Wednesday, December 31, 2008

it's the end of the year as we know it, and I feel fine!

Wishing each and every one of you an abundance of happiness and all things good in 2009! May your joys and blessings, friends, laughter and love be plentiful...

Hugs & gratitude,

Monday, December 29, 2008

I can't get from the cab to the curb without some little jerk on my back!

phone booth
Originally uploaded by rissadee
Isn't this a fab photo?! Universal Studios y'all

It's very 'America's Next Top Model' portfolio worthy. You can tell this because I'm smiling with my eyes.

Thanks to my favorite photographer, The Gentleman.

Friday, December 26, 2008

I'm baaack

I'm a little stunned I've let so much time's not that I don't care. It's just that I haven't been able to craft a sentence lately, much less an entire post. I'll be rambling now, thankyouverymuch.

Creative Writing class has started once again ~ yippee! These women are phenomenal writers. I am in awe and inspired after each class. Our in-class assignments are hit and miss for me ~ I can write immediately about one topic while others stop me in my tracks. I think I try too hard; overthink and don't let it come naturally. I've been working on that on my own. We'll see what happens. Oh, turns out our final assignment is to write an essay. EEK! I have NO IDEA WHAT TO WRITE! We'll be brainstorming in our next class...

Christmas was good. We gathered at my brother's house so his little ones could be at home to open gifts. I was late. The rain, the stupid people driving ridiculously fast in the rain, the spinouts. Good times. I was so frazzled by the time I arrived. Anyway, it was good to be at home with family. Most times I see the fam is when we're celebrating birthdays or special occasions at restaurants. It's fun, good times and all that; but nothing beats being at home, relaxed with the kids running 'round. It was a very loving and warm day. KJ got some sort of device that adds beads to her hair. My bro told Mia "Break it." But the look on KJ's face was priceless as she pranced around with multi-colored beads in her hair. KP got a new Spiderman bike - which promptly fell apart. But seeing him in his gear (Spiderman helmet, elbow and knee pads) was 10x better than him on that bike. And little K-Man. He is all boy and energy! Run! Jump! Throw! Yell! Run! Jump! He's only 18 months old! Sheesh - an auntie can get worn out and rundown by all 3. The best thing is seeing each kid and his/her relationship with my brother. It's beautiful and so loving. "Da!" "Daddy!" "Ahh Dada!" I'm heartstruck every time. Then, I think - WTH?! That's my brother! ;)

What else...what else...hmm...saw the English Beat on 12/20 at the Key Club with The Gentleman and the Wineau. SUCH a great time! Such a bizarre night in terms of people: my myspace stalker was there, a gal I interviewed was there, the Vons incident guy was there, a lovely woman I met via myspace was there - surprising because she's from New Hampshire! We had a great conversation about why she was in town (her brother died and his organs had been donated; the organ donor organization has a float in the Rose Parade on which they are honoring her brother with his picture made of flowers! The organization flew her and her sisters out to see it; and it just so happened that the EB were playing nearby and ta-da! She's there!). Some lady and her drunk husband/boyfriend/lover/whatever were standing so close behind me, I thought we were wearing the same clothes. She was loud. Not normal concert "WOOOOO!" loud; obnoxiously drunk loud. AND?! In my ear. I kept turning around, even asking her to be considerate. But, of course that was a FAIL. She purposely yelled in my ear. So, I accidentally stepped back onto her toes. Oops, my bad! And, somehow my elbow connected with her belly. Oh, dear! Did I do that? Ultimately, they moved. Then fled quickly after her drunk husband/boyfriend/lover/whatever threw his empty beer bottle on the stage as the guys walked off. The security guard was pissed. Not just pissed. But pissed! When people started pointing out the guy, they took off. It's always something at these shows. Always something.

I've been writing and sleeping today. I can't shake this cold! I was on the downside of it before I had a massage...I couldn't fight off those released toxins and it knocked me out. So, I'm struggling, once again, with this sickness. Someone please tag-team me out. I'm over it!


OK, back to bed.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Girl is Mine!

Remember this lovely little lady?

Christian Louboutin Loubounight Laminato Clutch

She's the one I've been drooling over since the summer ~ the Christian Louboutin clutch priced at $795 at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Saks.

Then, I gave up on her.

Well, I got her. Yes I did! I actually got her silver sister.



The Girl is MINE!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's over!

Tis the end of National Blog Posting Month 2008. Yay!

As much as I love blogging + participating in NaBloPoMo, I find that during the month I don't post complete content. Blog topics aren't too difficult to find and/or come up with. The hard part is fleshing out the topic, creating some sort of meaningful, complete content worthy of reading. I don't do that very well. I tell stories pretty well; but the essay-type of blog? Not so much.

Tonight I found out our class final assignment ~ write an essay. Yay! We're to write an essay and post it on our blog. I'm pretty excited about this. We'll spend the next few weeks working towards our final assignment. Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I'm totally ripping you off

I'm in San Diego this weekend. There is limited computer access at this hotel due to a soccer tournament and all of the kids appear to be staying at this hotel and all of the kids appear to be waiting for the computers and all of the kids appear to be accessing their myspace pages.


OK. So, I'm totally ripping you off because I only have 15 minutes on this hotel computer which really isn't sufficient time to post a meaningful (ha!) blog.

Perhaps I should get a laptop...

Anyway...I ramble...and I still have email to check. So, I must go.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thank Your First Commenter Day, Year One

So, thanks to Vintage Caveman I found this piece of wonderful blogness ~ Neil Kramer's Citizen of the Month Fourth Annual Thank Your First Commenter Day.

And I am totally gonna filch it (even though it isn't Friday)!

My first ever blog post was Monday, January 9, 2006. My first ever blog comment came from Lys later that same day.

That first blog was simple. I had absolutely no idea what the heck I was doing or getting myself into. Who's gonna read anything I write?

Well, Lys did. And continues to do so. Your First Commenter's to Lys and your/my first comment :::raising glass:::

Thank you!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thank you for reading and commenting!

Now, don't go getting overstuffed :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

homework ~ need some input

So, I'm taking this creative writing class, right? And, I love it.

At our last class, Miss Pamela gives us two homework assignments:
  1. Think of a person you strongly dislike. Write about living one day as that person; try to understand that person
  2. What did Jesus Christ mean when he said 'turn the other cheek?' What does it mean to me?

I got Homework #1 down and ready to go. It's Homework #2 that's giving me trouble. And I find that troubling and strange. The statement speaks for itself. But as I think about it, I can't help but wonder what Miss Pamela is getting at - or wants us to get at. First, I guess, I'll have to read the passage in which Jesus said it ~ read before and after.

