Friday, February 29, 2008

I'm not moving, and you can't make me.

Any workweek that starts with news of your boss taking his own life promises to be emotionally charged. And it was. And I'm glad it's over.

A former boss of mine is a huge movie fan. We were going to get together after work on Monday to discuss the Oscars. He cancelled because he had to have a biopsy! Hopefully we'll be able to get together next week, after he has the results and can share the good news with me.

While having a lively discussion about American Idol, during which we amused ourselves by speaking in Randy-isms ("you're hot, dawg" "you gotta bring it," "just keeping it real," etc.), I realized that my friend John has never updated me about his conversations with his doctors regarding an implantable defibrilator. He hasn't filled me in because there's nothing to say. He hasn't talked to his doctor about it this year! He just doesn't want the procedure done. I just don't want him to die. As soon as the subject changed to his heart, he suddenly had to go. This conversation will be resumed at a later date, I promise.

Then the friend of mine who separated from his wife in January checked in. When he moved out of their home at his wife's behest, he was sure it was temporary, that they could work it out. Instead he told me that on April 1, he's moving out of the tiny room in his brother's apartment and into his own apartment. He sees his kids twice a week and every other weekend, which is often for a divorced dad, but he doesn't want to be a divorced dad. I thought they would live happily ever after. So did he. I hate this.

Then I got a call from a prospective employer asking me to provide a reference for my friend Kathy. She began registering with temp agencies two weeks ago and had hoped to have an assignment by now. She's very broke and I'm worried about her.

My oldest friend is having troubles with her teenage son that have thrown her for a loop.

Everyone seems to be dealing with intense shit and it's left me tired. I have to remember that I'm fine. I haven't mentioned my therapy much on this blog, but this is a recurring issue during my couchtime. I must remind myself where my friends end and I begin. I can't be of any help to anyone if I allow their problems to weigh on me like gravity. It's like the flight attendants tell us at the beginning of each flight -- you know, remember to put your oxygen mask on first before you help anyone else. I must figure out how to love these people without letting their problems sink my spirit.

So I'm going to withdraw into myself this weekend. Recharge my battery. Prepare myself for the world again.

PS My best friend had a little good news for a change. On Sunday, his whole family is going to a reception at the public library. A painting done by his younger daughter (second grade) was one of a handful selected for display! He's so proud of her, and I'm so happy for him.

THIS JUST IN! KATHY GOT A JOB! KATHY GOT A JOB!
I'm still not moving, but I'll be a little happier as I hibernate.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Stuff and Things


1) Snowbird (aka Book Mama's Mama) wisely anticipated how upset I'd be by the prospect of the naming rights to Wrigley Field being sold. Cub fandom is as much a part of my heritage (OK, a bigger part of my heritage) than my ethnicity or religion. I am a Cub fan because my parents were Cub fans and my grandparents -- both sides (I'm a purebred) -- were Cub fans. So yes, this is a major development. I tried to convince myself it wouldn't matter. But it would! Rumor has it, though, that the Wrigley Gum Company is as interested as I am, but for less sentimental reasons, in maintaining the status quo. I cling to the hope that they are successful in paying for the rights.

2) Shout Color Catchers are wonderful but elusive. Toss these fabulous white sheets into the wash and they'll absorb any loose dyes, enabling you to mix colors in the same load. They have revolutionized by laundry routine! However, I can't find them at any stores here in Chicagoland and have been ordering them from drugstore.com.

Quirky? Who, Me?

I love me a good meme, and I found one over at Nissa's.

SIX OF THE GAL'S QUIRKS

1) I cannot remember phone numbers. Not even my own. My cellphone number is written in my planner.

2) Likewise, I have no sense of direction or perspective. Until recently I thought I lived about 45 miles from Chicago's Loop because it takes 45 minutes to get to my office by train. Turns out I'm less than 15 miles away. So it's probably a good thing that …

3) I don't drive. If I drove, my car would just sit somewhere depreciating and rusting out 5 days a week. So what's the point? I really don't miss dealing with traffic, gas prices, car insurance and ruminating about the size of my carbon footprint.

4) I don't believe in life on other planets. I realize logically that I'm probably wrong. I mean, the universe is infinite. But in my heart, I don't believe it.

5) I have more male friends than female friends. I don't know why this is, really. It hasn't been by design, it just happened. I'm not sleeping with any of them, as they're all married or gay.

6) I'm like a chemist when it comes to my skin care. OK, so I'm 50 and I have a belly now. But my pale skin is reasonably unlined because I cleanse and exfoliate and antioxidate and ... preparing my face for foundation takes more steps than preparing the space shuttle for lift off.

If you choose to play along, let Nissa and me know, so we can compare your quirks to ours.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #56 -- 13 of my favorite products


THIRTEEN BRANDS I AM COMPLETELY,
UNSHAKABLY LOYAL TO

Last week, when it was wicked cold and wet outside, I stopped at CVS on my way home from the train. I had to pick up a prescription and decided to buy other essentials before retreating to the dry warmth and comfort of my home for the night. “Paper towels!” I reminded myself and went to the appropriate aisle.

CVS doesn’t sell my preferred brand: Viva. I love Viva paper towels! They are the best for cleaning up after a cat has deposited the contents of his/her stomach on my carpet.

I settled for Bounty, but it wasn’t the same. When it comes to certain products, I want what I want and I want nothing else.

Milk? Whatever. Bread? Ditto. I’m a complete slut when it comes to condiments -- the cheaper, the better. But for the 13 items listed below, they’re my faves and they’re the ones that I want.

I stole this TT idea from someone. If it was you, speak up
so I can thank you.


1. Viva Paper Towels. White, no prints. And one size fits all. I resist those “choose-a-size” sheets; they tear too easily and then no matter what, I have the smallest size.

2. Shout Color Catchers. These lovely white sheets catch the loose dyes, enabling me to wash my white panties with my sweaters, regardless of the color.

3. Pledge Multi-Surface Wipes. I use them across (almost) my entire kitchen. Counters, stove-top, refrigerator door … even spot cleaning the floor. Good on mirrors, too. And, unlike any of the disinfecting wipes, I can dependably get them out of the package!

4. Woolite Foam Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner. I used to be a Resolve Foam girl, but I’ve found Woolite to be gentler, yet just as effective.

5. Edge Shave Gel. I trust these calves to nothing else.

6. Aquify Contact Lens Solution. It cleans! It soaks! It moisturizes! It would start my car, too, if I had one.

7. Dove Original Scent Anti-Perspirant Solid. Doesn’t leave streaks on my clothes. Plus I love Dove’s Everywoman advertising, so I’m happy to support the brand.

