Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day in Review - "Witchy Woman and Farewell to 2010"

Two more days left in 2010. Good riddance, I say. Reflecting back on the year could make me laugh and definitely cry if I let myself. I will look back on 2010 as a valley in the road of my life. With any journey, however, no matter how bad it is, lessons are learned, strength is gained and small triumphs can put you on a new path.

Before I get to that, however, I have to talk about this...

"There’s some rumors going round" - Anyone who knows me, even remotely, knows I am not a fan of the "Tea Party". I thoroughly enjoy making fun of them actually. You can imagine the laughter that ensued in my house today when I saw on CNN that Tea Party princess Christine O'Donnell was being investigated for misusing campaign funds. Seriously...these people make it too easy sometimes. She denies it, of course, but I think/hope there is something there. Just more fodder for me to laugh at. Since she is (ISN'T!) a witch, can't she cook something up in her cauldron to make this go away? Come on Christine...any publicity is good publicity, right? Give it a go next time around and try to keep the ridiculous comments out of it. (Example - "American scientific companies are cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains."..are you sure it isn't mice brains into humans, Christine?)

"Why I Appreciated, but Never Loved" - 2010 was a strange year for me. In a way, much of the year seemed like a carbon copy of 2009, but as the year has come to a close, I realize it is ending on a higher note than it started on. Here is a rundown of lessons learned, memories made and random thoughts on 2010...

Dear 2010,

Our relationship this year was tumultuous in many ways, but as we prepare to part ways I am blessed and happy to have met you. We have had our differences and had our joys. You were my teacher, my bane and my constant companion.

Lessons learned:

I learned that you can date many men in a year and still be single on New Year's Eve. The laughter of little girls is like medicine for your soul. Friends will come and go, but you find truth when you least expect it. The friends who you thought were true can quickly turn. Friends who were far away are now close. Friends who are far away are family. Weddings can lead to hook-ups and weddings can end a friendship. Sea gulls can attack for no reason. Wrists can be broken and if you don't have insurance you get big bills. Toilet bowl cleaner can dye your hands blue for days. Virginia has a lot of fog. Thinking Google Maps can get you anywhere is a false assumption. Boba tea can become an addiction. Dreams about becoming an Olympic bobsledder can quickly be dashed. A hair cut can change your whole attitude. It can be years since you have lost a loved one, but the pain in your heart can remain. Cell phones can easily fall out of your pocket. Going to Amish country can be fun. You can spend a hot summer with no air conditioning and survive primarily on homemade sno-cones. My mom can put down the Merlot. Moving 500 miles can be the remedy you are looking for. Craigslist can be a lifesaver when you need to get rid of furniture. If you leave your sun roof open, your iPod will get wet in the rain. Rice can dry out a wet iPod. A Rubbermade container can make a good desk in a pinch. It is possible to get sea sick on Lake Erie. Apple picking can change your life. Wild turkeys can scare the crap out of you. Giving your number to a random guy when you are intoxicated can lead to weeks of annoying phone calls. People actually cry at football games when their team loses. Golden Corral is a great place to people watch. Prayer and meditation can center you. You cannot control your dreams at night.

I learned that family is important, your parents can be your friends and spending time with them is precious.

As we come to a close, 2010, I am smiling more, worrying less and enjoying new found talent. If you can pass on a message to 2011, I would appreciate it. Tell 2011 I would like a little more laughter, a little more fun. A hot boyfriend would help too. Give us a better economy, more love, more magic and more happiness. Put my order in for everyone... less hate and less heartache.

I am ready now, 2010. Ready for the new year and the new adventures that await. It's been real...but I am letting you go. Good luck in retirement.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Day in Review - "Don't Let the Man Get You Down"

Ahhh...Christmas is over. I had a very blessed time with my family. I am a very lucky girl. (Well, I was on the 24th-26th..we will get to the 27th in a minute) I have to admit I am looking forward to normal "post-holiday" life though. I also want to thank everyone that sent me e-mails and tweets about my "Festivus" post. It is nice to know people enjoyed it!

Crazy about "Snowmegedon, The Sequel". I actually am very happy I was not in New York this weekend. Most days I want to be there...the past few I am snug as a bug in a rug in Cleveland.

I haven't been following politics or the news this week. Everyone is on vacation, no scandals to be found, though I would like to say I was saddened to hear about the death of Teena Marie this week. I had my own special tribute to her on my iPod in the car yesterday.

Speaking of yesterday...which just happened to be the 27th, was quite unlucky for me.