Any and all input/thoughts/ideas/etc wanted and appreciated.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

how much aluminum foil does it take to wrap a plus-size chick?

A lot. Listen up, Shoppers/Buyers for stores: Big girls have a tough enough time finding clothes that cover our arms or give us a (illusion of) waist or that look somewhat trendy. We do not need aluminum foil masquerading as a shiny party dress.

AND this atrocity party dress is at :::shiver:::

Monday, November 24, 2008

Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

I am scratching and clawing my way to the NaBloPoMo finish line, damnit. I will make it to the bitter end!

Only six more posts - not too terrible, right? I guess not. If you have blog posts in mind. I'll see something or do something and I'll think "That would be a great blog post!" But when I sit down, there's nothing there. No words are coming out of my head.


Only six more days and two of those days will be English Beat concerts woo hoooo! Those shows always make for good blogs.

So, yes...I am filling up space. But hey - I made a committment damnit. And I'm sticking to it!

I hope.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


It's 5:45 p.m. on a weekday evening. As the Honda Accord pulls out of the apartment complex driveway, the driver notices the police car parked on the side. The driver goes through four STOP signs then sees the police lights in his rear-view mirror. He pulls over and places his hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel.

Is something wrong officer?

License, registration and insurance.

I am taking my hands off the wheel to unhook my seatbelt. :::unhooks seat belt, hands back at 10 and 2::: I am taking my hands off the wheel to reach into the glove compartment for my information.

Where do you live?


What are you doing in Pomona?

I go to school at Cal Poly.

Why are you in Pomona?

I live here while I go to school.

Who owns the car?

My mom.

If I call this lady, she'll say 'Yes my son has this car?' If I call this lady, she'll know you have this car?

Yes, sir.

After 15 minutes, the officer comes back, returns the cards to the driver.

You were pulled over because one of the bulbs in the lights over your license plate is out. Have a good evening.

The driver is my nephew. This is the second time he's been pulled over in his 23 years. It is also the second time he's been pulled over and given the same reason "light bulb burned out over license plate." Both times he's been alone. The first time, he was pulled over by three cop cars and made to get out of the car, spread-eagled against the hood, then made to sit on the curb with his hands behind his back while four police officers went through his car and trunk and all things in them. He was scared to death, even after they officers told him to go home.

Oh yeah - no burned out light bulb.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Me. Last night. Yay!

Little Dragon, Take and Anomie Bell ~ 11/21/08 @ the Roxy

I'm just putting this out there now: I am in love love love with Yukimi Nagano of Little Dragon! She is totally adorable.

Moving on...

Last night's Little Dragon show at the Roxy in West Hollywood was great. DJ Jason Bentley wasn't there. Boo! However, his replacement, DJ Take? Rocked it out! Yay! He's got mad mix skills and his original beats had everyone movin' 'round the floor. I was quite impressed ~ check him out on

The opening act was Anomie Belle. Meh. Her musicianship (keys, violin, MacBook) was impressive, no doubt. I just wasn't impressed by her vocals. Now, her vocals mixed with her two background singers was somewhat melodic. Their vocals were much stronger. Anomie Belle is totally adorable and looked genuinely touched when she received audience applause; I just wasn't digging her scene.

Little Dragon. Damn. I was groovin' all night! And am paying for it dearly today. God bless Aleve. Their show is like watching a jam session or band rehearsal...Yukimi plays a lot to the band; which was irksome at first, but it's a mutual admiration society, so I was ultimately okay with it. The sly looks between her and the keyboardist had me thinking maybe there's a little somethin somethin going on there...

Yukimi has strong vocals and dances around like a mad woman on stage. She even put her shoes on, jumped off stage and danced through the audience. I think she was strongest on 'After the Rain' and 'Wink' - both of which had the audience singing along. My absolute favorite of the night was the 'Constant Surprises' encore - everyone was singing along. They ended with this jam of drums, drum machines, keys, bass and percussion that was stellar. I really wanted it to go on and on and on and on...

I'm seriously considering checking 'em out Tuesday night in Orange County...they were *that* good!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Me. Tonight. Yay!

Little Dragon @ the Roxy

Won't you please enjoy the following selections. I know I will

Thursday, November 20, 2008

not heavy

Had lunch with Barbara today. SO fab to see her! She looks great, attitude is amazing. The sound of her laugh was awesome.

Next week marks her fourth week of chemo - she's one-third of the way through it. One chemo weeks, she works from home. The other weeks, she's in the office.

I was so happy to see her...see for myself that she is okay, getting better.

Our lunch was good for my soul.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Today was such a heavy day. Heavy and weird.

People were weird. Work was weird. People at work were weird. Hence, I was weird.

I felt completely disconnected today - especially from my co-workers. It was as though there was a great secret to be told and I wasn't in on it. So, without knowing what's going on or if something's going on, I become defensive and short and close my office door to lick my (imaginary) wounds.

Then, we get a death certificate. Damn. That was heavy. It still is heavy; I can't shake it. I feel so sad and angry. I hope I never never ever never ever get to the point where things are so bleak and dire that taking my own life would be my only option.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

creative writing assignment

Assignment: Write a paragraph - in a childhood voice - you at whatever age a profound incident took place; write as if it happened just now.

Those sixth grade boys always play over here. I make soft sand and draw in the dirt and stuff and they're mean and call me names and laugh a lot - the mean way.

What does "Lurch" mean anyway?

And...and...I don't even wear green so I can't be the Jolly Green Giant, can I?

Stupid boys.

Donnie Wight and Pat Small and David Yokely and Robby Simpson, he's the meanest. One time I cried and he called me 'Lurch' and 'Four Eyes' and 'Frankenstein' and stupid names. I told him "I'm not green!" and he laughed the mean way really loud and it hurt my ears. He didn't even stop when I asked him to or told him to shut up or when I cried. He just laughed and laughed.

The mean way.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Girl of 100 Lists ~ favorite bloggers

I read lots of blogs. I'll read something, click through to a link, read that, click back, read an interesting comment, click through to that person's blog, click back...vicious cycle that goes on and on. While I find posts that are interesting, many bloggers don't have me coming back for more. But some do.

