Sunday, February 26, 2006
An out-of-town guest arrived Wednesday afternoon for a visit. The rest of my week was hectic, to say the least. It is amazing how your normal schedule gets so off-track when someone comes to stay. It isn't that I didn't enjoy her visit; I certainly did! But you find yourself doing different things when someone new enters the equation -- you eat out more often, you stay up later, you sleep in later, and so on ... We had a wonderful visit - catching up on things because we haven't seen each other in quite a while. Of course we keep in touch by telephone, but it isn't the same as being together. She suggested we try to plan to visit more often, alternating between my traveling to her house, and her traveling to mine. It sounds like a good idea, and something we're looking into.
For now, I have a lot of catching up to do around here . . .
This week's Unconscious Mutterings meme:
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
I handle a lot of the day-to-day affairs for our business, with the larger matters being directed to our C.P.A./Business Advisor. I pay all of the business expenses (sales tax, vendors, utilities, business credit cards, etc.), bill the outstanding fleet account invoices each month, and miscellaneous correspondence. One of the "correspondence" that is regularly sent is items known as "reminder mail cards."
Reminder mail are postcards that are generated from the computer system on a weekly basis that print information for all the customers who were in forty-five days (give or take) prior "reminding" them that their 3-month service is coming due. The computer prints out the date of their last service, and other pertinent information about their service, and also offers two discounts that they can use for their next service. The "fun" part comes when I get to process them for mailing ...
The postcards have to be separated, not only from each other, but from the tracker-feed strips on both edges. Each address has to be checked to make sure that it is a valid address and not just a partial or missing address (sometimes the greeter fails to get all of the customer's information when they initially enter them into the computer). Once all of that is done, they have to be posted through the postage meter.
If you want to talk about an exciting way to spend your day . . . this isn't it! But, what can you do? Not every aspect of every job can be exciting and glamorous, can it? There are often times when I'm facing a deadline on an article or column and I'm totally overcome with writer's block. Exciting, in a scary sort of way, but not very glamorous. Or, when I'm trudging through mud and muck just to find the 'perfect' photograph of some abandoned structure that someone told me existed just a small hike back into the woods, and I'm wondering if I will ever find it. Definitely not glamorous, but usually always worth it.
So, today may not be the day I get to don my Carrie Bradshaw or Annie Liebowitz personas and be the tres chic writer/photographer that defines my world, but ... I do get to slide over into the administrative role for our business and, while posting cards is a mundane task, it does generate a nice revenue on repeat business!
Time to get posting before my mail-lady arrives . . .
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
With the 2006 re-release of Hall & Oates Rock 'N Soul Part I, (RCA/Legacy), a new generation will have the opportunity to experience what so many of us already know: "blue-eyed soul" captured a definite segment of '70s & '80s music.
In September of 1983, Daryl Hall, John Oates, G. E. Smith, Tom (T-Bone) Wolk, Mickey Curry, and Charlie DeChant came together with producer/engineer Bob Clearmountain and assistant engineer Bruce Buchhalter on 8th Street, Greenwich Village, NYC to record two new tracks for the greatest hits compilation that would become Rock 'N Soul Part I. Included on Hall & Oates Rock 'N Soul Part I:
1. Say It Isn't So (Pop #2 / chart debut 10/29/83; R&B #45 / chart debut 11/12/83);
2. Sara Smile (Pop #4 / chart debut 01/31/76; R&B #23 / chart debut 04/03/76);
3. She's Gone (Pop #7 / chart debut 07/24/76; R&B #93 / chart debut 10/02/76);
4. Rich Girl (Pop #1 / chart debut 01/22/77; R&B #64 / chart debut 02/12/77);
5. Kiss On My List (Pop #1 / chart debut 01/24//81);
6. You Make My Dreams (Pop #5 / chart debut 05/02/81);
7. Private Eyes (Pop #1 / chart debut 06/29/81);
8. Adult Education (Pop #8 / chart debut 02/18/84; R&B #50 / chart debut 03/03/84);
9. I Can't Go For That (No Can Do) (Pop #1 / chart debut 11/14/81; R&B #1 / chart debut 11/28/81);
10. Maneater (Pop #1 / chart debut 10/16/82; R&B #78 / chart debut 11/20/82);
11. One On One (Pop #7 / chart debut 01/29/83; R&B #8 / chart debut 02/12/83);
12. Wait For Me (Live Version)
13. Family Man (BONUS TRACK - Pop #6 / chart debut 04/30/83; R&B #81 / chart debut 06/11/83)
14. You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling (BONUS TRACK - Pop #12 / chart debut 09/27/80)
For the re-release of these recordings (written in November 2005), Tom (T-Bone) Wolk provided impassioned recollections of the sessions from September 1983 when Daryl & John and the band assembled at Electric Ladyland Studio A to put together their greatest hits compilation with two new tracks. In one memorable recollection, T-Bone writes:
"Daryl had played one of the new songs for me, the one which was written on guitar, which he was playing more and more of in our shows ... it had a very cool chord structure that went from A maj 7th to C maj 7th and resolved in the chorus around D maj 7th ... a tremendous climax so when the chorus hit ... "say it isn't so ... it isn't sooooo" you really felt like you'd been on a wild major 7th ride ... a great "payoff" ... a very unique chord structure it floated along so easily ... something a little sideways about it, but still with that same recognizable Hall & Oates soul/pop "thang" that radio and fans alike seemed to be really digging."
