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Monday, December 24, 2007

Myspace Migration: Because it's Too Funny NOT to Mention

So, in olden days when you had problem children, you raised them quietly and then lived a life where people thought that perhaps you were the sweet, barren couple who didn't have kids. You kept kinda mum.
In some kind of cosmic funny, LYNN SPEARS is putting out a *pause for me to have another fit of laughter* PARENTING BOOK. Bahahahahahaha! What in the name of the holy trinity makes this woman think that she's fit on ANY level to give "normal parents" advice on how to rear children? Was it the bang up job she did with Brittney? (1) Or, perhaps, it's the loving open relationship she has with now knocked-up daughter Jamie Lynn.... Seriously, what do they put in the water out there? When it first was announced that Jamie, at the tender age of SIXTEEN, was in the family way; the publishers put the book on hold, indefinitely. This restored some faith I had in the publishing world.

Ahem. Hold that hope.
The book is BACK ON and now will be published directly. We are straight on the way to hell, people and I don't see pavers of good intentions. Jamie Lynn. Parenting Book. Must.Go.Laugh.Till.Throw.Up.Now.
(1) See also, definition for white trash - she really should just give it up and embrace it. You've hit a new low when your nanny doesn't feel comfortable leaving you with the children because you have no juice, no milk, and no food AT ALL in your massive sub-zero.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Myspace Migration: Holiday Hijinks

The holidays are, once again, upon us. Today was my extended family's get-together. Remember those songs we sang as a child about going 'over the river and through the woods' to get to Grandmother's house? Yeah, well, I.Did.That.

For two.and.a.half.hours.I.sat.in.the.BACK.SEAT.of.my.parents'.car. And joy of all joys, I found I get just a little bit carsick when I'm not in control of the car. Or at least in the front seat.

We drove to a little town called Yantis? (1) where my Uncle Ray and Aunt Dana live. They have horses, they've made improvements, they're looking at selling their place - so, seems like a good time to spend more time there. It was a pleasant enough time - however, did I mention it was over two hours away? There is NOTHING out there. And nothing particularly close by. I couldn't help but think, "Where do people out here buy clothes? But, the kids rode horses (Natalie, who has, evidently, inherited her Mother's complete lack of grace, fell off *She's Fine*) and we all bonded. And then I spent another couple of hours getting carsick on the ride back. (2)

On the way home, my kid decides she's STARVING (3). So, we stop at the McDonald's so she can get a happy meal before I drop the girls at their Dad's. Then, of course, the other child wants one, too. Fine. No problem! :) Ok, remember the aforementioned reference to my complete lack of grace? Trying to walk INTO the McDonald's to place my daughters' order, I do a complete face plant into the sidewalk. No good reason, really - just completely uncoordinated. I am Style. I am Grace. And I am FLAT on my arse. (after rolling around from being flat on my face).

How I can rollerblade and iceskate without losing appendages, but cannot walk into a fast-food joint is beyond me. It IS, however, the reason I almost 100% of the time opt to drive-thru. Much better for the establishment's insurance policy, too...

Tomorrow I must navigate *GASP* a mall. Now, Northpark, with it's old-money feel and the Mecca that is Lush works for me. I can do that without fearing I'm going to need a brown bag to keep from needing oxygen, or a layer of Germ-X to stave off coodies from the throngs of wierd people around me. I always seem to end up surrounded by women fashionably clad in Burberry or Ralph Lauren while waiting in line for my flowering tea at Teavana (4) before I pick up another half dozen bath bombs (5) at previously mentioned Mecca. I feel trendy, safe, and in good company all at the same time. North East Mall, however, is a completely different story. There I seem to be trying to squeak by people with piercing and funkily-colored hair (6), where too many screaming children are quite frankly -pissed- because who wants to wait 2 hours to see Santa??? Nothing any kid wants is worth that kind of wait and they all know it.

Plus, as a bonus, most of the parents make their kids look like complete arsehats dressed in the most rediculous matching candy-cane striped, rudolph glow-nose sweaters, muffins, and tights for their Christmas card photos. This is why they made the bad nursing homes, people... But, I've got a couple more gifts to buy because Goodness knows there has been ZERO time during the week lately. Wish me luck (7).
Ok, so now my Mother has decided I've had ENOUGH computer time (she's a technophobe and, as such, has issues with my brother and I being on the computer for longer than about ten minutes), so I guess I should tend to my footnotes and go spend some more Family Time. I think there's hockey on and at least one bottle of wine that I have tucked away, so it should be ok.

(1) I'm actually not POSITIVE that's the name of the town, but it's the sign I saw not far from the -get this- camels that hang out there.
(2) I did offer to take my own car as my kids actually preferred that.. but, that was evidently counter-productive to the 'family' time we're having. Have I ever mentioned I live 45 minutes away from my parents and 20 minutes from my brother who, little snot, did NOT join in the festivities today? I love my family, but I'm looking forward to the Jetson-like transportation system. It's fun to be there, it's getting there that's the Big B.
(3) Which is interesting, as she completely turned her nose at the virtual BUFFET that was served at my Uncle and Aunts' house. Go figure.
(4) Which, this time, is actually for my Mother. But, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Teavana as it's not only oober cool, but has great teas in a million different varieties and allows me to use my Perfect TeaMaker at work, which has definitely saved some lives.
(5)Read: Reason why I'm ok with still being single as they're a rediculous waste of money and part of what often turns into a complete evening at home with scalding hot bathwater [easier to attain when my freaking faucet actually puts out a decent amount of water], lots of candlelight, great music, and wine. While one might think this would be a good couple type event, it's possible... but, I actually do it to WIND DOWN, and think I am completely entitled to several hours of solitude while doing it. I know very few men who are that patient and ok with pruning to that degree....
(6)Note: Green, Orange, Pink, and Black all on one head is much.too.much. And where are the parents that should have taught that lesson??
(7) Or Prozac. Or directions to the nearest emergency room, spa, or wine-bar

Friday, November 30, 2007

Myspace Migration: Weather's Getting in My Way

Current mood:cold
I NEED to be working right now. Now ask me if I am. *Nope* Why? Supposed bad weather. Doesn't seem that bad to me, but the kids left school at noon. So they're stuck inside, with NO homework, making way too much noise. Oh, well. Maybe I'll make them take a nap soon or something so I can make some calls. They're just hyper because they're out of school - I probably would be if I were a kiddo, too!
Ok. Question: if a teenager gets pregnant (think like still in high school, living with your parents kind of thing) - does the boy that was involved have a legal responsbility to help support said kid? If so, who does that burden fall on - the boy or the boy's parents?? Just wondering. It's amazing the random junk I thought of while putting my tree up.

Speaking of randomness, I heard Hinder's "Lips of an Angel." That has got to be the stupidest freaking song on the planet. The music sounded kind of nice - but, the words RUIN it!! The song's all about these people having an affair - FALLEN angel, maybe.

Going to make another attempt at getting them quiet so I can get some work done. Oh yeah... Hey, Ms. Thang - my response can be heard on my page... ball's back in your court, baby!! :p

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Myspace Migration: Book Excerpt

Ok, have a good plot line built in this re-write and now need the two mains to begin dating. Working on 'Her' point of view first; feedback is appreciated.

"You have to date." Janet stated with an authoritative glance as we rounded the 6th of 24 laps on our Saturday morning walk. I avoided answering while taking a swig of my Chai Soy Latte. "I'm not kidding Christina; eventually you're going to have to put yourself back out there."
"Eventually I will. Seriously, Janet; between the kids, work, and maintaining the house; when do you propose I do it? And how attractive IS that, anyway? I can just see it now: We're having drinks at the bar, some guy saunters up and strikes a decent conversation. I like him, he's witty and reminiscent of John Cusack. Then, I say what? 'I like you, you're funny... let's have date. I'm free on Saturdays.' He's going to think I'm married or in some other way unavailable. Or high-maintainence. Or crazy. Or both. My life isn't set up for dating." I go in to take another swig; but, I've finished it already. There goes my ability to dodge.
Janet stopped to tie her shoe; I took it as an opportunity to speed-walk my way to the trash can to ditch my empty Starbucks cup. I popped in my earbuds and turned on my Ipod, hoping when Janet caught up, she'd take the hint. It comes to mind that the Ipod has become as big of a staple in the American household and the community of commerce as Starbucks. Just as nobody says they're going to get coffee anymore, you never hear someone call an MP3 player anything other than an Ipod. But why not? If you've ever seen an Ipod, you can see how that would be. They're sleek, yet cute; and basically easy to function. And who doesn't love the Apple emblem? Like Starbucks, the Ipod had become something of a status symbol. For myself, I have a shuffle, the Nano, the Classic and am jonesing for the newest of the I-gadets: the IPhone. Of course, it'll be after I pay for Lauren's school camp and Maddie's new wardrobe before I splurge on something like that.
"Christina...hello...Earth to Christina..." Janet had not only not gotten the hint, she was refusing to let me ignore her long enough FOR her to get it. Fine. If we're going to have to have the conversation, might as well get it over with.
"Janet, even IF my crazy schedule isn't a turn-off; I don't even know how to meet a guy. I was married as an infant; I've never done the adult dating thing. Not really. I don't think my relationship with Brad or James even count - Brad was a friend... it was a convenience thing more than anything. And I ran into James. Literally ran into him. We were complete chance; I am pretty sure Geico will drop my insurance if I run into every cute guy I pass on the way to work." I pondered that for a moment longer, though; it was kinda funny.
I guess Janet thought it was, too; she did that little snorty-giggle thing that I'm fairly positive landed her Jay. On me, it'd be obnoxious; on her, it gets her a husband. Go figure. "Ok, I was kind of hoping you'd say that. Don't be mad at me, but I got you a gift subscription to EHarmonious."
Brow furrowed, I ask, "EHarmonious? That dating site... the one with the obnoxiously happy couples that talk about how their world turned around over emails? They sell GIFT subscriptions for that? You subscribed me to a site where I can't even pick my own dates?"

