Monday, March 17, 2008

New Posts

Check out Keyboard Therapy at WordPress for some new posts. Those of you that use bloglines will need to update your feeds. But WP is so pretty!

Check it out!

I am moving to WordPress. This is a temporary home for about, say, six weeks and then I'll go to my own hosting. All my blogs are going there. It's pretty and very user-friendly.

Changes a-blowin'

Happy Saint Patrick's Day all you wannabe's. There are two types of people, you know, those who are Irish and those who wish they were. As one of the former, I hope the rest of you enjoy the attempt to be Irish today. Try not to do anything you'll pay too high a price for tomorrow, okay? Us? We'll watch The Quiet Man and then Darby O' Gill and the Little People.

So what's with the changes title? Well, I'm re-launching Keyboard Therapy. I must bitch or I will blow up and I will do my bitching about National Affairs on that blog. I plan on bringing back the SOB of the Week there too. You know you've missed it.

I am also thinking of moving all my blasted blogs to WordPress. If any of my six readers have opinions on that, please share.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Big Night!

The food was fine. The wine "acceptable" (not!). The DJ was terrible. My date: impeccable. It was fun. Actually, for an Army dog-and-pony, it was really fun. We enjoyed ourselved immensely.

Unfortunately, that's the whole story.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Progress Report on the BIG DATE!

So tomorrow night is the big date. Honestly, it is the most dressed up I have ever been at a social event with my husband unless you count the time we were in my sister's wedding. Even then, I spent more on this outfit than that one so this is kind of a big deal. Another piece of supporting evidence is that he will be wearing his blues which, in my opinion, are more formal than a tuxedo. They just make such a statement!

While preparing for this little soiree, I learned some valuable lessons that I am happy to pass along.

1. Ordering formal wear online is probably not the best idea. I had near panic when the skirt arrived two sizes too small. When I ordered an alternate, I ordered two different sizes just in case and - Surprise! - the one that fit is the same damn size as the first one that didn't fit.

2. E.L.F. cosmetics are not all they're cracked up to be. Sure, nearly everything is a dollar so you can try a lot of stuff for cheap, but the coverage is not great, the brushes are scratchy and the eyeliner is completely unacceptable. They felt literally like trying to draw liner on with an actual pencil. Of course, my normal brand is Clinique's kohl pencil or some such so that's a high standard to meet. I did learn a little about blending from the ELF guidelines. I guess my suggestion is that if you want new colors, try them with ELF and then, if you like the colors, buy them from a higher quality supplier.

3. If you are a woman and you read my blog, please take this advice: Go to the Clinique counter and buy yourself some Black Honey lipstick. It is the most beautiful color ever. On second thought, the way that's listed makes it look like it's going away. You just better wait until I've ordered a lifetime supply. I know it looks dark, but it is gorgeous. You're welcome.

Saturday I will update you on the date. Now I need to find a place for a manicure.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

World Peace

I believe that the Nintendo Wii is the key to world peace. Here's why:

1. You can play a Wii almost instantly upon connecting it to your TV. No pretenses, no posturing or positioning; just plug in the thing, put the sports game in and play.

2. Wii sports remind you about the things that make good sportsmanship fun. You know - playing nice? Playing nice, as it turns out, is good. Who knew? Maybe we should teach a few people.

3. It's just damn good clean fun. A ten year-old, a 20 year old, a 25 year old (me) and a 43 year old can gather in the living room for a nice game of Wii whatever and everyone enjoys themselves. It also turns out that after having fun for a couple of hours you can't be pissed off at the other people in the room. Perhaps that would enable some constructive conversation if, say, the leaders of Iran, Iraq, Israel, the U.S. (but I think maybe Barack would pwn at Wii - just sayin'), Russia and China gathered for some Super Smash Brothers Brawl and vented all their frustration. If all else fails, give them the carnival games. Trust me. It is worth a try.

In brief: The Nintendo Wii could be the solution to world peace because you cannot play Wii and still be a prick. Tell it to the U.N.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Before I Got Distracted...

More great news on the mortgage front today. Lovely how just when you think things can't get worse. The house has been on the market for 369 days and counting and interest from buyers is zero. Nice? I think so.

Got a new hair cut today. Probably was a bad plan. I'm not in love with it by any means but hopefully it will grow on me (pun intended). I wanted different and different it is.

I'm in a funk. Forty is looming very, very large. I feel old, fat, frumpy and an overwhelming sense of futility. I am not liking the current situation nor am I liking the prospects for the future. The job market in EP looks pretty shitty and I've still not broken the news to my boss. And I don't feel like blogging anymore. I don't feel like I'm being interesting so I'll stop. Go back to the meme and play along.

This about sums it up.


