Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Biggest Loser Contest

I received an email this morning that said:

MWR's 6th annual "Biggest Loser" Contest will begin on January 13.

MWR is Morale, Welfare, and Recreation. Those are the people at Crane that manage the gym and the pool and other recreational kinds of things.

So, here are the rules.

  1. Teams are made up of two individuals.

  2. Entry fee is $20 per team.

  3. Initial and final weigh-ins are to be conducted at the Crane Gym. Participants must wear T-shirts and gym shorts for weigh-ins.

  4. The team with the highest percentage of weight loss at the end of the contest wins.

Payouts (AKA PRIZES!!!)

1st place -- 40% of entry fees
2nd place -- 20% of entry fees
3rd place -- 10% of entry fees

Initial Weigh-In is January 13th.
Final Weigh-In is March 10th.

My partner is Helen B. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Therapeutic Writing

Okay, I know that this might be right out of left-field for those I haven't talked to in the past week. Others may not know about the last week or so, but may know enough history to not be surprised by this plan. But I think I have a solution to some recent goings-on in my world.
I'm going to write about it!

Have you seen the movie, "Something's Gotta Give"? Diane Keaton's character is heart-broken by Jack Nicholson's character. She writes a whole play/musical about their short, but eventful tryst. She's seen sobbing for days as she writes about it. But it's very healing. And ultimately, the show is a huge hit!

So, it crossed my mind to write about the whole situation between me and Jeff and Jeff's father (my ex-husband) and his current family.

I didn't get the idea during one of the many times I watched the movie. It came to me last night when I was trying to come up with some way to turn this situation into something more positive. It crossed my mind that I could take all this pent up emotion and my desire to write and spin a tale about the whole ordeal. A tale that would be somewhat factual and somewhat entertaining. Perhaps we too could write a play or a musical or a book that would make money, make people laugh, and make Mike and others like him think about their actions.

I could use the experience to cleanse me, heart and I'm still find reasons to beat myself for choosing so poorly a man to start a family with. The money could put Jeff through school. And hopefully the notoriety will embarrass the heck out of Mike. Okay, that last one wouldn't be the primary goal...but it would be a nice ancillary benefit.

I like it! I'll start writing chapter outlines right away.

I can't wait to share the idea with Jeff.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holiday Eating Tips

Bear in mind, I did not write these. I received them, read them, laughed at them, and decided to share them. Enjoy!

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare. You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. While you're at it, have one for me. Have two!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape AND SIZE of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day? I don't think so.

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read these tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. Remember this motto to live by:

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"

Have a wonderful Christmas season!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Music

Okay, I'm going to give you some insight into my spontaneous emotions. For those that know me well, you know that I am probably the most emotional person we both know. I take medication to control it mostly. But there are times when my meds cannot mask my true feelings.

Sometimes, this is a bad thing...when my depression is really deep and I don't really know why. But I'm not writing about those times right now. What I'm sharing today is all about those times when something just touches my heart so truly, that I can't help but cry. You know, like when you're watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition with Ty Pennington and they just yelled 'Move that bus!' Okay, it's like that. Only it doesn't have to be that grand a gesture to invoke tears in me.

I was sitting at my desk at work, doing a somewhat tedious task that doesn't require a whole lot of brain-power. And I was listening to my Casting Crowns "Peace on Earth" CD. The song "While You Were Sleeping (Original Christmas Version)" played. It's track #4. I hear this song EVERY time I listen to this CD. But today, I truly HEARD it. I stopped typing and just listened...and then cried. I don't know if anyone noticed that I'd stopped typing. I'm pretty sure no one noticed that I started crying. But the words to the song mixed with the lovely melody just touched me in a way it hadn't before. And I could not control the emotional reaction.

Here is the song. (you probably want to scroll to the bottom of this page and turn off my music player)

And here are the words. I hope it touches your heart as much as it touched mine.

Oh little town of Bethlehem
Looks like another silent night
Above your deep and dreamless sleep
A giant star lights up the sky
And while you're lying in the dark
There shines an everlasting light
For the King has left His throne
And is sleeping in a manger tonight, tonight

Oh Bethlehem, what you have missed while you were sleeping
For God became a man
And stepped into your world today
Oh Bethlehem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King
While you were sleeping
While you were sleeping

Mary shivers in the cold
Trying to keep the Savior warm
Born among the animals wrapped in dirty rags
Because there was no room for Him
In the world He came to save

Oh Bethlehem, what you have missed while you were sleeping
For God became a man
And stepped into your world today

Oh Bethlehem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King
While you were sleeping
While you were sleeping

United States of America
Looks like another silent night
As we're sung to sleep by philosophies
That save the trees and kill the children
And while we're lying in the dark
There's a shout heard 'cross the eastern sky
For the Bridegroom has returned
And has carried His bride away in the night

America, what will we miss while we are sleeping
Will Jesus come again
And leave us slumbering where we lay
America, will we go down in history
As a nation with no room for its King

Will we be sleeping
Will we be sleeping

United States of America
Looks like another silent night

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Building a Dog House

The following story could be fictitious.

Once upon a time there was a mother and son who lived in a small home in a small town. Actually, the mother lived there and the son only visited occasionally as he was away at college. One particular Saturday night, the mother agreed to let the son drive her car for the evening, even though she originally had plans to drive it herself. The son was asked to be careful and even agreed to put gas in the car. There appeared to be an understanding between the mother and the son to the point that the mother was comfortable leaving the local area, trusting her son would not disappoint her by breaking the rules.

Though not mentioned specifically that Saturday night, the standing rules are: No sex. No drugs. No alcohol. No cigarettes. No breaking any laws. No breaking any hearts. And no doing anything that will embarrass your mother. The son has heard these rules enough to know them by heart.

Upon getting home from her night out with friends, the mother went to bed. The son still wasn't home, but he had sent a text message letting the mother know where he was and what he was doing. The mother was not worried about the son and was just comforted knowing that he was with friends, enjoying an evening of camaraderie.

