Mindy Memories

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Gas prices

Well, I filled up my tank this evening and actually feel that I'm getting off lucky, at least for now. I've been hearing of many places south of me charging well over $3 a gallon and some with very long lines. I filled my car up for $2.84 a gallon from a few blocks down the street.

The funny thing is the discrepancy in prices. I drove about 2 miles from my house and also saw the following prices for regular: $3.20, $2.99, $2.74. I'd have stopped at the $2.74 station but it was on the main road and there were lines. I figured I broke even by spending $2.84 and not waiting in line.

Normally I'm bad about filling up my tank and let it almost get to empty before I fill up again. However, with the uncertainty about gas I think I will tend to stop more often and not let it get below 1/4 tank.

Fortunately, we have a decent public transportation system so I can take that if the gas prices get too high. I'm lucky, because many places don't have that luxury.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I can't imagine this

I don't know anyone in New Orleans, Biloxi, Gulfport or anywhere else in the South that recently was hammered by Katrina, yet I've been on the verge of tears all day. In the last few years I've noticed that these things take more of a toll on me than they used to. I'm not sure why.

As I read about levee breaking and the fact that they are unable to stop the water from coming into New Orleans, about hundreds feared dead in Biloxi, about rescue workers rowing past bodies to get to the people they can save, I just cannot imagine the horror these people are dealing with. I also can't help but get very angry at those who act like everybody who stayed were stupid and deserve what they get. How many times are people told to evacuate, then nothing happens? In the meantime people get hurt during evacuations. I would probably still evacuate, but I'm not sure if people cried wolf often enough.

Then you have those who have no money and even if they got on a bus out of town, where would they go? I see so many people write about how THEY have everything saved up in case of emergencies and how perfectly prepared they are with extra medications, etc. People who are at the poverty level don't have the money for extra medications! Hell, they barely have enough money for what they have! Even the people who did evacuate will probably not be able to come home for at least a month, and come home to what? I doubt most of them have enough money to get them through, either. The lack of compassion for people really disgusts me sometimes. A mile in someone else's shoes...

Then I think about what else is going on, beyond just deep water. The snakes and other animals must be all over in the water, ticked off and mean. The cemetaries are mostly above ground, so there's that sort of biohazard along with the normal biohazards that go along with such devastation. I think I saw that an oil tanker was damaged and leaking oil into the water. Then with the horribly heat and that stagnant water, I imagine mosquitos will be rampant and will bring all the health problems they carry.

How will they get the water out of the city? I guess once the levee is eventually fixed they can start pumping water back into the lake, but when will that be? In the meantime, any water getting pumped out was going into the lake and coming back into the city and was useless.

I've been keeping an eye on WWLTV instead of national news, and a representative from FEMA said that it's possible some people's entire career with FEMA could focus on Katrina, and that it will take many years for the area to recover.

I really just can't imagine.

Great childfree article

Please let me be childfree in peace.

This person really sums up how I feel and how I'm sometimes treated for making the decision not to have kids. I have to say that I really have never felt any sort of grief about it, though. Sometimes I think it would be nice to have someone to whom I can hand down my stitching and other items, but that lasts for about five minutes. I have family and friends with kids who are like family, so my work will find a home. That is not a good reason to have kids, in my book.

Anyway, the article was written by an Aussie and I have to say I have seen the looks and heard the comments about my decision.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Been a few days since I've been here

I changed the comment setting so that anonymous people can post but still have to use the word recognition. I hope that will allow for people to not have to register with Blogger but still keep the spammers away. We'll see.


I have my second interview for the job I want this Thursday morning. I hate having to miss work, but there was no way around it and I'll make up the time. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the department will think I'm mahvelous and want to hire me on the spot :) (Yeah, well, I can dream!)


I feel awful for the people dealing with Hurricane Katrina right now. It's so hard to discern what is the truth in all this. The national news tends to make things much worse than they really are. I saw that when I lived in FL. We'd get a minor hurricane with minor damage. The local news would talk about the damage but insist it wasn't anything serious, then Dan Rather on the national news would talk about how the state of FL just dropped off the continent. I was looking at the website of one of the New Orleans tv stations, and it looked pretty bad. I don't know if it's as bad as Andrew, but Andrew hit closer to home (at the time) than Katrina will.