Six Word Memoir Meme

The Inimitable Illi has tagged me with this meme:

The rules:

  1. Write your own six word memoir.
  2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like.
  3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere.
  4. Tag five more blogs with links.
  5. Remember to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!
My memoir:

I always wanted to do better.

I hereby tag Crunchy, JP, Tal, Ian, and Slutpeter.

Have fun.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Mommy and Me Time...

See? I bet you thought this would be a cute Khan story. Sorry about that. But when there are six of them it is even fun to get to hang with the big kids one-on-one once in a while. Last night Ogre and I took in our our first ever live NBA game when the Bucks hosted his beloved Spurs at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. It was fun but the energy level was not what I had expected. It was very surreal to have the visiting team's fans make more noise than the home team's fans. We did fall into the former category though so it was more funny than sad. The Bucks did play very well but lost in a nail-biter 96-94. I have a newfound respect for them as a team but I kind of have to agree with The Sports Guy. Michael Redd and Andrew Bogut looked really good.

I have now seen a professional football, baseball, basketball and racing event. What's next?

Oh and uh... This guy?

Needs to work on his damn free throws. I mean, he had a great game - 26points - but he missed probably eight free throw tries.

While this guy:
Is just plain damn awesome. As much as it pains me to agree with him on anything, I second Crunchy's thoughts on the All-Star Game snub.

EDIT: Here's me and the kid:

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Have a Donut You Fat Bitch!

I hope you can read the flyer on this lovely box of donuts delivered to me this morning by my friend the South Beach Saboteur. This flyer is for a local franchise of a women's fitness facility. You know, because if you buy donuts you must need that. I wonder if the store manager will ever figure out what a colossal co-op marketing failure this is? I know him so I somehow doubt it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I have just over two weeks (until March 14) to turn a sow into a silk purse. Yes, the sow is me and I will be escorted by my dashing soldier husband (I'm not even going to lie about how seeing him in his dress uniform makes me twitter - it does to his unit's annual dining out. For you lucky non-Army people uninitiated, a dining out is a FORMAL event. Formal as in Sarge wears his very sexy blues and I need a formal dress. I need suggestions. Links, pictures, moral support. I am not a teeny tiny girl, I'm me. I haven't worn a long dress since my first wedding and that fucker didn't even fit. No idea where to look, what to look for, shoes, hair, makeup, nothing. I am completely clueless. This is the very first time I will accompany my husband of 14 years to a formal event and I guess I would like to make my best effort at looking good. Please, loyal readers, help me!

Edit: I think I have it covered. I went with this:
And this:

Plus a little black clutch purse. Now I just need shoes and jewels.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bullet Points

1. I found the damn bank statement! Woot!
2. The upside of my illness - regardless of the cause is that I've dropped six pounds. Yes, I know it's water weight. Ask me if I care?
3. I change my blog layout because I'm easily bored. I also missed the ability to log into my dashboard at the top. I know, I'm anal. Move along.
4. I'm sick of winter. The 70 degree weather elsewhere today is extremely appealing.
5. Giving my first essay exam today. Pray for me. Students like to write but they write a lot of stuff that makes no sense. But I think it's a good exam so they can take it and like it or not.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Have a Laugh...

I want to say that I'm not necessarily a Hillary supporter, but Tina Fey? Smart and Hilarious!


Welcome to our world.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Day 2

Oh wow! I'm wondering why I feel so crappy today. Headache, queasy tummy... Just lousy. Is it the carb deprivation or is it just a fluke? Regardless, I hope it's better tomorrow.

And Ian, you need to try a non-prepackaged South Beach meal. How does grilled salmon and steamed veggies sound? That's beach friendly. Do you like eggs? Do you appreciate the millions of ways you can cook eggs? Eggs are very South Beach Friendly. Yesterday I had an omelette with cheese and salsa for breakfast with Canadian bacon. This morning - same eggs, different cheese, pork tenderloin (left over from last night) and mushrooms. Both delicious.

Tal, I started yesterday. Come on along. You know we'll both feel great in a couple weeks.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Goin' to the Beach

Ugh. I'm feeling fat and sluggish and going to a warm locale in six weeks. Today I'm starting the South Beach Diet Phase 1 (again). I lost about 30 pounds on the beach in 2004 and it felt really good. Unfortunately I've gained absolutely all of that back. I lost it again last year but that fat gut and ginormous ass keep finding me. They're worse than my college alumni associations!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Yet Another Great Customer Service Story

So I am paying my bills right? And I've got one in the stack that is a big fat mistake. When we moved in June, Alltel screwed up the market change on our account big time. A couple months later I got an eight hundred dollar bill and my brain promptly blew up all over the ceiling. I called them, we talked through everything and I was assured everything is fine. So today, as I'm going through the remnants of bills to pay, I find a collection notice (WTF?)from an AllTel account. I've had no disruption of service and remember back in September everything was supposed to be A-OK.

