Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Breakin' up is hard to do

One of my favorite songs to sing at karaoke is "Breakin' Up is Hard to Do", the ballad version from the 70s, not the doo-wop version from 1962. Not because I particularly identify with the lyrics which are rather sad, but because the melody fits perfectly in my voice range. The piano accompaniment is beautiful too.

I don't particularly identify with the lyrics because they are a plea to a lover not to leave, which has never been an experience of mine. But I try to imagine when I sing this song what it would feel like to utter these words and really mean them, because that makes the song sound better and more authentic.

It seems rare that the decision to split up is mutual. Most often 1 makes the decision to leave in their heart long before the conversation is had between the couple. While breakin' up may be hard to do, it happens. Its hard on the 2 who are breaking up, and its hard on those who are friends with the couple. Its sad and it hurts. But life goes on.

Several years ago a couple with whom Spouse & I were friends decided to split up. For us this was no big deal because we liked 1 of the guys much more than the other, who could be accurately characterized as a 'loose cannon'. When they split up and it became known that they were not going to remain friends afterward, we knew we'd maintain our friendship with the 1 we had always liked best.

But just recently we learned that another couple with whom Spouse & I are friends have split up. It was not a mutual decision, but they claim they will remains friends. This means that we should be able to maintain our friendship with both of them, since we didn't have a clear favorite.

But what happens if/when 1 of them starts dating? Do you invite both halves of the former couple AND the 1 guy's new boyfriend to your party? Is that disrespectful to the single guy? Might he feel uncomfortable seeing his ex with a new man, especially since the single guy did not initiate the break-up? I want to include them both but don't want to upset either.

Of course a friend wants to be supportive of the 1 who did not initiate the break-up, lending them a figurative shoulder to cry on. But how do you react if they want to speak negatively of the 1 who left them that is still your friend?

Indeed, breaking up is hard on those who are friends with the former couple.

Like the former couple, I guess I will have to get used to the fact that they aren't together anymore and learn how to deal with it. Is there a song about that?

Crush du Jour: David Burtka

Monday, August 30, 2010

Weekend highlights

The weekend started as all 'good' weekends do with Fri Night Dinner with 'the usual suspects'. We ate at La Quetzalteca and it was good! I had the enchilada trio and Spouse had chicken mole. (Yes, he calculated the WW points and fit it in.)

Sat started as all 'good' Sat mornings do with Spouse going to his personal trainer appointment and me enjoying coffee with Roger Hazzard and Tonya Meme of "Sell This House". Once Spouse got home we had a light lunch on the screened porch and met up with a bunch of buddies at the beach. It was a spectacular day with lots of sunshine, 83 degrees, low humidity, and a steady breeze coming off the water. What a fantastic day! Except that I scorched my feet on the hot sand. On the way home we stopped at the grocery store, then showered and relaxed for a bit. That evening we met up with our friends Doug & Jim for dinner at Hobo's. It was a lovely evening so we ate on the front porch. Spouse doesn't drink, but the rest of us started with cocktails, followed by appetizers. Spouse had the roasted tomato and basil panzanella soup and I had the AWESOME eggplant artichoke dip which is so good it must contain something illegal. For dinner Spouse had the chicken Buddha bowl and I had an eggplant and goat cheese quesadilla. (Menu here.) Dee-lish! Afterward we went for a short walk on the boardwalk before heading home. I discovered my friend and karaoke DJ Trelynda was working at Dos Locos that night so after I dropped off Spouse, I hung out with Tre for an hour and sang a few tunes. It was great to see her! Then I stopped in at Mandance and shook my groove thing for an hour. I still managed to get home before 1am, which was a good thing since Spouse was waiting up for me!

Sun Spouse & I both slept in until 10:30 (gasp), then had a lovely breakfast on the screened porch while we discussed how to spend our day. Although I kind of wanted a 3rd day in a row at the beach, I acquiesced to sticking close to home and tackling a few projects around the house. We made a quick run to Lowes where we bought spray paint, a medium-size pot (on clearance), grass seed, potting soil, a rosemary bush, 2 pots of basil, a pot of parsley, and a pot of oregano. Back at the ranch I spray painted 2 side tables for the screened porch while Spouse potted all the herbs. He moved some decorate rocks while I spread and watered some grass seed around the porch foundation. We relaxed on the porch for a bit, then showered and dressed for a birthday cocktail party at Deb & Greer's. We saw some friends we knew and made some new ones which is always tops in my book. Neither of us was in the mood to make dinner so we decided to eat out. After checking out (and rejecting) a possible dinner spot, we ended up back at Hobo's. The porch was full so we ate inside which was a nice change of pace. The atmosphere was cozy and quiet inside and lent itself to more conversation. It was almost like being on a date! This time I had the chicken Buddha bowl (which Spouse had the night before) and he had scallops with red curry. Again an amazing meal and a wonderful time with Spouse. TV watching finished off the night and the weekend for us.

