Category Archives: Randomonium

All the letters of the alphabet

My life has turned into a never-ending string of acronyms.  At work, it has been all about an RFP, an SOW, and SLAs.  Then I go see a neurologist about the arm/hand problems that have been plaguing me over the last few months and he sends me on my merry way to have an MRI followed by an EMG.  I was stressed about the MRI, afraid I would flip out and be all kinds of claustrophobic.  Turns out, that was nothing compared to having a bunch of needles stuck in my arm during the EMG.  I was all OMG, WTF. 

I’m supposed to call the doctor in the morning to find out the results.  I just hope he has some answers as to the cause of all these problems.  From the EMG, he is pretty convinced this is not carpal tunnel, so now we wait to see what the MRI shows….he suspects there is some sort of nerve issue with my neck that is causing all the problems.  We shall see.  In the meantime, TTFN and TGI(almost)F!

Finishing up school day activities and such

Ok, rather than get carried away with every memory I have from school, I’m going to focus on the activities, clubs, sports, etc that I participated in during those years.  So, I mentioned UIL in elementary school.  To continue with that, in 4th grade, I was in UIL Math.  It seems like I was in 5th and 6th grade as well, but I’m not certain.  I also did Poetry Reading in at least one of those years.  I’d have to dig through old photo albums to try and find out for sure.  It’s weird that I was so good in math.  That lasted through algebra, which I took in 8th grade.  For some stupid reason, our school had us take geometry before taking algebra II.  Geometry….well let’s just say anything I ever thought I knew went away in that class.  Primarly because our “teacher” was looney and when I say she didn’t teach us anything all year, I am not exaggerating.  She gave tests that no one passed (well mostly no one) but curved everyone’s grades so we did.  It was a complete joke.  By the time I got to algebra II, which I did ok in, but struggled, and then pre-calculus after that…that is what truly ruined me.  I couldn’t make sense of any of it.  Our teacher just kept saying memorize the formulas and follow them.  She would get so frustrated with me because I couldnt’ understand the WHY behind any of the formulas.  And in order for me to learn them, I needed to know what it all meant.  She just kept telling me to memorize the formulas and not worry about it.  So, I memorized them as best I could and scraped my way through the class barely making a C (I was a mostly A, some B student).  I gave up on math after that.

See?  I just can’t stick to the topic.  I get carried off on tangents, just like my Grammy K used to.  😛

Ok, junior high.  I was in UIL both 7th and 8th grade.  This time it was for Prose.  I remember in 8th grade I read an excerpt from To Kill a Mockingbird.  I had so much fun doing that one.  It was the part where the teacher freaks out over finding a “cootie” in a child’s hair.  I was the Student Council President in 8th grade.  I also started playing volleyball in 7th grade (first year we had the opportunity).  I played every year after that, all the way through graduation.  I was never what I would call “athletic” but for some reason, I fell in love with volleyball.  I was pretty good, too. 

Anyway, sticking to the topic, I also was a cheerleader in 8th grade and my freshman year in highschool.  I didn’t try out again after that because 1) it interfered with volleyball, and 2) it stopped being fun when it became all about popularity.  I marched to the beat of my own drum, and in a small town school, that was not something  that fostered popularity or a desire to be with that group.  Not that they were bad people, I just wasn’t into the same things they were for the most part.  I had my “bad boy” boyfriend by then, too, which didn’t help matters.  I hope this is not sounding bitter or mean.  I’m trying not to get carried away with stories right now and just giving some basics.  The bad boy and I got together in 7th grade and were off and on, mostly on, through graduation.  I’ve referred to him previously here as Psycho (he called himself that back then, so I’m not being ugly by calling him that). 

