L .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Ramblings of a Misguided Blonde

A fun, relaxing place to rant, rave, highlight interesting finds on the web, and initiate discussion on topics large and small. You may not agree, but you won't be bored! Take a look, feel free to comment, and enjoy your stay. You will also find several resources for creating your own website, blog, and web identity.

Join Associated Content Check out my published content!
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Blog For All: Raise the Shields

A Blog For All: Raise the Shields

As a child of the 80s, I'm amazed to see this technology, which was first broached under President Reagan, put into practice.

Brian thinks that I'm all doom and gloom; however, I personally think that all generations are shocked and horrified by what occurs in their lifetime, such as I am now. I just hope that we don't repeat history, especially with regards to treatment of the Jewish people. The sad thing is that as far back as 2002, while I was in Spain, signs that anti-semitism was on the rise were all around me.



Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Barnes & Noble University

Barnes & Noble University

This is one of the most amazing things I've come across. Barnes and Noble are offering a variety of free on-line courses and on-line book clubs. Their incentives, of course, is selling the books for the courses, but what is stopping someone from going to the library?

I might try it out later on this summer...


Writers' Village University

Writers' Village University

A wonderful resource for writers - and affordable! I'm considering a membership once I have a job (any type of job, which should be very soon) and I have the opportunity to take their free course (it is offered 6 times a year).



Real World University-Where Success Is The Only Major

Real World University-Where Success Is The Only Major

I ran across this site while researching free on-line writing courses. Wow, I really wish I had run across this website sooner (although it is never too late)! I would highly recommend the site for any student of any age. Note, it even has a whole section dedicated to new teachers!!!

More later.


Six Career Secrets You Won't Learn in School - Netscape Careers

Six Career Secrets You Won't Learn in School

I came across this article the other day and it rang all too true from my perspective. Fortunately, it isn't too late for me to put some of the tips into action.

I just hope that my career takes off sooner or later. Actually, just any old job would be fine as I plan to pursue my writing.

More later. I'm one a roll!


An Open Letter

I now know for a fact that someone I love dearly reads this blog, and quite honestly, her reaction stunned me. She's very impressed with what I created, and I couldn't be more pleased. For the last few weeks, I've had my suspicions that she has been reading my blog and secretly wondered if she thought is was silly or insignificant. I hate to admit it, but I craved her approval. Well, anyway, it means the world to me to have her support!

So, if you know me personally and happened to stumble across this blog, please let me know your opinion, no matter what it is. Thus far, I've been pleasantly surprised twice!

I apologize for really slacking on updating just about everything, but I've had a lot weighing on my mind (as I have for the last year and a half).

Much more later.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Daily Bitch

The Daily Bitch

The title says it all, but I can kinda identify with the description of her life ("My life is often amusing/frustrating/ridiculous. I'm fairly neurotic, frequently depressed, often anxious.").

This one is definitely a keeper.

More later.


ec's reading journal

ec's reading journal

Amazing reading journal written by a best-selling author. It makes me want to spend my life buried in books (oh - and writing too!).

More later.


Ryan Anderson

Ryan Anderson

Another beautiful, inspiring blog! I really want to meet the blues musicians he describes in his latest post.

More later.


Monday, June 12, 2006

Lindsays on the Lake

Lindsays on the Lake

Just a bit too ironic to pass up! She has some beautiful pics of northern Michigan - albeit the other coast.

More later.


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Simply Organized Life

Simply Organized Life

I still plan on eventually starting a professional organizing business. However, before I can do that, I have to get my own life organized (essentially follow a lot of my own advice - and the plethora of advice I found on-line).

More later.


Saturday, June 10, 2006

"The Messianic Legacy"

Rennes-le-Chateau Home Page

I just finished "The Messianic Legacy," written by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln (the writers of "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" - the story behind "The Da Vinci Code").

As a sequel to "Holy Blood, Holy Grail," which I just read, it offered some new ideas with regards to the life of Jesus Christ, as well as a look into subsequent research into the Priory of Sion. On the whole, knowing the story of Pierre Plantard, I am really unsure of what to make it.

I don't believe that we know the whole story of Pierre Plantard, no matter how much he has been discredited, nor do I believe that the authors know the whole story. I'd have to say that I walked away with more questions than answers after reading both books.

More later.


Friday, June 09, 2006

Julie's New Look!

a touch of rambling

Julie has been working hard on her blog lately! I hope that she finds a good home for those new kittens of hers!

For those of you not in the know, Julie is the other creator of TS Corner ( me being the other). She is also the co-creator of Pen N Paper, of which I'm a member.

More later!


