Category Archives: Off topic

My cranky ass is looking for a fight.

I think if I get no sleep, I should just barricade myself in a hole and not come out until I’ve caught up once again.  At the very least I should avoid people.  Because waking up at 3:30 am and then greeting the day as usual are not two things that go together.  And my cranky ass is incredibly unattractive.  You can ask my cranky husband about that one.

And here it is, 10 pm, and I made the mistake of looking at my work email.  An error I made in the info of one of my articles came back to bite me in the ass, in the form of one very rude email from the person whose info I got wrong.

I never should have opened it in the first place.  Ugh, I know better!  But after opening it, how could I not respond?  I’d never be able to sleep with that kind of corked anger threatening to blow me up.

So I emailed back.

I wrote a very long email about how rude this person was, and how dare they insinuate I am lazy when they have no idea what kind of work load I have to deal with.  I wrote out every single thing that pissed me off about their email.  And then I deleted all of it and instead asked them to send me the correct info so I could make things right.  🙂 < —  And then I added a smiley face, just so they knew I was being super friendly.

And now, at 10:18 p.m., I have to attempt to put the email behind me, close my computer, and get some sleep before I totally kick someone’s ass.

And I will never, ever, ever, ever look at my work email again before bed.  At least not when I’m running on 4 hours of sleep.

Lame comments vent

I need to vent. The biggest downer about my job are the people who comment on anything I write (not here, don’t worry. You guys are awesome). It’s like people need to be negative just as much as they need to breathe, and hiding behind an anonymous computer screen allows them to be complete and utter assholes without any form of regret. I had to move this blog from a very public forum for this reason alone, because people were rude and didn’t understand that they were slamming real human beings with lives they only knew a fraction about. I’ve seen readers comment on the news side with the rudest comments to the reporters. Some complain when the articles aren’t put up fast enough, even when some other unnamed news outlet already has something up on their site. And then they complain when the articles are put up fast because they don’t have all the info.

People are so stupid.

Today’s kicker was over an article I wrote over a local musician who has been cast into the spotlight via his hard work of marketing himself, as well his extreme talent. The very first (and only, thus far) comment is from someone wondering why I didn’t write about another such and such band that they love instead.

Seriously, I can’t win.

Anyway, this is only a vent. If you’re going to write for the public, you have to take some of the slack from people who thrive on negativity and learn to ignore it. But still, as a sensitive person who has a hard time not taking offense to the actions of the jackasses of this world, sometimes I just feel like throwing my keyboard at them through the computer screen.

Wasting time

Today I came face to face with the reality that I am wasting my time. A friend was crowing about her good news that she was hired for a freelance piece for a major publication, and they were paying her $2 a word for an 800 word article.

Do the math. That’s $1600. That’s almost what I bring home every month.

Something about this didn’t sit well with me, and I got really, really angry about it. It took me a full 4 hours before I realized that my feelings towards her weren’t anger, but was merely the green-eyed monster rearing its jealous little head.

But the anger was definitely still there, and it was pointed directly at me.

This last month I have seen in-my-face proof that this life is not forever, and that everything can end at the drop of a hat. I wrote recently about the husband of a Facebook friend who passed away less than a week after his retirement, never getting to enjoy the relaxing fruits of his labors. And this past week, a schoolmate of my daughter’s fell victim to a freak accident that nobody could have seen coming – an event that has been throwing me for a loop over how unfair life can be.

And what the hell am I doing? I am busting my ass for some very short term goals, and doing nothing to take giant leaps towards the future. What if I were to die tomorrow? Am I living my life the way I want to? Not exactly. I mean, sure, I love my job and all I have accomplished thus far. I take nothing away from that. But the thing is, this is not my landing point. I have so many more goals in life, and I am treating this point of my journey like it’s the top of the ladder.

It’s not.

There’s a movie that released today about the end of the world called ‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World’. The movie got bad reviews, but the underlying message appears to be a good one. In it, the world is given a 3 week time limit when it’s discovered that a meteor headed straight for earth is unstoppable. Many spend their time doing the regular end of world stuff – you know, like having orgies, looting homes and businesses, and going bat-shit crazy. But some are actually more relaxed, taking the next three weeks and living them the way they want to.