"Helloo.... have you seen your track record? You really don't need to pick your dates. Anyway, they match you off of the inside stuff; and that's the stuff that counts. I say we ditch the rest of our walk and go get you set up. It's perfect!"
"God, you sound like a high-school cheerleader. And while I will find a way to not be pissed that you are not only meddling in my non-existant love life in conversation, but actually meddling in it.... I'll fill out the profile on my own. Want to jog the next lap?"
"Christina, you don't jog!"

"Ah, but see... if we jog, we don't talk. And I think that is a brilliant reason to jog." Without waiting for an answer, I pop in the earbuds and take off; not even caring about the fact (and I'm sure it was a fact) that I look absolutely retarded.


The cursor has been blinking for half an hour. I have NO idea what to say about myself. And I don't really see why I should have to; that quiz was in-depth enough to cover everything. What could I say that it didn't already ask me? Headline: _________ Headline? As a Marketing major, I realize that I'm advertising MYSELF to whatever men are out there advertising themselves; but, there's something somewhat distasteful about having to craft a ad about yourself, in hopes of luring someone to respond to you. But there the cursor was, continuing to blink at me. Headline.... Sassy Divorcee In Search of John Cusack. No. Executive Mom Seeks... Nothing? I don't. I'm not LOOKING.... that's the problem with this whole thing.

I'm.Not.Looking. I want someone to be looking for me. Something told me this wasn't going to get the job done, though. Darnit; I'm going to have to call Janet if I ever want to be done with this. I sigh as I dial her number. "I don't know what to say."
Though I'll never admit it because it would hurt her feelings; my stomach totally sank as I heard her squeal, "Oh-My-Gosh, Yay! I'll be right over."

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Myspace Migration: Just Some Tumbleweed Thoughts

Current mood:calm
Let me start off with this: I don't think this cold is EVER going away. Much like the Mucinex commercials, I think it's hung photos, planted a garden, and is now adding a second story to the residence it's set up inside my head and lungs. I can't even COUGH anymore...

How many of us get the opportunity to look back on the precise moment that our life changed directions? How many of those moments do you get in a lifetime? It seems to me, I've had few. And with each different direction I've taken, there's been a defined moment in time that I knew even in that moment, I'd remember for ever. In the movies, they make memories (the important ones) seem like this reel of tape you reflect fondly on now and again, or you can recall in some sort of hazy distance. For me, each of those moments genuinely feel like they were seared into my being. Every detail, every moment - good or bad, it's crystalline. I can't remember the things leading up to it, or even what specifically happened right after... but, the 'ah-ha, I'm going THIS way' moment is pristine. I just find that insteresting.
Work has been... busy. I enjoy it, still, and am glad I went in that particular direction - despite the distinct possibility that I'm driving my team a little crazy with the last minute projects we're working though. But, it definitely keeps it interesting. It looks like my views are once again being published in a couple of different magazines - one's out, the other will be out next month. I haven't read how I read in them, but will gladly share it once I'm sure I don't look like a dufus.

I have the whole weekend to myself. I don't remember the last time I had 1.5 days of noone around me. I concede, I'm pretty excited. Everyone who knows me knows I'm a VERY social person; I thrive one the bustle of people, conversation, energy that flows when a bunch of people are together... but, I'm.Worn.Out. I need to recharge my batteries and let me brain... rest. So, I have a very thrilling weekend of getting my hair done (I will be bringing my mp3 player and a book, so I don't have to chit-chat), cleaning my house, and doing some space planning with a glass of Tempranillo and a week's worth of TIVO'd stuff..... I may very well not even answer my phone this weekend. I'm stoked. Really.

But, for now, I think I'm going to let the dogs out, go get my Pumpkin Vanilla Soy Latte (OMGosh, thanks to Lora for suggesting that - it's awesome and she's a rockstar for cluing me in on that. Another good one she clued me in to is Peppermint Vanilla Soy... yum! No whip.), and go walk.... until I'm tired of it or my lungs protest from all the extra weight that's slushing around in there. Ewww...
I have had all these things I was going to blog about this week, and haven't had the time... maybe I'll get some of that in a coherent blog this weekend, too!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Myspace Migration: Life Explained

Current mood:awake
A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

"Not very long," answered the Mexican.

"But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American.

The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

"I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. I have a full life."

The American interrupted, "I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat."

"And after that?" asked the Mexican.

"With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise."

"How long would that take?" asked the Mexican.

"Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied the American.

"And after that?"

"Afterwards? Well my friend, that's when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing. "When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!"

"Millions? Really? And after that?" asked the Mexican.

"After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends."

And the moral of this story is: ......... Know where you're going in life... you may already be there

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Myspace Migration: 29 on the 29th!

Since I only do that ONE TIME in my whole life, I'm gonna wear it out: I'm 29 and it's the 29th. Anyway, I AM 29 and here is an exerpt of the things I've learned in the last year:

Life was actually more fun when I worked out. Guess I should start that up again.
There are around 1000 calories in every starbucks drink I consume - so, I cut down to 4 a week instead of 7.

It takes an inordinately long time to say goodbye to most people. It's just not as simple as "Talk to you later" and "Ok, Bye!" Seriously, here's what it's sounded like over the last year:
"Well, thanks ever so for calling. We'll talk soon."

"No problem; glad I could be of help. Have a good (week/weekend)."
"You too; Bye now."
"I will; say hello to your kids for me."
"Oh, cool - thanks; will do. Back at you. Talk to you later!"
"I will - you know my kid (insert quasi-interesting thing here; made less so by the fact that I REALLY have to [pee/dosomethingelse/getoffthephone])..."
"No, really? That's great! Ok, well talk to you later!"
"Yeah, ok - have a good (week/weekend)!"
(Thinking, "Man, we've DONE this part already!") "K, Buh-bye!!"
This excludes the normal ramp-down time that I need in order to end any and all conversation. This is AFTER that (yeah, Bev, I know what you were thinkin'!)
Continuing on with the things I've learned....

Diet Soda is really kind of a wash - it just really makes you want to have something that IS sweet because your mind is tricked into thinking you actually did something good by swigging battery acid that has no calories. I resolve for my birthday to quit them again - because the reports are right: you do lose about 10 pounds the first year that you're off soda and really, it's horrifically bad for you... put some on a penny. Anything that cleans the crud off a penny is PROBABLY NOT something I want in my digestive system. See? With age does come wisdom.
It does no good at all to get irritated by the fact that the people at the drive-thru window can practically never understand me. Now I just make "Wha-wah-wha-wahhwah-wha" noises into the speaker in Charlie-Brown-fashion, like it's some kind of game and see how they like the favor returned. I then tell them I'm coming to the window to order and we both win. They get my order and I don't have to repeat it three times. Try it, seriously, it's amusing and a stress reliever.

When it comes to dating, it takes about three months for 'crazy' to come out and play. I'm old enough now to KNOW it; but not yet old enough to know how to FIX it. So..... not dating right now (which is fine, because I'm not quite to the point I have the time to anyway!)

Speaking of, I've learned that the resoounding, reoccuring themes in my life are "I've got the kiddos" and "I don't have time for (whatever it is)..." So, I think I'm moving. Close to work; so I WILL have more time for my kids and hopefully that will translate into more time for everything else....

I've learned I love Chicos - the biggest size anyone can ever be there is a "3" - and I'm not. I'm a "2" - don't ask me what that translates to in real-people sizes, because that's what's making me like that store right now... I don't HAVE to deal with real-people sizes! :p With age comes the wisdom to know to avoid the things that depress or just plain tick you off....

So, for my birthday... today I'm going to hang with my girls and my family. Next Friday night, I think I'm doing Karaoke - it's either going to be at Dukes in Frisco if they really WILL let you rent a karaoke room or at a japanese karoake house (and yes, Bev, you WILL have to come, anyway, because it's my birthday... you're the FORMER diva and can definitely deal for one night with no stage, right??? Besides, you'll always be center stage because I think you're the best singer out of all of us! :)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Myspace Migration: I.LOATHE.IKEA.

Current mood:annoyed
Let's start with the fact that I'm not really all that into shopping. Pair it with the fact that I actually enjoy customer service. End it with, when I spend multiple hours looking up furniture on a website; I actually like it to BE the price I saw online.
I was planning on buying the MALM bed for Lindsey with the attachable side tables. What I expected to be 170 pre-tax ended up being 220. So... ask me if I bought them? Um... no. I ended up with a completely daybed.

And it was 119 - NOT the $99 listed on the website. At that point, though, IKEA had won. I was completely worn out. So, I bought it and went on with my life. So, now Lindsey has a daybed for her new room that, with any luck, will make it to her apartment one day....and I will never have to go back to that soul-sucking store again

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Myspace Migration: I Grill!

This just in.. I still grill!
Current mood:amused

And some of the food I grill actually gets cooked! LOL So, had a few friends out this weekend for what should have been the Providence Fireworks Show... too much water, courtesy of our monsoon season. My grill died, so I went to get another one.
Anyone who knows me knows I have the capability of being a decisive person. I wasn't planning on purchasing another grill yet (did want to upgrade later this season, but with Lindsey's birthday, my brother's birthday, MY birthday, and various assorted and sundry purchases that need to be made... I didn't want to do it NOW); so, I decided almost instantly, I was going to spend less than $300. Lowes had grills 20% off - Greatness. I park the car, walk over to the grill display out front; there's another guy looking at the "mid-priced grills," too. I see which one I need in exactly 30 seconds, walk in the store, to the register and purchase it. The cashier goes out to unlock the grill and put it in my Mom-mobile. The guy, who was formerly looking at grills, wants to know if there's an advantage to having them unlocked while I'm looking at them. I explained I had already bought it; he looked at me like I lost my mind.

Seriously, it's a grill; I'm not deciding which tools to use for open heart surgery. 42k BTUs and 32-burger count is really all I NEED to get by. Now, if I could JUST figure out how to cook chicken legs (Sorry, James!)...