8. CVS Moisturizing Oatmeal Bath. In the packets. This is the “store brand” version of Aveeno, and trust me, it works just as well as the expensive name brand.

9. The Body Shop Shea Body Butter. Thick enough to really moisturize, fragrant-neutral enough to not compete with any scent I apply later.

10. Clinique Repairwear Eye Cream. Preserves my natural, dewey beauty.

11. Yoplait Yogurt. Fools my sweet tooth into believing we’ve had dessert.

12. Coke Classic. Coca Cola, preferably in the red can. I don’t like Pepsi, I don’t like generic, I don’t like Diet Coke. I want my Coke Classic.

13. Post Select Great Grains. Flakes, pecans, dates and raisins – my favorite cereal. Bar none.

Leave your link in comments and I'll list you here:

1. Sandy Carlson's TT is lovely, musical and inspirational -- all at once!
2. Pjazzypar has a movie TT (and I love movie TTs). This one lists her favorite soundtracks.
3. Morgan Leigh serves up a Presidential TT.
4. Greatfullivin takes us around Boothill.
5. Malcolm takes a closer look at some SNL cast members
6. Ellen B gives us a lovely tour of a historical site that was completely new to me
7. Hootin Ani offers it all -- new banners, jokes and tongue twister!
8. Nicholas has a book TT, as only Nicholas does them
9. SJ Reidhead devotes her TT to Bond, James Bond
10. Sandee spotlights 13 blogs -- including MINE! Yea! Thank you!
11. Natalie has fun with the search terms that bring people to her blog.
12. Chuck has an entertaining, eclectic reading list
13. Susan Helene Gottfried makes some music (or creates some bands) with her TT
14. Mo has an animated and heroic TT
15. Laura tells us why she's happy to be home
16. Journeywoman did a special TT for Black History Month
17. Lori shares valuable, common sense, real world dating tips
18. Sharon, who did a similar TT a few weeks ago, talks TV
19. Angie is listening to 13 of her favorite bands
20. Winter experiments with photography with beautiful results
21. Marcia proudly shares her daughter's artwork
22. Kay has a movie TT, and I do love movie TTs!
23. Jaydee's TT is hard to describe ... you kinda have to experience it
24. Crushed Glass takes a closer look at her calendar
25) Nissa shares her favorite shows
26) Lori offers up 13 cool online quizzes
27) Xakara weaves a fascinating tale of vampires and fangs and thorns and ...
28) Monday Through Sunday takes us back to the 1980s
29) Mercy's Maid's TT is delightfully random
30) Brittany helps with stress
31) Lisa's TT is brought to us by the letter D
32) Brenda shares her insights on Old Man Winter
33) Mama Bear takes us back to the 1930s
34) Lori looks at American Idol
35) Sarai has a literary TT
34)



Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



She's done it again!

Kwizgiver posted this on yesterday, and I find it irresistible and have stolen it.

TIC TOC: TIME 4 A SURVEY

Your best friend tells you she is pregnant. What is your reaction? Terror, as she has had a hysterectomy. (Menacing organ music) Or so she thought. (Menacing organ music) Could this be … Satan's Spawn? (Menacing organ music)

When is the last time you wanted to punch someone in their face? I don't recall exactly, but probably on the el platform or at the health club. Those do seem to be the places where Chicago's rudest people congregate.

What is the last thing you spent money on? Ironically, renewing my health club membership.

Do you think you gained or lost weight this past month? I *pray* that I held steady!

Crunchy or Puffy Cheetos? Puffy.

Congratulations! You just had a son. What's his name? Michael

Congratulations! You just had a daughter. What's her name? Grace

What are you craving right now? Sex. I could be more specific, but I'd like to retain my air of mystery.

What was the last thing you cried about? Don't remember. I'm not much of a crier.

When you buy something and your change is 2 cents, do you keep it or tell the cashier to keep it? I keep it, and then deposit the pennies in my red piggy bank.

What color is your tissue box? Pink
Do you have a ceiling fan in your room, and if so, is there dust on that fan? Oh, goodness, yes!

Scariest thing you've experienced in the last year? I have been worried sick about my favorite niece at various times in the past 12 months.
Do you wear a name tag at work? No

Have you ever had a garage sale? I've contributed my crap to my mother's garage sale. Does that count?

What color is your iPod? Silver

What is the last alcoholic beverage you had? White zin

Are you happy right now? Yes

Who came over last? The neighbor who rents my parking space

Do you drink beer? Yes! Is this an invitation?

Have your brothers or sisters ever told you that you were adopted? No

What is your favorite key on your key chain? Mailbox

What was the last movie you watched at home? Michael Clayton

What is in your pocket? Tissue and lip balm

Where do you hurt? My shoulder is a little sore

Has someone ever made you a Build-A-Bear? No

What's something fun you did today? Made seriously tasteless jokes with the guy in the next office. Please, don't ask. It was schadenfreude of a very high order.

What is your favorite aisle at Wal-Mart? Never shop there. Or K-Mart. Or anywhere where parents don't watch their children. Makes me too hideously nervous. My best friend believes I'm part border collie and can't control my herding instinct.

When is your birthday? November
Is there anything hanging from your rear view mirror? No, no car

What kind of milk do you drink? 2%

What is something you need to go shopping for? It's boring, but I need fresh lettuce.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Great Night of TV

First there were the guys on American Idol, singing songs of the 1970s. Now I'm watching Hillary and Obama debate on MSNBC. I am happy to just sit here, wrapped in a blanket, surrounded by cats, laptop on my tummy.

Heads & Tails #18

Today's theme is WONDER. According to our friends at Webster's, "wonder" can mean: 1) A feeling of puzzlement or doubt or 2) Something arousing awe, astonishment, surprise or admiration.

Because life itself is a little confusing to me these days, I choose to concentrate on definition #2. Here are things that still fill me with wonder:

The friendly confines of Wrigley Field

Lake Michigan

The Beatles

How kids' minds work

The sky

Flowers

How something so minor as a cold can knock you on your ass, 
and how grateful you are to feel better again

Being in love

For more information about Heads or Tails, or to play along yourself, go to Skittles' Place.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Introducing the Alphabet Meme

I've been tagged by Tasha, and here goes …

Copy all the links below and replace a single link under the appropriate letter of the alphabet. If your domain name, or even the title of your blog, starts with an “A,” you’d replace the link under that letter and put the replaced link at the bottom. Also, don’t forget to credit the tagger, or where you got the list from, at the end of the list with a full URL of the post so that a pingback gets generated.

