Saturday, December 31, 2005

Yet another "Stolen From" post....

TEN RANDOM THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT ME
I covered this in another post.......

NINE PLACES I HAVE VISITED
1.) Charlottesville VA
2.) Thomasville GA
3.) Colorado Springs CO
4.) Jackson MS
5.) Biloxi MS
6.) Greensboro NC
7.) Chattanooga TN
8.) Ft. Payne AL
9.) Tallahassee FL

EIGHT WAYS TO WIN MY HEART
1.) sing to me
2.) write poetry to/for/about me
3.) cook for me
4.) be as much of a computer geek as me
5.) surprise me
6.) don't judge me
7.) love football
8.) you'll know the words to say.....

SEVEN THINGS I WANT TO DO BEFORE I DIE
1.) cut a CD
2.) win the lottery
3.) be a size 8
4.) write the Great American Novel (or at least a great facsimile thereof)
5.) create a cocktail and have it named after me
6.) meet Raul Malo
7.) travel abroad

SIX THINGS I AM AFRAID OF
1.) falling
2.) heights
3.) snakes
4.) spiders
5.) stinging insects
6.) damn dirty apes.... ;-)

FIVE THINGS I DON'T LIKE
1.) venison
2.) anime
3.) intolerant people
4.) beer (not alcohol, just beer)
5.) thrash metal

FOUR WAYS TO TURN ME OFF
1.) be intolerant
2.) be boring
3.) hate sports
4.) be unhygienic

THREE THINGS I DO EVERYDAY
1.) check my e-mail
2.) laugh
3.) sing

TWO THINGS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY
1.) a favorite song coming on the radio
2.) good news

ONE THING ON MY MIND RIGHT NOW
1.) where to get the CD I want for less than full price....

Friday, December 30, 2005

Desert Island discs

There really is a record collection out there called "Desert Island Discs" -- in fact I own one of them! And one of my earlier "stolen from..." posts this week asked me to list four that I couldn't live without.

It's more like forty, or even four hundred, that I couldn't live without. But if I had to pare it down to ten, here's what I'd choose (in no particular order):

1. Gold (Steely Dan; expanded edition) -- okay, I'm a major Fan O' The Dan. So having to choose simply one album of theirs, I picked this one over Decade or Greatest Hits or Two Against Nature or Aja or any of their others. Why this one? Why not?

2. Rubber Soul (Beatles) -- it's practically a tie with Revolver, but I give this one just a slight edge. Don't know why.... just something appealing about it.

3. Exile on Main Street (Rolling Stones) -- I find it very hard to choose between the Stones and the Beatles. I love them both. And I love '67-'73 Stones best of all. I picked Exile, but I'd prefer a 3-disc set (along with Sticky Fingers and Goat's Head Soup).

4. Gold (Frank Sinatra) -- he's been dead for some time, and this is some of his older stuff. It matters not. He can still melt the heart.

5. Moondance (Van Morrison) -- Because it's him. Singing. Romancing the soul. Awakening the senses. Making magic. That's reason enough.

6. Boston (Boston) -- one hell of a debut album. I just wish it didn't take them eons to produce additional albums.

7. Decade (Allman Brothers) -- yes, I'd pick this one over Live at the Fillmore East, but that's just me.

8. Getz/Gilberto -- okay, truly, I'd like to take with me the compilation that my "exchange brother" Marcio left with us when he returned to Brazil. Some incredible bossa nova by Joao Gilberto. But since it was a homegrown compilation (on cassette, no less!), and I have yet to find all the songs on one CD, I'll take this one. Good stuff, all the way around.

9. Very Best of (Eagles) -- I have seen them live, and friends, I am here to tell you that it was almost a religious experience. So this would have to be the one. And besides, it has "Please Come Home for Christmas" on there....

I can only pick one more?????? NO!!!!! You can't make me! I love them all! You can't make me choose! You can't, you can't, you can't!

10. Colors of the World (compilation). Allegro Records has a series by this name, but this was the first sampler -- all sorts of world music. I have the Latin and Celtic compilations and they're all great, but this one has a little of everything.