Crush du Jour: James Clarke

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday fragments

Welcome to Friday fragments, my weekly recap of topics too big to forget, yet too small to be their own post.

Spouse remains committed to following Weight Watchers with another 3 lb. loss this week. After 9 weeks he's lost a total of 38 lbs. He's now able to fit into some clothes he bought brand new but was never able to wear.

My friend Jared sent me this photo of an 'ergonomic' stool for men. Looks comfy!

It occurred to me this week that although our screened porch expansion was completed last month, I never posted any photos of it. So here's the back of our house and you can see the previous screened porch on the far left side.
The original screened porch was 6 feet deep and 17 feet long; integrated into the footprint of the house.
We had the porch extended in depth by 8 additional feet, so the porch now measures 14 feet deep and 17 feet long. It has a burgundy metal roof that matches the burgundy of the house trim.
Since the completion of the porch expansion we have had uncharacteristically low humidity so we have really used the screened porch a lot! We can seat 8 people at tables for a meal and 8 people in conversational seating.
We love it! Now, that's it for home additions and/or expansions. Perhaps this fall I'll paint a few rooms and in the spring we may have some mild landscaping done, but no more construction projects!

On Wed I got my new glasses. (Please ignore the weird faces I was making.)
"Turn to the left..."
"Now turn to the right..."
"Sashay, chante!" Although I wear contact lenses 99.9% of the time, Spouse really wanted me to have a pair of current prescription glasses as a back-up, and I really like these. They are very light-weight, comfortable to wear, and kind of modern.

I'm off work today. No special reason; just wanted to use up another vacation day while the weather was so nice. I had a relaxing morning of coffee, email, Facebook, and TV then tidied up the kitchen, threw some laundry in the washer, packed up a box for Spouse, then dropped off said box at the UPS store, picked up a cute T-shirt and belt (both 50% off) at Aeropostale, and then hit the beach for 3 hours. Why does the time seem to go by so much faster when you take a day off?

This summer I have spent more time at the beach than ever before and despite my usual paleness, I am getting a tan for the 1st time in years. Not that it was my goal to get a tan, but its kind of exciting to longer resemble a member of
Casper the Friendly Ghost's family. Of course, Spouse is 'concerned' that I am going to get skin cancer, despite the fact that I always use sun screen and sometimes sit in the shade of an umbrella. I like the way I look with a little color in my face.

Wishing you all a terrific weekend!

Crush du Jour: Mark McClellan

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hot Coco

Last night I went to see the fabulous and fierce Miss Coco Peru perform at the Blue Moon!

This is my 4th time seeing her perform there. Last year Steven & I went, and this year Steven & Thad and Jason and I went together.

We started with dinner at Cafe Azafrain. We all enjoyed our food but we were slightly annoyed by a small but loud party nearby and the long wait for our food. Fortunately the food was really good. I had 2 tapas plates: baked goat cheese with olives and roasted peppers, and spinach gnocchi. Jason also had 2 tapas plates: fried calamari and seared scallops. Steven had the mozzarella and roasted pepper salad and pasta with wild mushrooms. Thad had the roasted vegetarian plate.

After dinner we walked up the block to the Blue Moon and waited a few minutes for the opening of the doors to the performance space. After securing seats together I went to the bar for drinks. (Cosmo for me, Malibu and diet for Jason, Ginger Ale for Steven.) At the bar I ran into our part-time neighbors from around the corner, Chris & Paul, and learned that they are living here full-time now! We shared our desire to get together soon and catch up. After returning to my seat with the drinks I saw Doug & Jim enter the performance space. There were 2 empty seats directly in front of us so they took them and we were able to chat a bit before the show started.

