Thursday, December 09, 2004

When it's good to be a woman...

"A serious case of laptop burn was reported in a letter published in a medical journal two years ago after a 50-year-old man burned his penis while using a laptop balanced on his legs for an hour, despite wearing trousers and underpants."


Monday, November 29, 2004


I've survived another Thanksgiving. I wish I was a bit more excited than I actually am, but I'm not. I have mixed emotions about Thanksgiving. It's not that I don't have a lot for which to be thankful, because I have TONS of things, but I still have a hard time with the holiday.

I don't really care for turkey. Fresh turkey I can handle, but I don't like leftovers. I have also never like gravy...sweet potatoes...or cranberries (though my mother is getting creative with some new recipes). So where does that leave me? With broccoli casserole, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and stuffing. On the plus side I LOVE those four things, but I still often wonder, "Why all of this fuss over a meal that I don't particularly like?" Now if I was having a large veggie covered pizza, cheesy bread sticks and some chocolate soy-milk I could get behind it!! This year there was also the disappointment of no pumpkin pie. Sigh. However, as I do aspire to be an optimist instead of a pessimist...I did get to try my very first, made-from-scratch banana cream pie, and I found it quite delightful.

As Thanksgiving continues, and the meal comes to an end, the inevitable Christmas tree fiasco begins. I'm no Scrooge by any means, but the Christmas tree at my parent's house is a whole new beast. This year's theme: Crystal (and yes, next year's theme has already been picked). I enjoy decorating my own home, where I put things where I want and only put up what I want. Drill Sgt. Michelle will have none of that at Camp Van Buren. There must be order, as the theme depends upon it! In the past I usually put the tree together (yep, its fake) and have to put on the lights. Neither of these are my favorite, but I've somehow been designated as the tree/light girl. This year, I rebelled.

I wouldn't think the lack of desire or interest in creating the Crystal Christmas would be a big deal, but I heard plenty about it from the Sarge. I hope she realizes it for what it was: a simple lack of interest in tree lighting, and a final refusal to be bullied into that job. I'm not boycotting the tree, nor am I against having it...I'm just against my having to do anything if I don't want to do it. I can see how one would consider this selfish, and perhaps it is, but I was curious to see what would happen if, for one year, I did nothing. I gotta tell you...I liked it.

Now that the weekend is over the family can begin concentrating on other events, but Thanksgiving 2005 already lingers in the air. I'm neither excited, nor am I dreading it, but perhaps I will make further steps to alleviate the less popular aspects. I will stand firm in my conviction to not light the tree...I will enjoy lots of mashed potatoes with broccoli casserole...and perhaps sneak an order to Pizza Hut for dinner.

Friday, November 12, 2004

I love to write

And it's a good thing too. I jotted all of these notes down last night but never saved them. Luckily, it won't be a problem to start over again...

I love to write. I don't just mean the physical act of writing onto paper. I don't just mean the concept of researching and recording my thoughts. I love it all. I like watching the words form on the page as my pen leaves a trail of ideas and words behind. The click-clack of the keyboard is music to my ears. I enjoy the whole process.

I don't necessarily need a topic about which to write, but it helps. I have been known to write about anything, to ramble for the sake of writing. However, it is an incomplete experience without the planning, researching and eventual regurgitation of someone else's work mixed in with my own convictions. A topic helps, but I will write for any reason. It intrigues me that I studied English in college for the opportunity to read, but I now miss the challenge of writing.

My job doesn't give me the full experience of writing. I have the opportunity to record and distribute data, but it is still lacking. It lacks me. Please don't misunderstand, as I don't desire fame or recognition. However, I do want the opportunity to let my soul be seen. It's not that I believe that my opinion is right, or that anyone even really cares what my opinions are, but I want the opportunity to express them. In writing I have to chance to think about life, formulate the right words and then to share them, with or without anyone knowing from whence the ideas came.

Perhaps that is why I prefer the written word to the spoken word. There aren't many people who know me that will tell you I have a problem with the spoken word. Quite the opposite actually. I often suffer diarreah of the mouth, with anything and everything spilling forth. My tongue too frequently works more quickly than my brain and I put myself in a bad situation, wishing I could take back what just errupted, or that I could think of a better apology. That is rarely the case with writing. I think writing is the left-brained man's art form. I can research, outline, create note cards and proof-read before submitting my final copy. It gives me the joy of being myself as creatively and as organized-ly (?) as I desire.

Funny, how I spent four years dreading the next writing assignment, then four years thankful that I am no longer under that pressure. And now? I'm ready for that challenge again...

