This Southern Belle's Musings

"Darlin', don't ever take a Southern woman for granted!" [tm]

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Friday, December 31, 2004

Happy New Year! 

Category:   Happy New Year

It's time to ring in the new year . . .

I spent yesterday making sure that I greet the new year with a brand new attitude!     I had appointments all day long which included an hour-long deep tissue massage, a Reiki session, and a consultation to determine a plan for a combination of detoxifixation herbs - then, on to the day spa where I had an appointment to have my hair highlighted, cut, conditioned and styled, and the first of six sessions of microdermabrasion - then, on to the nail salon for a manicure and pedicure - and, finally, to the health food store for purified water.     All-in-all, a long, full day of tranformation.

Today has been rather beneficial on the business front as I was able to establish some new publishing contacts with which to begin the new year.     In addition, I'm still debating on which party I want to attend this evening -- or, if I want to attend a party at all.     Of course, if I decide to stay home, I won't be able to do it with Dick Clark as in years past . . . what-a-bummer!     We've been invited to a party offering karaoke, one that is offering no-limit Texas hold'em poker, and a few that are more of your regular, mainstream countdown 'til midnight -type parties.

Whatever happens as the evening progresses, I wish all of my friends and readers a safe celebration tonight and throughout the rest of the weekend, and a most joyous 2005 . . .

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Sad News 

Category:   News

I usually don't do this, but I have been a fan of this man for many years.     I was saddened to hear today that he had lost his battle with cancer.

Rest In Peace,
Jerry Orbach!
You'll be missed!

- - - - - - -

In other news, Susan Sontag has also passed away.     The well-known author and activist succumbed to cancer after years of battling the disease.

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Legal Addictions 

Category:   Health Issues

I admit it.     I am a coke-a-holic.     I have given up sodas plenty of times, citing that age-old mantra . . . "I can stop anytime I want to". . . I mean, JEEZ! . . . I've stopped dozens of times.     I've gone for as long as six months without a single sip of soda passing my lips.     But, if I break down and have one soda, I'm "off-the-wagon" and back on the sugar and caffeine, again!     And, because sodas are so readily available, EVERYWHERE, it is so easy to fall back "off-the-wagon", any time, any place ...

I can't drink diet sodas because they trigger my migraines and, to be quite honest, I'd rather just consume the 'natural' caffeine and sugar than a can filled will all sorts of chemicals with names so long that I can't even pronounce them.

Today, I read a news article entitled Soda Drinkers Beware?, that states that "study links soft drinks to esophageal cancer".     There have always been plenty of reasons to cut back and/or give up sodas, but this study is yet another wake-up call.

Just think -- how many of you have put a bit of cola into a glass and dropped a penny into it?     How clean and shiny did the penny become in just seconds from the carbonation and chemicals eating away at the grime on the penny?     Scary, huh?     So, what are those sodas doing to our insides?

More Articles On Soda Dangers

Dangers of Soda
Your Health Is At Stake
Dangers of Liquid Candy
Dangers of Aspartame
America's Other Drinking Problem
The Sweetest Poison of All
Could That Cola Be A Killer
The Real Dangers of Soda

. . . or enter your own searches for plenty of other articles on the subject.

I know that I don't drink enough water -- but, I think it is definitely time to start!     Perhaps I should reconsider listing a resolution or two for 2005 ...

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Must See/Read Lists 

Category:   Literature / Movies

"Illusions are art, for the feeling person,
and it is by art that you live, if you do.
Elizabeth Bowen   (1899 - 1973)

"Art is making something out of nothing and selling it."
Frank Zappa   (1940 - 1993)

"Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere."
G. K. Chesterton   (1874 - 1936)

I don't consider the following as falling into the "actual" resolution category, even though I'm making this list for the new year at the close of 2004, with plans to complete it by the end of 2005.     I am a die-hard bibliophile and videophile and, yet, there are many books and movies that I (for whatever reason through the years) haven't read or seen yet.     Many of these are considered "classics" or "must-reads," but I've just read or watched something else instead.     I am planning to change all that in 2005.

These are just the first ones that *popped* into my head.     I'm sure there are other books and movies that I've let "slip-through-the-cracks" throughout the years that I need to add to my "Must See/Read" lists    (Yes, Vic, I know - I promised to watch The Princess Bride).     And, I have so many books on my WishList that I want to read this year, too.

I'm up for taking suggestions from readers.     Do you have a favorite movie or book that you would like to suggest for me to add to my list?     You must remember -- I'm an avid bibliophile and videophile so I have seen and read a lot . . . but, I'd still love to hear your suggestions - feel free to post them in the comments here.

2005 - the year for broadening my literary and celluloid horizons!

Listening to:

Bach for Book Lovers

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Who's Blogging? 

Category:   Blogging

Is anyone really blogging during this holiday frenzy?     Yes, I've visited a few blogs -- via BlogExplosion -- that have been updated during this time but, mostly, people are actually out living their lives, it seems.     I say -- GOOD FOR THEM!

I mean, if I wasn't experiencing some aches and pains, and a scratchy throat -- that I'm trying to cure before it gets any worse by steering clear of as many crowded places as possible -- I probably wouldn't be in front of the computer during this time either.

I'd like to be out grabbing up the 50% off (the lowest ticketed price) after-Christmas bargains, visiting friends who have time off from work for the holidays, and just enjoying some "me" time wandering through some bookstores, movie rental stores, music stores, and some of the museums in the area (there's a van Gogh exhibit in Atlanta that will wrap up in a couple of weeks that I haven't made it to yet).

But, since I'm here, I might as well blog, right?!?

Anyone else out there blogging, too?     Give me a little comment or two, and let's commiserate.

