"I want, I want, I want ... but that's crazy"

Saturday, May 31, 2008

L.A. Police Gear specials

Looking for some cool, rugged gear at great prices with all kinds of bonus deals and specials? Who doesn't want that?
L.A. Police Gear was founded by Los Angeles area police officers to serve the general public, as well as military personnel, security professionals and fellow police officers.
Since summer's made an appearance, it's time for some shorts to come back into the wardrobe. Check out these cool 5.11 Tactical Shorts. These special-purpose built shorts are designed to carry bulky items and remain durable. Like all 5.11 Tactical clothing, only the highest quality materials are used in making the shorts, which even feature double fabric in the seat and 36 points of reinforced stitching at stress points for superior strength.
In addition to the 5.11 Tactical Series, L.A. Police Gear also carries the following apparel lines: Under Armour, Blackhawk! Warrior Wear, LAPG Apparel, Propper Tactical Apparel, Viking Tactics, Bullet 50, Woolrich Elite, Dickies, and more.
L.A. Police Gear offers more than just clothes though. It's bags, tools, flashlights, cutters, medical supplies, flasks, radio accessories, training aids...you name it.
5.11 Tactical Shorts

Steady diet of politics (updated again)

"My mama always taught me to play by the rules and to respect the rules...When you decide to change those rules - especially in the middle of the game - that is referred to as cheating" - Donna Brazile



The depths of my despondency were not enough to keep me away from the Democratic National Committee's rules committee meeting to determine the allocation of the delegates from Michigan and Florida. Apparently, I can go without food or air, but I can't give up politics - not when they're this compelling, anyway. I don't know if I'll be able to manage any kind of analysis or commentary, but for now, observing the process is enough.


Btw, I have been neglecting my workouts terribly, but my newly trimmed waistline still deserves some showing off. I don't recommend it, but if you absolutely must lose seven pounds in less than a week...


***

WOOHOO! Update - something *settled* for Florida and Michigan. Unless there's an appeal. So......are we done yet?



Waiting in vain

Ah crap...that's all I need...

Ugh.... My ex-husband has discovered the Internet (he attempted years ago but never got beyond porn in the year or two he had access at home). He called me asking how to work it. From what I understand, he was attempting to send me an e-mail by typing my username into Google. I am stunned and a little bewildered that he somehow managed to remember a username for me that he must have encountered a very long time ago. Anyway, I suggested that if he wants to learn to use the Internet, he should go to Google and type in "how to use the Internet." As if I want to help him into my world. He said he wants to be able to communicate with me online. Uh...is that supposed to be incentive for me to teach him? I'll set the girls up with an e-mail account if it comes to it. I sure as hell don't want to hear from him anymore than I already am forced to.

I'd better get some sleep. I've got an early morning of work ahead of me.

Something has to turn in my favor at some point, doesn't it?


Friday, May 30, 2008

An evening home alone...

Well, my boy's got a couple more graduation parties to attend this weekend. He's off now with his girlfriend helping to build a shed before hers tomorrow. He told me today that he was getting tired of graduation parties. He's the type of boy who would rather just spend the evening hanging out watching The Office with four or five of his buddies - or watching a chick flick with his girlfriend. ♥ There are worse ways he could be. I'll take him.

My girls are spending the night with a friend, so it's just me at home tonight. I'll be working this weekend (so I guess it's really a good thing that our grad party isn't this week). I'll also be doing double the work on Monday. Keep me busy. I"m going to have to go into the office soon though. I just can't handle being in public right now. My son drove us out today, and we went to order his cake and some photos. I made it until we were on our way home. Even ate a little. It was good I didn't have to drive home though. Kinda lost it then a bit.

I've been through a dozen break ups, including divorce, and I swear I've never felt this bad. I could always work. I could always eat. I could always go through my daily life fairly unaltered. It's never been anything like this.

This nascent love ... like candle's flame ... snuffed into darkness ... with one small breath.

Oops......

Turns out one source of panic and hell was unfounded. I'd made a mistake, and my son's graduation party isn't until next weekend. Two weeks after grad? Who could blame me for getting mixed up? I knew the date, but somehow it never clicked into place that it wasn't this Sunday.
Now, if only the rest could turn out to be some horrible misunderstanding...

Blogkeeping

Let's do a little blog housework. I've been neglecting a couple of things on here.

First off, my poll wrapped up a few days ago with a respectable participation of 55 votes. Not too bad I think.
On the question of "What do you think of auto-start music on blogs?"
Four people (7%) responded, "I like it!"
10 people (18%) said, "It does bother me."
10 people (18%) said, "I don't like it."
31 people (56%) responded, "I'll leave immediately if it comes on."

I need to mention that there was an error in the poll. It was meant to say, "It doesn't bother me," for the second choice. Still, I think the results speak clearly. I won't judge one way or another, but it's something for my fellow bloggers to keep in mind.

