Friday, December 30, 2005

The Room Monitor

Sounds like something Sally would write about in her daughter's school, but it's not. The room monitor I'm talking about is a previously unknown feature on my answering machine.

Now that I'm working again, I occasionally check my answering machine throughout the day. The other day I listened to the prompts all the way to the end and I heard "For room monitor, press 9 - 1." So I did. And listened to the sound of the kitchen clock ticking. And I could tell it was raining. I got such a kick out of it that I called again yesterday, and I could hear a truck backing up in the street - "beep! beep! beep!"

It's the little things that make me giggle.

Doing a rare post On Company Time here while I upload the inventory list to the web. I am now officially responsible for this on a daily basis. w00t! Meant to do an audio post of one of Brian's poems earlier in the week, but I haven't gotten around to it - I'll try from home later tonight, 'k? I need to do some last minute shopping for a New Year's Eve party tomorrow. I'm all ready (what with the multiple tiaras and long white gloves and such) but The Man needs a new pair of pants.

Personally, I prefer him without pants, but it kinda freaks the neighbors out.

Monday, December 26, 2005

It's The Thought That Counts

And here I thought I'd done so well.

I'm clearing off my desk and I came across a scrap of paper with The Man's shoe size written on it. He had specifically asked for a certain type of boot for Christmas, and I made a specific effort to get said boot when I went outlet shopping before Thanksgiving. I looked at the size and I was almost certain that I had purchased the wrong size. Called The Man and yes, in fact, I did get a size 10 when he is a size 10 1/2. Of course he didn't mention this when he opened the gift.

"Don't worry," he says, "sometimes a 10 will fit."

"Well, have you tried them on?"

"No, not yet."

"Could you try them on, because if they don't fit, we'll need to exchange them."

"Yeah, I will - really it's no big deal, don't worry about it."

It is a big deal. I bought them over a month ago at the friggin' outlets - I will have to drive 2 1/2 hours each way to exchange these boots. Mostly I'm just upset at myself because it was an avoidable error. I don't know why I'm so sloppy lately ... I'm just so scattered and I have bits and pieces of my life all over the place. It's not like me. I'm usually so organized and collected. I've lost my edge.

Update: The Man just called back. I didn't fuck up after all - I bought size 10 1/2 and they fit perfectly. Phew. But I still feel discombobulated.

Friday, December 23, 2005

This Has Got To Stop!

I just got my credit card bill, and once again it's four digits - this has got to stop!

Of course, it does have the charges from the cruise ($400) and a few Christmas gifts (including one particularly large one for The Man) and even the charges for Thanksgiving dinner (thanks again, Boston Market!) so all things considered, it's actually a reasonable bill.

But still.

Even though I'm now gainfully employed, I'll be lucky if I bring home $1,700/month. Just my rent, car payment, cable, phone, utilities and gas for Trucklet will run me $1,500/month and I haven't even bought food yet. I am going to be like everyone else - living paycheck to paycheck.

I'll make it. It will be fine. It's just ... different. It's been a long time since I've had to watch my expenses. But as they say, the best things in life are free, so Merry Christmas to all - I wish you much health, happiness and success.

Hugs & Kisses,

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Sounds of the Season

I'm a little bit behind the times.

I was on vacation Nov 26 - Dec 8, so I didn't get to do as much decorating as I usually do. I just started addressing my Christmas cards last night. And I haven't done any baking.

But I'm not totally without Christmas spirit. Last night, carolers came to my door, and this morning I heard "Dominick the Christmas Donkey" on the radio (you can download it and other songs here).

And how is your day going?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

No Deal

What's the deal with Howie Mandel and this new prime-time game show, "Deal or No Deal?" Since when is Howie stark naked bald? And what's that little patch of hair under his bottom lip? What do they call that - crumb catcher?

I 'watched' for an hour last night and the verdict is ... No Deal.

I mean, the highlight of the show is the 26 or so identically clad women who stand around waiting for their number to be called. Will she have a high number or a low number? Will she be asked to speak? Even though she supposedly doesn't know the amount that is in her briefcase, will her facial expression give away the fact that of course she knows the amount that's hidden inside? [Ed. note: I would say that 75% of the time you could tell by the expression whether she had a high or low number in her briefcase.]

Yeah, a ratings winner this is not.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Eight Pound Lasagna

Oh my God, it was huge!

I made a lasagna yesterday that was a freakin' monster. Three pounds of sauce. Two pounds of ricotta cheese. One pound of mozzarella cheese. A pound and a half of ground beef. A pound of lasagna noodles. Two onions and two portobello mushrooms. My stomach hurts just reading the ingredients.

Guess what I'm going to be eating for lunch every day this week?

And while I was preparing the lasagna, I watched an old movie on Lifetime. Heather Locklear playing a big-haired Texas floozie whose millionaire husband resorts to murder rather than give in to her divorce demands. In it Dennis Franz had a full head of hair and everyone smoked openly in the courtroom and a witness even asked for and was given a cigarette on the witness stand. Quite the way to pass a Saturday.

Quite an enjoyable day, really. I still haven't finished decorating my tree, but I'm not too stressed out about it. The routine is starting to settle in around me. It's a good thing.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Man, I’ve been swamped.

I’m back at work full-time and it’s crazy. Still learning my way around the job, so in some respects I haven’t been that busy. I’ve been doing some research to see where we might want to place some banner ads, and tomorrow I’ll be working on preparing some EBay auctions. I’m working in an open cube farm, and it’s not easy for me to blog. Plus, I have no idea how closely my internet activity is being monitored, so I want to play it cool.

But I couldn’t resist this post.

Just tried checking some of my other email accounts and discovered that my former employer has finally killed my email account. Not a big deal, really, since I haven’t been checking it regularly anyway. Couldn’t seem to log into my service provider account. I’ve been letting stuff accumulate in there. Mostly it’s just junk mail and I’m trying to get away from using it at all.

Funny, now that I’m getting paid to sit in front of the computer, I can’t stand it. A lot of it has to do with my work station. I found myself slouching, so I adjusted the chair so I can’t do that, but something still isn’t right. My back and shoulders hurt, and I know that my keyboard isn’t set at the right height. And if I didn’t have eye problems before, I will soon. Working under fluorescent lights and the monitor isn’t at eye level either.

I’m just full of complaints, aren’t I?

Monday, December 12, 2005

A 15 Hour Day

Up at 6:00 a.m.
To work by 8:00 a.m.
Lunch at noon.
More work in the afternoon.
Yoga at 5:30 p.m.
Dinner with yoga class at 7:15 p.m.
Home by 9:00 p.m.

A 15 hour day.

I know that none of you have sympathy for me. But let me tell you - I'm exhausted! The sink is full of dirty dishes, the garbage smells, I still haven't finished unpacking from my cruise, and I've barely begun to decorate.

Oh well - one thing at a time. And right now it's time for bed.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Reality Bites

There are some who say that if you listen carefully, the universe will speak to you.

Me, I just got a memo:

TO: Kenna
FROM: The Powers That Be
RE: From This Day Forward

This is to inform you that, for lack of a better phrase, the party is over.

You've been resting and relaxing for seven months now; it's time to get back to work. Please be advised that we have lined up a job for you and you are to report at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12. You've just come back from an amazing vacation wherein you ate, drank, and slept at will. This was a well-deserved trip, and we are delighted that you were in good health and able to enjoy it.

It is because you are in good health that we must require you to return to work. You have been spending beyond your means, and it is time for you to earn an honest living once again. We took the liberty of examining your personal finances while you were gone. Would it surprise you to know that you have bills totalling over $2,000 due by the end of the month? And your unemployment benefits will only net you $729. We do concede, however, that continuing to claim unemployment benefits while you were aboard the Queen Mary 2 was sheer brilliance.

As your reward, we now command you to shovel by hand the 8" of snow that fell overnight. Don't think of it as a punishment - think of it as an opportunity to work off the extra weight you put on during the past two weeks. Seriously, did you think you could have ice cream after lunch every day and not gain a pound or two?

And while you're at it, you need to straighten out your social calendar. Between yoga, your women's group, and the monthly Chamber mixer, you will be gone almost every night next week. We hereby give you permission to say "no" to any request to volunteer for or donate to a charity. Frankly, you have neither the time nor the resources to do so. Instead, you will spend your spare time finishing that lovely series of children's books that you started reading - Harry Potter, isn't it?

Pull out your sweaters and turn down the thermostat. You can't afford such high heating bills, especially since you don't have a housemate this winter. And whatever you do, don't agree to let Michael rent a room from you - he couldn't possibly pay you enough to put up with his bullshit.