Listening to:

Mozart for Meditation

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life


Category:   Bloggin' Around

Well, I've seen this around blogdom for a few weeks now . . . and, I resisted as long as I could . . . I guess, now, it's my turn . . . (Normally, this would be on my Good Girls Don't ... site with my other meme responses but, . . . this one just seems to fit here at this point in time)

  • Kitty
  • Susan (not Sue, and not Susie!)
  • Sis

  • My weird, sick and twisted sense of humor
  • My big, compassionate heart
  • My long, red nails

  • My tiny, little OCD tendencies
  • My tiny, little procrastination tendencies
  • My caffeine, sugar and salt addictions

  • Irish
  • English
  • French

  • Bugs
  • Spiders (they get their own category separate from bugs!)
  • Heights

  • Caffeine (I'm trying to give it up -- again!)
  • My laptop
  • Long-distance chats with my friend Vic

  • Navy blue and white "U.S. Navy" sweatshirt
  • Brick-red leather converse sneakers
  • Hip-hugger bell-bottom jeans

  • 3 Doors Down
  • Damageplan
  • (listening to old CDs of) Bad English

  • Lack of commitment
  • Lack of maturity
  • Lack of fidelity

  • Commitment
  • Honesty
  • Loyalty

  • Personality
  • Sense of humor
  • Unafraid to show emotions

  • Loyalty
  • Honesty
  • Commonalities

  • Tolerate racism
  • Tolerate prejudices
  • Tolerate abusers of any kind

  • Writing
  • Riding Harleys
  • Photography

  • Find my long-lost friend Renea (I haven't spoken with her in five years and have no idea where she is now)
  • Reconnect with my childhood friend Karen (I lost all of her contact info when my computer crashed a few months ago)
  • Eat at my favorite Japanese restaurant

  • Ireland
  • African Serengeti
  • (go back to) St. Lucia

  • Go on a photo safari to the Serengeti
  • Go to NYC for Christmas
  • Tour Europe on an extended vacation

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Monday, December 27, 2004


Category:   Holidays

"Look not mournfully into the past.     It comes not back again.
Wisely improve the present.     It is thine.
Go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow   (1807 - 1882)

Every year, across the planet, there is the desire to make resolutions and set about to make changes in our lives with the turning of the calendar from one year to the next.     It seems that the winding down of one year, and the beginning of a new one inspires so many as the perfect time to make lists with the hopes of becoming better, different, and more [ _______ fill in the blank].     It is as if January 31st is the only time that we allow ourselves to forget the past, and try to re-create ourselves into something entirely new and different.

To be quite honest, I don't want to forget the past . . . the past, each and every moment of it . . . has shaped who I have become thus far.     Each fork in each road along the way has been a decision that added to the distinct and unique personality that is me, and even if I want to make these "so-called" resolutions to "adjust" certain aspects of my life, I never, ever want to lose the moments that brought me to this place in time.

I'll pop the cork and toast the arrival of 2005 on Friday . . . I just won't get caught up in all the resolution hype that accompanies ringing in the new year . . .

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Start Practicing ... 

Category:   Holidays

Practice early so you can wish everyone a "Happy New Year" in a different language (for a twist) this year ...

Happy New Year in 39 Languages

Afrikaans -   Gelukkige nuwe jaar
Arabic -   Antum salimoun
Bengali -   Shuvo Nabo Barsho
Chinese -   Chu Shen Tan
Czechoslovakia -   Scastny Novy Rok
Dutch -   Gelukkig Nieuwjaar
English -   Happy New Year!
Eskimo -   Kiortame pivdluaritlo
Finnish -   Onnellista Uutta Vuotta
French -   Bonne Annee
Gaelic -   Bliadhna mhath ur
German -   Prosit Neujahr
Greek -   Kenourios Chronos
Hawaiian -   Hauoli Makahiki Hou
Hebrew -   L'Shannah Tovah
Hindi -   Subh Nab Bars
Iraqi -   Sanah Jadidah
Irish -   Bliain nua fe mhaise dhuit
Italian -   Buon Capodanno
Kisii -   Somwaka omoyia owuya
Khmer -   Sua Sdei tfnam tmei
Laotian -   Sabai dee pee mai
Norwegian -   Godt Nyttar
Papua New Guinea -   Nupela yia i go long y
Philippines -   Manigong Bagong Taon
Polish -   Szczesliwego Nowego Roku
Portuguese -   Feliz Ano Novo
Punjabi -   Nave sal di mubarak
Russian -   S Novim Godom
Serbo-Croatian -   Scecna nova godina
Singhalese -   Subha Aluth Awrudhak Vewa
Slovak -   A stastlivy Novy Rok
Spanish -   Feliz Ano Nuevo
Swahili -   Heri Za Mwaka Mpya
Sudanese -   Warsa Enggal
Telegu -   Noothana samvatsara shubhakankshalu
Thai -   Sawadee Pee Mai
Turkish -   Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Ukrainian -   Shchastlyvoho Novoho Roku
Vietnamese -   Chuc Mung Tan Nien

Info found at:

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Happy Day After ... 

Category:   Holidays

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Christmas Day yesterday.     We did a bit of driving yesterday afternoon but, overall, not as stressful as in years past.

And now, a wonderful day!     The day after Christmas . . . I almost hate to admit that I so look forward to this day every year.     This is the day that I start itching to get those Christmas decorations down and packed away for another year.     I'm not one to leave the decorations up until New Year's Day, or until Ephiphany, or any other arbitrary day after the 25th.     I'm sorry!     But, considering how retailers have us stepping over Christmas decorations in late July / early August to get to the last of Summer items for the final trip to the beach, while navigating around the Halloween candies and decorations in the process is a bit much, don't you think?     I must admit that I'm tired of Christmas decorations by December after looking at them for over five months in retail stores, grocery stores, plus constantly listening to non-stop Christmas music in every store and on many radio station since the day after Thanksgiving (or earlier).