Picture it...West 9th Street...downtown Cleveland. A Honda CR-V sits innocently on the street across from Constantino's Market. Really, you don't have to picture could be a car on the street in any city USA. I had parked the car, put my money in the meter and went about my business. I walked back to the car and checked the meter, as I always do and had 4 minutes to spare. I walked back around, opened the door and started the car...which is when I noticed the florescent yellow envelope on my windshield. I got out of the car, thinking it was a flyer...except it wasn't. Yup, you guessed it...a parking ticket. Violation: METER EXPIRED. I first thought it was a mistake because I had 4 minutes left on my meter, so I checked the license plate was mine! I immediately got back out of the car to check the meter again...1 minute left. I did what any normal person would do and started taking pictures with my phone. I took the meter, my car by the meter, my car with license plate by the all of them, you can see 1 minute left!
So, I get back in the car and call the number on the ticket...then realized my minute was likely up, so I started the car again and left the scene of the alleged crime. Anger set in...fuming anger at the incompetent meter maid who gave ME a ticket for no reason! I thought for a moment about going to the Clerk of Courts right then as it was just a few blocks away, but my gas light was on and I didn't want to run out of gas downtown so I headed towards home...still fuming at meter maids around the world.

10 minutes later, I am home...on hold...the message keeps coming up that says "Your call is important to us..blah, blah, blah". 10 minutes later I gave up. I got online to do some research on this and hold a poll on my Facebook page about fighting this or not. While looking at the website, I notice that the City of Cleveland says call volume is high, so e-mail for information...I did! I gave all the details, sent the photos and awaited a reply...

Fast forward to this morning...I received an e-mail that my photos and dispute would be submitted to the referee and I would hear back within 10 -14 days. Can it really be this easy? I then got another fairly nice e-mail from someone at the office who needed a bit more information from me but was quite pleasant in their response.

I won't let the man get me down. I will fight it all the way to the Supreme Court if I have to...well...that may be a bit dramatic, but now that my mind is set on it, I won't give up on this.

Will keep you posted!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day in Review - Festivus For the Rest of Us

It is December 23rd and I would like to wish everyone a Happy and Merry Festivus.

The Festivus pole is up, the meatloaf has been eaten (disguised as a really good hamburger) and now it is time for the Airing of Grievances.

To Congress - Though I will admit I praised you yesterday and earlier in the week, that was really only 5 days out of 365. You have disappointed me greatly. For much of this year, I found myself watching your actions in disgust. The bitching, moaning, fighting, disagreeing and incompetence on many issues was utterly nauseating. You sat there in your cozy, warm offices while millions of unemployed American's counted their dollars....then their pennies...then nothing...You held critical unemployment payments with your arguing while millions lost their homes and had to explain to their children why they couldn't eat tonight. You failed to pass the DREAM Act and could now send millions of children away from the only home and culture they have ever known.

To the cast of Jersey Shore - You have made American's dumb. You have embarrassed the New Jersey Coast and Italian Americans. You have introduced stupid slang words into the lexicon that have no real meaning.

To the Tea Party - Please...just go away.

To Lindsay Lohan - You are a train wreck...get it together so we can stop spending our time wondering when you are going to screw up again. Disappointing....

To Blackberry - You need to make your phones of a higher quality. I am on my third Blackberry since March of 2010 through no fault of my own. I love you, Blackberry, but I am disappointed in your performance this year. Please do better in 2011.

To Oprah - I am disappointed you are taking Discovery Health off of my TV. I still love ya' though! Your new network better be damn good.

To Sarah Palin - I am disappointed in all that comes from you. You have your soap box, you have your influence, yet you use it for evil. Please carry a dictionary around with you in 2011.

To Arizona - Your Immigration Law blows....

To Tiger Woods, Jesse James and allegedly Tony Parker - Cheating on your wife = failed career.

To the Westboro Baptist Church - God is watching you...and he is mad.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day in Review - Congress Out!

Insane day if you are at all interested in what is going on in the US today. Sad news, happy news, something hilarious that made me laugh damn near all day...

Still have my hand scratch, by the way...I also noticed another little cut on my hand too. I may just be paranoid about that one though.

"Chicago Heartbreak" - Really sad story broke this morning. Two Chicago firefighters were killed and 17 injured when a rather routine call turned deadly. According to CNN, in the course of fighting the fire, the firefighters were doing a good deed and looking for any homeless people in the abandoned building that was ablaze. The roof of the building crashed down upon them. This is a heartbreaking tragedy and my thoughts and prayers go out to their friends and family. Wishing the injured a speedy recovery.

"Congress Out" - The 111th Congress adjourned today for the year. Before leaving, however, they passed the 9/11 first responders health bill. Bravo to them! They also passed the START treaty today. Though I have been known to yell and swear at C-SPAN on occasion, I am a fan of Congress these past few days.

"McMillionaire" - This is awesome! A man who has been unemployed for 18 months won the million dollar prize from the McDonald's Monopoly game! Personally, I am glad someone who is unemployed won....I would have been royally pissed off if some Wall Street trader won the big prize. They can win the free fries.