I stitched about half an hour this weekend, but that's it. I'm just not in the mood for some reason. Maybe it's what I'm stitching and I should move to a different design, but this is something I'm working on for my friend's baby -- a baby that just turned 1 about a week ago. So, I really need to finish it. It's L&L's Guardian Angel and is very pretty. I don't know why I'm not into it. Probably being selfish and wanting to finish some of the projects I have going on for me, especially after seeing those new mermaids Nora just put out. They are awesome!


Looks like I'll be dogsitting this weekend, Thursday through Sunday. My friend is taking her daughter to college in Rhode Island and are unable to board the dog because they forgot about it in all the planning. I volunteered to watch her at the house with no hesitation -- big air-conditioned house to myself, cable, more movies than I have (and that's saying a lot!), high-speed Internet, cute doggie, 10 minutes from work, and a lovely huge whirlpool bathtub in the master bathroom. I even work with Karri's neighbor, so if there was a problem I'd feel comfortable going next door for help. If only I had about $350k in my back pocket, I'd buy a house in the neighborhood :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

This and that

Job Interview: I think the interview went very well. I don't want to say the name of the place yet, but it's a large community organization in the area that helps people gain employment: Welfare to Work programs, help for seniors, help for developmentally disabled adults, career placement testing, etc. I have to say their annual report is not only informative but absolutely beautiful. They feature people who have been helped the previous year by the organization and it's just a lovely presentation. The pay isn't as much as it would be in a corporate setting, but I expected that from a nonprofit. The benefits are great: paid medical and dental, higher than average paid holidays, 15 vacation days when you start, 403(b), etc. I interviewed with the hiring manager and the VP of Communications and PR and liked both very much and felt I presented myself well and had a very good rapport. It seems like a place where I'd like to work.

The only downside, and they have no idea LOL, is that I was sitting by a beautiful vase of lillies. I have recently discovered I have an allergy to lillies. I wasn't there too long and I didn't get headachy or anything so I didn't say anything. If I was going to be around them a long time I would have had to ask to move them, but considering I was only there a few minutes I didn't want to appear high maintenance. So, my one eye espeically was pretty goopy (ewwww!) yesterday and today they were a bit scratchy and red so the people at work probalby thought I went home early to party :) Well, I doubt it. I think they know me well enough to know I'm not a big partier.

So, I'm waiting and seeing...(I hope I get it!) I was a good interviewee and sent them both thank-you emails.


I'm still in a stitching slump, just not interested for some reason. I'm sure I'll get it back in a few days. I may stitch tonight in this lovely cooler weather, depending on if my eyes cooperate. I may just have to rest them for the rest of the day.

I wish I could believe that the weather would stay like this through the cripser days of fall, but I'm sure we have at least one more heat wave of sorts coming through before fall gets here. I can't wait for fall. I have decorations that are specific to seasons, but for the last year or so I really have only gotten the Christmas and Winter ones out for their times. I think when I was unemployed and only working part-time, and even up until pretty recently, I was going through a depression -- well, not a depression, because it wasn't that bad and I don't want to slight those who truly suffer from that disease. Let's say it was a low point. For a while I questioned my abilities and worth when I couldn't find work, then at my current job I tend to get mixed signals, although not as badly as a few months ago. Sometimes you just wonder if you think your work is better than it really is, and if you are some sort of early-30s loser. Just the fact that I got called for that interview and had what I felt was a good meeting has helped me tremendously -- that somebody looked at me "on paper" and that I looked like a capabale person.


Can't remember if I mentioned that my car is fixed, and I'm too lazy to go back and look :) Instead of paying $300 I paid my friend $90 for the part and am trading labor for babysitting hours. He's going to sand the roof of my car and put a sealant of sorts on it and work on a few other things for me, and they said I could pay them in babysitting because it's worth more to them than cash. Works for me :) I was supposed to babysit this past Saturday but it got canceled because Kylie had a cold again. We are wondering if it's a cold or allergies of some sort, because she seems to have this kind of thing more often than a lot of other kids.

Unfortunately, Tim's car is in the shop getting a $1500 transmission job done. Oy. If his brother had known this was a problem he never would have sold him that car. Yes, this is the car he just got to replace the Honda that lost the clutch less than a month ago. In the meantime, he's renting a car for $35 a day because he'd have to make 3 transfers on SEPTA to get from here to work. I can't imagine how much time that would take him.

