Friday, October 2, 2009

Cow Chip Bingo

OK, here's a new one.

Was having a few happy hour cocktails with some friends this evening when I innocently asked "so what are you guys up to this weekend?"

"Oh, tomorrow we're going to Cow Chip Bingo."

I thought they said "Couch Bingo," ... so naturally I replied "now that's my kind of sport!"

As the conversation unfolded, I learned it is indeed -- neither a couch nor a traditional bingo. Discuss!

The way it goes is this:

  • there are some blocks in a rather sketchy neighborhood in southwest Philly roped off for a street festival

  • a playground in the midst of it all is also blocked off

  • the playground is turned into a "bingo board"

  • ~4,000 blocks are sold for $20 each .... all for charity, but the winner gets $20,000

  • the faux bingo board slash playground is roped off, and a cow is let loose within the perimeter to walk around on top of the bingo blocks

  • the cow is given 2 hours to poop on a bingo block

  • wherever he/she poops --- first poop -- winner gets $20,000

  • pee doesn't count

  • if the poop straddles a block (not landing within a single block), then lots of rules apply. It all depends on which block has more poop (and there are rules about how many centimeters of poop have to be on each block) -- the prize may be split depending on how/where it lands.

  • if the cow doesn't poop on a bingo block after 2 hours, 4 numbers are drawn and each ticket holder wins $5,000

Is this crazy or is it just me? We're not talking cattle-breeding Texas-longhorn country -- this is Southwest Philly!!!

If I weren't going to Maryland tomorrow, I'd be there with my camera!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Good Lisa vs. Bad Lisa

On May 6, I started on a big exercise kick. Joined the gym, went every day, got a trainer, watched diet -- the whole nine yards. I was very diligent until about mid-summer when I took a trip to Vegas. After that, I went away for business, then pleasure, then more pleasure, then a birthday, a holiday and so on. Self control? Not my strong suit. All of this amounted to about a 3 week hiatus from my regimen.

I've been trying to get back into it for the last few weeks, but am really having motivational problems. My goal is to run in a 5K on October 10, which is now less than 2 weeks away.

Seriously, I don't want to be one of those "hey, I hit the gym" kind of people, but the truth is this: if I don't tell everybody I know that I'm doing this, I could easily backslide from all my hard work and settle for a leisurely stroll 2 weeks from now. Nobody would know any different, except for me. That should be enough to motivate me, but apparently it isn't. Is it bad I have to threaten myself with shame and embarrassment? Probably, but hey ... whatever works.

So Facebook people who don't want to hear about my exercise -- block me. I need to be held accountable to do what I set out to do. I'm not an athlete, I hate exercise, and I loathe sweating. BUT .... I also hate gaining weight, feeling bad about myself, and having a huge rear end.

This time, Good Lisa is gonna win out.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Goodbye Funkalumpagus

A Funkalumpagus. That's what I've been for the last week.

Here's what I'm gonna to launch "Operation: Snap Out of It":
  • Have my house to myself
  • Watch girl TV = no sports
  • Run further today than I did yesterday (goal is 2.5 miles)
  • Cook ... it relaxes me (stuffed shells for Sunday dinner, mini quiches to take to work for breakfast, meatballs to freeze, crabcakes for tonight)
  • Take pictures of what I cook for my cookbook
  • Read some of my magazines that are piling up, then throw them away
  • Make reservations for Sunday brunch -- this time it'll be dim sum in Chinatown
  • Throw away at least 2 bags of junk
  • Put new music on my iPod
I think that's a pretty good start.

Friday, September 25, 2009


I was watching one of the morning news shows while getting ready for work this morning, and of course they were talking about the latest buzz on Mackenzie Phillips. She's apparently triggered a big family feud with her public announcement -- and you can't get much more public than talking to Oprah -- that she and her father had a sexual relationship.

Honestly, I need to wash my hands after merely typing those words.

Anyway, so now there's a family feud over this. The media start naming the pro-Mackenzie and anti-Mackenzie teams. Among her supporters are her sister China (or is it Chyna?), some other people, and then .... Dr. Drew.

