unbound @ seema.org

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Moving tips

Here's a post on migrating to WordPress from blogger, which is what I'm leaning towards right now. Just as an FYI, there might be an "intermediate" step before the final URL change. A lot going on in RL right now so unfortunately, this hasn't been a priority and I'm feeling curiously unmotivated to figure out how to actually do all of the things I need to do to migrate the blog prior to May 1. So my current plan is just to back-up this one and then maybe use a different service for a couple of months until I figure out what the final solution is going to be. I just need time to think!

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0 comments | 10:54 AM |

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Still running around like a crazy person. I haven't had a chance to decide what to do with this blog come May 1, which is the date blogger ftp ends. I'm probably going to go with a temporary solution and then tackle Wordpress at a later date. Watch this space for the new URL.

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0 comments | 9:29 PM |

Thursday, April 08, 2010


I don't typically post politics or respond to politics I disagree with on Facebook. As someone eloquently put it (you know who you are ;-)), Facebook is for fun. At the same time, I scroll by lots of non-fun posts, including some with misinformation of the "if you go to New Orleans, you'll get kidnapped and your organs harvested" type. Usually I ignore them but today I couldn't stop myself and posted a rebuttal of the snopes.com type. Now I feel all guilty, but come on people! Before linking/posting, please, please, please check snopes.com before emailing/posting.


0 comments | 7:07 PM |

Monday, March 22, 2010

Oh well

It may be time to retire this machine; it's too slow for even the job hunting websites. Which makes an already unfun process that much more so. I'm curiously attached to this computer though; we've been through a lot of words together, not to mention lots of job searching. Maybe a little bit more memory could do the trick...

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0 comments | 9:16 PM |

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Why you've never really heard the 'Moonlight Sonata'. This intrigued me because I played "Moonlight Sonata" at my very last piano recital and believe you me, I heard it a lot that year. I may have even had a professional tape recording of it for inspiration (yes, this was in the days BEFORE CD players). So I found this article intriguing but especially cool are the sound files that showcase the difference between modern pianos and those from the classical/romantic eras; that sound is distinctly different. I'm ashamed to admit that I prefer the more modern sounding pianos, but it could also be that's what happens when you spend six months with a piece of music.

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0 comments | 10:42 PM |

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

March Madness

I know nothing about college basketball (my university had its heyday back in the '90s and I haven't paid attention since graduating) but I decided to throw my $5 into the ring and enter a bracket in the fantasy league tournmanent. At one point I had Vermont winning over Syracuse (sentimentality over practicality) but then my competitive spirit took over and I switched it (J kindly explained to me that the #16 seed, *Vermont, this year), has never ever ever beaten the #1 seed, aka Syracuse). I've chosen Duke to win the whole thing. At one point I had Ohio State playing Duke in the national championship, but I think I've got Syracuse in that spot now. I think conventional wisdom says Kentucky is going to win the whole thing, but I kinda like the idea of Duke.

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0 comments | 10:04 PM |

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy (belated) New Year

Where I was on December 31, 2009

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2 comments | 9:35 PM |


I don't post or frequent the group any more (Real Life(tm) interference, unfortunately), but today's plug is for the good folks and good writing over at alt.startrek.creative which is where I got my start in fanfiction and where I met some good friends. So if you're a Trek fan, if you are looking for that sense of community, and want to experience the full range of creative output, this is the place for you.

On a somewhat related note, I finally have my computer up and running! Hooray! It's been in a box since in the move due to a lack of a computer desk, but after coming back to the States, a solution was found, and a couple weeks later, the computer was set up. It's SO good to have all of my files back and all of my software (including AIM! I can chat again!), and of course, rough drafts from God only knows when. Maybe something will spark...

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0 comments | 4:32 PM |

Bagging it

I recently started bringing my own bags to stores because a) my cupboards were overflowing with plastic bags and b) frequent trade show attendance gets you lots of high quality cloth bags. I've been wanting to use my own bags for a long time now but I always forgot to bring the bags. Sometimes I'd bring the bags and then leave them in the car.

Anyway, I found out that Target will refund you a nickle for every bag you bring. It doesn't sound like a lot but I shop at Target a lot, mayb 2-3 times a month. It probably totals about 10 bags a month and so I'd save 50 cents per month or $6/year. So far my grocery store (Safeway) doesn't refund for plastic bags but other grocery stores do. I figure I could probably save about $20/year by using my own bags, help the environment, and cut down on the plastic bag clutter in my house. It doesn't sound like a lot but with a job situation in jeopardy, every little bit helps.

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0 comments | 9:59 AM |

Thursday, February 11, 2010


CNN has interviewed Gillian Anderson here on her favorite places in Vancouver, where she lived while filming the first five seasons of "The X-Files." I've actually been to all the places she recommended and can heartily second all of her suggestions. The restaurants, don't know about any of them, but I do remember a cafe called "Death by Chocolate" that was just sinful and wonderful. I really enjoyed my Vancouver vacation and really hope to go back one day.

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0 comments | 9:03 PM |

Friday, January 22, 2010


When I stepped off the plane Sunday afternoon, I smelled like I'd been on the road for 30+ hours. I couldn't even stand myself. I actually felt sorry for screeners in Paris who had to frisk me down and search my bags but I didn't know how to apologize for the ultimate fail of deodrant and perfume and the lack of toothpaste/mouthwash. In the end, I followed a combination of adages to assuage my guilt: a) they are probably used to stinky travelers like me by now and b) I'm most probably never going to see the screener in question again.

This past week has been all about recovering from jetlag, which is the most awesome thing when you have to go to work first thing Monday. I was up at an ungodly hour and was actually on time at work. In fact, I do enjoy it a bit -- get up, play a little Civilization, drink a little coffee, do a little dance... you know the drill. I have managed to get through every day pretty soberly but with the edge of irritation slipping into my mood as the evening hours approach. I was told that it takes one day for every hour of difference and so it'll probably be February before I'm completely myself again.

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0 comments | 6:12 PM |

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Home Sweet Home

After 30 plus hours of traveling, I'm home! I've been away for 3 weeks -- longest vacation I've had since graduate school. It feels kind of weird coming back to reality, but all good things must come to an end. So I'm back. Where I've been etc., will be chronicled in this blog later on this month or so -- as soon as I sufficiently recover from jetlag and the lingering remnants of various ailments I picked up along the way. Also, need to face the work day tomorrow; going to be tough considering how long I've been gone, and how many hours I'm "out of phase".

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0 comments | 5:18 PM |

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Adieu to 2009

A year ago, lots of things were going my way. It was just amazing how things were falling into place and I felt like I had summited the Everest equivalent of personal and professional success. 2009 closes on a somewhat different note. Professionally, I made some changes and while I'm not happy about the chain of events that led to the decision to make a change, I realize I did the right thing; I'm much less stressed now and the travel schedule is less hectic. Once I get my computer set up, I am looking forward to getting back to some of the things I put on the back burner while dealing with the emotional stress of an environment and career that wasn't quite the right fit.

On the personal front, I have no complaints, other than the still impassable second bedroom. Moving sucks, people, there's no two ways about it. Still, like the career move, the apartment move was the right decision because of the reasons why it was required; among other things, I'm closer to work now, cutting a commute from 25 miles down to 18, which in Sweat Sock City makes a big difference. The room will be cleaned up soon and after months of just running around and major changes, life will settle into its pleasant rhythms. I'm looking forward to that very much.

2009 didn't turn out quite the way I imagined it would but it had some very high points and for that reason, I'm looking back on the year fondly.

I'll see you in 2010. Here's wishing you and yours all the best in your moves for the new year.

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0 comments | 7:03 AM |

Sunday, December 13, 2009

This thing is not like that thing

This is the first weekend in 3 or 4, I think, that there has been no moving. Unpacking, yes, and that reshuffling act (which is starting to get REALLY annoying) continues. It's funny just how things don't 'fit', compared to my old place. My new closet is small and made for giants -- the top rack is at the 9 foot level. Who has the ability to easily hang clothing on 9-foot high racks? And then retrieve them in the dead of morning to get ready for work? Annoying. And then the towel rack in my bathroom, also made for giants; I have to stand on the edge of the tub in order to hang my towel back up.

I don't have a computer desk anymore either. My old apartment had a built in computer desk but this one doesn't. So my poor computer lies in a box until I get time to actually go out and buy a desk (hello, IKEA!). No built in showcase bookshelf here either so off to Crate & Barrel to buy a new bookshelf. The kitchen is also made for giants; I can only reach the bottom shelf and if I stand on my tiptoes, I can get to the second shelf. Next stop Target -- purchase of step stool imminent (btw, I'm relatively average in height, about 5 foot three; clearly this apartment was built for the 6 foot up crowd).

In the kitchen, the dishwasher won't stay open. I find this highly annoying as well as I have to stand with one foot on the door to keep it open in order to load/unload. Because of the door issue, the bottom rack also rolls back with tremendous force at random intervals and the resulting THUD! is really scary; I have this vision of all of the plates and bowls etc just SHATTERING in a big moment when the dishwasher slams shut, pushing the rack back against the wall. Yesterday I jiggered a solution -- one of my handweights looped through the bottom rack; just enough weight to keep the door from shutting and holding the rack in place.

Anyway, it's interesting getting used to a new place. I miss my old place in the sense that everything I had "fit" and everything was much more accessible for me. This place has more space and has a great layout and is fairly quiet but the little annoying things make it hard to completely feel at home. Maybe if I can get that second bedroom 'passable', I'll feel better. But in order to do that, I have to deal with that closet with its 9-ft racks. Wish me luck.


