Tuesday, January 31, 2006
I just ordered this new trash can (click on the can to see the details). Sounds exciting, right? Yes, that was laced with sarcasm! Actually, my current round stainless can (1) has a bad habit of "eating" the bags; and (2) the mechanism that connects the foot pedal to the can lid recently broke. This new can is a bright, cheery color - rectangular instead of round - and has a 'bag-lock' to keep the bags from slipping into the can.
Speaking of "red," Style.com's choices for the 5 Great Red Lipsticks are:
Friday, February 3, 2006 is National Wear Red Day. "Go Red For Women is a nationwide movement to empower women to love -- and save -- their hearts through lifestyle choices and actions. By joining together with hundreds of other companies and organizations across America on National Wear Red Day, you’ll help the American Heart Association support the ongoing research and education about women and heart disease.
National Wear Red Day for Women, February 3, 2006, has its own dress code. On this day, you’re free to Go Red in your own fashion. Wear your favorite red clothes or accessory -- a red blouse, a red dress pin, red lipstick -- carry a fabulous red handbag or sport a red tie and red socks … and show some heart for heart disease prevention.
Too few people realize that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women -- and of men -- but the good news is that heart disease can largely be prevented. Spreading the Go Red For Women message -- Love your heart -- raises awareness of heart disease and empowers women to reduce their risk. And as you encourage everyone in your organization to wear red on Wear Red Day, you’ll be sharing with them the tools and information they need to protect themselves and their loved ones."
My everyday companion - my Franklin Planner - also happens to be red. I've never really been a 'red' person, but . . . a few splashes of red in your life can really spark things up a bit. Who knows?!? Maybe it's time to go in search of my own "Dorothy" shoes to make all of my wishes come true . . .
Saturday, January 28, 2006
This is never the sort of news you want to read:
The neighborhood that this man lives in is a very upscale neighborhood. The houses are all, on the average, in the upper-mid-range between a quarter and a half-million dollars. Landscapes yards, designer interiors, nice cars in three-car garages, angelic 2.5 children, designer dogs on designer leashes -- a perfect Stepford community at its best. Of course, not everyone in the neighborhood is a Stepford clone. I don't consider myself a Stepford clone. But, imagine the horror I felt when I found out that a neighbor who lives four doors down on the right, turn right at the stop sign, and two doors down on the left -- so, just six houses away from us, has been arrested for TEN counts of child molestation!
You can pay your $$$ H.O.A. dues every year, have semi-gated communities and strict covenants restricting activities within your communities, but no community is safe, regardless of the socio-economic demographic. Having worked for five and a half years in mental health administration, I saw a lot ... and one thing about predators, they are not restricted to any certain race, sex, financial position, age range, or any other sliding scale demographic you might use to try to profile them. Their predilection often stems from something deeper, darker, older, and is often just a repetitive pattern of abuse. I'm not saying that is an excuse -- no "get-out-of-jail-free" card by any means -- but something that family members, husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, etc., should try to find out about the people in their lives before they trust their children alone with someone. Try to discover if people around you are harboring any demons from their past.
The details on this man are still sketchy right now. I'm not one for neighborhood gossip, so I'll steer clear of hanging out over the back fence with the neighbors. I have some contacts at the police department so I may check in there to get the actual reasons for the charges brought. Either way, this will change things in this neighborhood for sure. This neighborhood is filled with children who ride bikes, and walk to school, and are always outside when the weather permits. I'm sure parents are going to be a lot more protective and concerned for their safety in the days ahead.
Friday, January 27, 2006
Good Friday Morning, Everyone! The sun is shining brightly here, even though it is a bit chilly when you step outside. I have an appointment a few towns over this morning at 11:00 a.m. that will take most of my afternoon, so I will be braving the cold weather - and enjoying the bright sunshine - along the way.
For those of you that this marks the end of your work-week ... T.G.I.F.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
I had an article published by Bad Girls Press in September of 2003 entitled"The Mysterious Mass-Transit Syndrome" as the BG-POV Column of the Month. It was definitely written from first-hand experience, and the problem has only gotten worse. To read a transcript of the article, you can find it here.
This happened again three times in the span of an hour Monday evening (no provocation, I was in rather a rush), and twice on Tuesday. I don't want to appear rude but, honestly, sometimes I just don't have the time -- or really don't want to hear -- the other person's stories, especially because -- (1) don't even know the person; (2) will never see the person again; and (3) will worry about the person's situation more deeply that I should. My life is already filled with my own problems, hectic schedules, issues, family and friends that sometimes step over reasonable boundaries, and so on. I shouldn't be expected to take on the "weight-of-the-world" as it were, in addition to the ordinary struggles that life already brings.
