Thursday, September 30, 2010

Keep Your Fantasies To Yourself!


Today's guest blogger: Michael "Gooch" Juenger
Celeb Status: HUGE!

Gooch is expecting a baby GIRL any moment, she'll be named Jessica.. Awwwww

First and foremost I would like to apologize to anyone out there who plays these “games”. After all, it is not you that decides I am not taking part in all of this “non time consuming” (so you say) collaboration of pro-athlete all-stars in a stadium/arena/field of make believe. Now don’t get me wrong I like watching sports, I don’t get crazy like some people, but I like to watch. I even sometimes enjoy talking about the game the next day at work, or other social event. Those conversations usually end about 5 to 10 minutes after the highlights are hit.

Back to fantasy sports… I’m going to pick on football since that just started.. I have been asked multiple times if I wanted to join in on the fantasy extravaganza. I’ve been told, "you don’t have to follow it too closely and there’s not much work that you have to put in." I then attended a fantasy football draft (after I had already disagreed to playing). Ridiculous is the one word that came to mind.. well, really there was another word that came before that but we’re going to keep this clean folks. There were papers, charts, graphs, diagrams, spreadsheets, folders, dry-erase boards; I think I even saw some binders that probably held a dissertation on the art of fantasy sports. I’m pretty sure you need to have some kind of knowing of what’s going on there. That seems like a little more preparation than oh say making dinner or even researching what kind of TV I would get to watch these magnificent sports games on. Not to mention, the draft itself. I’m pretty sure it was an all day affair. Even after the draft itself was over, hours were spent talking about what went on. Then you have to decide on who’s “playing” and who’s riding the pine pony. You have to decide if you want to take someone’s offer to trade. I’m counting the work hours of consideration and thoughts this is taking already.

That’s what makes this whole thing a bigger pain than what it really is. Maybe I don’t understand the necessity because I refuse to take part in this. You never stop talking about what’s going on. “Who won last night?” “Who’s in first place?” “Can you believe so and so is trading this person?” “You should bench this guy and play that guy; he’s on a hot streak.” “I had 125 points sitting on the bench because I didn’t get online and make a switch.” This gets to be more than just water cooler talk and can last upwards of 30 to 45 minutes.. while more and more people surround your desk, each talking louder than the other, because you sit by Mr. Fantasy who started the conversation in the first place. Back to the point at hand, as this is not about where I sit at work, that’s a whole other story.. It’s great that you want to pretend you’re the manager of this amazing team you dreamed up one day, but how much do you have to talk about it. I mean some people host a party to select your dream team, how about you have a weekly meeting where you can get it out of your system. Go to a bar, have the boys over for a barbecue, find somewhere else to talk about this other than work day after day. Although I appreciate the bump in my stats from having to pick up your slack, I don’t want to have to do extra work from you lallygagging around in your dreamland.

NEWS FLASH: the "DREAM TEAM" has already been established.. it's called TEAM USA.. duh.. (not to be confused with the Mighty Ducks).
Thanks, Goochers! You da Man.
DISCLAIMER: Jill and Mike are expecting. However, they are keeping the sex of the bundle of joy a secret. It may not be a girl, and "Jessica" is not on their list.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Tonight is the night!


We love you!
Michelle passed away Sept. 12, 2010
Her perseverance, positive attitude and kind spirit will live on through all of us.
Tonight, we celebrate Michelle.

Where: O'Fallon VFW

When: Doors open at 6pm, music starts at 7pm!

Look forward to: Door prizes, DJ and Dancing, Silent Auction, Live Auction, Mostaccioli Dinner, including bread and salad! Free Keg Beer, Soda and Snacks!

You're welcome to: BYOB, snacks, and FULL WALLETS to bid on the amazing items being auctioned!

Get in the raffle to win a 46" Flat Screen, LCD screen TV.. we have TWO, which means.. yep, you guessed it! TWO WINNERS!
  • $5 for 1 ticket
  • $20 for 5 tickets
Get in the raffle to win a pair of FABULOUS patio rockers!
  • $1 for 1 ticket
  • $5 for 6 tickets
Hold your horses for the following items that will be auctioned LIVE: 50" Samsung Plasma TV, 32GB iPad, SAM ADAMS Smoker, Brand Spankin' New Cleveland Golf Bag.. to name a few because I can't remember them all!

So far we have raised over $11,000!

Come enjoy the party! Wear your dancin' shoes!
Contact yours truly for questions!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Gory Details

In honor of SWEEPS WEEK and the return of Grey's Anatomy.. I'd like to dedicate this post to my first... well, probably like my third love.. Blood, guts, scabs, scars and compound fractures..