I really enjoyed myself, though. It's been well over a year since I grilled out with friends on a regular basis, but I used to do it pretty much every week. I think I'm going to get back into the habit of it - I love cooking, and whole foods has a host of cool things to put out on the grill. I got a recipe for blue-cheese jalepeno burgers that I'm itching to try out. The girls and I had salmon burgers today and I'm grilling coconut chicken tomorrow. :)

So Bev and I were discussing the topic of 'territorial marking' - kinda got me thinking about dating.... how many of you have been 'marked' in a current or past relationship? How does that make you feel?

On the dating scene... still not a whole lot going on. I did go out with someone who is actually busier than I am, which gives me hope for me.. but not for developing a relationship with that person. I have come to realize that I'm still a little gun shy after the 'worst.date.ever.' I think I'm about ready to blog about that date, now... so, I'll tease you today with I'll post that tomorrow.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Myspace Migration: Ok, Now THIS? I'd Be Into

Current mood:sleepy
... if I had the energy and, um, was actually dating right now. Which I'd probably do more of... if I had the energy. See a pattern?? LOL Anyway, great stuff, thought I'd share - because this is totally what I'd be doing in a relationship:

10 Habits of Happy Couples
by Dr. Mark Goulston

Happy couples know that the real relationship begins when the honeymoon is over. Unless you maintain a garden of love, it will grow weeds and its beauty will wither and die. So let's explore 10 habits of highly happy couples:

1. Go to bed at the same time. Remember the beginning of your relationship, when you couldn't wait to go to bed with each other to make love? Happy couples resist the temptation to go to bed at different times. They go to bed at the same time, even if one partner wakes up later to do things while their partner sleeps.

2. Cultivate common interests. After the passion settles down, it's common to realize that you have few interests in common. But don't minimize the importance of activities you can do together that you both enjoy. If common interests are not present, happy couples develop them. At the same time, be sure to cultivate interests of your own; this will make you more interesting to your mate and prevent you from appearing too dependent.

3. Walk hand in hand or side by side. Rather than one partner lagging or dragging behind the other, happy couples walk comfortably hand in hand or side by side. They know it's more important to be with their partner than to see the sights along the way.

4. Make trust and forgiveness your default mode. If and when they have a disagreement or argument, and if they can't resolve it, happy couples default to trusting and forgiving rather than distrusting and begrudging.

5. Focus more on what your partner does right than what he or she does wrong. If you look for things your partner does wrong, you can always find something. If you look for what he or she does right, you can always find something, too. It all depends on what you want to look for. Happy couples accentuate the positive.

6. Hug each other as soon as you see each other after work. Our skin has a memory of "good touch" (loved), "bad touch" (abused), and "no touch" (neglected). Couples who say hello with a hug keep their skin bathed in the "good touch," which can inoculate your spirit against anonymity in the world.

7. Say "I love you" and "Have a good day" every morning. This is a great way to buy some patience and tolerance as each partner sets out each day to battle traffic jams, long lines and other annoyances.

8. Say "Good night" every night, regardless of how you feel. This tells your partner that, regardless of how upset you are with him or her, you still want to be in the relationship. It says that what you and your partner have is bigger than any single upsetting incident.

9. Do a "weather" check during the day. Call your partner at home or at work to see how his or her day is going. This is a great way to adjust expectations so that you're more in sync when you connect after work. For instance, if your partner is having an awful day, it might be unreasonable to expect him or her to be enthusiastic about something good that happened to you.

10. Be proud to be seen with your partner. Happy couples are pleased to be seen together and are often in some kind of affectionate contact -- hand on hand or hand on shoulder or knee or back of neck. They are not showing off but rather just saying that they belong with each other.

Even if these actions don't come naturally, happy couples stick with them until they do become a part of their relationship. They know that it takes 30 days for a change in behavior to become a habit, and a minimum of six months for a habit to become a way of life and love.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Myspace Migration: I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends....

Well, maybe the help they've offered lately is mostly moral support, but whatever... I.LOVE.MY.FRIENDS!! I just wanted to take an opportunity to say "THANK YOU!!" to all of my fabulous friends who have waited anxiously with me, cheered me on, checked my email, sent me stuff, groused at me when I was being impatient, etc... ya'll have been great through this whole changing jobs thing.

So, I accepted a position with Sotherby Homes to head up their Human Resources and Recruiting efforts. I'm extremely excited and grateful to be joining SUCH an amazing company and team. It's been a really busy week and will be even moreso in the next two; but, this is my official notice that I want to have everyone out in the next month for fajitas, drinks, and water fun. Ok, well, water fun is optional.. but, I want to do something with the crew. My birthday is only 50-some-odd days away (see counter) - but, I don't want to wait that long!! :)
Ok, I'm going to go have a congratulatory dinner with some of my friends now. Later!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Myspace Migration: No, No, I'm NOT HR! LOL

Current mood:happy
I.Crack.Myself.Up. Which, given my current situation, is good - I have a lot of time on my hands. Anyway, I've been rather engrossed in Employment Law and HR Policy in preparation for a meeting with a firm on Thursday. I've written sexual harassment policy, outlined discrimination in hiring and employment practices, dealt with the ADA's stance on recovering addicts in the workplace... ok, so you get where my head is.

Anyway, after having the "Worst.Date.Ever" in the last couple of weeks, it becomes apparent that I need to end relations with a new acquaintance. I really don't have the time, nor the privacy (I had a one-on-one time with my eldest this weekend - we needed some Mommy/Daughter bonding time) to talk with him on the phone... and truthfully, that date set aside, I'm not in the mood to meet someone new right now. It's too much work and my head is elsewhere, given the employment sitch. So what do I do? I send him an email that SMACKS of HR:

"It has been lovely getting to know you. While I've enjoyed spending time with you over the last few weeks, it has come to my attention that given my current situation; I really have neither the time, nor inclination, to give this new relationship the effort it requires and deserves. As I am unclear when I will be able to do so, I think it is best at this point to withdraw my attentions so you can focus yours elsewhere. Please understand that this is in no way meant to be a direct reflection on your person; indeed, it was a decision based solely on where I find myself in my life at this time. Between my family obligations, the maintainence of my current friendships and my employment situation; I simply do not have the ability to pursue this relationship further. I wish you the best in your future endeavors."

Um, maybe it's time to get my head out of the Labor Laws and Human Resources books???
In other news, Lindsey and I had a lovely weekend. We had breakfast in bed, we watched movies, we played games, we read together, we went to the park with Amanda/Maddox and Eric/Dylan and watched Cars Saturday night (which, by the way guys, was keen fun - thanks!). Really, this might have been one of the better weekends I've had as of late.

Now for the rant: dry cleaning is rediculously expensive. And the ratio of dry cleaning that I have as a chick in comparison to my guy friends is just flat out unfair.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Myspace Migration: Change is In the Air....

Current mood:relaxed

I have spring fever, I think... or I'm burned out from work, not sure which. LOL Some major change is in the air; I can feel the winds a' blowin'! So, stay tuned in the next few weeks as I unfurl my plan to take over the world! ha!

In other news, I guess I put myself back in the game - because the girl that said she was 'benched' agreed to a second date Monday evening. Nothing big, we're just going to have dinner, but still... I guess that officially puts me back in the game, right? Well, maybe a second-stringer or something....

I just want to say, that anyone who's looking for a new workout program, should check out The Core workouts - you know, the one with the ball and Nick Lachey that they sell on TV? Amanda and I have been doing that in the mornings and let me tell you, it kicks our collective and individual butts! Seriously though, it's a good workout.
Finally, I want to address Government Workers. Specifically, the Government Workers at the Child Support Office. I called because they're taking too much out of Jason's check. Not like obnoxiously overpaying me, but they're overpaying me none the less. I told Jason about it, but two months later, of course they're still taking out the same amount. And I don't want them 10 years from now asking me to pony up 4 grand because he paid more than he should. Ok... first of all, I had to give our case information THREE TIMES - which, let's face it, is extremely obnoxious. And serves no purpose. But, yet, I had to do it anyway - first with the recorded system, then with the first tier of CSR and then with the second tier. When I asked why, the first tier literally said, "MMm,mm?" with the syllabic sound of "I don't know." But, she didn't SAY "I don't know" she said "MM,mm." WTH? So, I asked the second tier - she said she didn't have access to the first tier's information. Here's the exchange from there:

I said: "But you KNOW I talked to her, right?"

"Yes, ma'am. You can't get to me without talking to the first tier of CSR."

"Ok, so you know SHE verified my information and she's really the second one because the recorded system did it before I was even allowed to talk to her."

"Yes, ma'am. How can I help you today?"

"Really? That's it? You're not even going to attempt to explain the logic behind this to me?"


"Oh. ... Well okay, then... so my ex-husband is overpaying on his child support - well, at least on what you guys are taking out...."
What passes for Customer Service these days is really quite laughable. And I get that they have all kinds of crappy people giving them a hard time and they get the brunt of everyone else's bad day but A) they CHOSE that job, they get the baggage that goes with it [we ALL deal with that] and B).... I forgot what B was. I'm hungry. Ok, off to make myself a Southwest Egg White Omlette. Enjoy your Sunday Morning - did I mention how I love Sunday Mornings??