I wish I could approach life with a simplistic Pollyanna view -- slipping on rose-colored glasses and meeting the world with a smile, a wink, and a freshly baked pan of cookies. But, sadly, the world would gobble up Pollyanna and explode with a huge burp (or worse!) when it finished, and never think twice about the beauty and optimism that was just destroyed. I'd like to be an optimist, but I have to be a realist. That's a sad position to have to be in, isn't it? I never expected to become this jaded. But, I also never expected to see all of the things I've seen in my life either.
How do you -- my readers -- deal with situations such as this?
Monday, January 23, 2006
What an unbelievably-hectic week/weekend I just experienced! It's as if a locomotive left Monday, traveling over two hundred m/p/h, with no brakes, and crashed into Sunday evening without ever slowing down. After a jam-packed week of all sorts of stuff, Saturday, it was raining Persians & Poodles (just like today) and I had to drive to Woodstock for an Officers' Meeting that lasted from 10:00 a.m. until after 3:00 p.m. in a windowless conference room of a medical office building. Yesterday, after church, we met for a Mexican brunch with fifteen friends. Afterwards, I had to pop by the grocer for ingredients for two dishes I had to prepare to take to a meeting at 5:00 p.m. last evening. We didn't return from that until after 8:00 p.m.
I did receive a nice surprise on Saturday. My s.o. came home and said he had a 'prize' for me -- usually that means he's brought more reminder mail postcards for me to process, post and mail out for the business (not really that much of a treat). But, this time when he said to hold out my hands and close my eyes, it wasn't reminder mail cards that I got. It was an iPod! He had bought one for himself a couple of weeks ago to take to the gym when we are working out, and he had asked if I would like one. He said that he might get me one for Valentine's Day. But, he surprised me with it for Saturday, instead.
I am 'stuck-at-home' this Wednesday morning waiting on the security system service technician -- again. When he "repaired" the motion detector malfunction, he stated that the problem had merely been the batteries and he replaced them -- with a fee for the replacement batteries and a labor fee. Within a day and a half of the service call, the motion detector was, once again, causing the keypad alarm to beep, every ten seconds, with a message that read: "Check 18."
I telephoned the security company -- again -- and also filed a complaint because the evening of the service call, when my s.o. returned home, he came inside in a huff. He said, "XXXX was here today, right?" I said yes, why? And he said, "Because they used my ladder and didn't put it back. They left it in the middle of the garage and I couldn't pull my car in. They also left some wires exposed and hanging down the side of the wall." The guy never asked if he could use our ladder. Of course, it was okay, but he should have returned it to where he found it instead of leaving it standing in the middle of the garage. He also should have secured the wires instead of leaving them exposed.
This morning, I was on the telephone when, suddenly, for no reason, the keypad began that ten second beeping. Just as suddenly, the alarm seized my telephone line, disconnected my call, and attempted to call the alarm company and the police. I had no dial tone or telephone line for two minutes while the alarm had seized my telephone line. When I gained control over my telephone again, I called my security company -- again -- and added another complaint to my file. I may not be a security tech expert, but I really don't think it's just a low battery that is causing this much problem with the same motion detector. Especially since it has a brand new, five day old battery in it now.
I have a meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m. We're meeting in the reserved room at Ryan's for our Monday dinner H.O.G. Chapter meeting (every other month is at the Dealership on Saturday). As Activities Officer, I have a few events coming up in the next few months to discuss with members, and to try to find some volunteers to help out with our February social luncheon. We're planning a few overnighters this year, including Savannah and The Biltmore (again), as well as a lot of day trips.
Thursday I've been invited to a Pampered Chef party at Lisa's house. I haven't been to one in a couple of years and several friends will be there, so I'm sure I'll attend. I also have a real penchant for gadgets -- especially kitchen gadgets. Next Sunday afternoon, the group that usually meets at K.C. & LeeAnn's house won't have a place to meet because K.C. & LeeAnn will be in Indiana looking for assisted living housing for K.C.'s grandmother since they will be moving to IN by May for LeeAnn's new job. My s.o. "volunteered" our house to host the meeting while K.C. & LeeAnn are out of town. I guess I'll be entertaining approximately 8-10 people next Sunday afternoon/evening. I've got to come up with a good menu for that get-together some time this week.
Right now, listening and watching the rain, I could curl up and take a nap . . . all the cats already are -- I think they have the right idea . . .
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz . . .
