27 August 2008

Still Waiting for my Apple Juice

Current mood: flirty

Well I woke up in a car
I traced away the fog
So I could see the Mississippi on her knees
I've never been so lost
I've never felt so much at home
Please write my folks and throw away my keys
~ "I Woke Up in a Car" by Something Corporate

I am in Texas – living a life of contradictions.

I am on vacation – yet working anyway!
It is hotter than Hades here – yet cooler than I remember!
I am rather tan – yet still paler than most people I see!

Here, I feel 'home'. A wise friend told me not too long ago that we are lucky as adults because we get to choose our family. It's true – for the most part. Here, in Fort Worth, I am the second mother to twins and a sister to their mom and step-dad. I am an aunt to Z-face and her baby brother. I think about the people I will see while on this vacation and I realize that while I have been pretty lucky with my blood family -- I have been ever-so-blessed with a family of my choosing.

Last night, my hosts made me a birthday dinner of roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, and corn on the cob. They also brought me a birthday cake – vanilla, filled with chocolate mousse. The entire meal was delicioso. I love staying with families, especially those with small children. There is always something entertaining going on. Z-face was a little primadonna last night, wanting to eat in her daddy's place instead of at her own plate. She demanded (in her adorable little voice) cake in lieu of dinner – which did not fly with Mom. I enjoy watching SCG and her children. She is a phenomenal mother; and seeing her interact with both kids reminds me of all the reasons I love her so much. Her generosity, kindness, and (sometimes, even) frustrations are all part of her never-ending charm.

Tonight, I will be helping D/BFF pack for her big move this weekend. While I know she is a little stressed, I think the true issue is that she has a non-stop headache from the glare bouncing off that rock of hers. Damn the ring is nice! Soon, I'll have to change her name to 'the M/BFF formerly known as D/BFF'. That is a lot of extra typing. It's no wonder why Prince just went with an inpronouncable symbol.

This weekend, I will get to spend some time with Girl and Boy Twin. They are growing up so fast. Girl Twin's shoe size is already bigger than mine – which disappointed her greatly, as she is a notorious shoe thief. And Boy Twin has already claimed Marcus Aurelius as his own when he 'grows up' – though he still thinks I should have bought a sports car. Kids are funny humans.

Well, I already have postcards to mail and tons of work to do. I'll get back to you as soon as my apple juice arrives . . . really, I will!!!!

PERSONAL NOTE: Looking forward to spending time with you after dinner!

26 August 2008

GUEST BLOGGER -- Let's put the fun in Mammogram

Thoe following is brought to you courtesy of a fellow blogger -- read and enjoy!

Mood: disgusted

On Friday, after the "slide down, please" field test, the she-doctor
decided to go Nazi on me and demand that I get my first mammogram.
I relented.

Now let me stop you right now and say there is nothing wrong with me.
No detectable lumps. No problems. But as the she-doctor put it, she
wants a "baseline" for if and when something questionable ever arises.

I made the appointment at a facility close to my home - and bonus! -
they have Saturday appointments so I won't have to miss work. After
making the appointment, the darling girl transferred me directly to
pre-registration so I wouldn't have to plow through the lines at 8am on
a Saturday morning.

Today, I got an itchy feeling about the whole process and decided to see
what my insurance will cover.

Hold music..."Don't let the sun go down on me..."
"Hello, you're speaking with Mike. Is this -N?"
"Yes it is."
"What can I help you with today?"
"I'm calling to see if Mammograms are covered under my plan."
"I would be happy to check for you. And might I add, thank you for
taking such a pro-active role not only in your preventive health
maintenance, but in verifying your coverage with us!"
(Yeah, yeah...why didn't I get a woman rep...?) "Ummm...you're
"Yes, -N...your insurance does pay for Mammograms. It's 90% after you
have met your $350.00 deductible. Now if you like, I can check to see
if the facility you will be choosing is also covered."
"Please do. It's blah blah blah, Elm Drive."
"Yes, they are covered!"
(oh, joy.) "Great."
"Thank you! Would you also like to see how much of your deductible is
(Whatever. I'm on lunch. I have 5 minutes to get back.)"Ok."
"Oh...it says here that you have only met $65.00 of your deductible so
far this year. Is this a family plan?"
"Wow, you and your family are VERY healthy! That is so wonderful to
(Idiot...) "Thanks, I guess. So, your're saying I will pretty much pay
the entire amount of my Mammogram?"
"Yes, BUT because you have chosen a facility within the network, the
entire amount will be applied to your deductible AND you will pay a
reduced rate!"
"Ok, thanks."
"You're WELCOME!!! Is there anything else I can do for you today?"
(Go kill yourself?) "No, thanks, bye."

Now...I am not a large woman. ALL the women in my family are small. In
fact, the pediatrician just issues the Itty Bitty Titty Committe cards
at birth. One thing I have heard - above all the other horror stories -
is that Mammograms are more painful for smaller breasted women.

Nor am I a rich woman. The very idea of paying upwards of $200 is just

So, everytime I think about this upcoming procedure, I get nauseous to
the point of passing out.

Comments? Consolations?

22 August 2008

Pterodactyls Swarming

Current mood: Celebratory!

Maybe you'd be kidnapped by pirates
And they would take you to their hideout
As pirates often do
But I'd find the secret map
And I would vigilante-bushwhack
Through the jungles of Peru
~ "Hum Along" by Ludo

So, I heard this new band named 'Ludo'. First off, I heard of them through the silly T-shirt they gave away to a member of the Irish Book Club I just joined. She had no idea who Ludo was – neither did I. But then, after dropping Ebie off at doggie day care, I was listening to the stereo in Marcus Aurelius (2008 Honda Civic) and this crazy song came on called 'Love Me Dead'. It was amusing (laugh out loud absurd) – and I love the lead singer's voice. Kind of whiney, raspy, and sexy. I have no idea what he looks like and it is probably better that way.