I often wonder if he and I were meant to be car owners.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

May get some stitching done tonight

I've been in a little stitching slump lately. I was doing great but since late last week I haven't done anything. Last weekend it was the heat and humidity, I know. I tend to sit with my legs bent and under a light when I stitch, and that extra heat and skin contact just isn't fun when the heat index is 105-110 and you don't have a/c. So, last weekend I pretty much just sat in front of the fan. The heatwave broke on Sunday night but I just haven't been into this week for some reason. I may or may not be babysitting tonight, depending on how Kylie feels, so if I don't maybe I'll get to it tonight. Lord knows I don't take my stitching over there anymore. I could do it when she was a baby and would sleep, but now she's about 21 months and there's no reason for me to have needles and scissors around. I wouldn't be able to stitch much while she's awake, anyway.

The project I'm working on is L&L's Guardian Angel and is for a friend of mine who had a baby a year ago. Oh well, better late than never. It's about half done, I think. She stitches up pretty quickly so I should be able to finish her soon.

I need to go over my goals for the month and see where I am, now that it's a bit past mid-month. One thing I know I finished is the bios at work. Granted, I'm going to have to keep on quite a few of them to get back to me about them because I asked questions to get more info, but I got the ball rolling and it's in their court now.

Coincidence? I think not.

Funny how all of a sudden I'm getting these anonymous spamming posts in my blog. Hmmmm.... could it possibly be one or more of the spamming morons I discussed earlier? Really folks, there's nothing that exciting to see here. In the meantime, I think I'll turn off the ability to post anonymously. I won't delete, as I've said before that I won't do that and my friends are smart enough to know not to go clicking on such random anonymous links.

Well, it IS the alternator

Darn it! Oh well, I can get a rebuilt one for $85 and trade labor time for babysitting time, so it's still a lot cheaper than the $300 total the garage wanted. I'm hoping to get a new car within the next year, so I don't mind getting a rebuilt one.

I keep debating with myself about this car. I put in about $1000 a few months ago, fixing the oil leak and getting her inspection stickers. Now there's this problem. Deron said he can help me with the rust problem, since it's surface rust at the moment, and he can also do a tune-up. Yes, they are going to get a lot of babysitting out of me LOL! So, I want to keep it as long as I can so I can build up savings for a used car, or at least a decent down payment on a hybrid car. The only thing I really don't like about this car is the front end is about a mile long and it's a pain in the rear to park. If I get a job in the city I'll probably end up taking SEPTA to work anyway. So the car would be used for errands and traveling, and I'd save a lot on gas, but would then pay for a monthly transpass for SEPTA, which evens out to about the same amount in gas. Still, I'd be saving on wear and tear on the car.

It's hard to decide. I guess in the end, if the car still gets me where I need to go and I don't have to put too much more into her, I'll keep her as long as possible. I don't like the idea of getting a new car unless the old one is just not good anymore. That goes against my grain, and if I can save some money in the meantime (after I get a job paying me a better salary) that will help me buy a car with lower payments.

Sorry for the ramble. I'm pretty much talking to myself, don't mind me :)

It's the weekend, thank goodness!

My car battery light started coming on earlier this week. I took it to a place up the street and they wanted to charge me $300 (parts and labor) to change it. I took it to a place I don't normally go but I was afraid the battery would die on me if I went too far. So, I paid them $35 for looking at it and drove it home with no problems, telling them I just couldn't afford it right now, which is the truth. I've been taking SEPTA to work and back, which is no big deal. Takes me an extra 30 minutes because I have to go where they to and transfer, but it's OK and could be a lot worse. My friend's husband is coming over today to look at the car and see if he can fix it and I'll pay them back in babysitting hours :) I have a gut feeling that it really is just the battery and these guys saw me coming. I can't explain it, and I may be way off. If it was the alternator, wouldn't it give me problems starting, and would it let me drive more than a few minutes without completely draining the battery? I don't know the answer, but I'm definitely getting Deron's opinion on this.