0 comments | 10:23 AM |

Saturday, December 12, 2009


The infomercial on right now is for a software program called Dragon (getdragon.com -- purposely not linking). It's pretty funny, actually, as you have to actually speak your punctuation and "new line" or "new paragraph". I'm just trying to imagine that oh so famous Walt Whitman poem would work. To wit, as dictated into Dragon;

Oh captain exclamation point my Captain exclamation point our fearful trip is done semicolon next line
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won semicolon next line
The port is near, the bells I hear comma the people all exulting comma next line
While follow eyes the steady keel comma the vessel grim and daring colon next line
But O heart exclamation point heart exclamation point heart exclamation point next line
O the bleeding drops of red comma next line
Where on the deck my Captain lies comma next line
Fallen cold and dead period next line

I don't know how Dragon would handle all the spelling variations (O instead of Oh), but I would think that for writing purposes, rhythm and mood could be lost when you're inserting the punctuation while speaking. I guess if I used dictation software I'd have to speak first and then go back and figure out what the punctuation and line spacing would be. But I tend to 'think' through my fingers and a lot of time stories/prose takes form while I type; I think it would be a tough change to dictate versus actually typing. Dunno. Still, I'm kind of amused by the 'comma next line exclamation point' bit of Dragon. It definitely gives a new read to Whitman.

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0 comments | 7:55 PM |

Good Eats II

We had a great menu for the lunch this afternoon -- it went very well. Definitely more relaxing than going to a restaurant, especially since one couple had a baby and it's just easier to deal with a baby, I think, in a home environment than in a restaurant.

Appetizers were simple -- just cheese (pepper jack and chedder) and crackers (multigrain and plain). For the actual lunch, we served a green lentil soup, followed by gnocchi tossed with tomatoes, basil and garlic, and roasted asparagus with sesame seeds and balsamic vinger. For toppings, we included salt/pepper (because I always under-salt/pepper), pecorino romano grated cheese (YUM!) and fresh basil. For dessert, I made chai cupcakes with cream cheese frosting with cinnamon.

Drinks served included ye run o' the tap water, sparkling cranberry juice, Coastal Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon and chocolate peppermint coffee. We had sparkling apple juice as a back-up but didn't need to use it. Incidentally, the sparkling cranberry juice is really, really good.

It was a less complicated menu than I had originally planned, but we had just enough time to pull it together and clean up the place before our guests arrived. Also, it was a simple enough menu but with enough fresh touches like the basil really made the meal. Everyone had a really good time and our lunch party was a success. We're already looking forward to the next one!

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0 comments | 7:13 PM |

Friday, December 11, 2009

Good eats

Company is coming over tomorrow for lunch and because I have Friday off, I'm going to do most of the preparation today. Keep in mind that I still have an impassable second bedroom and enough boxes stacked in the dining room/kitchen to equate an entire Northwest US forest. Clearly, a trip to the recycling center is warranted.

Anyway, I'm trying to come up with a main entree. I've been debating on quiche. I've made -- or attempted to make -- the quiche recipe in the Moosewood Cookbook a bunch of times but my last attempt was the biggest disaster ever. I'm convinced there's something about the proportion of ingredients that's just not right, and maybe a different recipe will have different results. But then if it doesn't turn out and I'm just challenged at quiche-making, then what are my other options?

I think quesadillas are a great fallback because it's really hard to mess those up. I thought about making individual frittatas with bell peppers and tomotatoes, but it requires 12 eggs, which if you think about it is a lot of eggs. I think tofu steaks might be good with some spiced veggies, but I don't know. It just doesn't appeal to me the way a nice, fresh spinach and mushroom quiche does.

So far the menu has taken on a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern flavor: sangria, sGreek salad, lentil soup, and chai cupcakes for dessert. Appetizers are still up for debate -- maybe just cheese and crackers? Or breaded paneer bites? Oh the options and the lack of culinary skills!

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0 comments | 7:57 AM |

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Moooooooving, part deux

So the vast majority of the move was completed by 3 pm today, meaning I surrendered the other apartment. So all stuff was out and honestly, I turned it over cleaner than when I lived it. For example, I dusted the baseboards. Who knew baseboards could collect so much dust? Also, I found out that while dusting/cleaning my ceiling fans that the blades were made out of particle board painted white so all those fears I had of metal blades falling off a spinning fan and impaling me while I was innocently sleeping or watching television were clearly misplaced. Also, for those of you who remember this famous incident, I removed the last of the egg still stuck on the ceiling (disclaimer: I left it there as on purpose as a reminder of what shortcuts in the kitchen could end up).

The thing about moving is that you always have more stuff than you thought you did and I swear to god there's like this magic field around my old apartment, that every time I "emptied" a room, more stuff just magically appeared. It was insane. What's also true and very annoying is that when you're shifting things from one place to another, you're constantly moving things around, stumbling over them, and finding it just impossible to get stuff in the right place because you have to move thing A to make room for thing B but then thing A is blocking thing C. It's a vicious circle.

Also it got to the point that I thought that carrying groceries from the car was just like moving.

Right now I've got one bedroom that's basically impassable. The kitchen is an open plan, thank goodness, so only one entrance is impassable. The laundry room and front hall closet are now unblocked which is awesome because I was tripping over shoes and coats and also couldn't do laundry. It's a sign of progress that the living room is basically set up (including a very patriotic Christmas tree!) and that the bedroom and both bathrooms are clear and able to be used. And except for that one entry into the kitchen, the kitchen is fully functioning. Hopefully by Friday, the kitchen/foyer/dining room mess will be taken care of because company comes on Saturday.


0 comments | 6:27 PM |

Friday, December 04, 2009


So I'm on day 13 of The Great Move of 2009(tm). Moving sucks. Don't even let someone tell you otherwise. I lived in one place for 6-plus years and I didn't think I had so much stuff, didn't think I owned so many clothes, until it came to physically schlepping all that stuff out of the old place and into the new place. It also didn't help that the weather hasn't been that cooperative so at least two moving days were ruled out because I'm a wimp who doesn't like moving when it's raining, snowing, or below 50 degrees.

Time is running out though and I have to absolutely be out of my old place by Sunday so tomorrow is D-Day. Well, actually Sunday is, but I'm trying to be disciplined about it and gritting my teeth and just muscling through the last bit. I'll be so happy when everything is moved and cleaned and then I'm finally in the new place, able to relax and find proper places for everything.


0 comments | 7:13 PM |

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Now that's service

Recently received an order from Crate & Barrel and they honestly do an amazing job of packing. Lots and lots of bubble wrap and tissue paper, usually double or triple the volume of the original object. It's actually rather comical just how well Crate & Barrel packs and just how much care they take in making sure the object gets to you in one piece.

Anyway, I was unpacking the box yesterday and it was a very nice dinner tray. Except that one corner had been cracked during shipping and then the piece fell off in my hand. Utter sadness. The packing slip that came with the shipment gave a phone number to call in case of an issues so I assumed it would be the run of the mill "Ship us the broken part back and we'll send you another one and oh yeah, you have to pay to ship it back to us." I also wondered since Sweat Sock City has a Crate & Barrel here, would I need to go to the store to exchange it for another one?

Anyway, Crate & Barrel apologized profusely for the broken tray and also for another item -- a soup bowl -- that had gotten scuffed. They said there was no reason for me to take the items to the store or to even ship it back to them. They said something along the lines of "Just throw those things away and we'll send you replacements free of charge within 3 to 7 business days." I was flabbergasted. Especially since the soup bowl is usable, it's just scratched up a bit. Crate & Barrel said it was just easier to send us a new one rather than do all the paperwork involved in reshipping/returning.

It was an amazing response and just so very helpful and very nice. Plus, I was SO glad that they didn't make me go into the store because as we all know, this might be the happiest time of the year, but certainly not in the department stores!

ps. If you are moving, I HIGHLY recommend Crate & Barrel packing materials. I'm currently in the process of moving (sniff!) and those gazillion yards of material for one itty bitty soup bowl is coming in handy as I move my frou-frou items.

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0 comments | 10:21 PM |

Thursday, November 19, 2009


So I downloaded King's Quest 1 from yesterday's post, and have been playing for a while now. So far, I've obtained 89 out of 158 points, but have hit a dead end. The game is pretty true to the original and I think all of the riddles are the same as the original as well. Unfortunately my memory isn't as good as it used to be so I'm spending a lot of time just wandering around looking for clues. I've gotten now to the point where I'm slightly bit frustrated, especially when I was just reminded that there are two other King's Quest to go after this one. Ah well. The point of this post was to say that yes, I have tried the download from yesterday, it works, and the game is pretty true to the original. So all you adventurer, nostalgia type gamers, this might be a good one to try, especially if you're thinking about testing your patience.

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2 comments | 10:24 PM |

Friday, November 13, 2009

Passing on the Buck

I mentioned the Starbucks habits in yesterday's post. I don't think I know anyone who actually has a hardcore Starbucks habit, but then I run in different circles than the people described in the article. That being said, I do consume Starbucks about 4 or 5 times a year, most recently about a month or so ago because we thought they were offering free cups of their new instant coffee. Alas, we were wrong and ended up buying highly priced house coffee.

I love coffee. It makes me go in the morning, it perks me up. I don't drink a lot of coffee, maybe 2 cups a day (1 cup today), but I do enjoy a good cup. So this last visit to Starbucks, when you're forking over more than $2 for a plain ole black coffee, you expect something good. But instead, it was what I've come to expect from Starbucks -- as if someone overroasted the beans and then used the burned parts to brew the coffee. It. Was. Not. Good. The only thing more disappointing about a bad cup of coffee is one that cost more than $2.

