Monday, December 04, 2006

Well, hey. I know that I said I would get back to this blogging business as soon as I finished my actuarial exam, but I guess I was mistaken.

Anyway, I took the first actuarial exam last week, after many many many hours of studying. I won't find out how I did for another six weeks or so, which is obnoxious. The testing was pretty interesting, though, because I got to wear orange earmuffs to block out the ambient sound.

Kville has gotten some winter weather over the past weekend. I have realized that my hotrod doesn't handle the blizzards too well. This was brought to my attention by the fact that my door does not even stay shut when it gets too chilly outside. I had to drive to school holding the door shut, and then tie it to my steering wheel with a shirt so it wouldn't flap open throughout the day!

This week is my last week of classes before finals. I don't see how this semester has flown by so quickly, but I am pretty pleased about the impending Christmas break. I may start up World of Warcraft again over break, since I've been missing it.

Finally, here is a little news from across the world. Fiji has been having some troubles lately, what with the military trying to take over the government. This news hits me pretty hard. I've had this long-term goal to spend a few years living in the Fijian islands with my lady love; we were planning on writing a book about our experiences of living off the land. This turn of events, though, will probably make it trickier for us to pull off that plan.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

New way to shower


I attended my first ever baby shower this past weekend. A girl in my fraternity is having a kid in a few months, and a shower was thrown for her. It was somewhat of an odd experience because only four guys were in attendance. This means we got to gang up together for one of the games (crafting a diaper out of toilet paper), which we lost pretty badly. The rest of the afternoon was quite pleasant, though, and I even won an individual prize!

I'm starting to feel something resembling stress these days as I am coming closer to my first actuarial exam (November 28 is the big day). I have a little over three weeks left to prepare, and my goal is to study at least 2 hours a day. This means that I am cutting back my hours at Domino's, which thrills me to no end. What with this exam, formulating wedding plans, and classes, delivering pizzas is not my highest priority these days. I can't wait until November 29!

Thursday, October 26, 2006


I had to give a presentation in my Cost Accounting class yesterday. My group had to demonstrate the Theory of Constraints, which, if you don't know what that is, is not very exciting. However, we really spiced it up by giving the class an activity to showcase what they had learned. The output of this simulation: Accounting-themed Christmas ornaments! I think that they will be a huge hit in the upcoming holiday season. Here, the lovely Abbie markets some of our product. The "MOH" is an acronym for "manufacturing overhead," and the "COGS" stands for "cost of goods sold." This project was especially useful because now I won't have to do any shopping for Christmas presents!

This week, we had a career fair at Truman, so I got to meet a ton of potential employers. I am feeling pretty excited about my actuarial opportunities after graduation.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

So how 'bout it? How 'bout marryin' me?

Seriously, who in his right mind would not want to marry this lady?
Let's consider a little list of pros and cons about Abbie.
1) Perfect
2) Wonderful
3) Brilliant
4) Beautiful
5) etc.

1) Not very confident at parallel parking
2) That's about it

Basically, everything is stacked in favor of my wanting to be with Abbie all the time. Which is why we decided to get engaged recently. Yep, that's right, we're gonna tie the knot.

In case, by some miracle, you are a reader of this blog who is not already intimately familiar with all my goings-on, here's some background. Abbie and I have been dating for nearly two years, and it has been basically wonderful. We had talked about marriage before, but had always agreed that it would be years before we ever decided anything. Then the travelling started.

Abbie spent last spring--four months!--in Prague, followed almost immediately by a month in Washington, D.C. During these times, we both missed each other so miserably that we realized how important we were in to each other. Upon being reunited, our love for each other grew exponentially, and we very quickly confirmed that we wanted to spend our lives together.
That's when I started concocting secret plans. This past Labor Day, Abbie and I went to her house to pick up some school supplies, and I put the first step of my plan into action: I talked to her father. This wasn't just any old conversation either. It was a real heart-to-heart about my wanting to marry his daughter. Now, in case you are unaware, Mr. Hesse (Abbie's father), is quite mean and sometimes has an unstable temper. He also has won awards in the past for bare-knuckle boxing.* Understandably, I think, I was ridiculously nervous. After all, it's not every day that a fella has to tell another fella that he wants to marry his daughter.
*not actually true

After that step, I moved on to planning the talk with Abbie herself. I decided to scratch my original plan for asking her to marry me on a gondola ride because gondolas are in short supply in Kirksville. So I mused to myself for a while about possible schemes, until finally putting one into action on a chilly Wednesday night, not too long ago.

So here's what I did. On the fateful Wednesday, I had to work at Domino's. I made sure that I would get off early, but I kept calling Abbie to tell her that I was going to be stuck there until late. Then, after getting to go home, I prepared everything and then went to Abbie's house. We had planned on going for a jog that evening, which was when I was going to ask her. Upon my arrival, Abbie began telling me about how it was so cold and icky outside, and how she had a bunch of homework to do still, and that we should just go jogging on a different night. After much discrete cajoling and teeth-grinding, I finally convinced her to take a quick jog.

We headed out toward the football field on campus, where I led her to the uprights. At this location, I had cleverly hidden a love note for her. I imagine she suspicioned what was up right away, but she didn't let on. So we continued on our way, until we discovered another note. You probably get the idea: I had hidden a bunch of notes all around campus and town that she had to find. It was like a little scavenger hunt. At one point, we walked by a local ice cream shop. I thought that some ice cream would really hit the spot, as well as make Abbie more inclined to grant me a favorable answer later. Unfortunately, I didn't have any money on me. Fortunately, I had stopped at this ice cream shop and pre-ordered and paid for a delicious concrete, which they handed over to us during the middle of our jog.

