Again with the birthdays, enough already! Today is my friend Karen Patterson’s… oopps make that Karen Christner’s birthday. Karen is yet another buddy from the Hall. Karen, Nik, Sarah J, John Todd, Nathan and D-Vak all started at the Hall within a couple of years of one another… no offense to our current student staff, but there is no comparison… the late 90’s were good years... co-workers who would become life-long friends and Dawson’s Creek, how could one girl be so lucky. I digress…
Happy Birthday Karen Christner! (still getting used to the new name, evidently so is Karen, she said she accidently signed her hold name three times the other day). Karen lives in Effingham with her new hubby, Ben. She teaches high school math/computers/business at Cowden-Herrick high school. I remember what I was like in high school, and I was a good kid… I couldn’t do what Karen does, I admire that she can.
Back in the day Karen lived with Nikki. Karen loved Damir Krupalja, Nikki loved Robert Archibald, I loved Billy Gillispie… all was bliss. Those were good years, we wore spirit beads and lived to hear Jim Sheppard say the words “That’s a three, Corey Bradford!” After graduating UIUC Karen went to work for Payless Shoe Source, this only served to fuel the “shoe thing” that Karen and I both have. I learned about UPT’s (units per transaction) and that sadly lots of people steal shoes- the general public and Karen's employees alike. Then Karen when back to school at EIU to get her teaching certificate, and when she student taught at Centennial Karen was my roommate for a semester. There are many things I remember from our “roomie” days but these two come to mind. First, Karen and I went through a phase where we made smores every night before we went to bed… sitting on my kitchen stools roasting marshmallows over the flame from the gas stove… microwave smores are for whimps. The second story is truly unforgettable. One night Karen and I were awakened from peaceful slumber at about 12:30 a.m. by pounding on the door. Upon peeking out the door we saw a couple of cops, my neighbors, a crashed car and an ambulance right outside in front of my house. Unfortunately we did not see Karen’s car that had been parked along the street right in front of my house. Karen said “Jane, where is my car?” To which the officer said “Um, yeah, it is down there.”, pointing along the curb two houses down the street. Another car plowed into Karen’s and moved it nearly half the block. Karen’s car was totaled, and needless to say her new car was then moved into my driveway every night.
I heart Karen! I can always count on her to go “halvsies” with me. It never fails we both can’t decide between the same two menu items. I get one, she gets the other, then we split… “halvsies”… it is a beautiful thing. Jenn got me into Starbucks, I take claim to getting Karen into Starbucks. I have never been to Starbucks with both Jenn and Karen, I need to work on that. Jenn lives in Nebraska, Karen in Effingham, that may take some planning on my part.
Several years ago I went with Karen and her Mom to Disney World for a week… it was a fabulous trip… we laughed at lot. We stayed at the Toy Story hotel at All Star Movie resort… this is where the picture posted was taken in the ginormous version of Andy’s room in our hotel courtyard. Karen and I kept making her Mom, Janet, laugh that trip by doing the lines from the Toy Story out-takes… “And some monkey chow.” “Monkey chow?”…”Why for the monkeys of course!”
Karen is a Cardinal buddy too! She had a thing for Fernando Vina, she bought his shirt, Freddy left the team and went to Detroit. Then she had a thing for Bo Hart, she bought his shirt, and then Bo never made it back up to the big league club. She had a thing for Mark Grudzielanek, she bought his shirt… the next year he signed with KC. Karen is now forbidden from buying Cardinal player shirts, unless they are players we are looking to dump.
Happy Birthday Karen! Next time I see you, the frappachinos, smores, and monkey chow is on me! Whatever you do, don't by an Albert Pujols shirt for yourself for your birthday!