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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Myspace Migration: Oh My Goodness, My Hair!!

Current mood:shocked
I'm in shock. It's good... I think. Yeah, I got bangs. Sort-of. My stylist, Shelby, said they're "side-swept" bangs, which aren't REALLY the same as getting bangs. I guess. Anyway, as this is the first time in 15 years that I've had ANYTHING remotely resembling bangs, I'm in shock. But, I'm told they look good and worse case scenario, in two months it'll be the same length as my first tapered layer. So, we'll see. :)
It's COLD - or, it's going to be. I'm so happy!! Ok.. more later, I guess. My hair smells really good and is soft.. so, that's a bonus. Here's some pics:

Not a great picture (neither are, really); but, here's an idea of thebangs.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Myspace Migration: Back Up & Running... Sorta

Current mood:cheerful
Well, I have a semi- functional computer so I'm back online. I have a list mile long of topics I want to blog about (1). It's been an interesting week or so. I've been texting my friends programmed into my text message list with my major updates (2) and everything else has just been added to the list. Thanksgiving was quiet since the girls were with their Dad and I did shop on Black Friday. In truth, I think I single-handedly supported the US economy! LOL I had a loaner Durango while they were putting the DVD player into the Pacifica and I filled that sucker up twice with stuff. *Sigh* But, I'm basically done shopping, so that's good.

I got my decorations up. Will put up pictures as soon as I reload all the stuff for my phone onto my laptop. I hung lights outside for the first time ever - basically BY MYSELF! Yay! And, they're cute (3). The tree was a total undertaking. I have a new pre-wired tree that had both clear and multi-colored lights. I'm not personally a fan of multi-colored lights on my tree. I like clear lights. So, I had to strip off the pre-wiring so I could extract the colored lights and then add more clear lights so it met my liking. I now have 2100 clear lights on my tree. It's beautiful.

More later. It's kid time.

(1) Like that's a suprise to anyone - and Yes, I will be breaking it into different posts for those with ADD :)

(2) Like how my outdoor lights look, or pics of the SUV I filled up, or my beautiful tree!! :)

(3) It's not completely symmetrical, which bugs me a bit, but given that's the first time I've EVER had to do it, I'm ok with it.

Myspace Migration: Buying Signs

Next topic on the list! :) From last week:
So, I had a date last Friday. No big news there; I go out fairly regularly ... I'm single, right?? LOL Anyway, as I'm sitting in a REALLY comfy chair sipping on my coffee; I concede my mind drifts from the conversation at hand to buying signs (1).
When we're making a major purchase, there's typically a dedicated salesman/woman involved. Why? Because they're needing to analyze the transaction and our actions for "buying signs." Little tells to show we're hooked, we're interested. In reality, you can find these little signals in pretty much every interaction between people. For me, I look for a few constants:

1) body language - mirroring and matching is a pretty natural tell. If you're comfortable in a situation, and enjoying yourself, you will naturally mirror (or match) the body language of the person you're interacting with. So, if I'm kicked back and my date is sitting up straight with their arms crossed - bad sign. However, if he's leaned back and I'm relaxed - good sign - there's mirroring there.

2) ease of conversation - when you're enjoying yourself, conversation tends to flow. If you're having to constantly keep the conversation from straining or are fervently trying to carry one along, that's a signal that one or both of you aren't buying.

3) "Personal Space" - I forget what psychologist talked about 18 inches of personal space, but a major buying sign is when that 18 inches ISN'T observed. Now, this doesn't mean they have to be all up in your face; quite the contrary. What it does mean is that the 18 inches of personal space reserved for casual acquaintances/strangers is no longer observed. That 18 inches creates a ring of privacy during interactions with those whom we are not intimate with. So, to ignore that space and get a little closer is usually a good buying sign.

4) Lingering. Let's face it, if you're having a good time.... you don't really want it to end. So, if you're with someone who can't wait to get the heck out of the car (or can't wait for you to); chances are they're just not that into you. Personally, I look to see if a date lingers when it's time to go.

Now, in his case, I was thinking about the buying signs between dates. If you've ever read the 5 Love Languages, what I'm about to say will make all kinds of sense. If you haven't, you should. It's a fantastic book. Anyway, I'm a Quality Time girl with a secondary language of Words of Affirmation. For me, Conversation hits both my primary and secondary languages. If you're taking the time to call me, I'm pretty happy because that does count as quality time for me and it's conversation. But, (maybe this is high maintainence), if I haven't heard from you in three or four days I'm probably going to question your interest. I won't be mad, I won't gripe... but, in the back of my mind I'm probably going to be wondering what's up. Why? Because calling is a buying sign... and not calling is an absence of one. Let's face it; if you were interested, you're going to WANT to talk to me... and we make time for what's important to us, right??? Even if it's a "How are you?" text message - it shows you care... thus, a buying sign.

