Thursday, July 31, 2008
I don't get it. Can someone explain to me why the contestants don't listen to Tim Gunn? Seriously. Every time he gives constructive criticism, the contestants that listen do well on the runway and the ones that don't, well, they're auf...
Was it a surprise with last night's results? I think not. However, I commend contestants that want to stay true to their art and ignore the advice. It's too bad that they don't take the advice, win and then be true to their art.
Oh well, some are late learners.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Yesterday my sister came into town and we got to spend some time together. As we were in her car, we discussed the purchase of her next car. She's torn between several options, one of which is a Volvo. For safety reasons this is a practical choice. However, as we were discussing the virtues of the Volvo we digressed and talked about the cars our dad would purchase when we were in high school.
My dad commuted into NYC and needed a commuter car for the train station. However, if we dropped him off early mornings and picked him up in the evenings, we had access to the car. It was great because alot of my friends had to take the bus to school and I had a car which opened the door for endless freedom. No standing on the corner waiting for the school bus in the freezing weather and I could go places after school without having to rely on a parent to shuttle me around. My sister and I never had an issue about sharing the commuter car because she is 4 years older than me and was in college when I was driving.
The cars that my dad chose were HORRIBLE. If he paid more than $400 for them, he would have overpaid for them. During the years that my sister used the commuter car in high school, she drove this old Toyota. I think a Corolla or Tercel, but am not positive. I am fuzzy on the particulars, but remember it was white with a lot of rust and it backfired all the time. One late night as my sister was driving home from visiting her boyfriend during summer break from college, she was pulled over by a police officer. It wasn't for speeding. No. It was for the shots she was supposedly firing from the car with her gun. Apparently, when she was leaving her boyfriend's house late that evening, the car backfired when she started it up. The neighbors thought it was a gun being fired and called the cops. She was pulled over at 2:00 a.m., wearing shorts and tank top (if memory serves me, but definitely wearing clothing that could not conceal a gun). Two things I remember about that night are that 1) it took her some time to convince the police officers that she hadn't a gun and explain why she was in that neighborhood at 2:00 a.m.;and 2) her chewing out my dad for the sheer embarrassment of being pulled over by the cops.
Shortly after this incident, my dad purchased the commuter car that I got to drive around. A puke brown, Capri. My sister reminded me last night how much she hated the car, but I kind of have fond memories of the car. It was an incredibly low riding vehicle and maybe I thought that was cool. Heck, I was 16, what did I know. Believe it or not, that car was less safe than the crappy back-firing Toyota. This one caught on fire....while I was the driver.... However, that isn't the best part of the story. The best part is that I was driving to a friend's house when the car began to smoke and I pulled over in front of the local pizza place. I got out of the car, noticed a trail of flames following the car and went into the pizza place with the intent of trying to put out the fire. I had the best intentions, but all I could mutter was "Excuse me, could I please have a glass of water. My car is on fire." My sister still laughs at this, but kudos to me for having manners. I said excuse me (I believe I may have been interrupting a conversation) and said "please". Needless to say, a glass of water wasn't the solution, however, it was a start. The fire department was able to put the fire out before it exploded from the gas line fire. The entire engine burnt in the fire and my dad's response to when I informed him that the car was dead was "I told you to bring the car down for a new muffler -- this never would have happened if you had done that". He was finally convinced that it wasn't my fault only after talking with the fire department and learning it was a gas line fire. He also had a delusion of saving the car until he saw the melted engine.
It was after this incident that my mother finally intervened and the "commuter" cars became safe Subarus. Twenty-five years later and my dad still drives a Subaru.
Personally, I'm hoping that our car drive discussion last night convinces my sister to play it safe and get the Volvo.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Critters is the perfect title for today's blog as I've been intimate with several in the past few days. Since "critter" means creature (according to the dictionary), assume I mean all types.
First, I should state that I live in a surburb with a 1/3 acre of land. This is not what you would consider enough land for a farm, but for some reason, my neighbors did not get the message. On both sides of the house, each neighbor own chickens (one 15, the other not so sure of). However, it doesn't stop there....one has three dogs; the other I believe runs some sort of kennel. The kennel people also own a rooster and a single goose. Why just one? That question has been puzzling me for some time. I could be mistaken; but not in this case. Geese do not provide a source of milk nor do they lay golden eggs as the fairy tale would have you to believe.