As we neared the end of the hunt, Abbie kept counting up the notes. "22, 22 notes. I wonder how many are left." Uh-oh. At this point in the stroll, Abbie was supposed to have 23 notes! I had skipped right over the note planted at the Farmer's Market site! I decided just to play it cool and hope she didn't notice.
Our last stop was a little playground near my house. This playground has been the site of much revelry for Abbie and me because we used to joust on the playground equipment there. Sadly, we can't do that anymore since they ripped up the jousting equipment, but the park still has a lot of sentimental value. When we arrived there, I led Abbie over to a small pile of flowers and the final love note: "If these reasons haven't been enough to show my love for you, then I will happily write 25, 50, or even 100 more. But if they get my message across..." At this point, I dropped to one knee and pulled out the ring while asking her to marry me. Luckily, she agreed!

Just this past weekend, we told all of our families. They were quite overjoyed about the good news. Now we are in a frenzy of wedding planning since we only have about 8 months until the big day! On June 29 or 30, we will look just like this couple here (except we will be in Vandalia instead of Rome):

You can read Abbie's account of the wonderful events here.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Passing the time

Abbie and I were driving around this weekend for a while, and our conversations eventually dwindled and died. We then rode for a few minutes with an awkward silence until Abbie happened upon a perfect solution. "Let's see who can yell the loudest inside this car," she said. One minute later, our ears were bleeding and no longer functioned, which provided a perfect excuse not to keep trying to make a convo.

This weekend is midterm break (already!), which means I am going home for a few days. Hopefully, this will involve much table tennis and game-playing. I also will get to see my younger brother's football team, which is purported to be decent. We'll see if that's actually true.

Monday, October 02, 2006

An effecient study session

Abbie and I are working on homework right now (at least, I was until I started writing this post). She's been having a stomach ache all day, and I joined her to help comfort her so hopefully she'll feel better.

Just now, Abbie decided to perform some diagnostic work to determine her illness. She started clearing her throat a bunch, and then began gagging. But instead of turning her head slightly to aim for the trash can, she just stuck her hand in front of her mouth. After a little dribble of saliva and stomach acid comes up, she just shrugs and wipes her hand on her jeans. I suppose this is normal behavior if one "just wanted to see if I could puke up some blood."

Edit for people who are foolish: puking up blood is a symptom of ulcers

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Missing: shoes

I just finished taking my very first test of the semester. I've gone about a month without a single test, and now I have 5 in just 6 days. I still consider myself lucky, though, when compared to many of my friends. Just about everyone I know is trying to get into grad school, and right about now is prime grad-school-entrance-exam taking time. Abbie will take the LSAT tomorrow, and I know that her one test is more important than the rest of mine. But I my easy weeks now will come back to haunt me when I have to take 8 actuary exams over the next several years.

About a week ago, my tennis shoes decided not to be in my closet. This baffled me, but I just assumed they'd turn up somewhere, and I wore my older shoes. Time went on, and my shoes still had not appeared. This means that I had been wearing my old tennis shoes with bloodstains (see below) on them for a whole week.
Every time someone has asked me what is covering my shoes, I have tried to make up a new story: I created some roadkill while walking down the sidewalk; I dropped a set of knives on my foot; I dropped some of my loot while robbing a blood bank. Little do these people know that the real story is much more gruesome: I spilled deck stainer on my shoes while staining a deck. Luckily, the deception can finally end, because Abbie's roommate Julie had my regular shoes hidden in her car.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Rome revisited

Not many exciting happenings have been happening lately, so I'm gonna add one last post about my visit to Rome over last spring break.

On the second day in Rome, Abbie and I mostly walked through the ruins and then toured the rest of the city on foot. During one memorable moment, Abbie and I heard music wafting through the city. Looking into the distance, we discovered that a parade was taking place about a mile away. Abbie quickly told me of a parade she had seen in Europe in which ordinary people could walk; they just hopped in line and strolled down the street along with the marching band and the Shriners in their go-karts. Excited about our chance to take part in a parade, we raced through the streets and alleys, always running toward the music.

When we finally arrived on the scene, we exuberantly sprinted out into the street to join the hoi polloi in the parade. About two seconds later, we looked at our co-paraders, listened to the speeches being said, and swiftly exited the street. We had stumbled upon a monstrous Italian Communism parade which was rallying the comrades for the upcoming elections.

Later that night, we wandered through half the city looking for interesting sites. We found one that struck our fancy.
Legend has it that telling a lie while sticking one's hand in the mouth of this Mouth of Truth will cause your hand to be bitten off. Abbie decided to risk it anyway, and you can see that picture here. I was not quite so lucky.

If I already posted about either of these things, then I apologize. I will try harder the next time.

Monday, September 18, 2006


I hope that the title of this post doesn't trick you; I only have one coincidence about which to blog. Today as I was walking out of the bank, I walked into a fella I know named Andrew. I said "Hey" and went on my way. On my bike trip home from the bank, I next encountered a guy in my fraternity named Peter. Again, we exchanged greetings and proceeded on. Next, I arrived at home, only to be welcomed by my roommate Sara. Coincidence? Certainly, after you consider that my three siblings are named Andy, Peter, and Sarah. As an aspiring actuary, I have calculated the odds of this happening, and they are 1 in 231893254.