Thursday, December 29, 2005

Thanks to Bolivar and Talmadge,

I now have Eric Clapton and Meat Loaf going through my brain. An odd combination, but it's working. Thanks fellas!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Stolen from Mezzy's blog.....

Four jobs you've had in your life: Church secretary (heh heh heh)...; Call coordinator for Tier 3 customer service for a computer manufacturer; Computer lab assistant (basically, we reminded people to make sure paper was in the printer....); and, Telemarketer. Yes, I did this for the summer before I went to college, and Christmas break during my freshman year. It paid for books.

Four movies you could watch over and over: Blazing Saddles; Steel Magnolias; Revenge of the Nerds; Fletch/Fletch Lives

Four places you've lived: I've actually only lived in two..... my hometown (Liberty SC) and Charleston SC, where I went to college.

Four TV shows you love to watch: Law & Order (any of them), Whose Line Is It Anyway?, What Not to Wear (both the BBC and TLC versions), Celebrity Poker Showdown

Four websites you visit daily: Sweet Potato Queens, Blogger, IMDB, Wikipedia

Four of your favorite foods: Boneless Spare Ribs, Barbecue (mustard-based), chicken parmesan, turkey and dressing (my MAMA's dressing, preferably).

Four places you'd rather be: Charleston SC; Colorado Springs CO; Savannah GA; Fiji or Tahiti or Somoa or any other South Seas island.

Four albums you can't live without: GASP!!!!!! You'd make me choose FOUR??????? Okay..... these are four I adore, but there are MANY more I wouldn't want to live without: Gold (Steely Dan) --- The Very Best of The Eagles --- Rubber Soul (The Beatles) --- Hot Rocks, Vol. 1 (Rolling Stones)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

I've got a rock and roll heart...

Now, most of my friends know that I have a fondness for the music of Eric Clapton. I have a special place in my heart for one song in particular: "I've Got A Rock & Roll Heart." I loved it when it came out in '83, and I still love it whenever I hear it (which is rarely.....).

I have come to realize that in some ways, the song describes me. About eighteen months ago, my old boss was teasing me about someone from a nearby parish who spoke of me with great interest. Now, this person was also musically inclined but totally opposite of me. He was in a chamber orchestra or something like that; I sing pop. I've written papers on rock and roll history -- he had written a letter to the editor denouncing rock and roll: not as the devil's tool (to which I thought a very hearty "thank God"), but as "pablum for the masses."

Nuh-uh. You don't say that to me. No, no, no, no. And the song that went through my head as I thought of the incident was Clapton's "I've Got A Rock & Roll Heart." And that is me -- it's not that I don't enjoy the finer things in life, because I certainly do. I'm also at ease with simple tastes and simple pleasures. It's taken me many years, but I have finally learned to be comfortable in my own skin, with who I am, where I'm from, where I am. I have finally grown into a "what you see is what you get" person.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

A few random thoughts on the first day of Christmas...

BTW, a little factoid: Today is technically the First Day of Christmas. The Christmas season is NOT all the shopping days from Thanksgiving to December 24, but begins on December 25 and ends on Epiphany, January 6.

This holiday season has been full of wonderful gatherings and seeing friends near and far. I haven't done this much socializing in ages, and I have loved every moment of it! I have a few more holiday gatherings this week, and my family's gathering in mid-January -- and I can't wait!

Christmas Day is a small affair at our house. We have deliberately planned it that way, especially now that my parents are older and money is tighter. And like my dad, I have a tendency to buy myself stuff all through the year. If I need it or have the extra money for it, I get it then instead of putting it on a wish list. So this year, I got gift cards to Bed Bath and Beyond from the parents-- Mom said that she MEANT to get Bath & Body Works, but honestly I'm actually glad they're from the Triple B. I have been wanting some Egyptian cotton sheets or some other linens -- this is PERFECT! And my brother got me a DVD. Mom also got me a necklace/earring set -- YAY!

Last night, I went to a party at a friend's house, where we had homemade fajitas and lots of fun! Then I went to Midnight Mass. Now at my old parish, when we said, "Music begins at 11:15" we began to a mostly empty church as people straggled in. At the new parish, I got there at 11:15, and found a seat on the very back row -- it was packed!