In addition to my neighbors' pets (I say pets because one of the chicken's name is Bump), I have rabbits that mate and give birth in my yard every Spring, a neighboring cat that thinks it owns my yard, sometimes wood mallards that reproduce every Springtime and an occasional fox that passes through. It has been a number of years since the deer made an appearance and last Saturday night, a beautiful doe was in my yard. I was so excited until dinner. My fiance and I were discussing the doe as I was looking out the front window at my Casablanca lillies. If anyone knows anything about deer, they know that the lillies are not long for the world. At this point, it is 8:30 and I am now remembering when I first planted the lillies. For the first three years, the lillies would bloom and I would think, they'll be perfect to pick tomorrow. I'd wake up the next day and "poof" gone. Dang deer....
My fiance reminded me that we did not scare the doe away and it would be back. This is when I remembered I had some Irish Spring and needless to say, I was tossing grated IS on the lillies at some later time that evening (yeah, a little wine was involved) ..... The IS worked and I still have beautiful lillies.
However, my critter stories don't end there. Last night, or should I say early this a.m., 4:00 a.m. to be exact, I am awakened to the smell of a skunk. I swear I thought the stupid creature was in my room. The smell was horrible. I got up, investigated the house and realized that the smell was limited to my bedroom and the back bath. I was a bit shocked as I remembered growing up by the water and having a lot of skunk show up late at night in the yard. Seriously, I thought that skunks hung out by the water. When did they migrate???? I guess the real question remains; what the heck set the skunk off? The deer or the neighbor's chickens? My money is on the chickens.
Thank heavens for sugar cookie scented candles... it took the smell right out.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I finally got around to picking out the wedding invitations.....I should back up. Several months ago, I started my search with my friend who is a web designer (important fact) for the perfect invitation. Typically, I get the ol' "deer-in-the-headlight" look when I shop too long for certain items...ah, heck, it's most any shopping. However, I tend to get this look quickly with paint, fabric and wedding invitations. I didn't quite see what my friend would see when browsing the catalogs and looking through all the samples I sent away for. She focused on texture, font and ink color. The best you could get from me was nice, doable or not-on-your-life. When my head started spinning, I stopped my hunt and put it at the bottom of my to-do list for the wedding.
Having registered on The Knot, I received dozens of emails and catalogs on every possible item that a bride and groom need for their special day. Personally, I'm not a big fan of the favors, but that's just me (plus I had them at first wedding and they weren't as important as I was told they would be), nor am I a fan of the printed napkin. I know, I know, everyone has these, but think about it. Do you really want your name smeared across someone's face that just ate sushi??? I have yet to save or notice the beautiful personalization of the napkins that I've used at other weddings. I'm usually trying to just find one because there never seems to be enough.
Okay, I digressed enough....back to original topic...wedding invites. Tuesday is the day that I realized I needed to order some (I later discovered in the invitation books that I should have ordered them 4 months prior to the wedding - oops!) I was prepared for my trip. I found the one I wanted in a catalog and was going to order that one. It was very fluffy and pretty, heck, it was Laura Ashley; how could it not be fluffy! It was the type of invite that would make people look twice to ensure that I sent it. I really did think it pretty, but forgot to bring it to the store. The sales lady was nice, she helped me find a similar one based upon my description (floral cardstock that is overlayed with vellum paper which had the wedding details printed in black ink, traditional font and at the top of the invite a bow). We both looked through about a dozen books and I was so surprised that I ended up with the following:
- olive cardstock
- mocha ink
- some fancy font, but more modern
- emblem for top of invite and for envelopes of 2 leaves
I was surprised at how very close it was to my original choice - NOT. Although, as I was driving home, all I could think was "olive cardstock, mocha ink", huh......
Well, if I'm throwing wind to abandoning the traditional monogrammed paper napkin, why not toss wind to the normal color for the wedding invite. Who knows, maybe I'll be a trendsetter.
OMG!.... kk from will work for shoes bestowed the Brillante Award upon my little blog.
It is now my turn to pass it on. I read various blogs and am passing it on to other blogs that always seems to make me LOL.....they are....