Ok, now I’m not going to sit here and dwell on end of the world stuff. If that time ever were to manifest itself in my lifetime, it would be too late to have accomplished my goals of making a name for myself by publishing a best-selling novel. Let’s face it, at the end of the world, who’s going to waste their time reading some silly book? But that’s my point exactly.

NOW is the time to be making my future hopes and dreams a reality – not when it’s too late. I mean, there might be a metaphoric meteor heading my way. My health could fail. I could lose my day job. We could lose our house. My life could end. Or worse, I could lose my children or fiancé. Something awful could happen to steal away any of the passion I hold for writing, and I run the risk of not making myself immortal through the printed word right now while I am still fully capable of doing so.

I’ve spent so much energy banking on a future I hope will come about without actually moving forward to make it happen. I have a rough draft of a book that is sitting in my computer, waiting for after the wedding when I can start working on it – my latest of excuses as to why I’m not doing anything about it now. And I have 567 posts in this blog (568, counting this one) – of which nearly half could be considered good enough to be published in a magazine or in a book of experiences.

Instead, they are sitting here in this blog. Or they were wasted in my former blog where cruel readers used them to rip apart my kids. Or they are gathering dust where no one has read them ever.

My point is, I’ve reached that point where I need to stop wasting time and start thinking about tomorrow rather than focusing on surviving today. I need to get out of limbo and start winning this race against life. I’m worth success. I’m worth putting stuff out there that benefits ME while helping others instead of being just the faceless name behind articles I’m publishing elsewhere that will disappear and be forgotten in another week. It’s time to get off my ass and work to my full potential. Anything less is unacceptable.

And had I syndicated this entry, I would have received $1650 for it.

Don’t rain on my Father’s Day

After a full day of running around town, I came home to a blissfully empty house. The kids were still at their dad’s, Mr. W and Frizz were off on some father-son adventure, and the house was totally silent.

Aaaah.

It gave me the much needed time to write out the Father’s Day cards to two of the best dads I know and put the flowers I bought for the occasion in a vase.

And then I had nothing to do.

I emptied the dishwasher and then checked my kombucha. Good thing I did because this heat has it on a three day brewing cycle. The tea was absolutely perfect this time so I enjoyed a healthy glass of it while I brewed a new batch.

Side note: if any of you local peeps want free kombucha or kombucha babies, I have plenty of both. Just let me know.

I was just about to take advantage of the time alone by heading to the pool when Mr. W and Frizz showed back up. I went outside to greet them when I noticed that the water on the front hose appeared to have been turned on. It was weird though, I couldn’t remember it being on when I came home. I tried to turn it off, but it was already off. But a leak in the tube was spraying a small but strong stream of water at the house.

The main had broke.

Mr. W got out his tools and set to work showing Frizz and I where to shut off the water and teaching Frizz how to replace the tube on the main water pipe. We took a field trip to the hardware store where Mr. W chatted up the sales gal on how to properly do this thing while Frizz and I tried out patio sets. When we got home, Mr. W set to work on the pipe, simultaneously making dinner since this was a relatively easy job. An hour later, the pipe was still not holding water and we were getting snippy because we were frustrated and hungry. Mr. W finally turned back off the water, we ate dinner, and he called in the professionals.

The plumber came around 10pm, which means his hourly rate was somewhere between obscene and utterly insane. At that same time, I had to go pick my kids up in Calistoga, the meeting point I’d set up with the kids’ grandpa after their weekend with their dad. I didn’t get back until midnight, and the plumber was still there. Luckily he was just finishing up. Good thing too. The dishes in the sink stunk to high heaven and the Taz smelled even worse from a weekend of hot sweaty play. I made Taz take a shower, and Frizz washed up the dishes when he was done. Mr. W and I, totally exhausted, set about getting ready for bed. We’d “showered” at the pool earlier in the evening when we had no water but were totally sticky gross, but it still felt good to know we had water if we needed it. We were just about to call it a night when we heard a loud POP and the sound of running water.

“What was that?” Mr. W asked. I didn’t want to believe it was the pipe. So I guessed it was someone flushing the toilet or doing a load of wash. You know, cuz everyone likes to do laundry at 1 in the morning. Mr. W went downstairs to check it out. I heard the water stop gushing. And Mr. W came upstairs with a serious look on his face. I thought he was teasing when he said it broke. He wasn’t. And now we have no water again.