The next day, the mother had to get up and go to church where she was to be the song leader. Upon seeing her car, she was shocked that apparently someone found the need to throw mud at it from all directions. She was careful not to soil her church clothes as she opened the car door. To her dismay, the interior reeked of cigarette smoke. Her blood pressure immediately increased. Even if the son wants to ruin his health by smoking, he has been told repeatedly that the mother does NOT like the smell of smoke and NO ONE is allowed to smoke in her home or her car. As she sat in the driver's seat, it was apparent that someone (most likely the son, but no one knows for sure) had sprayed a smelly spray throughout the car, probably in an attempt to cover up the cigarette smoke. The windshield and rear-view mirror would need to be cleaned in order to have a safer view when driving. But there was not time to accomplish this task prior to having to be at the church.

Before even leaving the driveway, said car was making a ringing sound and displaying on the dashboard that it was in dire need of fuel. Again, having not enough time to perform this necessary task prior to church, the mother prayed that she could make it to a gas station on her way home...which she did.

When these issues were raised to the son, he insisted that he could explain. He provided a story about having to go fetch a drunk friend from a party in the middle of nowhere, running out of gas, and getting stuck in the mud. Prior to getting home, his friend got sick in my car and that's why it smells like a cross between 'ewwwww' and 'too-many-flowers-for-such-a-small-space'. But the son ensured her that he had taken the time to clean out the car.

The mother doubted the words of the son. First of all, the car didn't smell like someone got sick in it. It smelled like someone smoked in it. And the ashes on the door and the dash only further supported her theory. Second, it was not obvious that anyone had been sick in the car. Unfortunately the car is filthy enough that the one clean spot would have glaringly stood out. Third, the mother is not sure that the son's friend would have even called to get a ride home. He's not a very smart drunk (as if there was such a thing) and likely would have driven himself home...unless of course he couldn't find his own truck.

As the son was explaining his side of the story, the mother noticed his packed bags sitting at his feet. He explained that he needed to head back to campus as he had an interview. The chances of that being true is about as likely as it being untrue. The mother figures, why speculate at this point. It would be just as believable that the son was heading back to college just to remove himself from the one place on the planet where he'd have to endure the wrath of the mother.

So, the son has returned to the safety and comfort of his college dorm room, a full 48 hours prior to planning to do so. Just as well as the mother didn't really have the time to build a dog house for him to sleep in.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday, Monday

It's so quiet in the office this morning. The "office" being a room full of eight cubicles, surrounded by seven offices with actual doors. Sure I can hear the printer and one of our scanners. Several co-workers are typing and shuffling through papers. And I can hear one muffled conversation going on somewhere, though not loud enough to make out specific words. Everyone is busy and stepping into their Monday quietly. I love that!

It will change though. And probably soon. As we get caffeine into our bodies, we'll start talking more. And it won't be long before the phones start ringing. And I'm sure to have someone in my cubicle sooner or later that needs me to do or explain something...or who simply wants to talk for a bit.

But right now, as my PC reboots after an important update, I'm enjoying the slow, peaceful start to the week.

I have plans to have dinner with friends tonight. And I have plenty to keep me busy between now and then. Should be a lovely day!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

-- Virtual Open House --

I've had several people ask me if I was having a Holiday Open House for my MK business. Unfortunately, by the time I was ready to plan it, my calendar was booked.

I promise, next year I will do one mid-November. So, be ready! I will be!

Instead, this year I've decided to have a VIRTUAL Open House!

Here's the deal:


When you place your order between the 1st and the 15th, you get 20% off your total order.(Purchasing by the 15th will guarantee a 'by Christmas' delivery for anything I don't already have on-hand.)

When you place your order between the 16th and the 31st, you get 10% off your order.

So, no matter when you shop until the end of December, you'll get a great discount.
So feel free to stock up! And tell a friend!

PLUS, when you purchase a TimeWise or Velocity set (cleanser and moisturizer),
you get $5 off of your choice of foundation!

That means that if you purchase a Velocity set with a liquid foundation before December 14th, your cost goes from $36 to $24.80!

And a TimeWise set with a mineral foundation, your cost goes from $58 to $32.40!

If you ever wanted to try a new quality skin care line, now is the best time to start!

So, visit my website and check out all of our limited-edition holiday items as well as all of our great regular-line items. Knock out some of your Christmas shopping or pick out a few things to make YOU look gorgeous.

You can place your order online, send me an email message, or give me a call.
And I'll do everything I can to get your order to you as soon as possible.

My little disclaimer: Just to make my tax preparation easier, I will be charging 7% interest on the retail value (the 'before discount' price). Questions or concerns, please let me know. Thanks!

Leslie Doyle
Independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultant

Monday, November 30, 2009


I went to my very first Zumba class tonight.

What is Zumba, you ask? It's a type of aerobics that consists of Latin dancing and constant movement. There's even a website dedicated to all things Zumba. Check it out...

So, this was my first workout other than walking in YEARS. I wasn't even sure that I could keep up. And I definitely didn't think I could do it for an hour. But I did! I did a much more low-impact version than the instructor. But I kept moving. And sweating. And burning calories.

When we were done, I felt great!

Terri and I have decided to attend a class weekly through Vincennes. After that, hopefully we'll be attending those same classes here in God's Country! THAT would be ideal!

Monday, November 23, 2009

I know, I know...

I said I was going to try harder to post more often. I'm not sure what it is. I have been filling more of my time with Mary Kay. But my plans to spend more time on my fitness and my home haven't happened yet. So, I'm not sure why I can't seem to find the time to blog.

I do have one theory. Every time I find myself wanting to blog about something, I find myself poking fun at or pointing out the negative aspects of something. And I don't really want to get in that habit. If I'd just spend a little more time on the 'idea', I could swing it in another direction, making it more informative and less entertaining at someone else's expense. On the other hand, I want to be witty. And sometimes it's more of a challenge to be witty and informative at the same time. Whereas being entertaining at someone else's expense is all about being witty.

So, I've been pulling back. Instead of mocking absolutely ridiculous commercials or venting about the latest happenings on my favorite shows, I just roll my eyes and change the channel. Instead of writing about the strange habits of one of my co-workers or venting about my son, I simply talk to myself out loud, rather than sharing it with the world wide web. Instead of complaining about being tired or whatever ails me this week, I type up a journal entry for my 'private' blog and feel the satisfaction that comes with publishing an entry...even though my faithful readers don't get to see it.

I'm pretty sure that NO ONE reads my 'other' blog. But I've posted to that one 49 times since the beginning of September. This one? A mere 16 times in the last three months. Shameful, I know.