I don't know if everyone thinks that way, but I do - and I was thinking about it, so I thought I'd share. I'm at the point in my life where if I don't see buying signs, I just don't waste my time. :)

(1) Ok, maybe "drift" isn't the right wording. More like my mind SPLIT - I was listening to him and present in the conversation, but I was also thinking about buying signs... and how I really need to replace my nails with a new set... no more fills

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Myspace Migration: Setting Up for Christmas

Current mood:chipper
Ok, before I begin, let me address my choice of song on the front page. It probably WON'T be up long - I'm not going to lie, I kinda like the beat... but, it's up as a joke... I've got a gal pal that will totally get it when she finally logs on. And once she calls me on it, I'll change it. :)

Now, let's start whittling down on the mother of all blog-topic lists. Seriously, it's two pages long! LOL It took me three days to set up for Christmas. Why? Because of one things: lights. Christmas lights for outside and the lights on the Christmas tree. I'm a little anal about my Christmas Tree. No, scratch that, I'm a LOT anal. And pre-wired trees, however convenient they are in theory, suck in practial application. Or, at least the one I bought did. First of all, it had multi-colored lights on it. That's just WRONG in Crystal's world. Secondly, the lights were hap-hazardly strung around the outside third ofthe Christmas tree. Thirdly, they didn't even TRY to hide the wires. No, this would not do at all.

So, I spent like 8 hours unraveling and unwiring the pre-wired tree I purchased. Then, I spent another 3 hours ever-so-carefully wrapping 2100 (that's right...how do you like them apples? lol) lights all around my 7.5 foot tree. And you know what? I HID the wires... no, they are not invisible, but not nearly as in-your-face as before. Another hour to place the ornaments where they belong, drape the ribbons, place the bow and add the star and voila! My tree was up. I have to say, though, after all that effort I can relate to those who leave their trees up past December. It's a shame that all that work only translates into 30 days of decoration. :)
Putting the lights up outside took about a day, largely because I had never done it before and had NO idea what I was doing. Once I figured it out, it really only took another hour or two. :) My house is SO pretty!!

I celebrated with rum eggnog in my Christmas poinsetta flute while listening to Christmas Carols. I'll add photos of the process - probably tomorrow

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Myspace Migration: Welcome to Yet Another Champagne Thursday - Rate the Guys

Current mood:happy
Wasn't going to do Champagne Thursday this evening - after the Cape Cods with Wendy yesterday, I'm genuinely concerned about not giving the appearance of being an alcoholic - 'cause I'm not. Truly. However, after watching Grey's Anatomy, my mind has kicked into overdrive and so here I sit, with my glass, partaking after all.
Life's kind of funny. To some more than others; to me, it's really quite funny. Sometimes in that laugh-out-loud-until-your-sides-hurt-kind-of-way; others more in an isn't-that-a-kick-in-the-pants-ironic-kind-of-way. Sometimes the two join forces and then it gets really interesting. But, with the way I view the world, life is almost always humorous. Why? Because I am bright and shiny - not so much dark and twisty (though I can get there now and again, it's not really who I am).

I want to talk about relationships (nothing new). More than that, I want to talk about the guys that I'm talking to/dating right now. I've been trying to steer away from that lately, because there is more than one guy I'm talking to and I think that it's important to make the people you see feel special. It's hard to do if it's constantly thrown in their face that they're "one of X" that you're talking to (we almost all do it, talk to more than one person at a time, but how much do you really publicize it?). And I know with the exception of one guy, they read my blogs. Which is cool - it's not that I've anything to hide, I don't - I just ... I don't know... I don't know how excited I'd feel about reading details about dates/the relationships they have with other chicks.. so, I try to be somewhat considerate of that.
But, it's time. Time to talk through some of this, get it in print where I might even be able to have a dialogue with some of my friends about it. Nothing huge; just some thoughts.

Earlier this week I was accused of being "unromantic" by my friend Christopher. So, the first thing that does (of course) is make me think about the past and then the guys I'm dating/getting to know and try and figure out if he's right. I appreciate the fact that he feels comfortable enough with our friendship to point it out (though, I'm not sure I needed to be beaten over the head with it, Christopher... ); but, respectfully, I think he's only half-right. Maybe this falls along the lines of stoicism; but, I think there's a time and place for romance. It's lovely, it is... but, it can't rule our lives. It's idealistic; and passion for the sake of passion alone is not truly passionate. We can't really sustain that mentality 24/7/365. And, I submit, we really wouldn't want to - or shouldn't, anyway. Part of what makes romance and passion such wonderful states of being is that it isn't constant; it ebbs, flows and builds.

Also, there is the logical thought of it skews our rationality; which, we need. I need to make a decision on who I want to be with on more factors than if they make me hear the Philharmonic when I'm with them or if I can still feel their kiss goodnight the next day. Sure, those are fabulous feelings - it's just not the end-all. Not for me. I want my best friend... I can teach him how to kiss.

I've met some truly wonderful men over the last few months. Great guys. I've met a couple of stinkers, too; but, that's to be expected. (Note to men; when I say I don't care about how much money you make, I mean it - if I have to say it more than twice, it's a good hint to stop talking about it - I think this is pretty much universal to all self-sufficient women) There are a couple that I'm really interested in getting to know further and seeing where that leads. The points of commonality between them are interesting; as are their differences.

I'm attracted to professionals. I always have been; people who have a career versus a job. I think it compliments my own ambition - I may be joking when I say I want to rule the world, but I'm not joking when I say I love my career and being successful is important to me. Not at the expense of my children/family, but it is part of my mental well-being. And I guess that I feel like people who have a career get that.
Turns out, another point of commonality is music. With the exception of one guy that I can think of, every guy I've gone out with or am talking to is either really into music or is musical himself. That really makes me happy; I know, no newsflash there. But, I think the creativity behind that is really what's important to me - not just the shared interest.

