Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday fragments

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

With our monumental snow storms earlier this month, and more snow predictions for yesterday and today, several friends have sent me this photo with the caption "Snow prediction: 2 feet of snow!!!"

I thought it was clever and cute. We got about an inch of snow yesterday, followed by rain. Its currently snowing but only about an inch has accumulated. Its very windy so flurries are blowing about like crazy.

My friend Patrick sent me this funny video which suggests a very different ending to "Hamlet" if Ophelia had a sassy gay friend. Think of how differently "Romeo and Juliet" might have ended if Juliet had a sassy gay friend!

Spouse's chronic laryngitis (he's had it for 4 weeks now) seems to FINALLY be getting better. For the last week he's been gargling 2-3 times per day with warm salt water. Go figure.

Check out the prices on this 1957 Woolworth's lunch counter menu:I wonder if any lunch counters still exist anywhere? Hopefully "pressed ham sandwiches" don't.

Those wacky folks at The Onion have done it again with their latest hilarious video about banning loveless/sexless marriages! I dare you to watch it and not laugh out loud.

This week I was going to take my BMW to our friend's used car lot to see what he could do for us in trade for this:
when I discovered the BWM had a flat tire. Roadside assistance sent a guy out to put the spare on for me, and I had the flat tire checked out. They removed a small nail and patched the tire since it still had lots of tread on it. Got the car back but yesterday it snowed and rained, and today its snowing. So perhaps Sat I can get a trade-in estimate and a price for the red and black leather interiored beauty. Maybe, just maybe, Monday's weekend highlights post will end this mystery!

Hope everyone has a terrific weekend!!!

Crush du Jour: Michael Fassbender

Thursday, February 25, 2010


As children we are taught to share toys and games, food, and space. The ritual of "show and tell" is also a means of sharing the things we like with others.

As teenagers we learn another type of sharing when we share our talents while playing team sports, singing in a chorus, and acting in a school play. We also begin to share a bit of ourselves personally when we start dating.

As adults we share when we collaborate with colleagues on an idea or project at work, and we share ourselves personally when we spend time with friends and become intimate with a lover.

But in my opinion the the ultimate in sharing is blogging. Blogging is all about sharing.

Our mundane weekly tasks, when shared comically, can cause readers to smile and laugh.

When we share things that have made us happy we can, in turn, make others happy.

When we share what has caused our heart to feel broken we touch other hearts. Healing words are often shared in blog comments, and the world begins to feel just a little smaller and kinder. Others are sometimes going through exactly what we're going through, so we help them without knowing it.

Others can share in our joy when we share the milestones in our lives, such as anniversaries, achieving a weight loss goal, quitting smoking, or completing a marathon.

Many have become friends in person as a result of sharing themselves on their blogs.

When we share, we give. When we give, we often help. And when we give, we often receive. Sharing is contagious.

So I'd like to say "Thank you" to the bloggers who share themselves with me in their blogs. Thank you for sharing, for giving, for helping.

And I'd like to say "Thank you" to those of you who read this blog and allow me to share myself with you.

Crush du Jour: Colin O'Neal

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

You betta work!

Work has been a roller coaster lately.

I recently wrote about my conversation with my boss' new boss and the additional clients he wanted me to take on. Then, just 2 days later, my boss calls me and explains how he wants me to implement streamlining initiative I designed a year ago so I can take on some of the non-sales tasks from my colleagues.

As diplomatically as possible I explained to him that I was unclear about the opposing directions I'd been given. He basically told me to forget what my boss's new boss had said and to go with what he was saying now. I guess they hadn't considered that giving me opposing directions might make them both look a little dumb.

So I dusted off my procedures, made some updates, went over them with my colleagues, and implemented them the next day. I'm still getting the hang of this but I believe it will get easier as I do more of it.

I'm having more difficulty blogging now, since I don't have the freedom to be able to jot down ideas for posts when they come to me. I'm also dreadfully behind in my blog reading, and I miss it. Its made me wonder if I am following too many blogs. I have to be realistic.

Crush du Jour: Alex O'Loughlin

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I believe I have mentioned once before how fascinating I find the A&E tv show "Hoarders". Does anyone else watch it?

It is NOT a "reality" show, although it is about real people. The show tells the stories of people whose lives are on the verge due to their compulsive hoarding. Some are about to be evicted from rentals while others are in danger of loosing their home, children or pets because they've been reported to the authorities. The show tries to uncover some of the reasons why these people continue to collect things and can't seem to dispose of anything, and help them start the journey toward recovery. Many have never dealt with the loss of a loved one, while others likely have a chemical imbalance in the brain. I imagine there are many contributing factors.

This is not a case of letting a little clutter get out of hand. These people have so much junk in their houses that very often they have to stop using some of the rooms because they literally can't get inside them anymore. Boxes and piles reach the ceiling in some cases. Some will create paths or tunnels in these rooms so they can get to their stuff, but are then overwhelmed by their inability to find anything. One guy knew he had a loaded pistol somewhere in his home but was unable to find it amongst all the junk! His daughter refused to bring his granddaughter to his house for this reason.