Dr. Drew? He's not a relative. Why is he on a team?

I'll tell you why: because he's one of those people who loves to come out of the woodwork to offer "help" or an opinion during any kind of public controversy, event or crisis. Some folks always seem to be right in the middle -- others maybe just starred in one big outburst.

Some of the media whore-ific meddlers that come to mind (both past and present meddlers):

  • Dr. Drew
  • Rush Limbaugh
  • The Dynamic Duo of Jesse Jackson & Al Sharpton
  • Jane "tank girl" Fonda
  • Oprah (I kinda like her, but let's face it .... she's always right in the middle of everything)
  • Dr. Suzanne Somers (ie: her idiotic, unsolicited medical opinion on Swayze's chemo treament)
  • Michael Moore (in my top 10 list of aholes ... maybe even top 3) - he's a passive aggressive meddler; he'll wait and make his statement in the form of some one-sided, distorted piece of shit "documentary"
  • Tom Cruise - because he's so enlightened

OK, who am I missing?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Stop Grossing Me Out

While I'm on the topic of "seasons", I've got another seasonal issue which I'm curious to find out if anyone else shares:

Why is it that when flu season rolls around, the media becomes obsessed with airing pictures and footage of people getting needles? Not just sitting in the doctor's office looking miserable, but close-up shots of needles penetrating the skin.

I HATE NEEDLES AND DO NOT WANT TO SEE THIS. Please stop assaulting my eyeballs with these disturbing, nightmare-inducing images!!!

Nurses and doctors see this all the time, so it's probably no big deal to them. Well, I'm not a nurse or doctor, so spare me. I have a weak stomach and an irrational fear of needles and medical procedures, and don't need to see these things when I'm trying to relax.

I don't need to be coddled with images of cherry blossoms and 1-year old birthday parties, but seriously ....... please stop showing people getting needles in their arms!!!! Now!!!! It doesn't inspire me to call the doctor, it inspires me to throw up and change the channel.

This is not just annoying, it's vile.

It's great that flu shots are available, but we don't need to see the process in action.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tis Not the Season

Summer is over and a new season is here. Fall is a season for:

back to school
hay rides

Notice some items not in that list? Like ..... Santa Claus, Jingle Bells?

Well, apparently 2 days ago on the first official day of Fall, the unofficial Christmas season also began. I was innocently watching some mindless TV when during a commercial break my ears were assaulted by the premature sound of jingle bells. The very next commercial featured a vaugely familiar "ho ho ho."

Apparently Disney and Royal Carribean don't understand the concept of fall. They want us to cancel fall this year and move right into Christmas. I'm okay with Christmas being the 5th season ... separate from the rest of winter ... but dammit, I want to enjoy fall for a few days before these clowns ruin it by ramming their Christmas sales down my throat and threatening to put coal in my stocking if I don't buy somebody a cruise package for Christmas.

In protest of their greediness and rushing the season, Disney and Royal Carribean will not be getting any business from me this year. Not that they would anyway, but this time it's an official boycott.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Summer Hiatus

While I'm on my unplanned summer blogging hiatus, thought I'd share this gem with you from over at This could easily be a picture of my family ....

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Rock On ... Rock Out

Much to my dismay, Creed has reunited to release a new album (do they still call them albums?) and go on tour this summer.

I don't care about the touring part, but I do care that my ears will be assaulted if I listen to the radio -- just as they were with this and this.

And what's with the Grateful Dead touring? How are they even still a band without Jerry Garcia? And who goes to those shows? I really don't get it.

There are, however, some tours that would interest me. Some are rumored, some are confirmed:
  • No Doubt - Go Gwen!!
  • Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (Yeah!!!!! One of my favorite bands of all time)
  • U2 - never saw them, so they're on my list
  • The Stones -- Saw them, would definitely go again. I know at least one person who probably would too. (Ahem ... Los?)
I would also like to see Il Divo perform, but they seem more appropos for Christmas-time, for some reason.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


A funny thing happened yesterday in the hallways of my office ....