But, that's really where the points of commonality between the guys I'm talking to/interested in ends. After that, they're very different people, all with different industries/professions and they handle themselves (and me) very differently. With one guy, I'm pretty sure of where I stand; with another, it's hard to find the footing. I can't tell if that's a sign or not, but I'm not overly concerned. I think what brought this up is that I found out that I'm probably going to run into one of the guys I'm seeing tomorrow night at the DMA - I'll be with my daughter, he'll be on a date. That will be interesting - kind of like broccoli is interesting (as an aside, I find it rather interesting that broccoli has a generally accepted reputation for making people gassey, yet so many people still eat it *Shrug*). It's ok, don't get me wrong - I am talking to/seeing and getting to know other people - why shouldn't he? But the thought I had as I hung up the phone laughing was that there's something a little unnatural about seeing your competition.

And that's where I took pause. My competition. I have never really, seriously looked at this whole dating thing as a competition before - because, really, there's no clear way to win. It's not like I can exert "X" amount of effort and get some kind of prize. No guy can win me by following "Y" path... so, it just didn't really seem like "competition" or "race" was really an applicable term to dating. But, the reality of the situation is that for both the guys I'm talking to and for myself, there is a comparative, if not competitive factor to it. And while I don't want to shortchange my kid by changing my plans because I don't want to see how I size up next to this chick, or put the guy in an odd situation; I have to concede, it gives me slight pause.

I'm really secure in who I am at this point in my life. I know my flaws and I know my high points; but I do not compare myself to other women. I'm just me - and I tend to look at how I'm living my life and how that matches up to the people that I'm talking to - not how it matches up to the other women they're talking to. And I like that. I don't want to mess that up. Because I don't want to deal with any insecurity beyond the fact that I don't like my butt and I don't look like I'm 17 anymore. LOL Seriously, I just don't want to wake up Saturday morning wondering if I'm as good for someone as someone else is. I don't want that worry (I guess that qualifies as a worry) and I don't need that stress. Does that make sense?

Of course, the reality of the situation is that question exists whether I see her or not. Whether I see any of the other women the guys I'm talking to are seeing - or if any of them ever see or get to know each other - the question of "how do we size up" still exists. I tried, once, this summer to compare and contrast the men I was seeing. Made a spreadsheet, a powerpoint presentation for my gal pals and everything (Hey, I concede I'm a geek - I had a broken foot/ankle and too much time on my hands). But, truly, they were impossible to compare because, like I said earlier, they were so different from one another. One guy was really emotional and sensitive, one guy was really manly and I'm pretty positive that the third guy was gay (though even after proof he still doesn't want to admit it, which in this day and age, I don't get). It comes down to personal preference and what you need in your life when it comes time to choose.

Choosing is a double-edged sword. It's a lovely luxury to be able to have options to choose from; but there's always buyer's remorse to be concerned with. Did you pick the right guy/girl? If you had done "A," B," or "C," would someone else have actually been the better choice?? It can be scary, so many of us opt not to choose; to just go merrily along until things sort themselves out. Overall in life, I'm pretty good at making choices; in fact, I'm fairly adept at it, I think. I'll research it, weigh it out and then make the decision... then it's done. People have remarked at how quickly and decisively I can act. But, with relationships, it's totally different. I'm one of those people that tend to (at this point in my life) sit back and see what happens. I don't want to make the wrong decision, so I will make no decision at all and just kind of go with the flow. The problem with that is, by not taking action and saying "Hey, I want to get to know you better; let's make this happen" or "I really like you and want to see where this could go" I think I could very well miss out - because it presents a laissez-faire kind of attitude that I don't wholly have.

All that being said, I'm not ready to make any kind of snap decision yet; I'm still getting to know people and seeing how we fit - but, hearing about Christy (the girl that will be at the DMA tomorrow night) made me chuckle and think about all of this. That and the whole Izzy/Alex thing on Grey's Anatomy.
There's more to say, but this blog posting is already hella long... soooo, I'll come back to it another time if I remember. To the guys I'm seeing/getting to know - thanks. There should probably be some kind of award for having to put up with my thought processes. :)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Myspace Migration: Baby it's Cold Outside

Current mood:cold

Ok, first of all, I got a new planner that runs through 2009 (thank you Lifetouch - total perk of being the Yearbook Chairperson). So, I'm getting November filled out and guess what I saw?? November 3rd was National Sandwich Day. This immediately brings 2 things to mind:

1) Not really sure what that says about our society when we, as a country, recognize an entire day to celebrate the sandwich.
2) I wonder if I had a sandwich that day? That'd be kinda funny....

In other news, it's flippin' chilly outside!! Seriously, it's not that cold - the thermometer in my car says it's nearly 50 degrees but the wind is cutting. There was definately NO WAY I could do a skirt today. Nope, nope, nope. Today was absolutely made better by Starbucks. Just thought you should know. The only thing that will make it cooler is if I get to pick up my new Soccer Mom car today. We'll see... :)
One Fun Thing - 1funthing.com - do it. It rocks. More Later.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Myspace Migration: Tuesday, It's a Good Day...