As for the laughing all day...Huffington Post today put out their take on the end of the world in 2012. As I'm sure you all know, the Mayan Calendar says the world will end on December 21,2012. While I was taking a break from building my bomb shelter this afternoon, I saw the Number 1 reason the world will really end in 2012....Sarah Palin becomes President of the United States. Now this is hilarious on it's own accord, but the REALLY funny thing is I posted this on my Twitter account soon after - Lovin' @! Number 1 way the world will end in 2012...Sarah Palin becoming President...You Betcha!

I thought it was funny....

One of my Twitter followers did not....

Sent me a little nasty-gram....

It said...(I am keeping the spelling errors and grammar)

Sarah Palin will be the savior of this county. pEople like you will swallow your words. yo'll see. How dare you say this about Sarah.

This person promptly stopped following me. I have two things to say about this...

1. I feel if someone does and says idiotic things in public they open themselves up to public scrutiny. As an American citizen, I have the right to share my opinion as well. My opinion just happens to be that she is an idiot. I respect your opinion if you think she is the bee's knees, but there is about a 0% chance you will ever hear me change my opinion on this. If you would like to blog and tweet about how wonderful you think she is, go for it. I won't stop you and I won't send you nasty-grams

2. If you are going to present yourself as someone I should pay attention to and possibly share and debate thoughts and ideals, for the love of GOD, at least spell things correctly and use some sort of grammatical structure! It doesn't have to be PhD, academic grammar, but at least conversational grammar. You look like an ignoramus! (Look it up...Webster's Dictionary...Under "I")

On that note...I have to set up my Festivus pole...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day in Review - 308,745,538

It is Christmas week and everyone is busy and fluttering around...except me. I generally do not flutter anywhere. I certainly wasn't fluttering this afternoon when I fell UP the stairs walking into my building this afternoon. As my mom would say..."Only you...."

"308,745,538 Strong"

Census numbers were released today. There are officially 308,745,538 people in the US. The population grew 9.7% over the past decade, but this was a decline from years past. There was a lot a growth in "Red States" it seems, which means some rearranging of Congressional Districts. Are we looking at even more Republicans in Congress over the next few years? Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, all "Blue States" lost some seats. Even some swing states that have been leaning "Blue", like my own state of Ohio will lose some seats. Hopefully this doesn't spell doom for Democrats and liberals like myself.

"Sticky Situation"

TMZ first reported this today, and it totally made me laugh. Prince Frederic von Anhalt, the husband of actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, or as they call him, "Prince Von A-Hole", had an unfortunate incident when he accidentally glued his eye shut...Yes...,he GLUED his EYE shut! I'm sure this could happen to any of us. ( It seems as if he was reaching for some eye drops and took some of Zsa Zsa's nail glue instead. Fortunately for A-Hole, a trip to the ER was able to save his sight and though he will look like a pirate for the next two weeks due to a snazzy eye patch, he should make a full recovery.

"Do I Need an Exorcism?"

This is a true story...and a semi-confession. I have been having some very strange dreams the past few weeks. It is slightly concerning to me, but today, it became WAY more concerning. See, the thing is, these are generally normal dreams except for one thing...there is a certain person who is in EVERY SINGLE dream! It is no one I personally know, but for years have certainly detested...a public figure, if you will. As confusing as these dreams are, last night's dream really took the cake. It wasn't the dream itself that was disturbing (except for the fact my "friend" was in it), but what I found when I woke up! I had a huge scratch on my hand when I woke up...and remembered from the dream that I got the same scratch there...from my "friend". See the scratch here:

Now I certainly have thought of all the practical reasons I got this dog...someone I know suggested sleep-walking...another friend (a real one, not my dream "friend") suggested a ghost.

If you have been reading my blog, you know I have broken all my nails dog walking (and promptly filed the edges), they are all smooth with no rough edges. That was the first thing I checked. My dog, though she does sleep with me, as of this morning, has rounded tipped nails as well. As for sleep-walking, as far as I know I have never sleep-walked in my life! The ghost situation, as outlandish as it seems, might just make sense, though I have no idea why a ghost would want to harm me.

All I know is in my dream, my "friend" scratched me...I looked down at my hand, in my dream, and saw the scratch...I wake up, in the physical, conscious world and still have the scratch!!! What does it all mean????

Off to find some Neosporin...who knows what kind of nasty diseases I can get from a ghost/dream scratch...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day in Review - Monday, Monday...

Happy Monday!

In typical Monday fashion, I broke two nails today and one of my headlights is out in my car. I also dealt with a Great Dane/Boxer dog escaping on my watch this afternoon. Luckily she came right back when I called her name. Let's be honest though...the dog weighs more than I do, so what was I supposed to do about it?