Anyway, I heard his voice and I was hooked. So now I am listening to the 5 songs they have on their MySpace page – eagerly anticipating buying the album on Amazon or ITunes later. They are coming to Omaha to perform soon – and I may just have to get myself a ticket. Maybe someone will buy me a ticket for my birthday! They are like 12 bucks or something. *hint hint*

Last night, 'Veggie Girl' brought me out for a birthday extravaganza! We started our little adventure at office Depot, where I made a necessary purchase (vehicle expense record book) and a luxury purchase (box of really nice blue ink pens). Then she took me to dinner and downtown to a wine place for a bottle of wine. I drank 2/3 of it, I am sure. This artist came in and I gave him a pen – then he gave me a business card – then I gave him a business card – then he gave 'Veggie Girl' a business card – then she gave him a business card – then his friend arrived, and she gave us Postcard Invitations to a Trunk Show sponsored by the Omaha Craft Mafia – which is tonight. I am going. It will be fun!

'Artist' and his friend, 'Crafty Mafia Chick' were both very nice! I made the pun, "I am all wined up" instead of "wound up" and I think it was a hit! Hee hee

Then we went home – I walked Elizabeth, then spent the rest of the evening at home. 'Veggie Girl' went home and was sick! That is what you get for eating eggplant – sorry all the same though!

If anyone wants a nice pen – the brand to get is Foray – rubber grip, retractable ballpoint pens – blue ink – Medium point (1.0mm) They are quality tested and 100% guaranteed.

Tonight, I have a pseudo blind date (he is not blind, neither am I). It's not a date really – except in the simplest manner that it is a pre-determined get-together. I am doing a favor for someone.

PERSONAL NOTE: Cannot wait to see you in your new hometown! 1 week, 3 days and counting!

21 August 2008

3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . CONTACT

Current mood: definitely in the mood

I want to hold you so hear me out
I want to show you what loves all about
Darlin tonight
Now Ive got you in my sights

With these hungry eyes
One look at you and I cant disguise
Ive got hungry eyes
I feel the magic between you and I
~ "Hungry Eyes" by Eric Carmen

This morning, on my way to Physical Therapy (PT), my right contact popped out of my eye. I searched for it. I looked everywhere around the car seat, on the floor, and even down my shirt. There was no contact. Somewhere, between my eye and the floor, it vaporized – or was sent through the time/space continuum to a different dimension. All I know is that yesterday, my left contact was stuck behind my eye lid – and today, my right one is gone.

I did put a new Left Contact in this morning – so at least I can see out of one eye; the bad eye. I am just having some issues with seeing the computer monitor clearly or reading anything close-up. Coincidentally, Mi Madre, a photo client, and I had an in depth convo about contacts on Tuesday. If my life story were a book, that moment would be considered "foreshadowing". Foreshadowing is a genius literary device. Without it, readers would never be able to "guess the mystery" or "anticipate the future" for a character in a novel. Where would be the fun in that?

Speaking of fun – have you ever visited www.sugardaddies.com? Before you start making fun – I have NOT visited it – BUT – it is constantly being advertised on MySpace and I must admit I am intrigued by the advertisement claim that the "gorgeous and wealthy men" have been "VERIFIED! What does that even mean? I mean, the guys that are pictured are good looking. And based on their Net Worth claims – it is possible that I would be able to not stress quite so much about money. That being said – what part has been verified? The money or the looks? And why so much emphasis on money and looks? Truly – why isn't there a dating site called www.greatpersonality.com? Wouldn't that bring about a more rewarding dating experience?

Personally, I would visit a site where they feature: www.funny_as_hell-looks_average.com. Or www.empty_bank_account_full _kitchen_and_knows_how_to_use_it.com. I should date a pastry chef. I think I could spend a lifetime with someone who can produce tasty baked goods on a whim. Gosh, I am getting all flushed just thinking about it! Must change subject --

I drove my brand new car again today. I still love it. I think it may still love me as well – though I did drive it in the rain this morning. My new windshield wipers are the "ult" (aka. The Ultimate; Really Cool; etc). They go in different directions so water is swept off the windshield from the center, instead of smeared all over the window.

Work is still crazy busy – but beginning Friday – I get a pseudo two-week vacation, to which I am looking forward. I will spend a week in Texas (3 days of which, I will work) and then I am off to San Diego for another week (3 days of which I will be working). Still, Texas and SoCal – cannot go wrong there.

I wish I had more thrilling news – but really, besides the fact that Elizabeth hates the new car – well, actually, she hates wearing a harness that tethers her to the seatbelt; but she blames the car, I think – I really don't have a lot of updates. BUT – if you want a postcard from my vacation, make sure you let me know and verify that I have your address!

PERSONAL NOTE: I am bringing you the movie, Time Bandits. What say you to that?

20 August 2008

Get Out of my Dreams and Into My Car

Current mood: inspired

Love my car
My car makes me happy
My car makes me smile
Yeah yeah yeah
Love my car
My car gives me pleasure
My car gives me style
Yeah yeah yeah
I love my car
De da de da da da da de da da da da
~ "I Love My Car (the Car Song)" by Right Said Fred

Yesterday, I dropped off the rental car right after work. The nice folks at Enterprise gave me a lift to the dealership where my pretty little car was eagerly anticipating my arrival. As soon as I walked in, 'Joe Cool' stood up and claimed me as his customer!! I went over to his desk and dropped off my stuff. I was so excited that I was jittery. Well, I may have been jittery due to the caffeine pill and 2 Mt. Dews – but I prefer crediting it to the excitement!

'Joe Cool' escorted me to the finance office where I paid for my car in blood and signed a million forms which made the car mine – well, the Credit Union's actually – but my name will be on the title. Once I was finished, Mr. Finance Guy summoned Joe back to pick me up. Apparently there are military secrets somewhere in the dealership showroom, as I was never allowed to walk unescorted. When I inquired as to the aforementioned secrets; everyone was hush-hush and changed the subject.