I find it incredible that most of them become accustomed to living in squalor. In the most severe cases people basically stop cleaning altogether. For years. In addition to all of the clutter and junk, they are surrounded by trash and rotten food as well. Their homes are more filthy than the inside of a dumpster, yet they continue to live there. Its completely unsanitary and unhealthy. In one episode an older woman had been feeding stray cats inside her house and garage for many years. When the clean up took place, they found something like 74 skeletons of cats that had died and decayed inside her house and garage.

These are not lazy people who don't want to clean their homes. These are people with a very real compulsive disorder.

The show sends a mental health counselor and an organizational specialist to their homes to talk with them about the compulsive hoarding. The people usually realize they're out of control and want help, but find it difficult to work with the helpers. Most times they are able to get the folks to agree to sorting through the tons of garbage and useful items. Its sad to see them agonize over whether or not to discard an obviously broken/useless cassette tape, or magazines from 10 years ago! Often these items hold an unrealistic sentimentality. Fortunately most of the folks agree to see a therapist for their disorder.

Of course the counselor and organizer bring in lots of extra help to clear out the mountains of old newspapers, broken furniture, non-working appliances, garbage, and what-not. Still it takes these crews days to complete the job. For health reasons they all wear face masks, gloves, and sometimes hazmat suits. They usually drop off several dumpsters as well as bring in large trucks to haul away the refuse. Once the enormous task of removing the junk is completed, the cleaning begins.

Watching this show is not like having to look at a car accident you pass on the road. Its different in that these people are victims of a mental disorder that is destroying their lives. Many have lost touch with their families because their families can't stand to see them live like that, getting worse every year. It is so interesting to me to see these folks in such turmoil, finally able to accept the help they desperately need, and begin working through their issues.

If you've never watched it, give it a try! Monday nights at 10pm ET on A&E.

Crush du Jour: Viktor Jordan

Monday, February 22, 2010

Weekend highlights

Our weekend started with Fri Night Dinner with 'the usual suspects'. We had 3 new guys show up so that was a nice surprise. Afterward Spouse & I watched the Olympics.

Sat morning I enjoyed my coffee and a little quiet time reading blogs while Spouse was at his personal trainer appointment. After he returned I talked him into FINALLY helping me move the dresser and mirror from our bedroom into the new closet/dressing room. I've only been trying to get his help with this for 4 months. He kept resisting and claiming the dresser and large attached mirror wouldn't fit. I asked him how he was certain of this and if he'd measured them. Of course he said no. So I said that I had measured them and knew they'd fit. I'd specifically measured the pieces (and the wall where they were to be placed) while construction was still going on, to be certain they'd fit. I'd even gone so far as to have the electrician install an electrical outlet next to where the dresser would go so we could charge our cellphones there at night. Unable to resist such concrete facts, he proclaimed that they 'might fit' but would 'look ugly' being 'crowded into the closet'. I suggested that if we moved them into the closet/dressing room and we didn't like them there, we would know he was right and would move them back. He agreed so I unscrewed the 4 screws holding the mirror to the dresser, we moved them into place, and reattached the mirror to the dresser. He said "You're right, it fits perfectly and its not too crowded in here". I love it when that happens!

That afternoon we had lunch out, picked up some things at the store, went for a little ride, and then returned home so he could take a nap while I tried to catch up on my blog reading. Sat night we met Steven (Thad was out of town), The Bobs, and Chris & Jason for dinner at Mixx. We'd not been there before, but enjoyed it. The dining room is small so reservations are strongly encouraged, even in the off-season. I started with a "martini flight", which is 3 different 3-oz martinis. Of course this solicited all kinds of hideous comments from my friends about being an alcoholic. For dinner I had lobster and shrimp curry over basmati rice, which was quite delicious.

Sun Spouse & I had an interesting day. After running a few small errands we stopped at our friend's used car lot. Spouse had browsed the inventory online and had seen something that ticked his fancy. We wondered if we'd be comfortable in this vehicle, but found it to be roomier than we'd imagined. The vehicle passed with flying colors in the test drive, so we're really considering a trade-in. Here's what we find to be most intriguing about the vehicle:Isn't that interior gorgeous?!?! We haven't made a decision yet so I'm not going to divulge anymore for now, but I'll circle back and close this loop in a few days.

We ended our exciting day with a late lunch and a trip to the grocery store. We watched more of the Olympics and I tried to catch up on my blog reading. (I'm sooooo behind.)

I don't know how I manage such exciting, adventurous weekend!

Crush du Jour: Vladimir Ivanov

Friday, February 19, 2010

How blond was she?