"The Man Deserves Medieval Torture"

This ameoba named Phillip Greaves was finally arrested today in Colorado on a warrant from Florida after publishing a book called "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover's Code of Conduct". Now you may remember this from about a month ago when the book was pulled by where he was trying to sell it. If there is any modern day person who deserves Medieval torture like the rack and the pear.

"Shout out to Congress"

Thank you to Congress for passing the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" this weekend. One step closer towards equality for all. A person's sexuality has nothing to do with how well they can serve the country. Though I often can be heard describing the works of Congress as similar to an elementary school play ground, I take it back, (for today only, likely) and thank you for doing something good, decent and letting millions of American's who have been told they cannot reveal their true selves, have a voice.

"What Part of This Plan was Good?"

A Wisconsin postal carrier says he simply wanted to cheer up a woman on his route . She had seemed "stressed out" so he thought he would do something to cheer her up. That sounds like a good gesture, right?

It would have been in most circumstances, actually, but this particular postal worker thought it would be a great idea to deliver her mail while nude...

My first thought on reading this story was "Nude? In Wisconsin? In December?"

Upon further review, the man told police, who obviously were called, that delivering mail while completely naked probably wasn't a good idea....

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day in Review - Exhaustion

I am exhausted...I am going to make this short!

Not an extreme news day....Congress is still fighting, Julian Assange was released on bail and Usher got kicked in the face by a fan...

"A Whole New Meaning of "Fire Crotch""

The best thing I saw today was this: Picture it...Fort Lauderdale, FL...a man named Sheldon Gonzales was sleeping on his couch...this is a totally true story, by the way...he feels some heat in his crotch area and opens his eyes. He sees his girlfriend Berlinda Dixon-Newbold standing right in front of him holding a cigarette lighter in his hands. He then realizes his shirt is burning! guessed it! This crazy woman tried to light his crotch on fire!!! He was able to put the fire out by batting his..errr...area with his hands. Dixon-Newbold was arrested for aggravated assault after a neighbor called the police after hearing the couple fighting.

Now I love a good weenie made over an open fire, but this incident goes a little too far.

By the way, has anyone seen the commercial for "World's Best Cat Litter"? I have heard it in the background before, but never really watched it. The gist of the cat litter is that it is made from corn and very absorbent for your kitty's litter box. It apparently doesn't smell and it is very easy to scoop. HOWEVER....if you have seen the commercial, you may have been shocked when the two actors EAT the CAT LITTER!!!! They actually put "World's Best Cat Litter" into their mouths and swallow it! I get it is made of corn, but are EATING CAT LITTER!!!

My little rant for the day...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day in Review - D-I-V-O-R-S-E

December 14th, 2010...the day that shall be known as "Hollywood D-Day". Seriously...there were THREE, yes THREE Hollywood divorces announced today! Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Carpenter and Michael C. Hall from "Dexter" and Dylan Walsh from "Nip/Tuck"! At least Hulk Hogan got married for the 2nd time today so all of us can breathe easier and know that marriage can work. *insert sarcastic laughing*

The Good:

"Bon Jovi...a Politician" - Well, not really, but it was announced today that President Obama tapped Jon Bon Jovi (a very hot man, if I do say so myself) as a member of the newly formed White House Council for Community Solutions. Shout out to Obama for THAT pick!

"My Two Dads" - I am loving this - Scientists announced today that they have genetically used stem cells to produce off spring from two male mice! Technology totally amazes me! They say they could use this for the oh so practical ways of saving endangered animals and allowing a same-sex couple to have their own genetic children.

The Bad:

"School Board Shooting" - A gunman, Clay Duke, took control of a school board meeting today in Panama City, Florida. According to reports, once it was his time to speak, he took a can of red spray paint, sprayed a "V" within a circle, and ranted about his wife getting fired from the school district and sales taxes. He then let the women leave an kept the men in the room. He was eventually shot by the chief of security for the school system, then gave himself a fatal shot. Very scary, and very thankful all are OK.

"Sacramento Shooting" - Two shootings today unfortunately. The 2nd victim was a mother in Sacramento, CA who was shot as she was loading her son into her car in a parking lot at a strip mall. Though the bullet was not meant for her, it was an extremely tragic and unnecessary death. Five other people were hurt when a shoot out started in a barber shop at the mall.

Not a fan of guns at all and this is definitely one of the reasons why.

The Ugly:

"Eat it FIFA!" - So in a news conference today FIFA Chief Sepp Blatter responded to the question on how he would advise same-sex couples to act while attending the World Cup in 2022 in Qatar. (Same-sex relationships are currently illegal in Qatar.) His response? "I would say that they should refrain from sexual activities". Seriously Sepp??? Would you say that to a heterosexual couple? We have over 11 years before this event happens. Not only is there the possibility this could be a non-issue at that point, but that comment is offensive, archaic and totally inappropriate in my opinion.