One final reminder - only sixteen shopping days until Christmas.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Buddha Belly

I’ve grown one over the last 10 days. Amazingly enough, though, the slinky purple gown still fit and I wore it for the final formal last night. They saved the best for last … our entrĂ©e choices last night included lobster and chateau briand, followed by baked Alaska.

The Christmas decorations continue to go up, and every day we see more. The tree went up in the lobby the other day, and this morning gifts had materialized at the base. We’ve been packing and running errands this afternoon; returning our library books (I plowed through the first three Harry Potter books; I would have made it through the fourth if it had been available) and picking up last minute mementos.

It’s downhill from here, although we still have one final night of karaoke to look forward to. We’re far enough north now that practically no one is out on deck. It’s too breezy and cool, and the surf has started to kick up. It will probably be a bumpy ride tonight, and when we wake up in the morning, we’ll be back in New York City.

When I get home I’ll be able to upload more photos – you’re going to love the shots from Tortola, and Susan took an amazing photo of me in St. Thomas that I will share with those nearest and dearest to me. It’s a shame that we never got around to doing an audio post – I had cell phone signals in Grenada and St. Thomas, but it just didn’t occur to me. We totally lost track of time, never knowing what day it was or what time it was.

It’s back to reality now …

Hugs & Kisses,
Kenna and Susan

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Weekend Wrap-Up

Well, what has happened since St. Maarten?

We stopped in Martinique next, and it was there that I planted my letterbox. I haven’t had a chance to post my clues yet, but I will upon my return. The other interesting bit about Martinique was that Susan spotted a sign indicating that the international women’s group I belong to had beautified the east entry to Fort de France. Other than that, we were unimpressed with that particular port of call.

Barbados was next and we had a bit of an adventure there. There were two letterboxes planted on the island, and we set off in search of them. Being the smart, economical gals that we are, Susan and I hopped aboard the local bus - $0.75 each way to Holetown. Don’t let the name fool you, Holetown was quite lovely. Lots of resorts and restaurants. We went all the way to Barbados to have Thai food for lunch. We found the spot where the letterbox was supposed to be, but could not find the box.

Life aboard the ship is great – lots of sun, food, and plenty of time for afternoon naps. They’ve begun decorating for Christmas, and every day we see more and more decorations.

Yesterday we stopped in Grenada, and St. Georges harbor was picturesque, but it was bloody hot. We wandered around town for just a bit and even standing still in the shade we could feel the sweat just dripping off. Leaving Grenada was a treat – there was a school of dolphins playing in the surf, and a gorgeous rainbow to send us on our way.

We’ve docked in St. Kitts for the day. Susan is off on her first snorkeling adventure, and I’m lolling about the ship. Going to get some early morning sun and then venture into town for some shopping.

Hugs & Kisses,
Kenna, Susan and Nils

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Who Is Nils Karlsson?

And why is he in our room?

At least, the ship’s computer thinks he’s in here with us. They have this interactive television system where you can check your account, see what movie is playing at what time, check out the dinner menu, view the photos from the evening before etc. So when we go in to check our accounts, there he is – Nils Karlsson.

Nils hasn’t been around much, which is too bad – still haven’t located any single eligible men. We really need someone to buy us a drink. At least he doesn’t take up closet space.

There are over 2,000 passengers on this ship, but we seem to keep running into the same people. And since we don’t know their names, we just make up nicknames for them. Like Bathrobe Boy – the man who wandered into the food court area wearing his bathrobe. Just a bit too casual for our taste. And apparently for the staff – he disappeared and then came back wearing clothes. And Danny Zuko – the guy who performed in the karaoke lounge and struck a classic “Greased Lightening” pose throughout his performance.

We were on a roll at dinner last night. Our dinner companions, Mary Ann and Jay, seemed to find us extremely humorous. The dining room manager, Simon, comes over every night to say hello and make sure everything was to our liking. Last night I wondered aloud how he’d come to be the F & B manager. They thought I’d called him a name – the “f’in B” manager. I believe F & B stands for food and beverage.

We’ve taken a few food photos – last night Susan had the sea bass and I had the lamb. Mary Ann said her camera actually has a food setting – can you believe it? After our kayaking adventure in St. Maarten, we were both tired and went right to bed after dinner. Tried to sleep in this morning, but I was awake with the sun around 6:00 a.m.

Martinique presented us with a completely different landscape. After the sharp, steep mountains of Tortola, and the white sand beaches of St. Maarten, Martinique seemed … boring. It was much more modern. Smoothly paved roads. Burger King and McDonald’s. Cell phones. Pay phones that actually work (I knew you wouldn’t be home, Rich, but I wanted to call and leave a message anyway).

We walked to centre ville (downtown) in search of postcards and a place to plant my letterbox. Having accomplished that, we came back to the ship and Susan promptly took a nap. I sat out on deck and finished “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” Yes, it’s true – I’ve never read the Harry Potter books. Saw the movie, but have never read the books. I’m now on to Book 2 “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” We met up in the theatre and watched “Monster In Law” before heading back out to the deck where Susan took another nap and I started my second book.

Susan is resting up for a late night out tonight – she missed out on a snorkeling excursion for tomorrow, so she’s going to take advantage of the night life – Rock @ the Opera. Looks like we’ll just bum around Barbados tomorrow and do some shopping. Save our energy for the river tubing in Grenada on Saturday.

Today’s photo is actually from yesterday – the beach before it was overrun with the 15,000 cruise ship tourists that went ashore in St. Maarten. Can you believe it – there were six cruise ships docked in St. Maarten yesterday. Two Carnival ships and one each from Royal Caribbean, Princess, Costa and our ship, the Queen Mary 2.

Hugs & Kisses,
Kenna, Susan, and Nils

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Kindness of Strangers

When we arrived in Tortola, Susan and I disembarked and wandered down the main street in search of trinkets and a telephone. We purchased a few postcards and then got on the horn and called the father of a man who belongs to my gym. Basically, someone we didn’t even know.

They picked us up at the port and gave us the most amazing tour of the island. We went up and down the mountains from north to south and east to west. We had lunch overlooking Cane Gardens Bay and returned to their home high atop the mountain above Brewer’s Bay.

We went swimming in the ocean and then came back to swim in the pool before rinsing off under the outdoor shower. It was the most amazing place. Perched on a cliff … plants and flowers … tiles and terraces. They rent the house by the week, and we would love to come back! Mary, do you want to come with us?

You can check out the house online at:

Since I had trouble uploading photos the other day, I’m only going to attempt just this one today. Enjoy the view.

We’re just leaving St. Maarten, heading to Martinique – catch you later!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Welcome Aboard!

This is the life.

We’re into our second day of cruising. Yesterday was a quiet and relaxing day. Susan and I both took naps in between reading. We took our time getting ready for dinner, then had the martini of the day, the “Cosmopolitini” – a lovely blend of Absolut Kurrant with triple sec, cranberry juice and a splash of lime juice. Come to think of it, I think I had three of those babies.

Dinner was delightful, and then we relaxed in the Golden Lion Pub where we enjoyed karaoke and met up with Jackie and Lisa, two other women from our area who are on the cruise. At one point I assisted in holding up cue cards for the audience, encouraging them to applaud, cheer and sing along. After a quick run through G32 (the disco) we confirmed that there were in fact no single eligible men aboard the ship and called it a night.

Internet access is not as accessible (nor as affordable!) as I had hoped, so the posts may not be as plentiful as planned, but again, thanks to my brother I do have a laptop to which I can upload photos, so enjoy the first few shots.

Much more tomorrow when we land in Tortola …

Hugs & Kisses,
Kenna and Susan

P.S. Tried to upload photos but connection got hung up; will try again later.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Yes, I know, they predicted 1-3 inches, but still I was surprised to wake up and see the white stuff blanketing my world.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

November Settles In

Cold. Raw. Rainy. It's November in the northeast. Brr.

Have done a fair amount of running around today. Last minute shopping for the cruise and a trip to the grocery store. I think I was ahead of the rush there. Still trying to wrap up loose ends for theis fund raiser before I go. Received good news from a second bank today - they are throwing $500 our way. The news wasn't as good from the local financial services firm - they took a pass. Still waiting to hear from the local Honda dealer, and I have a few more follow-up calls to local deep pocket individuals. And I never heard back from the local builder - I'm not surprised. Guess I'll just have to call again tomorrow.

In four days I will be aboard the Queen Mary 2. Yippee! I'm still having computer issues. I'm hooked up to an external monitor now, backing up my files. My brother is going to send up an 'extra' laptop from his company with my parents tomorrow, so I'll be downloading photos to that and doing posts (with photos!) as planned.

I just want to get there. Twelve days of warmth and bliss. And outstanding food lavishly prepared by someone else. I'll be so spoiled when I return.