T-Bone further related so many of the minute details surrounding the background of the songs and the enthusiam of the musicians as they meshed their talents to create together. In another segment, he recounts:
"In addition, digital sampling had come on the scene in 1984 and was put to the test on "Adult Education" ... It was decided that a "cheerleading" kind of girl group was needed for the chant "oh yeah, oh yeah" ... so off John and drum tech Anthony Aquiltao went to our favorite 8th St. pizza joint, the Be Bop Cafe, and a group of waitresses was brought in to party up the track ... they were then "sampled" into the "Fairlight" keyboard and manipulated and performed by Daryl one night after the track was complete ... The "uh" "uh" BV part in the second verse is actually Daryl playing the first syllable of the "oh yeah" on the Fairlight ... you could take a vocal part or guitar part, or ANY musical phrase and "play" it wherever in the song you wanted it, anywhere in the bar, across the bar, WHATEVER sounded great to you ... It was the beginning of a whole new approach to recording ... no longer were you restricted to what was performed to tape ... in FACT the entire BV outro for "Adult" was RE-constructed using this technique, a real revolution as it were and of course Daryl & John embraced it immediately."
T-Bone also said, "Looking back, it's obvious that the creative forces present at these sessions allowed Daryl & John to forge a new musical path, merging the technology of drum programming with the live performances of our band ..." They must be doing something right; they're still performing after all these years!
As a lifelong Hall & Oates fan, and an owner of the original releases of Rock 'N Soul Part I in several formats, this re-release brings back a flood of memories with each and every song. Although the songs had memorable lyrics and snappy tunes, they were never "bubblegum" in nature, but went straight to the heart and soul.
With the exception of the bonus tracks, Daryl Hall wrote every song, either solo, or with the help of John Oates, Sara Allen, Warren Pash, and/or Janna Allen. Daryl's words and music captured emotion in a way that has become timeless. The songs are just as relevant today as when they were written.
This week's Tuesday Twosome meme:
1. Do you have a collection of anything? If so, of what? Yes. I collect (a certain style/type of) Willow Tree Angels, antique wicker baskets, antique furniture, furnishings, and artwork.
2. What is your favourite book? How many times have you read it? This is very difficult to narrow down to just one. Perhaps if I try to narrow it down to a few, I can reduce some of the anxiety ... The Choirboys by Joseph Wambaugh which I have read at least 10 times, The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron which I have read at least 7 times, and Danse Macabre by Stephen King which I have read at least 5 times.
3. Do you usually prefer books or movies? Since my time is so limited these days, movies fit my schedule much better than books.
4. Do you tend to believe immediately what people tell you or are you cautious? I'm very cautious - sometimes to the extreme - but, not without prior history to dictate my actions.
5. Where do you get your news information (TV, newspaper, internet) and why? I'm not a news junkie, per se, because the majority of news is bad news. I scan the headlines on my homepage, stop by a news network once or twice a week, but I don't get so wrapped up in the world events that I get overwhelmed by everything. I encounter enough people in my day-to-day that I glean enough tid-bits of information by osmosis to keep me up-to-date on current events.
This week's Random 10 meme:
10 songs that sum up your weekend ... or were on your weekend playlist ... and one picture that relates back.
This week's Take Me Back Tuesday meme:
Name three songs with transportation related words in the title. Cab - Train; Running Out Of Days - 3 Doors Down; Fly - Nickleback
Name three artists with transportation related words in their name. Train; B52s; 30 Seconds To Mars
Name three albums with transportation related words in the title. Train - Train; Maybe You Should Drive - Barenaked Ladies; Superstar Car Wash - Goo Goo Dolls
Monday, February 20, 2006
This week's Monday's a Bitch meme:
1. Do you have a problem admitting you're wrong? I'll let you know if it ever happens ... *ha-ha* ... just kidding! Actually, I do have a bit of a problem admitting when I'm wrong.
2. Would you rather watch someone important to you walk out of your life or beg them to stay? It all depends ... if they were that important to me, I would do whatever I could to keep them in my life, but ... they would have to be very special for me to resort to begging.