Current mood:giddy
I'm just really enjoying myself today. It's been crazy busy, but I like that! Got good news: my neighbor is going to make it - that's the good part. The unfortunate part is that he's got a VERY long recovery ahead of him. I think in these things you have to focus on the positive, though - he's still got an "ahead of him" to speak of.
I hit my latest and greatest breakpoint at work which translates into more money for me - so yay! I LOVE MY JOB - I swear, I'm having so much fun with the new development practice. I like to research and learn new things and there's a lot to do and learn. I'm going to have to talk to work about getting a laptop, though. My computer here is just kinda hosed and with my personality, I really need the portability, anyway. Which, I've got money in the practice to do it, so that should be fine. We'll see.

Was talking with someone today and was asked if I had really thought through WHY I wanted the things I want out of a relationship. That was an interesting question to me. Seriously, I'm not sure anyone's ever quite asked that before. Lots of people ask WHAT I want, but that's not the same as why I want it. And yes, I do know why I want what I want. Hadn't really thought about it, but I can articulate why I'm looking for "comfortable" as opposed to "exciting" or "make my heart skip a beat." You know what? I've got the latter every day of the week. I've got an exciting, fast-paced job, and more than enough stress/unknown variables between work and being a single-parent. So comfortable is really what I need when it comes to a relationship and really, what feels good to me. (Yes, my sarcastic friend Christopher, I realize that you're going to read this and say that's not terribly romantic. I have two things to say to that: 1 - You don't date me, so what the heck does it matter, anyway? and 2 - Sue Me. :p) As far as building a relationship with someone to where they become my best friend - who wouldn't want that in a partner??? I mean, really... when the fireworks start to fade (and yes, they DO tend to Christopher - romantic or not, even you can't say they're all bright and shiny 24/7/365/lifetime), wouldn't you want that???

Gotta go workout before the PTA meeting. The girls want to watch "Dancing with the Stars" tonight- Jackie's got them hooked - so we're going over there for a "Star-Studded Soiree" complete with sparkling cider for the kids (red wine for the adults) and Wing-Stop Garlic Parmesean, Lemon Pepper, and Barbeque Chicken Wings. We're Oh-So-Cultured.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Myspace Migration: Monday Funday

Current mood:calm
So, the girls stayed with their Dad last night because they didn't have to go to school this morning and honestly, it was easier for me (that's ok, now and again, right?). Picked them up this morning for an early morning dental appointment. Yeah, the dentist's office was closed. They rescheduled our appointment to 2pm. Kinda forgot to tell us - wasn't that just peachy?? LOL

The kids went to work with me. Where I found out that somebody swiped the DVD player I bought for the kids' playroom at work. I just don't get that. They left the gamecube, but they took the cheap-o DVD player. *Sigh* Fortunately, my kids managed to amuse themselves for awhile and I did actually get some work done.

We had the dental appointment. Lindsey's teeth weren't a huge issue to do today; Natalie still hurts. She had one tooth they had to do a LOT of work on today - she might actually lose that tooth, we're not sure yet. Anyway, we get done and they want me to double pay them - I had already done that. Sometimes I wonder if they just throw out numbers and people say, "Oh, ok!" and just blindly pay it.
Home now. Have a TON of work to do and really need to get to the store, but don't want to leave the kids alone (that would be irresponsible parenting) and don't want to take Nati out of her bed (poor thing). So, I think tomorrow might be a cinnamon roll breakfast, though I tend to think that's a lot of sugar for those little bodies that early in the morning.

I kind of feel like snuggling up with the girls in my bed, reading Alexander's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and trying again tomorrow.
Still no word on my neighbor. I'm really not in a bad mood, though it may seem like it reading this blog. I'm just sort of spent. Maybe I need some coffee?? I have a Tassimo, I could arrange that!! :)

I had this thought today: how many of our decisions are really critical? I mean, I say that every choice I make brings me to where I am today - as if they're all this interwoven tapestry that if you pull one string, you'll screw up the picture... so all strings must stay intact. However, I wonder if it isn't more like SOME of our decisions make a difference and a bunch of them just don't really matter a whit. So, I can choose to try a Pumpkin shake (which is not on my diet and took about 3 seconds to remember that I don't really care for pumpkin) and it won't have an effect on tomorrow - excepting that it was $3 I didn't really need to spend and over 30 years what would that $3 bring in interest?? LOL Anyway, hopefully you get my point. If some of your decisions don't really matter, does regret become then a useful thing? Does it allow you to become more carefree or does it become that much more important to think through your choices so that you aren't flippant on the wrong decision? My logic is getting fuzzy, I'll stop there.. just something I was mulling over.

I can't believe I didn't remember I don't like Pumpkin all that much...

Friday, November 10, 2006

Myspace Migration: Pepto, Prevacid, or Tums... Holy Heartburn, Batman!

Current mood:exanimate
Yeah. I have seh-herious heartburn right now - to the point of chest pains. Note to self: Orange juice and lasagna are NOT a good mix in your stomach. Reading that, it doesn't even SOUND good. But lately, I've been literally craving orange juice. Can't get enough of it - and I've been popping Vitamin C like it's candy. Normally, I'd say I'm a pretty darn good cook but this lasagna did NOT turn out okay. I will go so far as to admit that it was actually pretty yuckky. I must have made a wrong turn at the sauce or something...