As usual, I took my daily post-lunch excursion to our little gift shop for a bottle of water and a tootsie pop. The return route from the gift shop takes me down a long, dark hallway where the restrooms are located. Yesterday was no exception. (I wonder why our building maintenance people think we don't need lighting in a bathroom hallway? Every other spot in the building is bathed in blinding fluorescence. Hmm.)

Anyway, the cleaning lady walked down the hall in front of me, then stopped and parked her cart in front of the men's room. Everybody out, time for the afternoon scrub-down. She knocked on the door, and then I heard her say:

"Hi Stinker!"

Whoa horsey!! Back that one up. Hi Stinker? Stinker!?!?!?!

That one stopped me dead in my tracks. I was far enough past the scene to know she wasn't talking to me, but I turned around to look nonetheless. There was, in fact, a man coming out of the bathroom. He looked at her, then looked at me.

Dude, I did NOT call you "Stinker." Can you see she has a cell phone up to her ear? I hope so. I like to think "Stinker" is the nickname for whomever was on the other end of that phone call, but am guessing Bathroom Man may have a been a bit taken aback by the putrid greeting, and was probably a bit embarrassed. I would've been.

In fact, MORTIFIED probably would've been my reaction to the perfect storm of name-calling: 1) at work, 2) loud and in public, 3) upon emerging from some of the nastiest bathrooms in the tri-state area. (Note: Being called 'stinker' at home or amongst friends would be fine ... I've been called worse.)

But at work I'd be pretty embarrassed. Would someone hear her and incorrectly deduce that I am the one with a mid-afternoon ritual that thoroughly pollutes the restrooms rendering them unusable without gas masks and full-on riot gear? God forbid!

Is that what he thought? Did it even phase him? When he sees me in the hallway will he think "there's the girl that probably thinks I stunk up the men's room and got busted by the cleaning lady?"

Monday, May 4, 2009

Calling All Dream Analysts

The dream I had this morning is just too funny not to share. I know I won't do it justice because you really had to be in my head to see the visuals for the full effect, but here's a quickie recap:

So I was working in a gigantic high rise in Center City that looked like none that I've ever visited. Mirrored walls, funky music in the elevators .... much more Austin Powers than Liberty Place. It was fairly late at night, and for some reason everybody had to leave the building and go home at the same time.

I was pissed because Farrah Franklin (formerly of Destiny's Child) was holding up the line at the coat check while she and her entourage put on gigantic furry coats. Remember the big coats worn in "Coming to America" by the King of Zamunda and his family? Yeah, that's it. (She was probably in my dream because I watched an episode of "The Millionaire Matchmaker" yesterday afternoon where she was the featured millionairess looking for love.)

I patiently waited in the coat-check line with my "co-worker" Herbie. In non-dream life, Herbie a close friend from college whom I rarely get to see. I have no idea why he was in my dream ... go figure.

The coat check girl? One of my Facebook friends, Allison, who I have not seen since 7th grade. (Probably in my dream because I've spent too much time on Facebook lately.)

And to top of all off, Margaret Thatcher also made a cameo appearance in my dream. I was particularly annoyed with her because her coat had to be stored in a place where they needed one of those library ladders to get it. Then she moved v e r y v e r y s l o w l y, as she inspected her coat for any problems it may have incurred during it's stay in the plebe closet. The funniest thing about her was her hair was done up and molded into the shape of a crown and spray-painted silver. (Your guess is as good as mine on this one!)

Then my alarm clock went off and the crazy dream was over. Damn. I was actually enjoying that one.

Any dream analysts out there who wanna take a crack at that one?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I'm Doing an Indian Rain Dance

Well, my Derby bets didn't pan out, but that's okay. I got to wear my fancy hat and it was an exciting race, nonetheless.

Moving on to today's plans ...... I have tickets to see the Phillies play the Mets this afternoon. Sounds great, eh? It would be, and I'd already be decked out in my Phillies gear walking down to the stadium to wander around for a few hours before the game, BUT ...

... it's 56degrees and rainy outside.