As beautiful and elegant as always, Miss Coco Peru entertained us with her hilarious stories, inspirational thoughts, campy musical numbers, and her unique perspective on life. Fresh, new material of course. We all roared with laughter over and over again and had a grand time!

In her closing, she announced that she would return to the stage for photo taking and selling of her DVD, something she had not done in her previous 3 visits to the Blue Moon. I was thrilled to hear this since I'd suggested Steven bring his camera, just in case.

Sure enough, after the show I got to talk to Coco!I reminded her that we had chat via email and Facebook messages over the past few years. She asked for my email address and when I spoke it, she said "Oh yes of course." Then we posed for a photo:
I purchased one of her DVDs (a drag comedy special shown on LOGO) and she autographed it for me.
It was a delightful night!!

I can't recommend this too strongly: GO SEE HER SHOW!! Check out her website for more dates and locations.

If you can't see her in person, by all means, watch her films, check out her YouTube clips, and join her Facebook fan page. Trust me, you'll be glad you did.

I must give props to my buddy Steven for his awesome photo abilities. He took the photo of Spouse & me in this post (which I cropped to become my current Facebook profile photo) and the 2 photos of me and Coco above. I usually don't like photos of myself but somehow he manages to catch me in the best light, which can't be easy. Thanks Steven!!

Crush du Jour: David Allison

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

From another planet

Last evening Spouse & I had dinner with our lady-friends Deb & Greer. Having lived in the DC area before moving here, they are a lot like us. They love trying new restaurants and experimenting with different food combinations so we have dinner together every 4-5 weeks or so. They are our favorite foodie friends!

Last evening's dinner wasn't at someplace 'new', but rather, a place neither couple had been to for a few years: Planet X Cafe. The decor is kind of funky bohemian, with lanterns, chandeliers, leopard print and deep jewel-tone colors everywhere. We were seated at a table at the corner of the porch. How I love dining al-fresco!

Deb & I started with cocktails (of course). Deb had the Lemon Basil Gin Spritzer which she really liked, and I had The Green Galaxy which I liked as well. With its cocoanut rum and pineapple juice, it sort of reminded me of suntan lotion but I liked it. The Midori gave it the green hue.

As an appetizer Deb ordered the creamy tomato basil soup, topped with feta crumbles. One taste of it had us flagging down the waiter (whom we named Oliver; we have no idea his real name) to order another bowl for Spouse & I to share. OMG was it good!!

With precision timing our entrees arrived just as we pushed the empty soup bowls to the middle of the table. Greer had the Pasta Carbonara with asparagus, arugula, shaved parmesan, a poached egg, and pancetta. Deb had Crispy seitan with cabbage and noodles in a lime ginger broth. Spouse had the grilled Ahi tuna with scallops, roasted summer veggies, corn cake, and citrus slaw, and I had the crispy halloumi with scallops, roasted summer veggies, corn cake, and citrus slaw. As is our custom, we passed our plates around so each of us could sample everyone's meals. We were all very happy with the flavors and high quality of the food.

Then we were tempted with wonderful sounding desserts. Deb & Greer split a slice of homemade key lime pie while Spouse & I split the banana cheesecake wrapped in philo dough and drizzled with warm caramel sauce. It was so exquisite I was nearly transported from Earth to Planet X.

As always, we really enjoyed our dinner together and selected 4 more restaurants to try in the coming weeks.

Crush du Jour: David Moretti

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Stoopid lyrics

Here's another installment of my blog feature 'Stoopid lyrics'.

A song's appearance here does NOT mean I think the song is stupid or that I don't like the song. In fact, today's song is one of my all-time favorites! Personally I think this song is musical genius. But the lyrics? Not so much. To me they just don't make sense.

Judge for yourself.

Bohemian Rhapsody
performed by Queen

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide no escape from reality
Open your eyes look up to the skies and see
I'm just a poor boy I need no sympathy
Because I'm easy come, easy go, little high, little low
Any way the wind blows doesn't really matter to me, to me

Mama just killed a man
Put a gun against his head
Pulled my trigger, now he's dead
Mama, life has just begun
But now I've gone and thrown it all away
Mama, ooh Didn't mean to make you cry
If I'm not back again this time tomorrow
Carry on, carry on as if nothing really matters

Too late, my time has come
Sends shivers down my spine, body's aching all the time
Goodbye, everybody I've got to go
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth
Mama, oooooooh, I don't want to die
Sometimes wish I'd never been born at all