So, now I've got an upset stomach (though I'm sure the 12 ounces of orange juice I had right after dinner didn't help) and heartburn that would start a forest fire, given the chance. I'm looking at the options for "forest fire" relief: do I take Tums, Pepto, Prevacid, all three??? I'm opting for all of them at the moment....
My brother was laid off today, poor guy. I know he'll be okay, he's degreed, he's bilingual, and he's sharp (of course, he's related to ME)... and he knows me, I'm a recruiter. Hopefully I can help him out (or, more specifically, one of my connections can). We'll see...

I'm still buried under work. Enough that I might not be able to keep the plans I've made for the weekend. I really need to get this stuff done for Monday. We'll see how much I accomplish tomorrow night... I'll be burning the midnight oil, either at the house or at the office.

So, I'm wearing these flannel sleep pants that are just THE BOMB. Seriously, it's sorta sic how comfortable these are. Decidedly not attractive, but still - I think I could totally live in these one weekend and be okay with that. I probably wouldn't do anything but sleep, but lately that's ok, too.

NaNoWriMo Word Count to Date? 19,182. I'm WAY behind. But, you know, work's kinda pesky about being my first priority after the kids. If I'm lucky, I'll catch up at Thanksgiving.

Is it wrong that what I really want is orange juice right now?? LOL - I think I'm going to go get some water and go back to bed. Night, all!

Myspace Migration: And Suddenly, The World Just Stops

Current mood:sad
There are all kinds of reasons the world could stop for a moment or two... some of them pleasant, some of them momentous and some of them sad. Of course, we always hope for those pleasant moments, right? Sometimes, though, you end up with all three. But, no matter what the root cause, time stands still for just a moment and typically, you get a flash of clarity. My favorite "world stops" moments are admittedly girly: the feeling I get when I snuggle my girls is the first moment that comes to mind. I could seriously hold on to them for hours and be just fine. Everything in the world seems right and insignificant at the same time. That perfect unexpected kiss (that can really only be better if it's raining) right before you're held by someone you care for/cares for you is another "world stops" kind of moment. It's soft, sweet and everything else just melts away. But, let's get back to reality now, shall we?

Tonight, I had a wonderful time. I saw a really BAD movie (FYI, "The Break Up" sucks. Why the hell would you make a movie about a break-up where they DON'T get back together in the end??); but, I had really great company. It was one of those times where I wish the world could have stopped because I was just comfortable. But, the world can't stop and I have to pick the girls up for a dental appointment REALLY early in the morning.

On the way home, that's when the world paused for me for a moment. I checked my voicemail because I saw I had missed a couple of calls and low and behold, one of my friends/neighbors had left a voicemail. Our children are friends, I like them and our lives are somewhat connected. Well, the Husband had been in what is evidently a rather serious car accident yesterday. He's in the hospital and I have no prognosis to report. That to me does not sound like a good sign.

It seems melodramatic to say the world stopped for a bit, but it really did. In that moment, all I could think about was the pain he might be in and his Wife. Nothing else mattered. Even typing this, I'm getting chills; I can't imagine what she's going through. I know what I'd be going through.

There was one night when Jason (my ex-husband) didn't come home on time. I didn't know where he was and I went through this gammut of emotions. But somewhere around 3 or 5 hours late, I became panicky. Where was my husband? I called every hospital in the metroplex, every police station, every friend I knew of, every restaurant I knew he liked to frequent trying to find him. Nothing. The pit in my stomach was horrid and hard to explain. Finally, I got a hold of one hospital who had a Jason My-last-name that had indeed been checked into the hospital ER that night. The entire world got very loud and then disappeared completely off my radar at that moment. The only thing that mattered was getting to him.

Fortunately, it was a different Jason and as I was getting ready to walk out the door, he showed up. He'd been out drinking with co-workers and was, other than driving quite intoxicated, completely ok. But still, I remember how shaken up I was and nothing had really happened to him. I can only imagine how much worse it is for the Wife now.

I'm praying. I'm praying they're ok (both of them) and I'm praying that God will show her how to find the strength and serenity she'll need during this time. I'm praying that there will be something I can do to help. I'm praying for their child. I'm praying that her world starts back up again, soon...
I don't know how successful I'm going to be at this, but I guess I should try and get some sleep. Goodnight, all.

Myspace Migration: Everyone's Got Weirdness... Even Me!

The 1st player of this "game" starts with the topic "6 weird habits/things about yourself" and people who get tagged need to write a blog about their 6 weird habits/things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose the next 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says "you are tagged" in their myspace comments and tell them to read yours.

1. My nose gets stuffy when I kiss someone for any protracted period of time. Not too terribly, but enough to where I need to take a moment to breathe. LOL

2. When the kids are home, I sleep with the door open. HAVE to, almost. When the kids are elsewhere for the night, and I'm sleeping alone, I HAVE to sleep with the door closed and locked. Go figure.

3. I'm partially color-blind.

4. I get periodic cravings for Orange Juice and nothing really tastes good until I have at least a glass or two!
5. I have to eat the outsides of a 3 Musketeers before I can eat the middle.

6. I'm double jointed in a couple of fingers.

Tagging the people whom I kinda want to know what their wierdness might be (because darn it, if I got tagged, others should, too!):
1. Shelly
2. Bev
3. Chris
4. Christopher
5. Shane
6. Wendy

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Myspace Migration: Champagne Thursday Begins...