We left the Finance office and 'Joe Cool' dangled some keys in front of me. MY KEYS! I followed him out the showroom doors and directly to a stunning 2008 Honda Civic parked right outside. He handed me a key and told me to have a seat in my new vehicle. I slid into the driver's seat and waited while he sat in the passenger seat. I was about to get a real tour of my car. 'Joe Cool' was thorough. He showed me how to work every gadget, button, and switch in the car.

While he was showing me where the windshield wiper switch was located, I declared my love. I actually turned to him and said, "I am so in love with you now!" He laughed and told me he was happy that I loved the car so much! When it was time for me to drive away, I asked him to think about what to name the car. All amazing cars should have a name. And mine needs one. Neither of us could think of one off-hand, so for now, the Honda is nameless.

The car drives like a dream and I am being especially careful, parking way out at the end of the parking lot so I don't get a ding or a scratch. I will post pictures tomorrow of the beauteous Civic!

SHOUT OUT: Warm wishes to 'Joe Cool', 'Mrs. Cool', 'Cool Daughter', and 'Baby-to-be Cool'!

PERSONAL NOTE: I will hold you to your promise. I feel the need for speed!

19 August 2008

Three questions. He who answers the five questions—

Current mood: mischievous

All around me smiling faces
Different people from different places
Time is short, don't wanna waste it
Not ashamed so I'll just say it
~ "Life is Good" by Stellar Kart

I have been on a quest for some time . . . to find the perfect writing pen. Last November, I found it. I bought several of them from the Salem Witch Museum in Salem, Mass. They are simple, retractable ball point pens with translucent plastic barrels, silver chrome trim and a rubber grip that matches the translucent barrel. I can only imagine the questions running through your head at this moment. . .

1. How does she know so much about pen details?
2. Why does she know so much about pen details?
3. Where did she learn such details?
4. Is she really a Pen Genius?

First, let me tell you that I called the museum store and they were not really so helpful. They did not reorder the pens this year because the price went up. They order them from some company who gets them from China. No, they do not know the model number. (LIARS) No, they cannot order me some. (JERKS) And, if I really want to order 144 dozen pens, here is the number for the wholesaler – but "You cannot order them with our Salem Witch Museum logo." (I don't want your stupid logo).

I phoned the company and they will ring me back, or so they promised. As an alternative, I did a Google search for Promotional pens. I have seriously viewed 1,000 + pens – none of them match this particular pen. And, unfortunately, there are no identifying numbers, letters, or codes, with the exception of 4 imprinted stars on the metal pen clip. I cannot even just order the refills, as the damn refill doesn't have any identifying marks either.

Bloody hell – all this trouble for a damn pen. I used to have (6) of them. Now, I am down to (2), as the ink has run out in the others. And, these are bound to both be out of ink soon. I love how this pen writes. The ink doesn't smudge – which is a plus for us left-handed people. My hand doesn't cramp when I write for a long time, due to the size of the pen barrel and the comfortable grip. Someone wrote with one the other day and tried to take it with them. Thieving bastard! I stopped them and said, 'excuse me; I believe that is my pen.'

I realize that my possessiveness of my pens may come across as a little 'different' -- but knowing how difficult it is to find a good pen, I am willing to sacrifice politeness. Therefore, if anyone is racking their brain for what to give me for my birthday – now you know. . . I want more of these pens.

Oh, before I forget. As a follow-up to the rent deposit debacle . . . they gave me all of my money back. Apparently I was persistent enough to make it no longer worth 137.50 to avoid my phone calls. Yea!!!!

And GREAT NEWS – Peyton showed up for practice today. Granted he didn't actually warm-up OR practice with the team. Still, he was there with NO FAVORING of his knee while walking. Hoo Ray!

PERSONAL NOTE: See you soon! Looking forward to dinner and a little Chopin!

18 August 2008

Ridin’ in my 5.0

Current mood: accomplished

Even the best fall down sometimes
Even the stars refuse to shine
Out of the back you fall in time
I somehow find
You and I collide
~ "Collide" by Howie Day

Saturday "Pretty One' and I went car shopping to replace the now-defunct PT Cruiser. We started our adventure at "Superiority Complex Honda"! As we parked the 'Silver Bullet' (aka the Ford Focus rental car) at the Honda dealership, 'Smarmy Salesguy (SS)' approached us. He was your stereotypical car salesman – which we didn't quite understand – because if you know the stereotype, wouldn't you try to NOT BE THAT GUY?

First off – he made fun of the Focus, which would have made me laugh if he wasn't so smug about it. Then he noted it was a rental and asked what I normally drove. I explained that I flipped the cruiser and needed a replacement car.

Sensing desperation, 'SS Rob' introduced himself and did NOT take off his sunglasses while doing so. This annoyed me, as a salesperson needs to look me in the eyes while trying to sell me a 20k car. He asked our names and what I did for a living, which we provided and off we went to look at the cars. I told him I was looking for a 4 door Honda Civic, a 2008 or 2007, NOT Silver or White. I also specified I wanted a standard transmission; not an automatic.

Of course, he then brought us to a 2 door Honda Civic that was silver and an automatic! I am not kidding! He explained that the Civics were flying off the lot and that he would show us what he had, Let me tell you, based on the 6 (yes 6) salespeople standing around doing nothing – I sincerely doubt that they were FLYING off the lot. Still, I gave a cursory glance at the car and then repeated, "I do not want an automatic or a 2 door or the color Silver." He reiterated that their selection was limited. He showed me a white 4 door, then another silver one, and by this point I was annoyed with the fact that he was obviously being obtuse or was color-blind. Both are unacceptable traits in a car salesman.