Next, I got my first two payments from Pay Per Post. Got the cash sitting there in my PayPal account right now, with more on the way in three days. Then more coming after that. I think I like it!

Third, I've got a graduation party in two days, and I've been half a step above catatonia all week. So... sudden realization.... tomorrow is going to be hell. But then again, it's been hell. I'll take a new hell for a while. (PLEASE!! PILE ON A LITTLE MORE!!)

Ah....what else? Work. Yes. Mark one in the win column for me. I solved it. I stopped the angry phone calls to the bossman (the big bossman - my fired bossman has not yet been replaced). Yet again I was able to prove that I am the one who gets things done ... right .... the first time. Pat on the back for me. I'm underappreciated. All around.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Taking an early look inside

I can step outside myself to observe in my meditations, and I am fascinated by the progressions and fluctuations of my psyche. It is in flux, it seems, with my persona setting me in one direction, while my anima sees a different course. My heart seeks logic while my head is confronting chaos.
From my perspective as the observer, I can see the turmoil. Centering this soul and finding peace will take some considerable effort. Inside I see gray. It is indicative of the muddling within me.

I need to pause this chronicle to focus inside for a moment....

(Ed. note: pause for meditation here)

Cacophony. There is no more accurate term for it. It wasn't gray at all. It was a hundred thousand things. Images and conversations. Emotions. Memories. Subtle tones and scents and flavors. There is no sorting this just yet. I will first have to embrace it, and I am not yet able to reach directly into the heart of the hurricane. There is a resolution to this though. It is within my reach.

They can't take that away from me

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Me..(w)andering

Surreality.
Wait... What did you say?
"Lightning flashes, sparks shower. In one blink of an eye, you have missed seeing," says Oma.
One blink. What was real?
The moment before. The moment after.
Senses reeling. What?
How is this possible?
Who turned the world upside down?
But.... I see.....
A certain centered clarity...
It seems to be, as it was .... as it has been
I see .... I remember
Ah, I understand
Bit of a prick about it, though, wouldn't you say?
Ok.
I understand.
This surreality......

Stepping through the vacuum of space
Tiptoe from star to star
The pretty picture of the little prince
Is not real

Quoth Ms. Janis: "Freedom's just another word for ... nothing ... left ... to ... lose."
Free... to .... .... hmmm... In the ... absence ....

I should mention that I have not eaten still. Few saltines this morning. I've lost five pounds. And I'm a little loopy, I think.
Life keeps going on. Work just exploded with insanity this morning, over something that I could have solved weeks ago, had anyone bothered to keep me in the loop. (For a moment, I wish for one around my neck.)
Wow. I need sleep. I wish I could eat. But for now, sleep will have to do.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Another day


Managed to eat half a burger and a s'more today, along with quite a few saltines. Excellent for a tummy in turmoil, as four pregnancies taught me.

Boston Legal tonight. That was one of "our" things. Well, less so with his recent travels. Well, actually, we lost everything thanks to his recent travels, so I guess a TV show isn't much of a loss. We were inside each other's heads.....but.....whatever. Anyway - I seem to be enjoying it just as much. Waddya know 'bout that......

My friends are being so great. And I have more incentive than ever to get a passport. I've really got to put that on my to-do list.

My to-do list is just starting to hit me, too. There's a lot to this excising process. I started by removing the "Tap, tap...." from my phone. Although, in retrospect, I can't think of a more fitting epitaph.


Got through the first day...


I slept for half an hour Sunday night - or really Monday morning - just long enough to get to wake up the realization that I am alone. How pathetic that sounds. I can't eat. I'm not sure where to begin. The ripples haven't even begun. I'm a little afraid to even go outside. He's everywhere. Or he's just in me. Either way, I don't know quite how to escape him.
I sat for a time and wept in the arms of my babies yesterday. Then I played tennis with my daughter for a little while. Then I took my girls to lunch (I managed to eat half a small side salad - that was all for yesterday except a rice cake last night.) I made a quick trip to the grocery store. I can't believe how BAD this feels - even though I know that I deserve better and that he is not shedding a tear for me.
I'm so grateful for the support I have received. Thank you to those of you who know who you are. I've discovered real friendship where I did not recognize it before - and I see much more. Thank you for the hope.
I got through Day One. I'm beginning Day Two. Still feel like I'm afflicted with some malaria/flu mash-up, but we'll see how it goes. Even already this morning, my friends have been there. Wow.
(I will try not to turn this into one of those brooding recovery from a failed relationship blogs - just give me a few days, ok? I will return to my effervescent irresistibility. Hehe.)