A. An Ordinary Life
B. Blogging with Cents
C. Cricket’s Hearth
D. DadThing
E. Everything and Anything
F. Forum Finder
G. Greatfullivin
H. Happy Keg
I. I’m Running To Win Two
J. Julies Journal
K. Kabalyero
L. Ladylike4
M. Mommy Mandy
N. Not Just Mama
O. Original Mx5
P. Party of Six
Q. Q Weddings
R. Rowdigrl
S. Shirleys Delight
T. The Gal Herself
U. Utada Online
V. Valmg
W. Wicked Babylon
X. Xavier Media
Y. Yimto
Z. Zbudapest

Replaced Link: The So-Called Me

Previous tagger: Party of Six

Now I know I'm supposed to tag a handful of others, but I'm rebel, so I'm not gonna. Instead I invite all to play along, and if you join us, please leave your link in comments so we can see who you replaced.

It's Tasha's first meme and we want to keep it moving.

Life Goes On … Until It Doesn't

My weekend felt so ordinary. After leaving work on Friday, I did laundry … waited for my Peapod delivery … finished one book and started another … paid some bills … celebrated with my nephew (he's gone from Bobcat to Wolf in Boy Scouts) … got my bangs cut … watched the Oscars … I was content. My life was moving along just fine.

One of the men I work for left the office on Friday and killed himself. Life rolls on. Until it stops.

I worked for him technically, in that he "outranked" me, but I didn't really know him beyond a polite "hello." So no condolences are required. I haven't lost a friend. My sense of grief isn't personal.

But since his tragic death was announced this morning, I've been surrounded by sorrow, people who worked with him more closely and knew him better than I. It has thrown the workplace off. Everyone is having a little trouble concentrating. We're all speaking more softly and being more polite to one another. 

I'm thinking about God, and the nature of despair. I'm no stranger to depression, but I've always had friends, family and most of all FAITH. I don't understand how that can slip away from some people, how they can't hang onto that most personal of all relationships, the one with God, when all else sours. I'm baffled.

Today sucks.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

If I awarded the Oscars ...

… the best supporting actor trophy would go to someone who isn't even nominated -- Andy Griffith in Waitress. Old Joe, the owner of the diner where much of the action takes place, is vulgar, tough and crotchety. But as played by Andy, he's also a wise old soul who understands what the title character (Keri Russell) must do to reshape her life. It was inspired casting and a touching performance, and I wish Old Joe was donning a tux and walking the red carpet tonight.

I'm sure that when Old Andy won his Oscar, he would acknowledge Adrienne Shelley, the creative force behind this little movie, but who tragically died before the movie was released.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

So, Hello, Gorgeous!

My tax refund arrived yesterday and it's already gone. But I'm very satisfied with its disposition … and with myself.

35% My mom’s supplemental Medicare insurance

25% Extra mortgage payment

5% Savings Bonds for my niece and nephew, who would rather have the cash

5% Add to my household “emergency” fund, just in case the condo board hits us with a special assessment

30% MY VACATION! All fiscal responsibility/no play makes me a dull Gal. And besides, it will make next month's Spa Sabbatical (complete with manicure, pedicure, massages, hydrotherapy, facial and makeup makeover) even more relaxing if I know I can afford it.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Killing time, courtesy of Kwizgiver

Randomness

Do you use big words? Yes. My favorite is "gubernatorial."

Favorite number? 7

Name a lyric from the song you're listening to? "Take off your high-heeled sneakers, it's party time." 

Have you ever thought about getting your nose pierced? Nope

Do you start the water before you get in the shower or when you get in? When I get in at home, before in hotels.

Have you ever brushed your teeth while in the shower? Ick. No. People do this?

Have you ever had stitches? Yes, on my chin, on my back and on my left hip.

How long ago did you hug someone? Monday

Do you like the Red Sox or Yankees? If I had to pick one, it would be the Red Sox because they're kinda the Cubs of the American League.

Have you ever had an oreo with peanut butter on it? No.

Are you more of a coffee or tea drinker? Tea. I hate coffee. I hate the taste and I hate the smell. 

Do you dream in black and white? I have, but not always.

Do you talk in your sleep? So I've been told.

Last time you had butterflies in your stomach? Two days ago, when my best friend was incommunicado and I thought he might be hurt or upset somewhere. (He wasn't; he was traveling to and from and attending a parent-teacher conference.)

Can you recite the alphabet backwards? No. And this is the first time I've ever been asked.

How do you feel about life right now? Fine. It's Friday and I'm going home soon.

Would you ever get someones name tattooed on you? No. I'd prefer not to have a stranger stick a needle filled with ink into me.

Do you feel guilty? No. "Responsible" and "sorry" are no strangers to me, but I don't do guilt.

Your current job status? full-time, unfulfilled (stolen from Kwizgiver)

What is your current mood? Fine. OK. Nothing special.

What color shirt are you wearing? Bright kelly green. It's a lively change of pace from all the blue I've been wearing lately.

Who has the ability to hurt you most? My best friend or my mom, though neither of them ever intends to.

If you could go back in time and change something, would you? There is a terribly hurtful sentence I'm sorry I uttered and would like to take back.

Ever had a near death experience? No

Something you do a lot? Drink Coke (and I accept no substitutes)

Do you have a fondness for gnomes? Why, yes, I do. Especially the little lawn ones with red hats. No one has asked me that before.

When was the last time you cried? I don't remember. I'm not much of a crier.

What is one thing that annoys you on TV? Wrestling

Do you still like kiddie movies? Not really

What are you eating or drinking at the moment? Plain old water

Do you speak any other language? No.

What's your favorite smell? Fresh laundry, flowers, SJP Lovely cologne

Describe your life in one word. Independent

Have any tattoos? Not now. Not ever. Never!

What is your natural hair color? Bronde

What is the holiday closest to your b-day? Thanksgiving

What is your dream car? Towncar with a chauffeur

I guess this is why they call it "work"

Had lunch at my desk again today, waiting for client feedback to arrive. Our account executive seems to have promised the client a same-day turnaround. The thing of it is, it's after 1:00 and we still haven't even SEEN the revisions, much less begun to incorporate them.

So I'm sitting here, chained to my desk, worrying. Getting more anxious by the moment. Experience has taught me that one of these things will happen:

1) Client changes will come in any minute now and they will be minimal. (Example: "Our lawyers request that you put the period under the ®.")

