Saturday, August 30, 2008

Velvet Teddy Bear Broke

From The New York Post:

'American Idol" winner Ruben Studdard owes nearly $200,000 in back taxes, according to published reports. Court records show liens have been filed on the former Idol's properties for unpaid federal and local taxes.

Most of these back taxes stem from 2003 - the year he won the talent show and a $1 million-dollar record contract.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Hair Challenge

This is a dangerous time for me. I'm in the mood to cut my hair. But, being a woman of a certain age...ahem...I'm fearful of cutting it and being left with the dreaded helmet head or some sort of weird teased up bouffant-do.

I've had my hair really, really short and a little past my shoulders and every point in between. I've had it straight and curly. I've parted it on both sides and straight down the middle. I've had it layered and all one length. I've had bangs and not had bangs. I've had outrageously expensive haircuts and walk-in $6 barbershop haircuts. I've used hot rollers, curling irons, flat irons, and those pink sponge curlers you buy at Walgreens. Still through it all, in my whole life I've only had two (!) haircuts I really liked. One was a sort of pageboy, no bangs, longer on the sides than in the back--when I was 15. The other was a short, short boyish haircut parted on the side...lots of little choppy layers, when I was a freshman in college.

Everyone's talking about Sarah Palin's challenge...well, I think finding a good hairstyle for me is a challenge.

Last night I searched the internet for celebrities within my age range who have hairstyles I might consider. Here's what I've found and my comments. Take a look and weigh in.

Goldie Hawn:
She's had the same hairstyle forever. This is longer than my hair is now, but I like the long, swishy bangs.
Katie Couric: She looks like she has fine hair like mine. I've had this haircut and even though it looks really simple to maintain, I have some weird natural waves to fight when I blow dry my hair. Plus, I'm not too adept with that whole round brush thing.

Madonna: Too severe for me with the center part, and even though it may be trendy I think people would be talking behind my back about how I need to take care of "the old grey mare" if you know what I mean.

Joy Behar: Probably too much maintenance for me, because I have baby fine hair. Also a little matronly in my opinion. Of course, I guess I'm now a little matronly.

Marie Osmond: I'm afraid this could easily become beauty pageant.

Sally Field: I really like the tousled look of this. Mainly because I'm not a girly girl. I never have been able to keep my hair looking perfect.

Paula Zahn: I went to college with Paula. I've always liked her hair. Actually, my hair kind of looks like this now...only without the professional stylist touch.

Sharon Stone: I like this. Do you?

Susan Sarandon: In the same mold as Goldie Hawn, she's had this haircut forever. I think it's flattering without being old lady.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Are you kidding me?

Me: Is the Rams game on yet?
Him: Nope. Rain delay.
Me: No, the Rams game. Is it on yet?
Him: Rain delay.
Me: Football doesn't have rain delays.
Him: It's preseason.

Thought bubble over my head: Does this actually make sense to him?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lunch break in Monaco

This is Monaco. Beautiful, huh?

About 32,000 people are lucky enough to call this little paradise home. 70% of the population is Roman Catholic. If you visit Monaco, rent a Ferrari and drive around the .75 square miles that make up the principality. You'll feel right at home because the folks who live here drive on the right side of the road. Right as in right, not left. If you hate taxes, this is the place to move income tax and low business taxes. Monaco is a little crowded though, it's the world's most densely populated country and second smallest independent nation. The Grimaldi family seized control in the 13th century and continues to rule today. In the late 19th century a railroad link to France (which we rode on) and the opening of a casino (in which I won 5 Euro) put Monaco on the map as a world famous tourist and recreation center.

Congratulations To My Uncle!

[I copied this from my cousin Jennifer's blog: Texas Wife and Mom]

Congratulations to my Uncle Michael (just one of my 3 favorite uncles)!!!

College of Communication announced

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 6:51 PM CDT

Harding department name change to be effective with new fall semester

The Department of Communication has been redesignated a College of Communication, President David B. Burks announced recently. Effective with the Aug. 25 start of the fall semester, Dr. Mike James, department chair since 1993, will begin serving as dean.