I hope I don't break down and cry the day I have to go back to work.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Look At The Bright Side

At least my computer crapped out before I went on the cruise.

Spent several hours hooked up to an external monitor today, and I think the built-in monitor is fried - again. If you recall, this POS burned out on me about a year and a half ago and it was still under warrenty, so Dell replaced the screen. And now it's gone.

I can work on it as long as I have an external monitor, but I'm not about to lug that with me on vacation. I already made plans to borrow my mother's camera memory card, so I'll be able to take lots of pictures, but unless I go out and buy a new laptop (which I just might do - I was thinking about getting a new one soon anyway) I won't be able to post my vacation photos until after I return. Which sucks - I really want to be able to post photos.

I suppose I could try to take this to the Geek Squad, but honestly, if The Man and I couldn't fix it after fiddling around with it this afternoon, I don't think it's fixable. Last final step is to back up all my data (photo files take up a LOT of space, I hope I have enough zip disks to get them on backed-up) and then wipe the hard drive - just in case it really is a software conflict issue.

I think John's right - the puppy peed in my 'puter.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Stops and Starts

It was a day of stops and starts. First it was the sound on my laptop. Every now and then conflicts arise. Not sure what it was ... iTunes starts arguing with Winamp and the next thing you know, no one is talking. I really wanted to hear those Chinese students lipsynching. So, I fixed that.

Then, tonight my printer started acting up. A print job got hung up and for the life of me I couldn't cancel it. Only fix I could figure out was to uninstall the print drivers and reinstall. So I did. Yeah, me! Now I have a fistful of online coupons to use on my big shopping trip tonight.

Now I can rest in peace.


Well, things are looking up. A little.

In the last few days we managed to secure another $1,000 in sponsorships for this fundraiser. And I've been fairly successful in the follow-up calls I've made today. No firm commitments, but no hang-ups either. Spoke to the president of one of the local banks, and he promised he would get back to me next Wednesday.


I tried calling a few old friends this afternoon but couldn't get through. I think I'm going to go to the Chamber mixer tonight - so I can say, yes, I'm a member, and I work for this company! Yeah, it's just an excuse to get out of the house and have a drink.

Another upside of going back to work? My employer will be responsible for keeping me warm from 8:00 - 5:00 and I can set back my thermostat during the day and save on heating costs. Not that I'm not doing that already ... it's just now I won't be sitting in the cold by this time of day.

Time for another cup of tea - not that I'm drinking it, I'm just holding it to keep my hands warm!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Procrastinating. Again.

Or maybe it's still.

I just don't want to deal with this fund raiser any more. I could be making more follow up phone calls. But I'm not.


You can take the girl out of development, but you can't take development out of the girl.

I saw this story online today, and while most people think about the implications to the sports world, I'm just wondering how much the folks at Bucknell are salivating over the potential bequest?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Let the Decorating Begin

I love decorating for Christmas, but I'm conscious of decorating too early.

Of course, never before Halloween. And even if you put decorations up, you never turn on the lights before Thanksgiving. So when is it okay to begin decorating?


Over the weekend I saw several houses that had icicle lights up and on. And at least one of those giant lighted Santas. So yesterday I dragged out my exterior garland and hung it on the porch. Of course the lights don't work, so I'll need to buy new strands - again. But that's okay because I can't turn the lights on until after Thanksgiving anyway, right? Still, it looks like today is going to be above average temps again, so I think I'll see if I can get the lights and string them today because it's hard to do when it's cold outside.

I would put up the interior garland too, but I'm going to have to wait on that because my parents are coming for Thanksgiving and they are bringing their two dogs, and I'm sure that the puppy won't be able to resist jumping and biting and pulling them down.

I've already started my online shopping, and I'm going to the outlets with Mary and Susan on Friday, so I'm not too worried about the stress of the holiday season. Next task - getting those photo Christmas cards ordered!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Sunshine Makes Me Smile

And right now I've got a huge grin on my face.

Looks like it's going to be a glorious weekend here in my corner of the great Northeast, and I intend to enjoy it. Yesterday was fairly productive. Made a number of follow-up calls for this fund raiser that I'm chairing (this is the LAST. ONE. - I swear) and then ended the day having a great dinner with The Man.

On today's agenda - leaf raking, fence post digging and hydrangea mulching. Honestly, if I just get those three things done, I should pat myself on the back and congratulate myself on a job well done. But just in case I have the urge to be an over Achiever, I'll add article writing, photo ordering, photo sending (it's been too long since Deb has had a package photo post), and press release writing.

Why am I writing a press release, you ask? Oh, just so I can tell the world that I GOT A JOB! Of course I did it all back asswards. I took a huge pay cut. I'm going to be working 40 hours a week instead of 37.5 or 35 hours/week like my jobs in academe. I'm going to have to commute in my car. I probably will be living paycheck to paycheck.

But it's not a development job. And I'll be learning something new. And there are no nights or weekends or travel involved. I'm going to be a freakin' internet marketing coordinator. How cool is that? I start Dec 12 - after my 12 day cruise on the Queen Mary 2. In my upgraded balcony room. Spending my $400 rebate because the cruise line actually reduced their prices. Sipping pina coladas with my faithful sidekick Susan.

Seriously? It doesn't get any better than this.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Dumb Ass

I got some misdirected mail the other day, and instead of walking two blocks over to drop it off, I left it in the mailbox hoping the mailman would deliver it for me. I was a little annoyed when I saw that the mail was still there, and that there wasn't any new mail for me. What, was this one of those stupid regulations? The delivery person can't pick up outgoing mail from my box?

Then I went back to making some follow-up phone calls, and I got voice mail at the bank - very unusual. And then I remembered. It's Veteran's Day. A federal holiday. Banks and the post office are closed.

Can you tell I'm no longer a state worker and I've totally lost track of the days?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Do You Sudoku?

Yeah, I know, I'm late to the game. It's addictive, I tell you!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Random Thoughts

I voted today. I hope that the Democrats win a few seats on city council if for no other reason than to send a message to the Republicans who ran a totally negative smear campaign.

I'm pretty sure I had a few Bath & Body Works body creams laying around, and I can't find them anywhere. And now I'm out. I need my body cream! Just got a $10 off coupon in the mail today, but I can't use it until 11/18 - and I need the lotion now!

I'm trying to watch what I eat and pump up the workouts just a tad - because I leave on vacation in 18 days!

I'm not much of a cook but I do have a few signature dishes that The Man finds quite tasty. I need to add a few more to the repetoire. Let me know what you got.

Changing Demographics

I'm updating my profile with an online business publication, and I removed information related to my former employer and updated my annual household income.


I'm suddenly in a different demographic. I guess I hadn't thought about that previously. You don't ordinarily share your income with your friends, but sometimes when you are requesting a service or applying for a loan or trying to find a new place to live, you need to reveal your income.

And now I wonder how I would be treated if I had to go to my local bank. Would they even bother to take the time to talk to me? You just know that your name is on a list out there somewhere, and information about you can be bought and sold. Instead of Williams-Sonoma and Schwitzer Linens, will I suddenly start getting Lillian Vernon and JCPenney catalogs?

Food for thought.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Picture Perfect

It's been a picture perfect weekend. Sunny skies, warm weather. Too bad I spent most of the day inside yesterday - a commitment that I had to keep. Looking out the window right now, thinking about all I could/should be doing in the yard, but also thinking about the article that I need to finish researching and writing today. Not to mention the photos I've been meaning to send ... the Trucklet which needs to be cleaned and floor mats that need to be swapped ... the laundry ... the phone calls ... the porch ... the unpacking from Vegas (I'm really bad that way) and the pre-packing for the cruise ...

Yeah, whatever. I'm going to go outside now and enjoy this weather while it lasts.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I Even Bore Myself

Like Sally, I think I've lost my mojo.

This blog just isn't what it used to be. It's lost its umph. And it's not because of the other blog - things are suffering over there too.

Don't know what it is. Maybe the mystery is gone now that I've shown The Face. Maybe it's because I'm not working, and that's really where I got my inspiration. Maybe it's because I'm happy and satisfied with my life and I have nothing to bitch about.

No one wants to hear about how busy I am all the time and how I don't know how I ever found time to work. Because you're all busy too - and most of you are working. But honestly, I'm not just sitting around eating bon-bons and watching soaps. I am constantly busy. Like today.

Went to the gym for my pilates class and then snuck in a tanning session. Came home, checked email and made a few calls, showered and got ready for my 1:00 interview. Had the interview (it went well, I think, but I wasn't as prepared as I could have been) and then stopped at the thrift store on the way home. (Got a cute sundress for the cruise, Susan - only $5.99!) Grabbed a late lunch to go, came home and made a few phone calls and then off to a 3:45 meeting. Stopped at the bank and the library and came home shortly after 5:00 p.m. See? The day is gone!