I called AllTel. "Ma'am I don't know how you didn't get a bill"
Me: "I didn't bet a bill for this amount because I PAID IT."
AT: "We have no record of that"
Me: "Then why did I not get a bill after that last call in September when I was assured the bill was a-ok and I didn't owe you anything beyond my regular monthly payments on my current account?"
Me: "So what do we do?"
AT: "You need to pay the bill"
Me: "I already did"

And then my po-dunk bank pisses me off because I'm trying to pull up transactions online and can only get them from the middle of January 2008 to present no matter how hard I try. (Said bank already pisses me off because they're not Quicken 2005 compatible with transaction downloads. I mean - what's the rush? It's 2008!)

AT: "I have no record of payment."
Me: "And thanks to my hick bank, I can't prove anything either. But I paid the bill, Alltel took my money and assured me everything was fine."
AT: "Well, I can find no record of that."
Me: "So what we have here is a situation where I can't prove I paid this amount and you can't prove that I didn't".
AT: "Yes Ma'am"
Me: "So I have to pay this bill"
AT: "Yes Ma'am"
Me: "So because your customer service people in (the shithole town I live in) can't process a simple market change correctly I'm out another $165? And this is despite the fact that you can't really prove I didn't already pay it?"
AT: "Yes ma'am. I'm sorry ma'am"
Me: "Yes, I will bet you are because right before you came on the line, I agreed to take a customer satisfaction survey and I will be looking forward to that call within the next two hours. You have a great day."

Fuck you.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Snow Day!

We are almost literally up to our asses in snow. In fact, the dogs and the Khan are up to their asses in snow. And the dogs love it. They're pretty much the only ones. We got another 6 + inches yesterday and I don't know what time it finally stopped today. But hey! There is a beautiful bonus from all this snow. The pantheon of winter childhood joy and a welcome respite for us grownups too.

The Snow Day.

I drive an hour each way to work which, this winter especially, means dealing with the weather. And despite record snowfalls this winter, this is my first snow day all season and likely my last because I'm ethical like that. But today was awesome. Despite checking my work e-mail about a dozen times, I did virtually nothing. Sarge had me scared for a minute because he mentioned the dreaded "C" word. Yes. You know the one: C-L-E-A-N-I-N-G. I spelled it because I'm normally not one to utter profanity. Oh shut the fuck up already!

Luckily, after cleaning the bathrooms which are small and took less than 15 minutes, that urge soon passed. The sarge, you see, did not have the proper "Sneetag" mindset since this is just a regular day off for him. UGH. I'm just glad he's malleable and quickly came around to our way of slacking thinking and soon settled in for the Firefly marathon on sci-fi. Oh, and a nap. A blessed hour nap on the couch. If my sheets wouldn't have been in the dryer that nap would have been with the Khan or the Sarge and wonderfully amazing. But my couch is good too. Now I'm blogging after spending all day trying to think of how to lighten up the blog after all the bitching political rambling this past week, I just feel like my loyal readers deserved levity. Nothing is lighter than fluffy white snow, right? I am sad to say that I didn't knit. I didn't read. I did jack shit except nap. I really love naps. I did tell you that, right?

Want to know my perfect day? At least I think it would be a perfect day if I could ever have one. Here it goes:
1. Some "snuggling" because no one has to get up or we're awake before the alarm goes off (this never happens).
2. Workout - preferably outside by walking the dogs or taking a really great hike or bike ride.
3. Shower to eliminate the stinky part.
4. Breakfast: Waffles, fresh fruit and tea (coffee would work) or what we call the "Russian Breakfast" - cold cuts, cheese, fresh, crusty bread, fresh fruit and tea. AMAZING
5. I'd go to work. Really. I think workaholic isn't the right word but when I love my work, I am happy to spend time at it. Ideally, it'd be the owner/manager of a place likelike this. The family is at work with me and we all get it done together. Yes, if I win the lottery achieve my retirement goals, I'll still keep working. In fact, my retirement fund would enable me to purchase a place exactly like that and that is what I would do.
6. Playtime. After work, some time with the kids, dogs, hubby... doing whatever. A board game or a movie maybe.
7. Dinner. Healthy, laden with fresh food and eaten at the dining room table.
8. More fun time. If we had the lodge, probably a sauna or dip in the hot tub or lake.
9. Reading time - to the boys, for myself, all of the above.
10. If Sarge plays his cards right, maybe more "snuggling". Shut up Crunchy. That's what you get for reading your mother's blog.

What's your perfect day?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

More Thoughts...

I'm really in a political mindset lately. Am I focused on the primary election? No. I don't recall whether I've ever actually voted in a primary election. Being a politically independent thinker, I think not being able to split my ticket is a giant rip-off since I usually do split my ticket. In fact, if I haven't reasarched the office in question, I just vote against the incumbent. Cool, huh? I know.