There are a handful of blogs that I read faithfully. These folks are so hip it hurts. And I'd like to share those with you:

the slack daily by the Slackmistress ~ She is awesome! I am a huge fan of the woman and the blog. She's witty, she's got style, is a helluva writer *and* she dresses her dog for Halloween. Her posts about working at an 'agency' are too damn funny. Slackmistress makes me want to be a better writer.

betheboy by Will Betheboy ~ Will. When I'm around him, I just want to sit and listen to him talk. He's is wicked, funny and sharp. His writing is so slick, to the point. And I love all of his posts about his "smarter more attractive half!" Will makes me want to be a better writer.

communist dance party by The CDP ~ Thanks to Will for pointing me in the CDP direction. I love this dude! His essays are hilarious and smart and wicked; random topics, current events, Mixed Tape trades, even lists of the best video games and albums of all time! One could spend an entire afternoon/evening reading through the CDP archives (and this one has). But the highlight of this blog is the comments section. It's a whole community! The CDP makes me want to be a better writer.

greeblemonkey by Aimee Greeblemonkey ~ Everything from political views, monthly contests, general observations to the wonders of raising an amazing kid, this blog has it all. I love her photos, too! Greeblemonkey makes me want to be a better writer.

thirty daes - let's be honest about this by JNez ~ Unflinchingly honest and raw; unafraid to speak his mind about his life and the world around him. Posts tagged with 'cadence' are the most brutal and beautiful pieces of writing I've ever read. JNez makes me want to be a better writer.

OK, kids - hear me now, believe me later ~ put these in your RSS reader 'em.

You're welcome.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Creative writing class is back!

After a seven month hiatus, creative writing class with Pamela des Barres is back! Yay :)

Tonight's class was small - perfect for reading, reviewing and commentary. These women are amazing - open, honest, raw, unafraid and superb writers. We read our homework then had 3 in-class writing assignments. As I listened to my classmates, I was so filled with awe and pain and joy and a desire to improve my writing. I really am so thrilled and proud to be part of this class!

Sunday nights will be hard; but it's better than the Wednesday nights of the beginning class.

Yay! I'm writing again!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Girl of 100 List ~ No Can Do

For some reason, I was compiling a list of things I can't do. It's not very long, of course.

But, it's a list nonetheless:
  • I don't know how to parallel park. Well, I know. I just can't do it. Unless the entire curb is empty, in which case, I'm a pro! It may have something to do with gauging distances. I am nearsighted.
  • I can't hold chopsticks properly. Lame, indeed. I just can't grasp it (pun intended). At Kuru Kuru last week, I studied the Ikea-like 'instructions' (read: pictures, not words) on the chopsticks wrapper, imitating the positioning. However, I failed miserably at the execution. Ack! Fork please!
  • I can't wrap. How sad and pitiful. In junior high and high school, most text books had to be covered. My mom covered my books with Stater Bros. brown paper bags. (However, all of the rad decorating was done by me thankyouverymuch) Gifts. *sigh* I just can't gift wrap. I either cut way too much paper or not enough. So, gift bags are my friend.

And, that's all.

Ha! Not really. That's just all I care to share with you :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

I'm sorry

Feeling so uninspired and exhausted this evening!

And, that's my blog for the day.

No doubt I'll be participating in HavMorVinMo this evening, raising my glass to The Slackmistress :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Incident at Four Points Sheraton Northeast Philadelphia

The Incident:

I needed a shirt pressed for Lys' bday party. According to the dry cleaning form in the room, same-day service is available if items are left by 8:00 a.m., Monday-Friday. Cool. Done.

I handed the dry cleaning bag to Todd when we left for dinner Thursday night.

On Friday evening - about 6 o'clock - I stopped at the desk to pick up my shirt. The girl, Anita came back empty-handed.

We don't have it.
You're kidding me, right?
No. We don't have it.

I stand there, hands in my hair, as Anita and Todd look in the back room.

No, it's not here.

She stands, looking at me. I walk away, thoroughly pissed. In that state, I can't talk; I have to walk away. In my room, I'm pacing - is it lost? Has the dry cleaning company just not come by to drop off stuff yet? Did the dry cleaning company simply forget and they're coming back? What the hell am I going to wear to the party?! I grabbed the other dry cleaning form, reading their liability statement - something about six times the value of the service. I don't know. I went back downstairs.

At the desk, waiting to be helped, Anita says "We found your shirt - the bag fell behind boxes." She goes into the back room and presents me with a bag. The same bag in which I dropped off my shirt. It never went out! Grr!

And that was it. She said nothing. No apology. No explanation. No other options offered. Nothing. Ohhh, I was seething. Again, I just had to walk away.

Later that night, I told my tale to the manager on duty. He apologized on her behalf and offered me complimentary breakfast (which I declined).

On Saturday, I was still bothered by the incident. Well, bothered by her lack of customer service in comparison to the customer service received from the other hotel staff. Todd even approached me earlier in the day, asking if my shirt had been cleaned and offered up apologies for it not being handled. And that was a day later! Anyway, still bothered, I wrote a letter to Mike Moran, the General Manager. Not sure if he'll get it; and, if so, not sure anything will be addressed.

Overall, if you have business that takes you to Northeast Philadelphia, I cannot recommend the Four Points Sheraton. Which is really too bad. (read this post for the nice things I said about the hotel)

**UPDATE 11.13.08**

I called this morning and talked w/the new GM, Tom Murray. Apparently, Mike Moran was 'interim' GM; Tom started with the Four Points on Monday. The letter was no where to be found. Surprise, surprise. I told him what happened. He apologized (of course) and said her behavior is unacceptable. It was ironic that I called with this story because he's having a staff meeting today and it's going on his agenda; as well as talking with Anita directly. He asked me what would rectify the situation. Told him I don't want anything as it wasn't like the shirt was lost or ruined or anything; I just wanted to know that someone heard me, that the person involved would be talked to and that customer service is discussed with the staff. Done, he said. And, if I ever have the occasion to come back to the property to please call him directly and he'd help me out. Appreciated.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008 pick up a pen and paper...

Pamela's advanced Creative Writing class started last Sunday night - hooray! There weren't enough people interested for a summer session, so she only had the beginners class. But now she's back. And I am, too.

I didn't make Sunday's class as I was on a plane. In Denver. Waiting for a stewardess to join our crew. And her flight was delayed. Oh, yes - let's hold up 140+ people for one person. None of us has anything better to do.

:::ahem::: I digress...I've been looking forward to this class for months. I've missed having a loosely structured topic to write about. Several times I found myself trying to write (even this blog) and getting stuck. Is that writers block? I have tons of ideas floating around en mi cabeza but nothing seems to connect or make sense so I don't write. Hope this class helps.

What I truly enjoy is the creativity in the room. Holy crap these women are talented! The ideas, the writing styles, the topics...Pamela has a wonderful way of guiding us, allowing each of us to harness that power and put it onto paper. I'm so excited to get back to it! I already have an idea for a story...

I enjoy writing, but in no way consider myself a writer. I'm workin' on it!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Four Points Sheraton Northeast

Four Points Sheraton Northeast
9461 Roosevelt Boulevard
Philadelphia PA 19114


My stay here was okay. There are several things I like about the Four Points Sheraton Northeast; however, one incident overshadowed my 3-night stay.