2) Changes will come in any minute now and they will be major, requiring a redesign and a rewrite and I'll be here till 7:15 this evening. (Annoying since I've had virtually nothing to do all day.)

3) Changes will come in at 4:15 and will be major, meaning I'll either have to cancel my hair appointment and come in tomorrow or our account executive will have to tell the client that they will have to wait until end of day Monday.

In the meantime, I just sit here, all nervous. Anxious. Fidgety. Antsy. Impatient. Concerned. Agitated. (Can you tell I'm a writer, and a self-involved one at that?)

THIS JUST IN! UPDATE! UPDATE!
The changes arrived and they are all from the client's legal department, which brings us closest to #1. Phew!

I Still Miss Him (& His Blue Eyes)





- Hank Williams Jr. Lyrics

I loved the end of tonight's Democratic Debate, when Hillary Clinton went all sentimental and classy and talked about how proud she was to be on the stage with Barack Obama. But something bothered me. She stole a part of it from Ol' Blue Eyes, the genuine liberal in this race, the one I still miss. Here, as it appeared in AmericaBlog, who also caught it.

Clinton Tonight: "You know, whatever happens, we're going to be fine. You know, we have strong support from our families and our friends. I just hope that we'll be able to say the same thing about the American people. And that's what this election should be about." - Democratic Debate, 2/21/07

John Edwards: "What's not at stake are any of us. All of us are going to be just fine no matter what happens in this election. But what's at stake is whether America is going to be fine." - Democratic Debate, 12/13/07

John Edwards: "I want to say this to everyone: with Elizabeth, with my family, with my friends, with all of you and all of your support, this son of a millworker's gonna be just fine. Our job now is to make certain that America will be fine." -- Edwards Speech, 1/30/08

Did Edwards view this as an homage? Or was he balling up blue socks (that match those blue eyes) and tossing them at the set?


Thursday, February 21, 2008

In praise of Miss Thing

I have recently blogged about my big, fat old tomcat, Joey. He has a heart of gold and I adore him. I have blogged often about Reynaldo, the skinny beige comedian/trial from God. But I haven't said much about Charlotte, and she deserves her own post.

When I don't feel well, Charlotte is my galpal. A gentle comfort who keeps me company with her consistent purr and presence beside me on the sofa. She likes to be still, except to give me a kiss every now and again.

For one so small, she is remarkably adept at getting her own way with Joey and Reynaldo. She gets her food first. She decides who grooms her, who she will groom, and who she will play with and when. I admire how courageously imperious she can be, especially since she has no muscle, no claws and not even a tail to back it up.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #55 -- Enduring Movie Cliches


THIRTEEN THINGS
YOU CAN ALMOST COUNT ON
SEEING AT
THE MOVIES


I love movies. I adore them when they’re good and still appreciate them when they’re bad. In honor of the Oscars this Sunday, I’ve put together an affectionate list of my13 favorite movie clichés.

If I wore a hat, I'd tip it to film critic Roger Ebert, who often included his favorites at the end of Ebert & Ropert At the Movies. I hope he gets well and returns to the set soon.

1. Prostitutes wear blonde dynel wigs. They are also young and beautiful, with perfect hygiene and hearts of gold.

2. When an old cop is paired with a young cop, it’s for the old timer’s last case before retirement. He’s usually the one who ends up dead.

3. In every gang of crooks, there’s always one who swears that this is his last crime, and right after this one, he’s going straight. It’s not uncommon for this guy to have a pregnant girlfriend of a wife who has convinced him to give up his evil ways. He’s usually the one who ends up dead.

4. Every town has a restaurant or pharmacy whose sign identifies it only as RESTAURANT or PHARMACY.

5. Everyone who goes grocery shopping comes home with a baguette that’s peeking out of the top the brown paper bag.

6. Workmen are forever carrying large panes of glass across crowded streets, and you can count on those panes being destroyed in a high speed chase.

7. When there’s an audition for singers or actors, the poor director must endure hours (or even days) of bad performers before being captivated by the very last one – whom he hires on the spot.

8. Every pretty popular girl has a less attractive but funnier best friend, just as every hot jock has a less athletic but funnier best friend.

9. Cats always have claws so they can land on someone’s shoulder or back and hang on.

10. Every single guy drinks beer from the bottle and every single woman eats ice cream from the carton. Usually while watching TV alone.

11. Teens left alone in the house will invariably have sex, and then hear a noise in the basement. Which they will unwisely investigate and then end up dead.

12. Retail personnel, ticket agents, maitre d’s and administrative assistants are all officious and obstructionist.

13. Flight attendants are always young and beautiful, while pilots are always handsome and distinguished.

Place your link in the comments and I'll add you here:
1) Nicholas rubs elbows with the rich and famous
2) SJR offers up an amazing potpourri
3) Natalie shares favorite podcasts
4) Buck Naked Politics has an artsy, visual TT
5) Lori reveals what most of us are looking for in a mate
6) No Nonsense Girl is a woman in charge of her TV remote
7) Sandy has an inspirational TT
8) Missy's TT is all about Egyptologists
9) Sanni shares her favorite spam
10) Lady Rose renews our will to blog
11) CQ has some sweet, and some funny, quotes on raising wee ones
12) Monday Thru Sunday has a delightful TT devoted to chocolate
13) Susan Helene Gottfried introduces us to a new band!
14) Dane explains it all, and in a very entertaining way.
15) Skittles shows us a new take on an old keyboard
16) Xakara's TT is … well … you just have to see it for yourself
17) Bethany takes us around Europe
18) Dallas Meowed answers questions as only she can!
19) Lynne helps us brush up on our driving skills.
20) Brenda fills us in about email
21) Harlekwin dreams of a new car
22) Katie has a lyrical TT
23) Barbara brings us up to date
24) Bermudabluez has a wonderfully random TT
25) Mama Bear has definite (and, I think, 100% correct) opinions on AI
26) Diana has had a varied employment history
27) Sarai takes a new look at her resolutions


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I feel bad for her

Hillary Clinton has been fighting the good fight for 30 years. She played a major role in getting her husband elected and re-elected and helped achieve those 8 years of peace and prosperity.

I am not supporting her for President. There was a dark side to those 8 years that I'd rather not return to. There are things about her that I don't entirely trust, and people who are better informed about these things and have worked with the Clintons for years are supporting Barack Obama.

But that doesn't mean that I don't appreciate all she's done, or that I'm enjoying watching her slow slide.