Friday, April 27, 2007

Myspace Migration: Lest You Think I'm Perfect (Or Think I Think I Am)

So, I woke up this morning to an AWESOME email questioning my last blog. In fact, the author went so far as to ask if it was slightly "hypocritical" when I was discussing the whole 'abuse of the English language' thing. The answer is, of course, no. I'm not looking for perfection, nor do I claim to be perfect myself. What I'm looking for is discernable effort - and since I give discernable effort to write sentences that are easy to read with a minimal number of typos and spelling errors (and there are some that you understand)... I don't think hypocrisy applies. It was keen fun discussing it with him, though... I think that does qualify me for 'dork status.' LOL

So, lest I give/have given anyone else the impression that I thought I was above you all, in any way... I don't. I'm a goober; I embrace it. In any given day I make oodles of mistakes, and not just with my writing. I break my foot/ankle on level driveways, I trip over the carpet, I stumble over words, and this just in: I run into perfectly functioning cars! I, in no way, think I'm better than anyone else as a person. I do, however, think it's possible that I exercise better execution at times than others. In recognizing that, I came to the realization that makes me kind of a snob. And I had to laugh at that and share it with you guys. Those who know me well know that the point of this is to laugh at me and my gooberishness (how's THAT for a word?) as much as anything else.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Myspace Migration: I.Am.Such.A.Snob! LOL

Ok, so there was this guy that sort-of-kind-of intruiged me on True, so I decided I was going to email him. I haven't yet, because I got completely distracted filling out the profile (which took FORever). Afterwards, I decided to puruse who was "looking for me" because I kind of remembered that I really don't have time to date. In fact, there are still people I'm trying to find time to meet!

I was SO cracking up at people not paying attention to their spelling! Is it just me, or are people slightly less attractive when they can't discern 'through' from 'threw' from 'thru?' Or 'your's,' 'you'res,' and 'yours?' Or incorrectly spells the easy words like 'stolcker' for 'stalker?' It just kind of seems to me, that if I were trying to attract someone, I'd take pride in my words. Use capitalization, proper spelling, and punctuation. Grammar I'm not as strict on, because truly, proper sentence structure is evidently subjective. It's dependent on what school of English you were taught. What I was taught in English I in High School was quite different from what I was taught in College. What I was taught in College was quite different than what my ex-husband was taught in the very same class. Go figure.

I think part of it is that it's distracting when someone 'rights' a sentence with no real sense of purpose because frankly it doesnt end or flow like a normal conversation Because really the person writing it hasn't put forth the effort to make it structured. Call me old-fashioned, but I've got a thing for commas and periods. It just brings order to the chaos! :) I asked someone about this once and they said it was 'free-association.' I couldn't help but wonder, "Is sentence structure and basic English really that logically constraining?"

Moving on, the other thing I really have to question is people on dating sites who DON'T fill out the profile. Here's my question on this: what is the point? If you don't provide me a reason to email you - why would I? Are you really THAT stunning that I'm going to completely ignore the fact that I know precisely the same amount about you as I do someone in my neighborhood that I see at our gym?? Just kind of seems to me that if you want people to date you, you kind of have to provide some kind of detail. Someone emailed me this evening - NOTHING about him on his profile. Which isn't the end of the world, it just made me ask a lot of questions and honestly, it just made it so that he wasn't immediately interesting. Not to say he never could be, but it certainly didn't put his best foot forward!

Finally, in my laughable rant about dating profiles, I have one other question. What is with the large people of the world who list themselves as 'large' or 'very large' and 'less than average' who only to date 'slender' and 'very attractive' people? This doesn't bother me as much as it baffles me, on two points: One, isn't that slightly hypocritical? That, of course, leads to the second point of - aren't great relationships supposed to be equitable? I mean, there's no real good way to say this ... so, I'll just come out with it: If you're going to be that unfairly superficial with your wants (and yes, I do think there's an inequity when a rather large person ONLY wants to date a slender person or someone who thinks they're ugly MUST date an uber-attractive person - seems like compensation for poor self-esteem)... where's the pay-off for the other party? I mean, what in your mind thinks that's going to work? I'm not really saying it will or it won't - I'm just kind of intruiged with the thought process. What compensates for the inequity, in their mind? I think Bev and I came up with money - that maybe they feel if they're 'banking,' everything else is irrelevant. The sad thing is, I'm sure that's true for some people.

For me, appearance isn't THAT big of a deal. I'm not going to lie, it plays into it: I don't want to date someone who's morbidly obese - it's unhealthy and indicative of a larger problem. But I don't care if someone's bald (that's actually kind of cute), what color your hair is or if you have love handles. Lord knows I'm far from perfect, so who am I to judge? Besides, as I always say... we're all wrinkly when we're old.. it's the personality, common interests, and friendship that lasts. THAT's what's important.

Ok, re-reading this, I am a complete dating snob, aren't I?

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Myspace Migration: You Know You're A Single Parent When...

... you get geeked up about being able to use your "Adult Dishes" - aka my china settings. I love them. They're white, simple, and go with anything I'm cooking. I even have various chargers to put underneath them, depending on the setting. When I was married, I used them regularly when we had dinner parties with my friends, family and neighbors. Since my divorce, not so much. I was a little amused at how excited I was to use my adult dishes - I typically use my PB Earthenware. Actually, I would have last night, too... except I used them for the PTA Champagne Thursday the night before and forgot to run the dishwasher. And let me tell you; hell will freeze over before I hand-wash dishes I don't HAVE TO.

It dawned on me: I've lived in this house for nearly 2 years. I haven't used them ONCE. I just don't really entertain at my house like I used to - we're always in Dallas. But, it felt good to unpack them and let them see the light of day. I think I've decided to have people over to eat at least once a month from now on. One, it gives me a chance to cook fun meals for my friends - which is important to me and it's been too long since I've done it - and two, I'll get to use my "Adult Dishes" more often.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Myspace Migration: Join Me In Some Random Thoughts

First of all, if you have showtime/shotime (however's it's spelled, I'm far too lazy to actually look it up), then you MUST check out the Tudors tonight. Now, I'm sure my love of the Tudors and Anne Boyeln has something to do with it. I wrote several papers on Anne and the Tudors in school; they fascinate me. Henry VIII was the most fascinating man. Anne was a brilliant strategist and schemer; you have to respect that on some level. As everyone who knows me truly well knows, I look to Elizabeth I for most of the lessons I want to learn on leadership. LOVE the book Elizabeth I, CEO; you absolutely should read it if you have management aspirations or are in a position to try and gain influence over others or a number of other reasons. Anyway, I'm sure all of that has to do with it. So, check out the series: The Tudors. It's on tonight at 9pm. I'm PSYCHED!

Having the sex talk with the girls this week - I think I've mentioned that. Changed my mind on which book to intially used. Decided to go with Where Did I Come From? instead of the American Girl book. I am using the American Girl Books The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls to discuss the finer points of periods, sweating, pimples and boobies... as well as their Feelings Book and the Smart Girl's Guide to Sticky Situations to discuss things like jealousy, peer pressure, and emotions. These books all come highly recommended from the child psychologist I've been talking to, as well as their pediatrician and the reviews are (as you can see, excellent). We began broaching the subject this evening; I know what they know, and it's nebulous at best and misguided for the most part. Thus the change to the Where did I Come From? book. It has cartoonish illustrations with this fat little married couple that will show enough that they understand without being terribly pornographic in nature or threatening. I think, though, this is going to be a series of cocoa discussions - as opposed to one long talk. I expect we'll be discussing this pretty much every night for the balance of this week. And then we'll probably move on next week to something far more interesting for them and less stomach turning for ME. :)

Mooching off Bev's "I is Smert" post - I is, too, smurt! So, I think everyone that knows me has heard that my phone was making no noise this weekend. I jacked with the settings, tried everything I could think of... everything except the fabulous little "silent" switch at the top of the phone that I forgot I turned off. I'm.Utterly.Retarded. Figured that out tonight... and cracked up.

Time to get out the rasberries and pour the champagne - The Tudors will be on soon! :)

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Myspace Migration: Hit You On The Rebound

So, would like to talk a little/vent a little about being the "rebound chick." Lately, I've had a few guys that I've gone out with - we stopped - life moves on. They drop off the radar screen because, let's face it - I'm the girl that it's fun to go out with. Let's hit the town, have a little fun - stay in, have great conversation - go adventure dining... I'm a good girl to know, because once I know you we'll always have a good time. But, the reality is, I'm really hard to nail down as far as a relationship goes. My life is hectic, I don't do dates during the week because of my kids (with rare exception), and a romantic relationship is a distant fourth on my list of priorities. So, eventually, many guys want more than I'm capable/willing to give and so we part as friends. I'm cool with that. Knowing your own limitations and being willing to not limit others by them is a good thing, I think. It's also the majority reason of why I pulled myself out of the dating game a while back.

I'm happy when we touch base later down the road and I hear they have a girlfriend. I think that's great - it's the way life is supposed to go. And I genuinely want the guys that I go out with to find the happiness they're looking for - which is why I often stop dating them when it's evident it's not going to be with me. What I'm kind of questioning, though, is do guys think it's some kind of compliment to immediately call me right after they broke up with whoever that is?? Is it? Did I miss that memo somewhere?

There's been a pandemic of this lately - at least, in my little world. So, I decided to really look further into "rebound relationships." Maybe I was mistaken in my negative outlook on them. So, I looked them up. Here's the definition I found:

Defining a Rebound Relationship:
A rebound relationship is one that occurs shortly after the break – up of a significant love relationship. If you are in a relationship but have distanced yourself emotionally from your relationship partner, you may begin a rebound relationship before you even leave the relationship you are in. If you move quickly from a long lasting relationship into another relationship then you are probably in a "rebound relationship.

Rebound Relationships Serve a Purpose:
A rebound relationship is a distraction. It is a connection to another person that keeps us from having to experience the full extent of the emotional pain of our resent break – up. It is a misguided attempt to move on with our lives. Many people will jump back into the dating scene because they fear being alone. It's a quick fix, one in which we can drown out our pain by reveling in the emotional intensity and passion of a new found love. It can be a a lot more fun that dealing with the misery of a recently broken heart.

Ok, I can see why that would attractive for THEM. But, can you see why it wouldn't so much be attractive to ME? I was talking to a married friend of mine not too long ago, and we were discussing single people having affairs with married people. I don't see the point: what does the single person gain from it? It's an unbalanced relationship. I guess I kind of see rebound relationships the same way. It feels much like, "Now that I have nothing going on, I need someone to occupy my time... I don't want to be alone, so I'm calling YOU." As much as I'd like to see it through the paradigm of "Hey, she's really cool, I'd like to see her again..." - that just doesn't really ring true - all the reasons that it didn't work out with those guys the first time are still there. And, since I'm now 'relationship girl' - I can't say I really have any interest in being the chick some guy uses to help him get over the last chick he was with. Hmmm... nope, can't think of why that doesn't sound attractive....
Am I off base????