Although, I may just "kick-back" and relax today . . . and tackle packing away all the decorations tomorrow -- because, as we all know -- I subscribe to Ms. O'Hara's mantra -- as Scarlett was so fond of saying . . . "tomorrow is another day!"

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Friday, December 24, 2004

Happy Holidays To One & All! 

Category:   Holidays

I just wanted to take a few moments out of this hectic
Christmas Eve to wish everyone


and, even as we celebrate all the festivites of the season,

let's not forget the "Reason For The Season"

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Twas' The Night Before, (Before) ... 

Category:   Holiday This-n-That

"The meeting of two personalities
is like the contact of two chemical substances:
if there is any reaction, both are transformed.
Carl Jung   (1875 - 1961)

"Passion makes the world go round.
Love just makes it a safer place.
Ice T, The Ice Opinion

I received a Christmas gift and card today.    Since it is "tis' the season," that probably doesn't sound all that unusual, but . . . it actually was.     It was a gift and card from one of my best friends -- the first real gift that he's ever given me (which I totally understand, due to many of his life situations and financial circumstances over the years).     The gift and card will both be cherished forever.

My parents are coming tomorrow to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with us.     Of course, we'll do our annual Christmas tradition and watch A Christmas Story

again.     It is such fun to watch with my Dad!     Ralphie, Flick, Schwartz and those darned Bumpus hounds . . .

Christmas morning is a feast when my Mom is involved.     There will be bacon, country ham, eggs, biscuits, gravy, grits, freshly-squeezed orange juice, and whatever else my Mom thinks should be on the table.

Then, later on Christmas Day, we'll be going to my s.o.'s mom's house for Christmas with his side of the family.     [and, in my best Forrest Gump voice]   "that's all I've got to say about that."

Oh, and while picking up some last-minute essentials yesterday, I found the cutest thing and, although I know you're not supposed to buy yourself anything right before Christmas, it was the last one, and I just couldn't pass it up . . .

Antonio Banderas was absolutely wonderful as the voice of the sad-eyed kitty in Shrek 2 -- he stole the movie!     *heavy-sigh*     Isn't this just the cutest thing?

I'm sure I'll find time to sneak in a post tomorrow but, in the off chance that I don't or can't -- to everyone who visits . . . MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and yours . . . have a SAFE and WONDERFUL holiday weekend!

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Unsolved Crimes 

Category:   Mystery

This article says it better than I can, so just read it for yourself here:

History's Greatest Unsolved Crimes

As many of you know, I'm fascinated by unsolved crimes and forensics.     Several of these cases have always intrigued me -- especially the Black Dahlia -- and I have read as much as I can about Elizabeth Short's brief life and tragic death.     I'm not sure how accurate Steve Hodel's accusations of his father's guilt in Elizabeth's death are and, sadly, we'll probably never know for sure . . .

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life


A ~   Antique- and Animal- Lover;
B ~   Blonde (But, not a dumb-);
C ~   Creative;
D ~   Daydreamer;
E ~   Eclectic & Erotic;
F ~   Flirtatious;
G ~   Generous;
H ~   Harley Chick;
I ~   Imaginative;
J ~   Junque-Collector;
K ~   Kid-At-Heart;
L ~   Loving & Loyal;
M ~   Misunderstood (Easily);
N ~   Nature-Girl;
O ~   Open-Minded;
P ~   Passionate;
Q ~   Quirky;
R ~   Romantic (Hopelessly);
S ~   Spiritual;
T ~   Thoughtful;
U ~   Unique;
V ~   Vintage, Yet Visionary;
W ~   Witty & Whimsical;
X ~   X-traOrdinary;
Y ~   Yearning (for more); and
Z ~   Zealous (for life).


Category:   Literature

T.S.Eliot:   The Wasteland.     You are a desperate cry to God, moulded in intricate word-craftmanship.     Your language is controlled, but inside, you feel empty and are not content with your life.     You see both the world and your inner self as a waste land: nothing good can come out of it anyway.     People find you difficult to understand but admire you nevertheless.

Which literature classic are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Breathing Room 

Category:  Life

Yesterday was definitely a "breathing-room" type of day.     I connected with a couple of long-distance friends via phone, and attempted to contact a few others (I talked to a few machines).     I finished my Christmas shopping (a few last-minute small gifts to round out my gift list), ordered (I know - a little late) two Honey-Baked hams and one Honey-Baked turkey for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day get-togethers, watched a mindless movie -- just for the fun of it -- Repossessed, and wrapped all of the gifts that needed wrapping while the television droned on with mindless chatter in the background.

I did actually have some time to update my Amazon wish list, too . . . if you want to check out what's on it, you can click here to see my list:


I'm sure this was one of my more boring entries but, you know, some days are just dull days ... why try to make it something it isn't?

Listening to:   
New Found Power by Damageplan

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Monday, December 20, 2004

More Writings, Photos & More 

Category:  This-n-That

I was directed to a new site today through a writer's group that I belong to that may be a viable option for smaller books of artwork and photos, as well as the children's book my s.o. has asked me to illustrate for him.     The jury is still out on this as I just discovered the site today and have uploaded only four images as a test of the traffic on the site, as well as the actual business practices of the site in the long run.     In any event, you may check out my proverbial toe-in-the-water as I gingerly test this new site out.     The link to my new "store" can be found at here, or use the link below:

Buy my stuff at Lulu!

Also, my latest North Texas News column was recently published, and re-printed on my A Southern Belle's Works site.     I have new entries on my Good Girls Don't ... But (sometimes) I Do ... memes site.     I'm rather particularly fond of my response to the At The Movies spark.     Some who know me very well will fully understand the Alex Forrest reference.