I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouch, Scaramouch, will you do the Fandango
Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very frightening me
(Galileo) Galileo (Galileo) Galileo, Galileo Figaro
I'm just a poor boy nobody loves me
He's just a poor boy from a poor family
Spare him his life from this monstrosity
Easy come, easy go, will you let me go?
Bismillah! No, we will not let you go. Let him go!
Bismillah! We will not let you go. Let him go!
Bismillah! We will not let you go. Let me go!
Will not let you go. Let me go! Will not let you go. Never, never, never, never
Let me go, o, o, o, o.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
Oh Mama mia, Mama mia, Mama Mia, let me go
Beelzebub has the devil put aside for me, for me, for me.

So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye
So you think you can love me and leave me to die
Oh, baby, can't do this to me, baby
Just gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here

Nothing really matters, anyone can see
Nothing really matters, nothing really matters to me
Any way the wind blows.

Crush du Jour: Benito Villella

Monday, August 23, 2010

Weekend highlights

Fri night after dinner I decided to sing karaoke. Since different venues have different song books, I tried a new venue and found they had a lot of songs I liked. There wasn't a huge number of singers that night so I got to sing 3 times. I also met some nice, fun people there including a couple who got married in Key West 8 years ago. They've been there 27 times! I also met a man who invited me to join the Philly Pops! It was a fun night. But something very funny happened that I didn't discover until the next day.

After finishing my 1st song I returned to my bar stool and 1 of the bartenders (Gino) brought shots to me and a pretty blond woman (there with her boyfriend). Since I hadn't ordered it I was puzzled. I looked over at the blond woman across the bar who had also gotten the shot and she said to me "You did a great job on that song!", to which I said "Thank you". We both lifted our shots in the air to each other and downed them. I decided to go over and thank her in person, and we talked for a moment about what kind of shot we'd had (Pineapple upside down cake) and she asked if I was going to sing again. The next day I spoke to the other bartender, my friend Jason, and told him how flattered I was by the pretty blond woman who'd bought me a shot. Jason looked at me funny and asked "You mean the Pineapple upside down cake shot?" to which I said "Yes". Jason smiled and said "That was from me. She ordered the shot for herself and since I had extra, I gave one to you." So, when I got the shot and looked at her, it was a complete coincidence that she said "You did a great job on that song!" She didn't buy me the shot! Then I realized that when I went over to her and said thank you, I didn't say "Thank you for the shot", I just "Thank you" which she obviously thought I was thanking her for saying "You did a great job on that song!" Jason and I had a good laugh about that!!!

Sat morning Spouse had his personal trainer appointment and I had coffee and watched "Sell This House". After a quick bite to eat, we went took Big Ella to a car show in Georgetown and met up with our buddies Rick & Nick and Ken & Don. There were 101 cars registered and we enjoyed being there despite the humid weather. Afterward Spouse took a nap and I went to the beach at 2:30 and played several games of beach volleyball with Jason and the other volleyball guys.

I'm a little stiff today but it was a lot of fun! The water was very comfortable so we enjoyed several nice swim breaks between volleyball games. I stayed at the beach until 6:30. That night we went to Saketumi for our friend Chris' surprise 50th birthday dinner. The food was terrific as always (I had 2 sushi rolls) and we had a great time. Afterward I dropped Spouse off at home and then met up with some friends at Mandance, including our friend Doug from Doug & Jim. Since Jim wasn't feeling well he stayed home, leaving me and Doug to talk, laugh, gossip, and dance the night away. It was a lot of fun. I got compliments from several friends at the birthday dinner and at Mandance about my recent haircut.
I was concerned it was too short, but everyone confirmed the opposite.

Sun morning Spouse & I met Steven & Thad and The Bobs at the beach at 11:00. We were only there about an hour and 1/2 when it started pouring down raining! We got soaked before we could make it back to the car. Once back at home we showered and had a snack. Spouse took a nap and I watched a little TV. I was in the mood for a good, crunchy veggie-filled salad so I invited Steven & Thad and Bryan & Jason to join us at Ruby Tuesday. We had a nice time talking over dinner. Spouse & I stopped at the grocery store (my least favorite chore) on the way home. After putting away the food and feeding/walking the dog, Spouse & I settled in for a relaxing night of TV watching.