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
The security system company service tech actually showed up today between 8-10 a.m. for the service call as scheduled. My motion sensor malfunctions seem to be corrected (hopefully) and, after more than a bit of grumbling on his part, I now have my second keypad in the third floor master bedroom. He kept trying to talk me into a handheld remote unit instead ($65 more than the keypad - over $200 just for the remote - and it isn't even hard-wired into the alarm or phone systems), saying he wasn't sure there was any way to 'snake' the wiring from the main alarm box in the basement all the way to the third floor. He went up into the attic and, evidently, figured out a way to 'fish' the wiring through the walls from the basement because he came back downstairs in about five minutes and said he had managed to 'work a miracle.'
And, completely off the subject, but . . . whatever happened to craftmen and pride of workmanship? Although a semi-rhetorical question, the reason I ask is because I have a beautiful circa 1870s tall hand-carved teak eight-day mantle clock that, due to six long-distance moves in twelve years, has started to lose time. It needs to be cleaned, repaired and slightly adjusted. I do not want to take it just 'anywhere' - especially to local jewelers who would have to ship it off somewhere, creating an event in that I might never see it again. I want to take it to a craftsman, who does all of the work on-site, and who takes time and patience with his craft. Do those type of people even exist anymore? This clock is a family heirloom. I'll stop winding it before I risk losing it, or let some amateur damage it in some way.
Now, for another tangent . . . I finished Seasons 1 and 2 of Homicide: Life On The Streets. I've already ordered Seasons 3 - 7. That, definitely, will take a huge chunk out of my wallet but, what-can-I-say, I'm addicted. There's a definite theme to my viewing habits. I was an obsessed Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue fan. I'm a L&O, L&O:SVU and L&O:CI addict. I'm a CSI and CSI:NY fan (I can't take Miami since Caruso is so hard to bear). The DVR also always records Criminal Minds, NUMB3RS, Without A Trace, NCIS, Medium, The Closer, Wanted, and even Monk. CourtTV, A&E, Discovery -- want to know what investigative shows, forensic re-enactments, and true crime documentaries are shown and when? Want to know when USA, Bravo and TNT show re-runs of L&O, L&O:SVU, and L&O:CI, or when SpikeTV shows re-runs of CSI at any given time, seven days a week? A duel DVR on one satellite receiver and a separate single DVR on another satellite receiver are great inventions. I'm also a huge fan of Dr. Michael Baden and have been for years, and I think the ultimate field trip would be to "The Body Farm."
Snagged from my friend RD:
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
I found this at my friend Grey Biker's blog . . .
Personality Cocktail From Go-Quiz.com
Remember how, in cartoons, the characters would begin running so fast that they would just be running in mid-air in the same place? Do you ever feel like that? I do, alot of the time.
Today, for example . . .
I considered scanning in today's page from my Franklin Planner to post here but, with all the swiggles, and additions, lines, arrows, adds-ons, etc., it would have given you a headache just looking at it. It's certainly giving me one just thinking about it. Here's just a sampling of what my calendar looks like for today:
And, this is barely the tip-of-the-iceberg when it comes to my planner, or my day, or my week, or my life . . . The rest of the page (both pages) are covered and I have another additional page inserted in case I need to make notes during the day (which, I'm sure, I will).
I remember a few years ago when we were still living in D.C., my Planner was stolen from my car just a few days after New Year's. I had just transferred all of my information over to the new calendar with all of my important dates for the entire year planned out and noted, all of my scheduled meetings for the first three months of the new year were marked, there were photographs and diskettes and all sorts of irreplaceable items in that Planner -- it contained my whole life -- and, in an instant -- it was gone! I felt so violated, so vulnerable, so helpless . . .
To be honest, I never really recovered from that robbery. I mean, there were other things stolen from my car that day -- a case of CDs and a few other things, and I had to get the windows repaired, but . . . the other things didn't really matter as much as losing that Planner did. I even offered a reward for the return - no questioned asked - which ran in the Washington Post for a week. No takers . . .
It's amazing how you can condense your life into something as compact as a leather binder. Lose it, and you feel as if you've lost control of it all . . .
Time to get started . . .
Monday, January 16, 2006
My friend Windfall Woman had this on her blog and, you know me? I had to give it a go . . .
Saturday, January 14, 2006
One of the items on my Christmas List was the first two seasons of Homicide: Life on the Street, which I did receive. I woke up this morning with a horrible sore throat and just aching all over. It is bitterly-cold outside and the winds are fierce. It seemed the perfect day to veg on the sofa with fluffy pillows, fuzzy blankets, juice, the DVD remote and the first DVD in the four-disc boxed set.