I guess that I can think of another coincidence. I have had the song "Count It Higher" by Chris and the Alphabeats stuck in my head for the last two days after watching this video four times in a row. I also calculated the odds of this coincidence, and they are "pretty good." For your enjoyment, here is the video. For best results, watch only three times in a row.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

In which I try for some sympathy

I was gonna post a pic of my bloody, gash-ridden feet, but Abbie beat me to the punch, so I stole this from her blog. Zoom in to observe the gore that coats my foot anew with every step.
Update: Chlorine water burns a little on bloody, blistery feet.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

In which Abbie and I are beasts

6 a.m. - Wake up
6:17 - Force myself to open my eyes and actually get out of bed
6:30 - Drive to 1000 Hills for the race
6:52 - Drive back home for a forgotten bike helmet
7:18 - Return to race course
7:19 - Realize I have no socks
7:40 - Ride shuttle to beach before the swimming portion of the race; scare Abbie with my competitive intensity
7:53 - Work up the nerve to enter the 74 degree water
8:03 - Begin swimming8:43 and 1200 meters later - Exit the lake to a crowd of cheering fans and a trio of bagpipers; force Abbie to run with me to the bike corral
8:44 - Worry briefly about the sand coating my feet compounding the lack of socks; begin lengthy bike race with nobody in sight
9:24 - Realize that Abbie and I aren't actually in last place; we are totally smoking a 74-year-old woman
10:01 and 18 miles later - Amid more wild cheering, begin running portion, observe people already finishing the running portion10:04 - Notice that sand in my shoes has begun to chafe
10:22 - Stop to clean out my shoes to absolutely no effect; notice that my feet are bleeding in several places
10:31 - Pass old guy who is barely walking yet still cheers us on
10:35 - Struggle through a wall of exhaustion to hear Abbie ask, "David, do my eyebrows look all right? I don't want them to look bad on the pictures."
10:35:02 - Pretend that I am hallucinating from the tiredness
10:39 - Pass second old guy on lengthy downhill
10:51 - Cross the finish line at a blistering sprint amid much more wild cheering and many photographers

I must say that this triathloning business brought back a lot of fond memories of my racing days. I absolutely love the communal racing atmosphere, and how everyone is so encouraging throughout the day. Another triathlon probably won't be too far distant, I hope. Or maybe a marathon. I feel like I could tackle just about any competition after our performance this morning.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Not as exciting as I had anticipated

Remember that hidden cavern beneath my house? The one housing escaped prisoners and a slew of other vagrants? Apparently they all skipped town before we actually looked around inside, because the only thing in there was a pair of lamps. There were no bloody fights against pirates over buried treasure, not even any large rats. Hopefully my next adventure will be more adventuresome.

Tonight Abbie and I hit up the pool again. This brings our number of swimming practices up to three. Some might say that this is a sure sign of disaster on race day, but I actually am not all that worried about the swim anymore. I discovered tonight that if I get tired, and if I don't mind water in my nose every 15 seconds, I can just coast along on the backstroke.

This week and next week both of my fraternities are having their fall rush. This means that I have multiple mandatory events just about every night on top of my work and homework schedule. Plus, I am planning on joining another fraternity in the next week or two. I don't rightly know when I'm gonna find time even to sleep these days, much less play World of Warcraft, but I'll have to make do.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

something scary enough to drive me back to blogging again

Hello, all. Nice to see you again.

We just had a bloody adventure at my house. I got home from Abbie's, walked in the door, and encountered all of my roommates standing in the kitchen in a serious manner. My "something's amiss" detector went off immediately. My roommate Josh led me over to the water heater in an obscure corner of the kitchen to show me some mysterious light shining through two holes in the floor. Everybody is bewildered by this, and some chalked it to homeless folks, meth dealers, and even the neighbors' running of an underground theater between our house and theirs. I considered these rather unlikely, as I had never heard any sounds emanating from the floorboards before, but the rest of the roommates were still concerned. We decided to investigate. By "we," I mean everyone except Amy (another roommate), who stayed inside with a broom for defense and shouted to us to give her updates through the windows.

I grabbed a knife and a flashlight, Josh picked up a short sword thingy, Sara (the last roommate) armed herself with a cigarette, and we set out to explore the base of the house outside. What did we find? Nothing, at first. Further inspection led us to a door in the side of the house, one which has always been firmly secured to the house so that it doesn't open despite very persistent urging. It looks sort of like this, only much lower quality and less obvious looking. As far as we knew at this point, it led nowhere. Josh and I decided to double check this conclusion, which was quickly disproved by my lifting the door completely away from the house, after which it promptly fell to the ground.

At this point, I'm getting a tad concerned, because these are freaky goings-on. The door's absence didn't reveal a hole in the house, though; a large block of styrofoam-like material was still blocking the doorway. Josh snuck up and shoved his sword into the foam and yanked it out of the doorway, revealing a little hideaway under our house. It's entrance is underneath the stairway that leads to the upstairs of the house. We perused the crawlspace from a safe distance, observing a light shining from some unknown source, several cinderblocks, two new-looking extension cords, and a dirty towel. Sara convinced us that, despite the mace that Amy was offering us through the kitchen window, further exploration would not be in our best interests at present, so we promptly resealed the hole.

Another diagnostic exploration is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. Amy suggested a slumber party in her room tonight because it is the most defensible, but I think we are just contenting ourselves with locking the doors. Hopefully tomorrow's searchings will be more fruitful.

I suppose that'll do it for me for now. Perhaps more awaits as this mystery unfolds.

Monday, June 19, 2006

I'm finished with two weeks of class and work and living alone in Kirksville. Finally. Just last night, my roommate Josh moved into the house, so now I will have some human interaction outside of the Domino's crew. Now don't get me wrong, I like some of my coworkers, but there are only so many times I can make fun of a person for having Hootie and the Blowfish as a favorite band, and only so many conversations I can hear about pimping out a car so it will drive 135 miles per hour before I get bored.

My two classes are going pretty well so far. I have a test already this coming Thursday, so much of my free time this week will actually become slave-over-marketing-book time.

I will have a pretty nice reward after that, though, because I am going home this weekend. As a Christmas present, my parents decided to take my brother and me to see Phantom of the Opera at the Fox Theater, so I get to see that this weekend! I absolutely love this musical, but have never before seen it performed live. As a surprise bonus, my dad's chorus is giving a concert this weekend that I am getting to attend. I will get to stay at home for four or five days, so that will be a nice change of scenery.