My 'other' blog, my 'private' blog, is strictly a journal. I don't worry about entertaining anyone. In fact, I mail in updates that post immediately for that blog. I rarely go view it myself. I type up a journal entry and send it to a particular email address and al-la-peanut-butter-sandwiches, it's there for the world to see...if they just knew where to look for it. No pictures. No editing. Nothing special. Just the random, raw thoughts that were running through my head when I started typing the email.

This one, not so informal. I spend time trying to decide what's appropriate to share. I try not to be offensive. I try to be witty and sometimes even informed. I type it up and edit a couple of times. I make sure the font is the same as previous posts. And I find just the right picture to go with it. And if I don't think I have the time or energy to do all of that, I don't even complete step one. I put it off until another day. And then another day. And yet another day. Until three weeks have gone by between my blog posts!

I've thought about doing more of a journal here. But that could be less than entertaining for the readers, especially since I tend to use several acronyms and only first names. And I've thought about chronicling my Mary Kay efforts or my weight-loss efforts. But again, I figure that would be pretty boring to someone who isn't trying to accomplish the same things.

So, do you have any suggestions? What do you want to read? What do you want to know? Tell me all about it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sesame Street

Sesame Street is 40 years old this month. Wow, I had no idea that Sesame Street was older than me. I turned 39 yesterday; Sesame Street turns 40 on the 10th.

I haven't seen Sesame Street in years. In fact, I'm not even sure what channel or what time to look for it. But I have memories of Sesame Street. I'd imagine we all do.

For many of us, that was our first introduction to Spanish. We learned about hard G (Grover) and soft G (George). We got to figure out which one of these things doesn't belong here. Every episode was sponsored by two letters and a number. And even though we usually didn't know (or care) who they were, there was never a lack of celebrity guests.

But things have changed in the past 40 years, even at 123 Sesame Street. For instance, when I was a kid, there was no Elmo. Grover was the cute, cuddly monster. And he wasn't loud and annoying either. No offense, Elmo. I'm just sayin'. And Cookie Monster used to eat cookies...A LOT. But with the ever-growing childhood obesity problem in our country, even Cookie Monster has had to adjust. I wonder if Oscar is still a grouch or if he was enrolled in some anger management course.

Congratulations, Sesame Street, on your 40 years of success in teaching us and our children...about letters and numbers and manners and how to be a good friend. I hope you have another 40 years of unbridled success.

PS. To my faithful followers, I apologize for my long absence. I promise to try to do better in the future. lmd

Thursday, October 15, 2009

One Nation Under God

I received the following in an email. It moved me, so I wanted to share it. Feel free to share it with your email buddies. In fact, please do!

Some folks passing through Texarkana last week noted signs in people's yards that said, "America, prayer is our only hope" with II Chronicles 7:14 underneath. We certainly need God's help!

I have no idea who started this, but I certainly agree with this e-mail. I heard a preacher on TV who said if we pray for our nation that things will turn around.

After a day of contemplation and soul searching, I have decided to reach out to my friends and relatives and ask you to do something that has been troubling me for a long time.

Our nation is/has been on the slippery slope for a long time. If you look around you will find corruption, greed, moral decay, and a steady move away from the things that made us great. The principles upon which this nation was founded are no longer our backbone. However, we can reverse this trend.

II Chronicles 7:14
"If my people
who are called by my name
will humble themselves
and pray
and seek my face
and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven
and will
forgive their sin
and heal their land."

I am convinced that we must pray for our nation and its leaders and ask for forgiveness. So, I ask you to join me in this plea to our Lord. Would you please send this to people in your address book (send it to all of them); ask them to pray EVERY DAY.

If you and they comply, we will lift up millions and millions of prayers a day to our Creator. He will hear us and in faith, will answer.

Let me just add a quote from Ronald Reagan "If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." I truly believe this is why the United States of America is in the shape we are in today. Most people have forgotten that we are one nation under God! Let us as Christians stand up and remind people of this.

Today, I met SAIC's new CEO. He's only been on the job for 24 days and is making the circuit across the country to visit his many employees... THOUSANDS of us. After shaking hands for the meet and greet portion, he asked us all to join him in saying the Pledge of Allegiance. He told us that we'd learn more about him in those 30 seconds than we would reading all the information on our company's website. I found that to be very moving as well.

One nation under God. I heard it twice today. Must be true. Thank God!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Have you ever considered being a Mary Kay consultant?

Have you ever wanted to run your own business, earn some extra money, maybe even earn a free car? Or perhaps you just want to be able to purchase your favorite MK products at cost.

Well, there has NEVER been a better opportunity to do just that!

This month only, the cost for starting your Mary Kay business is only $50 plus shipping and taxes. That's a total of $62.86. (I had two orders last week that were at least that much. Had I known this deal was coming, I would have at least let my customers know that for that same money, they could have registered to be a consultant and gotten their products at cost for the rest of their lives! They may or may not have been interested, but at least they would have had the choice.)

So, I'm telling everyone I know -- all my Facebook friends, all my faithful blog followers, all of my Mary Kay customers, and pretty much every woman in my email address list. So, if you're reading this, that includes you!

A few things you might want to know...

What do I get for $62.86?

1. the Opportunity Kit (as opposed to the full Starter Kit) which includes:
  • the On-the-Go Tote, a roomy black bag-style purse with pink trim
  • samples of the TimeWise Ultimate Set (cleanser, moisturizer, day/night solutions, and the microdermabrasion set)
  • 7 different color cards (5 ea)
  • foundation shade selector tool
  • MK Sheer Mineral Pressed Powder samples
  • MK Ultimate Mascara and demo wands
  • Satin Hands Pampering Set samples
  • educational materials
  • sales tickets, customer profiles, and catalogs
2. a free MK Personal Website for six months (check mine out!)
But this limited-time offer gets much sweeter when you make the commitment to start your business with a product order of $1,334 suggested retail ($600.30 wholesale) or higher by November 30. This initial order makes you eligible to receive:
  • a 55% discount (as opposed to the normal 50%) for that initial order. (For example, if you choose to purchase $3000 suggested retail, it'll only cost you $1350 plus tax and shipping.)
  • additional product bonuses and special offers, including the rest of the full Starter Kit.
Am I obligated to purchase anything else?
- In short, no. But if you want to get your favorite products at cost, you have to place a minimum $200 order once a year. To be considered 'active', you'd have to place a minimum $200 order once a quarter. Do you think that you'd use $400 worth of MK in a year? I'll bet you could. And if you don't think you'd use that much, you can always get items for your close friends and relatives. Then they'll be helping you get to the $200.
- Also, if you want to get the rest of your Starter Kit (including retail-sized products to use as demonstrators for your classes) and qualify for the 55% discount, you'll want to place a $600.30 order before the end of November.
Do I have to hold parties/classes/shows?
- In short, no. Personally, I think it's a great way to meet new people, earn some extra money, and build a dream. But you are under no obligation to share these products or this opportunity with anyone.