Ogre and I had a bit of a discussion yesterday. I don't think he was pleased by the outcome because he just kind of stopped...talking. I wish I could bottle it.

We were discussing politics and, while we're both behind the same guy, we have some significant points of difference. I think that we have entirely too many lawyers running our country. Why? People are fooled by lawyers. Lawyers think that they are smart because they went to law school and law school isn't easy so they must, therefore be smart people.

The problem is that, in my experience, most lawyers have no street smarts. Lawyers spend three years memorizing laws and learning to interpret them. They learn how to help people avoid prosection or to prosecute them. The specialize in finding loopholes and cutting deals. This does not prepare them to run our country. This prepares them to fulfill their own delusions of grandeur and satisfy their own self interests and those of their clients special interest donors.

Lawyers typically pay so little attention to common sense details that they have to hire someone to make sure their bills get paid. Why would we put them in charge of paying our bills? We need more business majors and CPA's in particular running this country. People who pay attention to detail to make good decisions and have proven ability to manage the affairs of a business. Yes, a business. We need to run our country like a business including making spending decisions that make sense. We do not borrow from our future with debt to fund any program that does not deliver value to the taxpayer. I would, frankly, prefer my president to be a lean guru. Eliminate waste, deliver value. It seems so damn logical, doesn't it?

I believe so very strongly that our country needs a national healthcare system so that all men, women and children have access to the same quality of healthcare. I just don't think that our government is capable of creating that plan. I envision logical delivery of care nationwide but the option our Congress and, unfortunately, any of the current presidential candidates is likely to come up with would be full of bureaucracy and pork for clients donors. Lawyers feel like they are able to inflate the cost of their services because they spent all that time in school and, well, they have bills to pay and I'm sure that a national healthcare system designed by lawyers would be a clusterfuck designed to not piss doctors off.

I believe we need to put common sense back in our tax code. When laywers create laws, laws have holes. Accountants do not make policy with holes. Let the AICPA re-design the tax code. Close the loopholes. Make taxes fair and eliminate tax loopholes designed to protect the wealth of the wealthy. I also say eliminate tax breaks for corporations that do not result in an increase of value provided to the taxpayer. I'll bet restructing the tax code would result in much greater pay equity between leadership and line level employees. But I guess you could argue that salary is market-driven. Well, except for lawyers. I am not opposed to consumption based or flat tax concepts, but I know a bunch of lawyers would fuck that up.

Give me a body of leaders for my country that really does understand the concept of value creation. That's what I want. Remember that I'm the customer and this country, this business of managing resources to provide maximum benefits to the taxpayer needs to focus on the customer - the taxpayer - to be successful. And start writing laws and guidelines in English not bullshit-legalese designed to keep lawyers from splitting hairs about what is is. And give me a decision-maker, not a decider.

Here's my wish list:
Give me good healthcare.
Remove the opportunity to create frivolous litigation.
Don't spend money we don't have on things that don't add benefit to the majority.
Get the right people doing the right job - not just the low-cost provider.
Treat our military and our veterans with respect. Hey! Give us some of those benefits other Federal employees get or take them away from other Federal employees. Wouldn't relocation assistance have helped this family this year? Government employees who choose to move get it while military families that have no choice do not. Backwards, right? Sorry. I digress.
Stop trying to use legislation to protect people from their own stupidity.
Stop using legislation to press forth your religion.
Start trying to create an atmosphere where people are accountable for their actions and responsible for outcomes. This is completely contrary to what lawyers do, right? That's why we need fewer lawyers in our Government.

And last: Don't tell me what I want. ASK.

Peace out.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I Need To Learn When to Shut Up

I've been reading the last couple of posts and I guess I'm still not clear and I'm also pretty sure I sound like a total bitch which, believe me, I am not.

I guess I am just trying to say I've got no patience for the perpetual victim type people. You know the type, right? Nothing is ever their fault and they are just devastated over it. "I got an F because the teacher's a bitch." "I didn't get the job because I'm overweight." "I burnt my self by spilling my coffee because I didn't know it was hot." Those people disturb my peace greatly. That's all I'm trying to say.

Maybe tomorrow will be a shiny, happy blog. Today it's fucking snowing. Again.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I just want to clarify the post from yesterday. I don't hold anything against anyone except when people portray themselves as victims of their own choices. You know? I mean if you've smoked your whole life, you're to blame for your health issues. Don't ask me to save you if you're not willing to save yourself. And to claim that employers can't hold you accountable for drug addiction because it's a medical issue is bullshit too.