I do miss, at times, the Christmas Days of my past. When I was a child, every Christmas Day was getting up fairly early (no later than 8) for present unwrapping, and getting ready for the trip to my grandmother's apartment. We usually made a casserole or two of some sort, or maybe one casserole and one vegetable, and a dessert -- and off we went. We were allowed to take ONE of our toys/presents with us, because otherwise, we were bored out of our skulls. Eventually, the rest of the family would get there, and dinner would commence around 1:00 or so. We grandchildren ate on her stair steps, usually with the older ones at the top, and the younger ones at the bottom. We would alternate the way we faced in order to have meaningful conversations!

As we got older, and Granny moved to a different apartment, it was held at their activity center, and then at my aunt's church. After Granny died, things went crazy as they often do in families.... And ever since then, Christmas gatherings have been with other people instead of my own family. I'm the one who plans the January gathering -- and I chose that time specifically because I didn't want people bitching and hollering about me cutting into their Christmas time!!!

I hope that your Christmas season is filled with faith, hope, love, dreams, wishes, fulfillments, and all good things.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Scenes from an American Restaurant

(with all apologies to Billy Joel)

Tonight I began my Christmas shopping. No, that is not a typo. BEGAN.

While out and about after work, I stopped off for a meal at an "American cuisine" restaurant (read: sit-down restaurant with a bar for sports fans). Behind me and over to my left was a gaggle of giggly girls. Lots of "shut UP y'all" and "yeah but was he looking at her like she says he was?" and "do you think he likes me? really?" They were a tad loud, enough that I caught a couple of other patrons rolling their eyes in their direction. While part of me wanted to go back and say, "Sweeties, please use your indoor voices!" I also remembered that it wasn't too long ago that I was that age -- out with my friends, obnoxious as hell (I'm sure) to all adults in my vicinity, and louder than I needed to be. God knows that M, T, and I were boy-crazy, giggly and goofy, and having the time of our life, not caring about anyone else around us. I smiled at the memories that brought, especially since we've grown and I have not stayed in touch with them as much as I ought to have done.

Also off to my left and a little closer toward me was someone -- don't know the gender or age -- who enjoyed all the songs that were coming over the speaker. How do I know? Because this person sang along every now and again. Good voice, too, especially on Al Wilson's "Show and Tell." They were playing a good 70s/80s mix with an occasional holiday song thrown in. I could have hugged the music programmer for that reason alone.

And it was a nice moment in the midst of the holiday hoo-ha and madness. Thank God for those moments.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

2 weeks to go to 2006....

And I am getting in that reflective mood. It isn't my last post of 2005, but I also figure that as long as I'm in the mood.......

2005 was a very good year for me -- but it didn't seem as if it would start out that way. A mere 50 weeks ago, I was sad, tired, burned-out, completely unsure of myself or my direction in life. When I decided to make a change, I discovered some wonderful things: I discovered that I was far more capable than I gave myself credit for. I found that I had a wealth of self-confidence -- it had been buried so long that I imagined it to be totally gone. I realized that I had a lot to offer the world. I found that I had the most amazing friends in the world, both 3-D and cyber-friends, who picked me up every time I needed a boost, and who still never let me forget how special I am, and how loved I am. I get a bit verklempt thinking of it.

If you have played any part in my transformation this year, then please accept my heartfelt thanks, my undying gratitude, and all my love. Your faith in me and your support of me has been a lifeline as I have blossomed. You will never know how much you have meant (and continue to mean) to me. Blessings on your kind and generous hearts and spirits!

Friday, December 16, 2005

One tired gal....

What a week!!!! We had an ice storm here, with about a 1/2 of ice on trees, power lines, and roads. I am one of the lucky ones -- we had almost no interruption at home or the office. There are nearly 700,000 customers in North and South Carolina who cannot say the same.

I work near at least 20 restaurants, all within about 1.5 miles of the office. Usually, it's a veritable feast for the palate. The last two days? Only one restaurant that we could find that was open. Today, it was about 5 -- and only two of them were in the main restaurant area. Let's just say that Wendy's and Atlanta Bread were doing BOOMING business, and yesterday "The Deli" (as we call it) got a BUTTLOAD of our business (at least 35 meals). And we were VERY grateful indeed that they were open and serving!