The college will house the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and the Divisions of Mass Communication, Oral Communication and Theatre under the leadership of Rebecca O. Weaver, Jack Shock, Pat Garner and Robin Miller, respectively.

“This move aligns with the strategic goal of reshaping our organizational structure to match the growth and complexity of our academic programs,” said Dr. Larry Long, vice president for Academic Affairs.

“Dr. James has been a strong and effective leader in the Department of Communication, and I anticipate he will continue that tradition at the level of dean,” he added. “I look forward to working with Dr. James and the faculty in the new college. It encourages me to see the current growth and the potential for even more growth and excellence in the future.”

Formerly housed within the College of Arts and Humanities, the new college offers 10 undergraduate majors and one graduate degree. The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders offers the bachelor of arts degree and the master of science degree in speech-language pathology.

Six areas of study are available for students in mass communication: advertising, broadcast journalism, electronic media production, Web design and interactive media, print journalism, and public relations.

The oral communication major - for teacher licensure or non-teacher licensure - sharpens the interpersonal, cross-cultural and technical skills necessary to use the voice as an effective tool. The theatre major integrates the fine arts, humanities and performing arts into one experience for all of its participants.

More than 325 students are currently pursuing a degree through the College of Communication.

The College of Communication will continue to be responsible for the award-winning student publications - the Bison weekly student newspaper and Petit Jean yearbook; VideoWorks production company; KVHU radio; a cable TV station; the fall musical production and approximately 15 plays each year; Spring Sing; and a public speech therapy clinic.

James, a distinguished professor of communication, has served as a faculty member since 1979. He began working for the University in 1973 as director of photography for the Office of Public Relations. He holds the bachelor of science degree from Harding, master of science degree from Arkansas State University, and Ph.D. from Florida State University.

He is an active member of and contributor to the Broadcast Education Association. James was one of 30 faculty members nationally and internationally selected as a 2007faculty fellow for the National Association of Television Program Executives annual conference.

Article taken from the Daily Citizen, Searcy, Arkansas.

From Jennifer: They forgot to mention that he has a wonderful wife, Beth, that he met in the registration line at Harding in 1969 and they married 9 months later! He also has 4 children- Jennifer, Jeremy, Jessica and Jonathan-that are very proud of him. His 5 grandchildren are also very excited about their Papa and his new job, but really don't care as long as they still get candy and whatever they want when they come to see him at his office!! We love you dad and are so extremely proud of you! We are blessed to be one of your accomplishments!! :)

From Kathryn: Not too shabby for a kid from Kennett!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Photos From The Eternal City

Dinner first night in Rome at Mirabella:

Building in Vatican City:

First Espresso in Rome:

Lunch at our hotel in Rome:


Stairs to our hotel room in Rome:

Opera in the streets of Rome:

The Downside of Football Season

I just saw my first Peyton/Eli Manning commercial.

We're Home!

We arrived in St. Louis safe and sound Sunday about 9:30pm. By 11:00 I was asleep in my own comfy bed. I slept until 3:00pm the next day when James woke me up. About 5:00pm John went out to get pizza and by the time he got home I was already back in bed sound asleep. I didn't wake up until 6:00 this morning--just in time to get ready for work. Now I feel great.

So vacation's over, but the world keeps turning!

I'll post some more pictures tonight.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Donkeys, street art, internet cafes, and the Spanish Steps

Today we're in Santorini, Greece. There are only 3 ways to get up the volcanic mountain from the sea to Santorini. 1) Ride a donkey 600+ cobblestone stairs 2) walk behind the donkeys 3) Ride a cable car after standing in line for 2 hours
Guess which one we did:

After riding my donkey up 600+ cobblestone steps to Santorini:

Riding my donkey:

Street artist in Roma:

Sidewalk cafe in Nice:

Rhodes, Greece

Internet cafe/hookah bar in Rhodes:

Pompeii ruins:

Positano, Italy:

Caprese salad:

Speaking Italian and negotiating price of tablecloth:


Performance at the bottom of the Spanish stairs in Roma:

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Due to popular demand (KS), here's a smattering of photos from our trip so far:
Gardens in Monaco:




Yalta, No Malta with Edith & Ron

Dead Pope:

K's favorite view:

Espresso in Nice:

Graffiti in Florence (we didn't do it):

Patio at our hotel in Roma:

Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast:

Sorrento fruit and vegetable stand:

Leaving Roma:


Lunch at Dona Sophia in Sorrento (Sophia Loren's favorite restaurant)

We're in our fifth country today: Greece. Rhodes to be specific. Those of you with good memories, will know that Paul was shipwrecked around here. Understandable after a rough night on the sea last night.

Hot and Sunny and having a great time!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Yalta? No, Malta

So, this morning we docked in Malta. We had breakfast on the ship with a very proper British couple...Ron and Edith. John totally embarrassed himself (don't worry, he'd agree) by saying something like, `wasn't Malta where Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin signed something?' Ron and Edith let him know he had Malta confused with Yalta. Way to go, Yankee.

After that we set off on our adventure through Malta. We walked off the ship and were going to get a cab and I suggested we share with someone (save the Euros, you know?) We turned around and who was there to share with but Ron and Edith. Our driver's name was Charlie Tuna. No, seriously. Not spelled that way, but that's how you pronounce it. Ron and Edith spent the time in the taxi between stops educating us about World War II. It really was fascinating to hear from their perspective as Ron was 15 and Edith 9 at the end of the war.

Charlie Tuna took us to the old town of Mdina. Unlike anything else we've seen on this trip. Yes, Kingsley...I took photos. There is nothing green in Mdina. Only stone buildings, tiny stone alleys, and stone streets. Ron tried to get us into a clock maker's shop, but the clock maker was so over the British rule. He wouldn't let us in.

After this we're back onto the ship for an early departure and tomorrow's a day of sailing the sea. I hesitate to tell you all this because I know you'll think I'm bragging, but tonight John has booked the couple's moonlight massage for us on the private deck of the spa. Doesn't that sound romantic? He'll probably fall asleep and start snoring.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Buon giorno de Sicilia

Ciao! We are in Sicily for the day. Docked in Taormina, took a cab up the hill and here we are. I asked the cab driver "dove la casa de la nonno"...where is the Godfathers house. He laughed. Good thing he found it funny, yes?

Yesterday we had lunch on top of a hill in Sorrento overlooking the Amalfi coast. It was breathtakingly beautiful. To say we had lunch doesnt do it justice. There were 12 of us and the owner-proprietor just kept bringing more and more food out family style. The highlight was a platter of grilled seafood about 2 feet in diameter. Delicioso.

On to more adventures for week 2 of John and Kathryns excellent adventure.

(sorry for the lack of apostrophes...cant find the right key on this Italian keyboard)

Friday, August 15, 2008

John-Boy Edwards - Accepting the Father of the Year Award 2007

Hmmmm....almost exactly nine months before his Baby Mama gave birth to John-Boy's love child.

"Your children learn not only from what you say, but what you do." J-B E.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bonjours du Monaco et Nice

Today we're in Monaco. The casino is closed until 2:00pm, so we took the train to Nice. Beautiful beaches. Beautiful people. Beautiful yachts. For all those who are wondering, I finally gave into my shoe obsession (yes, Shoe Addict!) and bought a pair of sandals in a shop in Monte Carlo. Tres bien. Set sail tonight at 9pm. Tomorrow we're in Florence/Pisa. Checking out (the) David.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Biongiorno de Genoa

Ciao! Couldn"t tender into Portofino due to high squalls (sounds horrible, doesn"t it?). Not so bad, as an alternative anchored at port in Genoa which I actually think I like better. Very authentic. Birthplace of Christopher Columbus. While Gian (John) gets his beard trimmed, I stopped into this internet cafe to update all of you.

Started the am off with massages, then breakfast overlooking the sea. Now on our Genoa adventure. Will search for some duomos et museos.