High school:  As I mentioned, I played volleyball all 4 years.  We had a freshman, JV, and varsity team.  Midway through my freshman season, I was moved up to JV.  By my sophmore year, I was on varsity.  My senior year, I was named to the All District team, voted my team’s MVP and Best Offensive player.  It was an interesting year because basically, by then, I was the only senior on the team.  It was a “rebuilding” year.  We had 2 juniors and the rest of the team were sophmores.  Apparently a period of disinterest in volleyball over those few years, I don’t know.  But it was still fun and one of my very favorite parts of my high school experience.  I was also voted the “Volleyball Sweetheart” for Homecoming.  I didn’t tell anyone I was planning to do this, but my dress had a long slit up on leg.  So, when they escorted us out onto the field and announced me, I popped one leg out from the dress and had on my red volleyball kneepad!  It was awesome!  My coach loved it and, for atleast the next couple of years while she was still at that school, it became a tradition that the volleyball sweetheart wear a kneepad out on the field.  :) 

I was on student council, but that was pretty lame and we never really did much of anything.  I only did that two years I think.  I was in FHA and the FHA reporter for one year.  That Future Homemaker’s of America.  Looking back, I’m surprised that there was a group essentially dedicated to those who aspired to be….stay at home mom’s.  No one took it for that reason though, but if I read back over some of the materials about FHA, that’s essentially what it was.  We all took it because it was fun and easy and the teachers were cool.  😛  I don’t think I was in UIL 9th or 10th grade.  Not for lack of wanting to be, the teachers just didn’t seek us out like they did in younger grades.  In fact, I don’t think I even realized UIL still existed until my sophmore year when my English teacher asked why I wasn’t participating. 

In 11th grade, I took typewriting (yes, back when we still actually used typewriters instead of computers) as one of my electives.  That teacher immediately recruited me for UIL typing.  So, 11th and 12th grade I did that.  In 11th grade, I won at district, advanced to regionals, and right before the contest, I jammed my finger playing volleyball.  It was off-season, so it was just a stupid injury from goofing around in the gym during athletics.  Needless to say, my typing teacher wasn’t thrilled with me.  My finger was swollen and I could barely bend it.  But I suffered through it and still managed to get 3rd place.  Not high enough to advance though.  My senior year, after again winning and advancing, my teacher joked with me about how she better not see me anywhere near a volleyball before contest.  Yet somehow, I don’t even remember the circumstances, but you guessed it, I jammed a finger (different one this time, but also from volleyball).  She heard about it before I even made it out of the gym to head to lunch.  I was less driven and less serious about typing that year, I will admit.  And I will never pass up a chance to play volleyball, so….I did ok at contest, but again, not enough to advance to state.  When I think back, I’m irritated at myself for that.  If I’d been 100%, I have no doubt I could have advanced.  Based on the scores of those who did, I KNOW I could have.  I was getting practice scores that high on a regular basis.  But, I was having too much fun being a senior to practice and focus (and skip gym for a few weeks).  It would have been fun to go to state contest, but at the time, I would rather stay home and hang out with the boyfriend and my two best gal pals.  Ah, the follies of youth.

I was also in One Act Play in high school.  Every year except freshman.  That was a lot of fun, too.  I won a couple of awards my senior year.  I was never in a starring role, which was fine with me because, as I mentioned before, I was kind of flaky in high school.  I was all about spending every spare second with Psycho. 

Ok, I think that pretty much sums up my school activities, the officially sanctioned ones at least.

My next step in clearing the clutter will be to get rid of this book!

Kick the Clutter: Clear Out Excess Stuff without Losing What You Love Kick the Clutter: Clear Out Excess Stuff without Losing What You Love by Ellen Phillips

My Review:   3 of 5 stars
This book has some good ideas in it for managing clutter, but regurgitates them over and over to turn what could have easily been a ~100 page book into a whopping 450+ pages of repetition. At least is it a pretty quick read, and the chapter titles and index make it a decent resource if you need to refer back to something.

It’s nothing like you see on tv.

Alrighty.  Where was I?  Duckie and Forensics were both on their way to my house…

And they both showed up at almost the same time.  The forensics lady walked in with her kit and started dusting for prints and taking pictures of everything.  Duckie and I stood outside for a minute while she was in the living room, then we went in and started looking around.