On the drive to work, I was stricken by the beauty of winter. One of the roads still had LOTS of ice-laden trees, and it was almost blinding in its beauty -- a very bright blue sky, and the trees that looked crystalline and white everywhere. It was amazing.

Wherever you are, stay warm!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

What Happens When A Girl Drinks Too Much

(please note that I do not speak from personal experience...... heh heh heh)

1. I absolutely have no idea where my purse is.

2. I believe that dancing with my arms overhead, wiggling my butt, and yelling "WOO-HOO!" is truly the sex-i-est dance move around!

3. I've suddenly decided I want to kick someone's ass -- and honestly believe I could do it, too!

4. In my last trip to pee, I realize I now look more like a homeless hooker than the Goddess I was just four hours ago!

5. I drop my 3:00 AM submarine sandwich on the floor (which I'm eating even though I'm not the least bit hungry), pick it up and carry on.

6. I start crying and telling everyone that I love them SOOOOO much.

7. I get extremely excited and jump up and down every time a new song plays because "OH MY GOD! I LOVE THIS SONG!"

8. I've found a deeper/spiritual side to the geek sitting next to me.

9. The man I'm flirting with used to be my 5th grade teacher.

10. The urge to take off articles of clothing, stand on a table, and sing and/or dance becomes strangely overwhelming.

11. My eyes just don't seem to want to stay open on their own, so I keep them half-closed and think it looks exotic.

12. I've suddenly taken up smoking -- and become really good at it!

13. I yell at the bartender, who (I think) cheated me by giving me just coke -- but that's just because I can no longer taste the rum.....

14. I think I'm in bed, but my pillow feels strangely like the kitchen floor.

15. I start every conversation with a booming, "Now don't take this the wrong way, but......"

16. I tend to fall into the toilet bowl when trying to sit on it (funny how that is normally NOT a problem).

17. My hugs begin to resemble wrestling take-down moves.

18. I'm tired, so I just sit on the floor (wherever I happen to be standing) and take a quick nap.

19. I begin leaving the buttons open on my button-fly pants to cut down on the time I'm in the bathroom away from my drink!

20. I take my shoes off because I believe it's their fault that I'm having problems walking straight.

21. When you think it's cool to dance and spank your own ass (or each others') at the same time ---- oh yeah, baby!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A real-life scare today.

I have one brother. For years, we fought like cats and dogs, but as we matured, we got to be good friends. Today, in the blink of an eye, I could have lost him.

My brother's office (a personal finance company) was robbed at gunpoint today. And the guy had a bomb that was later detonated. The guy got away with just a little stuff, and the good news is that all employees are physically safe. But all it would have taken is just a gunshot here or a push of that detonator button, and I would have been an only child again after 30+ years.

And that, my friends, would have been more than I could bear.

Monday, December 05, 2005

At last....

I have been out of the loop for a while, because I am on day 8 of a 12-day work stretch. We finally got moved from our old location to the new one. While there's a big loss in personal work space, the building itself is very spacious and nice to work in!

Saturday, I set up my computer (so they could install some new stuff), then went to help in my assigned area, then got called to the warehouse where they needed us. As I told someone, I will never again complain about the customer who tries to apply the same credit memo 3 times in a month, or even the other stuff -- instead, I'll keep my mouth shut and be grateful I don't work 8 a day in the warehouse! Those of us in the office had dreams all weekend about stuff in the warehouse! No, seriously, it's way more involved than I would have ever guessed, and very physical labor. We had a little snag but otherwise, it went pretty well.

Yesterday (Sunday), I was on trash detail in the warehouse (breaking down boxes and stacking up cardboard flats for reuse). Then the boss pulled me aside to work on the lunch order. That's a whole story in itself! Let's just say that the folks at Bojangles deserve a BIG hand for pulling this order together! Then a little more work back in Accounting (filing and finalizing my space for today).

There were a few snags this morning -- but nothing bad, and we were able to do our jobs well for the most part.

But it's also NOT something I would want to do again any time soon!