I just pointed, clicked and donated to Barack Obama's campaign. But still, I admire how hard Hillary Clinton has worked, how earnest she has been, how bravely she's put herself out there for us to judge, and I feel bad for her tonight.

I guess that's how the Dems and the Republicans differ this year. I have been satisfied with both my choices. They don't seem particularly happy with any of theirs.

A First Lady like Caroline's Mother




Caroline Kennedy recently wrote a column in the NY Times, endorsing Barack Obama because he could be "A President Like My Father." Today, my Newsweek arrived in the mail and I saw a First Lady who could be like her mother.

I know, I know … Michelle Obama has been controversial lately. I saw the comment she made about being proud of her country for the first time in her adult life. But I'm tired from a sleepless night and I'm into American Idol and frankly, I'm feeling too shallow right now to comment intelligently on her statements or the Newsweek article, which I admit I haven't read yet.

Instead, I'm talking about the Michelle Obama IMAGE. The sleek hair. The simple lines. The oversized, shamelessly fake pearls. The pastel colors in the dead of winter. It's all very Jackie.

And I think that's terrific. For there's no reason why a First Lady can't project intelligence (First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy gave speeches in French, Italian and Spanish) and strength (state funeral, anyone?) as well as her maternal and fashionista sides.

Not too long ago, I did a post about the low quality of icon girls today are exposed to in the media. I think Michelle Obama is a new millennium throwback to Jackie and Diana. A woman who is just as comfortable hugging her kids as she is giving speeches or working a ropeline. A stylish woman who will never be seen flashing her naked crotch at photographers. A smart woman who makes it fashionable to care about more than fashion.

Amen.

Heads & Tails #16

Today's theme is the Letter P. And so I'm going to write about something very top of mind right now --

PATIENCE.

I was awakened this morning at about 5:00 AM by a migraine. A throbbing, nauseating headache. I got up, took my migraine pill, and tried unsuccessfully to find a position to hold my head that didn't hurt. I got up every now and again to vomit or to get something to drink. Sounds delightful, doesn't it?

My cat, Reynaldo, decided that we HAD to interact. For nearly 7 straight hours he tormented me. He sang to me, he jumped on me, he knocked things over, he spilled whatever I tried to drink. Sure, I could have locked him in the other bedroom, but then he would have cried and thrown his body against the door.

I know he just wanted to play, but I couldn't. COULD. NOT. Movement made me physically ill.

Now, as the meds have finally kicked in, he is exhausted. After about 7 hours of tormenting me, he collapsed. He is curled up in the sun like an angelic little furshrimp … and it's everything in me not to sneak up on him and scream in his face.

I know, I know. I am the human. I am more highly evolved and so more is expected of me. Plus I realize that God placed this wiry, beige bundle of energy in my life to teach me PATIENCE. And lastly, because I know that there's every possibility that he'd enjoy me yelling in his face.

For more information, or to play Heads or Tails yourself, visit Meme Mistress Skittles.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Look at That Face (Part 2)

Definitely, Maybe is the second movie I've seen with Abigail Breslin. (The first being Little Miss Sunshine.) Once again she's captured my heart. Sweet, tender, sincere and smart, there's nothing false or cloying about her. (Meaning: she doesn't get on my nerves like Dakota Fanning does.) The look on her face when her father, Will, explains how he defines "happy ending" is worth the price of admission.

The movie itself is better than I thought it would be. I especially appreciated the way campaign work is portrayed. Will's character (Ryan Reynolds) spent 1992 at Bill Clinton's New York headquarters. As a volunteer for Senator Kerry's presidential campaign, I, like Will, worked the phones and sold seats at a $2000/plate dinner and knew the thrill of selling a whole table. (The speaker at my fundraiser was Bill Clinton.) But that's as glamorous as it got. Like Will, I also did tons of boring work -- mostly cross checking donor information. It was tedious, but it was important, because Senator Kerry's financial information had to be complete and accurate.

In terms of the romance, all I can say is, "Aw ...." I love love stories, and this movie has three. (Four, if you count the relationship between adoring father and concerned daughter.)

Offguard Survey

Another quiz stolen from Kwizgiver

1. Do you wake up cranky?: no
2. If an ex said he hates you, you say?: "I'm not surprised." I've had some unpleasant break ups.
3. Would you curse in front of your parents?: Yes, though my mother wishes I wouldn't.
4. If a fairy godmother comes into your life, you?: Start wishing
5. What is your current annoyance?: How rude the new counter kid is at CVS
6. Do you like drama?: Only on tv or movies (Kwizgiver's answer)
7. What kind of camera do you have?: Olympus
8. Last time you were on a boat and where?: Dinner cruise in Key West in December
9. Do you take daily vitamins or medications?: Yes
10. Where is your computer located?: At this moment, my lap
11. Would you ever eat cow poop?: Ewww!
12. What was the last item you bought?: Bounty Paper Towels
13. What country has the best food?: America
14. Last time you used a coupon?: Last week
14. Are you afraid of rollercoasters?: No. I love 'em!
15. If your bestfriend told you they're moving, you?: thank God for email and cellphones (I know because it's happened)
15. Would you rather go to a party or out of town?: Out of town
16. Apple Bottom Jeans or Hollister gift card?: How about cash?
17. Do you think your dumb?: No
18. Say a random word?: Amoeba
19. Do you wear anything with skulls?: No
20. What is/was your school mascot?: Bulldogs
21. Do you own a class ring or letterman jacket?: No
22. At what age do you want to be married?: Oh, puh-leez!
23. Is divorce an option?: Who would I divorce?
24. What color is your luggage?: Blue, with black piping
25. Where and when did you last go on vacation?: See #8
26. Where is your mom right now?: At her house
27. What are you suppose to be doing right now?: Sorting all this various and sundry paperwork
28. What is your 5 year plan?: Build up my savings and then redo my apartment
29. What is your 10 year plan?: Good goobies! I was proud enough to have a 5 year plan!
30. One wish?: Size 10

"Is there something in your house that isn't working like should?"

That's how the CLR cleanser commercial begins, and it addresses slow running faucets and showerheads. But it got my attention, because I thought the spokeswoman was talking about me.

I haven't been working out. Partly because our erratic and fierce weather has made it not worth the trip to the health club. (Put on long underwear, scarf, coat, gloves and boots -- take off gloves, boots, coat, scarf, sweater, jeans, and long underwear -- put on workout togs -- take off workout togs -- put on long underwear, jeans, sweater, scarf, coat, boots and gloves … doesn't really leave time for a workout and shower, does it?) Partly because the mood at work just tells me it's worth my while to be as available as possible. The result is that I feel E-NOR-MOUS.