I have a job interview Monday afternoon and hope the car is fixed by then. If not, I'll take SEPTA. It will take me a lot longer to get there but that's OK. I'm not going to reschedule an interview because of this. As it is, the day they wanted me to see them I couldn't go because I had meetings, then the meetings were postponed anyway so I could have gone. Oh well. I don't like the idea of changing meetings and such where I work now for an interview somewhere else. That just seems wrong to me. I don't want to say too much about it yet, but the job description looks perfect for me -- allowing me to use my talents and also challenge me a bit -- and it's for a nonprofit organization that does a lot of good things in the area. The benefits look good, also. I'll have to see about salary, as I can't leave where I am for less than a certain amount.

Some online friends of mine are doing a great thing for me and my friend's son. Sean (age 14) has been collecting snowglobes for years, from all over the place. Whenever his parents' friends would go on vacation, we'd bring back a snowglobe for him. He had some from all over the country and a few from Europe. Well, apparently the shelf they were sitting on couldn't take the extra weight of the last few and fell -- landing the globes on his computer, so now the computer doesn't work, either. Tim made him that computer and can eventually get him another one, that's not the problem. I just felt awful about that collection.

So, I posted about it on a board and quite a few people are buying a globe from where they live and are sending them to me for him! I'm completely overwhelmed. Let it be known that most of these people (not all) are childfree like me. We tend to get a bad rap, with people telling us how selfish and abnormal we are. So, I guess I feel like sticking this in the face of all people who like to assume things about others who don't make the same choices they do. Yes, they are doing this for a child, a child who I brag about and who is a wonderful kid.

Speaking of which, I cannot believe the nonsense we got on that board because we had the nerve to NOT like a person spamming baby jewelry that doubles as a choking hazzard on our board. All sorts of people came in there, having never read any of the threads except that one, telling us how awful we were for calling the woman's baby ugly. The thing is, NOWHERE on that thread did I see anyone saying the baby was ugly, we just thought it was stupid to spam such stuff on any board. Spamming on message boards is just NOT the way to get customers, but if you do it you at least want to target the correct audience. Then the admin got an email making sure she knew about how awful we all are. LOL, like she really cares. Of course we got the usual, "You must be fat/ugly/stupid/abnormal/pyscho/buck-teethed/selfish etc. since none of you have husbands who are willing to sleep with you and give you a child" stuff. I found it funny that this thread was running side-by-side with the one about the snowglobes. So, we're all being told how awful we are (and there are many parents on that board, too), while the next thread is full of amazing generosity for a child they have never met.

Maybe some day people will get it into their heads that we don't have to be the same religion, have the same political beliefs, decide to marry and have kids, etc. to be considered decent people. Decency has nothing at all to do with the above, it has to do with how you treat people on a daily basis.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Morons among us

I don't know why I continue to be amazed by the stupid behavior of some on the Internet. If you were making baby jewelry, would you spam a board made up of mostly childfree people and a board ENTIRELY made up of childfree people? Would that be a good way to advertise? I think spamming a board in general is bad for your businesses, but this is like spamming Omaha Steaks on a PETA board. Of course, when called on it we are accused of the normal nonsense -- we're jealous, we're losers, we're awful for making fun of a beautiful baby (nobody on that thread mad fun of the baby at all), on and on. We were then told we "are like trailer parks." I haven't quite figured out how I'm like a trailer park, except I'm a little box-shaped.

Nevermind that the reason she couldn't find the beaded baby jewelry like she made is because they are a choking hazard. Those types of beads crack and can come loose, and we all know that babies like to inhale just about anything they can. I just don't think it's a smart move.

What it boils down to: Don't spam any board if you can't handle the backlash. I visit a multitude of message boards, none of which treat spammers well.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

That cat!

Saturday morning and he wakes me up at 5:45AM! Where was the little bugger yesterday when I didn't hear my alarm and woke up late? No help then, but he's happy to wake me up early on a Saturday morning. Grrrrrr.

I sent out a few resumes this past week and plan on sending some more this weekend. We'll see where it gets me. In the past week I've been able to add some more bullet points to my resume because of what I've been doing at work, so that will help, I hope. I was one of three marketing specialists of all the MassMutual offices to be featured in a teleconference this past week, discussing my campaign for our upcoming Quota Buster. I'm also one of two who is assisting the home office in creating a manual for the Lead Generation Center. I think those are pretty big honors/responsibilities so I added them to my resume. Also, be taking time to discuss my marketing camapaign, they gave my firm a $100 credit to use in our Lead Generation Center, so the big boss should be happy with that. I'm sure he will be. He's pretty good about telling me when he likes what I've done, which is most the time. I just wish I was getting more than words sometimes, although I realize that's better than what some people get at their jobs.