What if I don't know anything about skin care and cosmetics?
- No problem. The company, your director, your sister consultants, and me -- we will ALL help you reach whatever goals you want to reach with Mary Kay. Not to mention, our Mary Kay website has information on each product we sell and every service we provide. You'll never be at a loss for information or inspiration.

Seriously...think about it. It's really a good deal!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How do you plead?

I have never been asked that question before.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to sit in on a court session. It was a first for me. I've always wanted from the Juror's box, NOT from the defendant's table, not even from the plaintiff's table, and definitely NOT from the judge's bench. Yesterday, I was mostly just a spectator.

Yesterday's docket included 13 different cases, all initial hearings. Those charged came in all shapes and sizes, were diverse in age, and were all male except one. Four of them were wearing orange as they were currently residing in the local jail/prison. Most of the charges were misdemeanors, but there were a couple of felony counts in there as well.

I was expecting to hear the judge ask each individual how he or she wanted to plead. But that didn't happen. I also thought that each individual would receive his or her sentence. That didn't happen either. The judge explained that the whole intent of this hearing was to ensure that each person understood what they were being charged with and the ramifications of pleading guilty to that charge. He described the difference between a bench hearing and a trial hearing. (Everyone was getting a bench hearing unless they specifically requested a jury hearing in writing.) He described all circumstances which would revoke each person's bail. He informed us when the actual 'how do you plead' hearings were to be scheduled. He also explained that a "Not Guilty" plea would be entered for everyone, unless they chose to change that.

Finally, he said that if anyone was interested in a plea bargain, they were to speak with the prosecutor prior to the next hearing...which was scheduled for five weeks later. Apparently Indiana has a 'diversion program', which falls into the plea bargain option. To qualify, you have to be in good standing with the courts, including no additional outstanding charges against you. You have to pay the associated fee, which is $300 or so. Then you have to agree to stay completely out of trouble for a specified amount of time. I believe it's six months. If you happen to get into trouble during that time frame, you'll be back in court, this time facing penalties for BOTH charges...the old one and the new one.

I'm sure you're wondering why I am telling you all this. On July 29th, a teenager that I happen to know really well was busted for Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor on School Property. I didn't hear about it until early September. Yesterday was the initial hearing. And that teenager I mentioned before has opted to complete the paperwork for the diversion program

Now let's see if he can stay out of trouble for the next six months.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy New [fiscal] Year!

Well, here it is... 1 October. I survived my first fiscal year-end with the Comptroller Department. And it was kind of exciting.

I have to admit, I wasn't nearly as rushed or stressed as the people I work with because I'm not part of the 'funding document process'. My time was spent addressing any IT issues (computer, network, server, database, etc.). I can't always fix the problems, but I can speak the techie language of the people who can. It relieves that burden from the folks who need to focus on the actual financial work.

I also had several people ask me to query various databases so that they could see 'where we were'. How many receipts were run by such-and-such-a-program that haven't been cleared yet? How many type 'F' transactions don't have an associated type 'R' transaction? What was our total revenue for FY09? Now divide it up between THIS kind of funding and THAT kind of funding. Create a list of orphan records based on whether or not they have a particular code. Etc, etc, etc.

This is my favorite part of my job. I love running SQL statements against databases...AKA 'talking to' the databases. Sometimes it takes me some time to figure out how to tie multiple tables together or even multiple databases together. But when I finally figure it out, victory! It's like working a crossword puzzle or a brain-teaser. I enjoy the challenge and the subsequent feeling of success. And I find that the people asking for the data are THRILLED when I give them the results. Without the ability to speak 'SQL', it could/would take them hours to get the same list.

I left the office at about 8:45pm, after working 12 hours. And it wasn't bad at all. We were busy much of the day, so it seemed to fly by! But I have to say, sometimes it was entertaining to field phone calls where our customers were calling during the 11th hour to request near-miracles. I know it was stressful for some of my co-workers who had to process those requests. To me, it was just unreal. It's amazing how much work is done on the last day of the fiscal year. Of course, some of it HAS to wait until that late date. But I'm sure some of it did NOT. But every call that came in was super-crazy-urgent...and was usually followed by an email and two more phone calls to check the status of their request. Sometimes it felt like we were spending as much time updating the status to the customers as we were doing the work. If we could have gotten the phones to stop ringing, we probably could have gotten things done faster.

At any rate, the work is mostly done. Halleluiah! And Happy New Year!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Workin' for the Weekend

I know it's been some time, nearly a week, since I last blogged. But I've been a busy girl. And when I'm not busy, I'm tired. And when I'm not busy or tired, I still can't blog because I'm having phone line issues at my house. (So, if you're my FB friend, that's why my crops are withered and my fish are dead.)
I work in the Comptroller Department. And we're coming up on the end of our fiscal year. You'd be amazed by how many numbers out there that need to balance. So, I've worked the last three Saturday's. (Lucky me, I've been off every Sunday.) And it's not like I'm working 18-hour days or anything. But I'm not getting to sleep in. And anyone who knows me, knows how much I love to sleep in on my weekends. Well, by working Saturday's and going to church Sunday mornings, I'm not getting to sleep in EVER. And I am REALLY missing it!

Tomorrow is officially the last day of the fiscal year. I've heard a couple of people talk about bringing in more comfortable clothes for the later hours of the evening/night. I asked my boss how late she wanted/needed me to stay. The message I understood in her reply was, 'Be flexible.' So, I honestly don't know how late I'll be working tomorrow. I could be out of here by dark. Or I could be here until midnight. No way to know at this point.