As soon as Mr. W wakes up, we’ll call the plumber again. Luckily it’s covered under warranty. But it does put an extremely wet and rusty wrench in our Father’s Day plans for today. No worries though. I refuse to let a stubborn leaky main pipe rain on our parade.

Happy Father’s Day everyone!

April Fools! Internet hoaxes around the web

Happy April Fools Day!  As the world’s most gullible human, this is not my favorite holiday.  Every year someone manages to prank me, even when I am well aware of the date.  However, today can also be fun for searching hoaxes across the internet.  I’m taking a break from all mother-related posts and sharing with you a few laughs from sites that have gone all out in efforts to fool unsuspecting victims.  Check them out.  Oh, and don’t forget to share your own April Fools pranks you’ve pulled in the comments….

Lonely Planet expanding to non-humans
So Lonely Planet has done their part to inform us humans of the places to visit when traveling this earth.  But why stop there?  In efforts to expand, they are now targeting non-humans….particularly CATS.  From Lonely Planet:  We are pleased to announce that, starting today, we’re launching a new line of guides in LolCat. “We iz komitted to the kittehz and kitteh-lufin travelrz”, said a Lonely Planet spokesperson. “We lovez teh world. Kittehs want to conquer it. Iz a perfect match”. They’re even offering a cat nip coated version for the first thousand fans. All I have to say to that is, why target cats when they can’t even read?  A better choice would be Kevorkian.  After all, who’s more in need of a travel guide than those who don’t even belong to the planet?

Google introduces Gmail Motion
Google has done it again in terms of convenience.  They’ve made the keyboard almost entirely obsolete by introducing motion-sensored email commands.  Want to send an email?  Put your hand on your hip and lift your left leg.  Reply all?  Put both fists in the air.  Star a message?  Put your hands in the air and wave them like you just don’t care.  Of course, Gmail cautions that, just like any exercise, you must stretch to ensure you don’t injure yourself. And for safety reasons, make sure that the area around you is clear to avoid breaking anything.

Childfree flights on Ryanair
Ryanair, a European travel company, conducted a poll of 1000 travelers, asking them if they would pay higher fares to avoid other people’s children.  The survey revealed that 36% have had their flights ruined by noisy children, and 18% are urging Ryanair to restrict the number of children on flights.  To appease all their travelers, Ryanair came up with a solution.  Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said, “When it comes to children we all love our own but would clearly prefer to avoid other people’s little monsters when travelling. While half our passengers would like us to divide our cabins up into ‘adult’ and ‘family’ areas it is not operationally possible due to our free seating policy, with optional priority boarding. However, with clear demand for ‘child free’ flights Ryanair will introduce child free flights on high frequency routes from the start of our winter schedule in October.”

And more….

The Atlassian’s homage to Angry Birds by launching Angry Nerds (serious case of awesome).  “What do you do when you have bugs in your code? Send in the Angry Nerds. Consider these issues…resolved.”  Included are “the outsourced” (three characters for the price of one), “the hacker” (best used to bust through hard problems, but leaves a mess), and of course, “the bugs” (sure to infest even the best software projects – wipe them out or they’ll wipe you out).  Of course, some people don’t find this funny, particularly Angry Birds maker Rovio who has sent a cease and desist letter.  Come on Rovio, can’t you take a joke?

YouTube’s conversion to grainy 1911 sepia coloring on all of their videos, the only sound being the classic silent film piano music.

The new Roku remote that adds to your advertising experience by putting their mark on your channel changer.

Google’s job offer of an “autocompleter“.  Job description is to instantly guess searcher’s Google searches in a fraction of a second.  Job skills include typing 32,000 WPM and possess a certificate in psychic readings.  For those overwhelmed by this description, they assure that the required reflexes should be developed after a few million predictions.

ThinkGeek.com, the web’s most excellent site for awesomely odd gifts, came out with their latest and greatest of items.  My personal faves are the Shirt Plate (a gamers way of laying on the couch and eating snacks from their chest with a sense of class), Playmobil Apple play set (complete with your very own Steve Jobs, fully staffed store, and 60+ accessories to buy separately to make your Apple experience way cooler….and your wallets way emptier), and, speaking of Angry Birds, the Angry Birds Pork Rinds (the “delicious crispy pork rinds made from dead pigs”, and a “low carb, high protein, high fat snack that tastes like winning”).