Let's hit the YAYs:
  • the room ~ quite spacious for a 2Q room, I was pleasantly surprised. Flat screen TV, lots of pillows, closet but no dresser/drawers.
  • the bathroom ~ nice, perfect for one. The decor reminded me of Bath & Body Works. I liked the basket of towels, though the towel rack was located under the sink making it difficult to actually dry your towels. The shower head was high, God bless you Four Points Sheraton and your overhaul!
  • Henrietta and Todd ~ Henrietta checked me into the hotel. She's lovely - excellent customer service, knowledgeable, friendly. Todd - the only one who asked about the 'incident' and the only one involved who offered an apology.

Let's hit the BOOs:

  • the location ~ far, far away. I now know not to stay out that way if everything I'm doing is in the City.
  • the business center ~ one computer. In the bar area. Better than nothing; but when the term 'business center' is used, a totally different picture is painted.
  • the kids in the hall ~ there were 300 kids in the room next to mine. They were running up and down the hall, yelling like it was a school hall or something. I was annoyed when they were yelling at 2:00 a.m. I didn't call down to the desk or report anything. My bad. Truly.

The Incident:

I needed a shirt pressed for Lys' bday party. According to the dry cleaning form in the room, same-day service is available if items are left by 8:00 a.m., Monday-Friday. Cool. Done.

I handed the dry cleaning bag to Todd when we left for dinner Thursday night.

On Friday evening - about 6 o'clock - I stopped at the desk to pick up my shirt. The girl, "A" came back empty-handed.

We don't have it.
You're kidding me, right?
No. We don't have it.

I stand there, hands in my hair, as A and Todd look in the back room.

No, it's not here.

I walk away, thoroughly pissed. In that state, I can't talk; I have to walk away. In my room, I'm pacing - is it lost? Has the dry cleaning company just not come by to drop off stuff yet? Did the dry cleaning company simply forget and they're coming back? What the hell am I going to wear to the party?! I grabbed the other dry cleaning form, reading their liability statement - something about six times the value of the service. I don't know. I went back downstairs.

At the desk, waiting to be helped, "A" says "We found your shirt - the bag fell behind boxes." She goes into the back room and presents me with a bag. The same bag in which I dropped off my shirt. It never went out! Grr!

And that was it. She said nothing. No apology. No explanation. No other options offered. Nothing. Ohhh, I was seething. Again, I just had to walk away.

Later that night, I told my tale to the manager on duty. He apologized on her behalf and offered me complimentary breakfast (which I declined).

On Saturday, I was still bothered by the incident. Well, bothered by her lack of customer service in comparison to the customer service received from the other hotel staff. Todd even approached me, asked if my shirt had been cleaned and offered up apologies for it not being handled. And that was a day later! Anyway, still bothered, I wrote a letter to the General Manager. Not sure if he'll get it; and, if so, not sure anything will be addressed.

Overall, if you have business that takes you to Northeast Philadelphia, I cannot fully recommend the Four Points Sheraton. Which is really too bad.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Lys's birthday party tonight @ the Bourbon Blue in Mannyunk (sp?)! I am looking forward to seeing all of my friends, hanging out, catching up and drinking.

The trip so far has been perfect - sleep, read, drink, eat, walk around town, a couple of museums, friends and good times. The weather hasn't been the best; but I did experience a couple of days of gorgeousness. We drove along the river yesterday...the trees were beautiful! The colors were so vibrant; a true autumn.

People in this city drive like maniacs. Seriously. I thought SoCal drivers were bad. Sheesh!

I'm very disappointed in myself: I've only had two cheesesteaks. I know! I've had some awesome food at other awesome places; but c'mon - I'm in Philadelphia! Ya gotta have an effing cheesesteak, right? to King of Prussia mall cuz they have Nordstrom and Nordstrom is having its sale. Wooo hoooo!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Here Cabby Cabby!

In L.A., you can't hail a cab on the street. Apparently, you have to call for one. So imagine my surprise when I get to PhilaPA and am expected to hail a cab. WTH?! How the hell do you hail a cab??

I needed a cab to get to the Franklin Institute museum. OK, fine. I walk outside, feeling all stupid and nervous, and just stand in front of the hotel. Cars, cabs, buses pass me by. A couple of businessmen walk out of Ruby Tuesdays, into the street, raise hands and - voila! - cab stops, takes 'em away.

Well, that seems easy enough. I look up Chestnut Street and see no cabs. Tons of cabs are racing down 17th Street! But none pass me by. Crap! So, I stand there.

Down Chestnut, a car is double-parked, causing traffic to back up. A cab stops right in front of me - oh what luck! We make eye contact. I lamely raise my hand. He nods. It all seemed so seedy.

After my museum visit, I had to catch a cab all over again. Good grief! I didn't know what to do. I stood on 20th and Ben Franklin Parkway for 25 minutes trying to get a damn cab! I texted a friend "How the hell do I get a cab?!" The reply? "LOL. I don't know." Aww crap. At this point, I decided I should just walk. I crossed the street, started walking to Parkway. I turned around for one last look and there he was. A cab! I yelled "Taxi!" He waved me over and we were on our merry way. Yay!

This hailing a cab stuff is a piece o'cake.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I'm with the Band

Sunday night found me in a huge fabric warehouse watching/listening to Js band rehearse. When I got the invite, I was instantly sold - the promise of beer only sealed the deal. It would be my first time meeting all of the band and hearing the music live. Lemme tell ya, I was pretty damn stoked.

J let us (HH and me) listen to two new tracks plus a remixed version of another track - liked all 3, loved the vocals and the vocal mix on the 2nd one.

J brought a new guitarist onboard. So new, in fact, that Sunday night was only the 3rd time the guy had rehearsed/played with the band. Lemme tell ya, no tell-tale signs this guy was new. He fit with the others, interacted with the others, contributed ideas and looked so comfortable no one would ever have guessed. And this guy rocked it out. Seriously rocked it the hell out!

The guys ran through the six songs several times ~ tweaking this, adding that, "Let's try..." this, "just do..." that. I loved it! I loved watching that collaboration, that on-the-spot creativity and then it all just gels. So inspiring. They looked like a band. They sounded great!

These guys are going places.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Davio's - I love you!

Dropped by Davio's for soup and wine. The restaurant is part of the Club Quarters hotel. Lys and I had dinner at Davio's last year - yummy!

So, I'm at the bar...drinking Zinfandel ("The red one?" "Is there any other?"), perusing the bar menu. All I read was Roasted Pumpkin soup. Done!

Out comes the guy with a bowl on platter and a pitcher of some sort. He places the bowl on platter in front of me - the bowl has short ribs. Huh? What? He then pours the contents of the pitcher over the short ribs. I know! I grabbed the menu when he walked away - Roasted Pumpkin Soup over Cinnamon braised short ribs! Ohhh yeah!