Current mood:productive
Ok. I am plum wore out! I think I owe several people apologies, because there are a lot of calls I haven't taken or returned in the evenings this week. Seriously though, folks, I have just been mentally exhausted this week by the time 8pm rolls around. It's like I turn into this walking zombie or something. Or, like two nights ago, I just flat out fall asleep.

I was concerned, mildly anyway, and then I remembered it was like this when I started the residential practice two years ago. I'd go to work, come home and work some more, Beau would light the candles on the coffee table and honestly just leave me alone while I was either working or staring at the candles like a vegetable. Fortunately, he was all into his computer game so I wasn't really neglecting him. I just had to pour all my energy into creating the infastructure for the search practice - so come the end of the day, mental acuity was gone and mental dullness reigned supreme. Much like a pencil that had been used all day without being sharpened.

So now, two years later, I'm starting a new practice in addition to maintaining the pulse of residential (which I'll concede is fairly weak these days). My mind is really wholly focused on getting an in into Chicago's Women in Real Estate, learning my way around CREC, and memorizing the BUMA website. Do I have every developer in my database? Do I know what the big projects in Chicago are? What does the delay in Nicky O's hotel mean to the development world, or does it?? Who are the big dogs in this business that I need to be talking to? What positions even comprise the placable workforce for these companies?? Anyway, you get my point, I'm learning how to roll in this world. I've got a stack of books, magazines, web sites, business journals, scads of notepads and gallons of coffee. Which, at 6am, I'm already well past my coffee quotient for the day and ready for a nap.

I don't know how my personal life is going to fit into this. When I did this last time, I was in a semi-committed relationship; so, I really didn't have to focus on how to fit in dates. I didn't see my friends (unless you count Beau's brother, who was one of my best friends at the time) and my kids had a nanny. This time, I am dating and have met one or two people I don't want to lose track of during this "start-up" period. I have friends I not only want to see, but really need to so that the newly formed tendrils of friendship don't break. And, most importantly, this time around I have no nanny and I have a very different mindset on what makes good parenting. I can't just ignore my kids all evening for work. So last night I decided to give this a whirl (when I realized I had worked through their bedtime): I'm trying to set a rule where 2 nights a week I do no work until after they're in bed (Tues. Wed) and then the other three nights, try to do things that don't have me at my computer with my back to them. Like putting on a kids movie and reading a business journal while we're watching it (I've got all their movies practically memorized, anyway). Then, putting the business journal down and playing a game with them before bed. Then, on the weekends, I'm just going to have to dedicate a few more hours to work. Which, given the time of day I wake up and the time of day I'm used to going to bed, shouldn't be all that difficult.

This will be the first Champagne Thursday in a long time that I will not only not be talking to my girlfriends (I know, poor sentence structure), but will not be having champagne as well. Maybe a glass of red wine as I'm working, but it doesn't really feel like a champagne kind of day

Myspace Migration: This is a Rant; It is Only a Rant...

Current mood:bitchy
I've got ten million other things I SHOULD be doing, but I feel it appropriate to pause for about ten minutes and go off on something. I'm REALLY frustrated at the moment with parents who do NOT have primary custody of their children (here comes strong language, please excuse me) bitching about how much they are inconvenienced financially taking care of their kids through - wait for it - CHILD SUPPORT. How it wasn't fair. I was listening to someone talk about this today and Oh.My.Goodness. Now, everyone who knows me that to say I'm a "Strong Personality" would probably be putting it mildly. I'm wildly opinionated and I have no problem sharing said opinions. So, it took everything in me to literally bite my tongue and not spend a few minutes sharing how completely inane that train of thought was.

Let me say up front, this is not a DAD thing. It's a Non-Custodial Parent thing. And it's probably the minority of non-custodial parents. But it just seems like there's a lot of them that just.don't.get.it. My ex-husband is even included in this now and again. Most of the time, he's really not bad. But, when something out of the blue comes up and we have to have a financial talk - it's really preparing for WWIII. "Don't you realize how much more I do than you?" - Um, no... not really. "I only get them a third of the time, I shouldn't have to pay half." Well, but you do claim half the responsibility for MAKING them, no? And bottom line, you did sign off on the divorce decree agreeing to X,Y, and Z, no? So, why is this a conversation and not a "I spent X on Y Medical Bill - you owe Z" kinda talk? Usually, about that point, my ex-husband rejoins reality and our conversations can continue peacably. Not everyone is as lucky.

But that last statement of "more contribution for more time" is a pretty common argument. Why should a parent have to pay more than the percentage that they get to see them? I mean, really, it just doesn't seem fair... right? Um, no. The problem with that argument is that nothing about divorce is fair. It's not ABOUT fair. It's not even really about the parents. It's about the kids and the lifestyle that you want your children to have. Do you WANT your children to wear ratty-arse clothes because you want to stick it to your ex-spouse? Do you WANT your child to miss a birthday party because you two are fighting over who pays for the gift this time? Does your kid NOT get their prescriptions refilled because you think it's more important to go out Saturday night? I mean, really....

