sine waves - it just happened).
Everyone knows that you can't talk about sine waves, without mentioning co-sine and tangent waves (it would just be unfair!)

PART 3 - Stupid Math Teachers
Mr. Jeeter was my 7th grade math teacher
He was a horrible teacher who gave Multiple choice tests
(Really, is there anything stupider than a multiple choice math test?)
Once, he yelled at me for dividing by zero.

Mr. Jeeter said, "You can't divide by zero"
I said, "Sure you can." If 0/5=0
Then 5/0 must = 0

(just like 6/3=2 and 6/2=3)

Mr. Jeeter just got mad.
The following year Mr. Fred got mad at me too.
And in High School, Mrs. Morrison said the same things
And sometime after that, I gave up.
Beaten into submission by the system, I robotically repeated, "You can't divide by zero" (Although, deep down inside, I secretly believed it was a communist conspiracy to brainwash high school students!)

PART 4 - Jon
Like I said, Jon is brilliant
He can quote Shakespeare, balance a chemistry equation, sing the major themes to all of Beethoven's odd numbered symphonies, make perfect pancakes,and tell dirty calculus jokes that make engineers laugh.

And when we started talking about tangent waves, he got really excited and tried to share his tangential excitement with me. He explained,"Blah blah blah, can't divide by zero blah blah blah"

At which point, I interrupted and confessed my secret belief that dividing by zero was not a cardinal sin against humanity. And Mr. Jeeter just made up the rule to confuse and frustrate me!

And Jon (the calculus genius) said that I was right!

PART 5 - The Truth
If you had a good 7th grade math teacher, you might already know this.
But if you suffered under a Mr. Jetter (or Mr. Fred, or Mrs. Morrison) here's a little secret, You can divide by zero! Except, when you do, crazy stuff starts to happen (like 5 being equal to 1). And everything you ever learned about math falls apart!

And once the math teachers realized this, they all got together and made up a "Don't divide by zero" rule, to protect themselves! (Because they didn't want to live in a world where 5=1)

PART 6 - Conclusion

It's kinda scary when you stop and think about it
One day I learn why you can't divide by zero and played crazy calculus games with Jon.
The next day I inadventantly wear black pants and white socks

(Next thing you know, I'll be sporting a pocket protector and comparing functions on graphing calculators. It's only a matter of time before I throw away my life and apply to engineering school!)

Monday, December 19, 2005


Since Saturday, I've had five different people (or at least five different IP addresses) come to this site via an msn search for "hot girls not julie just you html".

I ignored the first two thinking it was just regular internet weirdness.
But FIVE hits from such a strange combination of words is just odd

Could one of you msn "hot girls" searchers please drop me a comment and explain what the heck your searching for.
'Cause I'm gosh darn confused.

Sunday, December 18, 2005


There is something horribly manipulative in [the] idea . . .of a supposed children's adventure film that also serves as a Bible study aid; Old Narnia fans, too, are inclined to reconsider a book that Governor Jeb Bush has decreed must be read by every child in Florida. It was not for this that we bashed around inside our parents' wardrobes, hoping that we too would find that the back panels gave way to Narnia - that, somewhere, we could fight and win battles against ogres, hags and the White Witch.
[Full Post]

Just to be clear . . .
1. There's nothing wrong with folks finding similarities between Christianity and a story.

2. LWW is an awesome book (as are the rest of the Narnia Chronicles, with the exception of The Last Battle which is just messed up!)

3. I do have a problem with people who say, "Listen to me and I'll tell you what this story means." (C.S. Lewis would never approve).

Saturday, December 17, 2005

(Actually it's John Spencer, the actor who played Leo McGarry, but to me, he'll always be Leo!)
Diaster strikes the Santos campaign.
I wonder who the next VP canidate is going to be.
(And how far ahead they've filmed).

Thursday, December 15, 2005

1. Buy new dress shoes. The ones you have from almost 10 years ago are wore out, painful, bad for you, and need to be replaced. You can not hang on for one more year (indeed, you’ve been saying that for the last three years). It is time to cough up the money (and time) to find nice comfortable quality dress shoes. DO IT TODAY!

2. Stop stressing over you-know-what. Yes it is a crummy situation, but getting an ulcer and not sleeping so you can stew about it will not help. You’ve hung on for a year and fought hard. Relax and let things shake out. Seriously. I mean it.

3. Do not eat that giant yummy looking doughnut in the staff room. Granted it is from the Franklin Street Bakery, making it much more wholesome than most other doghnuts, but you don’t need it. Have a cup of tea, or an apple instead.