Clearly, my TV was gone.  There was no doubt about that.  It would be hard to misplace 56” of Samsung glory.  I didn’t really notice anything else missing.  The cabinet doors to the tv cabinet were all open, but there hadn’t been anything much in them to begin with.  My Pee Wee Herman dvds were still there.  😛

After forensics was done in my office, Duckie and I went in there so I could start looking in my files for serial numbers for the tv and computer.  It was such a mess in there already that it was hard to be sure what had been moved and what hadn’t.  I knew my BAMF camera, Samuel L, had been sitting on the desk in front of my monitor when I left that morning.  Earlier, when I discovered that the computer and monitor were gone, I automatically KNEW Samuel L was, too.  While Duckie and I were looking around the room, I noticed the burglars had shoved a bunch of stuff over on my desk, presumably to get the monitor off easier.  I was in complete and utter SHOCK to see my camera shoved to the side with all the other clutter.  THEY DIDN’T TAKE MY BABY!!!  It was a Christmas miracle!  In September.

I had to move some things out of the way on the floor to get to my files.  When I did, I saw a small black rectangle on the floor.  Again, being the crime-show-watching-fool that I am, I didn’t dare touch it.  Instead, I flipped it over with the end of a piece of paper.  It was the USB part of my wireless mouse and keyboard…which was normally inserted into the front of the computer.  Immediately Duckie and I became all excited, knowing that they had to have touched it to pull it out of the computer!  We got the forensics lady to come back in and dust it, but she didn’t seem the slightest bit convinced that she’d find anything.

Apparently she didn’t.  Not there.  Not on the doors, or closets, or any other place that she dusted.  If she did, she didn’t say so, and we never saw her lifting any prints either….assuming we would recognize that if we saw it.  She left shortly afterwards.

I had told the officer about my comings and goings that day…what time I left the house and what time I returned home.  And that there was a tree-cutting truck parked behind my house that morning.  And about the 3 guys that were standing around outside of it.  And that I had to ask them to move when, 30 minutes later, they were still standing around doing nothing and blocking my driveway.  And about the fact that I never leave Loki in his crate while I’m gone…he’s almost always outside in the back yard.  I gave her a description of the truck guys as best I could, but it was pretty generic. 

She got all my information and said a detective would be contacting me within the next day or two.  She said “this area has been getting hit pretty hard lately.  But we’re doing the best we can.”  She told me my best bet was if I could find the serial numbers and hope that the burglars tried to pawn something.  Then she left.  Duckie and I were both pretty disappointed that they didn’t do more.  I was expecting them to take MY fingerprints for comparison.  And to have dusted some of the other items that had clearly been touched.  And to go talk to my neighbors to see if anyone saw or heard anything.  But they didn’t.

Throughout this whole time, my cell phone had been ringing off the wall.  I guess Mom had the best intentions when she posted about my plight on facebook, but I was really not in any position or state of mind to be answering calls from everyone I know checking to see if I was alright.  THANK YOU, all, though for your concern!

Once the police were all gone, another neighbor came over to check on me and find out what happened.  I finally answered a call from my brother, Red Baron, and filled him in on what was happening.  And mostly just tried to calm down.  Duckie kept saying, “It’s just stuff.  At least you’re ok.  The house is fine.  Everything else can be replaced.”  I knew he was right, but I couldn’t stop crying.  Mostly I was just extremely PISSED off (and like my mother, I cry when I’m mad).  I was just so upset that my HOME, the one place where I feel completely comfortable, had been violated.  It didn’t feel like “home” at all anymore. 

Duckie and I started inspecting the back door and pretty much determined that it had been kicked in, near the doorknob.  There was about a 2 foot long split in the wood on the inside frame of the door below that.  He managed to get the door to stay closed with the deadbolt locked.  So at least I could close the house up.  When he got ready to leave, he said I could come stay at his house that night, but I wanted to go through the house more and start trying to clean up the mess.  I was trying to convince myself that I would sleep there, that these fools weren’t going to run me out of my house.  And I figured that, later, if I felt uncomfortable, I’d give V a call, since she lives close by, and see if I could crash at her house.

So Duckie left and I began the process of going through the house and checking to see if anything else was missing.  I started in the office, mainly because I was still trying to find serial numbers.  I cleared off a spot on my desk and started sorting through papers.  I had my work laptop with me and luckily my internet modem was still there and functioning, so I was able to get online and let everyone know I was ok.  And to distract myself from reality for a little while! 