3. Are you the kind of person who would rather try your best and fail, or not try for fear of failure? I try my very best at everything I do; even though, at times, fear of failure causes anxiety and hesitation. Still, I will give it my best try.
4. Have you ever expressed interest in someone high above your status, where your chances of being rejected were very high? Not to my knowledge. Although, I don't get tangled up in "labels" such as class/status, etc. I choose my friends and lovers, not by any preconceived notions or prejudices, but simply by whether I feel a connection to them or not.
5. If you made a contribution to a charity would you want credit, or would giving be enough? I contribute to several charities on a regular basis. I make no 'production' of my giving; I give to causes that are important to me. I do receive receipts that I can use for tax purposes, but that is not "claiming credit" as a way of drawing attention to my giving.
This week's Monday Music Mambo meme:
1. A song by a Beatle Photograph - Ringo Starr
2. A song featuring piano as the main instrument Piano Man - Billy Joel
3. A song with a woman's name in the title Janie's Got A Gun - Aerosmith
4. A song with a man's name in the title Mr. Jones - Counting Crows
5. A song about money Billion Dollar Babies - Alice Cooper
6. A song with weather in the title It's Raining Men - The Weather Girls
7. A song with parentheses in the title Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth) - George Harrison
8. A song made by a punk band Rock 'n' Roll High School - The Ramones
9. A song with the word "song" in the title Bird Song - Grateful Dead
10. A song you love so much you stop and listen whenever you hear it 1985 - Bowling for Soup
Sunday, February 19, 2006
This week's Unconscious Mutterings meme:
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose. You are a mystery novel dealing with theology, especially with catholic vs liberal issues. You search wisdom and knowledge endlessly, feeling that learning is essential in life.
Which literature classic are you?
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Seriously, I don't like to criticize. I could forgive this happening once as just an accident of not paying attention, but ... three times in less than a half-mile is beyond ridiculous!
Okay, I'm sure you're wondering what I'm ranting about. This morning, I had a few errands to run. I only had to drive less than ten miles from my house to accomplish everything I needed to do. As I was approaching my first stop, I was fifth in line back at a stoplight. I glanced in my rear-view mirror only to see a small pickup truck heading toward my back bumper (approx. 4-5 car lengths away) at a high rate of speed. The guy finally slammed on his brakes and had to veer off of the road onto the shoulder to keep from hitting me. As unsettling as that was, since he didn't hit me, I'll chalk it up to not paying attention -- "no harm, no foul."
But, at the very next light, he almost did the same exact thing. At least he stopped before he had to veer off of the road this time. Lucky for the people that were in the right-hand turn lane. I'm thinking ... if I can just make it to the next turn-olf, I can get away from this guy. No such luck. As I pull over into the turn lane, he pulls in behind me, and almost hits me again. I pull into the parking lot and park, and he pulls in to a space close by.
He literally had to pry himself out from behind his steering wheel because he was wedged into the seat. His belly didn't allow for much turning room for the steering wheel. I don't know how that affected the brake peddle, other than maybe his belly didn't let his legs reach the floorboard. After nearly hitting me three times, this overall clad, john-deere cap wearing yahooo gets out of his truck and gives me a dirty look. I started to ignore him, but ... as we all know ... that's not gonna happen!
I said, in my best Southern Belle voice, "Sir, do you have something to say to me?" He just mumbled and started to walk away. I called after him again, and said, "Sir, if you have something to say, I'd really like to hear it." By this time, a few other people had gotten out of their cars and were looking at him. I then said, "Sir, you're truly a danger on the road, and I really should report your erratic driving to the authorities." He muttered something under his breath and waddled away.
One of the men who was getting out of his car said that he had been behind us on the road and saw everything that had happened. He had already taken down the guy's tag number and called the police. A few minutes later, a patrol car arrived in the parking lot and the man who had made the call began talking to him. The officer also took my statement and said he was going to wait for the guy to exit the store and cite him for reckless driving. I decided that I would do my shopping somewhere else today.
It is raining here and, by all accounts, even slamming on his brakes, the guy coulda/woulda/shoulda hit me the way he was driving. I'm lucky that my car isn't an accordian now. After that first near-miss, you would have thought he would be more careful. Go Figure!
Friday, February 17, 2006
This week's Friday Feast meme:
Appetizer If you were a color, which color would you be, and why? Pumpkin, or some other deep, rich earthtone. Autumn is my favorite time of the year because I love the beautiful colors that Nature creates.
Soup When was the last time you went to the doctor, and what was your reason for going? Thursday, actually. I've been sick since November and my primary care physician was baffled. She finally referred me to an allergist, who I saw on Thursday. Three medications and two days later, I feel 95% better than I've felt in four months. I guess I am allergic to something after all. I go back in two weeks to begin the tests to see what it is.