My Friends Are Sluts
I was told there would be bacon.
Caught Eating Butter
Dating at Forty
Thanks again kk!
Friday, July 18, 2008
Have you ever come across the individual that takes your situation and makes it about them? I think everyone has at some point in their life. We also may be guilty of doing it ourselves to others, but that's not the topic of this blog for today..... Today's blog is about dealing with people that turn every situation into them? How do you get them to focus on you and recognize that everything is not about them?
My sister and I were discussing this recently. It appears that are many people who assume this position and it can be frustrating if on the receiving end. After awhile, you either became extremely upset with the individual; ignore them; or can handle the situation by playing this game.
I called my sister up and threw out the following scenario that she had to turn around into her issue:
"I've been unemployed for two months and the market is pretty dry for what I'm looking for. One of the companies I'm interested in, will not be looking at candidates until July as the hiring manager is out of town".
Her response should have been:
"I'm on a horrible project and I don't see an end in site. Be thankful you're unemployed and not in my shoes. You can enjoy your summer."
Unfortunately, my sister, a newbie in the game, was empathetic in her response. I think she was afraid of making me upset because I am frustrated with my job search. However, I wouldn't have said anything that would easily upset me while playing the game.
I have to admit, when playing this game on purpose, it is pretty funny. It makes you go against your human nature because it forces you to only think of your self, and sometimes, it is hard to step inside that role. My sister tried several times to be self-absorbed, but really couldn't.
We'll continue to play the game because it helps us to deal with frustrating people, but also because it makes us laugh.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Over the years, I've been fascinated with people that find the Three Stooges funny. I just don't get it. I never will. However, I started to discover that the people that liked the Stooges were men. It was at this point that I started asking people the question "Stooges or Monty Python - which do you find funnier?"
It turned out that 99% of the men I polled were 3 Stooges fans and the women were Monty Python fans.
It has been years since I've asked anyone that question and wonder if the results would be the same.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I have to admit, since I've been dating my fiance, my tv viewing habits have expanded. For instance, it isn't enough to read headlines on the Internet, but I apparently should watch as much news that is broadcasted on tv (if timed properly could be up to 2 hours). Why? I haven't a clue. I usually get up and leave because it reminds me of the yule log loop on tv at Christmas time and the stories repeat over and over several times during this time. It literally drives me nuts.
However, shows that I may have never thought to watch, I now watch and some I really enjoy. Dirty Jobs is one such show.
I love the fact that the host has a great sense of humor and that they don't hold back too much on their comments or reactions to a particular job that he is attempting to do. For instance, while working on a cod processing boat they film him puking several times. It turns out that he did this for the first 2 days of the trip. He also whines and doesn't hide the look of terror on his face when he believes he might lose a body part. At no point through his show do I wish I could be where he is, or envy his job of being on camera. I think he vocalizes what I would say if I were crazy enough to do the job.
One other facet of Dirty Jobs that I love is, that it helps me determine which jobs I will never apply for in my weak moments of job hunting. Thank you Mike Rowe for assisting me in narrowing down my job search.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Sometime last fall, I joined LinkedIn, the online community, reconnecting you to previous co-workers. As a member of the start-up whore era, I worked for several tech companies which no longer exist and thought what a great way to reconnect.
The other day, someone who I hadn't talked with in years, or even thought about, invited me to be in his network. He's a nice person, but I don't think I would have ever connected otherwise. Our paths don't cross. However, this one invite made me reflect on my previous co-workers. Some I would never want to hear from, and others, it would be great to catch up with them. While reflecting, I remembered one particular co-worker, my co-worker who was a clown.
Yes. I said a clown. In her spare time, she performed as a clown and believe that she went to official clown school. I know that she went to the clown convention. As juvenile as this sounds, even writing that my co-worker was a part-time clown makes me giggle for some strange reason. What I best remember about my co-worker the clown is that she wasn't a very happy person. She shattered my illusions of what a clown was like. She was a glass half-empty person and a borderline conspiracy theory person. At times she thought the world was out to get her and although that was sad, it made me laugh because it was far from the truth. So, I guess in the end, she made me laugh and was a successful clown.
p.s. I'm very happy to report she never showed up in full garb - that would be just creepy.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Right by my house, every Thursday, a parking lot of a local playhouse is converted into a farmer's market. I've never been, but thought what a beautiful day and wanted some fresh veggies and herbs for dinner tonight.