For every one's sake.. This will be a condensed version.. complete with injury, approximate date, and favorite memory/short story about said injury. No pictures for all you weenies!! Oh, I'm excited!

  • First Head Injury: Weapon: Kitchen Counter. Stitches: Absolutely! My cranium chipped a pretty impressive piece of laminate! And the counter top was left that way until it was replaced in 2001.. I think.. as a tribute to me! Thanks, Mom!
  • Second Head Injury: Lost my legs getting out of the shower, hit my brain stem on the tracks that the shower doors slide in.. no stitches necessary.
  • Not Quite A Head Injury: Culprit: Superglue. This one deserves details!--I was helping my dad fit his bowling balls.. sandpaper, superglue and scissors.. a recipe for disaster! I superglued my finger to my cheek, pieces of hair to my cheek and my eyelashes to my eyebrow.. And once Dad noticed, he did what any great dad would do.. he pulled my finger from cheek and told my mom to take me to the hospital. After all, Dad had just been there with me the week before (See above, "Second Head Injury")!
  • So Glad It Wasn't My Head: I shut my whole hand in Dad's car door. However, there was no mess.. just a small puncture wound! Nothing a Cookie Monster band-aid couldn't fix! I went to the hospital eventually, had to splint my wrist in an extended position and butterfly the wound closed. I was very cool at day-care the next day! This was my first memorable scar.
Circa 1990

  • William Shat-ter (get it?): I was sitting next to an old(er) entertainment center.. the magnetic glass door shattered all over my outstretched left leg.. immediately I started to cry because I thought my dad would be mad at me! I remember being ok, once I wasn't in trouble. Then, all of a sudden, there was blood everywhere! It was beautiful! I was totally impressed by myself! I made mom get the camera!
  • Windy Recess: In first grade, just got in from recess.. had something in my eye. Mrs. Bateman sent me to the nurse. Mrs. McKibbin (nurse) called Mom, we went to the hospital. I had very small piece of metal embedded in my cornea (Protective cover over the blue).. This was my first experience with anesthesia.. it wasn't pretty.. but Tuggie was there to protect me, along with Mom and Dad. I think it was about a 5 minute procedure. And I didn't even need a patch! Lucky for me, next day at school was show-n-tell. I brought the piece of metal.

Somehow, I managed to play it pretty safe the rest of Elementary School and throughout Middle School.

There were the occasional rolled ankles, blistered hands and feet, but nothing needing staples.. unless I'm forgetting something? Perhaps a third head injury?

  • First Broken Finger: Left pinky. Sport: Basketball. Diagnosis: Mallet Finger. See ya later extensors.. had to splint my pinky past 180 degrees, otherwise it would never be straight again! Tear.
  • Second Broken Finger? First Cast: Right thumb. Sport: Soccer. Diagnosis: BUSTED! Unfortunately, my coach tried to pull out the nonexistent jam, ultimately making the initial break worse! Who knew a broken thumb could become more broken! After a full day of soccer, mom picked me up and we went straight to the hospital. I had minimal swelling, couldn't move the thing and here's the kicker.. no bruising. Dr. Otis took an X-ray.. definitely broken, definitely too broken, definitely need surgery to pin the joint. Rats. Getting the pins out is another story. But there are pictures! Oh, and my cast was neon yellow. Perfect for summer!
  • Third Broken Finger: Right Pinky. Sport: Soccer. I pulled this girl's jersey.. there I said it.
  • Lost My Suspenders And My Belt: The ultimate injury to most female soccer players (in some form or another).. Torn ACL, torn Medial Meniscus, torn Lateral Meniscus. Enjoy your Senior year.. FROM THE bench. Piss. It wasn't a total loss, I did pick us up some pretty special guys on our Senior trip to the Bahamas with my bad ass scar. You're welcome.
  • Fourth Broken Finger: Left Pinky. Sport: Basketball. Fortunately, this was the only "real" injury I sustained during my college career.. Injury: Avulsion Fracture.. listen to me and all my science-y goodness.. Golf coach was slightly perturbed. I told her to stuff it.. but not to her face.
  • Bursitis is a Bia Bia: Right Scapula. This inflammation of the bursa sac is no elementary injury.. sounds weak, I know.. But I've never been in so much pain, I thought I busted a rib (or six), I couldn't breathe, sleep or eat.. comfortably.. Thanks to dad for trafficking me some supersonic drugs (muscle relaxers and ibuprofen, don't get carried away)!
I hope Grey's Anatomy is as exciting as that was! Oh Boy!