Salad What do you collect? (a certain type of) Willow Tree Angels, antique and/or unusual wicker baskets, (certain types of) antique furniture and furnishings, artwork, old mirrors, and stained glass.
Main Course What were you like in high school? Name one thing you miss and one thing you don't miss about those days. (If you're still there, imagine how you'll remember it in the future.) Shy, artistic, smart. I don't miss anything!
Dessert Pretend you're standing in front of your home, with your back towards your home. Describe the view - what can you see? Trees? Cars? A zoo? Wal-Mart? I see a field of grass, and behind the field is a grove of trees - tall pines and other assorted trees - all approx. 25-30 feet tall or more. Vaguely, behind the trees, I can see the outline of a couple of houses -- no cars, no zoos and, luckily, no Wal-Mart.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
This week's 3x Thursday meme:
1. How much TV (movies not included) would you say you watch a week? What type of programs do you watch? Too much, honestly! Police dramas, forensics, a few sit-coms.
2. What are your favorite shows? Are there certain programs you just can't miss? L&O:SVU, L&O:CI, L&O, CSI, CSI:NY, Medium, Criminal Minds, NUMB3RS, NCIS, Without A Trace, My Name Is Earl. I never miss L&O:SVU & CI, CSI, Medium, and Criminal Minds.
3. Even if you're not a big TV watcher, are you taking the time to watch any Olympic coverage this week and next week? If so, which sports are you interested in watching? No, I'm not into them, especially since they are pre-empting several of my favorite shows on NBC and I'm reduced to a few L&O re-runs on USA.
Bonus Question for Comments: What's your movie watching like at home? Do you watch a lot of movies? Do you have a Netflix/Blockbuster type thing going? If so, do you like it? Why/why not? I watch quite a few movies. I do have a Blockbuster.com account. I like it very much, and receive my movies in a one day turn-around most of the time. I currently have over 200 movies in my queue.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
It's Wednesday once again, and that means another Wednesday Mind Hump courtesy of BlogdriveInsanity! This week's Hump has a Valentine's theme...
1. Valentine's Day - love it, like it, tolerate it or hate it?
I'm somewhere between like and tolerate, I think. Valentine's Day is just so commercialized. Most any other day of the week/month, you can purchase the same flowers/chocolates for 1/10th of what they charge you on V-Day, just because they know they can. Even though I'm 1/2 of a couple, it is just such a over-commercialized holiday -- greeting cards, florists, restaurants with 2-hour waits even with a reservation (that's the voice of experience talking!) -- it takes the warm-fuzzy feelings out of the day when big-business sticks all of their fingers into the pie. I did receive some nice gifts, though -- and not the usual V-Day sort. I'm calling today to schedule my hour-long, deep-tissue, full body massage (gift certificate).
2. Who or what is on your "love list" right now?
My s.o., my five cats, three dogs, my friends, my parents ... hopefully my new nutritionist/accupuncturist that I'm scheduled to see next week, my favorite Japanese restaurant in Chattanooga that I got to visit last week that I hadn't been to in over eight months, and the cool rice cooker I got for Christmas that makes perfect killer rice.
3. What does your own personal candy heart say?
4. Will you be my valentine next year? (asks rfduck the music-loving mememeister...)
Of course, I'd be honored ... one can never have too many valentines!
This week's Pretend Writer - Wednesday 3 meme:
1. If you were given the choice to receive $100 for yourself or donate $10,000 to a charity of your choice but the donation must be anonymous which would you choose and why? I would donate the $10,000 to a charity. An anonymous donation wouldn't be a problem. I would donate it to breast cancer research. My mother is an eight year survivor!
2. Is it Jam or Jelly? I guess I have to cop-out and go with the cheesy/obvious answer ... it must be jelly, cuz jam don't shake like that!
3. What is your unique talent? Harboring a giant "people-magnet" inside of me that makes total strangers walk up to me and tell me their whole life story from DNA-conception to what they had for breakfast that morning.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
To all of my blogosphere friends, and those who visit occasionally, I hope ya'll each have a very special ... magical ... memorable Valentine's Day!
Check out Make it a Valentine's to Remember Tips on how to plan the perfect Valentine's Day, including gift ideas, ideas on where to go, what to do, and how to do it.
Monday, February 13, 2006
"Every child is an artist.