Sunday, May 25, 2008

The other shoe fell

Something bad is coming. Something bad is going to happen....soon. This is what I kept saying.
"Why?" he said to me. "Why do you think something bad will happen?"
"Because I am happy," I said. "Because I am not allowed to be happy. Something bad will happen."
"You're an amazing woman," he said to me. "I love you," he said to me. (But always with a caveat. So I knew. I didn't want to know, but I knew.) He didn't want to tell me he loved me. So I knew.
"I love you." (With an exception.) "You get me." (But it's not enough.) "No one has ever loved me like you." (But it's not enough.) "No one has ever given me so much." (But it's not enough.)
No. The one who who loved completely and unconditionally is not enough. The one who gives everything of herself is never enough.
I play by the rules. I am completely loyal and honest and devoted and dedicated and I give everything of myself. I know. That's my first mistake.
I spent three years refusing to allow anyone to get close to me. I know what happens. I know how it works. Then I fell. By the way.....that should be the tip-off right there. There ............... is .................. NOOOOOO ................. fall.................. that does not conclude with a painful landing. The fall might last a while. The landing ALWAYS hurts. This fall lasted almost three years.
My first thought is to drown my emotions in alcohol. (That's always the first thing we want to do, right? I mean....that or chocolate.) But what do I have in the house? Let's see....... Hmm, Jamaican rum. Canadian beer. AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!
Well, I guess I just have to drink it all as quickly as possible. No problem. I'm on it. And really, if it happens to end with me spewing it forth as my body rejects the poison of it......well....somehow, that DOES seem appropriate..
My son graduated high school today. As blase as I was going into it (he was too - we're kind of that way), I found myself feeling so proud. He's such a great kid, really. He's a lazy, unmotivated, bored, disinterested teenager like any other teenager, but he's really pretty fantastic. Smart and thoughtful and just a really great kid. If only he didn't have to turn into a man.
And this day's been tainted now, too. That's not fair. But I guess, in real life, it wasn't today. Today's just the day I had to accept it.



Friday, May 23, 2008

(@_@)

Bear with me. My life is moderately insane right now. Me too, I think. It's graduation weekend, and my son has about 35 parties to attend in the next six days or so. As if that's not enough to have a mother gnawing at her knuckles .... there's more. But I can't even think about it right now. For a few minutes, if I'm to sleep at all tonight, I have to STOP thinking. About everything.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Change it up a little

I completely altered my routine today (as much as possible), and it seems to have had a positive effect on my mood and outlook. Makes sense.

I got to start out my day with the elementary school awards program. First graders are so cute when they're all dressed up and proud of themselves! Although, of course, there was the boy in the back who spent the whole time trying to put his head under his chair. :) I got to see the Munch get her "amazing artist" award, but I had to sneak out to get to work. I passed off my camera, though, to get pictures of my Gin (age 9, fourth grade) getting her award later.





Anyway, I got back home and headfirst into work. We're having .... issues .... and I still don't know who my boss is...... ugh.... Anyway, I solved everyone's problems and got a "you are SO FAR beyond me" and a "you're the best" from the guy in whose hands my employment future rests. So I guess that was a positive.

At some point, my outlook took a header, and I had a minor breakdown. But as I was wallowing in my dispair, I made another routine change that unexpectedly lifted me right up. To explain, I've recently been skirting edges of the soccer (football, to the rest of the planet) world. Well, this evening, I got sucked right in. I just happened to stumble across THE game today, and it took all of about 15 seconds before I couldn't even blink. Why didn't anyone tell me it could be this good? (and..........holy hannah! soccer players are hot!! I fell in love lust at least seven times...)

Well after the obvious lift from the game, I hopped on Facebook to play a little and updated my status to note the ... erm....obviously dejected emotional state of the Chelsea team captain (OUCH!), and I suddenly got messaged by TWO friends - one a Chelsea fan and one a Man U fan. :) That was a fun little time and very cheering to me.

Moments later, I got a message from a closer friend, who until recently had become quite distant indeed. She's blogging now. :) Uh oh. She's already hooked, too! I'm glad that our relationship seems to be slowly on the mend.

I figure I'm safe from any big downers at this point in the evening. It's after 8 p.m. There's no work coming. The Idol final episode is on (and I am SO looking forward to So You Think You Can Dance? coming back!!!). My only potential bad news source is ... disconnected. AND there's a new episode of Boston Legal on tonight.

It's GOTTA be good from here....... :)


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Oh..........whatever...........*sigh*.......

From the Irony v. Karma Dept. of Life Events, States and Circumstances:

- About 14,000 sun-shaped candle holders, manufactured in China and imported by The Home Depot, have been recalled because sunlight passing through the glass decoration can cause nearby objects to catch fire. The company has received one report of the object causing a fire. No injuries were reported. The candle holders were sold at Home Depot stores in the southern and western regions of the United States between January and March of this year. For details, by phone call 866-403-5504 or online go to the Home Depot website or the website of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

- An overnight shift supervisor at a SuperAmerica in Minnesota was fired for fighting off a robber the supervisor believed was attacking a female cashier in the store. Instead of being praised for his act of heroism, he got the boot. Read about it by clicking here.