The price on all of the cars ranged between 19 and 23k. And the 19k was pretty basic. He told me he'd grab the keys and we could drive one. I looked at him – trying to bore through his sunglasses with my stare and said, "No, I am not driving a car I don't want." He said, "Well you really need to drive one". I responded with, "When I find one I like, I'll test drive it." I spoke a little slower this time, sensing that he truly was an eejit.

'SS Rob' offered to show us an amazing SI that was in the showroom. I followed him, thinking maybe he finally understood what I wanted. As we were walking in, he asked what other type of car I was looking at. When I said, "A Mazda3" he chuckled and said, "They still make those things?" nudging another sales guy who also wasn't working. I refrained from responding with "Yes, and if you read Car and Driver, you would see that it was ranked higher than your Honda Civic, Mr. Douchebag".

When he brought me to a WHITE car that was almost 25k, I decided that I was seriously done with this guy. I asked him for his card and thanked him for his time. He asked for my name (AGAIN) and contact info and asked me once again, what I did for a living. I told him, then smiled and walked away.

'Pretty One' and I then went to O'Daniel Honda. We parked and I spotted a salesman in the parking lot. I verified he was a salesman, then handed him 'SS Rob's' card. He looked at it and I said, "This guy works at Superior Honda. This guy was an ass. If you are anything like this guy, I don't want to work with you." He looked at the card, then at me and said, "Um, we are not affiliated with them and I don't know this guy – but I would like to help you find a car."

There began the start of a beautiful friendship. 'Pretty One' and I followed "Joe Cool' as he showed me ONLY cars I wanted to see. They did not have a Dark Blue 2008 Civic with a manual transmission. He said that he would do a 5 state search for me, though. Already, we were eons ahead of 'SS Rob' on the evolutionary scale. He brought us inside, offered us water, which we refused, and left to find me a car. 5 minutes later he came sprinting back to his desk. He looked excited! "What is your 2nd color, if you cannot have blue?" I responded the Dark Smoke Grey. His adorable face got a huge grin on it and he said, "Let's go. I have a surprise for you that I didn't even know about."

Then, he brought us to a car that was not parked anywhere near the other Civics. It was a gorgeous Smoke Grey. It had 4 doors. And before I could say anything, "Joe Cool' said, "And look, it's a standard transmission." He was like a kid in a candy store. I seriously think he was more excited than me. He opened the driver side door and I sat down. It was mine. I already knew. He pointed out the sticker price and I almost hugged him. It was way lower than I expected. He handed me the keys, climbed into the back seat, and we were off. 'Pretty One' was in the passenger seat and couldn't stop complimenting the car.

We drove around – and 'Joe Cool' was right. Driving a standard is like riding a bike. I had NO PROBLEMS shifting – the clutch was like butter. It was amazing! Upon our return to the dealership, we finally accepted his offers of water – as he has a preoccupation with dehydration apparently. *hee hee* I called my loan officer at the credit union, got approval, and put a deposit down on the car. I pick it up tomorrow. Cannot wait! As we were leaving, I hugged him, congratulated him on his new baby on the way, and told him I would see him Tuesday!

This morning, my phone rang around 9:30am. It was 'SS Rob'. He said in his smarmy voice, "This is Rob, from Superior Honda. I am calling to discuss your new car purchase." I smiled and said, "I bought one, on Saturday, from O'Daniel Honda. They had precisely what I wanted." His voice took on a steely tone and he said, "You should have called me, we generally beat their deals." I laughed and said, "This was a great deal, so I bought it. I appreciate you calling though. Have a good one." Before I could hang up, he actually had the audacity to tell me to refer people to him and if they buy a car he'd pay me $50 bucks for a used sale and $100 for a new one. Whatevs! I wouldn't refer anyone to 'SS Rob'.

However, if you are in need of a new car – let me know, and I will send you to Joe. And he isn't even paying me!

PERSONAL NOTE: I love and miss you! I am glad that your compromise worked out! Baby steps!

15 August 2008

We’ve got to stand up, put our hands up and fight

Current mood: fascinated

There's a reason no one knows her name
If she don't tell you then she never has to change it
She's allergic to "I Love Yous"
and staying in one place for too long
If you blink she's gone
~ "Praying to the Wrong God" by Jon McLaughlin

My ear itches – and I don't have a Q-tip. Ugh, I hate that! Itchy ears are the worst – even worse than pickle juice in your eye (which Ellen claims is the "worst"). I am still waiting for a call from my insurance company – in hopes that they will tell me the verdict on my car.

Work is still very busy – but at least one huge project is off my plate. Well, it is still "on my plate" – but off my fork, I guess, as I have to wait until next week to know if it is successful! It had better be; considering all the work I have done. Fingers crossed!

I am feeling rather unfocused today which is why I am jumping from topic to topic with no seguing. Being unfocused is generally the result of feeling directionless. Lately, I have been eating, drinking, and living work and/or the Olympics – leaving no room for thoughts of the future. I have been playing the lottery with some work friends; so in a way, I am planning for the future – I just don't know what I will do with all the money once we win.

Has anyone not heard that song, "Money Honey"? I think that is my new theme song. "I've made mistakes that I can't erase. I've made mistakes. If I had more money, Honey, would you love me, love me, love me? If I wasn't just somebody like me?" I have a strong suspicion that more money would assist my social life as well.

Lately I have been listening to a new Playlist on my iPod. The last 10 songs I heard on shuffle were:

"Money Honey" by State of Shock.
"Why Does this Always Happen to Me?" by Weird Al
"Here" by Hellogoodbye
"Best I Ever Had" by Vertical horizon
"Our Love" by Rhett Miller
"The Waiting" by Tom Petty (and the Heartbreakers)
"Grandfather" by Stephen Lynch
"Galileo" by Indigo Girls
"This is Our Town" by We The Kings
"You'll Make It" by Faber Drive

Looking at this list makes one realize that my taste in music is extremely diverse/eclectic. No wonder people think I have ADD when they ride in my car. Oh, my poor little car. Damn! Its death will not be in vain! I will do my best to drive in a way that would have made it proud.