Crush du Jour: Fernando Barcelona

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday fragments

Welcome to Friday fragments, my weekly recap of topics too big to forget, yet too small to be their own post.

This little "FAIL" ditty came my way via my friend Jared.
Sometimes things don't always turn out how they were meant!

Did you hear that a new "urban gay resort" will open in NYC in the fall of next year? I like that it will remain affordable to most people. Check out more details here.

My friend Clark sent me this hilarious video about I Be-Weave Hair Salon!! You will love it!

I took today off of work, for no special reason. I've got quite a few vacation days to use up so I decided to take today off since the weather was supposed to be nice. Spouse couldn't take off because one of his colleagues was already off. I got up at 8:30, had coffee, watched a little TV, checked my email, and headed to the beach. Its not quite as fun going by myself, but it did give me a chance to do a little reading. It was pretty hot but still a nice day at the beach. After returning home I swept the mulch back into the beds again, then took a shower, got my hair cut and got the convertible washed. Then Spouse & I went to Fri Night Dinner with 'the usual suspects'. It was a fun day off!

Crush du Jour: Nir Lavi

Thursday, August 19, 2010

This space intentionally left blank

Okay folks, I'm gonna admit it: I got nuttin' today.

I'm taking tomorrow off work for no particular reason other than its Friday, the weather is supposed to be good for going to the beach, and I have vacation days to use. Hopefully I'll have something fun and witty to share with you tomorrow.

Crush du Jour: Tod Macofsky

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Eye exam

Yesterday evening I went to my new eye doctor for an eye exam.

I wasn't that thrilled with my last eye doctor so I took a friend's advice and made an appointment with her eye doctor. Once I got there I realized this new eye doctor advertises in the local 'Letters from CAMP Rehoboth' magazine, which is nice, and that he's also a friend of Dorothy.

Upon entering the exam room we exchanged initial greetings and then he noticed that my flip flops and t-shirt were the same color. "Did you buy them together?" he asked. "No, but I intentionally wore them together" I replied. "But that's a good idea... I should open a store on the boardwalk called 'Flops N Shirts' and sell flip flops and matching shirts" I suggested with a snicker. "I'm sure it would be a hit" he encouraged. From this exchange I knew we'd get along better than my old eye doctor who didn't get my sense of humor.

After several tests he announced that I don't have glaucoma, cataracts, or any other eye issues. Next it was on to the vision test where they flip the lenses around and ask you "Is 1 better than 2?" and "Which is clearer, 3 or 4?" I always find this tricky, as sometimes just blinking will make the same lens look different. But I got through it with less uncertainty than with my last eye doctor.

My new eye doctor advised me that was adjusting my prescription and suggested a similar but new contact lens. He provided me with a trial pair and I am finding them to be extremely comfortable. Plus the prescription adjustment was just the tweak I needed for additional clarity. I feel like bursting into song "I can see clearly now..."

Once the eye doctor kissed me goodbye (just kidding) I met up with 1 of the assistants out front to discuss my insurance and product choices. According to her, I have very good vision benefits which she indicated would be better used on glasses than contacts. This was just what I needed to know, since I really wanted new glasses.

My current eye glasses (which I never wear) are at least 6 years old and 2-3 prescriptions ago. They never fit me correctly (so I never wore them) and I don't know WHAT I was thinking when I picked them out. My pupils must have been dilated or something. Did I mention I never wear them?

The assistant picked out a dozen different frame styles and had me try on each one and tell her what I did and didn't like. With that info, she selected another dozen and I did the same thing. Lather, rinse, and repeat. Such service! I eventually narrowed down the huge selection to 5 very different frames and even got the input of the doctor and another assistant. I narrowed the 5 down to 2 that I liked equally. At that point it became a question of price, and the decision was made. I really like the new, modern frames and think I might actually wear these glasses occasionally just for looks.

Since my insurance covers glasses or contacts, I will simply order new contacts online and pay out of pocket for them. My new glasses should be ready in about a week. I'll try and remember to take a photo of myself in them and post it in next week's Friday fragments.

Crush du Jour: Marc Jacobs

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What I want to be when I grow up

So, yesterday I wrote that I don't enjoy my job anymore and that I count the days/hours until the weekend arrives.

Its true, I don't enjoy my job anymore. After 8 years next month, I'm bored with it. Its not that there's nothing new to learn. I just don't care about it anymore. I used to find it rewarding to teach and work with clients, but now I find myself growing weary of it. I really do count the days/hours until the weekend arrives.