Ah, yesterday, we FINALLY found Jan W"s requested gift in Vatican City. 3 tries, but success at last. Yes, there"s a story there. Nearly missed our shuttle to the cruise ship, but our cab driver understood my request for "muy rapido per piachere" and we sped through the streets of Rome like James Bond.

By the way, gas here in excess of $10 per gallon. Have not seen a single SUV on this trip. Sign of changes for the Estat Unite? Everyone here in smart cars, mini coupes, etc.

Hope everyone is well and the weather isn"t too hot.

Arrivederci for now.

Monday, August 11, 2008

En Roma!

Arrived yesterday at 6:30am (11:30pm CST). Spent yesterday on a tour of the city with our guide Giancarlo. Multi bene. Limone gelato on the top of the Spanish stairs followed by a nice nap.

Dinner last night on a patio overlooking Roma. Beautiful as the sun set. Magnifico! John says it was the best meal he's ever had...also the most expensive meal he's ever had.

This morning we made it to the Vatican and St. Peter's Basilica. This afternoon we tour the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel. Going by the gift shop on a mission for my friend Jan W. Pray that we're successful.

Hope all is well in the states.

P.S. Giancarlo said my Italian is excellente and my accent is marveloso!

Friday, August 8, 2008

10 questions for John-Boy Edwards now that he's confessed to his "liason" with baby mama

First the text of John Edwards' statement on his affair:

"In 2006, I made a serious error in judgment and conducted myself in a way that was disloyal to my family and to my core beliefs. I recognized my mistake and I told my wife that I had a liaison with another woman, and I asked for her forgiveness. Although I was honest in every painful detail with my family, I did not tell the public. When a supermarket tabloid told a version of the story, I used the fact that the story contained many falsities to deny it. But being 99 percent honest is no longer enough.

"I was and am ashamed of my conduct and choices, and I had hoped that it would never become public. With my family, I took responsibility for my actions in 2006 and today I take full responsibility publicly. But that misconduct took place for a short period in 2006. It ended then. I am and have been willing to take any test necessary to establish the fact that I am not the father of any baby, and I am truly hopeful that a test will be done so this fact can be definitively established. I only know that the apparent father has said publicly that he is the father of the baby. I also have not been engaged in any activity of any description that requested, agreed to or supported payments of any kind to the woman or to the apparent father of the baby.

"It is inadequate to say to the people who believed in me that I am sorry, as it is inadequate to say to the people who love me that I am sorry. In the course of several campaigns, I started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic. If you want to beat me up feel free. You cannot beat me up more than I have already beaten up myself. I have been stripped bare and will now work with everything I have to help my family and others who need my help.

"I have given a complete interview on this matter and having done so, will have nothing more to say."

I'm not a reporter, but here are my questions....

1) Who is paying the baby mama $15,000/month and why?
2) Why would John-Boy sneak into a hotel in the wee hours of the night to see the baby mama and baby? Then when confronted by reporters hide in a bathroom?
3) Why wait to make a statement until democratic party leaders give you an ultimatum?
4) 2006? Don't believe it.
5) Why not sue the National Enquirer for any falsities? Surely being the crackerjack litigator he purports to be, he'd win (assuming the National Enquirer truly is false)
6) How long before the mainstream media gets a clue and realize it's up to the public to make judgments about actions? We're way beyond allowing the msm to decide what is news. Power to the people.
7) What difference--I repeat, what difference--does it make if his wife was in remission from cancer? In my opinion, that statement alone proves what a lowlife John-Boy is.
8) Did you really just become narcissistic and egocentric after a couple of campaigns? I doubt that such a character flaw was developed in the last few years.
9) Do you really promise to have nothing more to say? Oh please, let that be the one truthful thing in this statement.
10) Do you think that saying you "didn't love" the baby mama Rielle Hunter it makes your whole sordid ordeal somehow better?

Isn't this precious?

This is my mom when she was a little girl. I never realized how much my son looks like her until I saw this picture.