My home is a mess. Really. Not dirty, though the kitchen floor could use a little attention. It's the paper issue. The ongoing, forever paper issue. I feel like I've been trying to keep ahead of this my entire adult life! And I feel like I've been losing my whole adult life. (The photos on the link embellish the situation somewhat, but that's how I feel it looks in here.) Yesterday and today I've taken a box -- literally a box a day -- of paper out to the recycling bin out back and this place is still overrun by clutter. I know I have an issue with parting with things, and that plays a role in this for sure, but there's just soooo much in here!

Plus I'm just deeply, desperately lazy. I've done my grocery shopping, I've done my laundry, I've fiddled with this blog and I've gone to the movies. I haven't worked out. I haven't concentrated on housework.

I will, however, make a hollow promise to myself that I'll do it all on my day off tomorrow.

A Delicious Victory

My niece was one of two students chosen to represent her high school in a district culinary competition. Her assignment was to create an appetizer. She had to prepare it in full chef's regalia in front of judges, who peppered her with questions while she worked. That was the part that made her the most nervous in advance: Would her hair fall out of her hat? Would she get distracted by the questions and cut herself?

She performed like a champion. Literally. Scoring 98 out of 100. (She lost the two points because her cuffs peaked out of her sleeves as she worked.) Her fruit plate -- the centerpiece was a swan carved out of a pineapple -- was deemed "perfect."

She is now one of the students who will represent the district in the state competition. As far as any of us knows right now, she is the only freshman participating downstate.

My niece has caused us all a sleepless night or two. But it's important remember that she's a bright and focused student who gives us much to be proud of, too. (Plus, she's very funny.)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Another victim of the mortgage crisis

My friend Kathy just turned 61 this month. And she's in trouble.

She went into real estate in 2001, when the market was booming. I had finally decided to take the plunge and buy my own place, and I became her first client. We closed the first week in July.

She's been unable to make a go of it. Every time I see her, she tells me she has just "rounded a corner," gotten a handle on it, figured out how to succeed. But it never lasts. If she couldn't make a living in real estate in a seller's market, it stands to reason that she's really suffer now, when there are more homes than buyers.

This week she told me it was so bad that she simply could not talk about it. We were out celebrating her birthday, so I let it go. She had asked in advance that I not give her gifts this year. I was expecting her to tell me it's because she was doing so well. No, the truth is exactly the opposite.

This is not the first time Kathy and I have been in this position. 20+ years ago, when we first met, she was a single mother in her 30s and I was in the wildest phase of my 20s. We were both copywriters and she looked upon me the way people look at puppies who haven't quite grown into their paws yet. "Oh! Look at her antics! Isn't she cute!"

But then, right around my 30th birthday, I began taking myself seriously as an advertising writer. I won a Clio and an Echo and started looking at each new job as a wrung in the ladder as I moved up in my career. This is the time when she decided to go out on her own, representing herself as a free lancer rather than working for an agency.

I tried to be supportive. When I had to take a few days off to have my wisdom teeth removed, I convinced my boss to hire Kathy as my replacement. It didn't go well. I don't know all the reasons why -- my team just told Kathy she didn't need to come in on Friday and begged me to, instead (swollen jaw and all).

Kathy said there no hard feelings, but there were. She resented me, or was embarrassed, and that's when the digs began. I was building a niche for myself as a financial writer, and that was fine for ME, but she was too creative. She couldn't be bound by all those restrictions. She was an artist, really, and was happier pursuing her own, more varied clients. OK. Whatever. I wanted to do a good job, and in a very Becky Bloomwood twist, financial writing actually comes easily to me (even if my personal finances don't).

Shortly thereafter, Kathy had to file for bankruptcy. She made an innocent but incredibly costly mistake on her taxes. The IRS didn't penalize her, but they did insist she pay back taxes with interest -- after all, ignorance of the law is not an excuse. She started having medical problems then, of course, when she had no insurance.

So she took a job at a local supermarket. In the bread department. She went in planning just to log enough hours to qualify for insurance. But it turned out to be much more than that. Kathy was in her element. Because by now she was nearly 50 and a grandmother, she was more mature than a lot of the other checkers and stock people in the store. She was soon a manager, in charge of schedules and new employee orientation, etc. Then she became the store's liaison with the community -- scheduling the charity "shop and share days," making sure that the store was fair to all the Girl and Boy Scout troops when it came to selling out cookies or popcorn out front, giving tours of the store and explaining the value of organics to school children or cooking classes. She was happy and she felt she was contributing.

The store was suddenly under new management, and Kathy had a hard time adjusting. That's when she decided to be her own boss again, so she went into real estate. She lost her group insurance benefits with this move, but she thought that with menopause her health problems were behind her. Besides, real estate was new dot-com. Property values were rising and buyers were in bidding wars for terrific properties. How could she not succeed?

I showed my faith in her by having her handle my condo purchase. This is my first home and the most expensive thing I have ever -- will ever -- buy. And I was her very first client, her first closing.

Yet she didn't make it work. Now she's living in a small apartment with no sofa and no TV. (The sofa was ruined and set broke and she can't afford to replace them.) She has non specific bleeding on and off but can't afford going to the doctor. I have scolded her for that but it didn't sit well. First of all, to her, I'm still that young pup who needs HER advice and on top of that, she likes to politicize the situation: It's OK for me to run to the doctor and take medication whenever something bothers me, but she chooses to become more in touch with her own body, listen to it, etc., without becoming a sucker to the medical establishment. I avoid saying, "What you're really saying is that you're pissed that I have insurance and you don't." But it's hard.

She's in her 60s and she's scared. She's no business woman and she's failed again, now, at a time when she can't afford to. I worry about her. She has plans to get back on her feet. She's taken software courses at the community college and wants to become an administrative assistant, starting out as a temp. It's her goal to be a fill-in at various places until she finds one she really likes, and then to make herself permanent. That will help her with insurance, but I think she accepts the sobering reality that she will never be able to stop working.

She's a good mother. I hope she is honest with her ex-husband and kids about what's going on. I know they will want to help her.

I want to, too, but I wonder if she'll accept it. I think I've come up with a way that she can't refuse. She's a first-time cat owner, and I think I'll get her a Petco giftcard for Mother's Day and sign it from her cats. I know quality litter and kibble can be expensive, and I think if I word the note on the card just right, she'll think it's cute and her pride won't be wounded. I know that right now, she feels like she's failed again and I have to be sensitive to that.