"The Winn-Dixie Warrior"- Shoppers at Winn-Dixie be on the lookout while you do your shopping! A man, who was riding one of those motorized shopping carts, led police on a slow-speed chase through a parking lot at Winn-Dixie in Palm Beach, FL. He apparently stole some meat and ran over a girls toe during his wild escape. He was apprehended by police in the parking lot and is quoted as saying "I ain't no punk, and I ain't going down without a fight". His getaway cart clocks in at about 3mph...

Don't forget! There is still time to order your Tea Party coloring book! $4.99 at I may order one myself as a fire starter...those fire starter logs are $10 for a 3 pack!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day in Review - Cold and Freezing

It is freezing! 19 degrees right now in Cleveland, OH. There is a huge winter storms dumping snow all over the US. We were supposed to get 5-8 can still see the grass though, so I say an inch. Looks like the system has moved up to the Great White North of Canada.

News round up - Sad news, a new vacation destination and a "great" Christmas present for the kiddies...

The Good:

"Miracle in Texas" - My favorite story today! During a high speed chase this morning in Texas, which killed the driver instantly, Police officers discovered a 3 month old baby strapped into her car seat and was hanging upside down in the wreckage. The chase, according to reports, was due to the driver and the baby's father being suspected in a robbery. The baby is hospitalized, but in good health.



I am scraping the bottom of the barrel for "The Good" today...

"Nutrition in Childhood" - President Obama signed a new bill into law today that will expand free school meals for the needy and give the government power to decide what kinds of foods may be sold in schools. That's good right? good nutrition for kids? I can hear the nay-sayers though...government deciding what we eat? I suppose others would put this in "The Bad".

"Good for the Economy" - Busiest day EVER for FedEx! This is great for those who are looking for this exonomic recovery. The majority of the shipments were from on-line retailers. We shall see how this plays out for the standing stores.

Moving on...can't find anything else good...

The Bad:

"Goodbye to Diplomat Richard Holbrooke" - Richard Holbrooke lost the battle today after being admitted to a hospital in DC after falling ill. He was just 69 years old and had worked under the administrations from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama. His latest assignment was fighting the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Though Holbrooke was well respected and an outstanding diplomat, he was described as "ruthless", "hard-charging" and Joe Biden is quoted as saying Holbrooke was "the most egotistical bastard I've ever met." Perhaps, however, that is what made him so successful.

"Blizzard 2010" - This could be bad...I can tell you it is definitely cold! Several feet of snow has fallen in the midwest today causing travel delays all over the country. Some vehicles were stranded on the roads for up to 14 hours! Lesson learned from all of this? When there is a travel advisory...LISTEN! Don't go out. I don't know about you, but though I do love my car, I wouldn't want to be in it for 14 hours stranded on the side of the highway! If you still feel the need to travel in blizzards, at least have the smarts to have a blanket and a little food or water in the car.

The Ugly:

Several instances of UGLY today! I would even say these things border on fugly...

"My Next Vacation...or Not" - Ukraine says it will lift restrictions on tourists and allow tours of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 2011. Really? Ukraine... you gotten too much nuclear radiation to the brain, me thinks...

"JWoww Advice Book" - I can proudly say I have never watched "Jersey Shore". I tried once and made it through about 3 minutes before I turned it off. With advice on how to snag a guy, staying "fresh" and how to kick your competition to the curb. My problem with this information is A) JWoww has gone through a few guys since "Jersey Shore" premiered, so she can't be that great at picking up men. B) She looks pretty dirty and "fresh" is not even close to the words I would use to describe her and C) Look what fighting did too Snooki...She had to pick up dog poop!!!

"Coloring Book for Your Stocking" - Saving the best for last...I laughed about this for about 5 minutes after I saw it on tv this morning: For the low price of $4.99 at, you too can own your own Tea Party Coloring Book. Yes...THAT Tea Party...not the Boston one, which in my opinion would be a much better coloring book subject. Descriptions of the book say it teaches your kids about taxes, freedom and self-reliance. I heard the last page is a color-by-number of Michele Bachmann, Rand Paul, the Koch brothers and Newt Gingrich camping in Sarah Palin's Alaska...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Day in Review - I miss Bill Clinton

Today, I realized I certainly miss seeing Bill Clinton's face on TV...too bad he can't get re-elected.

News round up today - Serious events going on, for sure. Every few minutes it seemed like there was a new "Breaking News" tweet coming through on my Blackberry.

The Good:

"Elizabeth Smart Gets Justice" - We all remember when Elizabeth Smart disappeared and was miraculously found 11 months later back in 2002. Brian David Mitchell, the man who did it was found guilty of two counts of kidnapping Smart in 2002 and transporting the then-14-year-old girl across state lines with the intent to engage in sexual activity. He will be sentenced on May 15th, 2011.