At the risk of sounding churchy or preachy I want to say that I love everyone the way that God loves me. But it frustrates me when people try to shift responsibility for their actions onto society as a whole. Does that make sense? Trust me, I'm not a bitch. Some of you even know that first-hand.

And maybe you'll get my views on church later. I'm very fed up with that area of my life right now too.

Peace. I love you.

About That Half-Mil...

Please watch and enjoy. Then be inspired.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I read a lot of discourse on the web about why I'm voting for or not voting for so and so and now that my candidate of choice has withdrawn from the race, maybe I'll weigh in on what I'd really like to see in our next President.

I can think for myself. I don't need my President to define my morals.

I don't want my President to pander to the NEA, NRA or any other abbreviations except the V.O.T.E.R.S.

I support term limits for each and every elected office in this country. Yes. That one too.

We need more MBA's and CPAs running this country and a lot fewer lawyers.

Faith-based initiatives violate the separation of church and state.

Marriage is a sacrament defined by a church. Any Citizen should have the right to enter a civil union with whomever they choose. It should be required in addition to marriage to be joined by a public official - like in France.

I can control my guns. My government doesn't have to. Guns really don't kill people, stupidity does. Prove me wrong. Some stupid person is behind every senseless act of violence. It is our tolerance for acceptable behavior that must change. Not our gun control laws.

If Johnny can't read, it's Johnny's fault and his parents' fault. Johnny needs role models, not friends. Teach him to respect his elders, respect authority and still question the status quo. And teach the little bastard to read, write and perform fundamental math. If he's a college freshman that doesn't know when to use to vs. too vs. two: Johnny is a moron. No child left behind is bullshit. Find a better way to hold both parents and teachers accountable for measurable learning objectives and hold our children to higher standards so that the can compete on a global level. Some kids do deserve to fail and should. So should their parents. What could we do to stupid parents? That is a quandry...

Our government must stop financing our future with debt. And I only want my government to spend my tax dollars on programs that truly add value. Bailing out a company too arrogant to adjust it's model to consumer demand is a waste of money. If you as a company find yourself in financial difficulty because your sales are down, listen to your god damned customer and fix the problem. Don't ask my government for money. I don't think you're a good investment.

If you lose your job, I'm sorry. But you must understand the labor market is based on supply and demand. If the demand for your skills goes away, then you must be willing to supply a different skill set (which you can acquire with the same federal student aid everyone else is entitled to for the same purpose) or just go somewhere where else where turning that screw pays you sixty grand a year. Get serious. Get smarter. Move up and on.


Make it a great day.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Go. Me.

You'll be happy to know that I won the lottery last night. However, I chose to re-invest the $3.00 in more tickets. I believe you can call that a rollover.


Remember how last year I wanted to run a 5K but lost track of time and whatever and didn't get it done? Well, I've started the Couch to 5K running program and have picked the target for my first race. So many people in my family and so many of my friends have been touched by cancer that I thought I'd not just run a race, but try to raise some money too. So much work needs to be done to beat cancer and as long as our Government is as misguided as it is, The ACS and other organizations certainly need all the help we can give them. I've e-mailed and, if you don't get e-mails from me, here's a link to my donations page. I've set kind of a lofty goal, but I'd certainly like to raise more than that if possible.

And if yesterday's post has you worried, don't be. Things are what they are and we'll do what we need to do. Life's never been easy but we always make it through.


Saturday, February 9, 2008

Probably not worth reading... Just move along

I didn't even realize that I haven't blogged this week. I'm so sorry. One of the deadliest The number one deadly sin of successful blogging is maintaining a consistent schedule and I haven't done that. I'm sorry.

I've been in a rare mood lately. Yesterday I called it a rare foul and pissy mood, but I guess it really isn't rare if it happens every day. I know I could go to my th it, but given their pace, the foreclosure will probably happen first. What can we do? Nothing. Can't crap out a few months' worth of mortgage payments on what we make now with no assets to sell other than WAIT! A HOUSE! and our tax refund wouldn't even make a dent - besides our lovely IRS didn't have their rule changes in place yet so our return is still "pending" when it was e-filed two weeks ago and we should have had our money by now. UGH. The house has been on the market for one year as of March 1. But the market is terrible. Where our house is located, some 40% of home sales in November were short sales. Why buy a house at full price when you can effectively steal one? The job market is bad and is taking the real estate market with it. If I could un-do the entire Michigan experience, I probably would. Yes, I'm sure I would - even the MBA. I apologize to my husband nearly every day for getting us into this mess. The house will soon be gone, one way or another, and pretty much our entire financial future with it. Option 1: Foreclosure - financially devastating for who knows how long? Seven years? Ten? Plus it's a VA loan meaning we'd likely not ever be able to borrow from them again. Option 2: Short Sale: The VA makes it right with the lender, but we'll have to cover the VA's loss if we ever hope to borrow from them again. In a nutshell, from my perspective anyway, it is very unlikely that we'll be in a position to own a home again unless I make some very radical, unpleasant changes. To de-personalize it, I'm calling it "minimizing under-utilized earning capacity".