I used to blog when I was procrastinating at work. The lack of posts (or, at the very least, the lack of numerous posts throughout the day) is actually an indicator of how busy I am - not looking for ways to kill time.

Okay, that's it for now. Except for one thing ... does anyone else find it odd that this blog was the 17th result for this search? (And odder still, the searcher clicked through to read?)

"my wife is not in love with me anymore why?"

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Vegas, Baby!

The old adage is true - a picture is worth a thousand words!

And Susan's wish is my command; is there a family resemblance? (Keep in mind, the photo of me is two years old and The Hair was much shorter and, apparently, not as blonde at the time!)

Monday, October 24, 2005

Clearing the Air

I'm on a cleaning streak. Trying to file the paperwork that I was holding on to over the summer while I was displaced. Started cleaning out my email folders and stumbled on some startling statistics.

Remember Larry? (no, not New Orleans Larry - he was Larry # 3; I'm talking about Larry # 2 - otherwise known as Good Time Larry, right Susan?) And Michael? These were two guys I met at Chamber mixers in Nov/Dec of last year.

[Has it been a year already? Can you believe it?]

Anyway, apparently I had saved just about every email message I exchanged with both of these guys. In the 70 days that my involvement with Larry was ongoing, I exchanged 105 email messages. That's 1.5 email messages per day. From Nov 22 through the end of January.

It gets worse. Between Dec 17 and March 1, (73 days) I exchanged 135 email messages with Michael - 1.84 messages per day.

And I kept every single one.

Yeah ...

Larry moved to Houston and Michael was just a freak. And I still had all of their email messages. Not anymore. Deleted those folders and all of their contents and cut my mailbox storage space in half.

Checked to see how many messages I had saved from Rich. Fourteen. In the 114 days I've known him. By my standards this is a long term relationship. And the fact that I don't feel the obsessive need to save every single email message he's sent me (believe me, we've exchanged more messages than that - I just haven't been saving them) tells me that I trust what he says - I don't need to save email messages to throw back in his face. "But you said blah blah blah."

I think our little Kenna Fearing is growing up.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Gettin' Funky With It

Bear with me while I tweak my sidebar ... just trying out a few new features.

Hint: The puppy will follow your cursor, and if you want to, you can give him a treat. Click on the doggy treat box, then click somewhere above his head (it won't work if you click right on his head, it has to be in the empty space above). He will jump up to eat it.

Friday, October 21, 2005

My Tiara

When we were cleaning out my grandparents apartment a few weeks ago, I laid claim to a few small items. A cashmere sweater and a mock turtleneck, both with tags still attached. A humidifier. A leather jacket. And a tiara.

It's just a dollar store tiara, something they gave my grandmother to wear when my grandparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. If you press the magic button, the heart shaped 'emerald' lights up and flashes! I love my little tiara, and I've taken to wearing it around the house. It helps keep the hair out of my eyes and it's more comfortable than wearing a head band. It just makes me feel good.

So I had my tiara on this morning, and completely forgot about it as I went about my business. I wanted to rake the leaves off my lawn and get in a final mowing, so I was out in the yard, and I was just finishing filling my second garbage can full of leaves when I saw the city recycling truck pull up out front. I dragged my can to the curb, and greeted the public works guys when they smiled and said hello. I had my headphones on, but not so loud I couldn't hear them.

I can't recall what he said - something about a crown or being a princess? - but all of a sudden I realized that I was still wearing my tiara! How embarrassing is that? Dressed in my orange sweats and fleece pullover, and wearing a cheap dollar store tiara. Oh well, I said, just goes to show that even yard work can be glamorous!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I Caved

Yes, I turned the furnace on. But I had a good reason. Turns out that my fridge is on the fritz, and I really didn't want to have the fridge and the furnace on the fritz at the same time, so I had to turn on the heat to make sure the furnace was working properly. And now that I've turned it on ... I might as well leave it on.

Put in a service call on the fridge - the earliest appointment I could get is next Thursday. I'll be in Vegas next Thursday, so I scheduled at the earliest convenient time for me - Halloween. Good thing I have two mini fridges floating around the house. But going out to the porch to get my milk and my OJ will get old mighty fast.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Where's My Tea Bag?

Still holding out on the heat, so I'm trying to keep warm by bundling up in fleece and drinking hot tea. Just went to make a new cup and I can't find the tea bag and spoon from the last cup. Yes, I re-use my tea bags. I make it so weak to begin with that there's plenty of flavor left for a second brew. For me, it's all about the honey and lemon that I add and not so much about the tea.

So, my interview went well today. I was there for two and a half hours. That tells me they are serious about me - you don't spend that much time with someone in an introductory interview. As I may have mentioned, this is a brand new position and the company hasn't even advertised the job yet. I may have the inside track. It's something completely different from what I've been doing (the official job title is Internet Marketing Coordinator - how much more completely different can I get?) and I am interested in this position. They need to talk amongst themselves and then they'll call me within a week - hopefully to make me an offer. Show me the money!

In the mean time, I'm working on an agenda for the @*#$! committee meeting I have scheduled for tomorrow night. I swear - this is the last damn fund raising I am ever going to do! And I still need to go back and do some more research for that dog bandana company.

If you need a bandana for your dog, go to Quigleys By Oliver and order one. They even have Halloween prints! Don't let the prices scare you - these are top quality reversible bandanas, so you're getting two for the price of one. Plus, many bandanas have additional embroidery, so there's an additional value added.

Of course, if cost is not an issue, then try the couture line. Nothing but the best for man's best friend!

9:09 p.m.
Update: I found my tea bag. In the bathroom. Don't ask.

Monday, October 17, 2005

63 and Holding

I made it through the weekend without turning the heat on.

I always try to make it to October 1, and if I make it that far, I aim for October 15. Having made it past the 15th, I set my sights on Halloween, but with each passing day (and each declining degree) my resolve dissolves just a little bit more. So if I don't make it until the 31st I certainly won't beat myself up about it.

I'm going to work at my temporary gig today instead of tomorrow because I have an interview tomorrow. My resume is circulating amongst people I don't know, and somehow it landed in the hands of someone who recognized my many talents and wants to examine me a little bit closer. Works for me!

My darling Rich, on the other hand, isn't faring as well. He had an interview a week ago and he was really hoping he'd hear something and so far - silence. It really bites the big one. And this morning he had a flat tire so he's just generally not in a good mood. I'm hoping a bit of the good luck rubs off on him. I hate to see him so down.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Cruise Countdown: 42 Days

Did I mention I'm going on a cruise? On the Queen Mary 2? And our sailing date is only six weeks away?

I'm starting to get excited.

And if twelve days on a Caribbean cruise isn't enough to get your panties wet, consider this:

We got upgraded.

Yeah, we signed up for the cheap seats but figured what the hell, we won't be spending much time in the room anyway. We booked early enough so that if there were any upgrades to be had, we were on the list. Maybe, just maybe, we'd get a room with a view.

But The Gods have been smiling on fair Kenna Fearing all year long, and she (and her faithful sidekick, Susan) got upgraded to a balcony! Don't ask us how, we don't care. We're just happier than pigs in shit.

But wait - there's more! Turns out there's a slight change in our itinerary. Sorry, folks, but would you mind if we stopped in Tortola instead of Puerto Rico? I should think not!

And I haven't forgotten my promise for all of you to come with. I am taking my laptop and my digital camera and Susan and I plan on doing daily posts. Just to share the joy - not to rub in the fact that we're on the freakin' QM2 enjoying our balcony view whilst all our meals are prepared for us and we're dining in the lap of luxury, enjoying the warm sunny weather while all our friends are freezing their asses off in upstate NY.

Can't. Wait.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

It's Time

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, it's that time of year again ... time to play "How Long Can I Go Without Heat?" Last week was spectacular - the temperature was about 20 degrees above normal and we had brilliant blue skies and bright sunny days. Much more like August than October, except without the humidity. Just perfect.

It all changed on Friday, and now it's back to normal. So the inside temperature is 63 degrees and I'm wondering how long I can go before I buckle and turn on the furnace?

Anyone want to lay bets?

A Day Late and A Dollar Short

Last year I had copied down a bunch of Oscar Wilde quotes and spewed forth with a few of them with the title "Wilde About Oscar." Was just scrolling through my gmail account (because they say 'with this much space you never have to delete a message' and so I have a lot of messages in there that haven't been deleted, nor have they been organized in folders because the folks at Google don't believe in that, they think it's easier to just search through all your messages than worry about storing things in folders, but I digress ...) and saw this quote. It's a day late, but what the hell:

"America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up."