- All of those who were teased for your tin-can cars a dozen years ago are now looking pretty darn smart as Gas prices drive Geos from clunkers to chic. (And as an aside, I'd like to remind all of those people flying past me on the interstate that we're told to slow down to save gas at least 230 times a day in all the high-price-of-gas stories, so quit glaring at me like that just because I have the NERVE to drive the speed limit!)

- I won't say anything specific here. I'll just be called nasty names. I'm sure you've all heard the news about Sen. Ted Kennedy being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.

- I've got a few ironies in my own life, but I won't get into them now. Suffice it to say, karma better frickin' catch up with me! (Haven't I waited long enough?!?!)

- And if you want an evil chuckle, check out the Nine Most Devastating Insults in the World.





Monday, May 19, 2008

New book 'outs' gay subculture in hip hop


Newsweek announced a new book in a Web exclusive story this week. Hiding in Hip Hop (ok - that title sucks) is the memoir of former MTV staffer Terrance Dean that "outs" the gay subculture in hip hop. The title's awful. I'm curious to read the book (more to see how it's written than for any REAL interest in the subject matter - I'm not a hip hop fan but I am an avid reader). But this article, at least, is worth a read on its own. Read it all the way to the end, some of the best of the article is on the second page.




Not much going on

My boss was fired today. I haven't officially been informed of it yet. He didn't call me. His boss didn't call me - or even send an e-mail. I just happened to be around when another department head told her staff about it. I don't even know who my boss is now. I love this company. I wonder if they'll decide I'm expendable as well. Hmmmm......

Today was my son's - my eldest child's - last day of high school. And he informed me that he and his girlfriend are back together. That's not bad though. I like her. We have his graduation this weekend, and his graduation party will be next weekend. Nothing's ready yet. How did this get here so quickly?

Funny how time works that way. The past year or two years or ten years or seventeen years seem to have flown, and yet, the past week has felt like forever, and today was just the loooooongest day, and this week is set up to be interminable. My heart is somewhere else right now, and the rest of me is a little lost.





Sunday, May 18, 2008

This week in politics

The big political news this week is the endorsement by vice-presidential candidate John Edwards of presumptive-to-everyone-but-Hillary Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. What took so long? Edwards wanted to alienate the minimum possible number of Democrats to boost his progress in fulfilling his VP aspirations.

Oh yeah, I heard somewhere that Hillary Clinton won a presidential primary .... West Virginia, I think it was .... Are we at all surprised? No. Does anyone care? No.

Also in the headlines - Sen. Ted Kennedy has been hospitalized after having a seizure. Little further word on that. I speculate that attempting to justify his continued opposition to wind farms in his pretty little backyard while maintaining the facade of a party-line Democratic environmentalist finally made something up there snap. (I won't even get into the history - it's well documented. Karma's left this guy alone for waaaaaaaaay too long now.) There are doctors seeking other possible causes.

All for now.





Saturday, May 17, 2008

Heads up on a great contest!

Hey fellow bloggers - Mike Huang over at Bloggin-Ads is having a great contest in which he's giving away two MacBook Airs and $1,000 (10 winners of $100 each).
For those of you who don't know, his blog is all about blogging (well, almost), and he offers free blog reviews too. It's some good stuff. You should check it out even if you aren't interested in the contest.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Treasure of Southwest Texas

If your travels this summer are taking you to the region of Orange, Texas, don't miss out on the Stark Museum of Art.



The Stark Museum is home to one of the finest and most extensive collections of 19th and 20th century Western American art and artifacts anywhere in the United States. The museum also has an extensive collection of American Indian art, as well as the Decorative Arts collections of primarily glass and porcelain, and rare books and manuscripts.



Stark's Western Art collection features the work of 19th-century explorer-artists who travelled across the continent recording and documenting the lives and customs and American Indians, pioneers and Wild West cowboys, as well as the grandeur of the untamed Western landscapes. Into the 20th century, artists portrayed an idyllic West in their depictions of the Pueblo peoples, Hispanic culture and a landscape affected by atmospheric light. The collection includes the works of - among many, many others - such great artists as John James Audubon, Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Remington and Thomas Moran.

The American Indian Art collection comprises works created by members of the tribes of the Great Plains, Southwest, Eastern Woodlands and Northwest Coast. The collection includes examples of Plains clothing, body ornaments and elaborate beadwork. Also exhibited are the baskets from major basket-producing cultures of the West, Pueblo pottery, kachina dolls of the Zuni and Hopi, and a notable collection of Navajo rugs and blankets.

The Decorative Arts collection comprises mainly glass and porcelain works, including numerous items of Steuben Glass - most notably, the only complete set of The United States in Crystal, a series of bowls engraved with scenes representing each of the 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the Union. Another highlight of the collection is a series of porcelain birds by Dorothy Doughty and a series by Edward Marshall Boehm.