"Missing Virginia Girl Found" - In some kind of weird cosmic irony, on the same day Elizabeth Smart's abductor was found guilty, Britney Mae Smith, of Roanoke, VA was found safe and alive in California. The alleged abductor was her mother's boyfriend Jeffrey Scott Easley. Her mother, Tina Smith, was found dead in her car in Roanoke, VA on Tuesday.

The Bad: Rather quiet on the bad front today...though I will say I think something is pretty "Bad Ass"

"Bad Ass Bernie Sanders" - Today, in a non-filibustery way, Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont had a marathon speech, as he and his team are calling it, in opposition of the Bush-Era tax cuts that President Obama is wheeling and dealing to extend, with the GOP. He lasted 8 hours and 35 minutes on the Senate floor. CNN says the record is 24 minutes and 18 minutes.

Another "Bad Ass", Julien Assange's team was relatively quiet today...weird I think...perhaps not. I may just be trying to start a conspiracy theory.

The Ugly:

"Bill and Barrack: Friends Forever" - President Obama, today called in the big guns, in the form of President Bill Clinton to sell the American public on his Bush-Era tax extensions. Seriously, President Obama said a few words...then left! Clinton stayed for about 40 minutes answering questions. Amazing to see a former President taking the stage from the present one. We shall see in the next few days if this tactic worked.

"Poor Haiti" - I feel bad for Haiti. It seems like the poor country can't catch a break. Just this year there was a horrific earthquake...then another earthquake 8 days later. 10 months after that, still a devastated country, there is a Cholera epidemic. Now, to add insult to injury, it was announced just today that Sarah Palin will be visiting. Though I would never wish Cholera on anyone...

Speaking of Haiti...apparently someone named Haiti...or @Haiti_ is following me on Twitter. Good to know I am getting full countries interested in my random thoughts.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Equal Pay

I am going to get serious tonight. I have been reading and hearing a lot about the pay differentials between men and women in the work place and I want to get up on my soup box and throw my experience and opinion into the mix. For those of you who don't know, I worked for several years as a Human Resources Manager/Director. The two companies I worked for were extremely different from each other. One had a great pay structure for employees, the other was definitely lacking. Just as a note of interest, I am not going to discuss management pay tonight, as that is a different ball game all together!

The first company I worked in HR for was a factory in Cleveland, OH. There were approximately 125 employees I was in charge of for the day to day Human Resources duties, including setting and approving raises. Out of these 125 employees, there were 6 female employees who were considered hourly employees. The average rate for these 6 women was $7.50 per hour. Out of the 119 men, the average hourly pay was about $8.25 per hour. I certainly picked up on this point while going over the numbers and I went to the accounting department to inquire about the difference in average hourly pay. The Accounting Manager, though not extremely helpful, said It was due to the positions these people worked in, i.e. the women were primarily welders, the men were actually operating heavy machinery and building tools and dies for these machines. I asked, however, why aren't the women running the machines, the answer was, "Well, one or two do sometimes, but they don't want to run the machines. They are afraid of getting dirty". (Insert guffaw from him here) Taking it as I was getting dismissed from this exchange, I spent the next week or so asking around, talking to the women to see what they thought. Each one of those 6 women had asked at one time or another to work at one of the presses and each time, another man was chosen over them. Another interesting fact I found was the men who did welding as well, just like the women, were making between $0.50 and $0.75 more, doing the same job! Why??? Again, when I went to solve this mystery, I was simply given a lame excuse and dismissed. The bad thing was, and I didn't even realize this until I had been laid off and was looking for a new job, even my own pay was much lower than others in my profession and $40,000 less per year than my predecessor, who was a man. I didn't even realize! I felt so taken advantage of and even sick to my stomach about it. Long story short, this was a real situation, a true story, and the exact same tricks are being played across this nation. There are, however, fairer ways of doing this...

After moving and settling to New York, I took a job at a hotel who was managed by a national brand. The pay structure of this employer was based on seniority and position. Every employee who did the same position was paid the same rate, which was based on the rates of our competitors who based their rates on us. (Does that make sense to you? It's complicated, I know) There were no random raises, no manager "favorites" getting a quarter here or there and every single increase had to be approved by the Supervisor up to the President of the company who was in Houston, TX and ran 40 hotels nationwide. In this case, even the management team of the hotel was paid on a scale that again, was competitive with hotels around us.

What I want to do with this tonight is to make people realize that these news stories and reports which have come out recently are absolutely true and may even be happening in your company or job. Stand up and talk about it. Share your ideas on how to make it fair. Did you know in most cases women pay more for health insurance than men? Did you know that on average women who don't smoke pay more than men who do? You know now. Is this fair? How does that make you feel? It makes me feel sad and angry. It makes me want to write a blog post about it and most importantly, it makes me want to work for change.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The 50 Sexiest Women and Me.