PERSONAL NOTE: While it's true you are not perfect, you truly are closer than most. Too bad you cannot work a printer without assistance. Baby steps!

14 August 2008

The Smuggest Man on Earth

First off -- I need to quote him:

"Yeah, it's impressive. Yeah, it's Historic. And at this point, it's also ridiculous!" ~Bob Costas

Really?  Are you kidding me?  Michael Phelps just broke another world record, and won another gold medal -- and Costas says something so feckin' moronic that I had to mute the television.  Bloody Hell!

Onto better thoughts -- I just watched Ryan Lochte and Aaron Peirsol get awarded the gold and silver medals, respectively.  While Phelps may be the greatest swimmer ever, Ryan and Aaron are the hottest.  And if it would have crossed my mind, I would have gone to Austin to watch him swim while I lived in TX!  I really wish I would have gone to the Olympic Trials here in Omi-ha-ha; what was I thinking???

Anyway -- the girls are doing gymnastics and Phelps is back in the pool in a few minutes!  I cannot wait until 2012 - when I will be in London, watching LIVE! 

AND by 2012, the Chinese gymnasts will actually be old enough to participate in the games!

If You Want Loyalty Get a Dog

Current mood: animated
“Got to be good-looking
'cause he's so hard to see
Come together
Right now over me”
                ~ “Come Together” by the Beatles

Boys can be so dumb sometimes.  Before y’all get up in arms about man-bashing – I am not going to continue on that path.  I just needed to share a ridiculous text exchange I had in the not-so-distant past, as an illustration of how ridiculous boys can be. 
Boy:  “This is the worst 'text sex' ever”
Girl Genius:  “That’s because we are not having ‘text sex’; we are having a conversation”
Boy:   “Damn!”
Okay, now onto bigger and better topics.  I thought we were going to have a guest blogger today – but it appears that will have to wait.  It is ten days until my birthday.  It is 32 days until my ‘reckless driving’ court date.  I need to call my lawyer.  Bloody Hell!

My rental car is a Ford Focus.  It was issued to me courtesy of Enterprise Rent-a-Car (who did not pick me up, by the way).  This particular Enterprise office is interesting; because the staff is REALLY, REALLY friendly.  In fact, they are so friendly that they encouraged me to call or e-mail them ANYTIME to let me know how the car is.  I have been taking them up on that little offer.  “The Enterprise Twins”, as I like to call them when they are not paying attention, have been receiving little daily e-mail updates all about the Ford Focus Adventure.  Tomorrow’s update will definitely include a discourse on the amazing air conditioning system.  It actually cools RIGHT AWAY.  Like magic!

As far as my new car goes – I think I will try to buy a Honda Civic or a Mazda3.  I have heard good things from drivers of both models and the auto magazines cannot compliment them enough!  I have some specific requirements, however, which must be met before I purchase a car:
  1. Not Silver – I hate silver cars.  They are invisible on overcast days.  My Ford Focus is silver - which is fine, because I do not want people to see me in it.
  2. ABS – anti-lock brakes are a necessity.  
  3. Automatic tire-pressure monitoring – I am absolutely the worst at checking my tire air pressure.  
  4. Un-American – this is not to say I hate the good ol’ USA.  But the Americans cannot build a car that lasts over 100,000 miles.  WTF?!?
  5. 4 doors – I refuse to explain this need.  
  6. Standard transmission – I miss being able to shift gears and now that I am not in DFW rush-hour traffic, I can actually enjoy driving again.
As long as these specifications can be met, we will have ourselves a new car, peeps!

SIDE NOTE:  Tomorrow night, I really want to go to a movie.  I wonder if I can find someone with whom to go.  Hmmmmm.  Think.  Think.  Think.

PERSONAL NOTE: You owe me an e-mail.  

11 August 2008

Lady Luck is Not in My Corner

My weekend -- wow, where to start?  Friday, I went to dinner at one of the local casinos (aka. racketeering establishments).  To clarify, I was with two lovely ladies, and dinner was so much fun!  The food was excellent and the conversation was entertaining.  However; from there the fun came to a stand-still. 

I actively dislike casinos.  To me, they are places where the retired gamble away their social security checks and the poor lose their mortgage payments.  Perhaps I am cynical in this regard - but I know that my luck is limited at Casinos.  And nothing pisses me off more than walking up the stairs on the boat to view the COUNCIL BLUFFS HARRAH's WALL of WINNERS!  Really?  a wall of winners?  All of them, with their smug little smiles, holding onto their winnings.  Jim Bob won $12,465 and Sally Jane won $25,000.  All, while I am mourning the loss of $15.00 (which was in the form of a voucher, not even real cash.) 

After losing my voucher in a penny machine that I didn't even know how to play -- I wandered the decks - watching people win and lose -- playing random games of chance which require very little concentration.  The drinks were free and constantly being delivered to people who were mesmerized by the animated characters on the screens.  I found the situation sad and depressing and was very pleased when it was time to leave.  Hopefully, I will not have to return to the Devil's Den for some time.  I think I would rather shop at Devil Mart than 'play' at the casino.

Friday Night -- done!

Saturday, I was supposed to go out of town -- but circumstances beyond my control changed that so instead I went out with friends.  And that was a good time.  I ran into some people I hadn't seen in a while - and overall had no complaints until I was on my way home. 

8 blocks from my new house - I dropped my car stereo remote on the passenger side floor.  It was a little past 2am and the street was abandoned.  I reached down to pick it up. . . mistake #1!

As I was leaning down, I inadvertantly pulled the steering wheel to the right a little . . . mistake #2

Mistakes #3 and #4 came rapidly thereafter, first hitting the curb, then the fire hydrant. . .

Now, for mistake #5 - which sort of clinched the situation, I yanked the steering wheel left to regain control of the car!

What happened thereafter was no longer my mistake, per se. . . instead it was more the results of the formentioned events.