The Starbucks wasn't giving out free tastes of their instant coffee as advertised but they did give us a packet to try later. I had it one Sunday morning instead of my usual instant Taster's Choice and again, It. Was. Not. Good. I have no idea how much that instant costs, but I definitely won't be trading in my current coffee for it. A friend tried it recently and his verdict was the same as mine. Not. Good.

I do have to give a shout out to Nescafe though. I had some really good Nescafe packs in Budapest -- they come pre-mixed with sugar and creamer and great for on the go. It could be that I was so excited about non-shot glass style expresso that I found the Nescafe (purchased at a train station kiosk) absolutely wonderful, or was it was really that good? I might try again in the future. The problem with nostalgia is when you revisit, the memory is sometimes better than the reality.

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2 comments | 9:41 AM |

Sunday, November 01, 2009


I got my hour back!


0 comments | 8:52 AM |

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The hunt, part 2

As a follow-up to my previous post, I realized after talking to a friend that there's something else I don't do: try to circumvent the stated application process. There are all sorts of tricks and tips out there on how to get your resume to the top of the pile by doing something sneaky like calling HR to ask if they have your resume, showing up at the office and asking for an appointment, stalking other people who work at the company and asking them for help, etc. In general, my MO has been laziness, mostly because I have been a stalkee in the past and I'm not inclined to give the time of day to people whom I don't know when I'm busy. Plus, I figure if the company is interested in talking to you, they will call you. Kind of passive, but so far the passive approach -- i.e. following the process as stated in the application (if it says no calls, don't call!) -- has worked for me.

Along the same lines, I don't think I've ever followed up after an interview. If a certain amount of time has passed and I haven't heard anything, I don't bother emailing or calling to uncover the status of my application. It's the same attitude I stated above -- if the company is interested, they will call ME. If they are not interested, then me calling to find out if I got the job or not is probably not going to help me in any way.

As I said, I'm a terrible job seeker. I do everything completely backwards and in a rather solitary fashion. Maybe I would find jobs quicker if I followed the advice given by experts, but I do take a peverse delight in that I conduct a job search in all the wrong ways and somehow -- with a lot of patience -- it seems to work out for me. Your mileage may vary.

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0 comments | 10:23 PM |

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The hunt

I'm a terrible job hunter. I don't follow any of the recommended rules, and I'm not necessarily proud of my not following etiquette or procedures. I like procedures and I like etiquette so my willful disobedience startles me greatly. To wit:

* I don't hire resume writers to write my resume. They are incredibly expensive so I do it myself and rely on spell-check and one or two friends to look over. I try to make sure the first word in every bullet point is the same tense and same type of word. I also try to make sure I tie activities to results.

* I don't have an objective on my resume. Many experts on resume writing say you need to have an objective on the top of your resume. If I want to be really blunt, my objective is almost always to "Find a great job with a great salary with an opportunity to grow." So I leave it off because I don't think it helps my resume in any way. After all, who doesn't have "find a great job with a great salary with an opportunity to grow" as an objective?

* I only have one resume. There are recommendations to tailor each resume per job posting, but if you're only applying to jobs you're a) qualified for and/or b) resemble your resume of skills already, then I don't see the point of tailoring a resume for every job you're applying to. I do recommend, however, tailoring the cover letter for every job, though I say this hypocritically (see below).

* I don't write cover letters for jobs I'm half-hearted about.

* I don't network. I should, but I don't. Instead, I rely on job boards and public postings. To date, I've been employed by 5 different companies, three of them with more than 100,000 employees and the other two considerably smaller (less than 2,000 employees). I found these jobs through the local newspaper, hotjobs.com, journalismjobs.com, careerbuilder.com, and jobfox.com. No networking involved. So if anyone tells you that job postings or newspaper ads don't work, remember me; all of my jobs have been found this way.

* I never send thank you notes after the interviews. I should, but I don't. Invariably I forget or I don't have the address. And this is odd because I'm a firm believer in thank you notes and yet... strangely though, it hasn't affected me actually getting the job. I don't think I sent a thank you note for any job I actually got. I should probably do better on this one though.

* Last three job interviews on, I didn't wear hose. This could be a regional okay thing -- hose melts to your legs in this part of the country -- so few women wear them. Still, if I was going to be all proper, I'd wear the hose.

I start my new job on Monday. I'm looking forward to the new experiences, meeting new people, and gaining new skills and expertise. That's always the fun part of a new job. Of course, I'm always stressed about where I should eat lunch, where is the bathroom, and how do you fill out an expense report? And usually, by the time I'm comfortable with the answers to these and other questions, it's about the time to move on.

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1 comments | 2:06 PM |

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Not in my Facebook yard

I defriended a "friend" on Facebook today, the first time I've done that. And to be clear, this person was someone I went to school with and got along with, but was never close to; I think we might have gone for burritos once or twice, but that was the extent of the relationship. But I'd always thought of this person as a fairly intelligent, nice person. Well, they posted some remarks to their Facebook page that I found insulting and derogatory towards Indians (which I happen to be). My first knee-jerk reaction was to respond and point out the error of their ways. But then I thought, what's the point? He posted such a comment knowing that I was his friend and he probably has other Indians as friends and it didn't seem to bother him or filter his remarks. So I defriended him without a word.

I know ignorant people are plentiful in this world, especially online where they are not aware of the impact of their words; I learned that through the fanfic world. However, as much as one expects and to an extent, tolerates, such comments from relatively anonymous, non-flesh, non-RL contact people, it's hard to take from someone you considered a friend or acquaintance. In fact, I was so startled that I read his comments several times before I realized he was serious and not joking at all. I figure he can continue to share his ignorant opinions on Facebook; I'm just not going to read them myself. And at least, now I know where he stands so I can effectively write him off for the future.

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0 comments | 9:30 AM |

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I'm on vacation this week as I'm between jobs. My last day at the previous job was last Friday and I start the new job this coming Monday. It seems a little surreal to have found a job so quickly -- about 3 months from application to start date -- in this economy when there are so many stories about people who have been looking for months, who have applied to so many different jobs, etc. It's actually demoralizing to read those stories and I stopped about 2 months into the job search. Each of those stories is a data point of just how bad the economy is, but there aren't any stories on people like me -- who found a job fairly quickly considering. So for those of you who are out there looking, there is hope.

Note - I'm aware that some parts of the country are better off than others and I happen to be very lucky and living in a part of the country that while it has a 9%+ unemployment rate, it's not as bad as other places and that could have played some into my job search.

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0 comments | 9:26 AM |

Monday, October 19, 2009


After a battle o' passwords with google, I'm back. I have this weird situation with my gmail account where someone is using the account and so I get all sorts of whacky work-related email, friend requests, plane tickets, law school missives, etc. It's annoying, to say the least. What's crazy is that this person doesn't seem to realize that they have appropriated my email. Incidentally, this person recently opened a Facebook account using my email address and I promptly cancelled it; hopefully they've figured out what's going on.

But just in case they haven't noticed the missing email or the cancellation of their Facebook account, I keep changing my email password to increasingly hard and incomprehensible nonsensical words. Which is fine except for the part where I forget what crazy jumble of letters made up the password and inadvertantly get locked out of this account. So I'm back now and hopefully won't forget my password again. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

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0 comments | 10:32 PM |

Monday, September 28, 2009

Things that make me go huh

Is it just me or does the Dodge Charger remind anyone else of a shark? Seriously, every time I see one -- and I've been seeing a lot of them lately on Sweat Sock City highways -- I hear the "JAWS" theme. Please tell me it's not just me.

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0 comments | 10:19 PM |

Oink oink

Hello world, I am back after an unintended absence. I recovered from my trip to the UK just in time to be felled by a mysterious bug, which sounds all the more exciting if I say I was stricken by swine flu. I didn't go to the doctor so I don't actually know if I had swine flu, regular flu, allergies, the cold from heck, or all of the above mixed into a nice compact one week of debilitation.

My symptoms included a low grade fever (101.6 to 101.8 F) that came and went at will, kind of like a teenager sneaking out. I had a churning stomach that made me either ravenously hungry or absolutely disgusted at the sight of food. My cough sounded like my lungs wanted to erupt out of my chest and that tickle at the base of my throat was enough to drive me to distraction. The aches and pains and chills only lasted about two days. I don't make mention of the headache because with the exception of Friday's headache, the others were just ye olde run o' the mill pain that I suffer from on a fairly regular basis, kind of like recognizing an old friend dropping by for 3-4 days. The rest of the time, I was either completely exhausted or full of energy. It was like I was on my own special kind of speed.

Anyway, I'm saying it's swine flu because that sounds a lot more dramatic than anything else, plus I'm secretly hopeful that it was because now it means I'm immune (at least for this season). And also, it wasn't really that bad (at least what I had) and it ended fairly soon, about a week, give or take a day, as the symptoms seem to be making a slow exit out of my system.


0 comments | 9:45 PM |

Friday, September 18, 2009

Watch that S-car go

My Prius just clocked in -- get this -- at 54 miles per gallon. Just awesome.

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0 comments | 4:54 PM |

Monday, September 14, 2009

Home sweet home

I'm back after another business trip overseas. It may take a few days to get over the jetlag. Watch this space...