The Rare Books and Manuscripts collection features The Birds of America by naturalist John James Audubon. The five double-elephant folios depicting the birds of North America belonged to the artist himself. The publication is widely considered to be one of the finest illustrated books of all time. Also featured in the collection are letters and journals by Audubon and artist Paul Kane, as well as seven Books of Hours manuscripts, and more.

Admission to the museum is free. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is closed Sunday and Monday, New Year's Day, Easter, July 4, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The founders of the Stark Museum also established the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation in 1961 to improve the quality of life in Southeast Texas by encouraging, promoting and assisting education, the arts, and health and human services. The foundaton carries out its mandate through the programs of the Stark Museum of Art, as well as other Southeast Texas venues.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Is there anybody out there?

In case you missed this, big news today:

The government of the United Kingdom has opened access to its UFO files. Yes, you heard that correctly, the government of the United Kingdom has opened access to its UFO files. "The files contain a wide range of UFO-related documents covering the years 1978–2002. So if you want to find out more about lights in the sky over Waterloo Bridge, near misses by pilots, crop circles - and what the UK government thought of it all - this is the place to start," the home page of the dedicated government-run Web site states.

For CNN's story on the release of the documents, see here.

This release of files comes right on the heels of the story in the Vatican newspaper in which Father Gabriel Funes stated that intelligent beings created by God could exist in outer space. The BBC published this story just this past Tuesday on the subject.

Things that make you go, "Hmmmm...."


Wanted: warmth and sunshine

More gray, cold, wet weather and no reprieve in sight in the forecast. And I was badly in need of some sunshine and quality distraction - preferably a distraction of the physical exertion variety. Although I haven't been feeling well, I feel even worse that I'm not active. Last week was work - this week is weather.

I wish I could say I was writing, but unfortunately, my brain is too scattered and exhausted to hold onto a thought long enough for that.

*Sigh* I need to find my center again.




P.S. Just a little reminder, folks. We need to know where to draw the line when it comes to rough sex games - as this story illustrates...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Vote for a home makeover winner!




Renuzit Tri Scents home makeover contest is now to the semi-final stage! You can help one of ten semi-finalists win a $20,000 Home Makeover in the Renuzit TriScents "Transform Your Home with Tanya Memme" promotion.

Renuzit TriScents products and Tanya Memme, host of the A&E Emmy-nominated hit show "Sell This House," teamed up to challenge Americans to transform their home using Renuzit TriScents air fresheners.

Video and photo entries were judged based on three criteria: integration of the product, creativity and overall presentation.

I voted for the Joseph Hiatt family because of their genuine need for repair of damage caused by a water leak in the basement. SSG Joseph Hiatt returned from Iraq in January 2006. His wife stayed home with their son while he served overseas. Since he has returned, the couple have added a daughter to their family, but their need for home repairs and improvements have gotten away from them. Mold and even earthworms (?!?!) have become a problem because of the water damage, and their chimney is in need of repair. I thought this to be a family deserving of the $20,000 prize.

Visit the semi-finalist gallery and vote for one of the ten semi-finalists. You may vote up to once per day through June 7. The semi-finalist with the most votes will receive a $20,000 home makeover with Tanya Memme! In addition to the grand prize, a second-place prize of $3,000 and a third-place prize of $2,000 will be awarded.



My life...

Late night babbling

Another late night and I have no excuse whatsoever.

I've been trying to distract myself today, so I changed up my routine. Unfortunately, I changed it up so much that I completely forgot to watch American Idol. Instead, I watched coverage of the primary returns. THAT was a complete waste of time! CNN called West Virginia for Hillary Clinton with ZERO percent of the precincts reporting! We ALL knew that! Hell, Obama condeded West Virginia a week and a half ago. But still, I had it on for three hours, listening to the pundits say the same things over and over. Listening to tonight's token Clinton supporter who keeps arguing that it's not at all unlikely that Hillary will take 73 percent of the remaining delegates, and all of Florida and Michigan's delegates will be seated as if they had not broken their own rules. As I said, what a waste of time.
Also, worked at the office today instead of from home. My routine has become working from home, especially with the gas prices as high as they are. Why spend the extra money driving 25 minutes one-way to the office when I can do the same thing from home in the comfort of my jammies with a good cup of coffee? Right. You'd stay home too.
Tomorrow, I'll have to head to the Idol site to watch the performance clips. Might be better that way anyway. Then I'll try to remember to watch the results tomorrow. I've been wondering if there will be a Top 3 surprise, with Archuleta the assumed No. 1, and Cook and Syesha battling for second place. When that happens, votes are coming in for those two, and everyone forgets to vote for No. 1. But again, I didn't see tonight, so as far as I know, there could be a clear first and second after tonight........

Enough babbling. Bedtime now.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!



My three youngest children presented me with their gifts for Mother's Day this morning. (My elder son Pooh, age 17, was not home this morning, so his will come later, I'm sure.) I had to share in my delight.