In just 12 days, I will be heading back to St. Louis again to pick up my lady friend!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I guess the summer has finally fully started for me. I am in the middle of my first week of class, and it's going pretty well so far. That is to say, nothing much really happens during the first week. I'll let you know how things go when I actually start getting real homework.

I've been working a lot since I got to Kirksville, trying to fill up my empty hours as well as bolster the bank account. Unfortunately, the latter goal may be a bit counterproductive. When I work more, I drive more, which causes one's tires to go flat and one's engine to start making funny noises. I'm having the noises checked out tomorrow, and hopefully it will only be a minor problem.

I hit a bird with my car the other day. Has this ever actually happened to anybody? They are usually so nimble at getting out of the way, but this one apparently was not as talented as its brethren.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

living on my own

I am now back in Kirksville, where I am living all by my lonesome. Where I will be living all by my lonesome for the next two weeks. Where I will not be washing any dishes or cleaning for the next two weeks.

Today, my first full day here, I actually lived like a normal person. At least, as far as waking up while the sun is still climbing. This morning I went to the farmer's market for some groceries before heading to the local table tennis tournament. Now this tournament was no walk in the park. I wasn't too nervous going in, but I certainly was after I noticed that everybody else in my bracket was Asian (how many names on this list are NOT Asian?). But I decided not to drop out immediately, and I played pretty well, and I ended up in very first place! That's right, I beat out two opponents.

I also started up my running tonight. I felt like I was in pretty good shape for a while, but that was before my legs started getting all tingly after about 70 feet. I guess that will go away with some more practice. If not, it's gonna be pretty painful when I start running marathons.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Hey there

It has come to my attention that folks miss my updates, so I will do my best to oblige in the future. I haven't blogged much over the past few weeks because I've been so caught up in doing nothing that blogging just hasn't made it to the top of my list.

So here's what's been going on in my life. I've spent the last three weeks at home, mostly relaxing, and doing some visiting. I spent several days visiting with the lady friend; this time with her was somewhat bittersweet. The sweetness came from the fact that she is rather wonderful, and I can't think of a more fun activity than making up songs for a musical together while jousting on playground equipment, or teaching her to climb trees, or even riding around in a car with her old Uncle Ralph. The bitterness derived from our knowledge that our time together was all-too-brief.

Last week, Abbie left for Washington, D.C., for a 5 week long internship. She's trying to fiddle with the constitution, which makes my proposed summer of delivering pizza to Kirksville's high society seem somewhat mundane. Hopefully, after she returns in July, she won't take off for another long-term vacation again.

Tomorrow I must head back to Kirksville to rejoin the rat race. My duties will involve classes for 6 hours a week, working for 30 hours a week, sleeping for 35 hours a week, and playing WoW for 97 hours a week. Actually, I'm planning on taking up running again as a summer activity, so hopefully I won't waste away in front of a computer the whole time.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


I just finished reading a book that was so exciting that I can't go to sleep now. So here's a quick update on my life.

My parents finally arrived home from England where my dad's barbershop chorus sang some songs. To prepare for their arrival, I had to do all the jobs this morning that I was supposed to be doing all week. Washing dishes for two hours straight is not much of a blast. Also, my sister and her adoring niece visited today, and I have misplaced my glasses.

Soon World of Warcraft will release an update which will completely redefine how I play my mage. Instead of primarily casting fire-based spells with some arcane spells thrown in, I will start using frost-based spells to complement my fire ones. It should make for a pretty exciting time.

All in all, this is a completely worthless post.

Monday, May 22, 2006

In which I am attacked

I visited Abbie in Farber this weekend. The first thing I did was stop by the Van-Far high school where her mother was cleaning out her classroom. A few minutes later, a visitor arrived to meet me. After a few seconds of introduction and small talk, another visitor arrived. Followed by another, and another, and six more! These people surrounded me and all pounced at once! Not only are were about 10 women staring at me, none of whose names I could recollect, they all knew everything about me: my college major, my present job, my current address, my checking account balance... Apparently, shortly after my arrival, Abbie's mother had rushed down the hall alerting everyone in the school that I had arrived. They must not get much excitement in Farber.

Today I went golfing with Abbie and her brother Ryan. That is, Ryan golfed while Abbie and I tried to golf. The only other time I had been golfing I went with my brother Andy, and we only had time to finish four holes before I had to leave. So I wasn't all that good to begin with, obviously. But add in the fact that I golf left-handed, and Ryan only had right-handed clubs for me to use, and you come up with a complete disaster. My main problem was consistency: I had a ton of success driving the cart and putting the ball on the tees, but not much talent at hitting the ball every time I swung at it. Over nine holes, I wound up with a score of 70, which is abysmal. Ryan completely smoked me. I don't know how Abbie would have ended up because, due to time constraints, we were forced to stop her after about a hole and a half.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


So my previous post was apparently a completely unsuccessful and unintelligible experiment. Feel free to disregard it. I have learned the hard way not to push the limits of the blogging world.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


This has bin a pretty rough weak four me. What with playing World of Warcraft awl the thyme, and sleeping fore ten ours a knight, Eye have knot had thyme even two think about blogging. Butt I am taking a brake from my hectic schedule to regale ewe with a tail of adventure.

Aye took a walk last knight to get a breath of fresh err. I had bin pent up inside all day, sew being outside was quite a relief. This peaceful atmosphere wasn't too last, unfortunately. While strolling along, Aye herd a clamor behind a house. I piqued around the corner to assess the situation, but I couldn't sea anything because of all the landscaping. I stole into the yard two get a better look, with howling and screeching awl around.

Suddenly, I was hit! A small dog flying threw the ere maid me its landing pad. Before I could even adjust to this knew development, some shadowy figures chasing the dog pummelled strait into my leg, knocking me to the ground. I rolled away, the dog still clutched in my arms, and stumbled to my feat. The attackers were two apparently bloodthirsty raccoons. I kicked at won, but struck only a glancing blow. The second raccoon took this opportunity to try clawing it's weigh up my leg. I took careful aim and slugged it across the snout, sending it flying. This seemed to weaken there resolve because they broke ranks and fled. The dog also ran away at this point without so much as a "Thank you very much for saving my life. I thought I was a goner." Animals are pretty rude these days.