Thursday, June 08, 2006

1st Annual State of the Blog Address

First off, I apologize for the delay in noting the 1st anniversary of my adventure in blogging (and writing in general). My blog started on June 1st, 2005 as a way of combining my love of computers and writing. Just for the record, my interests in computers started long before I met Brian Andrzejewski, but it has grown and been nourished through him.

I simply wanted to share with the world the current state of my life, especially my experience moving back to Michigan. Some might say that I haven't truly been a blogger for a year as there was a 4-5 month period in which I was silent. All I can say is that other issues were occupying my mind at the time; one of which has yet to be resolved.

Through this blogging experience, I've grown in my writing, reclaimed my dream of becoming a writer, and finally started down the road to creating the website of my dreams. I've also met a lot of people along the way. The future of this endeavor has never been brighter.

On the other hand, there is just so much I want to share with the world! I just hope that I can find the time once I have a full-time job.

More later.


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald - By Gordon Lightfoot

The lyrics to one of my favorite folk songs. As you can see for yourself, the lyrics are simply haunting:

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they called 'Gitche Gumee'
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy
With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty.
That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed
When the gales of November came early.

The ship was the pride of the American side
Coming back from some mill in Wisconsin
As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most
With a crew and good captain well seasoned
Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
When they left fully loaded for Cleveland
And later that night when the ship's bell rang
Could it be the north wind they'd been feelin'?
The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound
And a wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the captain did too,
T'was the witch of November come stealin'.
The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the Gales of November came slashin'.
When afternoon came it was freezin' rain
In the face of a hurricane west wind.

When suppertime came, the old cook came on deck sayin'.
Fellas, it's too rough to feed ya.
At Seven P.M. a main hatchway caved in, he said
Fellas, it's been good t'know ya
The captain wired in he had water comin' in
And the good ship and crew was in peril.
And later that night when his lights went outta sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Does any one know where the love of God goes
When the waves turn the minutes to hours?
The searches all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd put fifteen more miles behind her.
They might have split up or they might have capsized;
May have broke deep and took water.
And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the wives and the sons and the daughters.

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the rooms of her ice-water mansion.
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams;
The islands and bays are for sportsmen.
And farther below Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her,
And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
With the Gales of November remembered.

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed,
In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral.
The church bell chimed till it rang twenty-nine times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call 'Gitche Gumee'.
Superior, they said, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Big Adventure

Big Adventure

Another wondeful travel blog! I always find adventure fascinating... hence all of the study abroad during college and all of the writing now (I consider my writing a never-ending adventure - if only in my mind).

More later!


Monday, June 05, 2006

Beatle Blog

Beatle Blog

Amazing blog if you are even remotely interested in the lads from Liverpool.

More later.


Sunday, June 04, 2006

6/6/06: The date is near - U.S. Life - MSNBC.com

6/6/06: The date is near - U.S. Life - MSNBC.com

An interesting, fun article.

Something tells me that the recent busts in England and in Canada averted terrorists plots set for 6/6/06 - or did they?

All I can say is that I sure hope so!

More later.


Saturday, June 03, 2006

geek goggles

geek goggles

A very fun look at one woman's life!
I absolutely love the look of this blog!

More later.


Friday, June 02, 2006

The Wedding Plans Thus Far: Sept. 15th, 2007

I thought it was time that I put together our wedding plans thus far. As of June 15th, Brian and I will have exactly 15 months to plan the wedding, although we might put it off yet another year if things don't begin to come together soon. Honestly, it doesn't matter to me - I just want to marry the man. In fact, I'd be happy to go down to the court house or county building on Monday, but that's another story. Here's the funny thing: If we get married in 2007, it will be almost exactly 30 years after my parents' wedding (August 13th, 1977). If we get married in 2008, it will be almost exactly 30 years after Brian's parents' wedding (also at St. Stan's - May 13th, 1978). Go figure... I'm comfortable either way.

If we get married in 2008, we can stick with tradition and get married on Sept. 13th!

Well, here it goes:

The Church:

St. Stanislaus Catholic Church

Brian has attended this church his entire life (even though he and his family aren't really religious) and his Great-Grandparents gave money to build the church and the school (incidentally, Brian attended the school as a child). It is well over 100 years old and is simply beautiful. Even though I'm not Catholic, I have no qualms about getting married there. We are going to modify the ceremony as neither of us really want a traditional Catholic Mass. My Grandma Reid doesn't believe that this can be done, but it can. Funny, I feel as though I'm half United Methodist and half Catholic (long story going back to childhood - more later).