Delish. I want it again.

If/When you're in Philadelphia ~ eat at Davio's!

Election Day

We watched the first of the poll returns from Downey's on South Street. The place was virtually empty yet all TVs - including the big big screen - were tuned to CNN. We caught some of the projections but couldn't hear much and we were too busy talking.

Over at Dave & Buster's, the TV screens were either ESPN or CNN. We were so excited about watching history change in front of our eyes. I kept checking the numbers, watching them slowly creep upwards. At one point the electoral votes total was 207. After that, we were lost in conversation once again.

220. Wow...this could really happen. Really happen!

207? Huh?

Then the bar erupted into wild cheers, hoots and w00ts, whistles and applause. CNN projected Barack Obama the winner!

"But he only has 207."
"No; that's 297!"

I was stunned. We immediately left D&Bs - we wanted to hear the speeches!

As we drove through the city, people were honking horns, chanting, yelling and smiling. Sooo many people were so genuinely happy - it was such a sight to see! It was such a thrilling feeling! We heard McCain's speech on the drive back to the hotel.

As we said our goodbyes and parted ways, I raced upstairs to the lobby. The image I saw? Jesse Jackson with tears streaming down his face. I got chills.

I called my parents...Dad used to register voters in the South, not seeing Mom for days. I wondered how he was feeling, what he was thinking...of course, he was out playing tennis.

I watched Barack Obama's speech from my room - what a beautiful family! He was so calm and steady, like he's been throughout the campaign. I felt so proud to be an American.

Change. Let it begin.

Girl of 100 Lists ~ the hotel Phila PA

Club Quarters Hotel
1628 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia PA

In no particular order, here are my BOOs! and YAYs! for Club Quarters in PhilaPA:
  • private hotel ~ no public restrooms or lobby, can't just walk in off the street. It's so non-descript from outside, no one knows it's a hotel. Most of my friends say they walk/drive by all the time and never knew it was a hotel! YAY!
  • location location location ~ in Center City, in the middle of the hustle + bustle - shops (Sephora to the left of me, H&M to the right), food galore, walking to distance to most of the historic attractions I want to visit, great pub around the corner (YAY! Oscar's Tavern!). YAY!
  • when I checked in, they only had a room with twin beds available. I know! I haven't slept in a twin bed since college. College! That wasn't just last week, kids. BOO!
  • the hotel room is lovely - it truly is. YAY!
  • free bottled water ~ Uh huh. I said it. Free bottled water. Each floor has a chilled filtered water dispenser below a rack of empty plastic water bottles. You can fill up any time you'd like. I know! YAY!
  • club room ~ the lobby's club room has 3 computers, huge flat screen TV, big plush comfy couches and overstuffed chairs for hotel guests to enjoy. It's lovely and homey and inviting. Just needs a fireplace...YAY!

Overall, I'm totally diggin' Club Quarters. YAY!

Tomorrow ~ I'm with the Band

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

PhilaPA ~ Day 1

Flight from LAX to Denver? One crying baby, one restless, whiny toddler.

Flight from Denver to PhilaPA? FOUR crying babies, restless and whiny toddlers. Plus one annoyed 41-year old with iPod ears (music turned up too loud but it drowned out the Fab Four).

Other than that? Uneventful flight. Hooray!

Arrived at the hotel around 8 o'clock and all I wanted was a beer and soup or a sandwich. I located Marathon Grill and started walking. That's when I saw the lovely yellow sign: $5 Footlongs. SOLD! Grabbed a sandwich, back to the room. Texts, food, some cable TV then a crash headlong into the bed.

Ahh...vacation. This is what I'm talkin' 'bout!

Tomorrow ~ the hotel

Monday, November 03, 2008

I'm so excited - and I just can't hide it!

Psst! Hey...c'mere...guess what...


Uh huh! My. Car. Is. Paid. OFF. Woo hooooo!

backbackbackmineminemine! (Looney Tunes reference)

That frees up more than $300/month - what a relief. Especially since my 401k dropped. Alot. car is paid off.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Plan

I bought a Philadelphia CityPass the other day for $54.00 - which isn't such a bad deal. That $54 covers my admission to the zoo, the Ben Franklin Science museum, the National Constitution Center, the aquarium (yay!) and a few others. This is The Plan (subject to change):

Saturday ~ arrive; settle; dinner/drinks with friends.
Sunday ~ Philadelphia Museum of Art (with the Rocky steps) and the Rodin museum; the Planetarium/Franklin Science museum, if time.
Monday ~ zoo or aquarium - depends upon the weather
Tuesday ~ Election Day! Liberty Bell, Betsy Ross's house, Constitution Museum; then back to the hotel to watch the results. I am so ridiculously excited about this election!
Wednesday ~ whatever I haven't done already
Thursday ~ tea with a dear friend
Friday - Saturday ~ hang with the gang for Lys's birthday, shopping will be in there somewhere
Sunday ~ some football, then head home.

Full week o'stuff will make for a full week o'blog stuff. Yay!

~ Happy Birthday to my brother! ~

Saturday, November 01, 2008

It's National Blog Posting Month!

Today marks Day 1 of National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo also referred to here as NaBlahBlah)! I'm excited about getting back to posting here on the regular. We'll see if I can last the whole month...

Today also marks Day 1 of my vacation! Yippeee! I'm leaving on a jet plane, headed to the City of Brotherly Love for one week. work emails, no work phones, no work people, no work period. Yippeee! I'll be playing tourist ~ Betsy Ross's house, National Constitution Center, Liberty Bell, Geno's, Jim's and Pat's for cheesesteaks. Should be a great time.

As I write this (9:40 p.m. Halloween night) I've yet to finish packing. Sigh Yeah, I know. I had to get a bigger suitcase for the bulky sweaters and such. The stuff that's in there? I've done a swell job of packing ~ most of it is rolled. What a concept! I thought it would be just as bulky as folding and stacking. It isn't. The stuff fits quite nicely. The downer? No room for shoes. Well, if I had shoes, there'd be no room. Ugh. I don't have boots or other cold weather shoes. I live in California. And I have big feet. Anyway, I've thrown 3 pairs into a carry-on and will just have to hope for the best.

OK, Kids...enjoy your week! I'll stop by if I can to post some real time stuff.

And with that...I. Am. Out.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

I'm liking this Facebook thing

I joined Facebook one week ago. I thought it would be another myspace thing ~ a bunch of people I barely know wanting to be my friend in order to promote their band/music/cause/whatever. Wow - it's been a tremendous connection vehicle!