As it started getting dark outside, I started getting less and less comfortable being there.  I had let Loki out and had a minor anxiety attack when I went to open the back door to let him back inside.  Shortly after that, I got a text from Jen, offering me and Loki a room at her hotel.  Apparently she had sent it earlier but to the wrong person.  So I decided I would go ahead and do that.  As I was getting a few things together to take with me, I noticed that one of my small, older digital cameras (aka the little green machine) wasn’t sitting on the shelf of my desk where it normally would be.  I checked all around and couldn’t find it anywhere.  That immediately made me think of my other small (and NEW) camera, Ruby, that was in one of my purses that I had just switched from.  I ran into the living room and found the purse in the chair…empty.  Bastards.  Add two digital cameras to the list.

By this point, around 11pm, I was in almost panic mode trying to get out of the house.  I grabbed my bag and Loki, got in the car, and headed to the hotel…

This used to be a funhouse. Not it’s full of evil clowns.

I finally have a new computer, so I figured now was as good a time as any to fill in some gaps on my blog. 

Most recently, I came home from work to find my home had been burglarized.  Not a good feeling, to say the least.  Since my garage remote has been working intermittently, I have been coming in through my back door.  Last Wednesday, having just gotten home from work and receiving some Netflix dvds in the mail, I was looking forward to coming in, kicking back, and watching one of those movies.

When I went to put the key in the lock of my door, I realized the door was not shut all the way.  Me being the absent-minded fool I have been of late, am racking my brain thinking, “Oh crap.  Did I leave the door open this morning?”  I pushed the door open with one fingertip and immediately saw the brass plate from around the door latch laying on the floor.  To the right of that, Loki was peering up at me from inside his crate with, what I then took to be a guilty expression.  Again, my addled brain is trying to figure out just how in the hell Loki managed to tear up the door from INSIDE his crate.  It was less than a second later that I looked up from Loki to see a big blank wall where my darling 56” Samsung DLP HDTV had previously been.  This is just too much for my mind to process.  Now I’m wondering if, for some unknown reason, perhaps one of my brothers had borrowed my tv for the day.  I know, it makes no sense, but these are the thoughts that flashed in my mind that evening.

While talking loudly to myself (and perhaps, subconsciously, to let anyone who might be in my house hear me), I began to walk towards the hallway to inspect the rest of the house.  The hall closets are both open and contents are spilling out onto the floor.  My guest room door is also open.  As I walk past, I glance into my office and find it to be a cluttered mess…although, it looked like that when I left the house that morning! 

In the guest room, I see the mattress shoved off the bed, the sheets and comforter pulled back, the closet door open, and items scattered all over the floor.  The small 19” tv and dvd player are still there.  I have yet to make sense of all of this.

Then I turn towards my bedroom and see every drawer on my dresser pulled open and items pulled out of the drawers in disarray.  Here, I also find the mattress shoved off and the bedding pulled back.  The light is on in my closet and I turn to take a look.  The door is open, my shoe rack that hangs over the door is falling apart, shoes are scattered everywhere.  I walk into the closet and find stored purses all over the floor, clothes shoved to the sides of the rods.

It is not until this point that my brain finally clicks and I realize someone has broken into my house!  I ran back into the living room and grabbed the phone to call the police.  No dial tone.  My mind is firing on all cylinders now and I immediately realize, if my Vonage phone line is not working, my computer is probably gone also.  So I run back into my office to look more closely.  Sure enough, no monitor and no computer. 

I ended up calling the police from my cell phone.  I held it together just long enough to give them my address and confirm that they were sending someone over.  Then I called my parents.  By the time Mom answered the phone, I was a babbling, hysterical mess.  I had to repeat myself a few times before she was able to make any sense of what I was saying.  I think she said she was going to try and get ahold of my brothers that live near me.  I hung up the phone with her and walked over to one of my neighbors’ houses to see if they had seen or heard anything.  No one answered.  So then I called another neighbor that lives a couple of houses down.  He came over and said he had not seen or heard anything other than the tree-trimming truck that had been in the alley that morning.

My oldest brother, Dilbert, called about that time.  He said he was in Austin, otherwise he would be on his way.  But that he had talked to Duckie, who was half-way home from work and turned around and was currently on his way to my house.