There have been a lot of changes in the company's upper management and direction. I'd had 4 managers within the last 2 years. It seems each time we get a new VP of Sales or CEO our "strategy" comes to a screeching halt and we are suddenly shifted in a new direction. As you can imagine, it is difficult for a company to design and implement any long-term goals if the company's focus changes every 6-12 months.

We recently scrapped our own 'home grown' product in favor of reselling a white-labeled version of a similar product. We were told it would cost too much to fix and enhance our own product. So now the fixing and enhancing is the responsibility of the reselling product owners. This can be good in the sense that the product owner has more resources to do it, but it is also bad (for us) in that we are unable to make decisions about what gets enhanced. Then there's the challenge of transitioning all the existing clients from the old product to the new one.

Maybe its my age, but I'm just so "over" it all. I'm tired of having to respond to the various demands and whims of "the man". I yearn for more control over my career and life. I feel like I've mentally checked out, although I have to keep working there.

Professional job opportunities in this rural area are scarce. If you're a professional you either work for the state (like Spouse) for mediocre pay but terrific benefits and lots of vacation, or you're self-employed. Remember, I brought my metro DC area job and it salary with me when I moved here. Matching my current salary is virtually impossible, so I feel like I'm trapped in 'golden handcuffs' (definition #1).

I've thought about the concept of making less money and reducing our expenses. There are certainly things we could sacrifice (bi-weekly housekeeper, eating out, Big Ella) but even those likely wouldn't make up the difference. Beside, I adore having the house cleaned by someone else, eating out, and having Big Ella!

Our mortgage is our largest expense and we certainly don't need to live in a 5 bedroom house in the historic district. I considered downsizing to a smaller house in a less expensive neighborhood. We'd have to get rid of a lot of furniture, but it would be worth it to me to change my employment situation. However, the current real estate market is not favorable right now to sell our house and maximize its real value. Not to mention that we just added a garage/bath/closet addition last summer and a screened porch this summer. Spouse really loves this house and its location, so we are committed to living in this house for several more years, at least until the market improves.

You may be wondering what I would like to do if I were able to quit my current job.

I want to become a Community Improvement Specialist. This is a job title I made up because it best describes what I want to do. I want to purchase distressed properties, rehab them, and sell or lease them, thereby improving the overall appearance and condition of the community. It is similar to property flipping, but the intent isn't solely to make a profit. The intent is to re-inhabit and improve the general community by fixing up vacant, run-down properties and making a profit at the same time. I would concentrate my efforts in specific communities so that the impact of the rehabbed properties would be multiplied, kind of like the way Habitat for Humanity does.

What does an account manager for a technology company know about rehabbing property? More than you might think.

Mine & Spouse's 1st house in 1996 was a bank foreclosure that had been vacant for sometime. We didn't have much money then, but we did what we could to clean the place up, paint, remove old wallpaper, tame the wild yard, and update the flooring. 4 years later we sold the house at a 64% gain. Our 2nd house needed less cosmetic updating but we spent more and updated it more because it was in a very desirable location. 8 years later we sold it for more than double what we paid. Just a few months ago we bought a condo that was a bank foreclosure in pretty rough shape. We updated the entire unit on a budget in 2 weeks and rented it in just under a week. All those hours of watching HGTV shows really paid off!

But getting to the point of being able to replace my current salary doing Community Improvement seems like a long way off. There are many steps to take and likely an equal number of hurdles to jump. Since I can't do all the work myself, I'd need to find reliable, affordable people to do the stuff I can't. I'll need seed money to purchase the property and materials and pay the workers. Then there's the accounting and tax records.

So I thought that becoming a realtor might be a complimentary way to transition into my new industry. I can go to real estate school part-time 2 evenings per week for 3 months, then associate myself with a broker and try to list and sell homes on the weekends. Great idea, right?

Well, there are some cons. The classes alone are over $500. Once I finished the classes there would be an indefinite period of time where I would 'ramp up' in the real world. There would be licensing and advertising expenses too. Plus, my precious, precious weekends which are usually chocked full of fun activities, friends, and weekend guests would be spent working. I would be working 7 days a week until I felt able to quit my current job. You can imagine how THAT idea sets with me.