Oh weight. Did this really happen? No, I'm pretty sure I made this all up. But I'm lichen it more--and it is more exciting--than my alternate adventure story: Making a Burrito in the Microwave.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Well readers,

It appears that I have neglected you for some time. I had a pretty rough week and was unable to devote much time to the blogging. But you may be pleased to learn that my semester is finally over, and I will be hopelessly devoted to you for at least a few days.

Abbie finally came home on Thursday! In case you were somehow unaware, I haven't seen her in about 2 months, so it was quite nice to see her again. Despite my trepidation, conversation luckily flowed like...something, so it appears that we are still in love.

I visited Abbie's house for the last two days. Today, her brother ran the hurdles in his district track meet, so we got to see that. I haven't been to a high school track meet since my own high school days, and all the memories flooded back. The atmosphere at track and cross country meets can't be duplicated anywhere.

Now I am back at home again. I will be here for a relaxing three weeks or so before heading back to grueling Kirksville. Goals for these coming weeks: none.

This post is dedicated to Andre the Giant, because I'm watching him in "The Princess Bride" right now.Andre, you will always be an all-star.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Finals are starting this week. Ugh. Today I only had one, but tomorrow I have two more, and my last two are on Thursday. And the worst part about this is that I am having quite a bit of trouble motivating myself to do anything worthwhile, like, oh, studying perhaps. That's a bad combination, I reckon.

The good news is that this week is ending spectacularly. Abbie is finally returning from gallivanting abroad! She is arriving on Thursday and visiting Kirksville on Thursday night! It will be glorious having her back in the country.

And now I must continue cramming for accounting. I will try my utmost to post again on the morrow, but don't hold your breath.

Friday, May 05, 2006


So Kirksville isn't really catching on to this whole "summer weather" fad. El Salvador is going to have 100+ temperatures in the next few days, and our temperature here dipped into the frigid 40s last night. I don't know why this town is so behind the times. It may be time for some more of that global warming stuff.

We finally cut our grass yesterday. Here are some before and after shots. This is before:
And this is after (we also planted some trees and built a fence; we were feeling ambitious yesterday):
Last night at Domino's, my coworker Chris kept talking about his impending participation in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. It really brought back memories from my younger, harsher days. But I've promised not to go back down that path. I've left too many broken men in my trail.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

As promised, here are the final flameball pictures. As you can see, it is intense action that the whole family can enjoy. As you can also see, my shorts are way too big in this picture. Last night while I was delivering pizzas, I encountered people in walking in the road about 23 times. What is it about Kirksville that makes people see a car and say, "Hey, I'm gonna try to kill myself right now, or at least create an inconvenience and increase this guy's delivery time"?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


This past weekend was pretty much amazing. Phi Sigma Pi had family day on Saturday, so my parents made a visit to town. The trip was fraught with vocabulary and grammar discussions. Even better, I played boggle and sudokus for over four hours on Saturday! How huge of losers are we? The folks stayed until Sunday morning, and left after brunch. It was a very relaxing visit.

On Friday night, the real excitement took place. Some friends and I played....FLAMEBALL! If you are worried that this game is as dangerous as it sounds, you are completely justified. Flameball involves soaking a tennis ball in gas, like so:
Then, somebody lights it on fire.The final step is playing catch with the flameball. I have a couple more pictures I want to add about this step, but I can't because blogger is being crazy right now. I'll put them up later this afternoon, hopefully.

But really, flameball is not all that risky. Apart from all the hair that has been burned off from my forearm, I suffered no ill effects. Our high-quality homemade gloves protect us from harm.

Saturday, April 29, 2006


For only 8 euros, you can taste croutons in Rome.There really was no purpose to this post.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


My roommate Laura is in a sign language class. For this class, she has to sign the lyrics to Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" tomorrow, so here I am watching her practice and listening to the song, when suddenly my other roommate Sara bursts through the door.

"We're being attacked!" she cries out. Startled and wary, we follow her into the kitchen where a heart-stopping sight met our eyes. A two-inch-long Bumblebee is buzzing around in our ceiling light (please note that "Bumblebee" is capitalized to denote its power and ferocity). So Laura and I suit up for battle, developing a strategy for defense and finding makeshift flyswatters to combat this freak of nature, with Neil Diamond's egging us on in the background.

It turns out, though, that Bumblebees are not very adept at escaping from light fixtures. After poking the light for a few minutes to coax the Bumblebee out, we gave up. So now this insect on steroids is hanging out in our kitchen. Well fortified. Just waiting to pounce. If I don't blog again in the next few days, you can assume that the Bumblebee has struck again.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Pulling teeth

Last weekend, I read some children's books to kids at the local library. When I say "kids," I mean one girl who clearly had been forced at gunpoint to go to the library, which is, of course, the most boring place for a 10-year-old to visit in all of Kirksville. This girl was so uninterested The Amazing Bone that, despite the tension in the story (knife-wielding highwaymen!) and my brilliant storytelling abilities, she never once changed her blank stare; I didn't even get so much as an eyebrow raised in anticipation.

At the height of the excitement, I asked her what she thought would happen next. "I think the pig is going to be pushed into the oven" was the merriest response I could get out of her.

Everyone should read The Mysteries of Harris Burdick.

Speaking of mysteries, this is the kind of email I get from my loving sister.

busy again

You may have noticed that I barely updated last week. I think I figured out why this happened: last week was really easy. I only had class on three days, and nobody was willing to give any tests or have papers due, so I basically didn't do work. There was nothing forcing me to procrastinate by blogging, so I didn't. But this week, I have three tests, a paper due, and a 30-minute presentation to prepare for next Monday, so look for more consistent blogging.