*Before I get myself in trouble, I should say there is one guy who's going to read this and THINK it applies to him ... but, it doesn't. We're friends, I know we're friends and this isn't about you. :

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Myspace Migration: Because I SAID So...

Current mood:contemplative
We all grew up with that; it was the ultimate "Mommy Trump Card." Why can't I (fill in the blank)? Because I said so. Why do I have to (fill in the blank)? Because I said so. That's not true! Yes, it is.. Because I said so!

It's a great argument that annoyed the spit out of me as a kid; but, I was really looking forward to using it as a parent myself. I think that it's only fair, given the fact that it was used 5 million times on me. So, you can imagine my dismay when I tried to use it on my children this evening when I was gardening. - By the way, I planted a really awesome flower garden this evening and the kids wanted to help. So, I let them help a little, but they were getting in way over their head.. and mine. As such, I told them I appreciated all they did to help, but it was time to go inside. Instead of saying "Yes, ma'am" like the great, polite, obedient children I've raised them to be; I got, "But I don't want to. Why do I have to go in?"
Ah-ha! The time had come to use the ultimate trump card!! "Because it's late, and because I said so." I said it with delicious, deliberate slowness ... savoring each word. I had triumphed; the tables had turned, etc. You know what my snot-nosed little children did? They didn't exercise the lessons in obedience that they were painstakingly taught over the years. Oh, no! They decided now was the time to show the lessons in "free-thinking" and "deep thought" and showed a little bit of obstinence, to be frank. "Mom, 'Because I said so' isn't really a reason. That doesn't make sense."

Darn, my trump card was trumped! "You're right. It doesn't really make sense. But, since I am the Alpha and Omega of this household, next to God... you've got to do it. Because I said so. That's what that means. It means, 'I either have reasons that you won't understand, I can't explain, or just flat don't feel like getting into at the moment.' So, rather than saying all that, I say 'Because I said so.' And because I said that, you do it. Saavy?" At that point, my kids knew it was time to go inside. And they did. But wasn't there a point when that card could be played without explination? I don't remember challenging my parents on that ... at least, not until I was a teenager. And then it's just expected.
Are our kids getting older faster, or is it just me?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Myspace Migration: Burdening Our Beauty Queens

Current mood:complacent
So, we have a new reigning Miss USA. Miss Smith, Miss Tennessee... whatever you want to call her, she's now Miss USA. I have to admit, I completely missed the pageant. Suprising, as it was number one on my list of ever-growing priorities. Even still, I really had nothing to worry about - it was front page news this morning. Well, sort-of.

Really, the fact that we have a new Miss USA was more of the back door entrance to being able to -once again- slam the former Miss USA's (Tara Conner) lack of virtues. Maybe I'm getting lax in the area of social responsibility as I'm aging.... but, I just have to wonder, "Who Cares?" This woman was lauded for something that she had very little to do with herself - her beauty. She was born beautiful and because we're a society who places a large importance on physical appearance, there's a forum to allow her to be celebrated for it. I don't begrudge her that for a minute - but, I'm a little lost at how we think being beautiful on the outside is somehow supposed to translate into a higher redeeming value. Remember the phrase, "Beauty is only skin deep?"

She's not a role model - at least, I don't think she is. I'm not teaching my children to look up to her, or any other beauty queen. I'm not knocking beauty pageants... I realize that there's redeeming value for the participants. However, I'm not sure it's healthy to place them in a "role model" light - for anyone. I don't want to teach my children that just by virtue of being beautiful, you're better. You're not. Tara Conner, Rachel Smith - they were BORN with their "talent" of being beautiful. They had nothing to do with their cheekbones being the way they are, or the size or shape of their eyes. Beyond lots of time in the gym, good dieting, and perhaps a plastic surgeon... it was really just a genetic lottery that they won. Why would I teach my children to look up to that? Aspire to that?
And when did beauty translate into values? I'm going to go back to that, because I can't help but wonder if we're burdening our beauty queens by laying on value codes that may not be their own. Why would be shocked if we crowned a Miss USA who ended up being an alcoholic or a drug user? Why would we blink an eye if they ended up selling/posing for racy photos - I mean, after all.. they're just showing off that beautiful body that we've already awarded her for, right? Is it somehow less beautiful oiled up and put in a scene with 2 goat-herders, a skimpy Heidi outfit and a goat doing the yodel-eh-he-hoo than it was in the bathingsuit, oiled up and walking across stage? They won for their body, but they can only use their body in ways we find appropriate. Hmmm...

There is no danger of me ever becoming a beauty queen. I highly doubt that it will ever be something my children would be interested in, or really suited for. And I'm grateful for that. This whole thing seems slightly hypocritical to me. What do you think?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Myspace Migration: This Completely Cracked Me Up

I'm on vacation; I should still be asleep... but, I'm not, so...What are your thoughts?? Personally, I have to agree with the overwhelming sentiment that these people should have better things to do than worry about a message board:
From an AP article yesterday on how online anonymity encourages mean comments:
When a California woman recently gave birth to a healthy baby just two days after learning she was pregnant, the sudden change to her life was challenging enough. What April Branum definitely didn't need was a deluge of nasty internet comments.
Postings on message boards made cracks about Branum's weight (about 400 pounds - one reason she says she didn't realize sooner she was pregnant.) They also analyzed her housekeeping ability, based on a photo of her home. And they called her names. "A pig is a pig," one person wrote. Another suggested that she "go on the show The Biggest Loser."

"The thing that bothered me the most was people assumed because I'm overweight, I'm going to be a bad mom," Branum says. "And that is not one little bit true."
The article goes on to discuss how if people had to attach their true identities to their message board postings, they'd be much more likely to self-edit and hold back the vitriol. Um, it's news that people will be nastier if they know they can't be caught? I mean, weren't slambooks and bathroom walls around for years prior to our being able to hurl anonymous insults electronically? How is this a new phenomenon?
Regardless, this part of the story isn't what interests me.

What interests me are Branum's own comments and I can't help but play devil's advocate here. (Maybe that's because I'm a jerk, but at least I'm a jerk writing under her own name.) Anyway, as a caveat, I'm not going to mock her weight because I'm no size six myself. Although I'm in the middle of a diet, it sucks and I hate every minute of it and were I not contractually obligated, I'd hop on the nearest cake first chance I got. The last thing I'm going to do is speculate on her relationship with pie.

I'm also not going to judge based on whether or not she vacuumed or tidied when said photo was shot. Personally, regardless of my own obsession with all things sparkling clean, there are still days Adult Protective Services could legitimately be called on my behalf.

I'm not even going to wonder how anyone could possibly carry baby around full-term without noticing, even though it seems like getting kicked from the inside might eventually throw up a red flag. (Which probably bodes well for this kid when in sixteen to eighteen years he comes home and has to try to mask the smell of root beer schnapps on his breath. "We were drinking Barq's, Mom, I swear!")
What gets me is that Branum and her fiance are up in arms because they haven't liked what anonymous readers have said about them on the internet and they want the newspaper of record to remove the offensive comments from their message board.
BTW, this is where my head kind of explodes.

Our Constitution allows us the right to free speech in this country; it does not guarantee us the right not to be offended. If this couple doesn't like the things others have written about them - anonymous or otherwise - then perhaps they shouldn't go looking for them, particularly since these comments aren't on a website they own or maintain.

Seems like with an unexpected newborn this couple should have other priorities right now. And thus, my thesis statement - if you're a new mom and you and your partner spend all your time monitoring what people say about your parenting skills, aren't you ipso facto proving the naysayers right?

What do you guys think? Do these parents have a right to demand the negative comments be pulled? Have 'teh internets' gotten too mean? Are you more likely to stir some shit up if you think you won't be found out? Do you want to kick a lung out of this lady for not knowing about the baby and thus soliciting proper prenatal care? Or are you just delighting in the fact you can't see Lindsay Lohan's box in the above photo? Discuss

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Myspace Migration: Reincarnations

Current mood:sore
re·in·car·na·tion (re'in-kär-na'sh?n) ..BOF_HEAD-->n. ..EOF_HEAD--> ..BOF_DEF-->
Rebirth of the soul in another body.
A reappearance or revitalization in another form; a new embodiment: "The brownstone had already endured one reincarnation: In the 1940's, it was converted into eight studio apartments" (Ben Lloyd)

Born Again. A Second Chance for a First Impression. A New Day to Live Again... A Clean Slate. We've all wished for it at one time or another in our lives, haven't we? I know I have. I was thinking about that yesterday as I was walking through my little park in Plano (1) . I ran into - well, more like walked past - this guy I had gone out with a few months ago. He lives back in that area and I was walking through the neighborhood looking at how people were doing their landscaping (2). I had never actually seen his house - I just knew he lived back there; along with a couple of other people I know. But, there he was. And it struck me, he had succeeded in the only goal he ever told me he had: to reincarnate. He wanted a life so different from the one he had when he was married: fast cars, loose women, a lot of debt, no time to slow down, lots of club and even more booze - family was an accessory, not a lifestyle and he really didn't have any pride in anything. Not even himself.
I admit I raised an eyebrow at him, as we ate our salads, when he said that. I was always taught a tiger doesn't change his stripes and leopards secretly love their spots. As he told me his tale, I understood why he wanted to change it - he spoke of realizing that his life had no meaning and he wasn't even enjoying it. I could go on, but there's really no point. We went our seperate ways and that was that. Haven't thought of him again until I saw him outside yesterday... guess what he was doing? Mowing his lawn. And he looked happy doing it. Good for him... maybe he got his reincarnation thing down, after all.