A policewoman showed up shortly after that.  I had to walk her through the house and explain what was missing, what had been moved, etc.  Being the good little crime-show-watching girl that I am, I hadn’t touched anything.  Not even a lightswitch to turn on the lights (I later learned that they are rarely able to get a good print off a lightswitch).  My house was such a cluttered mess already, it was a little embarrassing to have to explain that, “Oh, no, that pile of clothes was already there on the floor.”  But, we got through it.

I explained to her about the Asplundh truck that had been sitting behind my house that morning.  And how I thought it was odd that they were just sitting there for at least 30 minutes not doing anything.  And that I had to wave them down to ask them to move so I could get out of my driveway to go to work.  I also explained that I NEVER leave Loki inside in his crate.  Normally he’s in the backyard, but on this particular day, when I was about to leave for work, Loki went and laid down in his crate.  I didn’t have time to argue, so I figured he wanted to stay in, so I let him.

The forensics person and my brother were now both en route…Stay tuned for:  It’s nothing like you see on tv.

eDiets, anyone?

Horrified at being my heaviest weight EVER, I decided it was time for a fresh start.  I signed up for eDiets and the 5-day meal delivery in the hopes that that will give me a kickstart in the right direction.  While I can’t afford to stay on the delivery plan for long, I’m hopeful that eating the right things for a couple of weeks, and the convienence of having them at home and ready for me, will help me start breaking some really bad habits.

Organic Housekeeping

Organic Housekeeping: In Which the Non-Toxic Avenger Shows You How to Improve Your Health and That of Your Family, While You Save Time, Money, and, Perhaps, Your Sanity Organic Housekeeping: In Which the Non-Toxic Avenger Shows You How to Improve Your Health and That of Your Family, While You Save Time, Money, and, Perhaps, Your Sanity by Ellen Sandbeck

My Review:  3 of 5 stars
This had a lot of good information in it but was really repetitive. Had it been more simply organized, it would make a great handy reference. The author does include resources and websites for some of the products and tools that she recommends, which I appreciated.

Probably one of the best (new) tips I picked up from this book was that there are places, such as Mail Boxes Etc, that accept packing peanuts and reuse them. I don’t know why I never thought to ask! I have bags of that stuff in my garage I’ve been trying to find a use for.


In case you have yet to discover it, TextsFromLastNight is a freaking hilarious site!  When I have nothing better to do, which is often, I find myself browsing and laughing.  A lot.  You can even follow them on twitter!

And now, for today’s tweets…Powered by Twitter Tools:

  • Too true! RT @drdrew: It’s discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit – Noel Coward #
  • lol…nice! RT @TFLN: (317): when im not freaking out about dying alone and unloved, i actually really enjoy being single #

Finish these sentences…

Finish the sentences. Some may be uncomfortable, but you’ll manage. Repost it as “Finish the sentences” when you’re done!  Leave me a comment link if you played so I can check out your answers!

1. I’ve come to realise that my last kiss…was the beginning of a nightmare.

2. I am listening to…the rain.

3. I talk…too much when I shouldn’t and not enough when I should.

4. I love…to sleep.

5. My best friend/s…are a blessing.

6. My first real kiss… was forgettable.

7. Love is…a battlefield.

8. Marriage is… what bwwings us togevuh today.

9. Somewhere, someone is thinking…about swine flu.

10. I’ll always…buy more shoes.

11. The last time I really cried was because…I’m just going through the motions.

12. My cell phone…is a mix between a necessary evil and an addiction.

13. When I wake up in the morning… I go to the bathroom.

14. Before I go to bed… I read.

15. Right now I am thinking about…a presentation I need to prepare for work tomorrow.

16. Babies are…fascinating little creatures.

17. I get on Myspace…never, if I can help it.

18. Today I…was in meetings the entire time.

19. Tomorrow will …be fun because I’m meeting up with MommyK and MrsDrillTeam after work.

20. I really want to be… happy.

21. The person/people that will fill this out is/are…awesome. Or bored.

Things to Look Forward To

Sometimes, having something to look forward to is the only thing that keeps me going.  The day-to-day at work and sleep-filled weekends certainly won’t do it.  So, I wanted to take a moment to remind myself of some recently confirmed things coming up that I am excited about.