My son Book (age 11) made a card for me in a panic last night when he suddenly realized what day was coming. I was very pleased with it though as he made a great deal of effort in creating it. He drew a picture of our family on the front with the usual message inside, but what got me was what I saw on the back. He wrote, "It came from the ♥ ."

My younger daughter Munch (age 7) gave me a gift bag containing a cookie, a rubber band, a heart-shaped paper clip, a packet of Splenda and a Lifesavers candy. Also tucked in the bag (to correspond with the items ) was a poem that read: "You're one smart cookie / You always bundle me with love / You keep our hearts together / You are as sweet as sugar / Thank you for being my lifesaver. I love you!
She also gave me a book she made in school. It read as follows (the parts she filled in are in italics):
Thanks for helping me do my homework
I love it when you love me too!
You make me feel special when you let me go on the computer!
Thanks for taking care of me! I love you!

My elder daughter (age 9) made me a very pretty faux stained glass vase using tissue paper decoupage on a glass soda bottle, complete with a very pretty tissue paper flower. She made that in school, but she wanted to go to the store and buy something for me with her own money. Well, we live in a tiny town with no traffic lights and the only store is one small grocery (4 aisles, wood floors), and it was the only place she could go without having me drive her there. So she hopped on her bike and pedaled over to buy my gift yesterday. She actually bought two things, which she wrapped neatly in leftover Christmas paper. Citing the extremely limited selection available, she looked sheepish as she passed them to me: a pizza cutter and a box of No. 10 security envelopes.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Gray skies and cold rain

It's a gray day - cold with a steady, soaking rain and an unbroken cloud layer as far as the eye can see. I don't mind too much. It's done wonders for view on the days the sun returns. It's pretty flat and featureless around here, but there is a rich depth of beauty to the "greening" of the fields and meadows. And I can't help but marvel at the sudden explosion of scent and color as the trees and flowers burst into bloom on the first sunny day after the first warm, spring rain. In my mind, I know that it's the gray days like today that make for the most beautiful spring days to come.

Still, a gray day tends to translate into a gray mood, and I came into this day from a less-than-ideal state of mind and heart, so I have been attempting to overcome it as I go along. Unable to find the positive energy to draw upon around me, I have had only my own inner strength and chi to lift my spirit and outlook to face this day. Fortunately, I've not run into any unexpected stumbling blocks today, so at this point in time, I feel at least moderately content. Later this evening, I think I'll indulge in a warm bath with some scented candles and a good book. And maybe chocolate........

Do you find yourself a little down on gray, rainy days? What do you do about it?

Traveling without your own car?

Are you traveling this summer without your car? Maybe you're taking a driving vacation and want something more fuel efficient or more spacious or more luxurious or with more features than your everyday vehicle - or maybe you just want to save your own vehicle the extra wear-and-tear of a driving vacation. Or maybe you're flying to your vacation spot and you want the independence of having a vehicle available to you to make the most of your destination without having to rely on the schedules and costs and inconveniences of public transportation. If you want real freedom on your vacation, rent a car from Advantage Rent A Car.

To find the best deals available, visit the Advantage website's Specials page. Advantage offers car rentals for your vacation transportation starting as low as $19.99 per day. Special rates on SUVs also are available, with standard SUVs such as the Suzuki XL7 starting as low as $34.99 per day. Remember to book early for the best selection and best rates available. Advantage offers a complete line of cars, trucks, SUVs and minivans, complete with Advantage service and value.

Customers flying Sun Country Airlines can take Advantage of an offer for a FREE day on a car rental of two or more days. To take advantage of this offer, click the Advantage banner on the Purchase Confirmation page when booking with Sun Country.



Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Note to Hillary

Dear Hillary,
It is time to go now. You've done what you can, but it is over. Please - before your image begins to rapidly decompose from "passionate and dedicated" to "delusional and pathetic" - step aside now. Do not become the Ron Paul of the Democratic party. As I recall, unlike many others in this country these days, you've still got a really good, high-paying job with phenomenal benefits, perks and privileges. Go back to the Senate and count your blessings.
Thanks for your part in the most exciting political race I've ever seen. Now go home.
Sincerely,
Just me

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Send help

I've sent in my donation, and I ask you to do the same. Send help to the people devastated by the recent cyclone in Myanmar (Burma). I made my donation through UNICEF'S US Fund for emergency programs in Myanmar. Whether you choose to send help through UNICEF or any other service of your choice (check them out carefully - it's a politically dicey situation over there, and you'll want to make sure your donation will go where it's intended), just please do what you can to help. The latest numbers estimate a death toll of 22,000 people, and millions more are living in this poorly developed area - much without access by road even under normal circumstances - literally days from starvation. Beyond the immediate need for food and water (black market prices of $700 U.S. for a gallon of water!!!), dead bodies thrown by the hundreds into the rivers, thousands more piling up in the mud and lack of sanitary infrastructure mean that pestilence and disease are likely to ravage this region soon. Send help now.