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0 comments | 6:38 AM |

Monday, August 31, 2009

Mystery on the Bayou

Don't mind me, but I'm reading Agatha Christie again, and I've got this habit of turning everything and everyone around me into a story. On another time, I'll tell you about how I turned a simple outing to a Vietnamese sandwich shop into an undercover sting operation for a mafioso. But this mystery is closer to home, or rather two doors down. My neighbor has been evicted. Or rather, eviction papers were served a few days ago -- posted on her door, and I'm nosy so I looked -- but she moved out a couple weeks ago.

Until recently my neighbor and I had a cordial relationship. She moved in a few months before I did, so we've lived -- separated by one apartment -- on this hall for the last six years. We weren't close, but we knew each other's names and we occasionally had conversations in the hall. This was all before she went really and totally crazy.

It started with the simple shredding of menus that are annoyingly left on our doors. Then one day when I drove up in my car and parked next to hers (leaving a wide gap), she flipped out on me, using some choice four letter words. Her issue with my parking? I usually park on the first floor of our parking garage and then climb up to our floor, but due to chronic foot problems, I started parking on the same level as the apartment to avoid the impact of the stairs on my feet. The point was -- she took offense at my parking on our floor instead of my usual first floor parking, even though we don't have assigned parking in our garage (she did pay a monthly fee for an assigned spot though). She came out and apologized a few minutes later but I was spooked enough that I moved my car several parking spots away from her. We never spoke again.

Her behavior slowly escalated from shredding menus in the hallway to leaving strange post-it notes on her door with messages like "DO NOT ENTER; MY APARTMENT IS ALARMED." She then started leaving notes in the garage, some of them pretty offensive. One day she was walking around the garage in what seemed to be her underwear, but was really just a tanktop over her bikini. I found this odd because the pool is over there and not over here and most women cover-up when not around the immediate pool area. About two weeks before she moved out, she left post-it notes and flowers on my Prius; all of the notes were essentially incoherent saying things like "I've given all my stuff to the Salvation Army." I wish I had kept them now because I don't really remember anymore than that one note out of the six posted on my car. In retrospect, I wonder if there was a message there for me, some sign I should have paid more attention too.

It was alarming and I was contemplating saying something to the apartment office. I spoke to Florida Girl, who is a mental health professional in the ER, and asked what was up. She said that my neighbor's behavior sounded suspiciously like someone who was off her meds -- i.e. going from normal to crazy in no time flat. She asked if my neighbor had lost her job recently and I said I didn't know; we hadn't spoken since her four-letter word barrage. Florida Girl said she was seeing a lot of cases in the ER that were similar to what I was describing -- people had lost their jobs, couldn't afford their medications and/or were spacing the dosage out to make the medication last longer, and the results could be dangerous.

Anyway, my neighbor is gone. She has moved out and I'm not going to know what happened here. I'm assuming that she lost her job, went off medication (if she had been on medication), and then fled when she could no longer pay rent. Clearly the apartment complex didn't know she was gone if they left eviction notes on her door. I'm definitely sad because I don't like how our acquaintance ended, but at the same time, her behavior was so odd and alarming that I couldn't help but keep my distance. While I knew something was wrong, I also didn't feel like we were close enough or that I knew her well enough to ask what was up or offer any assistance. Mea culpa.

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0 comments | 9:08 PM |

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ready Freddy

I've upgraded my hurricane preparedness kit after last year's boondoggle. So in addition to all the things I had last year, I've added an LED lantern that allegedly lights up an entire room and will work on battery for 1 1/2 months at 5 hours a day, and also a crank cell phone charger. The LED light has actually come in handy as I don't think our electric grid was properly repaired and we lose power during storms quite often these days. It's never for long -- maybe 5 to 10 minutes, and one day, while I was at work, it was nearly the entire day (no biggy -- I was gone). Other people I know have been losing power regularly and for longer periods of time. So I guess it's always good to have these things "just in case".

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0 comments | 2:14 PM |

Monday, August 24, 2009


The Washington Post has an insider's view of last year's attacks in Mumbai here.

I arrived in Mumbai on the Sunday evening before these attacks and Monday mid-morning, we stood outside of the Taj Hotel and looked out across the sea from where the attackers arrived on Wednesday afternoon. It was chilling to download my photos several weeks later, in the safety of my home in Sweat Sock City, and the first two or three pictures were of the Taj Hotel -- royal, majestic, and without blemish, and no indication either of what was to come.

After that day of pictures, the only images of the Taj Hotel from then on were of smoke billowing out of the windows. The horror of what was happening inside could only be imagined; the WaPo article referenced above tells one out of what must have been hundreds of stories of those terrible days.

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0 comments | 8:32 PM |

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Oh yeah

Big missing from the job searching spreadsheet I've been mentioning -- a separate tab for sites, username and password. Every single site -- whether it's a job board, a company career site, a search engine, etc -- requires some kind of login. And some of those passwords are just as secure, if not, more, than what would be needed for a bank account. One site, I can't remember which, doesn't allow you to have a password that resembles anything like the previous 20. All of that is fine if you're only using/logging in to one or two sites total. But when you're up to 30 or 40, it gets confusing, not to mention annoying to keep clicking on the "forgot password" link. So as of today, I've added a new tab to the ever expanding job search spreadsheet -- Passwords. My headers are: Site (URL), Username and Password. I guess security hint might be a good one too, but you don't generally need them if you know your password.

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0 comments | 10:24 AM |

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I think once trust is broken, it's hard to regain it. I've been contemplating many plans of action in the last 6 weeks, including the one that would make me feel better and reduce my anxiety greatly. But at the same time, I keep coming back to a vital point that I can't let go of: I was lied to. No, correction -- I was and am being lied to. Which makes it really hard. So I could take the action described above -- basically, confrontation -- or I could not confront, do my own thing, and get out of the situation entirely.


0 comments | 8:54 AM |

Friday, August 21, 2009

Across the pond

Another trip coming up and I'm nervous about it for any number of reasons. I'm just not feeling it. Usually I'm super excited about going to a place I've never been to before, but this time, I just get the... I don't know. There's something that doesn't feel right to me. However, the next trip, I'm completely cool with. It's just this one that feels a little off. I think maybe if I do some research about my destination, find a guided tour that I can take over the weekend when I'm not working, I think I'll be fine. Just have to keep the anxiety to a dull roar.

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0 comments | 6:28 PM |

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The hunt

Towards the end of May of 2003, I applied for a job at Very Big Publishing Company. I started work there in August of 2003. So from time of application to interview to acceptance to first day was about 2 months. Total number of jobs applied to: 50. Number of interviews: 2. Both companies I interviewed with called me back for second interviews and one offered me the job. The other one chose someone else but then called me six months later to offer me the job; I had to decline as I'd already moved across the state for Very Big Publishing Company.

In the fall of 2003, I realized that the job at Very Big Publishing Company wasn't a fit. Yes, I was finally an editor, but it wasn't what I thought it was going to be and the work environment was debilitating. I got my next job in December of 2004, but I applied to about 30 jobs over that 15 month period. I had two interviews, including one randomly weird and long-winded process; believe it or not, the job I got I only interviewed for about 45 minutes and they called and offered me the job a few weeks later.

I didn't start looking for another job until the spring of 2007. I really liked the job I took in December 2004, and I especially liked the people I worked with. But I also realized I had reached the limit of what I could do there and it was time for a new challenge. My job search was so new in the spring of 2007 that I don't even have a record of what I looked for or how many jobs I applied for. I got an interview within a couple of days of posting my resume on Careerbuilder.com and then I got that job a couple months later.

So far, I've applied to 35 jobs during the month of July and month-to-date August. I've had 5 "rejections" so far, one call-back for an interview, and the rest have been no response. Given that the conditions now are about the same as they were in the spring of 2003, I'm thinking I have another 20 or so applications to fill out to get at least one more interview.

It's mentally and emotionally exhausting. My stomach hurts more often than not these days, headaches are a constant companion, and sometimes I'm so anxious, I can't sleep. I'm trying to be upbeat and positive, but it's really not easy. Even though I've been working through the Impending Doom/punch-in-the-gut, as the saying goes, there's always something to remind me and it starts all over again. I'm just hoping that when all is said and done, I end up in a much better place.

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0 comments | 5:25 PM |

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I was away from my computer all day today and it's so weird how disconnected I feel. I have no idea what has happened in the world outside since the first 20 minutes of the Today show this morning. I mean, on the one hand, I love busy days because you're just going and going, but on the other hand, every now and then it's nice to take a breather.


0 comments | 9:39 PM |

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Darn it!

We actually tried to snag Best Buy's $9.99 52 inch Samsung television as a replacement for mine. I mean, TEN DOLLARS. What a steal. But alas, it was not to be. I shall continue onwards in life without a 52-inch television.

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0 comments | 9:07 PM |

Saturday, August 08, 2009


What I like about Facebook is that in certain applications, it bears no resemblance to real life. Everyone talks about the status updates and the whole reconnecting with people from high school and middle school, but WHAT ABOUT THE GAMES? Only on Facebook can I have a dog (I strongly dislike dogs), a farm (I like the concept of gardening, but dirt on my hands makes me a little crazy), a restaurant (just awesome), and I can also spend time as a fashionista (which I'm not in RL).

On Facebook, I also can own a house with a windmill in the front yard and I have a job in Yoville, but I'm not quite sure what it is I do there (I seem to dance and laugh and joke with various friends -- if only I could turn that into a paying gig in RL!). At various points, I get to travel abroad in something called Kidnapped! and there's also a Mafia War going on. For a while, I was deeply embroiled in a Parking War. I also have a kingdom of my own and apparently my vassals are restless for my return; I don't know what is they expect me to do.

