Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday, It Certainly Was

WalMart Employee Trampled to Death

What has our society come to when a piece of electronics is worth more than a human life?

I don't do Black Friday. The only time you would have seen me at the mall for that day is if Lottery Yarn had me scheduled to do so. I don't comprehend the frenzied competition to get the best price on an item that will most likely be obsolete in 3 months. The thing I really don't understand is why, after a day in which we were to be giving thanks for the things we have in our life why anyone would go to extremes to shop with the attitude that this throng of people had. Someone actually said "I've been on line since yesterday morning!" as to why they would not leave the store when asked to because of the death. There were other variations on that phrase as well.

I know that not everyone is like this and I also know that with the economy the way it is, people wanted to get deals on things. Things. Things to have, things to give. Things to show how much we love a person. Wait. What? In order to show our love for someone we must get things that might be out of out budget that might cause suffering the rest of the year because we had to give an expensive THING or many expensive things for someone? No. Just no. I don't care if it's "for the kids" or if it's "a special year" or "it's for mom/dad' or "they really want it". No. It's not worth it. If our minds have deteriorated so badly that we can't find more creative ways to show we care, something needs to be done. My suggestion, make something for someone you care about. Maybe it won't be your only gift to that person but make it the one you put all your heart and soul into. The giftee, if they have a good heart, they will know and all other gifts will pale by comparison. It's a tradition I would like to begin in my small family. I'll let you know what I decide to do for the people on my list after the holidays (I'd tell you now but they read my blog). So give it some thought. Even if you don't think you are creative, find fun old picture of someone you love and frame it or write a short history of someone and creatively bind it. DO something instead of BUYING something and see how good it feels.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Jumping In

Ok. I know I wrote about ho Thanksgiving is getting run over but becuase:
1. Work is uber busy
b. I still have my Thanksgiving food to make
3. I need a blog topic that I can write about during my lunch break...

Here we go.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both!
2. Real tree or Artificial? Real. I cannot do the artificial ones. No fresh scent.
3. When do you put up the tree? First weekend in December
4. When do you take the tree down? Depends when the needles are falling without being touched. ;)
5. Do you like eggnog? Yes! LOVE
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Snoopy Sno Cone Maker
7. Hardest person to buy for? Father in Law
8. Easiest person to buy for? Sister
9. Do you have a nativity scene? I don't out mine out anymore.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? It has been SO long since I got cards out. I am so bad at it.
11.Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A bottle of nasty perfume
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Home Alone
13. When do you start shopping forChristmas? after Thanksgiving but NOT Black Friday.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Never.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Peanut Brittle (I make it)
16. Lights on the tree? Yes tons!
17. Favorite Christmas song? Soundtrack from Peanuts
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Yes
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Bow
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning. Christmas morning.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? People with no kind spirit.
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Our tree is a hodge podge and I like it that way.
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Prime Rib or Rack of Lamb
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? I seriously don't know!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Crackberry Friday: Cozy Window

It snowed here this morning. It was one of those pretty dustings that doesn't cause the roads to get too bad and touched everything with a sugar coating of the white stuff.
I took this pic out of my car window on the way to work this morning. The window just had a cozy look to it and I thought it was interesting that the greens on the left had a coating of snow but the ones on the right didn't. If I had my way, I would be at home looking out of a window like this one watching the snow fall with a cup of tea. Hopefully I will get that chance to do that sometime this winter. In the meantime, I'll enjoy the little bit we got today.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Writers Workshop Thursday: Holiday Lost

This is under the "something that bothered me this week" category.

I love the holidays in the fall and winter. I love them ALL, meaning not just the traditional ones but the interesting ones like Day of the Dead and Winter Solstice. Celebrating is fun and I think they should all receive their due. This year though I feel like a very important holiday is getting the bum rush from the need for retail stores to sell, sell, sell.

Thanksgiving it seems has been forgotten in many ways or at least that is the impression that I have gotten since about Halloween. I have seen and heard thousands of Christmas commercials but no one seems to excited for Thanksgiving. I got the sneaking suspicion that this was the case way back in late summer when the fall decorations were not selling so well but the minute the Christmas trees went up and the sparkle came out, the ornaments were flying out the door. Forgotten were the cute accent plates, platters and table setting ware for Thanksgiving. The turkey salt and pepper shakers went on sale early along with the the turkey place card holders.