Find anything funny around the web?  How about in your own home?  How are you celebrating April Fool’s Day?

The art of letters

There is something so personal about a handwritten note. It is a note meant just for YOU, written by someone who was thinking of you in those moments they took to scrawl out sprawling cursive on a card. And let’s face it, there is still something special about receiving something in the mail that isn’t a bill or a piece of junk mail. A handwritten note is a gift in itself, an inexpensive way to show someone you care, sometimes more valuable than any gift could be.

The art of note writing tends to get lost with the convenience of email or a simple text message. But thing is, it’s a very powerful tool for making a statement and being remembered, as well as giving that much more meaning to what you are trying to convey. Did a friend’s relative just pass away? Sometimes it is so hard to know what to say. But a personal note telling them that you’re thinking of them goes a long way. Did someone you know just get a promotion or an award, or graduate from college? Congratulate them with a letter of good wishes and praise. Just receive a special gift (such as any red and green packages in this festive holiday season…)? Be sure to thank those who thought enough of you by writing out a card with words of gratitude. And not only is a handwritten note appreciated by your friends or family, it is a MUST for professional reasons. Just had a job interview? Write out a card of thanks and mail it to your interviewer, thanking them for their time and the opportunity to talk with them, ensuring them that you will be in touch soon. Not only will your interviewer appreciate it, it will also ensure that they remember you in the days after your meeting – helping you to stand out in a long line of applicants.

I know, I know…. Who has the time to write out all these cards or letters – especially when an eCard is so much faster to send out to multiple recipients? Thing is, a note does not have to be long. Even the shortest of letters – 1 to 2 sentences – can mean the world to someone who wasn’t expecting it. Send out your favorite quote. Or tell them a sweet image you saw that day that reminded you of them. Who knows? With your renewed habit of sending out notes or thoughts to your friends, perhaps you too will start to receive special gifts of handwritten letters in your own mailbox.

Here are some of my favorites for writing notes on:


Jack and Lulu Stationery
Who couldn’t resist a note written on these adorable cards? Simplicity sometimes says the most, and that’s definitely true of these cards. With a single embossment of either a pineapple, cricket or starfish over a bright solid color, this card allows your words to be the main attraction while merely flourishing them.
$17.95 for 10 (each design) at Barnes & Noble

Vines Thank You notecards
Coral colored vines frame the words “Thank You” in this simple card of thanks. The inside is left blank top give you ample room for your sentiments, and the envelope is a corresponding color of coral.
$14 for 10 at Papyrus

Krieshok Designs
These sweet cards were found on Etsy.com, a screen print on paper of darling owls for sending out your declarations. You’ll want to also check out the Petaluma handcrafter’s other creative wares, like their other card choices and beautiful wrapping paper.
$12 for 5 cards at KrieshokDesign’s Etsy shop

Message in a Bottle
Or for a truly unique note that will never be forgotten, send this charming card, or rather, message in a bottle. Know of someone who needs a little pick-me-up? This precious card will surely bring a smile where one is needed. This was also found on Etsy.com from an artist who hails from Sebastopol.
14.95 for one card/bottle at minimessageinabottle’s Etsy shop

Other favorites for stationery needs:

Corricks
The 4th Street store in Santa Rosa is known for having a wide array of gifts to buy, but they are famous for their stationery.  There is just too many beautiful choices to highlight just one.  Located at 637 Fourth Street, Santa Rosa

Sincerely Yours
A gorgeous selection of notecards, stationery, and any other type of paper that gives your letter a feel of a piece of art.  Located in Montgomery Village at 2324 Magowan Drive, Santa Rosa

Create your own…
Riley Street Art Supplies has a vast variety of colored and textured papers to either use on their own as notepaper, or to craft an embellished card out of and send as a creative gesture of thanks.  Here’s just one idea over at SantaRosaMom.com for making your own cards for the holidays:  CLICK HERE  Prices vary at Riley Street (103 Maxwell Ct, Santa Rosa)