Interested in seeing what Google would spit back at me so I could get inspired to write something serious tonight, I just did a search on "latest news on women". I was expecting something about "The Pill", Equal Pay or a new women's health initiative. The number one result? "The Top 50 Sexiest Women". Really Google? Is the the most important news about women today? I don't see that the "Top 50 Sexiest Women" is really more important than equal salaries for men and women, but perhaps that's just me. Let's talk about it for a moment.

I am going to talk about the sexiness of other women. Guys that read this blog, don't get too excited thinking I am going to reveal a lesbian fantasy or talk about some long ago drunken night back in college. It's not happening tonight. As a woman, I really think I can appreciate the sexiness of other women. I am confident enough in my own sexuality that I can say "Wow, That woman is very pretty." or "She is gorgeous!" and not mean I want to jump in the sack with a woman. I can really say that I appreciate another woman's beauty like a work of art. I understand why men may think it is cliche, but its true. If I look at a piece of art, I am certainly not attracted to that art, but I may stare and study it, memorizing the strokes of the brush or the color contrasts on the canvas. It is simply appreciating beauty and I am sure many women do this. Actually, I wouldn't even say I am comparing myself to other women, just appreciating her physique or looks. I admit I do it with men as well, but my mind tends to wander to the dark side if you know what I mean.

Back to Google's search results..."The 50 Sexiest Women". I won't say which list I am looking at, as their seems to be 100's of "sexiest women" lists, but I just don't see it! The women on the list are not my definition of sexy in any way. Perhaps it is my female mind looking at them versus the male mind, but really, a nice rack and round ass don't denote sexy to me, which made me think, what is sexy then? Can we come up with a unisex definition of sexiness? I don't know if it's possible.

Women are all sexy in their own ways. What makes you sexy, ladies? Come on! Pick one thing that you feel is sexy about yourself. For me? I say it is my eyes. I can totally manipulate situations with my eyes. Don't pick a part your man would say is sexy. Don't choose your boobs or your legs, find something else. A fingernail? Your ear? What about the elbow? No...not the elbow. Elbows can be gross to me. What about your hand? Looking at my hands on my laptop right now in the dim light of my apartment, I am thinking "Yeah! My hand looks gooooood!" Actually, I do feel better about myself right now after I had that thought. Is that the key to self-esteem? Find something sexy? Try it! You may feel the same way and we can all use a dose of self esteem at times. My hand is sexy! Is yours? What about your curves? I think curvy women are really sexy. Embrace those curves. Men I talk to actually love curves, which is why I am perplexed about the skinny-ness/curve-less women on the "Top 50 Sexiest Women" list.

Let's do ourselves a favor tonight. Ladies, here is your homework. Find something sexy about yourself tonight. Tomorrow, celebrate that sexiness. Men? Your homework is to find something sexy about your lady and complement her on it tomorrow. You may even "get some" if you play your cards right! No excuses. You are all gorgeous, beautiful women, you just need to find it and prove it to yourself. You are like a great piece of art, a sculpture made with care and a beautiful flower in a magical garden. Try saying that to yourself tomorrow. I guarantee you will feel great about yourself. I feel great about all of you!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hurrah for "The Pill"!

I would like to take some time tonight to wish a Happy 50th Birthday to "The Pill"! I am a huge fan of the pill for many reasons. How cool is it that a birth control pill of any make, brand, model, etc, is just collectively known as "The Pill"! There have to be millions of other medications, but only one can stand strong and just be known as: "The Pill".

I am 31, so it was out a long time before I was born, but I am a happy and satisfied user of this type of contraception and have collected my thoughts about how utterly useful it can be. No, I am not just talking about sex here ladies and gents, though that is a definite bonus if you don't want to have a baby at this particular time in your life, but talking about the other effects of the pill...then, of course, I will discuss the sex part.

I went on "The Pill" about 10 years ago after some particularly painful weeks around my uterine area. After x-rays, scans and an internal ultrasound (Yes...they stick a wand "you know where" and the nurse moves it around inside you.) I was diagnosed with a fairly serious case of ovarian cysts. The doctor I was seeing at the time was talking surgery...I was talking about how no one was about to cut into my ovaries. I went and got a second opinion and the new doctor wanted to try "The Pill" first to see if it would help. I was very thankful for her insight.

The first month I was on "The Pill" I felt amazing! I almost immediately stopped having the pain in my "ovarian region", within a month my skin looked amazingly beautiful and I even lost some weight! I was so excited to get my period just to see how that would feel! It was the best period I ever had. Here and gone in 3 days, very light and almost no cramps. It was a miracle and the miracle still happens every month. I almost don't even remember what cramps feel like anymore and of course, I am still very beautiful.

The next thing the pill did for me was to put me on a strict schedule, that I still follow 10 years later. (Unless I sleep in, of course) Every morning I take "The Pill" at 7:30am. I credit "The Pill" for making me semi-responsible in my life when it comes to schedules and times. Since I started taking it, I get disappointed with myself if I am late for a meeting or other scheduled event.