I also began to notice that almost no one (except maybe Williams Sonoma) was really advertising for Thanksgiving. It was already all about Christmas. The decorations were up in stores as well as on homes. I became disturbed, not because I was surprised. I mean ads for Christmas have been coming earlier and earlier every year. I AM upset because it seems like this year, more than ever, we have to be thankful for what we DO have.

Being in the financial industry, actually see how this crisis is hitting people other than me. Many of us have worked so hard to save and to have so much of it seemingly disappear, is extremely difficult. I just think that right now, it is so important for us all to concentrate on what we have, right now with family and friends, not about what want to get for Christmas or how much we can spend on gifts. We need the emotional support of our loved ones, staring us in the face so we can get through the next however long a time it takes to feel better about our situations. So please, if you can, wait on the Christmas decorations and concentrate on giving thanks for what we have this year.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Island: Standby Passenger Off to the Island

If you are new to my blog you can catch up on My Island here. If you want to read more about it, click on the "My Island" label at the end of the post.

This is how the Stand-by/Inhabitants list stands:


Jamie Lynn Spears

Elizabeth Hasselbeck

On the island:

Ann Coulter

Rick Santorum (escaped and captured)

Brittany Spears

Amy Winehouse

Lindsay Lohan

First lets start off with a removal from Stand-by. Jamie Lynn has managed to stay out of my face for awhile now. If she remains quiet and non-stupid, she can live her life among the general population. I don't see her as a threat to young girls at the moment. If she starts throwing herself and her child into the media, then we'll revisit her. Use your time wisely little girl.

Update on escapee Rick Santorum: Rick managed to somehow squeeze himself into an empty crate that was picked up via helicopter (no one who is not sent to the island has to lay foot on it) after one of the food drops and escape. There had been a secret message encoded in a letter that was supposedly from his wife but was actually from Rupret Murdoch asking Rick to be on a panel of politicians on election night on Fox news (I realize that Fox is conservative but having this idiot on may have pushed some Republicans to become Independents). Rick was captured as he was leaving the studios and transported back to the island where he will remain in the stocks until after the swearing in of Barak Obama.

Now for the big news. I have decided to move Elisabeth Hasselbeck to My Island. I had her on stand-by for a long time because although I don't agree with her views, I don't watch The View enough to get a feel for her. Those ladies are pretty tough and getting words in edgewise looks very difficult. I figured that maybe she would grow out of her petulant nature. We all deserve that chance (hell, I'd probably be on my own island if I didn't grow some sense). Well, on the advice of a fellow blogger, at Different is Always Good, I decided to take a deeper look at Liz. I watched a good deal of You Tube videos, did some reading and I realized why she irks me so, she has no idea what she is talking about. Here is a woman who has all the means to do good research into her views and ideals and how to back them up and she doesn't do it. She just comes across as, "I am right because I think I am and here's some crap I read on a conservative website." This bothers me. I have many opinions on many topics. Do I address them all in public? No. Why? Because I feel there are some subjects which I don't have enough knowledge to accurately illustrate my point. Liz has no such filter, has had enough time to develop one and made no strides to do so. She is on a daily show with intelligent women and she is coming across as the opposite, not as in opposite of Democrat but opposite of a savvy intelligent woman. You can see it in the way she talks and in her body language. She is not comfortable with the topics or her stance on those topics. The only thing keeping her on that show is the fact that she has a different opinion than the other ladies. They need a conservative person on there to keep a certain audience.
So Liz, enjoy your flight. I am sure you will find lots to talk about with Ann Coulter and Rick Santorum. I almost feel bad for you having to meet someone that will change your mind about your party...too late. Maybe you can keep Rick company while he is doing his time in the stocks. Amy, Britney and LiLo are sure to annoy the hell out of you but I think that you might find you have more in common with them than you thought. I eventually see you guys as a version of "Friends" but living in a cave or hut made of banana fronds instead of a NY apartment.
On the island:
Ann Coulter
Rick Santorum (escaped and captured)
Brittany Spears
Amy Winehouse
Lindsay Lohan
Elisabeth Hasselbeck

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Latest From T in Japan

Hope you have been enjoying my brother's updates from Japan. I am LOVING them b/c I wonder if my Dad's trips (he traveled constantly) were like this. :) Here is the latest. :)