Unfortunately, I'm not quite sure how that will be done. The job market is very supply and demand driven as well and I find myself in a place where my skills are not as in demand as I'd hoped they would be. Why? Oh just because of where we live. Most people don't have post-secondary education so most jobs don't require them. Imagine, then, what having a post-post secondary education does for me here? What it did was reduce my wages by half. The most lucrative job offer I had was 20,000 less than I made at the horrible job I left in Michigan. The best offer, the job that I love so much with the greatest boss I've ever had, is $24K less. Don't you go to school to make more money? Not when you're me, evidently. I went to school to get another massive pile of loan debt. I apologize to my husband frequently for this too. I just feel so profoundly guilty and I don't know what to do. Because we're here, changing jobs doesn't even make sense. I won't make any more money so why bother? And did I mention my job is awesome? This semester I'm almost even feeling like I might be okay at it - no matter what last semester's SEI's say! I digress...

It always seems to me that things progress from bad to worse to completely shitty. Sometimes, of course, life throws me a bone - like the job that I actually like for a change - but mostly, I think that is to keep me from being completely batshit crazy. I am not 100% sure it is working. Because, the day after we get the first forclosure letter, because of DiscoverIndies (the website I had hoped to launch to promote independently owned hospitality businesses) I got an e-mail from a broker telling me that my dream is for sale. Running a business with exactly this configuration and location is something I would love to do the rest of my life. I'd keep it open year-round though. Most definitely. It even almost has a banya. Perfect. I did the business plan for it in Graduate School. If anyone can help me out with half a million... e-mail me.

Do you know what rock bottom is like? I could tell you but I doubt I'm there yet. I have, however, reached the milestone where buying powerball tickets is really my retirement plan. Go. Me.


Ramen noodles with diced tomatoes added are delicious. It is hard to improve on the perfection that is ramen, but make chicken ramen noodles, toss in some diced tomatos and add a dash of parmesan cheese. Perfectly delicious.

I am more than a little pissed that Edwards left the presidential race. The media made it a two-horse contest early and never really gave him a shot. Fuck the media.

Lost is back! Awesome.

The writers' strike may be over. I'm glad. I need more House (because all I do is watch TV these says)

Go find all the video from the Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Conan O'Brien brawl that you can. I'd link you but I'm lazy. Two of the three will be on Comedy Central. The other on NBC. If you live under a rock or, God help you, don't like the Daily Show, et. al; the three hosts appeared on one another's shows Monday night and staged this big mock brawl. It was the funniest thing I've seen in awhile.

Crunchy's blog is still weak but Slutpeter's is worse. Get to Pete's from Crunchy's (Everybody's Favorite in my blogroll) and tell him so.

Oh and in case my blog has brought you down completely, Sarah Silverman is F*cking Matt Damon.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Take That Crunchy!

My video is funnier than your video.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I probably should apologize...

But I'm not going to. I've been busy! But I have been checking the sitemeter and it appears while I have met a blogging goal milestone, I have also lost a couple loyal readers. My average visits per day is down to six from nine. It's disappointing to say the least.

The milestone? You ask. Well, I'm very proud to say that for whatever reason, this post came up in someone's "my mom is f*cking my friend" pron search. Woo hoo! The oddness of the internet never ceases to amaze me. But with those search results I do feel like I have arrived as a blogger. Go. Me.

In other news, we survived the big FIVE! I'm FIVE Now! and the Big 1-0 this past weekend (Friday and Saturday to be precise) including a party for several of their friends. Here's a tip: because jackasses people are so bad about the RSVP, wait until people show up and you have a truly accurate headcount and order pizza. The five dollar ones from Pizza Hut are both cheap and tasty. SUCCESS!

Now, how do I bring my readers back? I'll work on getting back to a regular posting schedule. Honest! Now, I'm back to freezing my ass off. It's zero degrees here and windy as hell. Did I mention before how much I hate winter?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Got Snow?

We do. And I, for one, am tired of it. I really hate snow and we're up to our booty in it. Last year I kept telling myself that Western Wisconsin doesn't get lake effect snow and the previous several winters had been really mild on the snowfall front. Silly me, I thought I'd get lucky. We've been blessed with the white stuff since before Christmas and I'm SO done with it. I do not like snow. I do not like cold. We got seven inches of snow last Thursday and Friday we were rewarded with a cold snap so sharp that my hands couldn't take five minutes of shoveling. It was THE worst! Being out shoveling for one minute - even walking from my car to Aldi - ten yards or so - made my hands so cold they hurt!