Anyway, Brian did some research tonight and it will cost $700 to get married there - and 6 months notice. That seems incredibly reasonable to me. If all goes well this summer, I'd love to secure the site by Sept. 15th of this year (if we don't decide to get married in 2008).

Huge bonus: It is literally a block from where we live now! If all else fails, I could walk to my own wedding.

The Reception:

This is the BIGGEST bone of contention thus far. Personally, I'm not crazy about the idea of a hall reception, which is extremely common in this area and where I grew up (I've been to some really bad hall receptions and would like ours to be different, special). We discussed other options, but none have worked out thus far.

The Bay City Country Club - Beautiful, good location, but WAY, WAY too expensive. I want our reception to be a bit more informal anyway.

Campus of SVSU (Brian's alma mater) - Perfect type of setting, great trade-off between formal and informal, exactly the type of feel I'd like for the wedding, and not too far away. There is only one problem - the campus is DRY. Our families would be very upset if we had a completely dry wedding.

The State Theater Downtown - It is a very neat, recently renovated theater in downtown Bay City. Brian's little brother went to a wedding there recently and had a wonderful time. Quite honestly though, I'd have to check it all out for myself. I'm not sure if I am completely comfortable with the whole feel of it - and Brian certainly isn't crazy about it. In the end, I think we can do a lot better.

Outdoors along the Saginaw River - I really love the idea (especially considering our first date), but let's be realistic - Michigan weather (any time of year) can change in a matter of minutes. Plus, I don't know if I want to go that informal.

Hotels Downtown - None are special and all are probably way over priced. Neither Brian nor I are happy with this option.

Pulaski Hall - IF Brian and I do end up with a hall reception, it will most definitely be here. It is a block from our house in the other direction! LOL It has also been around for well over a hundred years (although you'd never know it from the outside - it isn't anything special to look at). It has played a vital role in this part of Bay City and has quite a history. I haven't been inside yet (and neither has Brian), but I bet that no matter what it looks like inside, we can really make it look good. My biggest fear is that it will look really cheap - like so many other hall wedding receptions I've been to in this area. Then again, I have a feeling that I can work with it. Ultimately though, I'd at least like to try and find something else - something that Brian and I will both love.

The Wedding Party:

Maid of Honor - My sister Erica Ashley Russell (already asked and she already said yes)
Best Man - Brian's brother Todd Michael Andrzejewski

Groomsmen -

Robert Garrett Russell (my brother)

Eric Dzuirka (Brian's best friend - I went on a blind date with him back in 2000)

Justin Woolbrink (Erica's boyfriend whom Brian and I both really like - we already told them the date as we think that they might be getting married soon too)

Austin Potter (my young cousin)

Bridesmaids -

Mackenzie Lynn Potter (my young cousin)

Lori Lynn Currie (my old high school friend who introduced me to Brian, she will definitely be paired with Eric)

Melanie Raymond (another old high school friend... Not sure if I included her on the original list?) or possibly Machele Suszko (my cousin and probably my best friend in high school, she's getting married soon too)

Emily Matu...ski (Brian's young cousin)

* Brian and I sat down and figured this all out when we first became engaged. It just seems as though SOMETHING is missing currently. I'm going to have to find the original list. It seems as though we had one more older couple.

Erica and Todd
Lori and Eric
Melanie, Abby, or Machele? and Justin
Mackenzie and Garrett
Emily and Austin

* I'm not really sure if I'm going to ask Melanie or not - I may ask my cousin Abby instead. The only problem is that Abby lives out in Arizona now... I'm also considering asking Machele, my cousin and one of my best friends in high school. We'll see... I may also ask Aunt Amy if she'd mind if Mallory was flower girl.

Mackenzie and Garrett will be SO incredibly cute! She has adored him since she was born. Austin and Emily will be cute too!

The Dresses:

As far as the wedding dress is concerned, I have an idea of what I'll be looking for (I want to lose a lot of weight before I even begin looking). I know this sounds really cliche, but my Mom's wedding dress is the prettiest one I've ever seen - and it would go with the rest of the wedding. I love the neckline (long-sleeved, plunging v-neck); the fact that there is lace, but it doesn't overwhelm the dress; and the fact that the bottom half of the dress isn't incredibly full, but flows very nicely (it is very simple, and elegant).

Unfortunately, my Mom spilled wine of her dress on her wedding night and never had the dress cleaned. It wouldn't really matter anyway as I'm proportioned completely different from my Mom at age 21.

I've had a lot more luck with the bridesmaid dresses though! Please check out this link. Whatever I end up with, it will probably be similar to the dress pictured (the dark red dress).