  1. Stephen Lynch concert this Friday – the guy is freaking hysterical. 
  2. Morrissey concert next Friday – I’ve been in love with this guy since I was about 13.  Age has been kinder to him than it has to me and he still has one of the greatest voices in music.
  3. A vacation day added to a holiday weekend – yep, I’m taking the Monday after Easter off to make it a glorious 4-day weekend.
  4. Girls Getaway Weekend – we missed it in 2008 due to a hurricane, so we’re doing it in May this year.  Added bonus is that we’re doing it over Memorial Day weekend so we get an extra day together to act like the silly girls we are!
  5. Photography Weekend Workshop – I’ve been wanting to sign up for this for the past few years but always managed to miss it.  This year, I’m registered and my friend, Flirt, has decided to join me.  We’ve already got our room booked at the B&B.  So excited!

So there.  Some positives in an otherwise dull existence.  😛

You can’t take that away from us!

Friday night, Red and I returned to the scene of the crime to reclaim our stomping grounds.  We’ll be damned if we let some silly iranian boys run us out of our bar!  That was the first step…let the healing begin!

V turned up a little later and regailed us with stories of her vacation in Viet Nam.  She’s the only person I know who can return from a 2-week trip, a long ass plane ride, and then be up for meeting for drinks within a couple of hours of returning home. 

There was a brief moment when Red thought we might end up in a fight with random guy’s girlfriend, but that appeared to be unwarranted.  So, aside from the initial trepidation about returning, it was a great night!

Quotes of the evening:

Red:  She just got back from Viet Nam. 
Drunk guy:  Whoa.  Are you in the service?  Are you ok? 
V:  Um…you know that war is over, right? 
Drunk guy:  Sorry.  I’m not very educated.

“Tell striped-shirt-guy that I will make him moan all night.”

Red:  Just how horny are you?  
V:  DAMN horny. 
Red:  Ok, let me see what I can do (as she wanders off to chat up random guys).

Peaceful, easy feeling

It’s an overcast, breezy Sunday morning and I am sitting on the patio, drinking my coffee, and playing a little fetch with Loki.  The past 3 weeks have been utter hell.  We have an OFCCP audit at work next week and so I have been working 12-18 hour days, including weekends, to make sure all of our ducks are in a row.  I have been the living dead for 3 weeks now.

Friday afternoon, we were able to finish up the most urgent of our work and I actually left the office by 5pm.  It was a tiny miracle so I felt I needed to take the opportunity to unwind a little and talked a coworker into going to the dive bar near work for a couple of drinks.  After that, I met my friend V at one of our fave little neighborhood bars for more drinks and to catch up. 

I just have to say that it was the perfect slice of heaven at that particular moment.  I was finally able to relax, laugh, and just generally feel human again.  And the added bonus is that I was able to sleep that night!  No insomnia, just crashing from sheer exhaustion!  The weeks of little to no sleep had finally caught up with me and the drinks managed to shut my brain off enough to allow me to finally get some much needed rest.

After getting to bed around 2am, I was up letting Loki out around 8…but then laid back down on the couch and slept until…SIX PM!!!  I would’ve felt guilty except for the fact that I KNEW I needed it!

Today, rather than stressing out over the audit and whatever else this week will throw at me, for this moment, this peaceful moment on my patio with my dog, I am relaxing and it feels great.


Hooray for Friday.  I have got to spend some time this weekend cleaning up my mess of a house, not to mention playing catch up on my blog posting and visiting.

This afternoon I take the new puppy to the vet for his 2nd set of shots.  Hopefully he’ll behave.

Tomorrow I am planning to start back at the gym.  I’ve been a bad gym buddy the last month between the tooth problems, being sick, etc.  Time to get back on the horse, so to speak.

But for now, I need to get ready to head into the office.

Car fun & the curse of the bed

Having accomplished absolutely nothing on my day off, today I had to go try and get my car inspected.  I got the oil changed first and, thanks to a handy-dandy trick I learned with this car last year, I was then able to go pass my inspection.  Stupid emissions testing and computer cars.

Aside from that, I have done absolutely NOTHING the past few days.  I slept until 1pm today, for crying out loud!  I’ve been trying to break the sleeping-on-the-couch habit, so I went to my bed, relatively early for me at around 2am, and went to sleep.  ELEVEN hours of sleep.  What the hell?!