Ok, I have no phone, will explain later. I'll keep the updates going from where I left off... We made it down from the mountain I was talking about two days ago, barely. While we were up there, I decided to try out my new found lung capacity and decided it would be a good idea to sprint up a mountain that was about 1km away. My lungs worked fine but my legs now hate me! When we returned to the refinery, there was media all around taking pictures of our equipment etc. We later found out this made us famous! We were in the newspaper, tv, etc. That night we ended our tour of Akita with yet more drunken karaoke. There was some convention at the hotel so the place was packed and we were taking requests from the crowd, everything from "Iron Man" to Elvis love ballads (They LOVE Elvis).Flash forward to the next morning.... almost died several times on our way to the airport due to our driver (I have many pictures). Once we arrived we realized that there was no way we could carry all of our luggage and fire gear around Japan so we had to find some way to send it back. Easy right? WRONG! Apparently they don't understand "I pay you ship my shit back to America!" We ended up giving our fire gear to the rental car place to ship back COD to the office (most likely about $1,000!) We made our flight, barely. Some of us parted ways at Haneda airport to head home and my co-worker Hank and I headed to Tokyo. We arrive in tokyo where I unpack and realize there's no room for me to walk bc the room is so tiny (most Tokyo hotels are). We head to the underground for lunch with our agent who is helping us map out places we should check out. I had the absolute BEST SUSHI and Shashime ever! There is no way any place in the states even comes close! We had eel, tuna, octopus, saki (of course) and plenty of other goodies. It was absolutely amazing and will now make USA sushi taste like a garbage can! BAD NIGHT!: We went to Roppongi last night. Awesome place, tons of people, lots of things to do, etc. but also very dangerous on the wallet! We started off in a basement bar and had 4 beers, which cost 50$ (Tokyo is very expensive, we walked by a Porcshe/Audi dealership and a regular Porsche Cayman was over 7 million yen, or $700,000 US!). Ok, move on to us trying to find a new place to drink. We found a club that was 5,000 yen all you could drink happy hour. We thought this was a pretty good deal. In Tokyo every club has women that sit with you and chit chat, etc. all of a sudden a bottle of Moet Rose shows up and I get a bad feeling! I fake a phone call to a "client" and tell Hank (my co-worker) we have to go. I go to cash out and the bill is almost $700 US for 3 beers a piece and a bottle of champagne! OH SHIT! At least my company can't tell what is was for since the receipt is in Japanese! So they try to keep us there with free shots, etc. but I refuse so I get taken up 2 floors with a large Nigerian man (scary) where I cash out and we run outta that place. I'm not angry/worried about the money, I'm PISSED I got taken. However, at least I was smart enough to catch it before it got really out of hand! We walk around some more, take a cab back to our hotel and walk the Ginza shopping district (NEVER come here for anything but electronics! Any brand name costs AT LEAST 3 to 4 times what it would in the states!) I go to bed more intoxicated than I have been in several years.....then I get the following call early am...."Tim, it's Hank... remember our gear bags we had shipped back to the states? I left a part in there that we need to install when we go to Sakeide.""Oh Fuck"Hank is now on a bus back to Haneda airport where he will fly North to Akita to meet our bags (which luckily haven't shipped yet) grab this part, and come back to Tokyo! He'll be back at about 9pm tonight. Crazy.So this brings us to current.... I'm in my room about to grab a shower and head to Akihabara (Electronics capital of the world) to check out technology that we won't see in the states for years to come! We're headed south tomorrow on the bullet train and I don't know what the internet situation will be like there but I'll text.Sorry this update isn't as creative as the text ones were... feel free to edit to facilitate fb humor/enjoyment.... I love what you did with the other ones and people seemed to enjoy them =) talk to you soon. Love ya'!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Crackberry Friday: Tune in Tokyo

I so did not want to use this title but I could not come up with a better one. My brother is on the far right and right now he is in Japan this week doing his sales/marketing thing. Here are the texts he has been sending me.

T: i'm ripped on saki in a karaoke bar! My boss and i just stripped down to our boxers and sung baba o'reilly and our japanese agent won't stop repeating the phrase ''pancake fucker!'' for some reason:-)

T: About to show japan how this round eye geishan rocks to europe! Final count down baby! Its about to happen!

T: Update: we ran into yakuza last night, which should have been the scariest part of the trip. However, what scares me more is our 70 year old driver. Though he is a dead ringer for old blue eyes at the karaoke bar, he cant drive for SHIT!