She was SO blond...
  • She thought a quarterback was a refund
  • She thought General Motors was in the army
  • She thought Meow Mix was a CD for cats
  • She thought Boyz II Men was a day care center
  • At the bottom of an application where it says "Sign here:" she wrote "Sagittarius"
  • She took the ruler to bed to see how long she slept
  • She sent a fax with a stamp on it
  • Under "education" on her job application, she put "Hooked On Phonics"
  • She tripped over a cordless phone
  • She spent 20 minutes staring at the orange juice because the container read "Concentrate"
  • She told me to meet her at the corner of "WALK" and "DON'T WALK"
  • She tried to put M&M's in alphabetical order
  • She studied for a blood test
  • She sold the car for gas money
  • When she missed bus #44 she took bus #22 twice instead
  • When she went to the airport and saw a sign that read, "Airport Left," she turned around and went home
  • When she heard that 90% of all crimes occur around the home, she moved
  • She thought if she spoke her mind, she'd be speechless
  • She thought that she couldn't use her AM radio in the evening
  • She had a shirt that read "TGIF," which she thought stood for "This Goes In Front"
  • She thinks Taco Bell is the Mexican phone company
Crush du Jour: Alberto Ventura

Thursday, February 18, 2010

While in Richmond

The dinner on Tues evening with my boss' new boss and 2 of my colleagues went rather well. Fortunately we were not asked those annoying questions like "What motivates you?" and "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" However, we were given fair warning that we would be asked at some point about our "aspiration". Good lord...

My boss' new boss told us a bit about himself, his family, and his professional life since we'd never met him before. He made quick work of letting us know how he 'operates', which is a good thing, because even if you don't like how he 'operates', at least its not a secret. After the dinner I wasn't able to meet up with Kelly, as he'd gotten home late from work and was having trouble with a leaking dishwasher. But we'll have another opportunity to meet up next month when I return to Richmond.

Wed afternoon my 2 colleagues and I met with our boss' new boss and talked about some of his ideas for changing our structure, duties, and compensation. It was kind of a lot to take in at once so I didn't have a lot of questions for him when he asked 'what we wanted to know'. Just as I expected, as a new boss he wants to come in and change things because his ideas are obviously better than those of the people who set things up to begin with. We were told that if we thought he was off-base we should say so, but who wants to risk that with someone 2 levels above you that you've just met? Looks like I will be getting more clients to manage and more pressure to make or exceed sales goals. I'm not exactly "happy" about that since my position has never been about making or exceeding sales goals, being that I am not a sales person. But as is with most corporate situations, I see my choices are to complain, adapt or leave. Complaining rarely works out well in the long run and leaving is not an option in this economy, so it looks like I'm going with 'adapt'.

Something amusing (at least to me) happened during my visit to headquarters in Richmond. Apparently some ingredient in the sandwich I'd eaten for lunch didn't quite agree with me. After the last presentation I was hoping for a bathroom break before we discussed anything else, but that didn't happen. So there I am, sitting in this conference room with my 2 colleagues, my boss' new boss, the CEO and the CFO of the company, and 2 other upper management folks, and my stomach starts churning. Hard. No one could hear it, but I sure could feel it.

After several more minutes I became afraid that I may be in danger of exploding in my pants if I didn't get some relief. I wanted to whisper to my boss' new boss that I needed to use the restroom and would be right back, but it was at that point that the CEO was enlightening us with his wealth of knowledge. I really, REALLY didn't think it wise to walk out of the room while the CEO was talking, so I clenched my cheeks and prayed to the sweet baby Jesus in heaven above to help me hang on. Finally, the meeting ended and I made a bee-line to the nearest restroom.

So I'm in the stall having accomplished the urgent purpose for being there, but wasn't quite sure if I was finished or not, so I sat quietly and waited for internal confirmation. Then I hear the restroom door open, a man take a leak in the urinal, wash his hands, and then as he leaves the bathroom, he switches off the light! Presumably he didn't know I was in the stall so he turned out the light to save electricity, leaving me in pitch black! I was able to find the toilet paper in the dark, since it is strategically placed on the wall next to where I was sitting.

Once I'd gotten my pants up I exited the stall and turned the light back on, but before I could make it back into the stall to adjust my clothes, someone else walked in. So there I was, standing in the middle of the bathroom with my belt undone and shirt tail hanging out. Awkward! I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I said nothing. I just tucked in my shirt, fastened my belt, and washed my hands while the guy took a leak.

Crush du Jour: Lucas Gil

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Back in the day

Today I am at my company's headquarters in Richmond, VA. I'm seeing a few of my colleagues and working at my regular duties in the morning, then meeting my boss' new boss in the afternoon. The meeting is scheduled for 3 hours and my colleagues and I have to give presentations. I'm not really looking forward to this, but will put a smile on my face and try not to get ticked off. You know how a new boss can be, with all their ideas about how to change things even though they have little knowledge of what we do.

So I'm sharing with you today some great vintage photos of celebrities a friend sent to me. I bet there are quite a few you've never seen before. Enjoy!

Crush du Jour: Josh Walsh