Yanking left on the wheel merely overcompensated the intended correction - which greatly unbalanced the vehicle I was driving.  Unbalanced it to the point that it was no longer - how should I put it? - upright.  That's it!  The car was no longer upright - in fact, if we are being precise, it wasn't really upside down either.  It was more a combination of the two but, with motion.  I watched out the windshield as the neighborhood went upside down, then right side up rather rapidly. 

My equilibrium was a little off-center; but I think it is safe to say that the vehicle rolled at least once.  When it came to a stop, I was parked in some nice people's driveway.  The previously mentioned fire hydrant, was on its side.  And before you ask -- NO, the water was not spraying everywehere.  As the kind officers explained, the city of Omaha has built its fire hydrants in such a way that when one is removed from its base, the valves do not break.  So -- no shower of H2O to add to the mix.

 Once I was cognizant of the car no longer moving, I relaized that both air bags had gone off.  Neither of them, hit me, but the smell of air bag powder is still in my nose.  The contents of the car were a little rtatled and strewed all over.  With the exception of my can of diet coke, which was sitting, peacefully in the cup holder.  My work badge was lodged in the steering column. 

I opened the car door, to see a nice family standing there, staring at me.  I was unhurt - but not quite 'all there' as I had just been tumbled.  The events after my acrobatic trip were routine for anyone who has ever flipped their car after taking out a fire hydrant -- so I will not recap them.  

The kind police officers reiterated several times that I am lucky to be alive.  That cars are replaceable, people aren't.  And that my reckless driving court date will be next month. 

Two days later, I am in a rental car.  I cnanot drive past the accident site.  When I get within 2 blocks, I am overcome with nausea and must drive out of my way to avoid going down that section of the street.  I am bruised in places I did not know could be bruised.  My shoulder is a wondrous rainbow of colors and scrapes.  Thank you, Seat Belt, for most of the marks.  Still, I suppose it's better than having my head go through the windshield.  Not complaining too much!

The car is in bad shape.  I'm not so sure they'll fix it.  In fact, I'm pretty sure they won't.   So, now I need to find a new car - preferably one that is armoured.

There's my story -- hope you found it as entertaining as my insurance company did.  As an added bonus, I go to Physical Therapy tomorrow, as well as to see the Orthopedic Specialist - who will no doubt - compliment me on my ability to destroy 6 months of rehabilitation in 30 seconds.  At least this time, I will remember to wear panties to the appointment!

If you have any further questions; let me know!  

PERSONAL NOTE TO A FRIEND:  Congratulations on your engagement! That news made this weekend worth it all!  I love you, girl!

10 August 2008

3:08:24 -- What it is all about!!!

Current mood: triumphant

I just watched Team USA Swimmers shatter a world record and win a race they were not supposed to win!  4 American swimmers just swam the best race of their lives.  And as the world watched LIVE -- they earned the Gold Medal -- more importantly -- they earned the right to hear the national anthem played in their honour.

I am not known for my patriotism.  Still, during the Olympics -- I feel such a sense of pride in our athletes.  And last night when Phelps took his first gold, the tears in his eyes broke any shell of cynicism.  Then tonight, to see him cheering his relay team on, I am overwhelmed by it all. 

When Jason Lezak touched that wall 4 seconds ahead of the prior world record -- I literally cheered out loud.  I was jumping up and down and screaming.  What an amazing opportunity for the 32 year old Team USA captain.  He is the only male American swimmer over 30 to compete for a medal this Olympiad. 

And now, as I watch them get their gold medals -- and as I see those 4 men stand there, with their hands over their hearts, while the US flag is lifted and the anthem is playing -- I am speechless.  They are the best in the world -- and they have done us proud.

07 August 2008

There’s emptiness inside her; she’ll do anything to fill it in

Current mood: accomplished

I may take a holiday in Spain
Leave my wings behind me
Drink my worries down the drain
And fly away to somewhere new
~ "Holiday in Spain" by Counting Crows

I have new career aspirations. The idea came to me in a dream. . . not really. Still, let's pretend it did. I was playing on the beach with little kids. And as the minutes ticked by, I could see my bank account balance going up, up, up. Fade out, then right back in, and now the same little kids are in their house, and I live there too, in a guest suite. They call me Nanny. And when I say wise things in a British accent, magic happens. (well, that part is from the show Nanny and the Professor). Anyway – my new plan is to become a nanny to an upper-middle class family in Southern California.

I have good references. Hell, my ex-husband AND his ex would both write me stellar reviews for my ability to care for young children. I have years of experience. I can also clean, cook, and do laundry. I run errands and LOVE to grocery shop. Plus, I am bi-lingual (not really), great at math (again, not so much), and can help with homework (yes, I definitely can do this part). I am telling you – any family would be damn lucky to have me as their au pair. Are you listening people????

The only other option is to marry someone (oh what fun that would be – I just love getting married) who can afford to pay my bills, while I don't work outside the home. In fact, if I had my choice, I'd like to not work inside the home either. I'd like to read, play with Elizabeth, and take naps during my "work day". Maybe, order take-out and have Mr. Moneybags pick it up on his way home from the office. I have a feeling that this little scheme is not any more likely than me becoming a Nanny in SOCAL.

I need a Plan C. Any ideas? I tried getting a hold of that woman who spent 'quality time' with Elliot Spitzer – but she wasn't taking calls – so I will have to wait until her book comes out to find a way to make the kind of money she was making.

PERSONAL NOTE: Your secret is safe with me - for a price.

06 August 2008

Cheating Gets it Faster

Current mood: adventurous

Live a life less ordinary
Live a life extraordinary with me
My face had said too much
Before our hands could even touch
To greet a 'hello'
So much for going slow.
~ "Life Less Ordinary" by Carbon Leaf

There are people whom when you first meet – the passion is instantaneous. Sometimes you feel drawn together by some unidentifiable force – and sometimes you are so repelled by the person that you have 'hate at first sight'. When drawn to them, it can feel as if you are meant to be together; as friends or lovers or kindred spirits. For some reason, everything just clicks immediately. It generally cannot be explained – then, there is the opposite – where the animosity between you is so strong that the mere thought of sitting in the same room with the person is nauseating. It may be because they remind you of someone – or just a 'gut feeling' you get.