It's "Blah-goy-ah-vitch"

Watching the national news coverage of the DeKalb campus shootings, I've noticed a reluctance on the part of anchors to say the name of our governor, Rod Blagojevich.

I understand the newscasters impulse to skip over it. With all the problems he's been having, his tenure as governor might be shorter than the time it would take to learn to pronouce his name.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Thinking of Greg Maddux …


… and I was, because I'm awake and have a pulse, let's take a closer look at this picture. What don't you see? That would be blood seeping through his pants.

As the season starts, my beloved future Hall of Famer is the 9th winningest pitcher in the game, right behind Roger "Cheater McCheaty Pants" Clemens. No, make that Roger "Cheater McCheater Bloody Butt Perjurer and Witness Tamperer Pants" Clemens.

I know there are those out there who don't think the steroids scandal is a big deal. But it's a big deal to me because it's so unfair to Greg Maddux, maybe Glavine, and any other pitcher who wins more than 300 games without sticking a needle in his butt.

Enough baseball. Gotta do some work …


Hello, Boys!


The Cubs pitchers and catchers have been in Arizona for a couple days now. Behold Kerry Wood! Isn't he a sight for sore eyes? The Padres -- and my beloved, future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux -- have just arrived at their training camp. I can think of no better Valentine.

More storms are predicted here this weekend but I don't care. Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow! Look what's just around the corner! Ain't life grand?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Stolen from Kwizgiver

Childhood Stuff

1. Did you play with Barbies or G.I. Joes: Oh, yes! My Barbie used to get dressed up for dates with Paul McCartney. Barbie was so happening, but Ken was such a dweeb.

2. Did you own Treasure Trolls: Yes.

3. Did you watch Beverly Hills 90210: Never. Not my generation.

4. Did you play Simon Says: Yes. Badly.

5. Did you watch Fraggle Rock: See #3

6. Did you wet the bed: Once. I remember little about it, except for my mother's hand wringing. She seemed to think it might become a "phase."

7. Did you believe there were monsters in your closet or under your bed: No

8. Did you wear the underwear with the days of the week on them: Yes

9. Were you shy: No

10. Were you spoiled: In some ways, yes.

11. Were you abused: Yes.

12. Did you go to the circus: Yes.

13. Did you go to the zoo: Several times a year. The okapis are my favorite.

14. Were you in a car accident. No.

15. Did you build snowmen: Yes. But I usually got bored before we finished.

16. Did you cry when you scraped your knee: No. Puh-leeze! I was trained not to cry.

17. Were your older cousins mean to you: I don't have any older cousins.

18. Did you think slinkies were cool: Yes!

19. Did you think the Ninja Turtles really lived in the sewer: See #5.

20. Were you afraid of the dark: Yes, but only in certain rooms. Like my dad's basement workshop. Scary!

21. Did you have slumber parties: Must have, but I don't remember them. My more vivid memories are of parties I attended at other kids' homes.

22. Did you have New Kids on the Block sheets, pillows, pajamas, sleeping bag? Ask me about the Partridge Family instead.

23. Did you tease your hair out like Tiffany: No.

24. Did you believe in the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus or and the Tooth Fairy: Santa, yes. But the Bunny and the Tooth Fairy always seemed bogus to me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #54 -- A Die Hard Valentine to My Favorite Action Hero


13 THINGS ABOUT THE MOVIE
DIE HARD


This summer will mark the 20th anniversary of when I first met my enduring movie boyfriend, John McClane – the world-weary New York cop with a gift for gab and a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Consider this my Valentine to him.

(Author/screenwriter William Goldman has famously said of the film business, “Nobody knows anything.” Much of this trivia and many of these factoids about Die Hard do seem to back that up,)

1. The original “coming soon” poster for Die Hard didn’t include Bruce Willis’ face. Executives at Fox were worried that the press he’d received recently might turn off moviegoers. These “problematic” news stories included …

2. The many high-profile feuds on the set of the Moonlighting, which was being shot during the day while Die Hard was filmed at night … and

3. The $5 million Bruce received for the movie, a damn near unheard-of salary 20 years ago, especially for a TV actor who had no box office successes under his belt. There was much snickering and smirking (how appropriate where Bruce Willis is concerned) about no actor being worth that much and "who does he think he is" and Fox and Rupert Murdoch must be crazy. But …

4. The studio quickly realized what it had on its hands with Willis/McClane and switched to the poster you see here.

5. When a suspicious LA cop casts aspersions on McClane’s credentials, saying that for all anyone knows “he could be a bartender,” it’s a reference to Willis’ previous profession and the fuss about his Die Hard salary. One of the industry rags had a headline that ran something like, “$5 million & 5 years ago he was tending bar.”

6. Director John McTiernan had worked with Arnold Schwarzengger in the past and hoped Arnold would take the role of John McClane. Happily, Arnold turned it down.

7. Second choice Sylvester Stallone turned it down, too. Rumor has it Stallone thought that the McClane character had too much dialog. (In years to come, Arnold, Sly and Bruce would become partners in Planet Hollywood.)

8. So did third choice Burt Reynolds. Imagine McClane in a dirty, torn t-shirt and a toupee. Shudder!

9. So did fourth choice, Richard Gere – rumored to be a favorite of the studio but not the director.

10. McTiernan encouraged Bruce Willis to ad lib, and among his more memorable unscripted contributions are, (as he crawls through the vent) “Come out to the coast, we’ll get together, have a few laughs” and (as the firetrucks approach Nakatomi Tower) “Come to papa and I’ll kiss your effin’ dalmation.”

11. McClane’s signature line, “Yipee-ki-aye, MF,” was considered too intrinsically American for European audiences and before the movie was released in some countries, it was dubbed in as, “Here, eat this!”

12. All the action takes place overnight, rather than in the afternoon than as originally written, because Bruce was working on Moonlighting during the day. Most of the film was shot on location in an actual LA skyscraper (Fox Plaza), and making the Christmas party an evening affair instead eliminated a lot of lighting problems.

13. Bruce Willis and Demi Moore were married in Las Vegas during the filming of Die Hard. Ashton Kutcher, then aged 10 and not yet able to cross the street by himself, was not in attendance.