In my specific situation, Jason and I talked about the kind of lifestyle that we wanted for our children when they were infants. Now, I'm not going to say that we had completely in-synch views, but we by and large came to an agreement. The lifestyle that I keep is in keeping with what we wanted for our children. Let me tell you, it's not cheap. So, it really gets my goat when Jason talks about how he makes a greater contribution towards the kids than I do (and I think that's why he does it, but that's really not the point).

(If I didn't have kids, I'd SO be in the apartment building next door to where I work and I'd probably save about 600 dollars a month doing it, by the time you factor in rent, utilities, and gas. - So don't tell me I would have spent that money, anyway)
Now, factor in the 1k I spend in clothes every three months (my little girls got their butts from their Dad's side of the family and wear 1/2 size jeans - the cute ones are hard to find and expensive... they cost more than mine and I need a lot more fabric!), the nanny we used to have and the summer care for the kids (that I solely provide for), the medical bills (that I pay 90% of), the birthday gifts, the toys, the school stuff, the school pictures (that everybody and their brother on both sides of the family needs a copy of - and by the way, why the heck do school pictures end up costing $120 for two children, anyway?), Halloween costumes, Christmas junk, and then the normal stuff like after-school activities and food and such... it adds up amazingly quick and it's nowhere near an equal split.

And you know what? As long as I can afford all of it, that's totally ok. Why? Because I'M A PARENT. I chose to have those children. I take on the additional expenses because it's part and parcel of the gig. It would never occur to me to gripe about it being unfair. Being expensive keeping the little suckers - sure, I'll gripe about that IN JEST... but, seriously, noone MADE me have them. And to not have the responsibilities of daily care and to then gripe about the realistically, let's say 30-40% contribution you have to make to their care?? Personally, I think you should be flogged.

Wow, that really was cathartic; even though I am sure I sound like a complete hard-arse. To all the parents who do make it about their kids... Thank You. - That is all; you may continue with your regularly scheduled programming now

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Myspace Migration: Voice Your Vote

Voice Your Vote - Election Day 2006
It seems like, for the last 10 years at least, I hear each election day that there are "no good candidates." Why bother to vote? I don't like anybody.

Hmmm... You know I think it is harder to identify with any one particular candidate and be completely sold - at least it has been for me. But, then again, I'm not voting the party line - I'm voting the issues. So, it's quite commonplace for me to have a hard time finding a candidate that I agree with ALL their viewpionts, across all my hot-button issues. I personally would like to see changes to our Land Commissioner, our Comptroller of Public Accounts and actually, our Attorney General. In local news, I'd like to see changes to the District Attorney. In more than one of those positions, I have a hard time finding a candidate that I like.

But the solution is not to throw away my vote! Call me an activist (you'd be wrong, but you wouldn't be the first), call me over-passionate on this issue - say whatever you like, but it literally gives me a sinking feeling in my stomach when I hear that people didn't vote. Seriously, it is our civic responsibility to vote as part of being an American Citizen. And since there is not a single person that I know that doesn't enjoy at least SOME of the benefits of citizenship; there shouldn't be a single person I know that doesn't step up to the responsibilities of it!
Why vote? Every single one of these positions have impact on your life. Example: Attorney General - we have different things the AG can focus on: Greg Abbott has spent a lot of time [in my view largely unsuccessfully] chasing after deadbeat parents and back child-support - we could have someone that not only addresses that, but maybe also focuses on things like mandatory local public voting before installation/enforcement of new toll roads, water piracy, and utility degregulation stabilization of rates. Ok, so maybe I didn't phrase all that as well as I could of, but you get the idea... Every one of us either directly or indirectly pays for utilities and most of us in N. Texas utilize toll roads. Wouldn't you like to know you had a say in installing someone who could help regulate how much you're paying for these things??

Another reason to vote is local issues. Example: liquor sales for dry areas. We have an issue to vote on where I live that would allow the sale of beer and wine in grocery stores in the specific city in which I live. That's important - not being able to (our current status) has impeded grocery stores from coming into our up-and-coming area of development. Not only do I have to currently drive nearly 20 mintues to get to a grocery store; our area is losing out on some significant tax revenue. With my vote, I have the opportunity to help address that!

http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/2006_primary.shtml - This site takes you to the Secretary of State's website - and will have information on every position up for vote, who the candidates of record are, ect. Be informed - it's not too late... And then Voice Your Opinion - Vote!!

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Myspace Migration: Sort of a Pay It Forward...

Current mood:productive
I've been exchanging emails with a friend of mine, who was really unhappy about the state of her hearth and home and a few other things. Anyway, a lot of the struggles she has are the same struggles that I've dealt with and have heard renumerated from many of my friends. It got me thinking: What are your current struggles? What tricks of the trade have you picked up along the way that would potentially help others? Seems like that would be a great blog for those of us who do so... and would, by sharing our struggles, increase our odds of finding someone who's already tackled that and found solutions!
Here are my struggles:
1) This may sound trivial, but it bugs the daylights out of me. I have this heavy flatware that is SO not discoloration resistant. It looks like it has rust, but I don't see how that's possible. But, I HATE using it because that's what it looks like. Does anyone know of a heavy cleaner for brushed flatware?
2) I'm working very hard to "be present" wherever I am. I like to multi-task and that's ok, to a degree. But, I also have a hard time leaving work at work and home at home (especially since I work from home part of the time, lol). My job isn't 9-5 and I often find myself trying to take calls during dinner (sometimes even dates, eek); thinking about issues with clients and such while I'm out or thinking about the kids/home stuff while I need to be completely focused on work. I know that's natural, but I need to overcome it. I have yet to find an effective gameplan for that, though....
I'm sure there are more, but I can't think of them right now.

