Orange Gearle

family, friends, politics, music and technology... that's what it's all about

Thursday, December 25, 2008

in august

Sunday, October 05, 2008


The above photo was taken from The Daily Kos. It made me think of this song by The Drive-By Truckers.....

The clouds started forming at five o'clock pm
The funnel clouds touched down
five miles north of Russellville
Sirens were blowing, clouds spat rain
and as the things came threw, it sounded like a train

"It came without no warning" said Bobbi Jo McLean
She and husband Nolen always loved to watch the rain
It sucked him out the window, he ain't come home again
All she can remember is "It sounded like a train"

Pieces of that truck stop, litter up the highway, I been told
And I hear that missing trucker ended up in Kansas
(or maybe it was Oz).

The Nightmare Tour ended for my band and me
the night all the shit went down
A homecoming concert, the night the tornadoes hit my hometown.
The few who braved the weather were sucked out of the auditorium
I can still remember the sound of their applause in the rain
as it echoed through them storm clouds, I swear, It sounded like a train.

Do you think that the reason Sarah Palin kept saying, "There you go again" in the VP debate is because Ronald Reagan said it in his debates? Are they trying to make some connection there?

Can you listen to Sarah Palin speak without thinking of the movie Fargo?

Does it bother anyone else that Palin frequently gets this look....a look that offends me as a woman....that is like she is trying to get out of a ticket??

Tina Fey.....gotta love her....

Monday, May 12, 2008

babies, 'shrooms and music

Spring has sprung. In the month of April and early May there have been over half a dozen babies born to co-workers, friends, or family. Amazing. They are all cuties! Here's a few pics!

In May alone two co-workers have announced that they will bring a new baby into this world within the next nine months. I expect there will be 5-7 more announcements like this AT WORK ALONE over the next 4 months or so. Amazing to me. I guess that's what you get when you work with a bunch of young people. I'm still obsessed with adding at least one to the list...I'm trying my best to just keep it out of my mind. It doesn't really work :-) but mini-obsessions like hunting for mushrooms help!

Seth, Alyssa, Hollyanne and I went mushroom hunting together. Hollyanne found the first one (really two) of the day...and Seth found the first one of his life! The pic above is about 1/2 (maybe 2/3) of our find. Charlie and I will enjoy them tonight! Yum!

Going to shows helps too. For my mom's birthday in March, I got her tickets to the Steve Earle show at The Englert in Iowa City (Show was May 3). We had pretty good seats, and the show wasn't too bad. Charlie and his parents and I had gone just over a month earlier in Madison, and that show was better, but I still enjoyed this one. His wife, Alison Moorer opened for both shows. She has a beautiful voice, but somehow she bores me a little. Not sure why. She did a lot of covers, maybe that's it. She is beautiful, and her voice is pretty amazing...but still. Steve was a bit off in the beginning of the show especially. But I still enjoyed the hell outta him. I liked it when he told us that he's way farther left than either of the Democrats up for election. He's always a bit political, and I like his that works for me. In Iowa City, (or Madison for that matter) he would have a difficult time finding many to disagree with him. He did a sing along....Steve's Hammer. If I get a chance I'll link the song. My mom enjoyed the concert, and that's really what it was all about. She took the pic to the right of this section...without flash to be polite, so it's a bit blurry. Ditto with the next pic. :-)

Last week, Charlie's parents, Charlie and I went to see Randy Newman in concert. It was amazing!

It was a fundraiser for The Englert in Iowa City. Charlie bought us tickets. He gave me my ticket that weekend before my surgery, the night we got back together. He put it in the card, and said something like, "Here's something to look forward to after everyone's feeling better." He also bought a pair for his parents for Christmas. Anyway, we didn't know it until a few weeks ago, but they were "VIP Tickets". Which basically meant that we would be able to take part in a few pre- and post-show activities. The night was beautiful...perfect spring weather. And everything was timed to perfection. We had supper outside, visited the art galleries -- drank wine -- and then walked across the street to The Englert and took our place in the FRONT ROW! The concert itself was awesome. He played "Short People", which I heard a lot growing up (imagine that). There were also a lot of songs that everyone that knows Randy Newman at all has heard. He also played a couple of other interesting political songs. I enjoyed the concert immensely. But equal to that, I enjoyed watching Charlie watch...and watching his parents watch. After the show, we attended a reception at The Penthouse at Hotel Vetro in Iowa City. Guess who was there????

Randy Newman received this glass of wine from Kathleen, Charlie's mom. :-)

The last few weeks have been eventful and mostly fun....I am ready for summer...four weeks of school left. :-)

Thursday, March 06, 2008


It's been a while. There are reasons. I'll get to it.