Bridesmaid Dresses

The Colors:

Deep purplish red (but not quite Burgundy) and ??? Brian and I were discussing colors tonight as we were looking through an issue of The Knot, which is what inspired this post. We were thinking of black as an accent color, but quickly agreed that it would be more appropriate for a winter wedding.

Personally, I'm thinking of dark purple (yes Brian, I know that this will make you extremely happy! - along with Miss Mackenzie!) and a dark, golden yellow as accents. I think that the combination of those three colors would be stunning for a fall wedding (and would make picking out appropriate flowers easy).

The Planning Tools:

Thus far, I have an Emily Post Wedding Planner, Planning Software, and etiquette book. I simply need to get serious! I took my time in picking out my planning tools and shopped around. The appear to be extremely (almost too) comprehensive. In all, it ran about $50.

Near Future Planning:

Well, I need to get serious about the planning. This post, however, made me realize that we have already done a lot of the background work. I plan to start a wedding blog within the next few weeks.

The Guests:

I just realized something invaluable! I'm going to be helping my Grandma Reid organize the Suszko reunion this summer!!! I'll be able to get all of the updated contact info. from her! Another thing, Cindy - Brian's Mom - keeps in contact with everyone, so I shouldn't have a problem there. I suppose getting the guest list together (which I've heard is quite a task) should come next.

I'm beginning to realize that I have a lot more accomplished than I thought. Cindy would be proud!

The Bridal Registries:

Thus far, we plan to register at the following stores:

- Kohls
- Target
- Younkers
- JC Penney (Possibly)
- Does the Bay City Antique Mall have a registry???

* Also, I know that you can set up an account on-line so people can put money towards a down payment on a home instead of gifts. I'm considering it since Brian and I pretty much have a lot of what we need. I don't want it to come across as tacky though.

I know it is old-fashioned, but I'd love bridal china! I do plan on having a formal dining room someday and plan to use it as my Mom uses hers. Here is the catch though: I don't want brand new china - I would love to have my Mom or my Aunts (they know my taste) pick out a wonderful set at an antique auction (of course, I would like for it to be in great shape). It would be even better if it came from Bay City! Bay City does have a lot of antiques...

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue:

I'm hoping that I'll be able to borrow a specific pendant from my Mom. She had it made out of a piece of her Grandmother's jewelry. Here's the catch: it may not go with my dress - or my Mom may decide that she wants to wear it to the wedding. We'll see. My Mom has a beautiful collection of jewelry, so I'll probably borrow SOMETHING from her.

As for something new, I'll probably buy a pair of earrings (or maybe drop a hint at Brian that I'd like a pair for a wedding gift). If I borrow the earrings from Mom, I might buy a small handbag for the special occasion... (not decided on that one yet).

Something blue - probably the garter. Tradition, Tradition, Tradition.

Something old - it would be wonderful if Grandma Reid either gave me or let me borrow something to wear for the wedding. I'll have to go through the jewelry that she has already given me. Hey! Maybe the small locket that Grandpa Russell gave her in Texas! That would be perfect! Lots and lots of meaning. I wouldn't be surprised if Grandma wore it when they got married in McAllen, Texas.

The Hair, Etc:

I'm thinking of having my cousin Jamie Daniels do my hair for the wedding. I really need to talk to her first. She cut and styled my hair throughout my last few years at MSU (she was going to school at the Douglas J Institute at the time) and did a wonderful job. I'm just not sure if she'd be up for doing a wedding. Also, I need to start looking through magazines for styles... Not sure what I want.

Also, it would be fun to go to a spa the day before the wedding! We'll see though! I certainly want to do something like that with my bridesmaids. I really don't want to spend tons of money on that though. Maybe that could be my Mom's present to me - or the bridesmaids (or Erica's)??? There has to be a way that it could work out financially.

The Cake:

Brian's Aunt Terry (Teresa) is awesome at making cakes. He said that she could make just about anything I'd like. I'll have to gather ideas and then go talk to her. Hopefully she won't mind doing it.

The Music:

Of course, there will be a lot of Beatles and Johnny Cash. Unfortunately, Brian's Mom will insist that there is polka too. If I had a choice, there would be no way that we'd do the chicken - but it looks like excluding it won't be an option.

We have no idea who or what will get (band or DJ). I think a lot of that will have to depend on the location we choose for the reception. We're DEFINITELY going to put together a song list.

The Day After Party:

According to Brian, it is Polish tradition that there is a party the day after the wedding. In all reality, it will probably be at Brian's parents' house (which is only about a mile away). Anyway, it is then that the bride and groom open all of the gifts, etc. Only after the party can they leave for the honeymoon.