I admit, I'm a huge Richard Belzer fan. I also asked for some of "The Belz'" other 'works' for Christmas, too. I've been wanting to read his book discussing his thoughts on conspiracy theories (which he further asserts at every opportunity in his role as Detective Munch on L&O:SVU, a continuation of his character from Homicide) -- UFOs, JFK, and Elvis: Conspiracies You Don't Have to Be Crazy to Believe.
I also wanted to hear his audio CD entitled (appropriately enough) Another Lone Nut with cover art that definitely perpetuates his conspiracy theories even further. I also received both of those.
I've started reading the book and I can say, he has some definite thoughts on his subject matter! I've always been a fan of his stand-up, then his acting and, I admit, I have my own strong opinions on certain conspiracy theories myself, and his writing (and logic) feeds into some of my own thoughts and beliefs. The book may be a little 'out-there' for some, but ... if you're open-minded and have an interest in considering alternatives to following blindly, it may be something you want to pick up and read.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
You may not know this, but . . . you should ALWAYS leave at least a nightlight on wherever you keep your laundry hamper b-e-c-a-u-s-e dirty clothes multiply in the dark! I'm serious! If you leave dirty clothes alone in the dark, they will multiply!
Heaven forbid your nightlight burns out in the middle of the night (or, perhaps, those pesky socks crawled over and tampered with the bulb). Either way, the half empty hamper that was there last night is now overflowing this morning. I could not understand how two adults could possibly generate the amount of laundry that seemed to accumulate weekly in this house. Not until I discovered the dirty little secret that goes on in laundry hampers all across the country . . . whenever those clothes are exposed to light after midnight, they multiply like little rabbits! They will even go so far as to crawl into the closet and drag perfectly clean clothes off the hangers to join them in their debauchery.
So, now that you know, join the fight . . . keep a light shining on your hamper at all times to save yourself for needless extra work. You don't have to be a slave to the hamper anymore!
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Okay. Enough is enough! We've been having some malfunctions with one of our motion sensors on our security system for a few months now. Not all the time, not every day, but enough to be annoying. We don't have motion detectors on the main and upper levels because of the animals, but I did have them installed on the lower level in my s.o.'s workshop because of the large amount of woodworking tools and equipment that he has totalling in the thousands of dollars. The workshop would be a goldmine for someone to make a hefty haul. So, I had all of the windows wired, and motion detectors installed in the space, since it is on the first floor and our bedroom is on the third floor.
We had our keypad installed on the first level at the garage entrance, thinking that would be the best place to locate it. We have key fobs that we can use to remotely set or disarm the alarm as well. After the fact, it became evident that we needed a second keypad on the third floor in our bedroom. I originally made an appointment last year to have one installed, but the installer kept rescheduling the appointment at (practically) the last minute three different times (and this is a very reputable company). I became so frustrated by it all that I canceled the installation at that time.
Now that we are having the problem with the motion detector, I've had to place a service call to have that repaired, so I added in the installation of the keypad with my repair order again. Considering that at 1:00 a.m. this morning I was jolted awake by a beep from the keypad set off by the malfunctioning motion detector, that kept beeping every 10 seconds, over and over, that was the last straw for me. It's worse than when your smoke detector has a low battery. Just an obnoxiously-annoying beep!
Of course, the earliest they can come out isn't until the 18th. And, they gave me a time "range," which means they can show up any time during that time range and I have to sit here most of the day and just wait. If it means that I can get the malfunction on the motion detector corrected, and get the second keypad installed, I don't mind waiting. I just don't want to be canceled at the last minute like I was before (which I'm sure was because the technicians didn't want to drive to our location - we are really in an overlap area of two of the company's coverage areas and the service center that gets our repair orders doesn't want to make the calls). I guess it will be a 'wait-and-see' kinda thing again.
Monday, January 09, 2006
I became an instant fan of The Closer from the very first episode. Kyra Sedgwick's Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson is an amazing character who steps on a lot of toes, but always manages to close her cases. The new season doesn't begin until the Summer, but TNT is re-airing the first season again. Tomorrow night (10:00 p.m. EST) is the third episode. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out. If you watched it before, why not catch it again?
Saturday, January 07, 2006
What has happened to the week? New Year's Eve was spent (relatively-quietly) with friends. New Year's Day was spent on an annual Harley ride and late lunch with our Chapter. Monday was a bit hectic and necessitated DVR'ing the Alabama - Texas Tech Cotton Bowl game for viewing that evening. Tuesday was a mountain-of-laundry day, along with catching up on my studio work, and our business paperwork that had accumulated over the holidays. Wednesday, I had an appointment with a new hair stylist - who actually did a good job and will be getting my business again. After my appointment, I had to drive down to Kennesaw to return a couple of Christmas gifts, so I took the opportunity to have lunch at one of my favorite places - Rafferty's - where I always get the "Sunshine Chicken Salad."