So, it got me thinking. Maybe I don't want a complete "reincarnation" - but a revitalization of sorts wouldn't be bad! What would I change? I racked my brain for a bit and realized that everything I'd change, I'm working on changing already. And truly, there's not a whole lot in my life I really WANT changed. A relationship would be ok; except I'm not really in the mood to build one.. I kind of want it to just "BE." Like fast-forward to the point that it was established and running... since it doesn't really work that way, I guess I'll just press as is until such time that there's a catalyst to make me want to build one, lol.

There was a time I wanted desperately to reincarnate. Seriously, just pick everything up and start over. I know that's a common desire in life - at one point or another. One of my friends was talking about this woman he knew from high school. She's miserable, hates her life, made a million wrong moves and wants to be anybody but her. I don't know that I was there, but there was a point that I wasn't too far from it. The difference between that woman and I? I actually did it - I looked at where I was, vs. where I wanted to be at 30 and saw there was no way I could get to where I wanted to be from where I was. So, I made a plan and put it into action. Not sure if I'll make it there or not, but I'll be damn close. It's like Les Brown says, "Shoot for the moon; even if you miss, you'll still end up in the stars." All it takes is a plan and a good trigger finger.

The above wasn't written for you to give me kudos on the good things I've done or the stuff I'm trying to change. What interests me is that for every person like me (and there are a lot), there are many more who WANT it but won't take steps to take it. What is it that stops them? The planning or the execution?

Is there something in your life that you want to change, but don't know how? Have you "reincarnated;" have you wanted to? Divorce, for many of us, brings about a reincarnation of sorts. We're able to start over (3) - given a chance to write a new chapter in our life that more closely embodies who we are now or who we want to be. New jobs are like that, too; I remember my company President, Jeff Kaye, saying this to us on our first day: "Today starts a fresh start in your life. You can show us who you want to be, rather than who you have been, and that will be who you are. If there's something you've wanted to change, today is the day that you've been given the chance to change it." That really resonated with me, but I really have no idea why, other than as I was walking by that man yesterday, I wondered when the day was that he actually implemented his desire to reincarnate... when was the day he took his chance to change it?

I'm glad he did, though. He looked happy mowing his lawn. I'm glad I've taken the chances that I've taken, too... I hope I keep taking them as they present themselves!

(1) Actually, it's not MY park in the sense that I OWN it; I simply deem it mine as I like going there pretty much every weekend. It's Communications Park in Plano between Spring Creek and Parker off Communications. Come to think of it, it may not actually even be called "Communications Park" - I think that's just what I call it because that's the street it's on?
(2) "Rat in a Cage" was running through my head as I was making that loop for the I don't know how many-th time - so I decided to expand my route; checking out lawnscape was really just the justification for expansion. I like looking at houses and landscapes, though.
(3) by either our own volition, or by means of being thrust upon us.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Myspace Migration: Drowning In My Medium-Sized Drink

Current mood:intimidated
Ok, time for a little honesty: I didn't watch "Super-Size Me." It's hard enough to look at myself in the mirror and not grimace at the remembrance of the french fries I scarfed down on my way to whatever; much less watch someone who intentionally eats at Mickey-D's three times a day. It just kind of made my stomach turn every time I thought about it, so I skipped it.

I'm not a big fan of hamburger joints. I can't eat a hamburger without enduring MASSIVE heartburn later on; so, typically, I just skip it. Chick-Fil-A is my weak spot when it comes to drive-thrus... well, and Starbucks, of course (though that coffee joint at Lebanon and the Tollway is quickly creeping up on my lists of favs). Tonight, though, I had to go back up to the office (still here, actually) and was totally jonesing for red meat... a good old fashioned hamburger. So, of course, I go to Wendys. Order my Old Fashioned Hamburger, and hold the bacon please. The guy asks if I want a medium-sized drink. "Sure," I say innocently, "Because there's no need for a large, right?" (Besides, they don't have my diet drink, so I'm having to drink regular Calorie-enriched DP)

Get to the window, hand them my card ... and I get back my bag o' food and this MAMMOTH drink. "Sir... um... I asked for a medium."

"Right... medium." The guy nods at the small swimming pool I'm holding in my hand.

"THIS...(I gesture at my drink).... is a medium?" My eyes are nearly as large as the drink and I'm praying I've got tums at the office, because I know I'll probably drink the whole darn thing (it's here - waste not, want not).

The fast-food worker shrugs, annoyed that I'm questioning him. "That's a medium lady; I don't know what to tell you." Then, realizing I'm questioning the rationale of something bigger than my head being called a medium he grins and adds, "You should see the large."

Um...no. No, I shouldn't. Because I think I understand the problem behind America's obseity problem - we have a very distorted reality. Our perceptions are skewed because everything has become so subjective. In the race to provide consumers the best "value," we've lost touch with reality and destroyed any standard we could go by. Unfortunately, while we might get an extra 12 ounces at Wendy's for a nickle less than at McD's (no clue whether that's true, by the way, as I typically order bottled Water from drive-thrus if I'm getting something besides coffee)... it's not really a value. Unless, of course, you want that extra fat roll to keep warm for the winter.

I guess I should get back to work now, huh? It'd be nice to go home at some point this evening. :)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Myspace Migration: The Bar Scene

Current mood:amused
So, went to Sherlocks last night to celebrate the awesomeness that is Bev now that's she's 30. Met the Doms and company (great folks, very fun), saw James (he does exist! he was starting to rival other mythical figures like Superman and Santa Claus), Eric stopped by, met Richelle and Greg and they were great. Good times were had by all and Bev, I can only hope I look half as good at 30!!

One of the things that totally cracked me up was once the band started playing, conversation was like playing Charades. We tried to read lips (which people don't make the most crisp mouth movements once alcohol comes into play), we cupped our hands to each other's ears and screamed in them to achieve the net result of a whisper. Finally, a little concerned about the real possibility of long-term hearing impairment, we moved to an absolute blessing of technology: text messaging.
That's right folks, while sitting at the same table, we're texting each other to try and communicate. I've decided this is not wholly a bad thing. I was cracking up at some of the things I read this morning that I sent or were sent to me, such as:

"Who's the guy that keeps hitting on Bev?"

"He is here every weekend hitting on chicks; last weekend he was here with a wheelchair."

"Ah, so he likes older women, then?"

I have NO idea what we were talking about or more importantly, WHO we were talking about. This next one, I do. And it's kind of sad:

"How do we discreetly ask for like a dozen napkins? 'Cause it.is.up.my.assssppppppdd." (No kidding, that's exactly what was on my phone)
Ok, see anyone reading that text now would think something REALLY disgusting had occured. Not that it was great, but it just wasn't the way it reads today. A rather large glass of ice water was knocked into my lap (I truly couldn't tell you how, but I would assume someone's hand gesturing had something to do with it). Thank GOODNESS I was wearing dark jeans in a dark club. We did, in fact, get enough napkins to make a small quilt and I was able to soak up most of the water - what was left, I'm convinced, kept me cool throughout the evening.

My favorite was a text that wasn't sent, it was just on my Treo - saying that he thought I looked good in black leather. I kinda want to know who said that, lol... esp. since I wasn't wearing black leather?? Anyway, I guess my point to this text message tirade was that I find it absolutely amusing that this was really how we HAD to communicate in order to have a conversation. And it's evidently more commonplace that what I had thought, because I observed several other tables doing the same thing. Nightlife in Dallas in the year '07.

We ended the night at IHOP, which that or Cafe Brazil is almost a Saturday night requirement. Carb-load for energy before you go home; protien to soak up what you drank, whatever... you just need it. So, we had six people on-site with the possibility of two more showing up. We asked for the larger 4-top that can seat 6. There were two empty ones RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR EYES, that had a smaller 2-top right across from it that Richelle and Greg could have sat at. Noone was there, the hostess chick wasn't seating anyone there, but there were people in that section, so it wasn't like she COULDN'T. She finally offers us a smaller 4-top that there's no WAY all six of us there could sit at. So, I pointed that out and asked for the bigger table. (Patience level not so great; I'm tired, still a little damp, and needing to eat and go home) She finally sits us in the smoking section (fine, whatever) - but not at the table with SIX CHAIRS ALREADY there... she takes us to another stinkin' small 4-top. um, hello, we just turned that down? Could we not sit at the table that actually seats six, maybe?? I guess I must have said it like that because Bev told me that the hostess threw down our menus and would definitely be spitting in our food and putting my pancakes down their pants.

My response? Ok, if I don't see it, it didn't happen. I'm all ok in my warm, friendly "Crystal Bubble" where people don't do that stuff and I'm sitting at a 6-top. But I was extra nice to my waitress, just in case.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Myspace Migration: On The Lighter Side of News

Current mood:chipper
... whenever I'm sick, I watch a lot of news. It's on, it won't turn your brain to mush like much of daytime TV (although Frasier in the morning is always a treat). We all know about Anna Nicole, shame her heart was inflamed... so, I won't talk anymore about her. Would be redundant. Here are the stories that caught my attention, though:

1) Dog eats $5k wedding ring. They got it back; they had the pilfering pooch throw it up. My thought on that is... the poor woman who owns that ring undoubtably saw said dog throw that thing up and now she has to WEAR IT. Wouldn't the vision of that event that was, no doubt, seared into her mind's eye make it just plain ookey to wear that ring day in and out? I don't know, I think I might trade that thing in for an upgrade that hadn't seen the lining of a pit bull's stomach...

2) Ten-year-old is aiming to get a bill passed that would ban smoking in cars. He's using the premise that we're currently (and in some places, successfully) passing bans on using a cell-phone (and other things which I have since forgotten) in your car - how is that any different than using one of your available hands to hold and smoke a cigarette? Good call, kid. While his parents apparently do not smoke, he said he saw children in other cars where adults were smoking and it's not fair that children be subjected to that. Again, good call, kid. I personally hope that measure passes, though I'm not sure it will.

The Wedding Racket is starting to gear up again for yet another season. I'm seeing an increase in jewelry commercials, cruise lines, Sandals commercials and advertisments by wedding shops. Now, it could be coincidental since my dear friend Jackie is getting married, but oi! That is such a big business that's very good at ripping you off. Because, really, I'm not sure that anyone can feel perfectly happy at spending 130k on a party ... especially when a lot of these people have to go into hock for it and don't yet own their own house. Why don't they own a house? Because they decided to have a wedding.