I love the concept of the farmer's market. Love organic and love the fact that any purchase from the local farmers keeps their business alive. However, I forgotten what type of clientele visit the farmer's market.
I live in an area where people believe that they are entitled or privileged because of their zip code. However, entitlement does not always equal manners. Don't ever confuse that. In some cases, I've come across people that believed they were above manners because of their position. Tsk to them. On the other hand, I find these people to be amusing. Today's visit to the farmer's market did not disappoint.
As I was standing in line to pay (mind you, the line was only 2 people deep), this lady cuts in front of me. I notice, not saying anything because a) it is a gorgeous day; b) I don't have any time issues; and c) I figure she must be in a hurry. Several minutes go by and she turns to me and asks if she had cut in front of me. I said yes, but that was okay and that I wasn't in a hurry and fine where I was. Instead of saying thank you, she tells me that she didn't know I was in line and it looked as though I was still looking around. I laughed to myself as I had not moved and was holding my produce for purchase. Basically, she was trying to justify her actions instead of admitting that she has bad manners. It ended up that we were helped at the same time, but I overheard her tell the person from the farm that she bought this one green leaf veggie (it was only one stem of the bunch) because of its color and wondered if they could cook it up for her. She further explained that she NEVER cooks and always picks up prepared food from where ever she is. I really think that she believed that if she explained this to the people in the booth, with conviction in her voice, they would magically change their mind and cook it for her.
I scored some great veggies and herbs and even gooseberries (which I've never had) and am looking forward to trying.
french lesson: I'm happy to report my sister is back on track with her french lesson and has learned the word for condom. Apparently, she is learning the items you can find in a drugstore while in France and has learned how to say cough drops (toux sera en baisse) and condom (préservatif ). She must be learning the words in some alphabetical order, as she didn't mention learning the french word for Viagra.
Now, as my sister is lying on some comfortable sofa on the back of a large truck in France, I feel safe knowing she is fully prepared because she can stock up on condoms at the local drugstore (just in case she gets lucky in the back of the large truck).
Monday, July 7, 2008
I am wondering if it is just me, or have I've been out in the suburbs too long. Not sure how it came up, but this is one conversation that stopped me in my tracks at a party this weekend.
One of the guys at the party was telling us that his co-worker was paid $3,000 not to shower for a week. $3,000 not to shower for one week, being unemployed, this caught my attention. However, there was more to the story. Apparently, the co-worker had to work out daily, not shower and then the guy paying him wanted to just sniff him at the end of the week. Yes. I said sniff him. The payer was going to rent a hotel room and was allowed to sniff him for 1 whole hour. Nothing else. I was left speechless once I learned that the man wanted to rent a room and just sniff him. Is there anywhere you can go with that conversation after hearing that? I think not. However, it did fascinate me to learn what $3,000 buys you ---- ode to sweat; or just ode to weirdness...
Friday, July 4, 2008
Happy 4th to anyone reading....I hope that you have great plans for the day. A little dreary today, but planning to have b-bque and fiance hoping it doesn't rain so he can light off fireworks. If anyone saw the movie, Along Came Polly, you'd understand the visual I have in mind about fireworks (the children's book that Polly creates with the boy missing the hand)....
Today, my friend is coming over and she has volunteered to make cupcakes for my wedding in October. I chose to go with the cupcake concept, not because I'm hip and trendy, but because I'm a white cake girl and the fiance is a chocolate cake eater. I thought cupcakes would make us both happy. Over the past few months, my friend has taken cupcake decorating classes in NYC and asked my opinion on what I want. I have to admit, I haven't been the most helpful in that department. I think I figured that I had a lot of time. Well, like my wedding dress last month, I think I need to focus on the cupcakes now so she can practice.