Now that I have resolved to blog, it seems that nothing interesting has been going on lately. So you get a story.

A couple of months ago, I was cleaning out my room for some reason. I found a long-forgotten disposable camera that I had received on the night of my high school graduation. Developing it led to a trip down memory lane...

...which I will not recount.

But I did come across one gem. This picture is of a freshman-year Abbie taking a picture of herself in a mirror while holding a sign that says "Hello, David."
Apparently I had loaned her my camera and she snuck this picture in. The crazy thing about this whole deal is that she took this picture shortly after we first met, when she still thought I was a heartless Republican and I still thought she was a crazy hippie. And I didn't find it until after we had been dating for over a year. If I were a crazy hippie, I might be inclined to believe that Fate played a hand in this...

Saturday, April 22, 2006


I purchased World of Warcraft (WoW) many months ago. WoW is a fantasy-oriented online computer game that involves quests and magic and medieval weaponry, which is right up my alley. This game is one of the most fun computer games I have ever played. The world in which it is played is so vast that one could never really explore everything there is to do.The goal of WoW is...well...I guess there isn't much of a goal except to be good at it. There is no real end to the game, although there is a level cap. Each character levels up over time, and level 60 is the highest anyone can currently attain. This is only done by the really, really, really, really good players.Last night, my mage, Mageroth, reached level 60. I accomplished this feat in just under 336 hours of playing. And I can easily see myself playing another 336 hours with just this one character. If you want a fun activity to help you pass the time, get WoW. I'll even take you on some quests, if you want.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Easter weekend

Here are a couple highlights from my Easter weekend, since I am too tired to give you the full version.

My niece Emma and I jumped on the trampoline several times. She would say"wosie!" which means "I would like to play 'Ring Around the Rosie,' if you please." We would ring around a bit and then all fall down, and immediately, while she was still flopping around, she would go "More wosie!" That kid is bloody demanding, and I could barely handle it!

On Sunday during a candy hunt for my little cousins, my 18-year-old brother Peter ran around trying to find everything. At the end, he proudly proclaimed, "I could have totally dominated that hunt!" Nobody believed him.

I tried out the new ping-pong paddle grip that Eddie taught me, and I liked it pretty much. It basically makes me even more better than Peter than I was before. "More better"? Can I use that phrase legitimately?

Um...what else? I won second prize in a poker tournament. I also ate a lot of ham and turkey. The eating was more exciting than winning the $8 in poker.

Man, this is boring. I apologize. Good night.


I have lately noticed an unfortunate development: my keys jingle when I walk much more than they should. I think they make more noise than the keys of even the most powerful janitor, and this likely has the effect of decreasing my stealth while walking around. The only reasonable solution for this problem is to make or buy a completely soundproof bag to hold my keys when they aren't being used. If you have one or want to knit one and give it to me, I will use my subsequent increased stealth not to attack you.

Sarah hit me with this tag, so I guess I'll fill it out.
Six weird qualities or habits I have:
1. I want a soundproof bag to hold my keys.
2. I can't resist walking on the curb next to a sidewalk or street whenever one is available.
3. I say things like "up with what I put," all in the name of proper grammar.
4. Sometimes I wish that people would break into song and dance as if my life were a musical.
5. I think that canes and suspenders need to become mainstream accessories because they are so cool.
6. I always do my best not to accelerate up hills while driving so I won't waste gas.
7. My sister has worms living in her basement.

I am tagging the following people, and they had best comply!
Chick in the Czech
I Don't Suffer Fools
Life on the Edge

Sunday, April 16, 2006

hello again

So I haven't updated in awhile. I promise I will remedy that situation in the near future. I also promise that that future won't take place either today or tomorrow, because I am at home and am busy. Deal with it, please.

Monday, April 10, 2006

In which stealth is utilized

Sometime during the next several weeks, Kirksville is having bulky trash pickup. I don't know exactly when this is taking place, but it's gonna be HUGE when it does happen. People around town have been preparing for weeks by setting all their junk out on the streets. This is especially cool when refuse blows into the streets during the middle of a storm and I get to test my reaction speed and driving control by dodging it all.

Today, my friend Amy discovered an interesting piece of garbage: a table/counter/bar/cupboard, just lying on the side of the road. Despite the fact that this is discarded rubbish, she declared that my roommates and I need it for our house. So just now, we all piled into a truck and snuck up to the house that threw this treasure away. After carefully loading it, with utmost sneakiness, we were just about to make our clean getaway when the owner drove up and accosted us. Fortunately, we were able to sweet talk our way out of the jam: "But it's not yours anymore; you threw it away!"

Now, what in the world are we supposed to do with this thing?

Friday, April 07, 2006

Hanging out with Benedict

This will hopefully conclude my Eurotrip posts since I have been back in the country for almost three weeks and still haven't finished them. Abbie covered some of this already, but that is irrelevant.

Our first task upon arriving in Rome was to find the hostel. Abbie is so adept with public transportation in Prague that we were pretty confident that we could pull this off. Unfortunately, the Italians run some hard-to-use buses. After riding a crowded train and subway for about an hour, we boarded this bus that sounded like it was about to explode any second. Some guy on the bus somehow knew exactly which hostel was our destination, so he starts giving me directions in difficult-to-understand English. I thought I heard something about 3 stops and a bridge and some other rambling before he got off the bus.

In about three stops we alight from the bus, looking around for the highway crossover that our directions mention which also happens to be nowhere in sight. Undaunted, we forge ahead on foot. Daunted, we noticed that the sidewalk ended in about 20 feet. Oh, did I mention it was pouring rain? This is the time that I discovered that Italy is not the most beautiful country while you are edging down the highway in the pouring rain with cars zipping by two feet away and suitcase wheels that get caught in potholes. We finally found the place before we turned in to roadkill or ended our relationship out of crippling frustration.

