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.