These passionate relationships begin with a bang – then tend to fizzle out without provocation. Weeks; months, or even years down the road – all of a sudden, you realize that nothing is feeding the passion anymore. It's just finished. Apathy (or resentment) sets in and the rest is history. Divide up the CDs or photographs or borrowed clothes. And walk your separate ways before one of you kills the other out of boredom.

There is a lesson in this – if you feel an instant connection with someone – take advantage of it while you can – because it will end. Go to Sin City – find Elvis – bathe in a whirlpool shaped like a martini glass – and live it up. No reason you cannot have mind-blowing *edited for less mature readers* for a few days, weeks, whatever. Just know that when it ends – you will most likely need a good attorney – and possibly some Penicillin. You may also need to change your name and citizenship.

This is why they say "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." By the end of the trip, one of you won't want to recall the relationship or the memories. And the other is most likely pissed off and ready to wreck havoc on your happy, little life. Always use a pseudonym and a prophylactic. Both could keep you from being buried alive in the Nevada desert due to an 'emotional misunderstanding'.

Then, there are the unexpected relationships which begin with hesitancy and slowly evolve into something amazing. I look at my 5 closest relationships – and I realize that based on first impressions – we most likely would not be friends. D/BFF and I discuss this a lot – because she saw me as Mrs. Suburban Soccer Mom who had nothing in common with her. All of our interactions for over a year were work-based and never went beyond "hello, how are you?" And through happenstance, our paths converged to form a friendship which we'll still have in 20 years. Slow and steady really does win the race, I think.

PERSONAL NOTE: *nickname omitted to protect the not-so-innocent* -- take me to Vegas.

05 August 2008

Hello, Operator – Give Me Number Nine

Current mood: annoyed

Are you happy when you're sleeping?
Does he keep you safe and warm?
Does he tell you when you're sorry?
Does he tell you when you're wrong?
~ "A Murder of One" by Counting Crows

Why is it that when people talk on cell phones, they feel the need to shout into the phone as if they are holding a tin cup with a string linking it to a person at the other end? Everyone in the western hemisphere does not need to hear the conversation you are having about your Aunt Mable's bladder surgery or how Junior finally used the big boy toilet at the age of 6. Truly, the miracles of technology have evolved to the point that a normal speaking voice can be heard and understood clearly.

Now, onto my true reason for writing. I received my deposit check in the mail from my Fort Worth apartment complex. Imagine my surprise when over 1/3 of the amount was taken for "carpet repair/cleaning". I know the carpet was in bad shape. There were multiple stains – patchwork, etc throughout the apartment. Unfortunately, the carpet was like that when I moved in. Let's rewind, shall we?

Flip those calendars back to April 2007. My marriage had collapsed; I was desperately looking for a new place to live. I went to the gated community of Stone Villas and loved the floor plan for their 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartments. They had a third floor apartment that would be ready to move into within 2 weeks – as soon as the carpet was replaced. Plus, it was on the 3rd floor, had a fireplace, vaulted ceilings, and a large balcony that faced the downtown skyline. Too good to be true, I thought! I signed the lease and put down my deposit immediately.

A couple days before I was supposed to move in, they called and told me the carpet still hadn't been replaced and that I would need to delay my move-in. Not happening. I had family coming in from out of town to assist. I told them to find me a different apartment, if possible. It wasn't. But, the leasing agent told me they could just clean the carpets and have me move in on time. I told her that I would be willing to move in on the condition that I not be held responsible for ANY carpet damage or stains when I was ready to move out. She agreed.

On my move-in form, I indicated how bad the carpet was and reiterated the fact that I would not be held responsible for the carpet. As my year of apartment living wore on, I consistently reminded the office that I was not going to pay for any carpet damage – to which they continued to agree.

Okay, fast forward to this past Saturday when I opened the envelope containing the deposit check. WTF?!?!? The ONLY charge I had from my move-out was due to carpet. It's not possible!

First off – I steam cleaned the carpet – even though I didn't have to – just to show some effort was taken. They did not charge me for the three rooms' worth of window blinds that Gracie had destroyed. They did not charge me to clean out my refrigerator that had been wiped out – but still had syrup sticking to the bottom shelf. They did not charge me for the linoleum that Gracie decided to pry loose and chew on. I wasn't charged for leaving furniture on the balcony. No – instead I was charged for the blasted CARPET!

I refuse to pay for it. I now have to ring the main property management office in Austin, TX. A lady named Mary Elo is eagerly awaiting my call, I am sure – as the accounts payable clerk has faxed her my account info, along with a Post-It note (I am sure) which explains my situation. As it is, I paid a full month's rent for June, when I didn't live there – and they let someone else move in shortly thereafter, meaning they received double rent for half the month of June for the one apartment – ridiculous!

Makes me wish that I never picked up after Elizabeth when I walked her around the complex. No other dog owner did – I assure you.

Well, I just left Ms. Elo a voice mail. I was pleasant and cordial and acted as if I couldn't wait to speak with her. Cannot wait! Hopefully she'll call me from her cell phone so she can shout at while she explains why I am not getting my money back. Because you and I know – there is no way that money is getting sent to me. They'll hold onto it as if the balance of the world depends on it.

Which it may . . .

PERSONAL NOTE: You are not a failure. You will be happy, I promise you!