Right now the restaurant game is my favorite. It runs slowly and it's rather high maintenance (actually, all of the virtual life games are high maintenance); not quite feasible for someone who check the site every few days or so. It's like I go and plant crops on my farm, but by the time I return to harvest them, they're all dead. So the only solution is to keep coming back and that, my friends, is the ingenuity of Facebook. After all, you'd feel guilty too if your virtual dog was pawing at you for attention because you happened to have an attack of RL along the way. Now, if you'll excuse me, I think have a war or three to fight.

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0 comments | 10:06 PM |

Monday, August 03, 2009

Vewy intevesting

"Impending Doom" has taken an interesting twist. I can't figure out what to make of it. If my deliberate vagueness confuses you, it's because I'm being purposeful. The Internets have eyes, y'know. Just not sure what to do, but am keeping the guard up and the focus on moving forward. Because even if "Impending Doom" has been averted, I still have to look at the situation with a) mixture of relief but also that b) I learned something I didn't need/want to know and c) that makes me uneasy and unwanted. The ego is still recovering from its sucker punch and I've come too far in the last 30 days to relax now. Onward ho!

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0 comments | 10:21 PM |

Friday, July 31, 2009

Resolution Almost

So after nearly 4 weeks, I finally have an appointment to get my car fixed. For those of you not in the know, I had a minor fender bender in my new car about a month ago. I was hit from behind IN A PARKING GARAGE BY A WOMAN WHO WAS TEXTING HER LAWYER. I felt bad for her because she was clearly distraught, in the process of getting a divorce, and for some reason, felt that A PARKING GARAGE WAS AN APPROPRIATE VENUE TO COMMUNICATE VIA TEXT MESSAGE WITH HER LAWYER.

There are so many things wrong with this incident on so many levels. Texting while driving at any time is super dangerous and distracting. I don't care how dexterous one is with their thumbs, you're not that good. Second, it's a PARKING GARAGE. A RESIDENTIAL PARKING GARAGE. Meaning, there are people backing in and out of spots all the live long day and people walking across the parking garage all the live long day. So it's not even the best place to TALK on your cell phone (especially when you consider it's a two-way garage, not a one way, and with tight corners; I affectionately call it "The Garage of Death.").

The point is, I had stopped and because she was texting, she did not see I was at a full stop and she hit me. Luckily, she owned up and now the insurance company is going to pay my claim. Anyway, she's off the hook now. She gave me her insurance information, but in return for her inability to make good decisions, I have had to do or will do the following:

1) I had to file a claim with Very Big Insurance Company. I used to work at Very Big Insurance Company for four years, so I know how they work and so I thought I was prepared. HA HA HA.

2) I had to go to the doctor because I had back pain from the incident. Doctor verified back pain and sent me to the pharmacist. I was out $40 from the incident, not to mention the 30 minutes at the doctor's office and the one hour at the pharmacy waiting for the prescriptions to be filled.

3) The claim rep called to let me know he got my claim, but then never called me again. So I then made a follow-up call but the claim rep had gone on vacation and they still had not contacted the woman who had hit me to verify the incident. They promised to call me.

4) They never called, so I called again. This time they agreed that my claim was valid, the woman verified it, and so now I can get it fixed, but to wait for the official letter.

5) I've received the official letter so now I made an appointment at the dealer to get it fixed. I'm taking it on Monday. In the meantime, I have to be without my shiny new car that I've owned less than 2 months. Luckily, I can drive my beloved Corolla instead of going to a rental. I find rental cars seriously annoying.

I feel very grateful that the accident wasn't worse than it was. I'm aggravated that my dream car has already been marred and in such a stupid fashion as well; I'm probably going to need an entirely new bumper (in addition to the dent, it also came loose from the frame of the car). And this accident was entirely avoidable in every way possible. She felt she needed to text her lawyer at that very moment in order to get something done, and those 30 seconds have caused a whole lot of aggravation on my end -- something that, with everything else going on in my life right now, I don't need.

Don't text and drive!

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0 comments | 4:57 PM |

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


My niece, who has only been (ahem)blogging for just over 4 years, has about 125 more blog entries than I do. And I first started blogging in 2001. Clearly I've been slacking. But it's okay, as she's way cuter than me and as such has much better material.

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0 comments | 10:17 PM |

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Everything I own is old and is starting to show their age. My television, more than 12 years old, has been on the fritz for the last two weeks and now, I think it's gone. It served me well, has been through a lot (spent a summer in a storage unit without A/C, shipped across the country, numerous episodes of "The Girls Next Door", not to mention various incarnations of Trek). So it's sad and I'm going to miss having the ability to watch television when I want to, but eh. With the advent of Hulu, I don't see it being a huge deal.

My computer is from 2001 and also is starting to creak its way towards... well, I'm keeping my fingers crossed and my eyes on a mini notebook computer. My Corolla is 11 years old this year, and it's still plodding along (though yes, I did buy a new car last month, I still own the Corolla and plan to continue driving it in the near term).

My stereo is coming on 15 years of service; it has a dual tape deck, a single CD player and a digital tuner -- at the time it was state of the art. I still use it on and off, but the CD player has started to skip, and generally, I'm not into music as much as I used to be so I don't spend a lot of time thinking about replacement.

Other old things I own -- my VCR is circa 1999 and my DVD player is probably one of the newer items I own. It's probably from 2003 or 2004. I still use the VCR -- or did until this recent incident with the television. I actually use the VCR more than the DVD player, oddly enough. I guess I won't be using the DVD player anymore either.

I recently replaced my circa 1997 cell phone with a new version after I realized it was nothing short of madness to carry a cell phone that couldn't sustain a charge for more than 10 minutes. My circa 2000 digital camera was replaced last year after it fizzled on a trip to Europe.

Anyway, all my stuff is old and I've been fine with it all, but now I'm staring into a future nightmare -- where everything goes kaput all at once. I'm dreading that. For now, I'm thinking about not getting a new television and making do with hulu. Just with "impending doom" staring me down, I'm thinking a new computer is probably a wiser investment and more practical than a television anyway. We'll see how it goes. This is my first day without a television so I reserve the right to change my mind.

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1 comments | 9:13 PM |

Sunday, July 19, 2009


The interesting thing about job hunting during a recession is that it really highlights just how important it is to keep up and upgrade one's skills. Until recently, the MBA earned in 2003 opened doors for me. But now I look at what jobs are available to someone who works in marketing like me and I realize that the skills required are beyond what I can do today. I have strong data analysis skills, which one employer required but they also wanted someone who could understand ink and paper selection for collateral development; I don't have those skills, clearly (always left that piece to the printer, actually). I have every confidence that I could learn how to select the right ink for the right paper fairly easily but if there's someone out there who already has that skill, why hire me when you can get that person instead?*

I look at this positively. Until now, I didn't really consider what else I might want to do or what other courses/certifications I could get. Now I'm looking at some of the requirements and thinking, "Well that seems interesting," or "That doesn't fit what I want to do long-term." I run the gamut from thinking I could take a course or two at Sweat Sock Community College to learn certain software applications that could enhance my resume and make me potentially more valuable to an employer, or making an investment in another degree. This could be the chance to go in an entirely new direction -- a new field maybe or perhaps a new industry? -- and that is exciting.

In this example, I had about 95 percent of what they were looking for, but the initial assessment fell short over the ink/paper question. Now, it could have been a case of them not liking my skills enough to let the ink/paper go, or it could be that that one thing is so important to them that they need to have a person who understands on day one what's required. I do wonder about how much a vacancy would cost per day versus the time required to learn this skill, but these days, it's an employers' market and they are making what they consider the best decision for their company.

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0 comments | 4:17 PM |

Friday, July 17, 2009

Free from fees

Okay, so the title is a little bit of a misnomer, because if there's a way, there's a fee. But I ran into a little trouble with my bank last month as I was traveling and you know how it is when you cross time zones and borders; it's like all intelligence seeps out of your brain, slowly eroding memory. So one thing led to another and the next think I knew, I was looking at an Overdraft charge of $20. The kicker is, the bank pulled money from my savings account to cover my checking account; so it's not like the bank was out any money but *I* was out $20.

Anyway, that happened last month. On a whim today, I called my bank and asked them to waive the ODP charges. And -- they did. They're crediting me back the $20, which is essentially 10 breakfast tacos at my favorite taco joint, or 5 Starbucks coffees for those of you who drink those. It was fairly easy. I didn't even have to explain what happened, even though I had a ready story. I just said that I was charged $20 before the privilege of using my own money and that it didn't make sense. The representative went on and on about how the ODP was cheaper than Insufficient Funds, and my point back is, "You had my money. You used my money to pay the bill. You just had to take it from one account and move it to another." I was nice about it, and I was rewarded for my efforts. It was a total of 10 minutes work and the return was awesome.

I guess the lesson learned here is to ask. In the past, I've gotten late fees from credit cards waived, I've gotten cell phone charges for texting knocked off, negotiated down my internet bill, etc. People don't like to do these things because a) it seems confrontational, b) it takes time, and c) it's this whole idea of David vs Goliath. I mean really, who *is* Seema in the face of the Borg entity that is my bank? But nearly every time I've asked nicely, as Jack Nicholson would say, I've gotten the charges waived. And most of the times, you don't have to argue -- the customer representative usually has a bit of discretion to do what you ask and if you're a good customer and generally pay on time, they'll do what they can to make you happy.