Leave your link in "comments" and I'll add you here:
1) Sandy Carlson has a thoughtful, inspirational TT
2) Pjazzypar plans to hit the road
3) Chelle's TT Valentine is to Brad Paisley
4) SJ's TT bravely goes where no TT has gone before
5) Nicholas shows off a lovely Siamese cat and his DVD collection
6) Adelle highlights romantic duos
7) Sandee has a cinematic TT (and I love movie lists)
8) Malcolm's TT topic is an interesting choice, esp. for Valentine's Day!
9) Mama Kelly encourages us to visit 13 of her past posts
10) Cricket's Hearth! I'm sorry but I couldn't open your link!
11) Ellen B. has a fantastic TT about The Lads, my favorite group of all time, THE BEATLES
12) Morgan Leigh lists 13 fascinating conspiracy theories
13) Susan Helene Gottfried uses love songs as a kinda Rorschach Test to give us insights into her characters
14) Journeywoman talks to the 14-year-old Journeygirl
15) No Nonsense Girl kicks back and enjoys life in her TT
16) Will Think 4 Wine shares her love of the Swamp
17) Mo says "I love you" every way possible!
18) Sue doesn't have a TT, but she does have a fascinating post about a Canadian champion of women's rights
19) How does Joy Is My Goal love her husband? Today, she counts the ways!
20) Sarai puts on her headphones for this week's TT
21) Lori shares her favorite Firefly quotes
22) OneLuvGirl gets romantic with 13 love songs
23) Maribeth has a love-ly TT
24) Colleen spreads the love
25) Alice Audrey has a most romantic TT
26) bkclubcare doesn't have a TT, but her blog is worth reading
27) Karina has a Valentine's Day Giveaway on her TT!
28) Dane Bramage shares Valentine's Day tips
29)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My 5 Favorite Posts Meme

Mme. Book Mama tagged me for this meme …

Rules: Go back through your archives and post the links to your
five favorite blog posts that you’ve written.

Link one must be about family
Link two must be about friends
Link three must be about yourself
Link four must be about something you love
Link five can be about anything you choose
Post your five links and then tag five other people. At least two of the people you tag must be newer acquaintances so that you get to know each other better.

Link one: Thirteen Ways that My Mom & I Are Alike

Link two: We Can't Help Being Fascinating

Link three: In praise of … well … me

Link four: I still love Greg Maddux. How could I not?

Link five: 13 Old Movies that Have a Place in My Heart


Well, there you have it -- 5 of my Greatest Hits!


I'm a rule-breaker. A rebel, if you will. And so I'm not tagging anyone. But if you want to play, let me know in comments so I can check out your 5 posts.

Heads & Tails #17


Today's theme is love. And so today, I'm going to send a Valentine to one of the sweetest, most dependable personalities in my life -- my cat, Joey, because he embodies it.

Joey is an enormous gray and white shelter adopt who joined my fur family in 1999 when he was 3. He was oversized even then. His original family put him in a large box, poked holes in it, taped it shut and left him at the local humane society at Christmastime. Their note said they could no longer afford the premium catfood he required because of a propensity for urinary tract problems. Fortunately he was still safe and healthy, though undoubtedly very cold and frightened, when a volunteer found him and brought him in from the cold

I am ambivalent about his original family. Dumping him in the night like that was both gutless and dangerous. Yet Joey has such an open heart, such a trusting manner, so they must have been very good to him. He also is very affectionate with kids, especially noisy little boys, which leads me to believe he was the special favorite of some young fella in that household. I bet parting with him was heartbreaking.

Joey loooooves hearing his name. Now and again I add "Good Boy!" or "Tub of Guts," but that's just to alleviate the boredom on my end. Joey's favorite sentence would be, "Joey, joey-joey, joey-joe."

Joey always comes when called. You cat lovers out there know that usually a feline will deign to respond to your call only if the mood is right. Not Joe. Displeasing me seems to genuinely trouble him.

So do storms. Joey hates them. When the pressure changes, he walks as close to the floor as he can get (looking like a large, moving, furry meatloaf) until he reaches the hallway, where there are no windows. And he decides when the tornado warning is over, thank you very much. He places no faith in TV weathermen. Even if they say the storm is passed, he remains in the hallway until his internal barometer says it's OK to move.


He thinks it's heavenly is you rub the right side of his neck. Of course, he loves any attention and affection he can get, but ah … the right side of his neck! That's the spot!


I'm not sure I've ever heard him emit a genuine meow. He does, however, make this gargling noise -- part purr/part meow -- when he is so filled with love he can no longer contain his joy.

He loves all people, all other cats, and even some dogs. He loves my cat Charlotte, even though she hits him with her paw each and every time he approaches. She has been doing this to him at least once a day since she arrived in 2001, and he still seems confused by it. "I love you, so how could you not love me?"

Joey loves to sit with me, just pressing his enormous body as close to mine as he can. On cold evenings he's better than an afghan.

No one is cuter then Joe when he sleeps. He lays on his back, tummy exposed, legs splayed, and I swear he's smiling.

No matter what kind of day I've had -- good or bad -- Joey will be delighted to see me. He will do figure 8s between my legs, trying to herd me to a place where I will sit and produce a lap for him to jump into. (And brother! Do you ever feel that landing!) He is a treasure, and one of the best cures for the blues I can imagine. His heart is pure and he's always happy (except during storms). So Joey, this love post is for you!

For more about Heads & Tails, or to play along yourself, visit Skittles.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Give Me 5 Monday #4 -- Job Hunting


The 'Give Me Five' Monday meme is designed to share fun information with each other in a simple short list! Here's how it works. Each week, Becca chooses a random topic and you share 5 answers of your choice on the given topic and link back here

5 Hints, Tips, Tricks or Advice Related to 
Succeeding in the Great Job Hunt

1) Don't lie. Don't even "embellish." First of all, you wouldn't want the person on the other side of the desk to lie about or embellish the pay or benefits you're being offered, so it's simply wrong to be less than truthful about what you bring to the job. Secondly, it's a smaller world than we realize, and you could very easily get caught.


2) But don't sell yourself short, either. Think about everything you have done well at your current job or in previous positions. Then include it in your resume. If you're being truthful about your accomplishments, you aren't bragging, you're helping a prospective employer choose the right candidate for the job.


3) Say "References Available Upon Request" at the bottom of your rez, and then be sure to bring your references along to the interview. It's impressive to be able to hand them across the desk to the interviewer right then and there if you're asked.


4) If possible, include both bosses and coworkers as references. Employers often like to see that you got along well with your comrades, as well as with your bosses.

5) Ask for business cards from everyone you interview with. That way you can make 100% sure you get their names and titles correct for your thank you notes.

Good luck, Job Hunters!