At first, I was accepting friend requests simply because he/she asked. Not anymore. I'm viewing FB as much more personal, intimate connection therefore being more selective. I've connected with classmates from high school ~ including a former teacher; former students from my years of teaching and interpreting; former co-workers, current co-workers and my very close friends.

However, the connections that are most special to me are the ones I'm making with my sorority sisters - Alpha Sigma Theta at CSUN. I can't believe I've found these women after almost 20 years! One sister has pictures posted - and I was in one of the pics. Good grief! My hair was biiig and very 80s (thank you KMS Ice hairfreeze). At the time I thought I looked goood. :)

Those were wonderful times; brief - too brief - but wonderful. I hope to connect with many more...

Thanks, Facebook!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What kind of fool am I?

National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo also known affectionately as NaBlahBlah) starts Saturday, November 1st. And I signed up again. Uh...yeah. I'll be on vacation the first week of November. And I don't have a laptop. Ugh.

I'm trying out this Blogger feature that allows your pre-written blog to post at a later date. Let's hope it works!

Sadly, it doesn't give me a week's worth of blogging topics...

Can he really do this?! WTH?!

originally posted by beatgirl 10/28/08

- unbelieveable -

I cannot believe what I witnessed today...

I was at the downtown [Portland OR] Rite-Aid, standing in line at the pharmacy.
There were two girls in front of me and one was picking up her prescription.
I over heard the cashier say "Your prescription is ready but you wont be able to pick it up today. You will have to wait until tomorrow"

The girl was was I over hearing this.

The girl said "If my prescription is ready, why cant I pick it up? I need it today. "

She was a little frantic.

She said to the cashier "Its Plan B. I cant wait until tomorrow. Whats the problem?"

The pharmacist approached the counter and said "I have your prescription. I will not dispense it to you because it is against my religious beliefs. There will be another pharmacist working tomorrow. You can pick it up then."

My jaw hit the floor

Who the fuck is this guy? Who is he to impose his personal beliefs on customers? What if this girl was raped? Who the fuck cares what the reason she needed it for...who the hell does he think he is? Besides in the wrong profession.

The girl turned to me with a shocked look on her face and said "Can he do that?"

I said "I dont think so" I then gave her directions to another pharmacy in the area.

I proceeded (along with several of my girlfriends) to call the Rite Aid corporate offices and complain.

They were mortified. They said they would contact the store and find out what happened.

We then received a call from the pharmacy manager of the downtown store. She said that although she apologises for me overhearing the conversation that should have been more confidential, that the pharmacist has the choice of whether to dispense medication based on his beliefs.


I went off on the manager for awhile and then told her that I will never step foot in Rite-Aid again.

And I wont.

This is not over.

~ Can he really do this?? I am stunned. I need to google this...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

well I may be the Mayor of Simpleton...

That Girl has been texting me for two weeks about this myspace application called 'YoVille' ~ "Girl, you should join, it's so much fun! You get an avatar and an apartment to decorate!"

So, of course, I check it out.

And, she ain't lying!

Check out YoVille, people. Design your avatar, go into town, meet people at the Coffee Shop, buy stuff at YoDepot to decorate your apartment, eat at Vinny's Diner to increase your energy and speed (how quickly you move through town), go to work at the Widget Factory, challenge others in town to quick games of Rock/Paper/Scissors or Tic Tac Toe (if you win, you get coins). It's pretty cool to explore and wander around the town ~ I was in the coffee shop yesterday and broke out into the Robot dance! w00t w00t

Yes, it's a tremendous time-waster.

Yes, I'm a tremendous Simpleton.

Who cares ~ it's fun! Thanks ThatGirl!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Everybody's doing it...

I like myspace. I do! Music, friends, blogs, stuff. I just like it.

Several friends have told me about facebook, encouraging me to join. When asked 'Why? What's the difference?' no one could tell me. 'It's just better...' didn't quite cut it. It took a threat from Chickens for me to even look at FB. And am I glad I did!

I joined (read: succumbed to peer pressure) on Friday and I've reconnected with so many people: high school friends, my first high school English teacher, several of my Alpha Sigma Theta sisters from CSUN. Incredible! I spent several hours clicking through photos and updates, posting comments, catching up. Tons of warm and wonderful memories rushed over me. Yeah, sounds corny - I know. But it's the only way to describe it!

The only thing that bugs me? Everyone wants to know about my brother! ;)

Friday, October 24, 2008

...Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man that he didn't already have

There's a girl who lives in my building named E. We used to be friends ~ hang out, chat on the stairs, dinner, watch TV, shopping, drinking and all kinds o'fun with a group of mutual friends. Good times, yo ~ and I have pics to prove it :)

A couple of years ago, she began to withdraw from the group. Each of us reached out in some way to her, knowing the risk of pushing her away for good was a true possibility. Each of us let her be herself and work out her stuff.

A year ago, our group of friends unraveled and split. It was a hit from left field and truly caused [somewhat of] a
downward spiral ~ questioning all sorts of things about me, what a true friend is, who my true friends are, etc. In the split, E denounced 3 of us (whose friendship remains) and rekindled her friendship with 2 others. The whole thing made for a sad situation really. I'd be lying if I said it doesn't hurt.

E still lives upstairs and I see her on rare occasions. One all-too-familiar scenario makes me laugh every single time - she will be walking out of her apartment, I'll be walking up the stairs to mine and she'll back into the alcove to avoid me. Really?! Are you kidding me with that?? There have been times when our paths have crossed on the stairs or at the mailboxes...and she looks right through me. Right through me. As though I am nothing. It's a weird feeling - trust me. I mean, I look at strangers and give something - eye contact, a nod, a smile, something...something. I get nothing. I've said hi on previous encounters and watched her squirm in her discomfort. A painful sounding grunt came out once. So, I stopped.

For all the sadness and hurt I feel at losing friends, can you believe I'm civil enough and aware enough to go out of my way in order to ease HER discomfort? Huh...who really lost a friend in this situation.

As emotional as I can get sometimes, I am definitely happy to have a heart.

Like the Alan Parsons Project says: I wouldn't want to be like you.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Halloween meme

randomness...feed your mind and your blog
10.12 Happy Haunting

1. What's your favorite Halloween costume?
~ 7th grade - Sierra Middle School - Susan, Mary and I dressed as Three Muskateers candy bars! We each painted a box to look exactly like the candy wrapper complete with the ingredients and such. We won the costume contest :)

Do you still dress up for Halloween?
~ if I was going to a party, sure I would. As a general rule? No, no, no.

2. Pumpkin Carving, is it fun or overrated?
~ totally overrated! One of my least favorite things about Halloween. How very bah-humbug of me.