A few months ago, I was tardy on renewing my cell phone contract on a new offer they sent me for two free months for renewal plus $15 off one month's service. So I just called up and asked them yes, I know the offer expired a couple of days ago, but can I get it anyway? And they said yes, and then I asked for the $15 off as well. They said yes to that. Total savings for about 10 minutes worth of work again was about $87. Again, awesome return -- better than you'd get in the stock market for sure.

Anyways, I'm pumped; I think I'm going to have a breakfast taco for dinner to celebrate.

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0 comments | 5:01 PM |

Sunday, July 12, 2009


I love Sunday mornings. Just hanging out online for a couple of hours, drinking coffee, and then heading to pilates. Just really relaxing and a good time to get some browsing done online. It's the only time of the week that I really get this opportunity. Every other day is just chock full of activities, trying to keep up day to day.

I love Sundays.


0 comments | 10:29 AM |

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Job hunting

Everyone has advice on how to find a job in this economy. I've got advice too, but more along the lines of "this has worked for me in the past." Your mileage may vary. I should note that the current job hunt has attracted many job offers in the form of "work from home" and "start your own business working part-time." It's mildly discouraging, but necessary evil. I try to keep my spirits up by reminding myself that the last time the economy was bad -- 2003 -- it took me about 3 months from the day I graduated to the day I started my new job. And I'm lucky, comparatively, as I live in a part of the country that isn't hurting as badly. But still, it's not easy.

That being said, here's how I'm doing it:

1. I use job boards. I know people frown on them, but my last three jobs were found through journalismjobs.com, hotjobs.com, and careerbuilder.com, respectively. Prior to that, I applied for my job at Very Big Insurance Company through a newspaper ad. I also use monster.com (have gotten interviews in the past through monster.com, but no job) and jobfox.com as well. There's also a search engine, indeed.com, that can help round up the jobs available on a variety of other niche boards. LinkedIn.com also has job boards, but I've no experience on whether that site is any better than any other.

2. I write cover letters. Each cover letter is specific to the job I'm applying for. I tell the person where I found the job and why I think I'm a good fit, citing experiences that fit with the job description. It used to take a longer time to write these, but now I have a lot of general cover letters written and I just tweak each one accordingly.

3. Spell check!

4. I only use one resume. I know they say you're supposed to have different resumes for different jobs, but at this point, my experience and skills are aimed at such a niche area of the job market that I only use one. I may reconsider this one in about a month if I don't get anywhere.

5. I keep a spreadsheet of every job I apply to. I started this spreadsheet back in the summer of 2003 and it has basically every job I've ever applied to since then. It's kind of sad, really. But it keeps me sane, in a way, and makes me feel like I'm doing something since I really haven't gotten any responses except 3 (1 headhunter who forwarded my resume, and two outright rejections). The spreadsheet acts as a measure of activity. I keep track of when I applied for the job, the company, the location, where I found the job online, and what the results were. It also keeps me straight on whether I've applied somewhere or not before.

6. The old me used to apply for any job whether I was qualified for it or not. I figure quantity over quality. The end result was I'd have to apply for 50 jobs before I got one interview. Now, I only apply for jobs that I'm actually qualified for. If it asks for an engineering degree or Ruby on Rails, I don't apply, even if I can do everything else listed on the description. Applications take forever to fill out and I don't want to waste my time or the hiring company's time when it's obvious I don't meet key criteria.

7. I still follow my loose adage that it takes 50 applications to get one interview. That's another sanity check, because it's so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you're going to get an interview right away and keep checking email on hourly basis thinking someone is going to respond. I haven't reached the 50 application market yet, so I'm not discouraged yet.

It is hard slogging. But as my 2-year old niece once said, "But then it will be better."

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2 comments | 3:23 PM |

Sunday, July 05, 2009


I apologize for not being around, for being awful with email, updating blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, what have you. There's been a lot going on and just to reveal what all that entails here -- well, I'm not ready to do that. It's been a tough few weeks, and I'm trying to focus on the positive and just move forward. Dwelling on the past, mistakes, etc., none of that matters because it doesn't actually help me at all except for the lessons learned part. I do however have awesome family and friends :-).

On the upside, I'm taking dance lessons again, once a week, and it's a lot of fun, though my feet are having a hard time adjusting to the pounding. Still, even with extremely sore tendons the morning after, I'm enjoying every minute.

Thing the second, I bought a new car. Yes, I finally surrendered the Corolla and bought a Toyota Prius. On today's roadtrip, for a good portion, I was getting about 52 miles per gallon. Only when a headwind attacked towards the end, did my gas mileage drop -- to 50 miles per gallon.

I'll start emailing again and I apologize for not being around. Just have been attacked brutally by Real Life(tm). One of these days, when I'm feeling up to it, I'll let you know what's going on.


0 comments | 10:20 PM |

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My left foot

I went to the doctor today. In addition to Achilles tendinitis, which has been plaguing me for the past three years in both legs (especially bad in the left), I also have plantar fasciitis in my left foot. No word yet on the status of the knee as I still need to get some x-rays. It could be fine -- just irritated/swollen still from my fall in January -- or I could have actually torn/strained something or there might be something -- bone chip, maybe -- floating around in there, which might account for the intermittent pain and the locking-up in a prone position.


0 comments | 9:01 PM |

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The best of times

I've spent the last few months worrying a lot. It's like every little thing that happens seems to be 1000 times worse than it probably actually is. I don't know if it's the overload of the bad economic news that I translate and take personally. As a result, it's been difficult to make simple decisions like, should I buy a new computer?

This computer still works very well but is slow as heck and makes it difficult to really get much done; even with DSL, it's like being on dial-up again. But then I think about the $300 to $400 investment for a new PC and I shudder at the expense. Is it really the time to go out and buy something? What if we are indeed sliding towards the Great Depression and we reach 30 percent unemployment? A new PC won't help put food on the table. What if I needed that $300-$400 and it's wrapped up in a more technological advanced but depreciable item?

It's the dilemma. We need to spend to get this economy going but even those of us who are still employed (knock on wood) and should be spending are pulling way back. Two-edged sword. Don't know how to get out of this mindset and the media doesn't help with its constant barrage of reminders on just how bad things are. It makes harder to get to the point where you understand that it's the best time to buy certain items (car, house etc), but it's hard to part with that money. Having a monthly note for a new car or new house antes up the stress level if indeed you lose your job and then can't find another one for months.

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0 comments | 10:30 AM |

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Happy Milestone!

I've been remiss in acknowledging that my beloved Corolla hit 100,000 miles this week. We're currently sitting at 100,160. We've driven a long way together, baby.

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0 comments | 9:24 AM |

Friday, May 15, 2009

Where do I know you from again?

I admit it: I Facebook for the word games.

When I first joined Facebook, it was a novelty -- all these people I hadn't seen or talked or thought of in years were at my fingertips. I was going through lists of people thinking, "I know you, what have you been up to?" The emails started going fast and furious. It was amazing to find out that some people were married, had a baby or two or three, and then to find out where they live. I don't know what I was thinking -- that as my life progressed, was everyone else right where I left them? It's disconcerting to say the least.

I've stopped actively looking for people to friend on Facebook. Part of it is because I've found everyone that I do want to be in touch with. Some of them are people I'm regularly in touch already (Hi Liz!), but others we haven't had any contact -- not even a Christmas card -- in years. In two cases, I knew I knew the person, but couldn't remember from where: high school? college? camp? Somewhere else entirely? It was mystifying to me. It then occurred to me that I have three groups of friends on Facebook.

The first group are the people I actively keep in touch with and even see in person regularly. The second group are people I don't keep in as close of touch anymore, maybe a Christmas card here and there, or an IM chat/email exchange every now and then, but we haven't seen each other in years. However, with this second group, there's still an active fondness and a definite desire to hang out if ever we're in the same geographic region again. And finally, the third group - people I have met/spent time with during the high school/college years, but never developed close enough relationships with to keep in touch later. Most of the people in this group are from high school.

Then there's the fourth group: people on whom I once spent time with but don't have any desire to renew any kind of acquaintance with them for whatever reason. I always feel bad when I ignore those requests/emails, but my thoughts have been lately, "What happens if I renew my friendship/acquaintance with this person?" Would it add to my life? Would I be happy that this person is back? Clearly there was a reason why I made a choice to minimize contact, so why would I start up again, knowing that no good could come out of it?

To me, that's the ultimate dilemma. I like using Facebook to send quick messages to my RL friends and planning meet-ups etc., and I like looking at the pictures and news from people who are in the second group. The third group is moderately amusing and nostalgic. The fourth group just plain out stresses me out because my instinct to do right and be polite is mitigated by the fact that sometimes people are oil and water and no good can come out of an attempt to stir the pot and come up with something new and equally unappetizing. Or something.

Facebook for the word games is a whole lot less complicated and less fraught with emotional social issues.

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6 comments | 4:58 PM |

Friday, April 24, 2009

Days gone by

Someone emailed me recently, requesting a copy of a story I wrote for Virtual Voyager Season 8. Must have been 7 or 8 years ago now. I had forgotten the title of the story or even what it was about (actually, that last isn't so surprising -- I regularly forget what my stories are about). I wasn't even sure I had a copy, but luckily I did. Those were fun days. Yup.

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0 comments | 5:49 PM |

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tea party

Seriously cranky as they made me late for my abs class. And then stood in my way when I was trying to get to the post office to pay my taxes. Maybe that was their point, but seriously. It's especially ironic that these protesters were using public gathering places, funded by taxpayer dollars, for their gathering.