I also asked what our schedule would be like for the first week of October. Again, no specific guidance there. Could be normal days, could be long days. This is my first year in the Comptroller Department, so I have no idea. And those that have some experience with this time of year in this department, aren't willing to put in their bets. Suffice it to say, I have no idea how many hours I'm working this week.

That's okay with me though. Except for being ready to jump into my MK business with abandon and singing at mass this Sunday morning, I don't have much going on in my world.

...except that I need to get my phone fixed. Jeff noticed last weekend when he was home that our phone didn't have a dial tone. I rarely use that phone, so I didn't even notice. It's a cheap wal-mart phone; I figured it had just hit the end of its life-cycle. I planned to get a new cheap wal-mart phone the next time I headed that way (which will be well after this fiscal year scheduling is in the past). Then I didn't think about it again...until I had no internet this past weekend. It crossed my mind that perhaps my 'phone' issue is really a 'phone line' issue.

So, this is what I have to do. I need to take my phone outside and plug it into this little gray box that's hanging off the side of my house. If I have service there, that means the problem is INSIDE the house and MY problem to solve. We're hoping that's NOT the case. If I DON'T have service there, that means the problem is OUTSIDE the house and Verizon will look into it. BUT the little gray box that's hanging off the side of my house requires a 3/8" socket so that I can remove the bolt that serves as a lock, protecting the phone jack inside. I thought for sure I had such a tool, but nothing I had fit. So, I'll address it again tonight.

Again...let's pray together now...we do NOT want to have phone service from the little gray box hanging off the side of my house so that Verizon can come out and work their magic, making both my phone and my lovely internet connection functional again. THANKS!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Forty Days for Life - Day 1

Forty Days for Life is a campaign to end abortion through prayer and fasting. Today is Day 1. This record breaking campaign is being hosted in at least 212 cities in 45 US states, 5 Canadian provinces, and Denmark. People will be coming together to pray... for life. This is the largest, most-widespread, coordinated pro-life outreach ever.

In addition to joining one of the on-site prayer locations, there are daily devotionals available to keep you focused. You can access them at the Forty Days for Life website or have them emailed directly to you.

This is the fourth Forty Days event. What happened after the first three events?
  • Over 200,000 have joined together in an historic display of unity to pray and fast for an end to abortion
  • More than 70,000 people have taken to the streets, forming peaceful 40-day prayer vigils outside of Planned Parenthood centers and abortion facilities
  • Reports document 1,561 lives that have been spared from abortion — and those are just the ones we know about
  • Eighteen abortion workers have quit their jobs and walked away from the abortion industry
  • Three abortion facilities completely shut down following local 40 Days for Life campaigns
  • Hundreds of women and men have been spared from the tragic effects of abortion, including a lifetime of regrets
  • More than 400 news stories have been featured in newspapers, magazines, radio shows and TV programs from coast to coast ... and overseas
  • Many people with past abortion experiences have stepped forward to begin post-abortion healing and recovery

***NOTE: Much of this post was pulled directly from the Forty Days for Life website. But there's tons more information out there. So, check it out.***

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First Day of Fall

That's what it says on my Franklin Covey Day Planner. Today is the first day of fall.

I love fall. It's my favorite of all the seasons. Has been since I was a kid and loved summer like all other kids do.
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. ~John Muir

The temperature in this part of the country is mild and comfortable. Perfect for sitting out on the porch and opening the windows to let in the fresh air.
Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. ~George Eliot

The leaves on the trees turn the most beautiful colors. And they're ever-changing. It's just a beautiful time.
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. ~Albert Camus

And the corn and soybeans are ready to harvest. Everything is ready to harvest! It's just a neat time.
For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad. ~Edwin Way Teale

Not to mention, I love that it's football season. Weekends spent with my favorite teams.
Deep inside, we're still the boys of autumn, that magic time of the year that once swept us onto America's fields. ~Archie Manning

What's not to like about the fall?
Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn. ~Elizabeth Lawrence

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tired Baby Girl

I was so excited that nearly every morning when I woke up last week, I felt rested. It's been awhile since I've felt that good that many mornings in a row.
Well...THAT has come to an abrupt end! Today, I am a tired baby girl.

I know I stayed up too late watching the Giants beat the Cowboys. And unfortunately, I intend to watch football again tonight. The COLTS' one and only Monday Night Football game AND the two-hour premier of "House". Why on earth did those two events have to be scheduled on the same night?! Last night, I tossed and turned so much, I pulled the sheets off my bed. I don't remember having any traumatic dreams. But for some reason, my body just wasn't restful. I hope that changes for tonight.

Jeff was home for the weekend. I didn't see him much, but I'm sure he was there. We went to dinner Friday night at Los Bravos. Just like old times. We sat and talked for about half an hour after we'd stopped eating. Then he went to the volleyball game and I went home to veg out. He got home after I'd gone to bed. Saturday, I worked all day and then went to an Emmaus Candlelight. Jeff slept until noon and then hung out with friends until well after I was in bed. Sunday, I sang at mass with the choir while Jeff slept in. We did spend the afternoon my parents'. We had dinner with them before Jeff headed back to school. So, we shared a couple of meals. He seems to be doing well. And I think he enjoyed his weekend home.

It's September 21st. That means we have less than ten days of the fiscal year left to get everything ready for the next fiscal year. So far, so good. I've been able to keep up with everything that's been handed to me to working a couple of Saturday's. I'm sure things will start getting a little crazy here. But if I can just get some restful sleep, I think I'll be okay. I have a feeling that this coming weekend is going to be a little crazy.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Nice job, Leslie!

Every Thursday, I run a report that lets the financial folks at Crane know our current numbers. We have targets that we're trying to hit by the end of the fiscal year (FY). So, some folks are anxious to see this report each week...including my bosses.

This morning, I finished the report and sent updated numbers to a few folks in key positions, like I do every week. One of the people that gets that information is the Comptroller. I really like Mr. C. We've been a little concerned with hitting our projected Revenue numbers this year, so I let them know that our revenue was up $12M this week. (It was up a little more last week, but less than that the three weeks prior.) Anyway, he came back with a message. "Good job, Leslie! $12M is a good number."

I had to stop and think about that. The fact is, I don't do ANYTHING to 'affect' the numbers. I simply run the report and then report the results. THEN it crossed my mind that maybe I SHOULD HAVE BEEN doing something to 'affect' those numbers. I started to freak out a little, thinking that the previous employees who filled this position were accountants and probably knew how to adjust balances between the various departments, etc. to improve our numbers. But no one has ever taught me how to do this, so I've never done anything like that.