The third thing the pill did for me, and for many women, is to give sexual freedom and not have to worry about getting pregnant, though the fear of an STD is strong with me. That could be the one downfall of "The Pill". I am not saying that I went crazy with 1000's of partners or anything, but with the few gentleman I have chosen to be intimate with, it was comforting to know I was in control of my fertile-self and didn't have to worry about a condom or if the idiot put it on right, etc. It gave women freedom and control of themselves and their bodies and that is just as important today as it was 50 years ago.

Tonight, I raise my glass of Pinot Grigio to those pioneers who brought the pill into fruition and gave millions of women the power, choice and freedom over our bodies and our wombs.

Next up? Someone should create a birth control/Anti - STD pill! If only I hadn't gotten a C in college chemistry, it might have been me...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Blood, broken nails and greasy fingers.

Let me start by reminding you that I will be writing here from now on. I didn't like the other blog very much, so I am moving it back here. One of these days I will move those posts from the "other site" here.

I was very proud of myself today. I did something that many women fear and loathe...I did a repair to my car. I know what you're thinking...Christa is a klutz, spills things, gets bruises all the time from walking into solid objects, etc. HOW is she going to do car work? Well, she will tell you!

I was on my way home from Sabrina's yesterday and my old man neighbor was taking his trash out and politely told me that my left headlight was burned out. I told him thank you and my first thought was "What do I do! Is it too late to call my dad?" I then pulled myself together. I am a woman and if my own personal car needs a small repair, why can't I just do it? I don't need my Dad or another man to talk me through it! I can do it! I am fantastic and can fix my car! I am a genius! Now...where to start...

Owner's manual, of course! I open the owners manual and skim through the "Replacing Head Lamp" section, then off to my local, friendly AutoZone.

$15.35 later, I am standing in front of my car, hood up, owners manual in hand. The instructions say to remove the rubber stopper looking thing. Easy Peasy. I stick my hand in to feel around, because of course, I hadn't thought about bringing a flashlight out and couldn't see a thing. I pull slightly...hmmm. Not working. I can feel the "rubber thing" and try pushing it...hmmm. Nada. I then decide maybe I need to pull harder...and it works. Unfortunately as I pulled, my hand smashed into a large metal box-like mechanism and when I looked, there was a large scratch across my hand. No surprise, right? At least I got the "rubber thing" out! Moving on...

Step 2. Move the guide wire to the side - Now I would just like to preface this my saying my owners manual had a very informative diagram of how to pull the wire aside, with arrows showing the direction to slide it! Of course, since I am a college educated woman, I follow the words, sliding the wire out of its home and what do you know? It comes off in my hand. I am thinking it wasn't supposed to be detached though...I set it aside.

Step 3. Remove old bulb - Easiest step. It slid right out!

Step 4. Grease the new bulb - The friendly cashier at AutoZone gave me a small packet of some sort of grease. I didn't ask her about it because I am a college-educated woman who is fantastic and I don't need instructions on grease, but the truth is, of course, is I had no idea what this grease was for. Do you put it on the bulb? The "rubber thing"? Maybe it goes on the wire that is now sitting in the grass? None of the above, my friends! Referring to my owners manual, I found that the grease goes right on the bottom of the bulb where it fits in the "rubber thing"! I greased it up well, wiping my hands on my jeans of course, without thinking and readied myself to insert the bulb. It was then I noticed my thumb...and the lack of long nail that was there last night when I spent $30 on my manicure. In place of the long nail was a jagged, rough fingernail piece. Swearing under my breath and rethinking my mechanical ability, I slide the bulb into the hole.

Step 5. Slide guide wire into place. Moving is still laying in the grass.

Step 6. Push "rubber thing" back into place. I reach for the "rubber thing" which I had placed on the metal box-like mechanism and notice it missing. Damn. I start looking all over for it and after a few minutes of looking at wires, greasy metal pieces and hoses, I bend down to pick up the owner's manual and notice a black blob under my car. Hurrah! The "rubber thing"! I pushed that sucker back in like it was my job!

Step 7. Bask in the thrill of victory. - I did it! I changed my headlight! I am just as good as any man!

I was so proud of myself, in fact, that I called my sister and updated my Facebook page with the good news. The call to my sister set me back a bit though...she said AutoZone does it for free if you buy the bulb and it only takes a minute.

Here is the damage - 1 bloody cut on my hand, 2 broken finger nails, $15.35 for the bulb, $30 for the manicure I have to get redone, panic when I lost the "rubber thing", an hour wasted of my day, but the pride I felt was worth it all! So ladies, if you need a boost in the self esteem department, change your headlight!

PS...If anyone knows what I should do with the random wire, please let me know! :)