Boo hiss. What is it with me this weekend? I can't catch a break.

At this point, I'm crossing my fingers for an all out downpour so they cancel the game before I even think about whether I should bother going to the ballpark. Even if it doesn't downpour, it's going to be rainy and cold all day.

The big question is: Will it rain hard enough for them to cancel the game?

The forecast says increasing rain throughout the afternoon, but I really need for it to begin by noon and be really heavy. With thunder, lightning, and hail. Worst case scenario is that it continues to drizzle, just enough to play the required innings and torture any fans devout enough to brave the weather. I don't think I'm that brave. I don't like sitting in cold rain.

If my luck over the past few days is any indication of what will happen, it'll keep drizzling on and off and the game will go on, as scheduled. There'll be no replacement ticket, and my choice will be: a) suck it up and watch the game in the rain; or b) stay home and forget about the tickets.

Here is my game plan:
  • I am now going outside to my backyard to do my best version of an Indian Rain Dance.
  • Next, I'll sit down at my piano and sing a round of "I hope raindrops don't start falling on my head."
  • And if all else fails, I'll opt for Plan B.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Betting on the Derby

Today I'm going to be watching the Derby and betting on some horses. It's a little tough because there's no clear favorite, but that makes it quite interesting. For a better, it means better odds. I'm not trying to make a living from this, but it's fun to put a few dollars on the race.

Here are my Derby bets:

$1 Exacta Box (a $20 bet that 2 of these horses will finished 1st and 2nd)
6 - Friesan Fire
7 - Papa Clem
11 - Chocolate Candy
12 - General Quarters
15 - Dunkirk

$2 to Win, Place, Show (a $6 bet) on #11, Chocolate Candy.

10cent Superfecta Box (a $2.40 bet that these 4 horses will finish in the top 4 positions, in any order)
6 - Friesan Fire
11 - Chocolate Candy
15 - Dunkirk
19 - Desert Party

I'm not betting on Pioneer of the Nile (one of the top 2 contenders) because he's never raced on a dirt track and his times are compartively slow. Who knows, he could blow everybody away, but these reasons are good enough for me to rule him out.

By the way, I'm no handicapper and I don't have ESP (just ESPN). If you choose to make these bets along with me, don't complain to me if you lose your $28.40. But if you win ... well that's another story.

Chloe is a Loser

Last night I went out to dinner with my friends Mira, Anthony, Sonj, and Scott to a restaurant in Old City (a section of Philadelphia) called Chloe BYOB.

None of us had ever been there but heard the food was excellent, and being a bunch of foodies we elected this spot for the gathering of our little dinner club.

There were some good points, which I'll share, but ultimately I will NEVER go back and will tell everyone I know and don't know they should never patronize this place.

The good:
  • The macaroni and cheese was the best I've ever had. Hands down, it was the #1 food choice at the table. It's baked and served in a little ramekin with a browned truffled crisp on the bottom of the dish. If you ever saw the episode of Top Chef where the guy made a truffle mac and cheese -- this was it.
  • The menu is small, but delicious, and there is a daily specials menu that will blow your socks off. We order a couple of appetizers that came a very close second to the mac and cheese.
  • One was a homemade gnocchi topped with a ragout of pork, beef and duck. The other appy we really liked was baked oysters topped with bacon, cheeses, and sumpin sumpin that tasted like a party in my mouth.
  • It's a BYOB, which I always love. We brough 5 bottles of wine plus a bottle of dessert wine. Scott picked out the dessert wine, Essentia, which was absolutely delicious. I'll be looking for that next time I'm at the liquor store.

The bad:
  • The ribs were terrible. I've had better ribs at Lone Star, where they fall off the bone. Not only did the meat not fall off the bone, but I felt like a savage beast trying to eat them. And not enough sauce on them to compensate for the extreme char. Very bad.
  • Some of the people at the table liked the salad, but I thought it was terrible (except for the goat cheese pancake on top.) It tasted like a pile of grass and didn't have any salad dressing on it. Terrible, as in inedible.