- Oscar Wilde

Long Weekend

Yes, it was a long weekend. Literally and figuratively.

Went home and helped my mother clean out my grandparents apartment in the assisted living facility. Luckily my aunt works at a nursing home, and she was able to secure two rooms for my grandparents. They have to be in separate rooms, but they are just 50 feet down the hall from each other. Might as well be 5 miles - my grandmother can't walk after breaking her hip and my grandfather probably couldn't find her room if he tried.

I give a lot of credit to people who take care of the sick and elderly. A thankless job. We were there setting up their rooms, trying to make it cozy and most of the other residents were in the lounge listening to the Sunday preacher, full of fire and brimstone. I didn't see too many other visitors, and if I'm honest, that's probably the first and last time I'll visit my grandparents in that facility. I've never felt close to them, and it's four hours away so ...

Came back with aches and pains and a sore throat. Decided to call in sick today - just wasn't up to working. I need to catch up with myself here. And follow up on a few job leads. But first - a nap.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

In A Fog

It seems like I'm living in fog. Everything is hazy and blended together. One day melts into the next and I wake up wondering what I did last night and what am I supposed to do today? It's strange and eerie and yet, somehow, comfortable all at the same time.

I'm doing it again - blogging On Company Time. I did such a kick-ass job of writing a letter and identifying nearly 400 potential donors who, by the way, have collectively given this place over $200,000 over the past 12-15 years, that I felt I deserved a little time to catch up with myself. (P.S. One of these donors has given over $11,000 and they don't even know who he is!!)

So. Had a committee meeting from hell on Tuesday. My co-chair left there feeling so defeated. I felt for her, but we had to listen to this tirade from our designer because, well, she designs all of our invitations and printed materials for free and she also rounds up other donations of free printing and such, so we had to let her talk out loud. She was going on about how are we going to sell this speaker we've lined up? No one has heard of her, so how are we going to get people to come?

She has a valid point, but she wouldn't listen to my point which is this: we've already lined up 25% of the money we need to pay this speaker and I have asks out there to cover the other 75%. If we line up enough sponsorships, I don't care if anyone comes. Seriously. Besides, one of the potential sponsors is the local business journal, and I guarantee you that if they agree to be a sponsor we won't have any worries about "selling" this event. I just spoke to another potential sponsor, the local bank, and I was assured that they would get back to me, "most likely with a check."

But anyway.

One good thing to come out of the meeting was a job lead from my friend Nancy. She told me that the director of communications for a local arts organization had left. So, I dropped a resume in the mail. I hadn't seen the position advertised, maybe it hasn't been advertised. Maybe I'll have extraordinarily good timing and something will come of this. We'll see.

I'm looking ahead to the weekend, trying to create a list of all the things I need to do before I head out. It could potentially be a long weekend. My mother is trying to figure out what to do with my grandparents. They are currently in an assisted living facility, but Grandma fell and broke her hip last weekend and Grandpa has been doing inappropriate things, that is, whenever he actually gets out of bed. So, nursing homes may be in order. And they may not be able to stay together because my grandmother is going to need rehab. Oh joy.

Okay. Enough for now. Later.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Sign of the Times

You know how I like to make note of clever license plates? Well, I saw this one in one of those damn forwarded emails that for once I happened to open. Enjoy!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Busy, Busy!

I'm just blown away by how busy I am.

I haven't had time to blog or to read other blogs. I manage to keep myself busy every day and I don't have time to do anything other than lead a busy full life. Makes me realize just how little I was being asked to do at my job.

So. The job fair. Well, I did have one potential employer show up, and I do have a follow-up meeting later this week. It's a web production company - they create and maintain web sites but also focus on search engine optimization. They are interested in my writing skills and may also want me to do some sales. And I totally plan on claiming all the expenses on my taxes, so it was well worth it!

I went on a house tour with my friend Mary over the weekend. All these great new homes and I wish that I was wealthy and successful enough to own one of them. I could just see myself lounging by that pool, relaxing in that den, reading on that sun porch, sweating in that sauna. In my dreams.

Took Trucklet in for a check-up this morning. Dropped her off and then walked two miles home. Worked on the computer and made some phone calls this morning, and then allowed myself to relax a bit this afternoon. It was a picture perfect day and I deserved to relax in the sun and read a little of the latest issue of "O" magazine, didn't I? Then walked two miles back to the Honda dealership and along the way saw some free chicken wire set out by the road. I picked it up on the way back. I need it to mulch in my hydrangeas and also to put up along the curb to keep the plows away from my brick wall when winter comes.

When winter comes. I'm dreading it. Got my utility bill today and it was $120 and I didn't even use the furnace during September. I'm playing that game with myself - seeing how long I can go before I turn the heat on. With the price of gas, I'm going to push myself to November if it kills me.

Of course, it helps when you have another warm body in your bed to snuggle up to.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Warning Signs

Yesterday before I went to my consulting gig, I attempted to check my email and download some documents to my memory stick. I usually just leave my laptop on all the time, and after a period of time, the laptop just goes into low power mode. To bring it out, I just tap on the touch pad. When I tapped on the touch pad - nothing.

It freaked me out for a moment, because I had a problem with the screen just a year ago, and fortunately it was still under warrenty. I could just see my computer going on my now - resumes to be printed, research to be done and no laptop. Luckily it came back up when I rebooted. Same thing this morning. I don't know what I should do - shut down after each use? It just takes so freaking long to reboot, and I thought I was saving on the power switch by just leaving it on all the time.

All I know is I can't afford to be without a computer. I backed up the docs I needed. Still. Unsettling.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Note to QUITBUTS: Quit Flossing

I've mentioned before that I like to make note of clever license plates.

This morning, on my way to work, I came up on a car that had a plate reading QUITBUTS. "How clever," I thought. I had a smile on my face until I pulled along side the car and noticed that the driver was FLOSSING HER TEETH.

I think that's the most outrageous thing I've ever seen. I'm bothered enough by people who talk on their phones, and I know that lots of women try to apply their makeup when they are driving (I even once saw a woman using an eyelash curler), but flossing your teeth? Totally over the top.

So here I am in the office, blogging On Company Time. I'm the only one here - everyone else is at some big meeting at the cross town office. It's going to take some time to adjust going back to work. I'm constantly tired - and I'm not even working full time! Of course, there is a 40 minute commute each way, and traffic (and drivers flossing their teeth) to be dealt with, so that is certainly more stressful than my previous 10 minute stroll to the office.

I know have three potential employers who are officially attending my job fair on Friday. I'm trying to prepare for that too, so that's another reason why I'm feeling tired and stressed - just not enough hours in the day to properly plan a party when you have to work. I did some shopping yesterday and will be making another stop at the grocery store on my way home today, so I should be set with supplies. Now I just need to pull it all together.

I need to find the time to:

1) fix the toilet paper holder in the bathroom (tonight)
2) prepare the hot crab spread/dip (Thurs night)
3) prepare the artichoke dip (Thurs night)
4) marinate the shrimp (tonight or tomorrow night)
5) prepare the scallops wrapped in bacon (Friday morning)
6) print out copies of my resume (tonight?)
7) make a job fair sign to hang out front (tonight?)
8) blow up the balloons (Friday afternoon)
9) mow the lawn (Friday before I take a shower)
10) set up the charcoal grill (Friday before I take a shower)
11) make ice (hell, I can do that in my sleep!)
12) set up the glasses and booze (Friday)

Yeah, I think I have it under control. Except that doesn't account for anything not related to the party like setting up a committee meeting, sending sponsorship letters, and doing more internet research for the doggie bandana company. Last night when I talked to Rich on the phone he told me I think too much and that I needed to just turn off my brain. Wish I could.

Back to work.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Breakfast for Dinner

It's a good thing.

Things I Took For Granted

That there would be some standards for correspondence.
That someone would know how to load letterhead in the printer.
That the printer would have an envelope feeder.

I didn't assume that anyone would know how to do a word merge, and I was perfectly fine doing that myself. Still. Guess that's why they are paying me the big bucks.

Monday, September 26, 2005

It's Something

That's the catch phrase that Rich and I have been trading a lot. As we each go about our job searches, whenever the other has a bit of news to report, the other responds "Hey, it's something."

Today's something is a local businesswoman asking me to send her my resume and writing samples. She has a web production business, but is really trying to ramp up the search engine optimization side of the business, and she needs writers. I had talked to her a few years ago about doing some sales for her, totally freelance. She can't make it to my job fair on Friday, but we'll talk something next week, and maybe between writing and some sales, I can patch together a full-time job.

It's something.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

When In Doubt ...

... consult online tech support.

They say that I shouldn't need a driver with Windows XP, but since I wasn't able to connect, I downloaded the most up-to-date driver. So now I can show you the marked improvement in my lawn.