And, as those of you who are in my address book already know, I'm using a new service called Plaxo, which is a great way to update your address book automatically with all of your contacts' latest information.     An associate of mine turned-me-on to it when she sent a request to update my information in her address book via Plaxo.     When I saw how it worked, I was hooked.     And, no, this isn't some "plug" to get you to sign up under my name so I get points or anything . . . I just think it's a neat little program that makes keeping your address book up-to-date a whole lot easier.

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Perchance To Dream 

Category:  Life

I try my darnedest to make my blog something different -- not the usual entries that you see elsewhere, and not the usual ramblings (and rantings) that you read in a dozen other places . . . but, within the last few days, I'm suffering from either:
  • writer's block;
  • stress;
  • the culmination of the last six months of sheer business-related torture;
  • complete exhaustion; or
  • all of the above.

It seems that every time I stare at the computer screen to begin an entry, all that wants to flow from my fingertips is some rant that would be meaningless to most every reader, and boring to all.     On the other hand, that's what's happening in my life right now -- and it is rather frustrating to be experiencing it without an outlet to release it.

So, let me preface this by saying . . . if you choose, you can stop reading now . . . because the rest is going to be a rant of how my morning has progressed so far -- and, let me say that "progress" isn't really the appropriate term to describe my morning up to now.

Category:  Rant

There I was, all nestled and snug in my bed, while strange little dreams were dancing in my head.     Suddenly I was jolted from this peaceful slumber, by my s.o. who was running late because he couldn't find the black folder with all of the paperwork from the new business that we brought home on Saturday night.

"I'm sorry to have to wake you", he said apologetically, "but, I'm late out the door, and I need some of the paperwork to take with me.     Can you please get up and help me find it?"

As I stumbled out of bed, and staggered down the stairs, I noticed the antique clock on the mantle said it was 6:40 a.m.     From the fog that still clouded my brain, I thought for a moment and then remembered that we had taken two cars on Saturday, and the folder was still in the back seat of my car.

"I have to run." he said, "I don't want to be late.     Sorry to wake you."

I staggered back to bed, and fell back into the now-cold linens and pulled the covers up tightly and drifted off back to sleep.     But, not for very long.     As soon as he arrived at work, he telephoned to say "Sorry to wake you but I forgot my lunchbox on the kitchen counter, and we forgot to revise to customer service information sheets."

"Do you want me to bring them to you?" I mumbled, in a half-awake stupor.     "No, that's okay," he said, "just put my lunch back in the fridge, and work on the sheets today when you have time."     I glanced at the clock on the bedside table; it was 7:42 a.m.

I rolled over, and tried to fall back asleep.     The dogs -- all three -- were barking . . . not unusual for two of them, but when Miss Savannah Jayne barks, she does so with a purpose.     I contemplated getting up to see what was the matter, but simply pulled the covers farther over my head instead.

Suddenly, the telephone rang, again.     "Sorry to bother you," he said, "but what did 'we' do with those two hats yesterday that were on the filing cabinet?"    "Like I told you yesterday, I put them in the bottom drawer of the desk so that just anyone wouldn't pick them up and take them."    To which, he replied, "Okay, thanks, found them.     Talk to you later."    I glanced at the clock on the bedside table; it was 7:55 a.m.

Okay, I should just get up, I thought!     I mean, something tells me that the phone will probably keep ringing, and what's the point of trying to sleep with dogs barking, phones ringing, and sleep patterns disrupted, regardless of how incredibly tired I am?     Yet, the bed was so warm, and there was a stream of sunlight cascading across the middle of the bed from the front foyer second-story paladium window directly across the second floor cat-walk into the bedroom, filling it with light and warmth.     I snuggled down deeper into the covers and pulled them tightly around me.

I had just dozed off when . . . you guessed it . . . the telephone rang, again.     "I know you figured a lot out on this new computer system over the two days you were here." he said, "The American Express guy was just here to add that feature to our credit card machine, and now I need to add it to our invoice selection options.     Do you know which screen I would go into to do that?"     At which point he starts reading off section names from the screen.

"Honestly," I say, "I would either have to look at it, play around with it, or just get the manuals out and try to look it up that way.     I don't have any idea where that selection might be hidden."     At which point, he said, "so-n-so [I didn't catch exactly who he said] is here; I have to run.     I'll call you later.

And, dear readers -- I have no doubt that he will!

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Sunday, December 19, 2004

What Kind of Soul . . .  

You Are a Retrospective Soul

The most misunderstood of all the soul signs.
Sometimes you even have difficulty seeing yourself as who you are.
You are intense and desire perfection in every facet of your life.
You're best described as extremely idealistic, hardworking, and a survivor.

Great moments of insight and sensitivity come to you easily.
But if you aren't careful, you'll ignore these moments and repeat past mistakes.
For you, it is difficult to seperate the past from the present.
You will suceed once you overcome the disappoinments in life.

Souls you are most compatible with: Traveler Soul and Prophet Soul

Saturday, December 18, 2004

The Joys Of . . .  

Category:  Life

. . . Business Ownership!

Well, if finally happened -- the closing on the business, that is . . .     As of late Thursday afternoon, we are now the proud owners of $850K of debt . . . oh, yeah, . . . and a business to go along with it.     I never thought the end would ever arrive -- exactly six months and five days from the time my s.o. parted ways from his part ownership in a lucrative franchise to pursue sole ownership -- and, now, we finally have the debt to prove it happened.