As some of my more seasoned readers know, I am a Julia Cameron devotee, owning every book written by her. Each January, I renew with "The Artist's Way" 12-Week Journey. One of the suggested "exercises" for each week is "The Artist's Date":
This can be anything, as long as you do something fun and special for yourself. Some of the suggestions from the book, and from some of the organized workshops are: Take a long country walk, Take a solitary trip to the beach at sunrise or sunset. See a local jazz band (or any other genre, maybe one you've never tried before), Go to a local museum or attraction you usually feel is "just for tourists," that you haven't been to for a while, Find a piece of poetry, drag out the watercolors and "paint" the poem - letting the words pick the colors and shapes, Go to a nursery and look at plants, Walk through the woods, Get a movie you really want to see or go to the movies, Spend a complete morning (or evening) in a bookstore, Paint a wall a different color, Go to an out-of-your-price-range store and try on gorgeous clothing, Go to a thrift store and buy something funky, fun or something that's just a bit of a stretch for you -- wear it!, Get a blanket and lay down outside and count stars or try to spot constellations, Plant a butterfly garden (to attract butterflies), Birdwatch, Take a bike ride and go on a picnic, Hang out for a few hours in a neighboring town: visit the Salvation Army Store, walk down by the river, stop in at the library, and maybe visit a flea market, Wander through a picturesque part of town with your sketch pad and draw old houses or store fronts, or just Remember things that pleased you as a child and then do them again.
Yesterday, I had a chance to enjoy my own "Artist's Date", the first in a long while. I visited a local market/bazaar where I found a new pair of earrings - approx. 1" long x approx. 1/8" square 14K gold bars on wires, a page of 144 small stickers in different colors, sizes and fonts with all sorts of world traveling words (paradise, journey, exotic, expedition, voyage, etc.), a set of five metallic colored gel pens, a new bamboo plant - 3 separate plants woven in an intricate spiral pattern in a handmade pottery urn, a wooden boar's hair hairbrush, a fine-tooth/wide-tooth combo comb, 24-autumn-colored covered hairbands, a silk (olive, gray and purple paisley) scarf, and an oversized (black, crimson, navy, and cream paisley) wool scarf. It was a fun excursion, and I enjoyed collecting my 'treasures' to bring home.
I feel inspired to create . . .
Sunday, February 12, 2006
This week's Unconscious Mutterings meme:
Saturday, February 11, 2006
My laptop is back - YEAH! - faster and cleaner. I have so much work to catch up on that I still don't have time to visit all of my usual blog-haunts, and my mailbox is bulging with unread e-mails well of 500+ that accumulated in just a few days.
Speaking of mailboxes, there was an article in the AJC (Atlanta Journal Constitution) this morning about the U.S. Postal Service pushing forward (strongly) on a ten year directive that would make it -- not an option, but a mandatory requirement -- for all new subdivisions, regardless of price range, to install "cluster boxes" for mail delivery for the entire neighborhood to make it quicker and easier for the postal delivery person.
"Following the lead of other fast-growing parts of the country, Atlanta-area officials with the U.S. Postal Service want to eliminate curbside mail delivery for new homes in favor of "cluster boxes" -- those large stations where entire neighborhoods would go to collect their mail.
I feel as if I've more than paid my mailbox-penance by all the years I lived in apartments and had to schlep to some cluster box located nowhere near my apartment, usually not well-lit, no security, never large enough to hold more than two envelopes so magazines, etc. were always ripped and torn - and, now that I can afford to live in a nice home, in a nice neighborhood, with a nicely manicured lawn, and my own personal mailbox, if I ever move again, and buy into a new development, I may be subjected to cluster-boxes at the entrance to a neighborhood even if I'm purchasing a 1/4-1/2M house! Does that seem right? I know I'm only paying .39 per correspondence but, JEEZ-LOUISE, isn't it the postman/woman's job to deliver the mail? How much easier do they want us to make it for them? Next they'll want us all to come to the post office and pick up our mail.
I'm kinda bummin' over the Olympics - is that an unpatriotic comment to make? My reasons are a bit selfish, actually. For the next two weeks, I'll be missing out on a few of my favorite television shows which are being pre-empted by the seemingly 'round-the-clock coverage of the Olympics. L&O:CI, Medium, L&O:SVU, L&O, Four Kings, and My Name Is Earl won't be shown while people are skating, and skiing, and so forth. To get my "fix," I'm reduced to re-runs of L&O:CI and SVU on USA, and L&O on TNT, all of which I've seen numerous times before. But, with any addiction, you'll take whatever you can get.
A cool aside . . . in an attempt to occupy time while I was suffering D.T.s without my laptop, my s.o. and I visited a local music shop a few days ago. He was checking out a bass (he plays acoustic and electric guitar). While we were there, I bought some really cool hand-painted Maraccas with wooden handles, along with an egg shaker, and a pair of drumsticks. We have a friend that plays bongos, and I sometimes play maraccas or shakers with him and always use his - so, I bought my own. As for the drumsticks, I just wanted them. Maybe I'll move on from playing on all the furniture and furnishings and actually consider taking lessons on some 'real' drums. We have another friend that plays drums -- I mean, he really can play the drums! I'll never be playing like that, but ... I may get to the point where I can play more than just a backbeat (I've mastered that already). I've resigned myself to never mastering "WipeOut."