Friday, September 17, 2010


Some Friday's are just way more crucial than others. And I missed GUEST BLOG THURSDAY, again.. Second Blogger's foul in two weeks, I'm embarrassed.

So let's devote this fabulous Friday to two things: A guest blog from THE Mary Rybicki and a chat about accesories/accessorizing.

See Mare's "Ode to Scarves" below:


I would like to start this by saying, I am not much for the accessory. As cute as they all are, give me a pair of earrings from Wal-Mart and I am set to go. But, over the last year, I have become a HUGE fan of wearing scarves. I am talking ANY kind of scarf. Scarves are the absolute best accessory you can get these days. Not only do they add color to any outfit you wear but they also replace a necklace. They jazz up any outfit.

Working in an office, I am expected to dress business casual/professional. Let me just say, I have stretched the limits on what is considered “business casual”. I have tried every way possible to get away with being as casual as possible without people calling me out. Last year I discovered that I can wear a V-neck t with a scarf and people automatically think it is dressy. It is amazing! I have worn the v-neck without a scarf and my boss makes a comment on my casual attire. Throw a scarf around my neck and he thinks it looks so nice!

Another good use for a scarf is when your shirt/dress is a little bit lower cut than appropriate for an office setting. I have been asked why I am wearing a scarf when it is 90 degrees outside. My response, “I wanted to wear this shirt and it is inappropriate for work”. I usually get a very puzzled look and a head nod. I love that the sole purpose of a scarf is no longer soley to keep your neck warm….

Why are you so dressed up?
I too am a minimal accessorizer.. usually because i forget or am running late, it takes at least 17 extra seconds to run back upstairs and grab a bracelet! Accessorizing isn't easy.. overaccessorizing is.

My favorite these days is a long necklace. From a single chain and chunky charm to a beaded strand, a necklace makes everything better.. I even love wearing a long necklace with a ruffled t or tank.. It might be the J.Crew in me, but I just love it! So RIGHT NOW.

Tank + Necklace

Similar Tank + Scarf

Necklace + Ruffles

Necklace + More Ruffles

Not bad, eh?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Over Labor Day weekend, Mom and I went to Texas for our annual reunion with the Merenda's.

The Merenda's.. consisting of Jeanne, Sam, John and Julie, lived two houses down from us/my parents until like 1996.. when they moved to Dallas. They were definitely an original and vital part to our very exclusive cul-de-sac clique.

Mom and I had a great time! We arrived Friday evening, Jeanne was waiting for us right outside baggage claim! We got in the car and headed to our home for the next 3 days. When we got to the house, we were greeted by Libby and new puppy, Maizy.



We dropped our bags, slipped off our shoes and headed to the kitchen for some eats and drinks. First order of business.. the traditional shot of something (this time, Lemon Drop).. cheers-ing to friends, fun and The Hills (NOT the TV show). We made our way to the patio for some much needed catching up.. getting the who's, what's, when's, where's and how's of the past year!

Saturday morning, after yours truly FINALLY woke up, we cleaned up and made our way to see Julie's new house! It's gorgeous, of course, and was looking quite home-y! Julie is a young, hot mama, married to Cory and has two adorable boys.. Jake, 4 and Cole, 2. After visiting Julie and the boys we made our way back to Jeanne's for an afternoon at the pool! We put on our floppy hats and SPF and filled our pretty little heads with all the celeb gossip we could get our hands on!

Sun Goddesses
Sam arrived home from a hunting trip Saturday mid-afternoon. Just in time to take us girls out to dinner! We ate at Rock Fish and it was delicious! Don't worry, Ben and Jerry's was right next door, perfect for a little dessert!

Sunday morning we met Karin, another former neighbor that migrated to Dallas, for breakfast at Old West.. this place was packed! After breakfast, Jeanne, Mom and I roamed around Old Grapevine! What a GREAT place! Grapevine neighbors Flower Mound and Old Grapevine is their historic district, in case you couldn't figure that out! We popped in every shop along Main Street, wreaking havoc on most stores and store owners. Our last stop on Main Street was Willhoite's, a gas station turned restaurant and bar. Definitely a hot spot for our "biker" friends. Also, visited by Bonnie and Clyde!

See the old gas pump front and center?

After conquering main street, we moved on to Arlington for some more shopping! We emptied our pockets at Shepler's (Hello! Red Cowboy Boots!) and headed home to recharge for the evening! We spent our last night in Texas at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center (Official Hotel of the Dallas Cowboys! HOLLER!). Jeanne, Julie, Mom and I had a delicious dinner at Texan Station.