Dana and I went to see "The Wedding Crashers" Thursday night. Oh. My. God. We laughed so hard at some of the scenes that we were crying. I even liked Vince Vaughn when he was Norman Bates in the "Psycho" remake, and his comedy is hysterical. I love the way he just kinda babbles at himself. Very funny movie.

Karri and I were talking about seeing "The Aristocrats" today, just because everybody is making such a stink over it. It's one of those things where you think that if it's so bad that a lot of theaters won't carry it, you HAVE to see what all the fuss is about LOL! People don't seem to understand that when you start trying to ban things and make a huge deal about them, it makes us wonder about it and want to see it when maybe we didn't give a hoot before. However, the only place I could find it was The Ritz downtown, and we really don't feel like paying extra to see a movie in the city plus pay parking on top of it. Instead I think we'll just hang out at her place and watch something, or go see another movie out here. I know the whole deal with the movie is that it's a bunch of comedians telling a joke with the same beginning and ending but trying to make it as awful and disgusting in the middle. I heard that Bob Saget's is the worst, and that he actually was one of the dirtiest comics around, then he ended up on that tv show (forgot the name, but you know the one) and the rest of the comedians were thinking, "How the hell did that happen?" and that they laughed at the show just because he was playing it clean.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Mirabilia SAL progress

Well, I put in another 10 hours on Sleeping Beauty this past weekend. It doesn't seem like I made much progress, but when I compare it to the previous picture I can see a little there to the right (green/white area) and some of that purple and blue area filled in at the bottom. She's going to take me a long time, but I will finish her some day as long as I keep working on her now and then.


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After ten hours:

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Saturday, August 06, 2005


Well, it was OK for about 5 minutes there. Maybe if I never posted anything to my blog again it will work correctly. Seems to be a bit counterproductive, though.

Sidebar is back

Again, I didn't change anything and whatever was goofy has been fixed, just like last time. I tried a few things that were suggested but nothing worked. I wish I knew what made it go back and forth like that. It was something that was just at the top of the blog, as you could see where it went back to the normal width a litte farther down the page.

Oh well, it's working now :)

Cute Smokey pictures

I had the digital camera from work so that I could take pictures of the damage in my apartment that is not getting fixed. I decided to take some pictures of Smokey while I had the camera. The one on the piano are great! He's been doing this for some time now and I love it. I stitched "Purrfect Pitch" a few years ago, a picture of a cat laying on the piano. Of course, I keep the picture on the piano. So, Smokey likes to lay on the piano in front of the picture. Pretty funny! I also took some pictures of him relaxing on the carpet. Still need to get some of him in the window, but this was nighttime and he just didn't show up against the dark outside.

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Thursday, August 04, 2005

This and That

A Miracle in Hoboken

No, it's not the name of a new movie, but a "real life" miracle. For more information, see Wink and prayer in N.J.

I hate that the media always calls people the "faithful Christians" who flock to these things. So, the rest of us who don't fall for this stuff are considered "unfaithful," huh? It figures.

I loved the quote from the 14-year-old:

"It's just a sculpture," said Wanda Aldea, 14, shaking her head. "I think somebody just scraped its eyelid off."

Great to know that there are still kids out there who think for themselves.

Cigna Earnings Up

Gee, there's a big surprise. When you screw your clients out of disability insurance they have paid into, it's amazing how your numbers go up. Granted, this is from the last quarter and my friend had this problem about two years ago, but I doubt they've stopped doing this. She had notes from the doctor ordering her to stay at home the last few months of her pregnancy and she had paid into this policy for years. She had to hire a lawyer and fight tooth and nail and still only got part of it. Ticks me off. She's the type to work like crazy and staying home was NOT her idea and NOT something she wanted to do, but the doctor told her to because of her complications. Good thing she also had a good deal of savings and her husband's income.

Cigna will never receive any business from me, not that they care.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I can't stop talking (writing) this evening :)

I remember when my blog got goofy last time. I kept posting like normal and eventually it fell off the page, whatever it was. Maybe if I start chattering on my blog the same thing will happen. Hmmmm...