After lunch, I stopped by Belk to pick up a few new Clinique items, and stopped by the optician to see if they could use my Nike sunglasses (frames) to make a pair of prescription sunglasses. I recently had to get glasses again, after twelve years without wearing glasses or contacts (I had RK surgery), and the sun is a real problem. I have a super-nice pair of Nike wrap-around sunglasses that I bought almost two years ago in D.C. that were $200.00 that fit very well and really block the sun on the sides, so I wanted to use the frames if I could. They checked my prescription and said it shouldn't be any problem, and I should be able to pick them up in a few days.
Thursday was really hectic. My s.o. took the day off and we went to the gym to work out, then out for a late brunch, did a little shopping, back to the house for a few chores, and then out for an early dinner at the local Mexican Cantina. Friday, I had to process 500+ reminder mail postcards for accuracy and post them through the postage meter for today's mail (before postage rates increase tomorrow), and I had to process all of December's fleet account billings to be mailed today as well (all for our business).
I wish I could take the day to catch-my-breath, but . . . that isn't going to happen. I want to go to the gym to work out. I have a couple of errands that must be done today. My nails are a wreck, so I need to get a manicure a.s.a.p. The grocer is definitely on my route, as well as the pet store (cat food, dog food, and kitty litter top the list). I feel as if I'm stuck in second gear, the engine is whining and the clutch won't shift. I know what burn-out feels like -- I've been there before in the corporate world . . . but, I didn't think I could hit it again in this situation. Why do I feel like I want to run away from home? I'm not six years old any more . . . I think the perfect word to describe what I feeling is . . .
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Each January for the last several years I have 'done' "The Artist's Way." This year, instead of reading the book, I'm going to listen to the CD. I'm hoping this will be a more productive way to work through the twelve-week program.
I'm a huge Julia Cameron fan. I also sent "The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity," "The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life," and "The Sound of Paper: Starting from Scratch" to my friend Vic for Christmas. I think Julia Cameron's works are inspirational to any creative person.
I'm also awaiting the arrival of this CD. It contains guided meditations to reprogram the subconscious mind to release deeply held fears and anxieties I have some "baggage" from years ago that I'm still "pushing-down" and trying not to deal with. I'm hoping this CD will help with some of that "baggage." I've always said, "I may have baggage, but it is design bags." *ha-ha*
As a truly "right-brained" person, I'm always looking for ways and tools to help me think outside the box. I think these are perfect for that endeavor.
Sunday, January 01, 2006
. . . to start the New Year!
Our local H.O.G. Chapter had planned a New Year's Day afternoon ride, if the weather cooperated, and even though the forecast was calling for thunderstorms later in the afternoon/evening, fourteen bikes and twenty-three bikers met to ride through the countryside and end at Johnny Carino's Italian Restaurant a couple of towns over. Granted, the temps were a little brisk, but the skies were bright and blue when we were heading out. That's what layers are all about.
I started out with my whisper-pink silk, spun cotton and lace two-piece long johns, jeans and a camel cashmere turtleneck sweater, leathers (chaps and an old-school bomber H-D jacket in black, orange and tan), black cashmere scarf, glove liners, leather gloves, 1/2 face black ninja mask, black wool socks, and high-top black H-D riding boots. It was still a little chilly during the ride - just around my face - but, it was still a great ride . . . the perfect way to begin the New Year . . . on the back of a Harley!
We arrived at the restaurant and were given our own private room. After our late lunch, we looked outside and noticed that the storm clouds were rolling in -- fast. Everyone, instead of riding back as a group, made decisions to trek off on their own quickest paths to their houses, trying to beat the threatening rains. We made it home without getting wet -- barely.
I've never been one to partake of the "traditional" New Year's Day fare. I don't know if that has helped or hurt my chances of good luck but, I can't bear the thought of eating black-eyed peas, hog jowl, collard greens and such. I may be a true Southern Belle, but that type of food just doesn't appeal to me. My lunch was Penne Alfredo and a house salad with vinaigrette. Perhaps this will give me good luck for traveling to Tuscany or Wine Country this year???
I hope everyone else had a WONDERFUL New Year's Eve Celebration and a TERRIFIC New Year's Day filled with joyous expectations for the new year ahead!
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