I had my day planned yesterday since I had been "committed" -- or is that should-be-committed???" to working all day today (Saturday) to help out at the new business.     Yesterday was going to be spent running errands (like returning those two Blockbuster movies that I've had for a week -- thank goodness for "Movie Pass"), shipping my s.o.'s brother, s-i-l, and nephew's Christmas gifts ("no comment"), and picking up a few last-minute small gifts to finish out my shopping before next Saturday.     But, did that happen?     No!     My s.o. pulled a fast-one, I do believe.

I'm lying in bed yesterday morning, enjoying the peaceful solitude of no one in the house and the prospect of a day spent alone . . . when the phone rings . . .     Yep!, you guessed it!     My s.o. was calling to say that, in the mad dash to get out the door, he had forgotten a few things, and would I mind to bring them up to him?     He said he knew I had plans for the day, so if I could just bring up the "laundry-list" of items he forgot, take a document to the courthouse, take a deposit to the bank, and go to Office Depot for a few things, then the rest of the day I could do whatever I wanted.

Is anyone else buying this???     I arrived there at 9:00 a.m. and didn't leave until 7:15 p.m. last night!     At least he bought me dinner for all of my efforts . . . or, in my case, I should say breakfast / lunch / dinner, since I didn't have anything all day.     But, I did get all of the employees added into the computer (something the previous owner hadn't done - he only had two current employees showing on the system), I changed prices, entered in some inventory that arrived yesterday, and basically tried to familiarize myself with a completely new system, specifically designed for this business.

Today, I get to actually be there -- as planned.     Yippee!    Hurray!    Ya-Hooooo!     Okay, that was dripping with sarcasm . . . could you tell?!?

In the "Be-Careful-What-You-Wish-For category, I still keep looking over my shoulder . . . because I'm not so sure that those nice, young men in their clean, white coats won't still be coming to take me [us] away . . . Hee, Hee, Ho, Ho . . .

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Don't Mess With A Belle 

Category:  Rants

Forgive me for ranting . . . but, . . . Wednesday was just a day where people wanted to test my patience.     It started out with an e-mail that I received from a vendor that I had ordered a specific gift for my s.o. from for Christmas.     On the surface, you wouldn't think this e-mail would set me off the way it did . . . but, just wait until you hear ... [in-my-best-Paul-Harvey-voice] "the-rest-of-the-story"     Here is the e-mail I received yesterday morning (note date and time stamp in header, and the segment that has been bold/underlined for emphasis by me):

----- Original Message -----
From: [Name of Company Ordered From]
To: [Me]
Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2004 2:39 AM
Subject: Your XXXXXXXXX signed book order

Dear Friend:

I wanted to confirm that all autographed copies of XXXXXX's new books: XXXXXXXXXX will hhave been shipped by the end of today. There was a delay in receiving the books, but our staff worked through the weekend to expedite shipments.
Many thanks for your patience, and we look forward to working with you again in the future.

[Person Sending e-mail]
[Company Sending e-mail]
[Person's e-mail address]

Aside from the typo, this seems like a rather benign e-mail, doesn't it?     Well, here is my response to Ms. XXXX that I sent back to her yesterday after receiving this message (note the other date and time stamp in the header, and the segment that has been bold/underlined for emphasis by me):

----- Original Message -----
From: [Me]
To: [Company Ordered From]
Cc: [Person e-mail Received From], [Company President], [Company Vice-President]
Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2004 9:04 AM
Subject: Re: Your XXXXXXX signed book order


I just received this message (below) again today, but it is the exact SAME message I received (pasted below the first) a week ago, even containing the same typo in the same place.

These two books (XXXXXXXXX Autographed with DVD and XXXXXXXXX Autographed with DVD), which I ordered on November 29th, and have paid over $60 for, are to be a Christmas present for my s.o., as he specifically asked for them, as he is a respectful admirer of Mr. XXXXXX.

When, exactly, are they actually going to be shipped? From the first e-mail I received on December 7th, I expected, as the e-mail stated, that they were to be mailed by the end of the day that day. Now I have received another e-mail dated December 15th that tells me that they will be mailed by the end of the day today. I really can't put much faith in that after they were not mailed as promised on December 7th. Christmas is less than two weeks away, and I placed my order in November, hoping to have them in plenty of time.

Your prompt attention and assistance in this matter will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

----- Original Message -----
From: [Company Ordered From]
To: [Me]
Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2004 2:39 AM
Subject: Your XXXXX signed book order

Dear Friend:

I wanted to confirm that all autographed copies of XXXXXXXXX's new books will hhave been shipped by the end of today. There was a delay in receiving the books, but our staff worked through the weekend to expedite shipments.
Many thanks for your patience, and we look forward to working with you again in the future.


----- Original Message -----
From: [Company Ordered From]
To: [Me]
Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2004 12:01 PM
Subject: Your XXXXXXX signed book order

Dear Friend:

I wanted to confirm that all autographed copies of XXXXXXXXX's new books will hhave been shipped by the end of today. There was a delay in receiving the books, but our staff worked through the weekend to expedite shipments.
Many thanks for your patience, and we look forward to working with you again in the future.


And, to top off all of this nonsense, here's the e-mail I received this morning:

----- Original Message -----
From: [Person Who Keeps Sending E-Mails]
To: [Me]
Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2004 1:18 AM
Subject: Re: Your XXXXXXXX signed book order

Your order shipped on 12/4 and your USPS tracking number is XXXXXXXXXXXXXX. Thanks...

[Chick, who can't read a calendar]

I checked the tracking number at the USPS site and found that the package left Memphis, TN on 12/05, and arrived (and left) Atlanta, GA on 12/09 - I only live 30+ miles north of Atlanta . . . but, so far, the package has not arrived.     When I called to try to report a "lost" package, I was told I had to wait SIXTY days before I could report it missing!