By the way, my benefactor status at Starbucks has now been approved... now I'm aiming for "Patron Saint." Wish me luck, I'm off for cofee...

Monday, January 29, 2007

Myspace Migration: Dating & My Inbox

Current mood:happy
Otherwise known as "Top 10 Reasons to Pull Myself Out of the Dating Game." Ok, so I made what I consider to be the ostensible decision to pull myself out of the "search" for a relationship this morning while getting some much needed relaxation in the tub (1). I came to the conclusion that I'm just not in the mood to date. Now, I know some of you are thinking, "Ok, well Crystal, if you don't date, you're never going to be 'relationship girl.'" No. Not true. That really denotes more of a frame of mind and in truth, is part of the reason I'm ready to quit the "proactive dating scene."
For the past several months, I have done most of the dating that I've done through meeting people on various dating sites. Some of the people I met were great and are still friends, some are rediculous (2). There was the guy that ended up being gay - now that was a barrel of fun. There was the uber-rich guy that needed to tell me how uber-rich, awesome and great he was from the moment we started talking... nah, that doesn't reek of rampant insecurity. There were one or two guys that had the timing been better, I probably would have liked to explore a relationship with... but, it wasn't. And then there were just a bunch of guys that were nice guys, but weren't for me... we either just didn't click or they were single and didn't get the whole 'single mom gig' (3), or whatever.

Online dating is fine. You meet a lot of people (at least I have) and you get to do some much needed screening/introductions before you show up for that first meeting. But, don't kid yourself: figuring out who you want to date long-term is a lot of work. I think, though, it's supposed to be fun.

But for me, it's not. Not anymore. I'm spending too much time trying to figure out where to fit someone new in and how do I get to know this guy and that guy while balancing A (kids), B (work), and C (friends). For me, A, B, and C will always come before (D) - new guy. I have the weekend in which to balance C and D. I guarantee you that one day/night in each weekend is going to be reserved for my friends and running errands. So, that typically leaves me Friday and Sunday during the day. It's really quite difficult to foster a relationship when you only really have 2 times in a week where you're available to see someone.

I get that I COULD make more time, but I don't want to. I LIKE my life the way it is. My work is important to me and I like going up to the office on Saturdays. My friends are who I want to be spending my time with and there's no way in hell I'm going to repeatedly dump my kids off on a sitter each week to date someone. My kids come first. That's my time with them, that's when I get to be the parent, friend and confidant that they need and I chose to be. So, lately, I end up really wishing I could cancel my dates instead of going on them. And, that's not the frame of mind I think you should be in when you're dating people. So, top 10 reasons I'm pulling myself out of the dating game:

10. I'm getting carpal tunnel from clicking on all these darn profiles.
9. Martini Park is more fun with Friends.
8. Guys really don't like being the subject of your blogs and goodness knows how much I love to blog.
7. I talk on the phone all day for a living. There are whole nights where I don't want to talk to anyone.
6. Because grocery shopping, oil changes and walking the dog doesn't do itself. (though wouldn't it be nice if it did?)
5. I suck at letting guys pay if I don't know whether or not I want to go out with them again and for some reason, that's found offensive.
4. I'd rather make $25,000 off placing a candidate on a Saturday than I would spending money eating at Bob's with some guy who thought I'd find that impressive
(and really, I'd find some hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint, more fun anyway)
3. Like I don't already have enough to do.
2. Candyland is way cooler that drinks at Duke's and if I'm not there to play it, who will?
1. I really need some 'me time.'

All of this to say, I'm just done being 'proactive' searching. If something comes up through my singles group (which IS a lot of fun and a great way to meet people of both genders who are in the same space in life to do stuff with and make friends with), or with someone I'm already friends with and know.. ok. It's not like I'm refusing to date. I'm just done with looking for people to date and recognize that just by doing that, I'll free up time and allow myself to focus on the things I've determined are my priorities.

(1) I will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER again cave on making the girls get a flu shot. Natalie has been sick with Influenza, Type A (see bulletin for the reference I made to that) for a week, her sleep schedule is ALL screwed up and of course the only place she can sleep well is my room. So, I'm about ready to collapse.
(2) Who needs 3 therapists? Now I have a friend who has 2 and I kind of got that.. but 3???? Couldn't you roll some of that craziness together for just one therapist?
(3) Telling you my kid is sick should really come along with the self-explinatory "So, I can't go out and do stuff." I should not be put in a position to where I'm having to tell you later that day, "No, I can't meet you for lunch" after I texted that morning with "My kid's sick and throwing up in the bathroom."

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Myspace Migration: My Experience With The Sims &... Dude, Where's My Kleenex?!

No, I'm not sick. My kids are, though. And for someone who could take stock out in the Kleenex company, I'll be darned if I can find ONE box of Kleenex in this house when it's needed (which is really kinda sad, because I own six). Anyway, my day has been filled with chicken soup, thermometers, tylenol (of which I'm now out and am contemplating a store run), juice (of which I'm also out), finding kleenex and then trying to keep our dog away from the kleenex... incidentally, Kleenex shreds very easily and is kind of a pain to pick out of your carpet.

We had company pictures yesterday. In a few weeks, we'll get to see if he shot one where I wasn't blinking, sporting the "short bus smile", talking, brushing my hair away from my face, looking like the world is coming to an end NOW, or half a dozen other perfectly picturesque poses... none of which you actually WANT in a picture. LOL - Last year, I seriously looked like I had been drugged or something. We'll see...

So, Lindsey and I were playing this game today - Sims2. First of all, I've GOT to start paying attention to the rating systems for these games. There are parts of it that are definitely not appropriate for kids. In this game, each Sim has different personalities, interests, and values. They also have "aspirations" - either family, fortune, popularity, romance, or knowledge. You can choose your Sim's aspiration when you make them. So, Lindsey and I make this sim - Lauren Baker. Lauren ends up following the Fortune aspiration (Lindsey liked that they have to buy a bunch of stuff on that track to stay happy) and met Mortimer Goth. Mortimer and Lauren chat and joke and play and end up friends. Eventually, they flirt and date and then, it's time for her to propose. "Engagement" wasn't an option - just "move-in."

Fortunately, Lindsey just assumed that meant they would be married... and honestly, I did too, at first. Um, No. Turns out, Mortimer's MARRIED to someone else! That was disturbing. Going further, Lindsey decides she wants a baby in the house. So, I'm clicking around and figure out how to make that happen - but, I don't want her to see it. Why? They get to make "whoo-hoo" and they also have "try for a baby" when they're both in bed. Can you say not appropriate for children? So, I sent her out of the room to clean her nose and made that happen.

The.Bed.Shakes.Bounces.Up.and.Down.and.Fireworks.Go.Off when they're done. Also, unlike the original version of Sims, Lauren became more visibly pregnant, in stages. We got to watch her tummy grow, she went on maternity leave and then Poof! She went into labor (which had me seriously concerned and I had to cover Lindsey's eyes, just in case) and the little green diamond above her head seperated into two. They had a family. Of course, he was still married to someone else - but, they had a family and they stayed together until Mortimer's Life Span expired and he died. Oh yah, they die in this one. It's a generational game.

What did strike me as interesting about this was that each Sim had his/her own value code. When Lindsey wasn't watching, I explored the game a little further. Turns out, some Sims are ok with "whoo-hoo" before sharing a house, some are ok with moving in but not getting married; some want to get married before moving in. Some Sims want to have a baby, but not a family/marriage. And, it appears as though you can have same-sex relationships, though I couldn't bring myself to fully test that theory.

Also, another interesting facet was the "aspiration bar." Yesterday, I was talking with Witty, my mentor, about needing to figure out what my practice is aspiring to. I mean, I have a vague to somewhat-defined idea of what I want the end goal to be - but, I haven't mapped out all the moves. This game had it all mapped out: you knew what they wanted, when they wanted it and how to get them there. I'm almost embarrassed to say that it somewhat inspired me to map my business out - although, I would have done it even if it hadn't.

Finally, I found it interesting that when Lindsey & I made a girl Sim, Elle, who most closely resembled me... she was the most happy and successful when there was no man in her life. Go figure. So there's my experience with the Sims. I seriously let my "inner dork" flag fly and I had to share it.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Myspace Migration: Kicking Off the New Year

Current mood:chipper
... it's so beautiful outside today. It's cold, drizzly, and utterly winter. And you know what? I like it. It's NOT going to be particularly friendly to my hair, however. And since tonight is the company kick-off party, I wish it would be. Although, as I type this, I kind of wonder what it matters, as I'm not bringing a date to this thing, anyway.

Seriously, work functions are not the time to bring a date - as I learned last year when I took someone who SHOULD have realized what needed to happen. But didn't, and so I heard "Can we go now? Can we go now? Can we go now?" every five seconds. Which after the 30th one of those was when I made the resolve that I was never going to bring someone to one of these things again unless we were engaged or married and then you pretty much have to, you know?

So, had an odd moment. Not sure how you'd categorize it, but it was a funny odd, just the same. Woke up this morning and got ready for work as I always do. Saw a friend's Christmas present on my counter, same as I do every morning and evening as I'm washing my face/brushing my teeth/fixing my hair and so on. It's actually gotten to the point that it looks like part of the landscape, lol. Anyway, this morning I actually focused on it for a second and wondered how my friend was doing (I've been so busy and caught up in my own life that not only has he still NOT gotten his gift, but I haven't even really had a chance to say hello or anything of the like)... and guess what? I heard from him today! That kind of cracked me up.. well, amused me at least.