Here's my "pay it forward:"
When Kel was talking about having issues with keeping up her house, I could totally relate. When I was married, it was a huge issue for me, too. Heck, it can get to be an issue now, if I let it! There's certainly no overage of free time in my life. Which is exactly why I adopted this practice from Flylady: "Touch it once." Seriously, it doesn't matter what you're "touching" - whether it be something at work, the stuff you bring into the house, groceries, cleaning, whatever.. take it where it needs to go, put it up, finish the job. If you don't, you'll have to expend TWICE the energy/time you would have originally to finish it later. Plus, it makes your house more cluttered. There's my secret. LOL That's how I keep my house from looking like a complete disaster. I try very hard to touch things ONCE.
I guess that runs along the vien of my second struggle, doesn't it?? That's kind of funny to me...

Water Water Everywhere & Not A Drop to Drink...

Ok. Let me start this off with saying WOW. It has rained enough that it flooded the section of the Tollway I have to go down to get to 380. In fact, I saw two cars stranded in the water - which was enough to get me to hit Reverse and take El Dorado to 423 instead. But, how crazy is that? It doesn't even seem like it's been raining for ALL that long!

So, had a date tonight and I guess the weather change affected my allergies because my eyes itched, my nose itched and I'm sure that poor guy thinks I'm addicted to cocaine or something. LOL Actually, it was great to meet him - he's funny & I have a thing for bald guys. Anyway, if I had realized the weather was going to do that, I totally would have popped a Claritin. Oh well, lol.... FYI, Taco Diner in the Legacy Center is cool.

In other news, I've been trying to stave off getting my nails filled/done because I thought that would totally look trashy for Shelly's White Trash Birthday Bash thing this Friday. I mean, that would fall under that category right? Get fake nails, but not be able to keep up with them. Hmmm... yeah, I don't think I'm going to make it. It's kind of driving me nuts. We'll see. If I can make it through tomorrow, I'll make it (because I'll get busy enough that I won't have the option)... but, I kinda despise how they look right now!
To top it all off, I got home and found out that I'm out of my bottled water. There's water around me EVERYWHERE - just not the water I want! I find a funny irony in that. :)

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Myspace Migration: Champagne Thursday

I.am.Martha.Freaking.Stewart. Seriously, I'm pretty excited about what I'm cooking this evening. Walnut Cranberry Stuffed Chicken; Fresh Green Beans with Tuscan Herbs, and grilled Sweet Potatoes. Did I mention I love to cook??? I decided I needed to de-stress this evening and cooking is just so much fun! Plus, I'm fixing a healthy dinner to boot, so you can't beat that!

I'm loving the change of pace at work. I didn't really realize how much I needed it. Plus, I'm one month into the 4th quarter and I'm at 118% of my goal! Yay, me! :) I had so much fun today researching.... They're telling me I move offices again MAYBE this week, maybe next - that's the only really unsettling thing about work right now. I know I'm moving again, so I don't want to settle in.
I'm about to go walk as soon as Jade's Dad picks her up. I've got 20 new songs loaded and I'm pumped because the walking trail around the neighborhood lake is done!! And it's crisp and chilly outside.. so pretty! Seriously, the world is a beautiful place to be part of today.

Champagne Thursday will be celebratory tonight. I've got good stuff going on at work, I'm confident today's meal will be fantastic and there have been some interesting developments on the personal front. So, I can't complain...
Maybe more later; there was SOMEthing I wanted to talk about, but I can't put my finger on it at the moment.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Myspace Migration: I Now Own a Soccer Mom Car

Current mood:grateful
So, I did it. Traded in the Altima yesterday for a Chrysler Pacifica. I now own a "Mommy Car." The kids are thrilled. It's a cool looking car. With American cars, it's best to buy used (well, with most cars, really) because of the MASSIVE depreciation hit you get when you buy new. Don't believe me? The sticker price for my car new - 2005 Chrysler Pacifica Touring Limited - 31k and change. Now, technically, since the 2007 models are out, you could say it's 2 years old. So, 25k miles and perhaps 2 years later - it took almost a 50% depreciation hit. Sucks for them, great for me.

Like the Altima, I made sure it had all the little bells and whistles. In fact, there are only two little whistles that I'm missing from the last car: the seat warmers (I WILL miss those) and the one-touch window raise (it has one-touch down). But, it has dual power seats (the Altima only had driver's power seat) and the DVD player, so - I guess it washes out. Well, it WILL have the DVD player after Saturday. :)
Here's pictures of the car:

That's what the DVD Player WILL look like after they put it in (but it's not in yet, so I stole the pic from another one of their cars). I was concerned that the sunroof would mess up the ability to have the DVD player, but they said no.. so yay!!
Grapevine Chrysler Jeep Dodge did a great job. Very painless buying experience overall. Walked in and said, "I want that car. I want X for my Altima, Y for the Pacifica, and I want the DVD." They said, "Cool" and we were off to the races. Wendy and I celebrated with Cape Cods after it was all over.