The next day, we braved the buses again to visit the Vatican. The five block long line was totally worth it for we got to become secret service agents. This was a little intense because, in the course of 20 minutes, we foiled three assassination attempts and helped an old lady cross the street. When we finally got inside, the artwork was not bad, I suppose. I mean, I have a better looking painting than this in my very own room, but I guess that Michelangelo fellow wasn't too bad.We strolled through the museums and chapels there for a few hours and got lost looking for the Sistine Chapel. At the end of our time here was the fateful Breaking of the Camera, about which you can read here.

We then saw the Basilica, which was pretty awesome. The best part about this place was the guards all walking around. They looked pretty fierce.

After this, a little walking around the city seemed to be in order, so that's what we did. All of the walking was pretty exhausting, so we stopped a couple of times for some footrubs.
Well, I didn't finish all the Rome stuff as I had intended. I should probably hire somebody who can churn out these posts more quickly than me. Anybody interested? I will pay you in high fives.

In which I am sleepy

What's up, readers? I was planning to regale you with my tale of international espionage and adventure in rome-antic Italy, but I have decided against it. I left the house this morning at 8:40 a.m., and I finally returned 30 minutes ago, at 1:15 a.m. I think that sleep would be in my best interest right now. Perhaps tomorrow will be the day.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


During the wee hours of yesterday morning, something crazy happened. At two minutes and three seconds past one a.m., the time read 01:02:03 04/05/06. If you think that this is a sign of the end of the world, you are obviously wrong. And if you missed it, don't worry. You can see it again in a hundred years or so.

Tonight I played kickball with Phi Sigma Pi folks. I learned a few things from this experience.
1) I am not in shape. My huffing and puffing started before I made it even to first base. I used to be able to run a mile in 4:48. Tonight I was able to muster an around-the-bases time of roughly 7:23. This is a bad start for my marathon training this summer.
2) Shoes are sometimes useful, and sometimes not. Times when they're not useful: when one is kicking a kickball and the shoes are tied very loosely. This can cause one's shoe to fly off the foot and travel farther than the ball before hitting somebody in the head. Fortunately, this caused enough of a distraction that I was safe even after 7:23 of running to first base.
Times when shoes are useful: when one is kicking a kickball with painful ingrown toenails and when one is kicking a thorn-encrusted branch that is cleverly hiding in the shadows.
3) Climbing trees makes for good times.

I think that this post needs some spice, so here you go.I'm getting pretty hungry right now, so I'm going to bed before I eat all the food in the house.

Monday, April 03, 2006


Thank you, Laura Runge and Amy Wessel, for so often providing wonderful photography. You ladies are pretty rockin'.

In which much cutting is done

Yesterday was pretty jam-packed with non-stop excitement. First, I directed runners at a 5K race. I really love going to races. Even though I wasn't competing and I haven't run competitively in years, my stomach still got a little clench of nervousness when the race started.

After that, I chilled a little bit, then went to work cleaning out the yard of some old folks in Kirksville. This was sort of a disaster since there was so much to do and insufficient equipment.

But after that is when the real action started. Take a look at this picture.
Apart from thinking, "Hey, that guy looks pretty darn friendly," you are probably thinking, "Hey, that guy's hair looks pretty darn like an unruly shrubbery." This clearly problematic hairiness met its match yesterday in my friend Amy.

A little background on Amy's haircutting experience: she has none. So why would I let this girl attack my head with dozens of whirring blades? 1) It was free. 2) Amy wanted the experience. 3) Clearly, any sort of haircut would be an improvement upon the shrubbery.

Here is Amy weilding the hair clippers with her apparently naturally steady, semi-precise hands.
This haircut was quite an ordeal. No fewer than six people were involved, either with cutting, receiving the cut, or critiquing. But after about 45 minutes, this is how it looked. Not too bad, I have to say. Luckily, I had a more fortunate outcome than my good friend Calvin.

As if this weren't enough coolness for one day, there's more coming. Immediately following the haircut, my good friend Scottie and I went to a local table tennis club for what turned out to be a pretty intense training session.

Scott and I were the only people there other than the coach, Eddie. He really seemed to know his table tennis, since he talked of little else. And apparently, I don't know my table tennis, since he corrected my methods just about non-stop while Scott was practically ignored. (Maybe Eddie was enthralled by my new hairdo) My grip, my stance, my arm extensions, my paddle all need modification, it seems. I appreciated the input from someone who is obviously knowledgable, but I felt bad every time he would tell me something and I couldn't implement it correctly. I'll keep you updated if I go back again.

There was one last event of note, and it involved a lot of deviousness. My roommates and I threw a surprise birthday party for Amy, the haircutting lady. This was no easy feat because Amy is naturally suspicious, but with the help of her roommate, Julie, we were able to pull it off. We didn't have a camera at the actual moment of surprise, so I threw together this quick sketch of how she looked.

Now 2:30 a.m. is nigh, and since I think you have been sufficiently flabbergasted by the unending hijinks with which I live, I am going to bed. Fare well.

Friday, March 31, 2006


I closed at Domino's tonight for the first time in pretty long. This was good because I am getting a little low on funds, but it was bad because Kirksville had its worst storm in quite some time. The wind felt strong enough that I could probably have jumped into the air and spread my arms and I would have just taken off.

I started off the night getting pretty awful tips, so I wasn't the most cheery of fellas. About two hours into the night, this mood was compounded a little. I drove way past a house because I couldn't read the street numbers in the dark, so I had to run back down the street in the pouring rain to deliver this guy's pizza. As I jogged, several cars drove toward me so I decided to get off the road and onto the sidewalk I saw next to the street. Unfortunately, since it was dark, I didn't quite notice that the sidewalk was made of a ditch filled with water. My pants and shoe are still wet. But my night turned around at this guy's house, I thought, because he handed me a wad of cash and then turned away. Considering the transaction closed, I thought to myself, "Sweet action! A $4 tip is exactly what I was needing!" and returned to my car. Later, though, my respect for this generous tipper plummeted when he called Domino's saying that I had taken all his money without giving him change and he wanted me to drive all the way back out to his house to reimburse him. And I drove right past his house again without seeing it!