I hope Jason gets the girls so I can go to this thing tonight. It's one of those things I kind of want to go to, but at the same time, I'd really be ok curling up under my blanket, reading for a bit and going to bed. LOL But, as with most other things in my life... I'll have fun once I get there. Actually, now that I have a clear direction on where I want the book to go; I kind of want to hurry up and finish the yearbook stuff and focus on that in my free time. I know I have girlfriends (amd a couple of guy friends, come to think of it) reading this thinking, "In no way will that improve your love life." My response to this (so don't bother telling me this in 'real time'): "You're absolutely right and I really don't care." So there (insert mental picture of me sticking my tongue out at you here, lol). :)

Now I'm just avoiding going to get ready. I had more serious stuff to talk about, but I don't remember what it was. Maybe I'll write more later. I'm looking forward to going bowling with Bev and the Community tomorrow! :)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Myspace Migration: So the Book's Morphing a Little

I think I'm going to take the book in more of a dating direction, like someone that reads my blog suggested way back when. I'm setting this to private, but I'm not really sure if it'll work or not since I've never tried that before. Figured I'd just jot down some snippets of things I actually got to experience (unfortunately! LOL).. not sure they'll meld together or not, it's just stuff that I was thinking about during the girl scout meeting.

...So, I think that I'm a fairly logical person. Heck, that's why the whole 'internet dating' thing appealed to me. But, as I'm sitting across from this guy who looks like I could bench press with one hand and my eyes closed - and let's face it, I'm not exactly buff - I'm failing to see the logic in this match. Not because he's a pint size version of a grown-up man, or because of anything physical, really. No, it's an illogical match because I think rationally and obviously, he doesn't.
"See, I know that I may not be as attractive as say, the waiter over there. But what balances it out; what allows me to have my pick of pretty much whomever I want... is my income. I'm banking. No really, I make a lot of money."

What do you say to that?? "Wow, well..." I'm wondering if pausing will help me think of something to say that will make the autrosity that just came out of his mouth a little better.. or at least, a little less distasteful. Um, nope. "That's really great that you have such a good confidence level."
"It helps that there are ten times more desperate women than there are men. How many responses do you get a day?"
"I don't know. Maybe 10? Obviously, they're not the right ones, though..."
"Wait. I contacted you!"
"Yeah, so anyway...."

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Myspace Migration: Deadlines, Long Lines, & the Tax Man Cometh

I think we'd all agree that patience is a virtue... or, at least, we're all told it is. Some times I'm more patient than others, but I think that's fairly normal. This particular blog centers more around the "impatient moments" of my life as of late.
We have to finish 48 pages of the yearbook by this Thursday. Something of an arduous task, made worse by the fact that I have an Executive Board Meeting of the PTA tonight and this just in, our pictures are all screwed up. I can't tell what kid is in what class and there's no way to properly flow the pictures onto the pages (1). So, I put a call and email in to my friendly yearbook advisor at Lifetouch ~ and I have yet to hear back from her. I'm guessing she didn't work yesterday due to the inclement weather, but man! I'm on a deadline and would it kill her to check her email???? LOL Really, I'm not upset, I'm just needing to get.this.done!!

So I crashed out with the kids last night (I know, nothing new). But, because I went to sleep so much earlier than normal, I woke up at 2am... totally bored, to an infomercial. They were talking about creating "long lines" - some exercise product that I couldn't see because my contacts had once again slipped to the back of my eye (which is probably why you shouldn't fall asleep with them in!). Ok, now I know it's been awhile since I was in school... but I'm thinking that the "lines" we have are pretty much the same length regardless of whether they're curved or straight? Am I not remembering my middle school math right? It's an illusion that the curved line is shorter?? Since that is my current belief system, I laughed at the infomercial and changed the channel. Like anyone needs yet another Pilates DVD, anyway (speaking of which, I'm really enjoying the 3rd one I got, lol).

Got my W-2 in over the weekend. Will probably go ahead and get my tax returns done today. I hit a different tax bracket and so I lost all my cool deductions. Drat. Even still, I have something of a refund coming back (about 4k), so I'm not complaining. Now, I know all you financially saavy people are screaming at the monitor that I'm a dolt for giving the government a tax-free loan. That I could MAKE money by changing my deductions and getting a 1-yr CD. And, you know what? You're right. And you're wrong. First of all, I already claim 9 deductions, which is darn near close to the most I can take. I think I gave our payroll chick some kind of pause, because she even emailed me about it! But, the deal is that I work on commission... so my commission checks are taxed at around 33% (like a bonus). So, I paid about 30k in taxes last year - with 9 deductions on my regular paychecks. There's really not much more I can do.

Secondly, even though you COULD put that money into a CD, you can't do it in the same year. Think this through: the money I get back in 2007, I paid all throughout 2006. So, assuming I could increase my deductions and keep more, I'd have to put THAT money in a savings account throughout the year so that in 2007, I could then put that money into a CD. In 2006, with simple interest in the savings account, I'd probably make what? Ten dollars? Woowzers! And, when you really think it through further, you're assuming I have the discipline to not just let it become part of my household income, as most Americans do. Which, I'm telling you now, that extra $40 that I actually have control over would probably NOT be saved - it'd probably go to frivolous junk like little girl clothes, or ballet lessons or something of the like.

Finally, I'm one of those weird-os that just feels comfortable getting a check back from Uncle Sam. I like it. I really do. That's "fun money" for the family. This year, we got a TV. The rest of it will go to savings. Last year, I bought a new desktop computer for the girls and I. And the rest went into savings. I'm ok with that.... now, the Good Lord help me if I ever have to pay the Tax Man anything more than what I pay throughout the year. I'm pretty sure that'd give me a heart attack.
On a final note, I'm getting my taxes prepared at Jackson Hewitt. Why? Because they've done a great job over the last 6 years and I don't get audited. Also, because my old accountant bought a franchise and I like him. Thirdly, they pay for the attorney's fees SHOULD I ever get audited and I'm pretty sure the fine (if there is one) up to 5k. I'm a safety-girl... that makes me feel warm and fuzzy. All for the bargain basement price of a couple hundred dollars. That I get to deduct come the next tax year. :) But, to tie in the whole patience angle (I know you've been waiting patiently for it! :p), I really think that once you put in your return, they should give you your money back within 48 hours. It's checked by a computer, anyway. I don't see why it should take longer than two days.

Have a good day, guys and dolls.. I've got to go find a sweater and get to work!!
(1) I know the whole flow thing doesn't make a lot of sense to anyone not putting together the yearbook. We're using a web-based system that has a portrait library where you pick a number (which is supposed to represent a class), it will "flow" that set of pictures onto the page. Except ours is screwed up and not working that way. Fun, fun, fun.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Myspace Migration: I AM Self-Sufficient... With the Help of My Friends. :p

I AM Self-Sufficient, Really... With the Help of My Friends, That Is!
Every once in awhile I kind of wonder what I would do if I lived in another city, completely cut off from everyone I know and love. How would that affect my quality of life? I mean, I say I'm self-sufficient, and I guess for the most part I am. But..

I got a new television yesterday. I decided I wanted a new TV more than I wanted new living room furniture right now (life's a trade-off). It wasn't particularly heavy, and so I figured I'd be able to take care of it myself, right?? Yeah, it was kind of too bulky to get out of my car. Fortunately, Dave, Wendy's husband was there to help me with it. I need something to connect to the TV that allows for me to hook up both my TV and my DVD player. I'm not sure exactly what that is, but I'm sure when I go to the store today to buy a new operating system for my computer, I can figure it out.

That's right.. a new operating system. I don't know if that'll help my soundcard, because it's SUPPOSED to be compatible with Windows 2000 SP4, which is what I have since I lost my Windows XP disc. I probably left it at Beau's, along with my router, my dvd player, the table my father made me for my wedding, nearly $500 worth of bedding, and a slew of other stuff that I totally forgot when we parted ways. Oh, well. Fortunately, I can get another perfectly lovely OEM version of Windows XP Pro for the bargain basement price of $100. I just hope that fixes my problem!!! I really miss having a soundcard and being able to listen to my music. I can download a trial version, but it won't allow me to upgrade. Would TOTALLY have to reinstall and I'm just not quite sure I want to do that. And I have to find a cd burner application (that I KNOW I left at Beau's) before I can do that, anyway. So, this morning I'm researching that... but, I really have no idea what I'm doing.

But, since I'm self-sufficient (grin), I'm going to make myself an expresso and fake it until I do. Pity party for one? Your table is now ready.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Myspace Migration: So What's the Deal with Valentine's Day?

Current mood:indifferent
Really? It's a holiday I've never quite understood. Even when I was happily married (for the whole few months we were in that state), I didn't get it. It just kind of seemed like a Hallmark Holiday to me. Why pick ONE day to really go all out and express your feelings for your partner? Why just one? It seems to me that many little gestures throughout the year would mean a lot more than one day of gifts and eating out.
I don't look forward to Valentine's Day. I do heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast and heart-shaped steaks at night for the kids, which is fun - because I don't want them growing up jaded against a holiday on my account ... much better to let them pick and choose which holidays they love or despise (like me, can't say I'm a fan of Valentine's Day, but I love St. Patrick's Day... but who wouldn't love a holiday dedicated to little men in green and beer?). They get the little card and bear every year. But, then again, to my earlier point - they get that kind of stuff SEVERAL times throughout the year.. it doesn't take a holiday for them to know they're loved and appreciated.

I realize I'm in the minority on this. I know this because even as I write this, stores have and continue to gear up for "the big day." There are even heart-shaped wreaths at Target for you to hang on your front door (which, as a chick, would be really tempting to purchase if I were more into that holiday)! I know this goes against chick-dom in general, but I just don't get it. I tried once or twice to "get into the spirit of the holiday" - heck, last year I even did this big, elaborate scavenger hunt thing for Beau... but it always seems to be ... I don't know... misguided or something (especially since that night I found out he completely screwed me over, lol). And most people like the day of gifts. Personally, I'd rather be in a relationship where my partner made little gestures like cooking dinner with me now and again or helping me fold socks, even though it wasn't something they liked to do - that kind of thing...

What do you think about it? Are you looking forward to it? Do you have any holiday rituals that make it a special day for you? Why do you like it... or not