I've come across the following http://www.cakes4fun.co.uk/weddings/towers.php, but am looking for other suggestions. I don't want them all to look the same, but am at a loss. If anyone has some suggestions, please comment.
p.s. Apparently my sister learned the phrase "they have a comfortable sofa". Although this isn't a great phrase, I feel a bit more comfortable that she'll have a place to crash if a large truck is driving past her with a sofa in it. She can flag down the truck and make her proclamation about the sofa. The truck driver will be so impressed with her french that he'll let her sleep in the back of his truck on the sofa. Now if she could learn some phrases about food and bathroom facilities, life would be perfect.....
Thursday, July 3, 2008
I guess it is true that everyone, at some point in their life, has 15 minutes of fame. In my case, the 15 minutes of fame is definitely associated with shame......
Last night, I was meeting a friend of mine at the gym and while entering the building a local reporter approached me in the parking lot. He explained that he was doing an article on the local police survey and if I had experience with them. I explained I had and that it was all good. He asked me the particulars and I told the reporter that I was out of town for a few days and my mailbox was open and all this mail was bursting out (I guess it was catalogue time or maybe the fact that I subscribe to over 20 magazines could be the cause) and some of my neighbors (the ones 80+) called the cops because my car was in driveway and they thought I was dead as I live alone. I returned from a trip into NYC and was actually on my cell with my sister when I got home. I checked caller id to see if there were any messages I had to listen to that night. Sure enough, my town's police department called me. I played the message while sister was on phone and she was like "I'll hang up now so you can call them back". My sister is very good about things (aka being responsible). I, on the other hand, said "nah...it's late, I'm tired and will call in the morning". I haven't a clue as to why I thought a police station would care what time of the day it was. I guess I forgot that are open 24/7, which is something I will never forget.
Off to bed and 2 1/2 hours later, I am awoken to pounding on the front door, bright lights on bay window and someone yelling asking me if I was who I am and if I was okay. I verified my identity and was told the whole story that my neighbors were concerned and when I didn't call the police back they wanted to see if I was okay.
However, the story doesn't end there. I go back to bed and 2 1/2 hours later the phone rings; it is my ex. He told me that the police had called his house and both he and wife were out for evening and wanted to make sure I was okay....and also to find out what exactly was going on. I explained the misunderstanding. I now realized that my fear of choking on food and dying being undiscovered (I think every single person living alone has this fear) would not come true because my neighbors watch me (man, do I feel sorry for them).
Now....I need to explain how my 15 minutes of fame are tied to my shame. The mailbox overflowing is my fault. I hate to get my mail and used to go a week or two without picking up the mail. Don't know why, just a quirk. However, some friends and family knew this about me and one friend actually sent me a card every day for a week prior to my birthday to force me out to get the mail. Didn't really work, but I did pick up the mail every 2 days during that week. The important packages came via fed ex as I worked of house and since I either pay bills online or direct out of checking, no real need for the paper bill. Most of the mailbox contents were junk mail. However, after a visit from the police, I now pick up my mail EVERYDAY. See, old dogs can learn new tricks when the fear of the police is put into them.
French Phrase of the Day.....
Today's lesson is very uneventful, but, still very quirky.....it was counting. Counting from number 11 to 69 (hmmm...love the French).... Apparently, they counted from 11 to 20, and then by 10s until they got to 60, and then went 69....
Because today's lesson was lame, once again, I've taken the liberty to find an event for my sister to do while in France. Mind you, haven't a clue of her itinerary, just know she's in Paris and then in the countryside near Italy (told her to stand on border and shout out George Clooney's name or ask people where his villa is in Italy --- now if only the translation cds taught her that question in French)..... However, I want her vacation to be jammed packed with culture, so I found her these events....
Cours Foch, Aubagne
Aubagne, self-proclaimed capital of the Santonniers (Santon makers), hosts its annual summer fair devoted to the tiny clay figures. Stalls and workshops can be found on the streets of the town
Sand Sculpture Festival
5 Apr - 31 Aug 2008 (annual)
Every year, Le Touquet's Paris Plage (next to the Aqualud) hosts a summer-long sand sculpture festival. The themes, and the sculptures themselves, get more elaborate every year.
I believe that she'll find the vineyards on her own, well, maybe not if she continues using her cds, but she could miss out real events .... like the ones I noted above.
To my sister, I say Bon Voyage....