That is, if I can get Blogger image hosting to work. I keep uploading and then the window goes blank and it says "Done" in the bottom left corner, but of course it really isn't done. It's supposed to go to a blue button that says done - it ain't done until you click done.

Sigh. Do you get the feeling I'm not going to be able to get past this? It's sucking my Sunday afternoon and I still have much to do.

In other news, I found this tucked away on the top shelf of my kitchen cabinets. I thought I'd give it a shot, but I could see that the product had clearly started to separate, and I just didn't want to chance it. Besides, I'm not crazy about coffee flavored anything. I like the way it smells, but I don't drink the stuff.

(Photos brought to you by virtue of my sheer brilliance and deducing that the photos had uploaded, I just hadn't been given the html code. I copied code from another previously uploaded photo, edited the .jpg tag number and voila - photos.)

Note to Canon: Your Camera Sucks

I've wasted an hour and a half trying to download pictures from my Canon PowerShot S50.

I knew I shouldn't have ordered it off EBay. Yeah, it was NIB. Probably 'fell of a truck' somewhere. Basically it's been a good camera, but the preview screen blew on me a few months back, and now my computer won't recognize it to download photos. It's a problem I've had intermittantly, but I've restarted my computer three or four times now to no avail.

I wanted to show you the most recent photo of my lawn. What a difference a week (and daily watering) makes! I've got lush new green growth. I even mowed it on Friday before my weekend guests arrived.

Speaking of my weekend guests, we had a great time last night. Steve and Nina were up from Baltimore, and Don and Judy stopped by and I cooked a great Oktoberfest feast featuring beer soaked bratwurst. Rich came over and Susan made an after dinner appearance and we all continued to drink and laugh and I put on an impromptu fashion show.

Holding my own personal job fair was declared "outstanding" and Don and Judy promised they would be back next Friday with a job lead - perhaps even bringing the potential employer with them. I'm starting to think that I just might be on to something. We shall see.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


* wrote the preceding post last night but had problems publishing

* worked six hours (!) today, had to deal with traffic, went to a reception at 5:30 and had a meeting at 7:00. Didn't get home until 8:45. Still exhausted.

* The meeting? With those ladies making doggie bandanas. They hired me to do some internet sleuthing - find dog boutiques and other outlets for their product. I know some of you will be interested in hearing more!

* Did I mention my upcoming party? That the theme is 'help me find a job' by bringing leads and contacts? And that I sent invitations to a number of businesses? Yeah, it's fucking brilliant. Can't wait to see how it goes.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


This work thing is wearing me out.

Had trouble sleeping last night. Probably because I knew I had to go to work today. And I didn't even work a full day. I went to my pilates class as per usual and reported for work at 11:00. But then I did work straight through until 4:00.

I should get out of the house more often - when I came home today I had four messages. At first I thought I might already be receiving responses to my Job Fair invitations, but it wasn't to be. But one of the messages was a possible job opportunity.

A woman I used to work with has started a business with a friend of hers making (I kid you not) doggie bandanas. They are actually getting enough business that they need someone to manage their database and mine the internet for business. Hey, I can do that. I have a meeting to talk more about it tomorrow night.

It's still just temporary; I doubt I can make a living from these various part-time gigs. Still, it's a start.

It's something.

Monday, September 19, 2005

From The Front Line

Remember Larry? The guy I went to New Orleans with back in June? Well, he's in New Orleans again. He's with the National Guard and he's been sent to help with the recovery efforts. Here are a few photos he shared with me last week:

Things are going well here today. I managed to get through to a few people on the phone regarding a fund raiser I'm co-chairing in February (honest - this is the LAST fund raiser that I'm going to work on!). I'm hopeful that I may have planted the seeds for corporate sponsorships of up to $7,500.

I got the invitations for my job fair out, and I'm working on resume/cover letter for a position at a local college. I start my temporary job tomorrow, and everything is cool with the unenjoyment - er, unemployment - office. I just won't claim benefits the weeks I'm working, and then I can start claiming again once the temporary job has ended.

Rich is coming over for dinner - we're having shrimp scampi, yum!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Isn't It Customary ...

... to ask before you place a political sign in someone's yard?

A friend of mine is the campaign chair for a candidate for city council, and he just drove up in front of my house, got out of his car, and placed a sign in my yard. Without asking.

Granted, I know the candidate - I voted for him last time around and have every intention of voting for him this year. But having the sign placed in my yard without so much as a 'how do you do' just fries my ass.


Gas is now $2.89 $2.85/gallon. And to think I made a point of filling up at $3.25 last Saturday.

Slowly but surely, my lawn is sprouting new grass growth.

Yesterday was Dan's birthday, and we had a nice chat on the phone last night.

I haven't checked my Mega Millions ticket yet, but since I haven't heard that the winning ticket was sold right here in my town, well ...

I caved and turned the air conditioning back on. It was just too humid and sticky.

I got a job! Well, sort of. I'm going to be working on a part-time temporary basis for a school for children with developmental disabilities. It's like a 45 minute commute each way, but at least it's something, and it will extend my unemployment benefits that much longer. I think. Gotta check into that one.

My new favorite product is Garnier Fructis Fiber Gum Putty. It really holds the curl in my hair without making it sticky. And when you go to their web site their ditty plays "woo-hoo!" over and over and over and over again.


Thursday, September 15, 2005

Show Me The Love

The Mega Millions jackpot is now $250 million dollars and I got me a ticket.

Old timers will recall that if I win, I am willing to share my luck and good fortune with my blogger buddies - IF you show me the love.

Go ahead. Shower me with adoration and adulation. I love this stuff!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Today's Mail

Being unemployed and at home during the day, I look forward to the day's mail. Yesterday I got a few checks that I'd been waiting for, so it was a good day. Today, my mailbox belched up a couple of mixed messages.

Yankee magazine wants me to order my Christmas cards through them, with free imprinting. I think I'll pass.

A charity sent me return address labels along with a request for a contribution. Am I a bad person if I use the labels but don't make a donation?

And the Rick Renner Ministries from Tulsa Oklahoma sent me an envelope with the message "In the heart of the former Atheist Empire, God is working miracles!" emblazoned across the front. I threw it away without even opening it.

In other news, despite my protestations that I wasn't going to kill myself doing yardwork around here because my landlords do not appreciate the time and effort that it takes to keep their property looking this good, I spent three hours in the yard this morning (this is after the 8 1/2 hours I'd already put in since last Thursday) finishing up the resoration process.

See, the thing about people with money? The more money you have, the fewer brains you have.

They didn't notice that somehow the sprinkler system got mucked up, and they were wondering why the grass was burning off in early August. Um, hot humid weather and no rain?

So I've been out there raking up the dead grass, working up the soil, re-raking even more of the dead material, digging deeper to work up the soil, pulling crabgrass and clover, and generally breaking my back with this manual labor. I spread the grass seed today. Let's see what I have in a few weeks.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Thank You, Neil

Found my battery charger - in my overnight bag. I hadn't yet unpacked it, and even though I'd rummaged through it before, it wasn't until I actually took things out that I found that bad boy. Good thing too - I did a quick search this morning to see what it might cost to replace it and it looks like the stupid thing goes for $88 - reconditioned!

I really hate proprietary accessories.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

My New Pink Shoes

I may be unemployed, but I needed these pink shoes.

In other news, I can't seem to find the battery charger for my digital camera. I've looked everywhere. Anyone have any suggestions on where else to look?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Quit Yer Bitchin'

Now that I'm paying $3.29 or more for a gallon of gas, I'm nostalgic for these days.

Doritos for Dinner

Yeah, I had a bag of Doritos for dinner last night.

But I don't think that's what gave me the migraine this morning. I think the migraine came from being away over the weekend, coming back, having to mow the lawn, rushing off to a last-minute barbeque, not sleeping Monday night, and then moving all my shit yesterday. And, oh yeah, being unemployed.

My life and my home may be a mess, but I still knew where to find the Imitrex. Good thing I had the prescription refilled before losing my health insurance.

On another note, now that I'm watching the news again, I've noticed that the morning traffic reporter now says "we'll update you again in 30 minutes, or as the situation warrants." Is this a new thing? Is this basic cover your ass reporting?

"Yes, we'll update you every thirty minutes, but if there is breaking news we'll tell you right away because we don't want to be accused of not informing and preparing you in case of an emergency."

Sigh. Life in post 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina society.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Comfortable in My Skin

Ms. A. R. posed a question to me in the comments. She asked why, when I initially started this blog anonymously, did I begin to share its existence with friends and family?

At first, I wasn't going to answer that question. In some respects, the answer to the question is as private as my initial reasons for writing under a pseudonym. But I'm just tired enough (and possibly, drunk enough) to answer that question.