I guess that was the Week-That-Was ... albeit without some of the more colorful details ...
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
My desktop fell into a coma a couple of months ago, and I simply closed my office door and let it rest in peace until I could find the time to deliver it to the PC hospital for proper care. Lately, my laptop has been running so slowly, taking so long to even boot up, that it was really becoming annoying. I 'bit-the-bullet' and carried my laptop to the PC hospital on Tuesday morning. Talk about w-i-t-h-d-r-a-w-a-l! I'm seriously 'jones-en' here. I 'borrowed' my s.o.'s business laptop just to make this entry so I could have a quick internet fix. How sad is that?
I'm hoping they call soon to tell me I can pick up my laptop. I really should carry my desktop in for a complete check-up, too. Being in a house without any computers is like living in a cave ... *heavy-sigh*
I'll be back to visit everyone again as soon as I can ... until then, know that I miss you all ever-so-much ...
Monday, February 06, 2006
It is Monday morning and, practically everyone, is talking about the Super Bowl. I discovered -- much to my surprise -- yesterday morning that several friends planned to come to my house for a Super Bowl party. That was news to me . . . I guess that's what happens when you have a big screen, high-def television. It wasn't that big of a deal -- some snacks, some drinks, some sandwich fixins' -- an instant party.
But, I'm really not interested in jumping on the Super Bowl party bandwagon of news sites, bloggers, and most every other source around. Instead, I'd like to send you to a relatively-new friend of mine's blog to read a really cool post. My new friend, David, over at The Musings of David Amulet wrote a post today entitled: Fear Your Television, and you should really check it out! Totally spot-on insightful view of the effects that television can have on our perceptions, and even our actions. Be sure to tell David that I sent you . . .
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Whether you've ever worked in a restaurant for a day, a week, a month, or a year - or have ever eaten in a restaurant - there's something in this movie that will strike a chord with you.
The bulk of the movie centers on a single day at a restaurant called Shenaniganz (that has a somewhat striking resemblance to the Bennigan's Grill & Tavern chain). The central characters are Monty (Ryan Reynolds - The Amityville Horror, Van Wilder) and Dean (Justin Long - Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Galaxy Quest), two best friends who haven't really found a purpose and have settled in to waiting tables and partying every night after work with all their friends from work, along with anyone else who may show up.
Rounding out the restaurant staff is Serena (Anna Faris - Brokeback Mountain, Scary Movie series), Raddimus (Luis Guzmán - Punch Drunk Love, Traffic), Bishop (Chi McBride - Boston Public, Undercover Brother), Mitch (John Francis Daley - Boston Public, Freaks and Geeks), Amy (Kaitlin Doubleday - Catch Me If You Can), Calvin (Robert Patrick Benedict - Felicity, Not Another Teen Movie), Naomi (Alanna Ubach - Meet The Fockers, Legally Blonde), Natasha (Vanessa Lengies - American Dreams), and Dan (David Koechner - The Dukes of Hazzard, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy).
Monty is saddled with the task of training a new employee, Mitch. Monty takes the task to heart and gives Mitch the full tour of the restaurant, including the dumpsters and stock areas, and fills him in on all of the nuances of working at Shenaniganz, as opposed to just any other restaurant. You see, to work at Shenaniganz, you have to be willing to expose your genitalia. But, not just random exposure - there is a specific art and technique that must be applied. Monty turns Mitch over to Raddimus for the specific details of "The Game."
Bishop, the dishwasher, is the resident go-to amateur psychotherapist who seems to have a deep, philosophical answer for everyone's dilemma, even though it is delivered in a rather rough presentation. The message still manages to get the point across to everyone, with the exception of Naomi. Alanna Ubach's Naomi is one angry waitress. Nothing, absolutely nothing, pleases this girl.
Dean is dealing with some self-esteem issues after his mother tells him that a schoolmate, who was in all of the same accelerated honors classes with him in high school, has just graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering, while Dean is still plugging along four years later taking a class here and a class there, still in community college. Dean's girlfriend, Amy, is feeling a bit misunderstood as well since Dean is preoccupied with his own insecurities.
The movie had real potential, especially with the great ensemble cast and the Clerk-esque-type slacker script. The malice that flowed for rude customers, poor tippers, and the whole restaurant industry was translated well to the screen by writer/director Rob McKittrick, but he seemed to get side-tracked from a streamlined satire by tossing in too many subplots and gags. The movie started off rather slow, had some good moments tossed in the middle, but ended up lost in mediocrity by the end.