Thursday, October 28, 2004

The Death of a Legend

"It it's not Baroque, don't fix it." - Cogsworth, "Beauty & The Beast"

Someone should introduce George Lucas to Walt Disney. Perhaps some of Disney's animated wisdom would not only rub-off, but also motivate Lucas in his own movie making endeavors. On second thought, Cinderella 2 makes me reconsider. Anyway, the point...StarWars.

I have been a devoted StarWars fans for years. The first movie released before I was born and I was too young to see either of the rest in the theater, yet somehow I was exposed. Now I'm not a fanatic (going as Princess Leia every year for Halloween) but I admit that I am a bit of a StarWars geek [I even own my StarWars special edition Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit]. My VCR tapes are getting quite worn, so I was pretty excited about the DVD's coming available. My excited has been extinguished.

Last night I got to see parts of "Episode Six: The Return of the Jedi". I was anticipating the scenes added a few years ago (when Lucas first discovered CGI and decided to make his movies even longer) but I was not anticipating needless additions and changes to scenes that already worked in the originals. I am desperately trying not to ruin the movies for anyone who has yet to see the them, but Lucas has already ruined them, so why should I try? I want to keep my thoughts organized and not blurt out every evil thing I think about Lucas, so I will summarize.

1) WHY MESS WITH A GOOD THING? The original StarWars triliogy broke box office records; it made stars out of unknown actors; it not only captured the audience of its time, but has harpooned people for generations. I appreciated the clean-up work and touch ups that Lucas did to existing scenes, but was mostly annoyed with the additions he made in attempt to spice things up. Let me put it into perspective:
He took a Ford Escort. The CGI clean-up was adding a nice spoiler. The extra scenes and monsters are cheesey flames on the side, a giant Ford sticker in the back window and LeBra.

2) BE CONSISTENT! I'm gonna spew here, but I just can't help myself. First, I am COMPLETELY against blending the "first" trilogy (4-6) with the "second" trilogy (1-3). With that said, if one decides that it is completely necessary to mess with history and change an already good thing, please be consistent. Lucas not only ruins the originals by incorporating parts of the newest films, but he is inconsistent with how/who/what he brings in!! If you aren't going to ruin the WHOLE movie, why only ruin bits and pieces?

Well, that's all that I can vent for now. I'm getting flustered just thinking about this. I only hope and pray that those of you who have never been able to see the original StarWars movies will find someone with the VCR tapes before those become extinct. If you need to borrow my copies, my sister has my number.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Heck yeah I did!

Last night I enjoyed one of the most thought-provoking, brain-numbing and random movies I've ever seen. I'm not sure how much of the enjoyment was due to the movie itself, or how much of it was based on the show being at 11:00 p.m. during slap-happy hours, but it moved me enough to pen some thoughts on it. At your leisure please see Napoleon Dynamite, PG, 1 hour, 26 minutes.

I went to see this film because a friend was going for his third time. For three nights he drove two hours round trip to watch this movie. The sacrifice of such time and money intrigued me. I had no reason to believe I would enjoy the film, as I don't recall that he and I have ever agreed on a movie. However, curiosity won. We drove, we watched...we agreed. Punch Drunk Love and Clueless were able to sit down together and enjoy the life of Napoleon Dynamite. I can't explain how, but perhaps I can also draw you into our world of cinematic brotherhood.

I couldn't justly comment on the storyline without having to summarize it, but I can't summarize it because...well, I can't. The subplots come together to support the main plot in a well-crafted pyramind of events. If I neglected any of the subplots the main plot would seem off-kilter, but if I explain every subplot then I'm not really summarizing, am I? You'll just have to see the movie.

Anyway, the beauty of this movie is truly in the subtleties. It's the coordination of all of the best of the eighties (stirrup pants, the A-Team, the cameo school picture) with life in the twenty-first century. It's all of the little details that can easily be overlooked. It's the great writing and acting that combine to draw you in so closely that you begin to emote with each character. It's agressive. It's deliberate. It's at least one geeky kid in every school.

What I like best about this movie is that there is nothing sensational about it. It's the first movie I've seen that steers clear of the airbrushed-perfection of Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen without swinging to the extreme of the teenage angst of My So-Called Life. The perfect looking kids don't get everything they want, much less without trying, and those desperately in need a mirror and a trip to the mall aren't tormented and ignored to the point of drugs and death. They focus on normal abnormalities.