Anonymity gives you flexibility. You don't need to defend your words or your actions. Coming out and stating your thoughts and opinions is an entirely different matter. I've said previously that I admire those who reveal their names and faces - most specifically, John and Jenica. They got balls.

When I first started this blog - not so much in the balls department. I was still trying to figure out who I was, to be comfortable in my skin. I've given my real name, address and phone number to several of my readers. I've sent you postcards. I've been the lucky recipient of several mixed CDs and other gifts and greetings. As this blog has evolved, so have I.

I'm at a place where I'm confident in my talents and abilities. There are still many questions about my future, but I know that ultimately I'll come out of this a better person.

Whoever I am.

I Can't Sleep

As evidenced by the time stamp on this post.

Have been tossing and turning for the last two hours and finally decided to just get up and do something. I have been away since last Thursday and I just got home yesterday afternoon. I feel like I've been disconnected from myself; maybe this will help me bring myself up to date.

The situation in the Gulf Coast has been on my mind a lot, and I shared John's and Matt's blogs with my parents so they could get first hand accounts of what is happening down there. They know that I have a blog, but I've never shared it with them. There is a very good chance that my mother will find this as she goes through John's blogroll.

There's nothing here that I'm ashamed of, and not much that my friends and family don't know. But I have written under a pseudonym for a reason (although I'm not sure I can articulate that reason here and now, especially since I recently let my good friend Susan in on the 'secret') and I hope that when and if my mother does find this blog, that she lets me know. Just tell me that you found it, Mom, and if you do comment, please don't do it anonymously. Sign your comments "Kenna's Mom" okay? If you want, I'll even help you get a gravatar.

On to other news ... my sister has decided to get married in Vegas at the end of October. Remember that white party dress I bought when I was on the west coast? Well, there is a good chance she may borrow that for the ceremony. I'll be there to witness the event - look forward to those photos!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Oh God ... The Prisoners

Have been watching CNN all day. It's unbelieveable. And just now, I saw footage of prisoners that were evacuated from the jail. They are sitting on a ramp with armed guards standing nearby. People have no where to go ... no food ... no water. It's a nightmare.

A blogger I occasionally read (because he is a graduate of the college where I once worked and once upon a time I agreed to beta test some software for him) is Matt Fotter. He lives in the greater New Orleans area and he evacuated to Memphis. He has no idea when or how he'll be able to go home.

One piece of good news - John Strain was able to record an audio post. He is fine, his family is fine, and his house is still standing with only some minor damage from a downed tree in the yard.

Friday, August 26, 2005

And We're Off!

Headed to the Hamptons for the weekend. Will let you know if I spot any celebrities, but chances aren't good since I'll be hanging at a private residence and won't be strolling downtown or any of the late night haunts.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Don't Touch That Dial

There's a change in the air. The nights are cooler and the humidity that hovered for days on end seems to have disappeared. I had to adjust Trucklet's thermostat as I was driving home tonight - I needed heat on my feet. Summer is winding down. Heavy sigh.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Old Friends

Yup, procrastinating again. I really should (I hate that word and the way it makes me feel) be writing up a follow-up note to that potential event sponsor I spoke to yesterday, but I thought I'd weigh in here first.

My old friend Jim called me last night and we met for a drink. We were supposed to have seen each other at an event last Thursday, but things got hectic for him at work and he couldn't get away.

Jim is a good guy, but quite frankly, I think he's an alcoholic. He always drank - a lot. He was such a high functioning alcoholic that when I last saw him about a year ago, I didn't even realize he was drunk at the time. He's cut way back on his drinking in the last year, however, and I think he knows he has a problem. "Yeah, I'm not drinking as much. And I realized that when I do drink, I drink to oblivion." Glad he's cleaned up his act.

I have another set of old friends that I'm preparing to see this weekend. My old college chums. Most of them got married around the same time I did, with the exception of Scott who is (finally!) engaged to be married in January. It's going to be a little strange seeing them all again because they all still married and have two or three kids. It's hard to think of them as responsible adults - these are the people I partied with, the people who lived with me on the third floor, the people who I will always remember as being 19.

I only see them every 4 or 5 years or so, so I'm going to have to squeeze a whole lot of catching up into the weekend. And I guess that starts with doing what needs to be done today. Later.

Monday, August 22, 2005

I Feel Fat

And is it any wonder? I've been sitting on my ass all month! First I was gone on the trip, and of course I used that as an excuse not to exercise - "I'm on vacation!" But I've been back from vacation for a week now, and the eating hasn't stopped. Of course, how could I turn down this Bishoku Moirawasa?

And going to Montreal with Susan didn't help, because with Susan, it's all about the food. She thinks that chocolate is a food group (see below). Of course, she also is extremely disciplined, so she can stop eating. Not me - we bought that box of Godiva chocolates and I could not rest until it was gone. "I could make it last a week," Susan bragged.

Oh yeah? Good for you. Give me that nouget crunch and I'll be happy.

Seriously, we had a nice getaway weekend. That is, until we tried to cross the border back into the good old U.S. of A. Those border patrol people could sure use a few lessons in organzation and crowd control. The lanes were poorly marked, and they had five lanes merging into three and then expanding back out into five again and the lanes curved and you couldn't see what the fuck was going on until it was too late and you were stuck in the goddam middle lane and folks on both sides of you were trying to jockey back and forth and it was just about enough to make you burst a vessle.

But I didn't. Of course, after that, I asked Susan to drive. We got home around 4:00 yesterday afternoon. Well, I was home (sort of) but Susan still had another hour's drive to get back to her place. And today I'm just procrastinating, once again.

As evidenced by this post.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Susan Speaks

Hey, everybody. Today's entry comes from me. I don't where the hell Kenna is. She's probably out prancing naked in the fountain in front of our hotel asking passersby to take her picture. What hotel, you ask? Kenna won a weekend for two to Montreal from our local radio station. She originally invited a fella to join her, but he bailed. (You know who you are if you're reading this. Silly boy.) So here we are in Montreal. Today we wandered through Chinatown and Old Montreal, had some great food, and did a little shoppping. I'm sure Kenna will have more to report to you in another entry, whenever she gets back from her latest adventure. Au revoir!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

There's Gotta Be A Word For It

What do you call it when you're attracted to and repelled by something at the same time? Because for some strange reason I feel that way about Scott Grimes.

I keep hearing his song "Livin' On The Run" on the radio, and this is after his cover of "Sunset Blvd." I find myself singing along and liking the song, but at the same time I'm thinking, "Scott Grimes? Scott Grimes?"

I really detest his character on "e.r." (yes, I know - it's the character I detest) but at the same time, I remember him being a character on "Party of Five" which was one of my favorite television shows. My Ex used to make fun of me for watching it, but I thought it was a good show.

So I have a love-hate relationship with Scott Grimes. Do I or don't I download the song? I am anxiously awaiting your response - and the ensuing debate about my musical tastes.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Susan Said I Should ...

... post this photo:

As I've mentioned, we're taking a cruise at the end of the year, and I am constantly searching for formal wear. I wanted a white dress, and I found this one at Macy's in Spokane. Only $40! Martha and I had a little fun going out and posing around her neighborhood, and we thought this might be a good shot.

Hey, if it's not fun, why bother?

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Good Night, Seattle!

We had such an awesome day. Went to the top of the Space Needle, rode the monorail, strolled through Pike Street Market, wandered through the aquarium and had an amazing lunch and dinner. Here's what we had at Anthony's Pier 66 last night:

Seattle was warm but not hot or humid. Not a cloud in the sky. And completely colorful:

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Scenes from Spokane

I really enjoyed spending a few days in Spokane WA. In addition to introducing me to The Derailer, Martha introduced me to the bears around town (but is it art?):

On Friday we took a little side trip to Idaho. I looked down and saw this for r:

And if my sister can't decide where or how to get married, she can always just go to The Hitching Post in Coeur d'Alene:

Friday, August 12, 2005

If It's Saturday ...

... I must be in Seattle.

What a long trip it's been! As you heard in the audiopost, the train ride from LA to Spokane had a few twists and turns. We were dumped off the train in Klamath Falls OR when they realized that the train was already 3 1/2 hours behind schedule and there was no way we would make our Portland connection. So we prepared for seven hours on the bus. And it was all going swimmingly until we blew a tire just outside of Biggs, OR. It just so happens that I took a few photos at the crossroads where we stopped before the tire blew:

It wasn't all bad - the driver immediately called for repairs and put "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" into the video system. As luck would have it, the train out of Portland was late as well (surprise, surprise) and we did make the connection in Pasco WA around 10:00 p.m. Finally arrived at 1:00 a.m. on Weds.