I want warm weather and I want it now!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Inspected, detected and selected...

Crikey am I tired of doctors and dentists and whatnot! See, I've got a very flexible schedule during the semester break and a fairly rigid one during the semester so I thought I'd get some routine maintenance out of the way during the winter break. UGH! Since December 20 I've had three dental appointments, three doctors appointments and there are still a few more on the calendar. Bratticus is having oral surgery the 23rd and I go back into the semester schedule that same week. EEP! When all is said and done, I'll have had three crowns, my annual pap test, mammogram and (whoohoo!) a colonoscopy. Let me tell you that colonoscopy is TONS. OF. FUN. You get to sleep through the test, but the prep is a beeyotch.

I'm tired. But I'll be 100% sure I'm healthy when I'm done!

A VERY SPECIAL PRIZE if you can identify the lyric in the post title.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Kid Picture? Knit Picture? You Decide!

The Great Khan models the finished Fibonacci Scarf. It really drapes nicely after I blocked it. My mom seems quite happy I gave it to her.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Another Knitting Post!

Lengthwise Scarf
Originally uploaded by lisamarie51
Since you lazy bums don't seem to care what I put up here lately, have a picture of this awesome scarf I just finished. Pretty?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Well, I AM a Woman of Many Talents!

And I do surely wish web design was one of them because it would greatly enhance my marketability as a freelancer which would certainly grow my income and utilize a great deal more of my earning capacity now wouldn't it?

However, this work is not my own. I was pretty bored with the old layouts so I prayed to the Web Gods for their guidance with blogger templates. Searched around a bit and found this. Then, you download the template of your choosing to your desktop. If you use new Blogger like I do, then you can go into your dashboard under the template setting and select the HTML tab. Upload the file and you're well on your way. This file will be an xml or css file, by the way. Then you can do the tweaking to get the blog to your liking. Isn't that simple? I look forward to seeing my two most loyal readers' new layouts very soon!

By the way, you'll want to bookmark your Blogger Dashboard page. You'll thank me later. Once I updated the layout all the Google stuff at the top was gone. It was easier to bookmark the dashboard than try to get it back.

My talents are focused on finding value and adding value. Always on the lookout for a better way, I strive to improve systems, processes and relationships. I guess I need to start blogging on my other website too. Damn. I really would like to build a consulting practice.

Oh and don't forget to start your Amazon shopping here. If I can generate any revenue through that site, it goes toward another adoption. Thanks!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Karmic Law or Me vs. the Cosmos...

I believe that everything that happens to you happens for a reason. I believe that, despite how it looks at the time, you never get more crap thrown at you than you can handle. I also believe that what you give / do comes back to you threefold. Karma does apply people. Trust me.

How do I know? Well, I'm working from home today. Really! I'm wracking my addled brain trying to determine how best to deliver my courses in the spring. And Bratticus had to work at 1:00. So I had to drive her since I've got an appointment this afternoon myself. It was then that the Gods gave me a series of signs that was impossible to ignore.

1. I was tired.
2. I had to drive Bratticus to work.
3. The low fuel light came on so I had to stop for gas on the way home.
4. Mysteriously, the pump told me I had to go inside for my receipt despite there being no problems with the card.

This meant, of course, that I was meant to buy a cappuccino.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Two down, 98 to go!

I have also finished The Alchemist today. I loved it. Perhaps 2008 will be the year that I find my own Personal Legend. Lord knows I'm looking for it! It's late and I'm sleepy, but this book was just really uplifting. I needed to read it right now and I'm glad I did.

Life Changing Reading

I have finished book one of 100. "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" by John Perkins is one of a few books that I've read in my lifetime that I can honestly say is provocative and life-changing. Perkins spent several years as an "Economic Hitman" - one of those people who works for American firms in foreign countries helping the foreign country secure large loans for economic development projects - roads, schools, power plants and the like. The spoils of these loans go to companies just like the one that Perkins worked for and to a select few citizens of the foreign country. It's disgusting. Amazon's readers give it about 3.5 stars and I would give it a 4 or 4.5 of five. It is thought provoking and a little guilt-creating for me as someone who really truly wants to make the world better but doesn't know where to start. Criticisms from Amazon reviewers include allegations of a political bent that perhaps I am too obtuse to detect and that it is vague. I feel that if more details of creating optimistic, likely false economic forecasts to secure World Bank financing were revealed, there would be incredible fallout internationally for the author and the United States as well as several large global corporations and government organizations. It needed to be vague. However, it does tell stories and illustrate some of the arrogance that affects the international image of the United States and its people. I highly recommend that my six loyal blog readers give this one a try.