Read more here:
UN begins food distribution in cyclone-ravaged Myanmar
Myanmar Death Toll Hits 22,000 as Relief Efforts Wait
Death toll from Myanmar cyclone rises to 22,500

Have you checked out SocialSpark yet?

I've been hearing a little buzz lately about this new thing called SocialSpark.

I've set up my own profile, which you can see here . I just have a basic profile set up so far, but there's room for growth and personalization, and the whole process took me only a few minutes. Now I'm all set up and ready to go!

SocialSpark is a special kind of social networking site especially for bloggers and advertisers. In addition to the usual posts for opportunities to get paid to blog about the subjects and products of advertisers - and yes, we LOVE those - this site really gives bloggers the opportunity to interact and socialize. It's a great way to introduce ourselves as the person behind the blog and share in ways beyond what's possible with just the comments and private exchanges we share behind the public posts in our blogs.

The marketplace at SocialSpark allows advertisers to create opportunities for the bloggers to browse, and advertisers can browse enrolled blogs to get a feel for the marketplace available to them. For bloggers, opportunities are sorted by channels, so we can really go through and find the opportunities that best fit with our own niche, so we aren't compromising the integrity of our own blogs.

A really cool feature I've discovered in searching for opportunities for myself are the "bloguback" offers. SocialSpark makes it easy for bloggers to post promotions for each other through post exchanges. This is the "spark" in SocialSpark, and it allows bloggers not only to interact within the social network of SocialSpark, but to open the opportunity to introduce one's own blog readers to new blogs outside our typical blog-hopping networks.

It's a little awkward to figure out how to navigate through it all at first, but it's actually sort of fun to wander around and get a feel for it all. It seems to be a pretty user-friendly arrangement, but I think a tutorial would be a nice addition to the site. Other than that, I am very pleased with what I've seen of it so far. I look forward to diving in and finding out what SocialSpark has in store for me!

Monday, May 5, 2008

In lieu of my brilliant treatise on oil dependence

I took some notes earlier today on a post I wanted to write tonight regarding OIL..... It would have been very exciting (not really), but now I find I just don't have the energy to address the issue. It's after midnight, and I've had a long, busy day.

I already wrote my weekly newspaper column (titled "Web Spin", published in The Sidney Daily News, Troy Daily News and Piqua Daily Call, and covering anything remotely Internet related) tonight, so I'm sharing it with links to the papers.


Microsoft drops takeover bid
The biggest Internet news this week – as of the time of this writing, anyway – is the apparent end of Microsoft’s bid to buy Yahoo.
While Microsoft had increased its offer to buy Yahoo at $33 per share (approximately $47.5 billion), Yahoo’s management held firm at a price of $37 per share.
Yahoo execs are calling Microsoft’s retreat a win for the Internet company, which is now back in the same place it was before the offer –facing falling stock prices and waning relevancy in its own market niche.
During the course of this volley between Yahoo and Microsoft, Yahoo sent Gates and company into a tizzy by initiating a supposed short-term experiment of including Google AdSense advertising with about 3 percent of its search results. Yahoo claimed it was a value-added service for the customers (and a way to nudge up Microsoft’s offer), but I tend to believe that it was a hope to boost profits for Yahoo as well. Microsoft recovered from its apoplexy just long enough to issue a statement warning that it was just the first step toward an eventual Google/Yahoo monopoly and a crushing blow to Internet freedom.
With the withdrawal of Microsoft’s offer and the continuation of Yahoo’s issues as before, many of Yahoo’s shareholders are left with some decisions to make. Those who had been hanging on hoping for a merger – and jump in the stock value – are questioning the business savvy of Yahoo Chief Executive Officer Jerry Yang. Yang was a Yahoo founder, and some suspect, too emotionally attached to the company to have made his decisions in this negotiation in the best interest of the stockholders.
Some analysts are looking for Yahoo’s stock price to spiral downward as stockholders sell off their shares, giving up on the company after staking its salvation on a Microsoft bailout.
Others, however, are looking into the possibility that Microsoft’s paranoia might have had some basis in reality after all – they’re looking at the possibility of a Yahoo/Google partnership. Talks between the two companies are said to be active working toward some kind of a deal.
Yahoo execs previously denied that the short-term AdSense experiment in any way indicated a potential partnership between the two historically rival companies. Microsoft certainly fought any sort of partnership between the two Internet search titans, even going so far as to argue to Yahoo that such a partnership would eventually lead to Yahoo’s total collapse – and Google’s total world domination.
Yahoo and Google continue to contend that any partnership between them will be limited in nature, with Google providing AdSense advertising only for searches that earn a significantly smaller return for Yahoo that Google. Such a limited partnership would maintain the integrity of Yahoo’s proprietary search service and would not result in the search monopoly warned of by Microsoft.
So what happens now? Will Microsoft really give up its attempt to take over Yahoo, or is this just a strategic retreat to observe the developments with Google? Failure of Yahoo to resolve its issues could mean that Microsoft can just sit back and wait for the Internet company to flounder right into its gaping maw.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

My shameless adoration of Democratic pundit Donna Brazile

If there's one thing I love about this presidential campaign (and let's face it - there are a WHOLE LOTTA things I'm loving about this election!), it's the fact that I'm seeing Donna Brazile all over the place lately.