Well, Mr. C stopped by my desk about 20 minutes later. I couldn't help myself...I just had to ask him... "When you said, nice job to me, you're not REALLY saying that I personally did something to improve the flow of Revenue for Crane this week, are you? Or that I might actually do some creative accounting with the data to 'fix' errors the systems might have caused?" He flat out laughed at me and said that no, he knew I was simply reporting the numbers, that his comment was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. I told him that I was relieved, but that it had crossed my mind that if our Revenue was already improving and I hadn't even tapped into any power *I* might have for improving things... well shucks, things could be GREAT if I actually knew how to take advantage of that 'power'. He looked at me seriously and said that there would NEVER be a need for me to report anything other than the real story.

Good! Because that's all I know how to do! I really like working for Mr. C.

I have to say, I didn't honestly think that I was expected to do anything sly or under-handed to improve the financial picture at Crane. I simply thought that there might be accounting rules or financial tools that I wasn't aware of that I could be (should be) using to correct any previously made errors. But no...I'm doing everything I'm supposed to least with respect to this report. I was relieved to hear that!

Nice job, Leslie!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

How 'bout them Colts?

Okay, for a Colts fan, I need to pay better attention. I didn't even know until today that Hunter Smith wasn't a Colt anymore. No more Hunter the Punter...well, at least not in Indy. He's playing for the Washington Redskins. He's a good man; I wish him all the best.

He had a good day today. The Redskins were down 17-0. It appeared that they were going to kick a field goal. Hunter was the ball holder. As the kicker approaches the ball, Hunter picks it up and runs it in wide for a touchdown! Probably the best part of their game. They're losing 20-10 with less than five to go as I type this. But good for Hunter!

It was a good day for another former Colt. Brandon Stokley, now with the Denver Broncos, found himself in the right place at the right time. Denver nearly won that game with wimpy score of 6-0. Then Cincy goes and scores a touchdown. Looking at a sure loss to the Bengals with next to no time on the clock, Kyle Orton throws a long pass. The intended receiver was only able to tip it into the air. That's usually the best way to guarantee an interception. Instead, teammate Brandon Stokley snagged the ball out of the air and went in for the touchdown. You could almost see the air deflate out of the Cincinnati players. Denver won 12-7. Nice job, Stokley!

The current Colts weren't too bad today either. Actually, parts of the game weren't at all pretty. So, it's nice to pull out a victory over a conference rival in Jacksonville. I guess sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. But as a fan, it's a lot less stressful when they're just good! So, hopefully we can work on some of our weaknesses and have a more convincing showing next Monday against the Miami.
I'm so glad football season is here.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Today is Patriot Day. The anniversary of the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and one "lucky" plane that didn't reach it's planned destination.

Today is the day that we honor our civil heroes...the firemen, the policemen, the emergency medical teams...and the average Joe's that step in when needed, just to do the right thing...the volunteers.

It's hard to believe that it's been eight years. EIGHT! Eight years of recovering and healing and moving on. Eight years of security enhancements at our airports and military installations...and even our not-so-military installations. Eight years of "We will never forget..."

But I think people are forgetting.

I know it's not Christmas. And I realize that it's difficult to reflect on a day that holds such sadness for our country. And I know it's still early in the day...but I haven't heard one person mention Patriot Day or the 9-11 anniversary even once today. I don't see obvious signs of red, white, and blue and yellow ribbons and T-shirts that memorialize that fateful day. I heard no reminder on the radio on my way in to work. And the only mention of it on my homepage is an editorial on what it's like being a kid in the post-9-11 era.

It's Patriot Day, people! A day of remembrance and perhaps some sadness, yet. But also a day of celebration! We have so much to celebrate. This country's ability to unite and rise above and build up and bounce back and move on and persevere through.


...and celebrate!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I need some air.

Okay, so my plans last weekend were to whack down the weeds around my home and FINALLY finish painting the white parts gray. I was so excited about these plans. I got all the supplies I needed. I borrowed a lean-against-the-house kind of ladder. I made no other plans for my three-day weekend. I was focused.

Then my weed-eater died. So, she's at the shop to be repaired. The mechanic said that he'd probably be done with it Monday or Tuesday. Well, it's Thursday and still no word from the mechanic. I tried borrowing my dad's, but that didn't work out. I was so bummed.

So tomorrow is supposed to be my RDO (regular day off, for you non-Crane types). My mission was to resume last weekend's plans. Well, without my weed-eater, I'm pretty much in the same boat I was in last weekend. But more to the point, being that I work in the Comptroller Department and September 30th is the end of our fiscal year (FY), I'll be working in the office instead of in the yard. That's okay, I suppose. But I'm running out of weekends that will be fit for outdoor painting.

I'm only scheduled to work six hours tomorrow. But sometime during that six hours, I'll find out if I have to work Saturday. I have this sneaking suspicion that I'll be working on Saturday. We have a significant organizational 'evolution' that we're incorporating in conjunction with the turn of the FY. (wow, that's a lot of buck-fifty words) We've been given access to a test version of one of our systems to see if our new organizational structure is going to work in that system. Well, it HAS to work. We have no choice there. But we need to see what and where our limitations are going to be. That could be a frustrating day.

One of the offices here has sprung a leak. I'm not sure what is leaking, though it's NOT the ceiling. Whatever it is, it's been leaking for a week. The entire office floor is soaking wet and starting to smell bad. Finally today, someone came to repair the leak. At one point, they had to use some kind of plumbers glue that immediately gave everyone in the room a headache. Talk about pungent! Well, that smell is gone now. But after that, various co-workers began spraying Lysol or Febreeze or other name-brand air fresheners around to mask the 'wet, dank' smell of this one office. So, I had this constant headache today due entirely to the various strong smells. I think I spent more time looking forward to fresh air than anything else.

Friday, September 4, 2009

And the GOLD STAR goes to...

The University of Oregon!

After Oregon's opening game against Boise State, one of the Boise State players (Byron Hout) celebrated the victory by shouting at and then tapping the shoulder pad of Oregon player LaGarrette Blount. Before the Boise State coach could pull his player aside to chastise him, Oregon's Blount threw a right hook to Boise State's Hout, knocking him to his knees.