But all's well that end's well, and this night ended with "Penny Lane" by the Beatles, so I was pleased. Now I have sufficiently unwound, so I am going to bed.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I found a friendly message on the wrapper of a Dove chocolate heart: "Laugh until your heart overflows." So I'm supposed to chuckle until I have a heart attack? Thanks for the inspiration, Dove.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

wrapping it up

"Log entry 26, Wednesday, March 15, 5:21 p.m.: David and Abbie run out of conversation." Apparently, either we are so in tune with each other that words are not necessary, or each of us is utterly bored with the other. Either way, we endured the rest of the trip in near-silence.

This post will perhaps be about most big stuff that's left about the Czech Republic, which means that later we will make a jaunt over to Rome.

Prague is gorgeous. Let me just get that out of my system. Plus, their soldiers have shiny bayonets.This is the changing of the guard at the Prague castle. It was much more enjoyable than the changing of Emma.

Praguians (is this even a word? I'm assuming it is because I am too tired to look it up) also have their own version of the Eiffel Tower. I guess the Prague planners decided to make their city more touristy so they started stealing monuments from other folks. Look for a Great Wall of Františkovy Lázně next. One thing that I learned while chilling with Abbie in Prague is that she dawdles. Everyone knows that, when walking in a city full of new and exciting things worthy of one's examination, if one isn't walking fast enough for bugs to splatter on the forehead, it is time to pick up the pace.

Here she is trying to act exhausted from racing through the streets. But we can see that she is clearly faking: note the bug-free glasses.

Another horizon-broadener was my proper introduction to public transportation. I don't know if you have ever visited Flint Hill (pop. 379), but there aren't too many subways that go through my hometown. I had basically no experience with public transit, so I would have been totally lost without my excellent guide. Abbie knew that city backwards and forwards and could even predict, to the exact minute, when a bus or tram would arrive. Simply amazing.

Unluckily, we couldn't use the tram for all of the sightseeing we wanted to do, so we spent many hours each day walking from place to place. Strolling around all evening, compounded by the fact that Prague is almost as warm as Greenland's northern coast, made us a little chilly. Only a little, though. To combat the frostbite one night, we decided to stop by a clothes store. Against my better judgment, I found myself agreeing to try out the hip European fashions with Abbie. I think we looked pretty sharp, but we ended up not making any purchases that evening.

Abbie and I also attended the Czech symphony one night. I love classical music, especially when it is performed live. The only problem is that I haven't been to a non-rock concert in 2 years that hasn't put me to sleep. My consolation is that Abbie fell asleep as well, so we blissfully wasted our tickets together.

Some other notable events: seeing the city in which Mission: Impossible was filmed, eating roasted duck, and Abbie's and my recovering of our ability to converse.

In which I use several exclamation marks

One day during my Prague trip, Abbie and I decided to make a pilgrimage to a castle about an hour outside of town. Castles are pretty cool for warfare and all, so I was pretty excited about this. Little did I know I was in for a little warfare of my own.

The town, upon our arrival, looked relatively innocent. The castle lay nestled in the mountains and shops selling crystal chia pets and other useful items lined the streets. But then, we sensed more than saw that we were being followed. Then we caught a glimpse of this kid. Look at him. Menacing. Irrational. Bad at tracking his prey. He was clearly planning on attacking us with an arsenal of mild-explosive-filled snowballs when we cleverly gave him the slip. By clever, I mean we took a left at the next street and he lost sight of us. Disaster averted!

The castle was also pretty cool as well. I might build one some day. Here are some pics.
That last picture was taken by some guys from Iowa. They had heard of Missouri! Yes, it is a small world.

Finally, here is some food from a store in a small Czech town. Apparently people there like to eat...I can't even come up with a funny way to describe this. Horrible funk, I guess. But if you want some, it costs less than $3!

you were lost, but now are found

Tonight as I was walking out of one of my meetings, I realized that I had only one mitten in my coat pockets. This was initially a cause of much panic, for I just received those mittens for Christmas from my often goofy sister. Then I concluded that the missing mitten had simply fallen out of the pocket in my car or in my house and I would find it waiting for me there when I returned home. Thus consoled, I continued toward my car.

As I got closer to my car, however, I noticed an object on the ground. I bet you can guess what it was. A mitten! I must have been sitting there for five hours with nobody claiming it; that is, until I decided to rescue it from oblivion. Now I can have some pie.

Friday, March 24, 2006

It snowed again today. I think it is time to leave us alone, Weather. We are about sick of you.

To wrap this up this lengthy post, I will leave you a gem of modern literature I discovered in the paper today.Seriously, who even reads Garfield anymore? Apparently I do, but I don't know why. I can't remember the last time it was funny.

Whoa. I started this post about 20 minutes ago, wandered away, and forgot all about it. But it's still here, just waiting for me. My attention span is dwindling faster than my respect for Jim Davis.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I think that the instrument poll has run its course. I have, therefore, decided to retire it. Now much gloating can ensue.

Abbie, it looks like only 22% of people are even remotely interested in accordions.

As this guy with the creepy leg knows, nothing beats a harmonica.
So, I would post more, but I have gotten pretty little sleep this week. My posts would consist, I think, of my falling asleep on the keyboard and pushing letters with my nose. But tomorrow, you are in for a treat. I don't yet know what the treat is, but it'll be good. Better than the creepy leg guy.

My favorite quote from the Eurotrip: Abbie's saying, "I'm going to have a great life."