Taxes are taxes and I honestly have no feeling about them one way or another. Certainly not enough to spend precious working hours when I could be proving my value to my employer and earning money to pay the taxes that provide for our brave armed forces, our roads, our schools, public servants including law enforcement, and help those who have lost their jobs somehow make ends meet when times are tough.

Do I wish sometimes my tax dollars were spent differently? Yes. But in the end, when I drive down our beautiful new 16-lane highway, I can only be grateful for what taxpayers bought that makes my life so much easier. It's an honor and a privilege to pay taxes.

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0 comments | 9:28 PM |

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Annual ritual

I just realized, in the middle of "The Amazing Race," that I need to make my annual pilgrimage to the US Post Office on the 15th. So now it's that last minute scramble to check and recheck my work (I actually did my taxes back in late January/early February), print out all documents, make sure they're labeled correctly, etc. I don't mind the actual prep; it's the post office bit that makes me a little bit insane. No fun at all. No wonder so many people conveniently "forget" that they owe taxes.

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4 comments | 8:51 PM |

Friday, April 10, 2009

My A-ha! moment

So I'm working some freelance webdesigns and I can't believe, in nearly 12 to 13 years worth of doing this, I never figured this out -- have two index.html pages, one labeled index and the other index2, and work off the index2, and use that as the browser preview/experimental pages. See, in the past I've always just worked off the index page and then I'd find something nutty, would change it, save it in order to preview, and then realize, dang it, I can't undo. By doing it this way, I was actually able to preview, see if I liked it, and then if it worked, save it over the other index file, without losing hours worth of work.

I'm sure this has been obvious to everyone for years, but man...

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1 comments | 1:51 PM |

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Must have

Three must-haves I carry in my car trunk: a flashlight, jumper cables, and an air compressor for the tires. All pretty self-explanatory, and it just seems incredible to me to not have them. I once got stuck out late at night on a freezing winter evening (pre-cell phone days) with a dead battery because I forgot to turn off the car headlights. Luckily there was someone there who could jump my car and I was able to get home, no problem. Since then, I've always had jumper cables in my car and I've probably jumped about a dozen cars or so. They're not expensive -- maybe $20 to $30 -- but what they give you in peace of mind is so much better.

I also recommend an air compressor. These things are definitely not expensive -- I bought mine for about $20 at AutoZone. This is one of those items that you pay upfront for, but then really appreciate. Previously, I used to have to either go to the garage to get my car tires inflated or search out a gas station to fill my tires. I don't know about you, but the gas stations I always stopped at were either broken or missing a gauge (I have one of those in my car now too). Plus, you always had to have quarters if they didn't give you free air with purchase of gasoline. Now, with my air compressor, it takes about two minutes to fill up the tires in the comfort of my own garage.

I calculated it costs me about $1.50 to fill up all four tires at the gas station and when gasoline cost $4/gallon, it was about 70 cents to travel 4 miles to the gas station. So it's about $2.20/month to fill up my tires. I've owned the pump for more than a year now, so I've easily made that money back. Plus, it's just *convenient*. I can justify cost all I want, but really, it's just the convenience of knowing I can plug this thing into the cigarette lighter in the safety of my own garage and it's just all around better situation.

So, I definitely recommend just having jumper cables and air compressors for tires. It's an up-front investment, but I think worth every penny. Adding a flashlight and a tire pressure gauge for kicks isn't a bad idea either.

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0 comments | 10:58 PM |

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Rant o' the day

I really dislike, when you're looking for a service, how some vendors make you call them to get the price. I like vendors who put their prices online, easily accessible, so I can figure out whether they're in my budget or not. If they're not in my budget, I move on and I don't waste their time or mine. I know why they want me to call -- so they can convinced me that regardless of whatever they're charging, it's worth it. And vendors want that personal contact so they can keep track of who's interested -- a semi-anonymous hit on their website isn't particularly sexy. But since I only have so much time in a day to research and make phone calls (read: lunch hour), I automatically skip over anyone who doesn't publish their price points on their website.*

The key here, vendors dear vendors, is that your website isn't about YOU. If it doesn't have what I'm looking for on it, then you don't get my business automatically, even if you're the most awesomest awesome ever. Other people might fall so in love with your product, they'll call you and be okay with whatever you quote, but those of us who have a specific dollar amount in mind don't want to waste your time or ours. So please, please, put your prices on your website and save us all some time.

* Excluding car mechanics, though it's nice for routine maintenance like an oil change to know how much it's going to cost up front..

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0 comments | 10:16 PM |

Thursday, April 02, 2009

jemima made me do it

Between 50 and 100 monkeys

I'm most like Between 50 and 100 monkeys.
Take the 'How many angry monkeys could you take in a fight?' quiz!

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2 comments | 6:52 PM |

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Home away from home

So as I promised threatened a couple of posts ago, a critique of hotels. I've stayed in a lot of hotels over the last couple of years, ranging in price from about $140/night to a high of $289/night. I've had single rooms, two-bedroom suites, one bedroom suites, breakfast included and breakfast not included. The following I have found are crucial for the business traveler:

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0 comments | 6:31 PM |

Sunday, March 08, 2009


I missed that today was Spring Forward, and as a consequence, I have missed my step aerobics class. I'm glad I figured it out now because as aggravating as it is to miss the class, there are other things that are infinitely more important that I cannot miss. Such as getting to work on time tomorrow. Note -- add change clocks to Sunday "to do" list.


0 comments | 10:25 AM |

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Road warrior

I seriously have the world's largest collection of shampoos, lotions, soaps, conditioners, and other "stuff" from hotels. Hyatt Place has a nice white ginger shampoo/conditioner in easy to squeeze bottles and they aren't stingy about the amount of shampoo either. The Doubletree provides Neutrogena shampoos and conditioners, and they even provide face lotion with SPF in it. One Marriott has orange ginger lotion, which smells very nice, while another Marriott went with Lemongrass. The Ramada provided citrus ginger body lotion, but I have no idea which hotel is responsible for the mint thyme shampoo, but the bottle is really nice. Spa Select is another bottle of lotion from a hotel I can't remember but it contains comfrey, orange peel, althea, yarrow, fennel and licorice root. I only know what one of those things are.

The International Hotel in Calgary deviated from the ginger theme and went with almond, but god only knows who is responsible for the very sleek Physique brand. There's a hotel that provides Pantene, which doesn't claim any vegetable, flower or root for an ingredient. I also have several bottles of lavender-scented linen spray, courtesy of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The sorriest looking bar of soap came from the Best Western. The Sheraton shuns all manner of exotic organic ingredients and went with Vaseline brand lotion. I also have a bottle of shampoo called Golden Door; this one contains cedarwood and Spanish borage oil; no, I don't know what those ingredients are either.

This is just one shoebox; I've got a second one in the bathroom closet, also filled with toiletries from various hotels. I'm kind of scared to open it since it was closed some time ago as the bottles, soaps and tubes kept spilling over the top of the box and "escaping" in the closet. I never use them, so yes, it's kind of weird that I keep collecting these various bottles of "stuff" to bring home, but there is just something irresistible about the witch brew of exotic flavors that make it impossible for me to leave them behind; who knows when I'll run into borage oil shampoo again? Or what if there's a shortage of ginger or lavender or mint? Then what, grasshopper?

Tomorrow, I'll talk about the hotel rooms themselves as those are almost as important as the toiletries.

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1 comments | 10:05 PM |

Sunday, March 01, 2009


Baconnaise -- the taste you've been waiting for all your life: bacon flavored mayonnaise. There's a Baconnaise Lite as well as regular flavor. I'm still wondering how this product is vegetarian-safe. I guess it doesn't really matter -- it combines two things I really, really, really dislike into one. Baconnaise as a dip for artichokes/Brussels sprouts/squash/pumpkin/zucchini/broccoli would have me running for the hills (or at least the nearest vegan restaurant).

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2 comments | 9:54 PM |

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Money, money, money

I got my piece of the stimulus package today -- the $40 coupon for the converter box for the switch from analog to digital. Actually, I don't know if the recent arrival was part of the extended funding for the switch (and was tucked in the stimulus bill) or if someone's coupon expired and I got another one. Either way, I finally -- after several months on the waiting list -- got my coupon. And perfect timing too. My free service, provided by the apartment complex, ended last week and now I'm back on local only. So getting the coupon this week so I can make the transition to rabbit ears was really good timing.

Incidentally, hulu.com is pretty decent when it comes to providing television shows. I recommend "Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog" -- very cute 3-parter from Joss Whedon and singing! Good singing! Good lyrics. So yeah, I don't actually miss cable because I can get Battlestar on scifi.com or hulu.com the day after, and the Daily Show is now on hulu.com so I don't have to deal with Comedy Central's funky player. All in all, not a bad deal. Definitely a good option if, in these tough times, you're looking to cut costs -- you can still get most of your favorite shows online for free with minimal commercial interruption.

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0 comments | 8:12 PM |

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Seriously, nothing more painful than downloaded 6,345 pieces of email, spanning more than five years, and many of them really ill with viruses. On the upside of this, I think I've finally figured out where all of my email has been disappearing to. On the downside, I'm seeing emails/addresses that I really didn't want to see again. But that's another story entirely.

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0 comments | 10:39 PM |


I just realized that the Top Sekrit (tm) email account is malfunctioning. I'm not receiving email there. I didn't realize that the credit card on the account had expired -- the last emails I received were on January 30 -- but I'm still getting a moderate amount of spam and my website is up and running, so clearly it hasn't been completely turned off. I've paid the hosting charges for this month, but just be advised -- if you sent an email to the Top Sekrit (tm) account recently, I may not have received it.