The Ugly (aka why I'll shout from the mountaintops not to go here):
  • We had barely finished our dessert and were drinking the last of our wine, when the owner/manager came over and asked us to leave. Um, what? We just spent $450 in your restaurant, we're not finished and you're asking us to leave? Yes, because people are waiting and they need the table.
  • To that, I say a big eff you!! There were open tables, and we weren't finished. And even if we were, why would you EVER treat your customers like that? Not only did they ask us to leave, but then they got nasty and indignant about it -- I thought there was gonna be a brawl in this teensy tiny place. We got up and left, with a few parting words outside that were not so nice. I was and still am completely baffled by this. Assholes.

See, the thing about dining in Philadelphia is this: there are hundreds of really excellent restaurants. Lots and lots of choices ... each one, better than the last. The competition is stiff, so it's not enough just to have good food, the service must also be impeccable. If the entire dining experience from top to bottom isn't flawless, there's no reason to ever go back.

I'm appalled by the way these people treated us after spending our time and money in their business. To her credit, our server was wonderful and very apologetic, but it wasn't enough to erase the major faux pas of the management.

So Chloe gets a unanimous 2 thumbs down. All of us agreed we'd never go back.

Friday, May 1, 2009

I'm Having A Little Temper Tantrum

I'm having some serious motivational issues this morning. Everyone I work with in Kentucky is enjoying the Derby festivities, and today is the big Kentucky Oaks race. Most people are off, but I'm here in Philadelphia holding down the virtual fort.

Here are some things I'd rather do today instead of going to work:
  • Watch a car rust
  • Hang upside down from the clothesline (if I had one) by my toenails
  • Scrub the toilet
  • Go to the Walmart in South Philly (which, as you may know, is the most horrific place on the planet)
  • Get blood drawn
  • Watch CSI Miami (okay, I take that back)
  • Rub my face with a ball of cat fur
  • Touch a raw chicken
  • Walk into a random fart in the grocery store

OK, now that I've gotten that sorta out of my system it's time to suck it up and go. On the bright side, today is one of the few days I'll actually get to head out of the office for lunch. Sushi with Schue is always good.

Thank you for indulging me and my temper tantrum.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Flu Schmoo

I'm all pandemicked out.

This swine flu hype is getting out of control. It's the flu and it's treatable. Yes, people can die from it .... just like the regular flu. Yes, people in more than one country have it ... just like the regular flu. Outbreaks at colleges? Yes, just like other stuff that goes around when people swap a lot of spit and live in close quarters.

This is actually a picture of people who are suspected of having swine flu. I mean seriously, take a Tamiflu and suck it up. Then stop touching dirty, sick pigs and for God's sake ... cover your mouth when you cough. By the looks of this picture you'd think they were being treated for the dreaded MOOBY FOOBY!!

Personally, I think driving on I-95 is scarier than any flu you could ever face.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Wasted Talent

I have a secret to confess --- I am a closet Michael Jackson fan.

Not the Michael Jackson who serves Jesus juice to little boys and has completely disfigured himself. But I like his old music.

In fact, all of his music is old because he hasn't had much of a career in probably about 15 years. As I car-danced to "Shake Your Body Down to the Ground" the other day, I started thinking about wasted talent. Whether or not you're a Michael Jackson fan, I think it's safe to say that he was a talented performer, and he let it go in favor of ...... what, I'm not sure of.

Here are some other folks who have wasted their talent. They're all still alive, so who knows .... maybe some could make a come-back.

Amy Winehouse
She's a total mess, which is ashame because she's actually got a great voice.

Eddie Murphy
Back in the days of "Delirious", "Raw" and "Trading Places" he was one of the funniest people I've ever seen. Now, he's a one-trick pony. He first played a bunch of different characters in "Coming to America", which was hilarious. Unfortunately, he never evolved past that and his career is pretty much a dud. Very disappointing.

Elizabeth Taylor
Although her health has deteriorated and I'm sure it would difficult, if not impossible, for her to work now, she hasn't really done much of anything for about 35 years. Back in her heydey, she was great and I always hoped she'd make at least one great movie in my time.