First of all...things are great. I really wish that there was more publicity about live kidney donation. It's a few weeks out of your life, and... don't even know it's gone. If there were more awareness about the whole thing, maybe fewer people would be on dialysis or...worse yet...dead due to kidney failure. Dad is doing great. He was ready to race me down the hall in the hospital...and recovered faster than me....he was at coffee with the boys the day after he returned home from the hospital! It took me a few days to feel better...and a few weeks to feel normal (as normal as I get anyway). Very worth it...and the reason I haven't really written about of the reasons is that I could never do it justice.

Obama. Well, he's still in there. We'll see what happens. I only hope that all the negative stuff that's going on between Hillary and Obama won't lead us to a Republican in office again. McCain. Geez. Or maybe I do want it. Whoever gets the nomination is screwed really....things are so messed up.....not sure who can fix it. At least we have hope with Barak.

The real reason for not writing.....I don't need to any more. This blog was born because I found myself without my best friend to talk tell everything to. It happened quite suddenly in 2006, and after about two months of so called 'recovery', I started this blog to "talk to him". Not really, since he wasn't really reading it much after the first few months (yes, it's true, I have a sitemeter that shows me who has visited). But I told him...even if he wasn't listening. :-) Of course, I didn't know that's what it was all about. Why would I recognize that? Maybe I knew, deep inside, but there was no admitting it, of course....that would be too healthy. Regardless, it doesn't matter anymore.......he's listening again. Things are as it should be. I am lucky. I get to be with the person that I am supposed to be with. So.....I can tell him anything I want person.....without technology even. I know. It's amazing. :-)

I'm not deleting the blog. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's so I can share pictures of our new pet....

(It's an Anole. It has no name....we aren't sure of it's gender at this point. It's still just a toddler...and only about 4 inches from head to tail)

Or maybe I'm keeping to tell you about concerts that I am attending (Steve Earle this weekend)!

Or maybe it's to show you pictures like this....

(Ethan and Laila)

Or this....

(the newest Braun)

All I'm saying is.....things are going well.....and blogging will be less than normal....for good reasons.....but I haven't fallen off the face of the earth....I'm just happy, that's all. :-)

Peace out!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

it's a kidney!

A short update--

Surgery was at 7:30 Thursday morning. Dad woke up from the surgery perkier and more animated than ever -- even his voice sounded better! Amazing. There's even more spring in his step.

It's really all about pain control at this time for me. We have had several steps forward and backward. I will update more when I am not quite so tired (and on less percocet). :-)

They kicked me out of the hospital today...but we are in the middle of an ice storm so we are at a hotel until it passes. We will head home tomorrow.

peace out


Sunday, November 18, 2007

everything is temporary

This week I was reminded several times that everything is temporary. This isn't exactly a comforting thought for someone like me. Someone that is uncomfortable with change, especially that within my personal life. So yesterday while I was listening to All Things Considered, I was thankful for this quote at the end of the last story.

“There's no vocabulary For love within a family, love that's lived in But not looked at, love within the light of which All else is seen, the love within which All other love finds speech. This love is silent.” - T. S. Eliot

I have no idea what this quote means to you, or T.S. Eliot. But for me it explains why I am able to love, and will be able to love again.

It's and loss seem to go hand in hand sometimes...for me anyway. And when I lost an important person in 2006...every loss since then has forced me to relive that one, this week's events were no exception. I'm thankful that, no matter our political discourse, I have a family that I can depend on.

I did learn that I'm never dating an artist again. They are just so much more interesting than the others, though. I think I probably need to find an English teacher that appreciates politics and art. Maybe that will work.

That was kinda a girly post wasn't it?? Usually I'm more of a gearle than a girl...but this week the loss was overwhelming...again.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

thank you

Today we had our pre-surgical appointments at UIHC. Everything went well. More blood drawn from both of us. Dad had a few re-checks since it had been so long since the first ones. He had to take his clothes off twice...I got to keep mine on the whole day!!!

I don't even want to talk about the three hours that I waited to see the surgeon.


I do NOT have to have an enema.

They are taking my left (for sure)...putting it on his right (I think).

My new (biggest) scar will be in the bikini line area (just in case I decide to wear a bikini someday to show off my belly....and large c-secion scar). There will also be a couple (maybe three) really small scars where they insert the instruments for laparoscopic surgery.

They are gluing me together instead of staples (Shelley thought gluing was appropriate, since I am a teacher).

I got to see the pictures that they took of my kidneys last time. VERY cool.

I was sitting across from Mom and Dad in the waiting room and Dad came over and sat right next to me and said:

I thought I'd come over and sit closer to you so my kidney can get used to your kidney.

Later he said:

Did you feel that? I think my republican kidney is already starting to reject your democrat kidney.

As I got out of the car Dad hugged me and said "Thank you."