I won't even begin to tell you about the IDIOTS at DHL (formerly Airborne Express) who were supposed to deliver a NEXT DAY A.M. package yesterday and, at 5:00 p.m. it still had not arrived, and at 6:00 p.m., I was told that it had been checked back in to the local office for delivery today (Thursday - which would make it 2-Day Delivery).     Not going into all of the details, suffice it to say that after I finished my phone call, the DHL truck (which "supposedly" was an hour-and-a-half away at the depot, arrived in my driveway with the package in hand in approximately fifteen minutes!

I have REAL issues with people who are paid to do a job and don't do it right, or try to get out of doing it at all.

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The Ramblings Of A Lunatic Blonde 

Category:  This-n-That

I honestly believe computers have evil, little minds of their own.     Today I posted a response to a post on one of my entries and, although when I wrote the post, my own personal information showed in all of the appropriate fields - plain as day - when I clicked < enter > and checked my post, HaloScan had assigned someone else's name to the post, with my e-mail and web address.     Bizarre, eh?     But, considering my life as of late, probably better filed under < par-for-the-course >.     And, now, my password doesn't work on the HaloScan site, so I can't edit the post.

With that said, I do have a good computer story to share.     I didn't want to write an entry until I talked to one of my best friends, Vic in Pennsylvania .. . because I wanted to tell her the great news first . . . I didn't want her reading about it in my blog before I had a chance to tell her over the phone.     My s.o. bought my big Christmas gift last week, and was like a kid-with-a-new-toy filled with excitement wanting to give it to me.     Finally, after three days of him dancing around like a new puppy, I caved in and said go ahead and give it to me, and he did.     I am now sitting here updating my blog on my new laptop with wireless internet connection.     How cool is that?!?!?

I have wanted a laptop for such a long time.     With writing assignments, and other projects, it isn't always convenient to be locked away in my studio with my desktop computer for hours on end.     Now, I'm mobile, and wireless!     And, I still will have other, smaller, gifts to unwrap on Christmas morning.

In other writing news . . . there are some new updates on two of my other blogs, if you want to take a peek:    Good Girls Don't . . . But (sometimes) I Do . . . and Scavenger Hunt Memes.     There should be a new update to Never Underestimate A Southern Belle and A Southern Belle's Works soon (my latest column was submitted to the North TX e-News two days ago - my most recent published column can be viewed at the "Works" site now, and I just have to upload my next entry to the NUASB site from my desktop).      I also have new photos that I need to add to A Southern Belle's Expressions, but that will still have to be done from my desktop, too (for now).

As for my friend, Grey Biker, who was contemplating what I might look like in a straight jacket . . . (re: my Crazy Days post) for now, my dear friend, those will only be delicious images in your dreams.

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Crazy Days 

Category:  Life

I haven't updated in a couple of days but, in all honesty, the stress of the last few days, weeks, months have finally culminated in major overload!     My s.o. has been "in-the-process" of buying a business, and first the seller, and then S.B.A., have been dragging their feet on getting to the end of this transaction.     My s.o. has been "unemployed" for six months while this process has been dragging on, and on, and on ... prior to leaving his six-figure position to make an offer on his own business, he was part owner in a major corporation franchise.     This has been a l--o--n--g six months!!

Supposedly (and I say that with much reluctance, as we have been hearing the same story for the last two months), the closing is scheduled for this Thursday.     To be quite honest, I'll believe it only when it happens.     For both our sanities, though, if it doesn't happen soon, someone should probably send those men in the clean white coats over with those nice jackets with the really long sleeves -- one for me, and another one for my s.o.

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Where's Bosco? 

Category:  This-n-That

I think the time has come for me to be silent no longer.     A "member" of my family has been missing for over two years.     It began innocently enough but, perhaps I should start at the beginning ...

As an Interior Designer, I have owned, operated and moderated a newsgroup for professional designers, decorators and DIY'ers since 1998.     In 2002, there was a phenomenon that was sweeping the country -- in fact, the world.     That phenomenon was the Flat Stanley Project, which school children were involved with everywhere!

Thinking this might be something we could adapt as a fun little round-robin activity for a responsible group of adults who had been together for quite some time, I suggested that Bosco, a stuffed cat that lived with me (not taxidermy stuffed!), could visit participants on the newsgroup list, along with his travel journal, and each person could add comments, photos, etc. before sending him on to his next destination.     Bosco went to Mardi Gras, as well as at least three other vacation destinations, and visited at least eight different States.     Somehow. on the third to last person's stop, the person he was with was waiting on photos to be developed for the travel journal, so Bosco was sent to his next destination without his travel journal, with the promise that it would soon follow.     Then, when the travel journal didn't arrive in a timely manner, the next participant sent Bosco on to the last location, and held their photos and notes, still waiting on the travel journal to arrive.

Sadly, "someone" misplaced the travel journal, and the last person to receive Bosco fell off the face of the earth.     So, that precious little fuzzy grey kitty that was supposed to return home by late 2002, with a travel journal full of fun photos and tales of adventures, is a missing person or, at least, a missing kitty.

If ANYONE from our newsgroup (or is familiar with members of our newsgroup) might be reading this, and might know where Bosco and/or his travel journal is/are, please e-mail me and I will send out my current home address, and will pay all shipping charges, NO QUESTIONS ASKED!

Bosco has eight real fur-baby sisters and brothers (five cats and three dogs) that would love for him to come back home again!

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Remember The . . .  

Category:  Movies / Travel

. . . Alamo!

A couple of nights ago, I finally found the time to watch The Alamo.     I wanted to see it on the big screen, and had planned to see it when it was first released but, ... between planning the move (back) South, and all of the associated frustration that accompanied that ordeal, movies ended up as low end of the priority spectrum.     But, the big screen television -vs- the big screen in the theatre was still an okay viewing option.