3. What's your fav Halloween treat?
~ CANDY CORN! mmm! I had a lively conversation with DJ Big Jim about our preferences for eating candy corn.

4. Do you watch scary movies? If so, what are your favorites?
~ I do watch scary movies ~ Exorcist, Halloween, others I can't think of right now...recently went to Knotts Scary Farm. Boy did that place live up to its name...

5. What's your favorite scary book? Pet Sematary and IT. Those are books to put in the freezer for sure!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mentoring 2008

When I quit my job as a sign language interpreter/teacher in 2000, I was relieved. I couldn't wait to get a real job with real adults (not the counting-the-moments-until-retirement teachers) and have real conversations about things other than 'Who do you like better: NSYNC or Backstreet Boys?'

So, there I into the real world. And as I went through my day, I felt something missing. Real adults? Check! Real conversations? Check! Took me two years of temp jobs to figure it out - the kids. I miss the kids!

I had been at The Company for a couple of months as the Corporate Receptionist when a group of high schoolers came through with swag from the set of FRIENDS ~ shirts, pencils, mugs, pictures. So, I asked a) where did you get that stuff and b) where did you come from to get that stuff? Turned out the kids were part of The Company's inaugural Mentoring Program. The kids were from A Place Called Home who, in association with Youth Mentoring Connection, partnered with The Company. I would see these kids every couple of weeks, listen to them talk about the program and their mentors; I would see some of the mentors everyday, listen to them talk about the program and their kids (mentees). I wanted to be part of it!

When I had moved into a role within The Company which would allow me the flexibility to participate, I signed up for the Mentoring Program. I was a mentor to Erick for two years; then a mentor to Marqietta for two years. Last year I took a break. In August, I signed up again.

Two weeks ago, all of the mentors and the kids got together for food, games and bowling at Jillian's. The casual environment allows all to feel comfortable mixing and mingling, trying to find out what's what. Such a thrill to see so many kids participating (almost 50)! There were several kids who had been in the program for a few years - and I loved seeing and reconnecting with them. The point of the evening? For the kids to find an adult he/she connects with and vice versa. I was able to meet all of the kids, made connections with most and asked the program directors about one kid in particular. At the end of the evening, everyone gets a sheet of paper and is asked to list the 3 people he/she has made a connection with. No guarantees! Just your preferences. I skipped #1 and #2. On line #3 I wrote - "Boy or girl. You know me. Pair me with the person who will get the most from and give the most to me."

On Tuesday, we found out our mentor/mentee pairings for the year:

Introducing ~ Rissa & Gerica!

Isn't she adorable?! I'm super excited about mentoring and can't wait to get to know my new friend!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Rita Hayworth gave good face

Nordstrom had a make-up event on Saturday morning. I know it's supposed to be exclusive, invite-only type of thing, but seriously - does it have to start at 8:30 a.m.? Egads. I was only fifteen minutes late.

All participants were given a great tote bag which contained a bottle of water *and* breakfast. I know! Berries and a scone/muffin/biscuit thing. Nice touch, Nordstrom.

Videos of each make-up line were played, interspersed with give-aways from the managers of each counter. I made notes on several products to check out and paid special attention to the Smashbox video as I had a 'consultation' (read: put makeup on meeeee!) with them after the event.

First stop - NARS. The account rep was adorable and lively. He danced up and down the runway; and was the only one to come all the way to the back of the audience where I was sitting. His model wore a gorgeous lip gloss called All Night Long. I tried it on, loved it, bought it. No wonder it's voted best by Sephora customers!

NARS Lip Gloss ~ All Night Long

Next on my list was Laura Mercier. I know the brand name but am only familiar with the
Stick Gloss (Black Orchid - my favorite). The account rep also highlighted berry lips with a product called Lip Velvet. The color, Cassis, is a dark intense color which I tried on, loved and bought. I am so easy.

Laura Mercier Lip Velvet ~ Cassis

I made my way over to the Smashbox counter - second in popularity to MAC (of course). The account rep was lovely, offering to move my appointment 30 minutes so I wouldn't have to wait around. The woman who did my makeup was great ~ she asked what I liked, blended when I didn't like, showed me wonderful products and was truly helpful. When I hemmed and hawed at some of the products and brushes she was pushing, she suggested alternatives and saved me a lot of money. My favorite product is the waterproof eyeliner in Navy. My eyes looked amazing! I told the gal she had to come do my makeup every day.

Smashbox Cream to Powder foundation ~
excellent coverage, very light,
stayed in place all through my adventures at Knott's Scary Farm!

Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Eye Line in Navy ~
amazing product that sets in 60 seconds and won't smudge or move.
Smashbox Doubletake Lip Color Sugar/Spice ~
nothing beats convenience! Lip liner on one end, gorgeous color on the other.
The texture is very nice and smooth - didn't tug on my lips when I used it.

OK. THIS is the best lip gloss I have *ever* seen. It's Yves Saint Laurent Gloss Pur in Black. Yes, black. The host of the event wore it, but I was too far back to see. I made my way to the YSL counter in time to see it applied to a 16 year old girl. It was applied sparingly, so the color was a lovely berry tinged with black - it was very cool. I saw the host of the event putting more on and it was black - looked pretty cool. I'm watching everyone try it out, completely baffled at how different the color was on each woman. Someone tapped my shoulder; I turned to see the national account rep/lead makeup artist with the black lip gloss.

I'm Keith. I want to see this lip gloss on you. It would look beautiful over the color you're wearing now.

Seeing as I'm a girl, at a makeup event, who loves makeup, how could I refuse? Couldn't. Didn't.

Keith applied it, changing my berry lips to a deep dark cherry color. Sold! He only had 25, so I was lucky to get one.

This lip gloss is crazy cool! Sephora doesn't even have it. I can't wait to experiment with it - over liners, over other lip colors, on its own. Yes, Lys ~ it's coming to PhilaPA.

YSL Gloss Pur Black (limited edition)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Mean Girls ~ they're not just for high school anymore

90% of the time, I consider myself a confident person. I stand up for myself, defend my opinions, put myself out there to meet new people and am the first to laugh at myself. Last night, however, I was thrust back to high school and those insecure and inferior feelings washed over me.

Dinner with friends - easy enough. Making the last-minute decision to run home to change clothes would make me late. Not "L.A. time" late, but late nonetheless. Faded jeans, grey sweater over white tank top and black chunky heel loafer shoes - nothing fancy, casual, perfectly fine for drinks and dinner. Or so I thought.

I arrive, greet the girls. Looking fabulous, I admire key pieces ~ Great bag! The patent shoes are tres chic! Those boots are reason enough to have The Surgery!

You didn't have to get so dressed up for us. Looking me up and down.

These are my best faded jeans, I said with a laugh. And I remembered to match my shoes to my bag.