So I'm not sure if working as a realtor on the weekends would really bring me closer to my goal of becoming a Community Improvement Specialist. But maybe becoming a realtor (but not working as one) might give me some legal knowledge or other other advantage that would compliment my Community Improvement Specialist business.

So that's where I am. At the age of 46 years old I finally think I know what I want to be when I grow up.

Crush du Jour: Edward Xol

Monday, August 16, 2010

Weekend highlights

We started our weekend by having Fri Night Dinner with 'the usual suspects' at Po' Boys. I had a delicious and spicy shrimp and andouille pasta.

Sat morning Spouse had his personal trainer appointment and I had coffee and watched back-to-back episodes of "Sell This House", our favorite Sat morning rituals. Once Spouse returned home and showered, we had a light lunch on the screened porch and then drove Big Ella to a car show in Millsboro. It was a beautiful day for it; sunny with very low humidity and temps in the low 80s. I was torn between spending the day at the beach and going to the car show, but since our buddies Rick & Nick were going to the car show, Spouse thought we should meet them there, so we did. It was fun and there were some really great vintage and collector cars there. We didn't enter Big Ella because we didn't want to hang around at the show the entire day. But there wasn't a single Cadillac there so Big Ella would have really stood out if we would have entered her.

Later we went to Pier One and Walmart in search of discounted chair pads for our porch dining chairs. Steven & Thad invited us to their place for dinner along with The Bobs, Joe P, and Jack (Alisha wasn't there). Steven made whole wheat spaghetti with sausage and meatballs. Spouse & I managed to restrict ourselves to just a small portion in order to not blow our diets. Bob made a delicious homemade peach pie for dessert. We had a nice time with our friends. After returning home, Spouse watched TV and I met up with some friends at Mandance. It was fun to dance and hang out with my buddies.

Sun morning we had coffee on the screened porch. The humidity and temperature low again like Sat but it was a little cloudy. We met Bryan & Jason for a late breakfast at the Crystal restaurant. I had an amazing fruit plate with sweet and juicy watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, grapes, and orange slices for $5. What a deal!! Then the 4 of us headed to the beach where we met up with our friends Steven & Thad, The Bobs, and Bruce & Mark. It turned out to be overcast all day and because the sun wasn't out I forgot to put on sunscreen. Believe it or not, I got a cloud burn (like a sun burn but on a cloudy day)! But we had fun hanging out with our buddies. When we felt a few sprinkles we decided to pack up our stuff. Rather than go home, we had a late lunch/early dinner with Bryan & Jason at the new Rehoboth Beach location of Cafe Azafran. Spouse had a beautiful and tasty Cafe Market Salad and I had the Mediterranean wrap with chicken. Bryan had a mozzarella and roasted red pepper salad and Jason had a black pepper turkey sandwich. We had a nice time, and although it looked like it was about to rain any minute, it never did.

After showering and relaxing a bit, Spouse & I dropped off our recycling at the collection center and then went grocery shopping, one of my least favorite things to do. After putting the food away Spouse watched TV and I sat on the screened porch for a while and contemplated my life. I don't enjoy my job anymore and count the days/hours until the weekend arrives. More about that tomorrow. There is also a personal issue that has been weighing on me lately so I took some time to consider possible actions with that. I didn't resolve anything but at least I spent some time considering the situations. Then I watched a little TV and went to bed.

Overall it was a good weekend.

Crush du Jour: Jeff Hazelton

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday fragments

Welcome to Friday fragments, my weekly recap of topics too big to forget, yet too small to be their own post.

From friend Jared scores a triple play with these 3 great photos!Wow, you'd better be prepared to drive this car. It could get you a lot of attention, both positive and otherwise. Then there's this gem:
I sure am glad I don't "look illegal", whatever that looks like. And finally this golden nugget:So true!!!

After 6 weeks on Weight Watchers
Spouse has lost another 2 lbs, making his total weight loss 33 lbs. He's really committed and I'm really proud of him.

No big plans for the weekend. There are 2 car shows, 1 on Sat and 1 on Sun, but the weather is supposed to be gorgeous so I'm torn between going to the car shows and going to the beach. Such a dilemma, right?

Wishing everyone a fab weekend!

Crush du Jour: Gary Joseph

Thursday, August 12, 2010


You don't want to be a doormat. But its okay to have a funny one. Enjoy these.
(the one above courtesy of cb)

Crush du Jour: Jud Dean