I swear it is my bed’s fault.  Part of why I never sleep in there…because I sleep through alarms.  On the couch, I wake throughout the night and get up with my alarm (although I might snooze it a few times).  But today, after sleeping in my bed, multiple alarm clocks didn’t wake me.  Insane, I tell you.

Anyway.  Tomorrow is Lifewalk.   All 3.6 miles of it.  I need to try and get some sleep, get some fluids in me, and hope I don’t have a heatstroke.  😛

Shelter from the Storm

Last Sunday, my high school gal pal, Barbie, her mother and grandmother, and 4 dogs arrived at my humble abode seeking shelter from big bad Ike.  Since my parents and other family members impacted by the storm were already tucked away safely at Dilbert’s, I was happy to be able to provide Barbie and company a place to stay.

It is now almost a week later.  They are still without power in Pinewood, but rumor has it sometime in the next day or two it should be back on.  I know they are anxious to get home.  I am mostly enjoying them being here, but I have to admit, as someone who lives by herself, it has been taxing on my sanity.  I’m a creature of habit and my normal routines have gone out the window.  Nothing compared to what they are going through though, so I am grateful to be in a position to help out in some way.

Her mom and 3 aunts all had beach houses at Crystal Beach.  yes, I said HAD.  All 4 of them are now GONE.  Completely disintegrated and washed away to parts yet unknown.  All that remains, from what we’ve been able to see in videos and online photos, is the concrete slabs. 

It’s so sad to see the massive destruction there and in Galveston.  Growing up, I (mis)spent a lot of my fun-filled youth cruising the beach and window shopping on the Strand. 

Anyway, just had a few quick minutes to myself and wanted to blog a bit while I was thinking of it.

Depositing to my karma bank

Sometimes when you just can’t make yourself feel better, doing something for someone else helps.  At least for me it does.  Added benefit of my latest philanthropic efforts is that I will actually get some exercise and take some photos in the process!

I’ve signed up for LifeWalk 2008.  This is my first year to participate.  It is about a 3 mile walk around a scenic area of Dallas on Sunday, October 5.  And it benefits a cause that I strongly support.

Proceeds will benefit Aids Arms, Inc, a United Way agency that advocates for AIDS/HIV education and prevention, helping Dallas residents with health care, resources and the support necessary to manage the challenges of living with HIV/AIDS. (See

  • Dallas leads the state in new HIV infections, with more than 20,000 residents living with the disease.
  • HIV/AIDS continues to be a growing epidemic in the U.S.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that an additional 30 percent are infected and do not know it.
  • African-American men make up nearly 50 percent of all new AIDS cases in the U.S.
  • AIDS is the third leading cause of death for Latinos.
  • Half of all new HIV-infected people are younger than 25.
  • More than 250,000 American women are HIV-positive and make up 25 percent of all HIV infection in the U.S.

What an impact this could have!

If I had to guess, I’d say I get at least a half dozen different phone books dumped on my front porch a year.  Nevermind the fact that I haven’t actually opened or used on of these things in more than five years.  It annoys the crap out of me.  Mainly because it is a huge waste of paper, but also because, while I do have recycling pickup in my area, it doesn’t account for paper products.

Imagine my delight when I stumbled across this website.  I hope it gets the message across: was started because we are continually bombarded with Yellow and White Page directories at both home and office. The movement is not intended to stop the use of such directories, but to eliminate the unsolicited delivery of the books. If we want a book we will call and order one.

Over 500 million of these directories are printed every year. That is nearly two books for every person in the country! These directories produce a staggering amount of waste, not only in terms of misused natural resources but also in filling of valuable landfill space.

To produce 500 million books:
19 million trees need to be harvested
1.6 billion pounds of paper are wasted
7.2 million barrels of oil are misspent in their processing (not including the wasted gas used for their delivery to your doorstep)
268,000 cubic yards of landfill are taken up
3.2 billion kilowatt hours of electricity are squandered

The cost associated with the delivery and disposal of these books is exorbitant. Unfortunately, these unsolicited costs fall heavily on consumers. Why are we paying for something that was delivered to our homes and offices that we did not ask for?

Sign up now and STOP THE MADNESS!