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0 comments | 9:24 PM |

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Black ice is not nice

I forgot how scared I was of black ice until I encountered it this evening -- shiny patches against black pavement, illuminated by lights coming from surrounding buildings. It was hard to walk slowly because the wind was blowing so hard and while the mercury might read 34 F, I'm pretty sure the wind chill was in the teens -- the type of cold that blows right through your skin and rattles your bones. Definitely not a fan.


0 comments | 9:27 PM |

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Let it snow

It's snowing outside of my window. Three to five inches. I'm moderately excited. It's the potential for rain and icy weather I'm not so crazy about. Thankfully, I don't have to drive in the morning and navigate these roads in my tincan on wheels.


0 comments | 9:51 PM |

Friday, January 23, 2009

Just one of those things...

The only thing worse than one roll of really bad thin and scratchy toilet paper is having twelve rolls -- double size.


1 comments | 6:16 PM |

Thursday, January 22, 2009


So I haven't been able to blog because I'm getting old (I did get older recently) and cannot remember my password for blogger. I can't remember my password, because it's the same as one of my email accounts, which I recently changed the password for, because someone -- SOMEONE OUT THERE -- is using my email address for their own. Which is so bizarre to me because clearly they are looking for a job and are getting responses to their job search IN MY EMAIL ACCOUNT. Not to mention, they're getting invited to all the cool parties, and they're also traveling a lot, mostly from Detroit to other parts of the country, and usually on Northwest. I know this because they keep sending their boarding pass to my email account. They also have an interest in law school because someone I started getting missives on study groups and LSAT preps; when I emailed back to get off the list, the response from the law school was that I had requested to be put on the list, and they sent me my email as proof.

This is not a recent phenomena, but one that has been going on since fall. At first I just thought it was a typo, but no, someone out there really is using my email account. They're not doing it intentionally; I think they honestly think that my email address is their email address. And the crazy thing is, they can't read their email, they're not getting their email. You'd think when they didn't get the information about law school or their boarding pass, they'd catch on that they didn't have the right email address. But I'm starting to think the user of my email address is a couple of crayons short of a full box or simply doesn't care.

Anyway, it's getting annoying but there's nothing I can do about it. I've RSVP'd back to a couple of parties saying, "Thanks, but you have the wrong email address." This must have paid off though. Recently, Crayon Box has been trying to reset the password to my account. I know this because I keep getting the "Reset password" emails in one of my other email boxes. So clearly they keep trying to get in but can't. I got me some strong passwords.

Anyway, all this to say that I couldn't remember my password to blog because I've got to keep a step ahead of Crayon Box... but if I could blogged, I would have let out a big hip hip hooray on January 20! I'm keeping my hopes high for Obama, but understand that no matter what some might think, he doesn't walk on water, and he's inherited a mess of gigantic proportions. I don't envy him. Not one minute. I bet he's wishing he'd read the job description more closely, don't you?

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0 comments | 10:57 PM |

Saturday, January 10, 2009

New comments

I've replaced the YACCS commenting functionality with blogger's commenting system. It should work the same as YACCS, although the template isn't as pretty as the one I used for YACCS. It will ask you for a login -- you can sign in with a google account, Open ID, or anonymously. For now, I've turned off word verification because I find that highly annoying but if spamming becomes a problem on this blog, I will enable it. Let me know if you have any problems using the new commenting system. Note -- If you sign in anonymously, please sign your name. Thanks!

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0 comments | 4:36 PM |

You can never have too much Bollywood

This is one of my all time favorite songs from Bollywood. This is from the movie "Guide":

and also this golden oldie from "Guide":

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0 comments | 4:20 PM |


It looks like my longtime comments provider, YACCS, isn't around. I'll wait a couple more days to see what the situation is before I go in and tinker/tamper with the commenting function on the template.

: Looks like after seven years of service, YACCS discontinued its commenting service on Dec. 23, 2008. Wah! It was fun while it lasted. I will see about adding blogger's commenting function here.

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0 comments | 3:46 PM |

Friday, January 09, 2009


It's not often when reading one of the major national newspapers that I'm stymied by vocabulary in either a news article or opinion piece, but I was recently this week in an opinion article at the WaPo and the word is this: opprobrium. The word could either refer to "a death metal band from Metairie, Louisiana" or "Disgrace arising from exceedingly shameful conduct; ignominy; Scornful reproach or contempt; A cause of shame or disgrace." It's a great word, but I can't ever see using it in casual conversation. Now pontificating from a podium with finger pointing and a stern lecturer of a voice, that's more like it.

Note -- there are a surprising number of news stories using this word. See here.


0 comments | 5:21 PM |

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Life in the slow lane

The problem with having a computer circa 2001 is that it doesn't play well with newer technology. So this whole thing about uploading pictures from my India trip is taking way longer than it should, and then in the middle of the whole thing, my computer got tired, and rebooted itself. Everytime I plug in my digital camera, Windows gives me the helpful hint that upgrading my USB ports will allow the camera (and my iPod) to work faster. It's tempting, but it's also tempting to buy a new computer.

Here's the thing though -- other than the USB applications (ie camera and iPod), my computer works great for my daily activities which are nothing more complicated than email and writing and web surfing. Every now and then I'll use PhotoShop or Dreamweaver to update a page on my site, but MS Word is about as complicated as I get on a regular basis. This is why it doesn't make sense to buy a new computer and I'm not sure whether buying a new computer will make uploading pictures that much easier; I suspect part of the problem can be chalked up to "user error."

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0 comments | 3:02 PM |


I didn't make any New Year's resolutions last year because well, I never keep them anyway. This year, I've decided to give it a shot, even given my past history of lasting about a week on any one resolution. Here are my resolutions for this year:

* Keep my kitchen counter clean
* File/shred my paperwork
* Use those coupons I keep getting at the grocery store/Target
* Keep my toe-nails painted
* Start the morning with a few stretches
* Cook more at home and wean myself off my Morningstar-heavy diet which is getting a wee bit pricey these days
* Keep my car cleaned on the inside and outside
* Remember to ice my Achilles tendons, as if the pain of the tendons wasn't reminder enough
* Read more books

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0 comments | 10:03 AM |

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

All's well that ends well

iTunes responded to me yesterday. Cheers to Jody for actually taking the time to understand the issue. I still haven't addressed the double-charge for the soundtrack yet, but one thing at a time.

Hello Seema,

It is my understanding that you are missing two songs from your Mamma Mia soundtrack and you would like to get them back. I can certainly understand your concern over this matter. My name is Jody and it will be my pleasure to look into this for you today.

I've checked your account and due to your order being older than 60 days, I'm unable to place your two missing songs back into your download queue. As a way of apologizing for this situation, and the inconvenience that this has caused, I'd like to offer you 2 free song credits to be used on the iTunes Store.

When you next sign in with this account, the song credits will appear by your account name (in the upper-right section of the iTunes Store). The next individual song you buy from the iTunes Store will use one of your song credits instead of your primary form of payment (until all credits have been used or have expired). Please note that song credits cannot be used for purchasing songs that are listed as "Album Only."

If you don't see your credits, refresh your account information by signing out and back in to the iTunes Store. You can find both "Sign Out" and "Sign In" within the pull-down "Store" menu.

Thank you for being part of the iTunes Store Community, Seema. It is important to me that your issues are resolved to your satisfaction. If you have any further questions, please feel free to reply to this email. We strive to make everyone's experience here as pleasant as possible.


iTunes Store Customer Support

PLEASE NOTE: I'm working Mon, Tues, & Sat from 10:30 am - 9:00 pm this week.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you. You may receive an AppleCare survey email; any feedback you provide would be greatly appreciated

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0 comments | 3:17 PM |

Monday, December 22, 2008

Bad iTunes, no biscuit!

How is this for customer support?

I sent this form to the iTunes store this morning for two songs -- "I Have a Dream" and "Thank You For the Music" -- reporting that while I had purchased the entire "Mamma Mia!" soundtrack, these two songs did not download and were not available anywhere on my computer, nor could I download them without having to pay again. My question to them was, could I get the two missing songs? I didn't ask for a refund -- only what I paid for (and I think iTunes may have charged me twice for the soundtrack, but that's another issue entirely).

Here's the form I sent in (from the iTunes site itself); I sent the exact same form for "I Have a Dream" as well (incriminating information removed to protect yours truly):

Customer First Name : Seema
Customer Last Name : XXXXXXX
Web Order # : XXXXXXXX
Support Subject : I didn't receive this song
Sub Issue : Incomplete download
Comments : iTunes Account Name: XXXXXXXX
Platform : XXXXXXXXX
Song Name : Thank You for the Music
I purchased the entire Mamma Mia soundtrack and this is one of two songs I did not receive. The other songs all downloaded just fine.

Here's the entirely unhelpful response from Apple (in duplicate):

Dear Seema,

Your request for a refund for "Thank You for the Music" was carefully considered; however, according to the iTunes Store Terms of Sale, all purchases made on the iTunes Store are ineligible for refund. This policy matches Apple's refund policies and provides protection for copyrighted materials.

You can review the iTunes Store Terms of Sale for more information:



iTunes Store Customer Support

Well, Kate, I hope you get a big fat piece of coal in your stocking because gee whiz, how carefully did you consider my request when your response and my issue have nothing in common? And at this point, I'm out $2.11 ($11.98 total) and still no songs.

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0 comments | 10:05 PM |

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