For those of you who don't know, Donna Brazile is a Democratic political activist and strategist who has been on the political scene for the past 30 years. She's worked on pretty much every major Democratic presidential endeavor since 1976. Now, based on my history, one might deduce that I would have little affection for this woman, but that could not be further from the truth.

I find that whenever her face appears on the 24-hour news channels or as a guest on this or that political roundtable, I have to stop everything I'm doing to listen to whatever she has to say. She never fails to impress with the depth of her knowledge and understanding, and her keen sensibilities. And more than that - she's just got personality.

This week though, she really took the cake. She made an appearance via satellite from San Francisco on Stephen Colbert's "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central last evening, and by the end, she had Colbert off-balance - and blushing!! I've never seen anyone play Colbert's game against him as well as she did. I'm looking for a video clip to post, but for now I just have to wonder how their "private meeting" later went....and what exactly it was that she wanted to show him - and only him - to prove to him that she's a "real black woman." LOL!

Add:

The bridge between The Secret and the Law of Attraction

My mind and my emotions have been in a turmoil lately, and I've been unable to shake it. As a practicing Taoist, I can usually quickly identify and expel the negative energies in me, but this time, for some reason, I've been finding it difficult to get to that inner balance again.

Imagine my delight when I came across The Sedona Method.

I'll admit - I raised an eyebrow at first. Presented on the website is how The Sedona Method is the bridge between The Secret and the Law of Attraction. Frankly, I'm a little too skeptical for the New Age-y thing most of the time, and this sounds awfully New Age-y for me. Still, I wanted to give it a chance. Once I heard the testimonials and watched the introductory video, I was convinced - not because I'd bought some modern-day guru pitch, but because it's the very same sort of thing I do in my own regular meditation - but taken up a notch.

The Sedona Method is a tool that shows you how to master the law of attraction while still letting go of ego as prescribed by A New Earth philosophy. What this means is that it teaches how to consciously identify, consolidate and expel the emotions and energies that are weighing us down, and how to draw in the powerful positive energy around us - promoting health, happiness and success.

The Sedona Method shows how to transcend pain of the body. Women who have used breathing and focusing exercises to ease the pain in childbirth may know how effective this type of exercise can be. My own meditative practices have included very successful use in two of the four births of my children.

Interested persons who sign up for a free subscription to the Sedona Method Success and Well-being Newsletter and a free Insiders Guide to the Sedona Method, also may receive free DVD, CD and mp3 gifts. The full seminar program also is available for purchase.


Gas tax takes a holiday?

Let's look at this proposed temporary gas tax holiday recommended by Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. John McCain - opposed by Sen. Barack Obama.

Now, I have to tell you, for the past couple of days I've been siding with Obama on this one. I did the math to determine exactly how much I would save over the course of 12 weeks (I guessed - I didn't bother to check how long is actually is from Memorial Day to Labor Day) if they suspended the 18 cent/gallon federal gas tax. In that situation, Obama was right. For the average Joe, the direct savings would be pretty insignificant. For me, my savings would be something around $40 or so - total. I'd save 40 bucks over the course of the whole summer. Big deal........right? It's just a feel-good gimmick.

Well, no. That's not the big deal - and I haven't heard Clinton or McCain mention it either. The big direct impact that gas tax holiday would make would be in the transportation industry. All along we've been talking about how the high gas prices have been affecting the prices of everything else because of the tremendous TRANSPORTATION costs. THAT is where the proposal would REALLY save fuel costs. And I hate to toss in a Reaganism.....but that's trickle-down economics. Save the fuel costs for the transportation of the goods, and the cost of the goods come down. And EVERYTHING is transported. THAT is where the impact of the gas tax holiday hits Average Joe's wallet. Not in his own gas tank - but in everything ELSE he purchases.

And in the travel industry? Think about the summer surge in travel. I haven't heard if the temporary tax reprieve would apply to aviation fuel - that could be huge, especially with airlines in the condition they're in these days - but even if not, a cut in the fuel price of just 18 cents a gallon could add up to tremendous relief in the travel industry.

So on this one -- hold on to your hats, folks -- I'm siding with Clinton and McCain - in theory - not for the $40 it's going to save me in my gas tank, but for the far more significant savings that could be produced elsewhere in my budget. It's a short-term remedy - and I still want to know exactly how it will be paid for - but I can see its merit....and its potential for aiding in some degree of economic recovery.