Enjoyed the last two days in eastern Washington and northern Idaho. Have really enjoyed reconnecting with my friend Martha - she introduced me to something called The Derailer - I think it's slang for train wreck, because with seven shots of alcohol, it's bound to knock you on your ass:

Just got back from a nice seafood dinner and we're skimming through all of the pamphlets and brochures trying to decide what we're going to do tomorrow. More stories and photos later; have a good weekend, all.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Baja Cantina

Grilled steak tostada with sour cream and guacamole; one Corona.

“You’re So Cute!”

Uttered to me yesterday by an elderly man in a wheelchair as I strolled through Horton Plaza. It wasn’t the first time an older man in a wheelchair had struck up a conversation with me when I was in San Diego. The day before an amputee chatted with me while I waited for the # 7 bus.

Maybe I can become a pin-up girl for New Mobility or Sports 'N Spokes.

I’m on the train now. No internet access but I’m preparing this post for when I disembark. Here are a few parting shots:

Friday, August 05, 2005

Eh - Fuck It

I was trying to keep to the whole "Unemployment: Day Whatever" theme like I did when I took my unused vacation days back in May and June but you know what? Fuck it.

This is so not about being unemployed.

That is not my focus right now. Right now I am relaxing and just enjoying life. And that's okay. (Bold and italicized to underscore the point to myself.) At some point, probably soon, I will be focused on my employment status, and maybe then I'll pick up the mantra, but for now, I just don't care.

The internal alarm clock had me up at 6:30 again. Looks cloudy and overcast out there today, so I'll need to be especially careful when I go outside - I know that it's days like these that can fry my lily white skin. Which is not so lily white since I've been going to the tanning booth since April, but still.

Okay - off in search of breakfast. More later.

Meeting Maria

this is an audio post - click to play

Kenna and Maria

P.S. In honor of our meeting (and in part because it was already long overdue) I am pleased to announce that Maria has been promoted. She is now A Perfect Fit!

Thursday, August 04, 2005


So I spent my day at the San Diego Zoo and all I could do was obsess about this typo:

Career Opportunity

Unemployment: Day Twenty-Four

As expected, I'm getting an early start on the day. Despite the time stamp of this post (my laptop is still on east coast time) it is 6:24 a.m. I've been up for almost an hour already. I tried to stay awake as long as possible last night so I could adjust to the time change, but I think it will take me another day or two.

Or maybe tonight will do the trick. I'm sure I'll be out late with my special visitor. More on that later.

Today's agenda ... to the zoo. Sit by the pool. Read. Contemplate life.

I've thought more about the recruiter who called me yesterday. I returned his call and all went well until he asked me how much I was making in my previous job. I said "I'm not supposed to tell you that!" and he was completely flabbergasted. I've always been told, never tell a prospective employer what you were making in a previous position. If you do, you give them leverage. If you were making $10/hour and they were thinking of paying $20/hour, suddenly they realize that they can offer you $12/hour and they'll save money and you'll be happy you got a 20% increase.

So I wouldn't tell him and he seemed very confused about it all. Finally he mentioned a range and I told him that I certainly would fit into that range - the high end of the range. Of course, I was previously making the low end of the range. But he doesn't need to know that. And if he did know that, then when and if an offer was made, you can better believe it would be the low end of the range. Employers want to pay you as little as they can - not what you are worth.

And it got me thinking even more. You know what? I don't want the fucking job in the first place. I don't want to be a fund raiser any more. You couldn't pay me enough to keep doing what I've been doing for the past 20 years. I'm sick and tired of it and I'm not going to do it any more. It's time for a change.

And with that - time to change into my clothes and go out and greet the day.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Unemployment: Day Twenty-Three

Hello from the west coast! I made my escape and not a moment too soon - while I was en route a recruiter called me wanting to talk about a fund raising job. NOOOOOO!!!

Actually, I will take the meeting upon my return. Even if nothing comes of it, the recruiter may have other jobs that might be a better fit.

Okay - I am in the land of sunshine and palm trees. I cannot stay in this hotel room any longer. Out I go - more later.

THIS JUST IN: In honor of my visit, Bai Yun gave birth to a new cub last night. Of course there is no chance of seeing the latest addition to the panda family, but I'm headed to the zoo tomorrow nonetheless. (Yes, in case you haven't figured it out, I'm in San Diego. And the surprises won't stop here - stay tuned; tomorrow I will entertain a special visitor!)

8:46 p.m. The views from the pool deck ...

Hotel Solamar - Bar PoolHotel Solamar - Pool DeckPETCO Park

Sunday, July 31, 2005


Just blew back into town after a quick trip to see the family. I was barely gone 24 hours, and eight hours of that was spent on the road, driving. Add another eight hours for sleeping and well, like I said, it was a quick trip.

But I needed to put in appearance at my future brother-in-law's surprise birthday party, and I knew that Mom and Dad really wanted to see me before I left for the west coast. They will worry about me while I'm gone.

Had a little excitement as I was walking the dog around the yard this morning. I saw a snake. It didn't move, so I thought/hoped it was dead, but my mom sprayed it with the hose (from a very safe distance of 40 feet or so) and it moved, so she called my dad out to kill it. I said to just let it be - it wasn't that big, and as long as it wasn't a rattlesnake, I wasn't worried. But I'm not the one who goes out there and hangs clothes on the line, sometimes barefoot, so Mom prevailed.

I haven't seen a snake in a long, long time. And I'm not sure I could have killed it myself. Dad pinned it down with the hoe, but he didn't quite finish it off until I brought him the shovel and he was able to thoroughly squash it between the metal blades. I did my part by carrying the shovel across the road and laying it on the shoulder to rot in the blazing sun.

I probably wouldn't have lasted long on the prarie.

I'm getting excited about my trip, although I am feeling angst about all the stuff I haven't done for these stupid fund raisers I agreed to help with. Why didn't I just say no? I think it was because I thought if I wasn't working, I needed to have something to do to keep me busy, and certainly these are the types of things I know how to do.

The only thing I forgot is that I hate doing fund raising.

Screw it. I'm going to do what I can in the next 48 hours and then everyone be damned. I'll be on a plane headed west and I won't be back for nearly two weeks. But don't worry - the laptop is coming with me, as is the digital camera and the cell phone. Oh yes, you're coming with me! It's gonna be great.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Unemployment: Day Twenty

Things are going well. Maybe too well.

Had a call from an acquaintance yesterday who is aware of my employment status. Turns out he has a job available, but it's not really one I want. He's doing a search but is afraid he may not be able to fill it, at least not as quickly as he would like. He asked if I might be interested in doing some consulting/contractual work. I might. We'll talk when I get back from the west coast.

Then I sent in my resume to a local bank. I'm probably overqualified for the job I applied for, but maybe they have something else available.

Went to the Chamber of Commerce mixer last night and saw a guy who has offered to let me edit his organization's newsletter. I've told him yes, but not until September. Just have too many things going on. Ran into a mortgage loan consultant who seemed to think that I could be a good mortgage broker.

What to do ... which direction to turn? It's great knowing that I have so many options. And today I choose to go see an early afternoon matinee of "Must Love Dogs" with my faithful sidekick, Susan. Have a great weekend, all.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Unemployment: Day Eighteen

Now I've seen it all.

Seriously, I love a gimmick. Now, I'm not going to run out to Target and buy their fall line, but I enjoyed the stunt.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Unemployment: Day Sixteen

Okay, so I'm feeling a bit better today.

Had an early meeting and came home and promptly knocked off the four follow-up items on my list. Did a few other things and then went to the gym and worked out for an hour. Am procrastinating for a few minutes here before I try to finally finish the last lingering details related to my position as treasurer for a statewide organization.

I almost don't want to mention it, because I try to keep the really personal details of my life in the infamous other blog, but part of the reason I'm feeling better is because after creating that whiney post yesterday, I spent the afternoon with this man. I've been seeing Rich for about a month now, and I think he likes me, he really likes me. Who knows what will come of it, but for now I'm just going to go with the "it's so great knowing that there is someone who enjoys being with me and who is excited to see me" feeling.

Kinda like having a dog. Except he feeds me and I don't have to take him for a walk or let him out to pee in the middle of the night.

2:14 p.m. NEWSFLASH!

My sister is getting married. Finally. Her significant other actually proposed in February, but she hadn't told anyone about it, and they hadn't made any plans. I guess my brother-in-law to be had had enough, because when they went to Cleveland over the weekend to see the Indians play, he proposed in a big way.

The mascot came with a dozen roses and there was a camera crew there to post it on the jumbotron. He gave her a ring and everything and my brother and sister-in-law were with them to capture the moment. How incredibly romantic.

It should be. He's only had 20 years to plan this.