Steve Perry - Journey
He had a hip replacement about 15 years ago, and somewhere along the line decided to leave the band. Apparently he got bent out of shape because he thought his band members were a little nosey about his health condition. That's a very good reason to give up your career and do, uh... nothing. And for the record, the impersonator who is touring with the band is awesome.

You could argue that he hasn't wasted his talent because he still plays football and make millions. BUT, here's a guy that could've been a Hall of Famer, but decided to be a big a-hole instead. Even the Cowboys wouldn't keep him!! What does that say about him?

Whitney Houston
I keep hearing rumblings about a come-back, and I hope she does. I still think she has one of the most beautiful voices I've ever heard .... let's hope she didn't ruin it with a crack pipe.

Winona Ryder

(She hasn't really done much since the whole shop-lifting thing, which is ashame. I've always thought she was a very talented young actress. Now she makes spot appearances on Star Trek ... a far cry from A-lister status.)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spring Musings

Some stream of conscious ramblings on Spring ....

  • Don't wear a wrap dress on a windy spring day. I can assure you when I was walking into the office this morning, I didn't look like Marilyn Monroe standing on the sidewalk over a subway vent. I looked like a girl who was mooning the folks huddling in the butt-hutt.

  • Watch out for worm corpses on the sidewalk after it rains. They've unthawed and they're slippery. Take it from experience that you could end up doing a sort-of split, which you didn't even know you could do in an outfit that you shouldn't be doing gymnastics in, if you're not careful. I didn't do that, but it could happen to you.

  • Don't try to come into my backyard if you're a 4-legged feline. I have booby-trapped my yard (again) and you WILL be sorry if you enter uninvited. I'm sick of your smells and messing up my garden. Assholes.

  • And if you're a squirrel, don't ever have squirrel-nooky on top of my grill again -- especially when I can see you from my kitchen window. I've replaced my grill cover because, well. just because.

  • One of my favorite spring-time dinners is a Maryland crab cake served with asparagus and white shoepeg corn or sliced fresh tomatoes. Note: if your crabcake has onions or peppers hanging out of it, it's not a Maryland crab cake. And if you put ketchup or cocktail sauce on your crabcake, don't even talk to me. The only acceptable acoutrements to a Maryland crabcake are worcestershire sauce and Saltines, and even that is pushing it.

  • The first pedicure of the season is especially unpleasant. First of all, my feet haven't seen the light of day since September so they're quite gnarly. Secondly, they've been unpaddled and un-primped for about 6 months, so they're ultra-sensitive. I'm already extremely ticklish, so when the girl goes to town on the bottom of my foot it takes every bit of restraint in my body not to kick her right in the teeth. Everybody else in the salon is always relaxed and reading a magazine. I need a strait jacket. Or a valium.

  • Cherry Blossoms -- Most people think "ah, how beautiful." I think that too, and in fact got to stroll around DC just when they were at their peak this year. Lovely. But the FIRST thing that comes to MY mind when I think about Cherry Blossoms is how our high school band use to march in the big Cherry Blosom parade every year. The parade was several hours long, and my mother would always pack me a juice box and some sliced apples to take with me. (Like I couldn't afford to skip a meal? Nuther topic for another day.) Problem was, there was nowhere to carry it -- except up in the top of my big gigantic Q-tip hat. Are you saying "Oh no you di-int!~?!?!?!?" I'm sayin "Oh yes, I did". I put it all in top of my big q-tip and marched through the streets of DC with my saxophone and a lopside hat filled with juice and apples. No wonder people made fun of me. And it was televised too.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ranting & Raving

Clear the decks and make a little space .... here comes the soapbox, so be forewarned. I think this is actually all rant and no rave, so maybe the title is inappropriate. Anyway, I've got a bitter taste in my mouth, and it's not because I've been eating eggplant that didn't properly soak prior to cooking,

Nobody got promoted to Senior Vice President of Flower Watering while I work my knuckles to the bone trying to resolve our nation's healthcare crisis. My car didn't get hit in the parking lot. My shoes match. No one snickered at me as I fell into the elevator and nearly knocked a girl half my size unconscious.