Having visited San Antonio two years ago, staying at the historic La Mansion Del Rio Hotel on the Riverwalk, and touring the Alamo not once, but twice, while there (even checking out the basement just like Pee-Wee Herman suggested), and seeing the amazing holographic depiction of the events leading up to, and into, the Battle at the Alamo shown during the tour, the movie brought even more of the story to life.

I would highly recommend both the movie, and a visit to San Antonio, to everyone.     The Riverwalk, the artists' boutiques, art galleries, local crafts shoppes, the local markets, tours of the old missions (other than the Alamo), as well as touring through a city that is simply filled with much history, is an exciting adventure for all the senses.

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Friday, December 10, 2004

Book Signing 

Category:  Literature

Today, I am traveling to Chattanooga, Tennessee for a book signing event with my very good friend, author Patricia Paris.     Ms. Paris has just released her third book, a sequel to her best-selling second novel The Spiritual Side of Sarah, although the title is a bit deceiving of the subject matter contained within the pages, because it is about ... "The Story of a Southern Woman Who Knows How to Get What She Wants."   [my kinda gal! *ha-ha*]     The book she is promoting today is All's Quiet on the Tennessee River, which was just released a few weeks ago.

I'm hoping that we will also be able to do a little promotion for the upcoming Southern Belles' Month which will be in April.     Fast-approaching, and little time to prepare.

I'll update after the trip . . . as well as let everyone in on a corporate bookseller that canceled a book signing (scheduled tomorrow) at the last-minute for . . . well, you'll just have to wait to hear the details - I'm running late as it is . . . More Later!

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Ohio Tragedy 

Category:  Music

As some may recall from a previous entry, I attended the Atlanta kick-off of the Devastation Across the Nation Tour on October 27th.     Last night, "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, guitarist for DamagePlan (and formerly with Pantera) was gunned down on-stage in Ohio during the band's first song.     One of the accounts of the story can be found here, and video reports can be viewed here under Nightclub shooting suspect ID'd and Ohio rampage.

Tragic, scary, surreal.

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

One Girl's Opinion 

Category:  Opinions

I've refrained from discussing the latest craze to hit the blogging community [i.e., BlogExplosion] for a very good reason . . . everyone else is already talking about it.

And, while I'm on the subject -- first, let me preface this by saying that this is not a slam of other bloggers -- truly it isn't! -- but, I find it rather strange that, when surfing through B.E., a lot of bloggers are blogging about the exact same things (and I'm not talking about specific types of blogs, either - like "mommy" blogs, or "political" blogs, and so on).     I would like to think that people can generate a little more creativity and individuality in their writing, but the facts speak otherwise.

That's not to say that I don't -- on occasion -- write about topics that are in-the-news, or "borrow" something from other bloggers (see here and here for prime examples of my "borrowing") but, for the most part, I would like to think that my entries are an expression of my unique individuality, and not something that you'll find in some shape, form or fashion in a dozen other places.

With that said, I would also like to say that I've read some really terrific new blogs while surfing on B.E.     In fact, through my recent surfings, I have blogmarked forty-five blogs that I now visit (whether or not my B.E. surfing takes me to those particular pages).     There are some interesting, funny and talented people who are blogging out there . . . and I'm glad I've found an avenue to discover them.

Yet, I also think there are others that actively register and promote their blogs with cries of "Look at ME!, Look at ME!," yet have nothing to say of any relevance to anyone outside their close circle of friends, school-mates or families.     If you're going to, as they say, put-yourself-out-there for the world to see, make the visit worth the visitor's while.

Of course, these are simply my humble opinions, filed in the for-what-it's-worth department.     You can take it, leave it, or simply ignore it . . . that's the thing about blogging, after all, isn't it?!?!?

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Church "Constitutions" 

Category:  Humor

I admit it, I "borrowed" this photo from another blogger, Jay at . . . but, it was simply too good to pass up.     I've already begged forgiveness for my transgressions and, hopefully, Jay understands.


Perhaps this might have fit better with my alter-ego blog, Good Girls Don't ... But (sometimes) I Do ... but, ... I just couldn't help myself.


Feel free to talk among yourselves ... but, leave your comments because I know they'll be d-i-v-i-n-e!

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

All Aboard The Bandwagon! 

Category:  Internet

Of course, I can't let my very good friend, Grey Biker one-up me in the techno-blogging department . . . so, when he mentioned in a recent post that he had nabbed his own free MSN Space from Microsoft Corp. (who is venturing into the blogging craze to garner their own chunk-of-the-game), I had to follow suit and nab my very own MSN Space for myself.

Granted, it is rather . . . hmmmmmmm?!? . . . shall we say . . . cheesy, in typical Microsoft fashion but, . . . better grab while we can since free is free.

Although, so far, the only thing I've managed to figure out (even with the help feature) is adding profile info and photos.     As for the rest, the help info says to go to the "Tasks" section for whatever task you are attempting to complete.     Yet, when you click on the tabs, there isn't a "tasks" section to choose from anywhere!     Of course, imo, that's par-for-the-course as far as Microsoft goes ...

How can a multi-ba-zillion dollar company continue to release products filled with so many bugs?!?

If you want to grab your own FREEBIE, take this link to sign up.     Of course, I'm not actually endorsing this new blog site.     So far, it isn't anything to write (home) about . . .

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Stalking A Serial Killer 

Category:  News

A murderer has haunted Wichita for years.    The cops - and a worldwide web of Net sleuths - are on the case

By Dirk Johnson and Sarah Childress

Dec. 13 issue - He carries no badge.     But Tom Voigt burns with the passion of a detective.     Armed with just a computer, he is hellbent on catching a Wichita, Kans., serial killer, a strangler who has eluded the police for three decades.     Voigt, 37, tall and bespectacled, crouches over his screen, sifting through the tips and theories zipped to his Web site.     "These mysteries, they get to me," says Voigt, who forwards his clues to the authorities.     When Wichita police arrested a man last week - and rumors flew that the killer had been snared, a notion that proved unfounded - the hits on his Web site soared to a million.