Blount is a senior. He's a 6' 2", 240 pound running back. He rushed for over a thousand yards last year. He also set a school record by scoring 17 touchdowns. Those are great stats. Blount was a huge part of Oregon's offense.

In spite of that, the University of Oregon chose to suspend Blount for the rest of the season, including Bowl games. The Pac-10 supported the decision.

Athletes are not above the rules. Regardless of whether they want to be or not, athletes are role models to our young people. Not to mention, college athletes represent the schools they play for. The University of Oregon recognized that Blount's behavior was well outside of what is acceptable for their student athletes and took swift action to make that point.

Kudos for doing the right thing!

Living in Blue Chip Conference country, I wonder if any of our local principals, coaches, or athletic directors would have made the same decision for their star basketball player. Unfortunately, I doubt it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

So much to say...

I know I've really been an inconsistent blogger of late. Well today, I'm doing my part to make up for it. So, get comfortable.

Anyone who knows me at all knows that I'm not a good sleeper. Well, Tuesday at work, I was so darn tired, I left an hour early just to go home and go to bed. I didn't get to bed until around 7pm, but I slept the better part of 12 hours. TWELVE! Who even knew there were 12 hours available in a day to sleep. But I did it. And today, I feel wonderful! I'm ready to take on the world!

Work is good. Today is the first day of September. For folks that work in the Comptroller Department (or any financial role, for that matter) for a government agency, this is when the heat is turned up. The goal is to clean up, close out, and balance every number you come across. I'm not really a financial person, per se. But I'll keep busy updating a records for the latest 'evolution'. Being a 'systems person', I can update data from the 'back end' much easier than it can be done through the user interface. So, that's where my time will be spent.

Today, the entire Comptroller Department had our end-of-year kick-off/cook-out at the Marina. Lunch was paid for by the managers and prepared by our three young, male accountants. The food was good. The weather was perfect. And then we went out for a boat ride, chauffeured by the comptroller himself. It was so nice. I love my job!

After getting all that sleep, I'm ready to take on the task of painting my house. I know, it's about time! Well, the weather has been so darn pleasant. And the work has been begging to be completed. So, hopefully by the end of my 3-day weekend... The house will be painted, the falling guttering will be down, the lawn will be mowed, the weeds and other foliage around the house will be whacked down, and the carport will be orderly. It'll be a lot of work, but it definitely needs to be done. And I'm looking forward to it!

Monday - Jeff calls to tell me that he has another kidney stone. It's on his right side again. I can't believe that he could have developed another one since May. It was making him sick, but it seems to be moving along its little path now.
Tuesday - Jeff calls me to tell me that he's totally stressed and is ready to quit school. That's the second Tuesday in a row that I've heard that story. I told him to hang in there. I'm pretty sure his biggest stressor is that he doesn't have a job. So, I told him to expand his search.
Wednesday (today) - Jeff calls me again. (We never talked this much when we were living together.) He sounded SO MUCH BETTER than yesterday. I think it's because he's looking into on-campus employment. That will be great for him since he doesn't have a car. He won't get many hours and he may lose his job to a work-study candidate next semester. But still, it'll fit his immediate need. He also told me that while eating puppy chow last night, his tongue swelled up to fill the inside of his mouth. They think he has a peanut allergy. He's never been a fan of peanut butter, but he hasn't avoided nuts in other forms. Yet he's never shown this kind of reaction before. So, they gave him tons of Benadryl and the swelling finally went down. So, now he has to avoid peanuts. Amoxicillin and peanuts.

In the spirit of Ally McBeal, I have decided that I need a theme song. I'm ashamed to say, I can't remember what Ally chose as her 'theme'. I just remember that her therapist told her that it didn't fit her at all. Ally was completely offended that this doctor person would shoot down her theme song. Well, my theme song this week is "Awaken" by Natalie Grant. It's upbeat and fun. And the first verse just hit me. It goes like this...

Sometimes I feel like I'm just existing
I'm not really living
I'm only watching the time slip away
I've forgotten who I am in You
I'm not who I'm meant to be, Lord
I'm drifting farther away from my destiny

Awaken my heart, awaken my soul
Awaken Your power and take control
Awaken the passion to live for You, Lord
Awaken me

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I am Leslie and I have an unhealthy relationship with food.

[Hi, Leslie!]

It's not the only unhealthy relationship I've ever had...and it probably won't be the last. But it's the unhealthy relationship I'm living with right now.

I thought that by having less food in my house, I'd be less likely to over-eat. But that just entices me to eat fast-food.

I thought that if I kept busy doing other things, I wouldn't have nearly as much opportunity to eat. But I've learned that I have a talent for eating while doing just about anything. (I am amazing. Write it down.)

I thought that if I worked out more often, I wouldn't have to worry about what I was eating. And that may still be true...but I'm not nearly as diligent about working out as I am careless about eating. So, that theory still needs to be adequately tested.

I even put a bible verse on my refrigerator: "Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31 I thought that the Word of God might sway me to think twice before eating a whole tub of strawberry ice cream. But not so much. There's another bible verse about one's body being a temple for the Holy Spirit and should be treated as such. Maybe if I find that one, it'll be a more effective deterrent.

One of my friends told me that I need to have three food-related rules. Apparently these helped her during her 'reprogramming' period.

  1. Absolutely NO food after 6pm. It's really bad for the metabolism as you sleep and can even prevent you from sleeping well.
  2. NEVER eat while doing something else. Mealtime is for eating...not working or watching television or driving or whatever else. So, if you're doing something else, you have to stop what you're doing in order to eat.
  3. Always leave something on your plate. The portions that we choose for ourselves are often too don't be afraid to leave some of it on the plate. She went as far as to say that when she goes out to dinner, she asks for a box shortly after her meal arrives...and puts HALF of her meal into the box as soon as possible.

I always say, "You have to find something you're good at and stick with it." Well, I'm good at eating and it's definitely stuck with me. I just need to find something ELSE that I'm good at, something I enjoy MORE than eating. Hopefully that something isn't worse for me than food.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My interpretation of a cat...