The Honeymoon:

Brian and I have already decided on what we're going to do for our honeymoon. In this respect, we are certainly keeping with the tradition of both of our parents. We are going on an old-fashioned road trip! My parents went out to Maine after spending their wedding night in Bay City. Brian's parents drove out west (Colorado, etc.) in his Dad's 1969 Dodge Charger. Well, we're planning to go out west - probably Texas and Colorado specifically.

I know my Mom will probably think that we're crazy, but I don't care! I really want to do it! I definitely want to travel in style though. Hopefully we'll rent a really cool car or something similar. I really want to see more of the US after traveling abroad so much. Also, I' d love to spend more time in San Antonio.

Much, much more later. I'm getting tons and tons of ideas! I just hope that it all turns out well and that everyone enjoys themselves.

Wish me luck!


A Blog For All: Iran Already Rejecting Carefully Considered Big Six Plan

A Blog For All: Iran Already Rejecting Carefully Considered Big Six Plan

Is anyone else not surprised? Am I the only on who is starting to get scared here?

More later.


A Little Further Explanation: A Personal Story

Atlas Shrugs: World War IV

In the article above, the people (or person) over at Atlas Shrugs have already given a label to all that is going on in the Middle East (Iran, Iraq, and Israel - along with the Palestinians) - nothing less than World War IV.

This particular article was included in a much longer post I wrote regarding the current sorry state of World affairs. Well, in that post, I stated that I would later explain the personal story that went along with the World War IV theory.

Well, here it goes:

On the evening of September 10th, 2001 (a Monday night), I was at my host parents' home in Quito, Ecuador. At that point, I had only been in Ecuador (studying at la Universidad de San Francisco del Quito) only a couple of weeks. On that particular Monday night, I was reading a book called Estado y Globalizacion (State and Globalization for those who don't speak Spanish) for an unorthodox management course taught by an energetic, enthusiastic Cuban professor.

In the book, they describe the theory of World War IV. As I described before, the Cold War is considered to be World War III. It goes on to state that World War IV would start as a direct result of a massive act of terrorism in the most advanced economy in the world - the "haves" (the whole theory is explained as allegory) - by a large terrorist organization - the "have-nots."

Shortly after that, I put down the book for the evening, only to awake to the horror of September 11th.

Read my September 11th experience here:

Sept. 11th Digital Archive


More later.


'We're coming back' - Rising From Ruin

'We're coming back' - Rising From Ruin

On the cusp of a new hurricane season, I thought I'd share an insightful look at the progress made in two coastal towns in Mississippi in the 9 months since hurricane Katrina.

Let's just hope that this summer and fall are far better than the last.


The Latest on The War - And Abby

In my last post, I promised you more serious fodder.
Well, here it goes:


There are several new articles on the site linked above that deserve attention. His "Beast" series of articles certainly is a wake up call. I believe that he is taking the "Beast" sayings directly from The Bible (and more specifically, Revelations) - although don't quote me on that.

In other news...

abby_jane: the news...

An old high school and college classmate of mine, and now good friend, succinctly described her reaction to a recent news item. It is newsworthy in that she truly realizes the seriousness in what is going on in the Iraq - and the blind hatred that islamofascism has against all U.S. citizens and U.S. interests. They have no regard for human life. Period.

What I really admire about her post is that she doesn't reveal her personal political views. In all honesty, I have no idea whether she leans left or right, nor do I want to know. I just wish that more people viewed the situation in this light. It is this perspective that united us during World War I and II - and ultimately led the Allies to victory.

I can only hope that more people have their eyes opened in the days, weeks, months, and years to come.

On a side note, I continue to marvel at my friendship with Abby. We might actually meet up this summer - and she has been wonderful in providing feedback for my writing efforts.

In the past, we certainly had our differences, but as time went on, we found ourselves with incredibly similar experiences and circumstances. Our high school classmates would be besides themselves in bewilderment if they knew of our friendship such was our dislike for each other during that period of our lives. Indeed, Abby stated that the world might just be turned upside down if we do meet up this summer.

I really admire the fact that she is now a music teacher. Who knows? I may yet end up a teacher myself.

More later.


Thursday, June 01, 2006

Sunny Day...

You Are Bert

Extremely serious and a little eccentric, people find you loveable - even if you don't love them!

You are usually feeling: Logical - you rarely let your emotions rule you

You are famous for: Being smart, a total neat freak, and maybe just a little evil

How you life your life: With passion, even if your odd passions (like bottle caps and pigeons) are baffling to others

WOW. As silly as this little quiz is, it is also DEAD ON.

Oh well.

More serious topics later.


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photobucket