Read the rest of the story here

I am totally fascinated by cold cases, mysteries, forensics and law enforcement procedures (my t.v. viewing habits would bear this out - esp. Court TV).      Maybe I should start investigating some cold cases that are of a particular interest to me due to the type(s) of crime or the particulars surrounding the case(s) ...

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Harvard Explains Blogging 

Category:  Internet

From Scripting News comes the following editorial commentary on the following story:
"There isn't an original idea in this 800-word piece about blogging in the Harvard Crimson.     And to think that trees actually died so they could publish that piece.    Oh the humanity!"

The State of the Blogosphere
Good, bad and ugly in alternative media

Published on Friday, October 29, 2004
in the Harvard Crimson

With controversy after controversy about national news coverage emerging, the public at large are still waiting for big media to sort themselves out.     But most of us still need to get our news - and increasingly, we're turning to blogs.     Estimates vary widely, but there are definitely more than 3.5 million denizens of the blogosphere.     And plenty of them have taken on a life of their own. Instapundit, a conservative blog, gets 233,000 views a day on average, and a more liberal counterpart, the Daily Kos, lures 324,000 daily.     But can these blogs, which we are visiting in ever-increasing numbers, really be trusted?

Read the rest of the story here

Aren't we all happy to know that an '06 history concentrator has reduced blogging down into "terms" and "categories" in such a elitist fashion?!?     I, myself, feel as if I now have purpose . . . *tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek*

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Monday, December 06, 2004

The Letter Project 

Category:  Human Interest

I would like to direct everyone's attention to this writer's blog -- SlagleRock at Slaglerock's Slaughterhouse, and the project he is working on (Phase II, in fact) to send letters to our troops in Iraq.     Instead of me attempting to paraphrase, I would just suggest you click right on over and read for yourself.     Then, I would like to ask everyone to participate in this project.     Unless we've been there, we have NO idea of what it is like to be in that situation, so far from home, and feeling ... perhaps ... as if the Country really doesn't care.     This is a way to let them know that - YES - we do care, and appreciate all that they are doing there!

I encourage you to take a few moments and send your sentiments on their way ...

My letter is in the works (and it is even more important and close to home now - especially since one of my best friends will be leaving in January for deployment to Iraq as well) ...

Thank you!     And, thanks to SlagleRock for undertaking this project!

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Talk About Grey ... 

Category:  This-n-That

This past weekend was hectic with the Toys for Tot ride, some Christmas shopping, exterior and interior decorating, addressing Christmas cards, helping to install a floor outlet in the family room (don't ask what the builders were thinking when they left off the wall, added columns, but installed no outlets on an expanse of 15+ feet of floor space -- at least now I can plug in two candlestick lamps on the sofa chest behind the sofa and see to read when I'm sitting on the sofa), and an assortment of this-n-that so . . . no computer time squeezed into the mix.     On top of all of that, it has been raining since Sunday morning.     It's that steady drizzle that creates a constant (monotonous) rattle down the drain-spouts, and keeps the skies a hazy shade of grey.     The forecasters are predicting the rain to continue until Wednesday.

Cold, wet and grey . . . this isn't conducive to high-energy productivity - yet, my to-do list looks more like Santa's naughty or nice scroll . . . it just keeps going, and going, and . . .

Does anyone one else feel like they're moving in    s-l-o-w    m-o-t-i-o-n    when Winter rolls around?

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Toys for Tots Ride 

This morning is the annual "Toys-for-Tots" ride through our local Harley chapter.     We've got our toys . . . I just hope we have the "constitution" for the 32-degree temps that are showing on the thermometer right now, along with all of the frost glistening off of the grass.     It's a great cause, and one we annually support.

Wish me WARM thoughts!!

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Missed Opportunity 

In the "be-careful-what-you-wish-for" department, all of my e-mail accounts are not working since early this morning.     You would think I would take this opportunity to wade through the bulging folders and read / sort / purge but, have I taken advantage of this golden opporunity?!?     Of course not!

Once the e-mail server is back in service, I'll probably have 200+ messages that download on top of what's already there.     Darn-It-All ... I should have been more resourceful!

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Explosion, Part Deux 

I mentioned my exploding e-mail box a few days ago.     I have to confess, my studio/office suffers the same fate, I fear.     I've managed to clear the center of the room (moving boxes have been unpacked, but there's still too much stuff and not enough storage).     There's containers, art supplies, paintings and prints to be hung, and an assortment of stuff lining areas around the perimeter of the room.     And, my new desk (which was to be a work area away from the computer hutch) is piled so high with "stuff" that I can't even remember what the top of it looks like.     I vaguely remember it was a nice piece of furniture, with a subtle distressed finish on the legs and apron, and the top is stained a really nice shade (I think!).

Of course, life has been extremely hectic - especially since the move in September - but it still doesn't explain or justify what can only be termed simple passive-aggressive behavior.     I need to just designate one day (or more) to work exclusively on setting up the studio for positive motivation of projects that need to be started.     Then, once the studio is in proper "working" order, I might be able to tackle that bulging e-mail box and read / sort / discard so that I have a handle on it as well.

P-r-o-c-r-a-s-t-i-n-a-t-i-o-n seems to also be my mantra when it comes to my studio.      And, the clutter is definitely NOT conducive to creative productivity!     Does anyone else become "paralyzed" by facing something that has been put off way too long?!?!?

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

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