Me: OMG!! I would have been hiding on the floor of the flippin car! At 70 you probably have the bwts driver around. Also, he is probably much older than he says...or looks.

T: We're eating lunch at some mountain temple so now i have to go pray to the god of whoever's temple this is that we get back down alive! More to come...

Me: You had better be taking advantage of the sushi. Show the gods respect. You know how it is, when in Rome. You also better be taking pictures.

T: I'm taking advantage of everything! Yes, plenty of pics and videos.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Writers Wordshop Thursday: Haiku

Tree on Morning Walk

Strip'ed of your coat
Reveals the abandoned homes
Left for warmer climes

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Finally Saw...


I know. I am an idiot. I am not a movie person. That movie just raised so many emotions in me though. P thought that Vanessa was too controlling and that is why her husband (can't remember his name) was the way he was. He didn't see it. He didn't see how Vanessa WAS the Mom. She was the Mom Juno never had and it clicked with her. That is why she still gave her the baby.
That movie and what it meant grabbed my ovaries and would not let go. I knew. I knew because I can be a mother. I get it. I get what it takes and maybe I am still not sure that I have what it takes, but I get it.

Update: I had some wine last night that may have led to this epiphany

A Surprise on my Sickie Day

Oh Boy! What could it be? It's all the way from Texas!

It's my winnings from Rhea at Texas Word Tangle

She sent me a wok and her Jambalaya mix! All I had to do was shower her with :) As soon as I get over this cold, I am making that Jambalaya. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Kitchen...I Has It

For those of you that have read my post from a couple weeks ago, I had a rough time while P and the contractor Steve worked on my kitchen. After over two weeks (yes, I know, those of you that had new kitchens done, it takes lots longer than that, this was not a redo nor was I allowed to plan for this) it is done to the point where I have it back. Before and After pics in the slide show at the bottom. Click on it to see better.

My kitchen is my domain. I cook, research recipes, eat and live here. It is warm and cozy in the cold weather. It is hot in the summer but I still love it. I love my new counter level stainless steel table (IKEA! Yes Ikea!). I love the floor (will take some upkeep though, little nervous about that). The only things left to replace are the ceiling fan and the fridge. We have the fridge picked out, French Door LG (that actually fits our little kitchen) and we are looking at fans b/c the ceiling is pretty low. I spent some quality time with Julia (Child) and some tea on Sunday before my Lottery Yarn shift. Lovely. :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Crackberry Friday: The Fam

Oddly enough, out of all these people, I am the only one in the US. BTW. They don't know how to not look at a flash for a pic and the red eye fix was not doing any good.

I have had a headache for 2 days which is why I have not posted. Today while I was walking G-dog one of the neighbors said, 'Isn't it beautiful out?' It took all my self-control to not say, 'No, it's f-ing fall and should not be going up to 74 degrees along with humidity, the pressure going up and down like an f-ing yo-yo squishing my brain into the frontal left side of my eye socket.'

I merely said, "Yes, it feels like spring."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happy, Relieved, Excited for Our Future

I have never been so proud to be an American as I am today. This truly is a turn in the right (correct) direction. I am excited for our country to get working on fixing the ills of the past 8 years. We will be able to fix the broken systems that support America and we'll be able to mend our foreign policy. America will again be the true leader in the free world once again. Other countries will look upon us with respect for our democracy, rather than disgust for our arrogance.

It is going to take a lot of work. More work than can be accomplished in just four years since over the past 8 years a heck of a lot of damage was done. It can be done, though. I have hope and joy for the future.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I just lost any respect (albeit I had little) I had for Fox news...For their election reporting...they have Rick Santorum on talking about Liz Dole screwing up her campaign in NC. I have NO idea how he escaped My Island.

Funk That!

I have been in a funk. It happens every year and every year I try to be more prepared but it always smacks me in the head. It's not just the anniversary of my Dad's death, it's also the less sunlight. Did you know that the sun set here at 4:56pm yesterday?! That is insane. Poor G-dog can't get the the dog park during the week anymore. I hate that. Also, I STILL don't have my kitchen back so the cooking I do to make myself feel better...not going so well. I have about zero counter space right now.


I needed a clean slate. I needed to wake up in the morning, looking forward to the day and plow through it. I did that yesterday and it felt WONDERFUL! My brain started firing it's synapses again and ideas for the holidays began to take shape. It was a relief. Just needed to post it and see it myself. Kinda like a reminder that things do come around. :)