Anyway, I emailed my sister this morning. I'm going to write a letter to the manager here at the apartment documenting what is wrong with the apartment that's not getting fixed. I also have pictures to back me up. I think what's happening is that since I've been here over 7 years now, I don't pay nearly as much rent as someone moving in right now. So, I think they figure if they don't fix stuff I'll eventually move. Well, they're right, but I want to move eventually anyway, and whether or not things are fixed doesn't matter because I can't move until I can afford to move.

I believe someone came out today and FINALLY -- FINALLY -- put the stupid check valve on my kitchen sink. It pulled it's trick again over the weekend and as soon as the hallway carpet had dried it happened again while we were at work yesterday. I always get the same question when I call about it, "Do you have a plunger?" Whether or not I have a plunger isn't the point. The point is you need to do something about it. After all it's not my property. If you don't care if this apartment is basically rotting, that's your problem not mine -- if I have proper documentation, and I'm getting it.

So, that issue is out of the way, but here are the others (excuse me if I've listed them before):

1. The kitchen sink has backed up so many times (not from me but from the plumbing) that it's rotted a hole in the bottom of the kitchen wall at the baseboard area and that's why the water runs freely under the wall and into my hallway, since it's the low point of the apartment.

2. The ceiling in the bathroom is falling apart because of when the place upstairs was leaking into mine -- years ago. There's a 5-inch round chunk of plaster that is half off the ceiling.

3. Because this also happened several times before the problem was fixed, the water rotted part of the bottom of the door jamb and the door itself

4. Also in the bathroom we have the duct taped tub -- no lie. There was a problem a few months ago where the bathroom plumbing was acting up. The overflow area of the tub had to be taken off and when it was an inside rusty part broke off. So, now that overflow cover and the lever that opens and closes the drain is duct taped unto the tub. Needless to say I don't take baths anymore (I shower, don't worry LOL) because it's not very relaxing to have that ugly thing staring at me.

The manager knows about these things. I've called about them and pointed them out. However I guess since nothing was in writing they feel they don't have to do anything. Well, now I'm writing a letter and will have my sister, the attorney, look at it and help me. This is the first time I've given them anything in writing so I don't want to sound too threatening or anything, but they need to know something needs to be done. They've also been helpful when I was behind on rent after being laid off and then working part-time, so I don't want to bite them, either. It's a tough situation.

If they're looking, they'll find me :)

Just for the heck of it, I Googled my name. Guess what? First thing that came up was my blog. LOL! Oh well, I'm not getting rid of my blog so if somebody decides they don't want to hire me because of my blog, it probably isn't a place I want to work. Frankly, I think my rants are few and far between and really not overly ranty compared to some I see on a regular basis. There are some rants I see that would put sailors to shame. I'm not one who can agree with people and kiss a person's butt because we're in the same office. It's just not me. Now, my coworkers and I get along great and the people who employ me like me and I've been told very good things about my performance. So, it's not like I go to work and cause trouble or anything. However, I do have opinions. I tend to keep them to the boards and my blog and not let them out for everyone to see until I know them better -- especially when it comes to the biggies of religion and politics and the combinations thereof. That sort of stuff really doesn't belong at work because some people will take things personally and it escalates. I work hard but I also like to laugh and joke a little here and there, especially when there's a lot of tension. My sledgehammer wit doesn't always come across correctly in email form, but I only use it on those who understand me and "get" me, anyway.

So, I'm keeping my blog! I'm going to go ahead and start another one where I can post interesting articles about the job market and what is going on in the fields in which I'm interested, but this blog is the place I can go to really figure things out and get feedback, and I like it. I don't think I share anything overly personal here (correct me if I'm wrong), but it's nice to be able to talk to myself but still have a few people joining in here and there.

Darn it!

My blog is acting goofy again. It's been happening for a few days now, even when there was just text at the top, so I know it's not the picture. The picture isn't overlapping anything, anyway. Again, I'm trying to decide if I should go into the template and fool around with it or see if it goes away. I'm not one to just wait and see if things fix themselves, but I've also been known to go into quickly and make a bigger mess than if I'd waited. Hmph! It would be nice if my sidebar was where it's supposed to be.

Hmmmm, I guess I'll take a look at that ol' template and see if I can fix it. Thank God for the preview option so if I goof things up royally I can come back and undo.

Woohoo! Christmas Flourishes stitching finished!