4. Tea would taste lovely with this doughnut!

5. People do like you. Even if you feel tired, crabby, and a little blah from eating that giant doughnut. (Silly girl, I told you not to eat it)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


The part with the glass slipper has never made any sense anyhow. We are expected to believe that Cinderella's feet are such an unusual size that no other woman in the entire kingdom could wear her shoes? Yeah, that is attractive. I thought the way to update that scene would be to make the item of clothing she left behind a bra. I mean, we all know that getting a bra to fit correctly is indeed difficult. And that would explain what the two were doing on the balcony during the musical interlude. If she'd left a bra behind at midnight, Prince's panting pursuit of her would make a bit more sense. The scene where all the village girls line up to be fitted, eagerly thrusting their bare feet at the royal guard, would be far livelier if it were a bra they were trying on. And unusually sized breasts seem somehow more appealing than unusually sized feet.

Full Post

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality


Monday, December 12, 2005


Bartlett is the name of the VE staff pet
No, Bartlett is not fungus on a pear
He's a potato.

A potato might seem like an odd workplace pet but when the mission statement of your organization includes the phrase "expect the unexpected," you can expect odd things to occassionaly happen!

"How," you ask, "did Bartlett come into the job of office pet?"
I'm so glad you asked!
You may recall that last summer we released a CD titled, "Hymn to Potatoes, and Other Choral Masterworks."

Now if you were releasing and promoting a CD called, Hymn to Potatoes, what would you do as a fun, cheap, exciting, and memorable gimmick?

(If you said, "Buy a 10 lb. bag of potatoes," you win!)

We gave away a free potato with every CD purchase
We used potatoes as door prizes
We make a nice little potato arrangement to sit on our promo table
We starting giving potatoes to other staff members as appreciation gifts
We ate them for lunch (and snacks)
We gave them to visitors who came to the office for important budget meetings
And then things started to get silly . . .

You can play a really fun game with a potato.
It goes like this.

1. Wait for that special someone to leave for a meeting, or go out for lunch
2. Take a potato and hide it in her cubicle, preferably with the help of other office mates. (The best places are visible, but not immediately obvious).
3. Wait for potato to be found. Try not to laugh when she says, "I found another potato on my computer"
4. Repeat

Now, after randomly coming upon this poor potato seven million times, (and seeing that it was starting to sprout) my boss decided it was time to put the poor critter in water (and end the game).

But you can't stop a good thing just by putting it in water (oh no!)
Within three days, the potato had two eye balls (made from thumbtacks), ears (from a purple paper clip), and a nose (push pin).

He was also named, "Bartlett" by the Grand Master of the Hide the Potato Game (aka "Marketing Director").

And so, Bartlett sits on a file cabinet
With a nameplate
And a dire warning to any janitor that might try to clean him up
He has lots of fresh water (Culligan, not tap!)
And some indirect sunlight

He's a very lucky potato!

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Five concerts in eight days!
(Plus the Thanksgiving concert the week before)
Yes, I'm exhausted,
And tired of working weekends!

You'd think, with all those hours of working the CD table, and helping haul stuff, and watching concerts, that I'd have some deep and profound things to say . . .
But I don't.

It's December 11
I'm going to go have a good cry, go to bed, and wait until tomorrow to pester the muse.

Saturday, December 10, 2005


My immediate family is planning to celebrate Christmas in the 515 area code this year (which won't actually be until next year - but that's not the point)

The point is . . . I will be in your next of the woods in early January. (Probably the 6-8th) and am in desperate need of a chocolate malt.

Details are still being discussed (and are subject to change if the weather is icky). But if you're around, avaliable, and feel like hanging out at Stella's for a few hours - it'd be great to see 'ya!

Check your calendars!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Here,here,here, and here


Minus 8 degrees
That's tempature - not wind chill

It's days like these that make me glad I'm not a teacher
Indoor recess makes for a sucky day

Monday, December 05, 2005


1. The moon is absolutely beautiful tonight. If you read this in time - go outside and look!

2. I'm really crabby (but not so crabby that I don't realize I'm crabby - but crabby enough that everyone is bugging me).

3. Girl Scouts was awesome tonight (and my co-leader was AWOL, coinscidence? I think not!)

4. Concert crazy-ness abounds. I worked a concert on Saturday, and another one on Sunday, and there will be two more this weekend PLUS a mid-week concert on Thursday (not to mention the concert that happened Thanksgiving weekend). I'm a little tired of working concerts! (which might explain the little bit of crabby-ness).

5. It's cold outisde (not complaining, cold is preferable to snow!)

6. Interesting posts are coming - - someday - - I promise!

Friday, December 02, 2005


I've always lived in small, crowded noisy houses. Even when I go camping, it's often in a group that includes not just my husband and kids, but also my parents, siblings, and their families. Perhaps that is the reason I've always had long hair. When I need to be by myself, I can always shut out the rest of the world by shaking my hair into my face. Behind the curtain of brown and gold, I can think, cry, or daydream.
Full Post

Thursday, December 01, 2005

I'm . . . not interested in a commercial santa-clausey Advent Calendar, and am even less interested in fluffy religious devotionals.

And so, in the spirit of self-sufficiency, I'm making my own Advent Things this year. I have a few ideas of upcoming attractions, but mostly this will be a day-by-day adventure.

Advent Things