If, like me, you already aspire to make the world a better place, this will further fuel the fire. If you don't, perhaps it will light the spark. While not on par with William Lederer's "The Ugly American", I highly recommend this book. In fact, reading both in some order will definitely change your life. I guarantee it. "The Ugly American" was suggested to me by my Uncle when I was about 12. I took his advice and checked a well-worn copy out of the library. I've not been the same since.

If you read either one, please let me know what you think.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Post You've All Been Waiting For!

I'm the type to make New Year's Resolutions. You know you're not even surprised by this. This year, however, I am not honestly seeing the purpose of vague, shoulda coulda type goals because, well, I don't get them done. So I have my "must-dos" for 2008.

1. I must take better care of my physical, spiritual and emotional health in 2008. I'll be 40 on May 1 and I feel like shit in all these areas. I need to do what it takes to enjoy the great marriage and great kids I've got and that means taking care of me in every dimension.

Things I hope will support this goal:
1. Read 2 books per week. Seems a lot? I'm a fast reader. I just forgot how much I enjoy it during the year that I couldn't enjoy it because of the cataract. The cataract is gone. It should no longer control me.
2. Commit to regular physical activity. Not only will it lower cholesterol, weight and stress (stress which is leading me to a several thousand dollar dental bill thankyouverymuch) but it will improve my overall confidence, self-esteem (which couldn't, frankly, get worse) and give me more energy for the wonderful children God has blessed me with.
3. Strengthen and deepen my relationships with my husband, children and whomever else might be interested. Newsflash: I love whole-heartedly. If you don't know how much I love you, I'm sorry. And no, much as I'd like to, I don't really hate anybody. People piss me off but they just can't help themselves and I forgive them for it.
4. Strengthen and deepen my relationship with God. I am envious of people who can and do rely on faith to get them through the dark times. It seems so much healthier than Lexapro, doesn't it?

Achieving this goal marks a long-term investment in a life well-lived.

2. I must work on my and my family's financial health in 2008. It should not be this hard to succeed financially on our income. Yes, we took a 50% pay cut on both sides in 2007 and we still own the monkey on our backs in West Michigan, but again we let the negative control us and slowly consume us. This must stop.

Things I hope will support this goal:
1. I must work diligently to minimize my excess earning capacity. I love what I do. I could do it forever if it paid more but making less than I made right out of college with our current level of debt just isn't going to cut it. I have two choices: Supplement the income with freelance work or find a new career path either by getting a PhD or by finding similar but more lucrative employment. Options include business analyst, project management, training and development and, of course, consultant.

2. I must get a grip on our financial situation to the point where we do actually know what our account balances are, can and do meet our financial commitments each and every month.

3. Simplify. I am pressed to be more "green" in my spending and consumption practices. The planet is full of too many people who, like me, aren't paying enough attention to our relationship with the planet. Mother Earth, I am sorry and I promise to change.

4. Question everything. Why is this necessary? Is this a need or a want? What are the standards of performance? I need to apply my S&P background to my purchasing habits and not buy junk or over-spend on essentials. Relentlessly pursue value in all areas and be an informed, responsible consumer. My mantra should be "I have a BS in Finance and an MBA and I'm not afraid to use them!"

5. Find ways to use my hobbies to reduce costs or increase income.

Achieving this goal will enable me to create the kind of lifestyle I want my family to have. One where travel and adventure are not luxuries we can't afford. I want to see the world and I want to see it with my husband and our children.

3. The oxymoron: I am a perfectionist. Most of all this year I need to learn to give myself a break. I don't need to be perfect the first try. But I do need to do and be the best I can everytime. If it is worth doing, it's worth 100% effort.

Now you can think I'm crazy, but I do know a bit about and dabble with Tarot cards from time to time. I felt compelled to do a reading for myself in honor of the new year. My reading was definitely interesting. In the base of the matter position, I found The Fool. The Fool heralds a journey, new beginnings, changes. In the hopes and fears position, I found Temperance. Temperance, in my deck, represents the Goddess Iris. Basically, Temperance is about being in balance. All things in moderation, moderation in all things. Interesting, huh? Now I don't perceive the Tarot as the Gospel, but I do believe that important lessons are learned when you most need to learn them. The remainder of my 10 card spread consisted entirely of minor arcana cards focused on strong relationships and weathering change (mostly cups and swords, if you're curious). I am opening my heart and mind to the lesson.

I hope that when lessons present to you, you do the same.


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year!

I apologize for the inadvertent hiatus but our anniversary was Monday and, as usual, I had an immense amount of cleaning, etc to do in preparation for the festivities. The end result was a satisfactory evening. As usual, some people did my pet peeve which is to RSVP "yes" and then not show up for the party meaning I had way too much food (UGH!) but all in all, a satisfactory time was had by those in attendance.

However, I will be 40 this year and stayed up past midnight. Yesterday I did nothing too!

I'll blog better tomorrow.