It's no wonder you don't date, Reese. You don't take your appearance seriously. Blink.

Clinton and Stacy wouldn't ambush me on Ventura Boulevard.

They would certainly stop and think twice.

The 'Bash Reese' portion of the show continued for 20 minutes ~ my appearance, my dating record, why I'm not going to the gym, why I stopped wearing contact lenses, my body language. I felt smaller and smaller with every word. I don't know where my confidence was hiding...smaller and smaller, sadder and sadder, feeling more and more like my 15 year old self than the actual 41.

And, tears fell. Not rushing, blubbering, splatter my glasses crying. The welling, the filling and a couple falling.

And, you always wear heels. I don't get that. Men are intimidated by tall women. You know that - you hardly date tall men.

I couldn't retort. I couldn't say anything. I wanted to laugh it all off. I really did! But the words just hit...the sting, the venom, the hurt. I didn't get it, didn't understand where it came from. Didn't understand why I was having dinner with the Mean Girls. And I was completely baffled why I was so affected. I'd had such a great day! The 15 year old self was so beat down by it all...but 41 showed up just in time to save her.

I stood, said thank you, grabbed my faux Marc Jacobs and left. I shook and cried out the door, down the street, in the car and all the way home.

This morning, I have two voicemails, several text messages and a raging headache.

The thing that sticks with me is how easily I was affected.

Friday, October 10, 2008

...but somehow the vital connection is made

:::the Heavens open:::

:::Angels Chorus sing:::

Like the Backstreet Boys, my internet is back. Alright!

Reese was sans internet for 3 weeks. No, seriously. However, after two more phone calls with five different people, I was able to convince AT&T to send a new modem to my work address. It arrived yesterday and I ran home to connect it. All the lights were blinking, but the connection wasn't made. Grrr! I would have stayed, called customer service again and tried to right the wrong, but I had a party to get to at the Hotel Fig!

Sadly, customer service was closed by the time I got home. You can bet I was on that phone once I woke up. And now...I have internet. Glorious internet!

I'm part of the world again. Thank you!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

It's been seven hours and fifteen days...

OK. Maybe not quite that long. But, long enough!

I haven't had internet service at home for ten day. TEN DAYS! That's or something. Good grief I'm going crazy! It is truly debilitating (okay, a bit Debbie Dramatic, but I'm making a point here, people). I'm in my office typing this...

Started with my modem going belly-up on 9/24. The telephone tech came out, checked my outside phone line and pronounced everything "A-OK!" (Verbatim. Seriously.) He wasn't able to hear my DSL line or any static, so he ordered me a new modem ~ covered under warranty, thankyouverymuch.

Modem arrives on 9/29. Great! Hook it up. Great! DSL light is green. Great! Ethernet cable light off. Not great! I flip the cord, make sure everything is in its place, connect the power. DSL light is green. Great! Ethernet cable light off. Not great! Grrr. I try mixing the cables from the original modem with the new modem. Nothing. Fine. I leave it alone.

On 10/1, I call AT&T DSL customer service. I go through the whole rigamarole with the dude - checking the connections, switching the cables, rebooting. I even endure the "Are you sure your power cord is plugged in?" nonsense. Finally, the dude says "You have a defective modem." What?! Are you kidding me with that?! Defective you say?? Huh. The dude orders me a modem to be overnighted to my home. I kindly request a new modem, not a refurbished one. "We do not send out refurbished modems, ma'am." "Huh. Then maybe you shouldn't print the word 'refurbished' on the invoice in bold capital letters." Just saying.

Not home Thursday. Get home Friday - no modem. Surprise, surprise. I call the DSL customer service line again. Go through the whole rigamarole with Louie, who transfers me to Justin, who makes me go through the whole rigamarole with him twice. "Justin. I just want a new modem please. I've been through this. The cables, the lights, the this, the that. I just want a new modem. How is a girl supposed to set her Fantasy Football team without the internet?" This got Justin's attention, so we talked FF for a minute. Then. Ohhhh, then..."Ma'am, we can send you a new modem but you'll have to extend your internet service agreement for one year, okay?" I laughed. I did! I laughed. "Justin. You looked at the notes, read that a new modem was supposed to be sent two days ago. YOU told me the order wasn't placed. NOW you want me to tack on an additional year to my service plan - by the way, I have no service - so I can get a modem to give me service? You might want to rethink that situation."

So, I'll have a new modem "by Tuesday at the latest."

I also called Billing. Joshua was lovely. He credited back one month's service fee, bundled my phone service options so that I save $35/month and made sure my account was noted with the 'order new modem/send new modem' comments. I like Joshua, he's nice.

In the meantime, I can check email on my cell phone but can't reply. I can send tweets via text, but can only read direct Twitter messages. And, I can check football scores but can't check my fantasy league status.

Oh dear Robin Thicke sings: I'm lost without you.

The Surgery

I wear size 12 shoes. Adding insult to injury, I wear size 12EE. That's wide. Pretty damn wide, if ya ask me. I've worn size 12 since, oh...let's see...7th grade. Uh huh. As if being 5'11" at age 12 isn't enough.

Back in those days, there weren't a whole lotta footwear choices. My shoe wardrobe consisted of Nikes - white with the blue swoosh. In the 8th grade, I got a pair of blue Nikes with a yellow swoosh. Ooh, snazzy! Not so much.

At some point during my high school years, my sister discovered a store called Freeman's. It was a huge shoe store in Pomona. Aisles and aisles of shoes stacked from floor to ceiling. The newspaper ad advertised shoes "from 6AA to 14EEE!" Damn! I could definitely find shoes there. The only decent shoes in my size were called 'skimmers' - your basic flat shoe. I got 5 different colors of those skimmers; wore 'em out fast.

As cute as the flats were, I wanted current shoes; shoes like my friends. It wasn't to be. Well, there was the espadrille incident...

It was about this time, that I proposed The Surgery. There were two options to The Surgery:
  1. Cut off my toes, shave down some of the bone, reattach the toes. Or,
  2. Cut out a chunk from the middle of my feet, reattach accordingly.

It wouldn't take much as I just wanted to be a size 10. A size 10 has no problem walking into any shoe department and finding shoes. Besides, if I went any smaller than a 10, I'd probably fall over.

Times changed, Payless Shoe Sources popped up, plus-size catalogues carried fairly decent footwear in my size and the need for The Surgery waned. Would you believe I was 19 years old before I wore my first high-heeled pumps?! I know!

I've been on a shoe kick as of late...and that pesky desire for The Surgery has popped up once again. I found a gorgeous pair of Prada-inspired pumps online...and wouldn't ya know it, they only go up to a size 10. I could always do the espadrille shuffle...