04 August 2008

I’m Happy Wondering

Current mood: animated

I don't love you I'm just passing the time
You could love me if I knew how to lie
But who could love me?
I am out of my mind
Throwing a line out to sea
To see if I can catch a dream
~ "She Had the World" by Panic at the Disco

So a few weeks ago, I picked up my sister to go shopping. She opens the passenger door and says, "Why is Kyle in the front seat?. . . well, he is moving to the back seat!" This gave me a fit of giggles. You see, Kyle is a stuffed dog/bear (cannot be properly identified) that I have had since high school. He was a gift. I named him after my math tutor (and crush flavor of the week) my sophomore year. He was in my car because Elizabeth uses him as a pillow sometimes. He's really quite soft!

But this brings me to my inability to part with stuffed animals. I don't sleep with them or display them in my room. They are stored in my closet, with very little ceremony. Yet, my emotional attachment supercedes my desire to live simpler. In fact, mi madre was in Fort Worth helping me move and she wanted to get rid of some of them. There we were, on the floor of the guest room, surrounded by piles of stuffed animals. Her only rule was "if you cannot remember its name, it gets donated. . ." Fair enough!

She started holding up animals as I identified them:

"Brian Boru"
"Princess Alexandra"
"um. . . um. . . damnit. That one can go."

And so on. . . until half the animals were in a pile to keep. I even got rid of a few that had names, since space was limited. But it was a painful parting. I used to not be able to sleep without holding onto something – on school and church trips, I would be too embarrassed to bring a stuffed animal, so I'd sleep with a bundled up sweat shirt. But now, with the exception of Ebie and Gracie, I try to be a big girl and sleep alone.

Y'all can laugh if you want! It's fine! I am no longer embarrassed, as I realize that my emotional attachment is to the memories each one stores within it. And memories are good things to hold onto.

Don't you think?

PERSONAL NOTE: I wish I were at your house – watching the windows be installed! Seriously!

03 August 2008

Smiling at old pictures

Current mood: adored

When people ask of me
What would you like to be
Now that your not a kid anymore
(You're not a kid anymore)

I know just what to say
I answer right away
There's just one thing
I've been wishing for...
~"Bobby's Girl" as sung by Marcie Blaine

This morning, I was up bright and early – did not even hit snooze on the alarm clock. I put some clothes in the washer, walked Elizabeth, then went into the office to finish up some stuff. I enjoy the office on the weekends. It's quiet and I am able to play Pandora on my PC speakers instead of on my headphones.

This weekend has gone by so quickly. Friday night was the big Benefit for our Breast Cancer 3-Day team. It was held at Club Nico – and the attendees were pleasantly surprised by how well Nico did in presenting a professional event. For all the people who didn't go because it was at Nico – well, you missed out on a fun and non-dance club environment evening of entertainment, prizes, and fundraising.

Live music was provided by Vlassis, and he was incredible. The fact that he donated CDs and his time for our event makes me so grateful. We raised a nice amount of money and are hoping that next year, we will double it. With the appropriate planning, we can do it.

The event would not have been possible, however, without the fantastic planning done by my sister, Katie. She put the whole event together and it appears she has a natural talent for it. Thank you so much, little sister, for all of your hard work and dedication.

The event ended around 9:30 and a lot of us stayed around to relax, have a drink, and dance. Some of us danced better than others (I would be part of the 'others' group). Though I must admit that my dancing improves as my blood alcohol content goes up. (Well, it may not improve – but I do grow less self conscious – which is almost the same thing). Hee hee My friend, the 'Romanian princess' stayed too and we closed the place down – then went to a 24 hour establishment to eat breakfast and talk. It was a great evening!

I went to my parents' to pick up Elizabeth after – and stayed in their second guest room which contains my antique bedroom set. I was able to sleep in my own bed and sleep I did. With the exception of waking up early to let Elizabeth out with the other two dogs, I slept soundly until 5pm. Yes, 5 in the afternoon! My cell phone was dead and my parents didn't want to wake me because they know how little sleep I normally get. It was really nice to wake up rested with no signs of grogginess.

And today, I still feel well-rested. Perhaps a change is happening. Let's hope!

Well, I should finish up what I am doing as I am meeting someone for lunch.

PERSONAL NOTE: Hope you and the kiddo are having a great time!!!!

01 August 2008

Fighting in the Cage

Current mood: cold

It's been one week since you looked at me
Threw your arms in the air and said you're crazy
Five days since you tackled me
I've still got the rug burns on both my knees
~"One Week" by BNL

In the UFC (and other MMA events), the fighters enter a caged Octagon to fight.

Per Wikipedia:

The cage is an eight-sided structure with walls of metal chain-link fence coated with black vinyl and a diameter of 32 ft (9.75 m), allowing 30 ft (9 m) of space from point to point. The fence is 5'6" to 5'8" high. The cage sits atop a platform, raising it 4 ft (1.2 m) from the ground. It has foam padding around the top of the fence and between each of the eight sections. It also has two entry-exit gates opposite each other.

Fighters are not like 'regular people'. They purposely engage in a sport where they will get hurt. There is no "if" – it is inevitable. Therefore, a good fighter knows that his (or her) heart, mind, and body must be completely in sync. The mental game is difficult – logic and self-preservation kick in as the adrenaline level raises. The physical exertion and pain pays its toll on the body. The drive and emotional control has to hold it all together. The heart brings everything together – making it worthwhile to get in that ring.

A friend told me that when it all comes together, "it is the most incredible feeling in the world. Nothing compares to it." I believe him. I just haven't been there.

But I will be. One day.

Life is the same way. It is inevitable that you'll eventually get hurt. And you have to make a choice:

Cower in the corner with a defensive stance, only kicking and punching when someone gets too close


Get out there in the center and believe the risk is worth the chance to do something that makes you happy

Is it truly so simple? Perhaps it is time to find out.

PERSONAL NOTE: I'd like to have dinner -- if you are still willing.

Eidetic Vision

Main Entry: ei·det·ic Pronunciation: I-'det-ik Function: adjective : marked by or involving extraordinarily accurate and vivid recall especially of visual images - an eidetic memory Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.