I find that as I sit and think about this movie my attempts to comment on it become as choppy as the film itself. I don't want to ruin it for anyone, so I don't really even want to say anymore. Please, see the movie. Find out for yourself.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Top 10 Ways to Appear Busy at Work

10) Always keep an open file on your desk. Even if it doesn't move or change all day, an open file suggests work.
9) Check your voicemail frequently. If your message light isn't on, insist that the phone must be broken.
8) Never minimize all of the useful work progams on your computer screen. Keep one up in the background so that you can quickly close out of other programs and have work readily available at your fingertips.
7) Play with your files. Flip through the drawer and occassionally pull one or two out to flip through. It doesn't matter what you're looking for as long as you're looking.
6) Buy stationary that resembles your work letterhead.
5) When receiving or making personal phone calls always address the other party as if he or she is a client. When leaving messages make sure to let them know when you will be in the office.
4) Buy a day planner with creative and fun pages. Flip through it frequently, as if checking your schedule, and enjoy the jokes and games.
3) Take letters to the mailbox one at a time.
2) Type frequently, even if it is only personal emails. Most people won't watch what you're doing, but if you sound like you're busy, you must be busy.
1) Always carry a pen and file folder when walking around the building, even if you are only going to the bathroom. People will think you're on your way to something important. If its available, have a radio or cell phone "in case of an emergency".

Monday, October 04, 2004


This may be my last posting for a while (or at least until I calm down). For the past thirty minutes I have been attempting to edit my last post "The World at Your Fingertips". As continuing proof that the internet and all that it offers is not quite as fun/accessible/easy as I would like: apparently you can only edit a post on certain days. Today is not one of those days. I can read, write, comment...but not edit. I'm not sure what this website has against editing, but I'm going to go look at a picture of a kitten with a lime helmet to help me relax now.

Perhaps I'll feel inspired again later...perhaps not.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The World at Your Fingertips

So I "don't mean to be a traitor to my generation" (Cher Horowitz - Clueless), but sometimes I don't know how I feel about the Internet. Sure, it can be a great resourse, but only if you know how to use it. I can shop on-line very wel...but I'm a woman. I can shop anywhere and do it well! I can also email and check weather with extreme precision! It's those run-of-the-mill, every-day, alternative-ways-to-find-out bits of information and communication that are so easy. What I want to know is how to find the good stuff...

Today I wanted to look up Tehillah Toronto. Not an easy task. I forgot the second "h" on Tehillah. I ended up with all kinds of bizzare websites, commentaries and Israeli chat rooms all because of a little "h". I mean, I had 7 out 8 right! 85% isn't bad! But it wasn't the 85% that the Internet cared was the 15% I forgot.

I guess this is what I really want to know: how come Tehilla won't lead me to Tehillah, but hard, long, girl, boy and sextuplepts will all lead me to Playboy!?!? This is not an experiment I would like to conduct, but if there are 6 degrees of separation to Kevin Bacon, I'll give you 5 degrees of the Internet to a porn site. And yet my 85% just doesn't cut the mustard.

I obviously have occassional free time when I puruse the Internet (is that supposed to capitalized? If so, why??), but I find myself stuck on email, weather, and BounceOut. Perhaps if it was more user friendly to the not-so-sexually driven, or maybe if it was more compassionate towards the gramatically challenged I could devote a little more time, but not now. Not when I have a sister in Arizona who can look up everything for me.

On that note, I'll sign off from the Internet for today (I will, of course, check my email one more time). I look forward to Christmas shopping again this year. I eagerly anticipate tomorrow's weather. I will forever dread trying to find information on anything that I can't spell (God bless

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Writing Sample...

I was just reading an article on about how important writing skills are to various employers. Below is a clip from that article. Wow.

“Writing skills tend to be critical more on the salaried side of things, but even for our hourly jobs, to be able to communicate shift to shift,” said Thomas Siegele, a human resources manager for paint and glass maker PPG Industries Inc., based in Pittsburgh.

Brain Fart

Isn't it ironic, don't you think? A little too ironic, I really do think. Actually, no I don't think it's ironic - I think it's a tragedy! Why the drama? Why the emotion? Because I could be missing out on BIG BUCKS right now (or at least $50) because I can't think of anything to write!

I sit down to type up a blog and the wheels begin to spin...I could write about pretty much anything (I should be able to by now - I can talk about pretty much anything too). But give me a topic, make me wrangle my mind into a little corner of concentration, and...I'm sorry, what was I saying?

I don't know the exact numbers, but they say men use about one fifth of the amount of words that women use in a day. I've always been an overachiever. The words never seem to stop. I suffer from a rarely diagnosed but extremely sensitive condition: diarreah of the mouth. If you say the right word, give me a good topic, I may not shut up for days (verbal laxatives - handle with care). In fact, my roommates confirm that I even talk in my sleep. I could tell you about my job, my family, my car, my house, my feet, my shoes, my teeth, my earrings, my soy milk, my friends, my enemies, my God and pretty much anything else in existence. So why is this so hard?