I still have to sew on the beads, and that will take a decent amount of time. However, the stitching is done! I love all the colors in this one, and of course on the blue fabric. Those who know me well know I love stitching on various shades of blue. I can put her in my sidebar, now that I have a picture of her.

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I've also stitched some more on Sweet Dreams Santa from Vermillion, and his picture is below. This is a beautiful design, but takes longer than I'm used to because Nora Corbett spoils me by designing with few fractional stitches and not much backstitching. The Vermillion designs are much different, but also gorgeous. I love that this is a blue Santa -- you don't see those very often -- and he's holding two sleeping bunnies.

Of course, I've already goofed up the border so won't be stitching it until I at least get the outsides of Santa done, then I can make it all fit. As you can see I'm working my way down the left side at the moment. I normally don't work this way, but I think it's better so that I know that border fits and can work on it a little here and there as I fill in the middle. Of course, that way I'm stuck with the face and beard and a lot of whites, grays and skintones, but I think it's the way I should do it. I tend to goof up on charts with a lot of partial stitches, but it always works out.

Here is what he'll look like when done:

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Here is my slow but sure progress:

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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Celebrate Freedom

From Booking Through Thursday

I bought a sweatshirt for my husband some years ago that says, "Celebrate freedom. Read a banned book." The shirt then goes on to list ten books that were currently banned somewhere in these United States. Here are a few examples: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, The Call of the Wild by Jack London, and Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. (For more information, see banned books online, and other sources.)

Have you ever knowingly read a banned book?
Yes, but I don't read a book because it's banned. A lot of the banned books I read in college and most of them I enjoyed. Don't know if Ulysses was banned, but it probably was due to the sexual references. Have to say that book drove me nuts -- not because of the topic but because of the way it was written. Yikes!

Have you read any of the books I listed above?
Yes, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Catcher in the Rye and The Grapes of Wrath.

Knowing that the above books have been banned, would you read them now? Why?
I don't give a hoot if a book is banned. I probably am more likely to read a banned book just out of curiosity, but if I started reading it and didn't enjoy it I'd put it down. I find that usually the reason books are banned is because they challenge the status quo in some way or aren't PC. I myself don't tend to follow all of society's little rules, so I would probably enjoy books that also don't.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Debating again -- different topic

I'm thinking of creating a second blog to focus on my career. I don't think my personal blog is very offensive and I try to be careful about what I say, but after posting that resume I got to thinking... What if somebody sees my resume and likes it but decides they don't like my childfreeness? Of course, if that's the case, is it a place I'd really want to work? I'm not sure if my little rants, raves and meanderings about nothing would make me look interesting to a possible employer or like someone they wouldn't want to hire? It would have my resume and maybe cover letters that I write, hoping for feedback. I have to say that I've already received great help from a past coworker of mine who looked at my old resume and actually critiqued it and was honest with me, and didn't just say, "Looks good." She told I had too much information and that all my experience and knowledge was getting lost. That's how I ended up with the resume you see in my previous post. A career-focused blog would also keep me accountable and talk about what I'm doing at work, while maybe my small work rants (mostly about not having enough staff) could stay here. It may be good for a future employer to see what I do on a daily basis, if anybody actually looks at the thing.

Of course, I'd also have to think of a new username and password -- the most difficult part of the whole process LOL! I'd post a link here to that blog but not the other way around.

I'd love any feedback on this, guys and gals :)

My resume, just in case...

You never know who is looking at your blog, so I thought posting my resume wouldn't hurt -- minus the personal information, of course. If any of my fellow bloggers know of anyone who could use me in the Philly Tri-State Area, let me know :)

To obtain a challenging and rewarding position in marketing and design utilizing my knowledge and experience. Interested in career advancement.


First Financial Group/MassMutual — Bala Cynwyd, PA
Marketing Specialist (Summer, 2004 to Present)

• Work one-on-one with the President to promote his vision for the agency
• Plan selling agency selling contests
• Create monthly in-house newsletter, biographies, brochures, presentations
and other marketing materials.
• Increased involvement in FFG’s Making a Difference campaign by 60%
• Organize photo shoots and training sessions

Piano Lane (Retail Website) — Drexel Hill, PA
Creative Director (Winter, 2001 to Autumn, 2003)

• One of the founding members
• Helped develop database of over 30,000 titles, cover and page scans
• Planned marketing schedules and created materials for print and website,
including co-op promotions
• Responsible for overall look of site
• Managed customer service representatives and part-time employees