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
I've decided that I'm going to support my sister in her mission of learning a new language. I will be sharing the phrase of the day that she learns on my blog. Unfortunately, today's phrase is useful:
Ou habitez-vous? Where do you live?
J’habite en les Etats-Unis. I live in the United States
I should mention that yesterday's phrase went something like this:
Woman to Man: Have you seen my friend?
Man to Woman: Your friend the attorney?
Woman to Man: My friend is a student not an attorney.
Man to Woman: I have seen your friend and she is in the garden
Now, that is a conversation I have everyday!
For the past several months, I have been unemployed. During my search, I have received numerous emails from this one headhunter regarding accounting or CPA positions that I'd be perfect for. Ummmmm... NOT. I have no accounting experience. I mean none. I didn't even major in accounting or finance in college to stray away from the major to pursue other interesting employment opportunities. Instead I majored in something useful for business: History. Actually, my concentration was in Medieval History, even more useful in the business community because today's economy is not run on a barter system, or as a servile feudal class. However, if the economic system ever goes back to a system of serfs, people will finally realize that I was right about my choice and that it is incredibly useful.
After about the 12th email telling me about another wonderful CPA opportunity, I began to notice that this headhunter includes the following line in his emails "If we have poorly matched your job and qualifications, please update your resume." Seriously, I am to update my resume to match the qualities needed for an accounting position. This guy does not know me well enough. If I'm going to make up false credentials, I'm going for champion figure skater or ex circus clown. So.....with time on my hands (just a little), I sent the headhunter the following email......
"I get these emails all the time from your company and they are all geared towards accounting positions. However, your email states if we poorly matched your qualifications that I need to update my resume. Ummm.....no. I think the program your office uses to search for "key" words is off the mark. No where in my resume does it state the word accounting or CPA. I have ACCCOUNT management experience, but I'm a contract negotiator. I was previously a relationship manager and prior to that, in the insurance industry administering and selling group life and health policies."
Several weeks went by and yesterday I received an email from Brant with the same ol' same ol message. I didn't expect Brant to send me a personalized message, but I did expect my name to come off his database. However, I jumped too quickly to conclusions. Late last evening, I received the following email from Brant:
"Thank you for applying through Career-Forge.com, (note: I didn't) sometimes people do not get picked for jobs due to poor resume presentation, we have a service that can help, you can get a custom resume and change as often as you like.
The site is http://www.aresumebuilder.com/
Aresumebuilder.com was created to make your job search faster, easier, and more rewarding. You can create a resume in minutes, and we even give you helpful hints and tips. You can also create a reference list, and cover letters.
Try it today!
-The Team at http://www.aresumebuilder.com/
Seriously dude, just look into better metadata software to match up possible candidates to viable positions; or take my name off your database.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
My sister is heading to France at the end of next month and realized that her high school french, from years ago, would probably not be sufficient to get around the country so she purchased a "learn to" series of CDs for her car.
Personally, even if I learned a new language, I would never be able to mimic what I heard. I have a bad ear when it comes to repeating a foreign language, but once I do learn a new phrase I understand it and can translate it into English. This is great, except I can never respond to the person speaking to me in another language. I hate to admit it, but I'm probably the type of traveler that talks slower, louder and waves her hands in the air thinking charades is the new international language. I say "probably" because I haven't witnessed myself or taken notice how I react when talking to individuals that are speaking a foreign language.
Based upon my sister's "learn to" purchase, I foresee that she too will take on the new international language of charades when traveling in France. I know. I sound incredibly pessimistic, but you would too when you learn that the first phrase she has learned listening to her CD is "I saw the big truck". Unless you're 3, I don't see the relevance to this statement. When I asked if she learned to say "hello" or anything other than "I saw the big truck", she told me she had. She told me that she learned the word "car". Wow. Now, that's a word. I believe that my sister is now prepared for her travels to France........she will not have a decent meal, know where her hotel is, or, even know how to ask where the bathroom is, but damn, they'll be many pictures of her standing on a corner in Paris pointing at large trucks and shouting on the top of her lungs "J'ai vu le gros camion", "J'ai vu le gros camion"..... Kudos to her for attracting every 3 year old in Paris and possibly creating a fan club.
I say to my sister....."Bon Voyage".