Even now, I have no answers. As I try to come up with smart-aleck, quick remarks, my brain freezes. Perhaps I need chocolate (hey, I'm a woman - chocolate cures everything). Maybe I need a brain massage. Or it could just be that I'm not destined to be monetarily compensated for my endless amounts of sarcasm and spunk. I think I will retreat to my cubicle now, take some mental Bean-O and see if I can pass this brain fart today...

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Chicken Noodle??

I'm a cat person and I don't try to hide that. I'm not a huge fan of the canine companion, but apparently they appeal to some people. However, in spite of their barking, slobbering, whining chewing and every other loud and wet behavior they do have one redeeming quality: their breeds. Specifically: the poodle.

Why the poodle? It has nothing to do with their character. It has to do with their names. I'm not talking about their owner-given names like "Princess", "Snooky" and "Pumpkin". No, I'm referring to the name given to the new breed created everytime you mix a poodle with any other type of dog (and how is it that you can breed a poodle with so many other types of dog??). Now THIS is entertainment.

The Cockapoo. The Labradoodle. Really, who comes up with these names?? It sounds like someone just asked their 3-year old, dressed in pink, ballerina wannabe daughter to name the dog! So I got to thinking...what else could you breed with a poodle, and what would you call it?

Snickerdoodle (A Snickers bar and a poodle)
Pooh-poo (Winnie-the-Pooh and a poodle)
Caboodle (A taxi and a poodle)

Please, feel free to elaborate...I just wanted to get the ball rolling with this one!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Meet me at DQ

The holiday weekend is officially over, and I am wondering if there is really a point to it all. There's the traffic, the cookout, the traffic, the sales, and more traffic. Perhaps it is the lack of regular traditions, the lack of extended family, or just the lack of good television that keeps it rather dull, and truly nothing more than a three day weekend. As I look back over the past three days, and the other holiday weekends like it, I find only one common denominator: ice cream.

Holidays have never been the huge family affair at my house that they seem to be with others...Especially the summer holidays. We have no large family traditions for Memorial Day, July 4th or Labor Day. There are no guests who visit every year, there are no places to which we go. This holiday was another example. We lounge around the house, trying desperately to amuse ourselves while avoiding the tourist traffic that annoys and frustrates us. Occasionally a few of us may brave the roads for a knick or knack, but not always. However, we will brave hell or high water, wind and rain, locusts and frogs to get our ice cream.

I'm not sure why its a tradition, and I don't know how it started, but no three-day holiday at home would be complete without a trip to the DQ and a night at House of Flavors. It's not enough to get ice cream one night, nor is it okay to have the same kind two nights in a row. The only acceptable treat is to experience everything and to experience it at all costs.

Ice cream is our only tradition. We don't always order the same thing, we don't go at the same time of the day, but we go. We cram too many adults into one vehicle. We endure drivers who don't know where they're going, what the speed limit is, or the meaning of that vacant lane in the middle of the road in which no one is driving. And for what? The ice cream. Even if they don't have exactly what we want or make it the way we like it; even if we're still so full from the ribs that we can hardly keep our pants done up; even if we are so annoyed with each other that we can hardly stand to look at each other anymore. Nothing will keep us from our ice cream.

And so, as I prepare to go back to work I can reflect on the medium vanilla ice cream cone and the strawberry shortcake that I enjoyed this year. I look ahead to next summer and wonder what the Blizzard of the Month will be...will the House of Flavors have created a NEW flavor for 2005? The guests and the weather may change from year to year, but I can rest assured that I will enjoy my ice cream.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Blurred Vision

This is now my fourth summer at Shanty Creek Resort & Club in beautiful Bellaire, Michigan (it's always a beautiful day at Shanty Creek). During my first few weeks here I received a stark warning: "Don't use the bathroom on Tuesday mornings, 9:00 - 9:30." For four years I have heeded that advice...until today.

In a moment of poor judgment, or perhaps a drowsy stupor, I slipped into the bathroom at 8:59 am, Tuesday, August 31st. As if on cue, the door opened at 9:00 am and bodies began to pile in. I had forgotten. The rest of the bathroom was now full of lively, energetic over-60 women fresh from the water aerobics class. And they were naked.

I was in a tough place: stay in the stall and pretend that it actually took me thirty minutes to pee, or gather my strength, pull up my pants and face the, uh, music. I delayed as long as I could, but when the discussion turned to the latest in diet trends I could handle no more. With the the stiffest of necks and the straightest of eyes I left my stall, proceeded directly to the sink, washed and dried my hands and promptly left the bathroom. AND...I managed to do it all while politely addressing the women, smiling with courtesy and not seeing anything that might possibly resemble me forty years in the future.

Though it was a brief lapse in memory, I did escape unscarred. Moral to the story? There isn't one. Just please, PLEASE stay out of the first floor bathroom by the indoor pool on Tuesday mornings between 9:00 - 9:30 am!