Theodore Presser Company — King of Prussia, PA
Assistant to Marketing/Advertising Manager (Autumn, 1995 to Winter, 2001)

• Completely upgraded the look of Presser's advertising materials,
especially with the use of color.
• Acted as temporary head of department for two months when the
Marketing Director resigned
• Trained newly-hired Marketing Manager on various procedures
and software
• Researched and produced catalogs, brochures, convention signage,
flyers, posters, direct mailers and ads

Bachelor of Arts Degree – History – Eckerd College, May 1993

• Adobe PageMaker
• Adobe Photoshop
• Adobe Illustrator
• Microsoft Publisher
• Microsoft PowerPoint
• Microsoft Word
• Microsoft Access
• Microsoft Excel
• Microsoft Outlook
• Omni Page

August Goals

Last month I posted about how I really need to make goals for various areas of my life in order to stay on-track, then I never made them for the month. Yeah, real smart LOL!

So, I've made them this month.

Stitching Goals (in this order, estimated stitching times):
Finish Christmas Jewel - 5 hours
Finish Christmas Flourishes - beading, about 10 hours
Guardian Angel - 15 hours
Sweet Dreams Santa - 10 hours
Sleeping Beauty - 10 hours
Finish small Santa - 10 hours
Start DT mini bell pull

Transfer Excel spreadsheets to Access and fill-in what I've written on them (this will take time, but I can start the process)

Home Goals
Buy and start reading LOTR
Revamp card system (more bi-weekly, less daily)
Greeting card organizer - update birthdays
Buy journal for Christmas ornaments
Start working on Christmas list
Write friends/family I haven't talked to for months
Take pictures of the damage in my apartment and contact renters' rights people about what to do
Swim three times a week
Track WW points

Financial Goals
In order to get us on track, I'm transferring a lot of the apartment stuff into Tim's name. Not sure how to do that yet, but while I'm struggling I think it will work better for us this way.

Transfer/change to Tim's name: phone, PECO, cable
Figure out how much is half and give it to him each month
Monthly budget
Set up Excel spreadsheet similar to the Budgetmap system and print out
Update financial journal

Career Goals
Follow-up at least one warm job lead per week with a resume and cover letter
MaD book published by end of August
Bios caught up by end of August
DI Call Day list to Bob by end of August
Re-read Getting Things Done

Christmas Flourishes - stitching done!

Woohoo! I've been working on her for quite some time now, off and on. Now the stitching and backstitching is completely finished and I can start on the beading. I checked last night and there are some beads I don't have. I thought I was ahead of the game on this, but I may have used those beads for another project that came up. Either way, I'll put an order in online and have them soon. In the meantime I can take a break from her for a little while. I love all the colors and am so happy to have another finish. I don't think I'll have another finish for a little while, but it will probably be L&L's Guardian Angel.

I'll put up a picture as soon as I can get her scanned.

PG13 and PG are NOT the same

I've been seeing a lot of griping about the new Bad News Bears movie, mostly having to do with taking small children to see it. Now, I've seen horrible reviews about this movie and all have mentioned the language/rudeness factor. I don't have kids and I picked up on this, so why have so many parents just ASSumed that since it's not rated R that it's OK for all kids to see, then complain about the language?

Just saw this on a website, and I think this is what it says in the previews for the movie:

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for rude behavior, language throughout, some sexuality and thematic elements.

I mean, these days they not only rate the movies but they tell you why it's rated this way. People still will ignore, then complain that the movie isn't suitable for their 6-year-old. Granted, I have no desire to see this movie because it just doesn't look interesting to me at all, but don't people even try to check these things out before they assume a PG-13 movie is OK for their kids? I'm a huge LOTR fan, but I doubt I would have allowed a young child to see it because it has some scary elements. Heck, I usually skip the Shelob scene and I'm not even scared of spiders, usually LOL!

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As you can see, there is a difference between PG and PG13 -- that's why the PG13 rating was created to begin with. It's for movies that are between PG and R because there didn't used to be any in-between rating. If people want to take their young kids to a PG13 movie and the kids can handle it, it's no biggie to me. I just get sick of all this "it wasn't suitable for my 6-year-old" when it only takes a few minutes to go online and check out the rating and read a few reviews.