The 2-disc DVD Deluxe Edition contains plenty of special features including: The Works: All Access Interactive Video Commentary, Sending It Back: The Real Dish on Waiting Tables, "That Little Extra" Documentary, Expanded Telestrator Commentary, Deleted Scenes, Outtakes, Alternate Takes, and Trailers.
- Review written for and published by:
Saturday, February 04, 2006
Okay, confession time. One of my idols is Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. Cassandra Peterson's life story is a really amazing one - even without the Elvira persona tossed in. For everything you might want to know about Elvira, check out her official website.
For fun, here's some of Elvira's "Beauty Tips" from her "Dress for Excess" page:
Naturally, when you're as beautiful and glamorous as me, people are just dying to get your recipe for success ... but there's no need to go to such an extreme.
I think for a woman of fifty-five, she is absolutely great-looking (for any age), and that is just totally heterosexual envy! She's funny, and smart, and beautiful - she doesn't take herself seriously, and she just has fun with everything that she does. What a great gig if you can get it, huh?!?
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Having never lived in Georgia before, I had no idea it could be like this. Tennessee and Virginia (D.C.) were not like this at all.
Late last fall, we were hit with an almost $3K Ad Valorem tax on our house due 11/30/05. As soon as that was paid, we received not one, but two, Ad Valorem tax bills on our business -- one from the City and one from the County for almost $4K due on 01/31/06. Three days before the end of January, two more Ad Valorem tax bills arrived on our business -- one from the City and one from the County for over $2K due on 01/31/06, this time taxing the equipment located in the business. These second two bills had been sent to the previous owner who held them for two and a half months before sending them back to the City/County who, in turn, just stuck them in envelopes and mailed them on to us.
I phoned the City and County to say there was no way I could pay an additional $2K-plus on top of the $4K I had just paid, when I was not aware that there were any additional taxes due on the business. Both the City and County gave me a sixty-day extension. *heavy-sigh*
Yesterday, I went to the mailbox only to find another Ad Valorem tax bill -- this time for the Harley, which is due the end of March. Which means that two more will be arriving soon -- one for the Saab, and one for the Explorer.
Of course, that doesn't even include the monthly employee taxes that are always due, and the quarterly sales taxes that are always due, and the other business taxes that are due each month/quarter, and our personal taxes that will need to be filed before April 15th!
Should I begin to play the lottery and hope for the best? Or would that be asking for more trouble? If I hit the lottery, I'll end up being hit with more taxes on my winnings if I get lucky . . . it's probably best to just cut my loses and lay low . . . I know that the old saying goes like . . . "there's nothing for certain except death and taxes" but, this is getting a bit ridiculous! It has far exceeded the 'nickle-&-dime stage!! I'm broke! You can't get blood from a turnip. And every other $$$ cliche' that might fit . . . and, what is "ad valorem" anyway? I think is it Georgian for "bend-over-and-grab-your-ankles"
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
You know the sound of that machine that makes the steady, constant "phffffffffff" sound every ten seconds in an I.C.U. patient's room as it monitors breathing? The one that has the cylindrical, hydraulic-type mechanism that simulates the breathing pattern by it's rise and fall, emitting that exhaling "phffffffffff" sound on each cycle?
Do you know how disconcerting it is to be in that twilight stage -- where you're not quite fully awake yet, but you're not really still asleep -- and you hear that sound?
I heard that sound this morning. I couldn't quite wrap my head around that sound. Was I in a hospital, hooked up to all sorts of wires and monitors? What had happened? The sound was constant -- rhythmic -- steady -- metered. I was afraid to open my eyes.
As the fog of sleep lifted and I became more aware of my surroundings, I could finally recognize the sound for what it actually was. Although in a fully conscious state, it still sounds exactly like the hospital monitor, it was actually "Miss Dixie Leigh Belle" sleeping near the foot of the bed, in a deep sleep, but not actually snoring yet - just rhythmic doggie breathing.
Rising Sign is in 00 Degrees Aries
You are a free spirit and you must be first at everything you do. Very energetic, self-assertive and active, things must be done your way. Even though you may feel calm and serene on the inside, you certainly do not act that way. You want to do everything full-tilt, 100 miles per hour! A great competitor, but a poor cooperator -- you must learn how to lose more gracefully. Very self-confident, ambitious and passionate, you radiate positive energy. You are blunt and direct, but at times unfeeling and tactless, especially if anyone offers you any resistance. You fight for your beliefs, but your tendency to act first and think later often causes you much grief.
Sun is in 13 Degrees Scorpio.