Looking up from the very center of the Gaylord Texan.

We caught a plane home Monday morning. Another successful trip!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It's not Goodbye.. It's see you in October, November, February, March and probably April

She's number 18 in your programs, and #1 in our hearts. No, not me..

People always get Buss mixed up with Mariah Carey.
She's BUSS.. does anyone know her first name??

Buss is our best friend. She's the wind beneath our wings, the peanut butter to our jelly, the ranch dressing to my tuna casserole, she's the "I'm" to my "bored"... She's gorgeous, genuine, kind, hilarious, loveable, generous, trustworthy, humble, smart.. what's a synonym for hilarious?

Buss is the life of the party, and not even on purpose... she has this magnetic personality oozing with charisma, she's borderline irresistable.. not to mention a great joke teller.. have you heard this one?

"What's the difference between an orange?"

Buss came to us (St. Louis) in October-ish of 2009.. Obviously, with a very warm reception.

Here is my tribute in pictures and words.. to Buss, Busta, Bussie, Buster, Busta Rhymes, Neebs.. err.. Sarah??? No, that doesn't sound right...

In no particular order.. obviously..

Shauna came to town! After being deported from Amsterdam, is that a secret??

L to R: Buss, Jill, Shauna, Mary, Emily, Abby
Buss certainly went to her fair share of St. Louis Cardinals games. If she wasn't a fan before, she certainly is now! And a damn good one!

Ahhh.. the Roommates.. 

Buss is everyone's preferred 3rd Wheel: Buss, Jill and Mike.. forever.
We're all big soccer fans.. If you don't wake up at 3am to catch the games LIVE, then you suck.

Buss and Emily cheering on Spain, World Cup 2010 Final.
Lucky for these two, and really for all of us.. the Final match is played early afternoon.
Play date or Book Club???

Kimmy, Claire and Ava, Emily, Buss, Jill, Jackie, Mary, Molly and Abby
Buss's signature artwork, this is generally how she leaves her mark.

This one left in sidewalk chalk..
The ladies of Xanadu, our HHI traveling, sleeping, eating, swimming, tanning, dancing, boring group!

Jill, Mary, Me, Buss, Emily and Kim
Where is this one? Are you quacks at a bar?? On a Monday night!

Quacks: Buss, Jax, Sara, Leslie
I wouldn't have changed my seat for anything.. except money..

With the luggage: Me, Buss and Emily
And so I leave you/us with this:
"It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

See you soon!!

Happy Hump Day!

Friday, September 3, 2010


It's the hottest thing since Thirsty Thursday! (It's not really that hot at all.. and I stole that bit from WYBT and Tyler Riordan.. I haven't beefed in ages.. hmmmmmm I'm thinking WYBT BLOG!!! Ty?)

Today's guest blog comes from, my dear friend, Mary Lou Keith Rybicki.
Show me whatchu got Pretty Mama.

Play-off baseball is right around the corner! Like many of the WONDERFUL St. Louis Cardinals fans, I am hanging on every pitch, swing and out as the season comes to an end.. as well as trying to get down to the stadium to see as many games as possible.

Busch Stadium is one of my favorite places in the whole world! I have said many times, if I could live there, I would. Since the new stadium was built, many people have voiced their displeasure on the design and various other things. I can handle the new stadium and actually really like it. I can handle the $8.75 beers along with all the other expenses that go along with going to a game. I can even tolerate the ignorant fans!

She means Cubs fans..

The one thing that I cannot handle is the Commemorative Bricks all around the stadium! I understand that they are a great money grab, that people will really cherish them, and for the most part.. they look pretty nice. I just feel like there has GOT to be a better time to stand in the middle of the side walk reading EACH brick to find yours!

Seriously, there are 45,000 people all trying to get somewhere and you feel the need to stand with your head down right in my walkway. And what is even better is the person who is walking with their head down trying to find their brick and running into the back of me! It doesn’t help that many of the bricks are in front of the busiest gate of the stadium! Do me a favor, if you have a brick, come to the game late so you aren’t in my way, or leave in the 7th inning, so I do not have to trip over you! Take a picture of it once and be done!

You heard her.

Next time I go to a game with Mary, I'm looking for my brick.. Right in front of her!!! HA!

Thank you, Lou! And I'd like to apologize for being a day first known Blogger Foul.. I'm not proud, but just like my first blemish.. it was bound to happen!