It's a good thing I'm going to work tomorrow. I haven't accomplished a darn thing all weekend long. I have been completely unmotivated, tired, an all-around lazy bum. It's shameful, really. I hope it's not going to be a habit. I feel like I've been sleeping my weekends away for weeks now. That has to stop. I have way too much to accomplish to be sleeping all weekend long. I'm hoping that with Jeff at school (reducing my need to wonder and worry about where he is and what he's doing) and work getting busy with the end of the fiscal year coming up (allowing me to be productive and to keep the days moving quickly), that my sleep patterns will level off. I'm also recommitting to taking my Reliv twice a day. That should help. And I have to make myself walk everyday. Only good things can come from that. In fact, I should go walking right now. I should get off my butt and walk for at least two miles. But I'm already in my PJ's. Actually, I'm still in my PJ's from last night. But it seems silly to change clothes now, so late in the day...right? See, that's what I'm talking about. With little to no effort (because that's about the speed I'm moving this weekend), I quickly rationalized with myself to take the lazy way out. Really...shameful! As if I needed another reason to NOT go walking, I'm afraid that increasing my endorphin levels will only prove to keep me awake tonight. And I definitely want to get a good night's sleep. In fact, I'm already negotiating when to take my Melatonin. I'll walk tomorrow. After I work. Work, then walking. I'll be productive all day tomorrow. : )

Saturday, August 22, 2009

48 Hours

Jeff called me today. Several times apparently. I slept much of the day and missed the two messages he left on my cell phone and the one message he left on my answering machine. I haven't checked my voicemail at work yet, but it's possible he left a message there too.

When he was here, I NEVER heard from him. He's been gone all of 48 hours and I already have three messages from him. Go figure! At any rate, I returned his call.

First, he wanted to tell me that he's LOVING college. I was so glad to hear that. His roommates are cool. He and Gage have stocked the fridge and should be good on food for weeks. (uh-huh, yeah They've met so many kids and he says that everyone in their lodge is so cool. I'm thrilled that he's settling in so well.

Let's hope the same is true once he actually starts classes.

Second, he asked for money. I knew it would happen. And I was kind of betting with myself how long it would be before he asked. Now I know...about 48 hours. I asked him if this was going to be a regular occurrence. He promised it would just be the first week. I just had to smile.

He mentioned that they went to a fraternity party. Great, his first fraternity party. He was really impressed with a lot of the guys he met there and the networking they do. So, he's considering pledging. Pi Kappa Alpha, I think. But don't hold me to that. It's not a fraternity house; these kids still live in the dorms. So, it's more like a club that meets weekly, helps each other out in and out of school, and does good things for the campus and the community. Jeff was really stoked about it. The best part to me? He has to maintain a specific GPA in order to be a member of the fraternity. I like that!

He said he's going to call me again Monday night to let me know how his first day of classes went. Monday and Wednesday are LONG days for him. Four classes, the first one starting at 8am; the last one ending at 7:15pm. Tuesday, he has NOTHING. Thursday, he only has his Chem lab all afternoon. Friday, he only has an hour and 15 minutes of Chemistry.

I have to say, I always enjoyed school. But of all the classes that I took, I liked my science classes the least...outside of my computer classes. Biology was okay, I guess. But I struggled with Chem I; I practically failed Chem II. I haven't taken a natural sciences class since my junior year in high school. Jeff, on the other hand, has Chemistry four out of five days a week for his first semester of college. Yuck! Better him than me, that's all I have to say!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


So, I dropped Jeff off at college today. Okay, I didn't just drop him off. We drove an hour and a half, moved everything from the car to the dorm room, unpacked him and made his bed, purchased more than $500 worth of books, and went to dinner.


He gave me a hug. I held him awhile. But no tears.

Really, we were both ready for this transition. And it's not like this is the first time he's been away from me. He's been traveling back and forth between my home and his father's home for 17 years. In fact, he lived with his dad for two years during his sophomore and junior years in high school. I totally had a meltdown when he left then. But this time, not so much.

Not at all, actually.

Quote of the Day

While explaining the no-tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol, the Grove Lodge 2nd floor CA (community assistant), a student named Doug said:

"If you get caught with drugs, the result of your disciplinary hearing is that you WILL get kicked off campus. So, don't bring them here."

I immediately responded...loud enough for everyone to hear... "Don't DO them at all!"

I'm pretty sure his message wasn't, "Leave your drugs off campus." And I felt compelled to make that point out loud.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Speaking of things I don't really understand...

Why does the entertainment industry insist on listing everyone even remotely involved in the making of a movie or television program, even a sportscast, at the end of the show? Is there any other industry that does anything like that? I can't think of any. The rest of us don't really feel the need to do that.

For instance...and I could choose something ordinary that the average person does as an example. But instead, just to drive my point home, I'm going to choose something brain surgery.

So, there you are, lying on a gurney in Recovery, slowly making your way to consciousness, when you're presented with a list of all the people who should be given credit for your surgery.

Hmmm, would they be listed in order of appearance or by the importance of their role (aka, the size of their paycheck)? Either way. Don't worry, they'll all be listed.

The surgeon (or surgeons, depending on the seriousness of your problem), the anesthesiologist, the nurses (scrub, surgical, etc.). The person who admitted you and probably even the person who will release you...and they haven't even done their job yet. The person who washed and folded those really warm blankets, the person who mopped the floors, the person who sterilized the surgical instruments. Oh, all those people down the hall that are preparing the meals, not only for you, but for the hospital staff that's operating on you. And we can't forget the people in the front office who hired everyone else, even the people who selected, purchased, and provided the scrubs. Heck, they might even give you a list of the music that was played during your surgery.

But that doesn't happen. You'll get a list of charges. It might even be itemized. It'll probably reference a name or two. But nothing like what they do in Hollywood.

Now, let's compare the services provided.
The surgeons might possibly have saved a life. Hollywood likely didn't.
The surgical staff combined was probably educated for a couple dozen years or more. Hollywood likely wasn't.
In exchange for 'the credits', the hospital staff does receive a paycheck. Then again, so do all those Hollywood types.
Several of those performing medical procedures have to have certifications and degrees. Not nearly as many (if any) can say the same thing on the entertainment side.

The only thing that I think Hollywood has over the surgical staff is that their product will be seen by a heck of a lot more people. One movie, millions of people. Maybe that's why they get paid so well. Maybe that's why they deserve for their names to be displayed (sometimes twice) for every playing of every movie or television show they ever took part in.

But much like the whole hairspray thing, I just don't get it.