Intense and complex by nature, you have extremely strong emotional reactions to most situations. Feelings are often very difficult for you to verbalize. Therefore you have a tendency to be very quiet - - to brood and think a lot. You seldom get overtly angry, but, when you do, you are furious and unforgiving. When you make an emotional commitment, it is total -- you are not attracted to superficial or casual relationships. If you are challenged, you take it as a personal affront and tend to lash out and fight back in a vengeful manner. You love mysteries and the supernatural. A good detective, you love getting to the roots of problems and you enjoy finding out what makes other people tick. You are known to be very willful, very powerful and quite tenacious!
Moon is in 04 Degrees Aquarius.
Very freedom-oriented, you must always be able to do what you wish, no matter what. You become stubborn and recalcitrant when others try to force you into a mold. You are a true democrat -- you are not a follower, but you enjoy being with those who are like-minded. You appreciate emotional self-control -- you practice it yourself and you look for it in others. You solve problems, including emotional ones, with your brains and intellect, not your feelings. Try to be tolerant of those who have powerful and obvious emotional responses -- not everyone is as objective, cool, dispassionate and detached as you are.
Mercury is in 06 Degrees Sagittarius.
Your mind is very curious and inquisitive, always seeking information on a wide variety of topics. The broader the subject matter (philosophy, science, religion, metaphysics), the more it will appeal to you. You prefer to deal with abstractions -- the small but important details associated with any subject tend to slip your grasp. You are known for being blunt, honest and truthful.
Venus is in 27 Degrees Virgo.
You express your love and affection through selfless service to people or causes. You have a tendency to underestimate yourself and doubt your self-worth. This is very demeaning and should be avoided -- learn to love yourself as well as you do others. Your standards of perfection are very high -- you are attracted to relationships based on duty and responsibility. You are supercritical of yourself and others and, at times, prefer to be alone rather than deal with any imperfections in yourself or in those with whom you might relate.
Mars is in 11 Degrees Scorpio.
Your likes and dislikes are strong and intense, never casual or superficial. You are known for your persistence and willful obsession. Once you have decided on a course of action, you are unstoppable. Your emotional actions tend to be extreme, although you try to keep them muted. You are not quick to anger, you do slow burns. And you tend to release your anger as sarcasm or irony. Beware of your tendency to hold grudges and to be vengeful. When you do fight, or release your internal tensions, you do so body and soul -- you become totally passionate and your outbursts are awesome to behold.
Jupiter is in 06 Degrees Sagittarius.
You have a very strong sense of ethics and morality. You are widely read and may also be widely traveled because you are sincerely interested in expanding your knowledge of the world about you. At times, you have an annoying tendency to be self-righteous and preachy about your belief system. You are usually quite idealistic and you demand the right to be able to explore the entire world of experiences yourself. Remember to grant others the similar right -- be tolerant, not dogmatic.
Saturn is in 03 Degrees Capricorn.
Very serious-minded and mature, you have the ability to take on responsibilities and to carry out important duties. You can also be trusted to be extremely practical and thrifty. A good organizer, you are the ideal one to be counted on to take a clearly defined project through to its logical conclusion. An achiever, you pride yourself on your ability to focus your attention totally on some worthy goal and then attain it.
Uranus is in 20 Degrees Leo.
You, and your peers as well, demand complete and total freedom of self- expression. You want to make your mark in the world according to your own lights and will brook no interference from traditional authority figures, especially if they attempt to mold or shape you in any way. You are honest and forthright, but a bit offbeat and eccentric. The lack of self-discipline may hinder you from reaching your goals as quickly as you would like.
Neptune is in 06 Degrees Scorpio.
You, and your entire generation, are extremely interested in anything deep and mysterious. You will explore and idealize the benefits that can accrue from the study of the occult, healing and psychology. You are willing to experiment with substances like drugs in order to push your understanding of your inner being to the extreme.
Pluto is in 05 Degrees Virgo.
For your entire generation, this will be a time when profound changes in society's attitude toward work, duty and responsibility will be initiated. Radical changes in attitudes toward personal health and general nutrition will be promulgated and gain wide acceptance and practice.
N. Node is in 03 Degrees Libra.
You find it very difficult to be comfortable being alone -- you would much prefer to be in an environment where many people are working together toward common goals. Your charming and sincere approach to others assures your popularity -- you have the gift of being able to ease tensions just by your mere presence. You're the perfect "team player" willing to sacrifice your own importance so that the group goal can be accomplished. Be careful, however, not to become overly dependent on your interactions with others -- you have personal private needs that should not be neglected.
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Susan Reno-Gilliland, known as "Miss Kitty," an Irish lass, a true Southern Belle; a writer, photographer, animal-lover, dreamer, stargazer, totally tangled (or is that entangled?) in relationships, slightly obsessive iNFp with stories to tell! . . . (fascinated by forensics, human behavior, pushing all the right buttons of men I find interesting, and seeking utterly-sweet revenge without any repercussions.) I am a Friday's Child. Friday's Child is loving & giving.
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