So, what's eating Barbra Peapod?

I'm sick of people crying about accountability .... "we have to hold THEM more accountable", "people need to be accountable." It's always something "they" need to do more of ... somebody else is never accountable enough.

The truth is, most people can't handle being held accountable. The hot seat is uncomfortable. It's much easier to claim to be a picked-on victim, or dismiss the server of accountability as judgmental. Horse shit, I say. Suck it up and take your medicine. That's what it is to be held accountable.

I'll tell you one thing, my boss is the master of holding people accountable. She's assertive, direct, open and honest. You never need to look over your shoulder to see if she's coming after you -- she'll be right in front of your face. I love it. I'm so grateful to have learned my skills from a pro.

The thing is, America says it's clamouring for "increased accountability" these days, but nobody thinks it applies to them. Accountability is for someone else. By the way, "increased accountability" is another one of those buzzphrases I hate.

Wanna know why people don't really want accountibility even though they say they do?

Because what it really means is that you get called out for being stupid. For doing bad work. For being irresponsible. For making bad decisions. It means confrontation. One person has to have the balls to say, out loud, to someone that what they did (or didn't do) sucked. It also means you have to accept the consequences for the impact you make on the world and people around you.

Personally, I think this is a great thing.

Accountability doesn't need to be done in a big meeting, and it doesn't take a team to do it. It's not just for work, it's for anything. What do people think -- that they can wander through the world doing whatever they want, however they want, wherever, whenever, and they don't have to accept the impact of their actions on anyone else? Fuck that.

In particular, Corporate America is full of a bunch of spineless windbags. "Accountability" is overstated and underserved. What I see in the news (and even at my own job) is that lots of people sugar-coat or turn their heads when something really should be addressed head-on.

You know, years ago I was working hard on a project and things weren't going well. It seemed the harder I worked, the worse things got. The customer was unhappy and no matter what I did, it didn't help. I explained to my old boss all of the things that were tried and the reasons they hadn't worked, and the barriers. You know what he said to me? He said, "You get paid for results, not effort." I knew that I had to figure it out or I'd be gone. And he was right.

Now THAT'S accountability. Right between the eyes.

So I changed my approach, figured it out, and things got better. I loved his message, even though it was hard to hear ... yes, you tried really hard, but it didn't cut the mustard. You don't have to work a zillion hours, you just have to produce results. Okay. So I vowed to work less and accomplish more, and it's actually worked out quite nicely.

So getting back to my bitterness, I'm sick of assholes not being held accountable. I'm sick of hearing people whine about wanting accountability, but not for themselves. Here's where I'd like to see some accountability:
  • Bad decisions "for political reasons" are self-serving, cowardly and a waste of hard-earned taxpayer dollars. People who make bad decisions for political reasons should be removed from their position.
  • People raping our welfare system by filing claims of "disability" so they never have to work again even though they are perfectly capable fucking enrages me -- and some of these people are my neighbors and acquaintances. Get off your stoop and go to work.
  • Octomom and her doctor should tarred and feathered. Need I say more?
  • People with bad credit who got high interest loans ... you agreed to the loan so pay it, and stop whining.

Who do you want to hold accountable? Serve it up, I say.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Bella Italia

My parents and the dog came for a visit this weekend to go see the Philadelphia Flower Show. This year, the theme is "Bella Italia" and bella is the perfect word to describe what we saw.

Another word to describe it would be overcrowded, but I guess that's to be expected when you go on opening day. Anyhow, I got to test out the new camera and am pretty pleased with the way some of my shots came out. Keep in mind, I'm just graduating from a Spiderman disposable .....

What would an Italian themed flower show be without a pizza made from flowers?

Lots of displays with a fashion theme

I'm a freak for orange and warm lighting, so naturally this caught my eye.

I loved this centerpiece because it was made mostly with vegetables. Not that I'm a big vegetable freak, but it was pretty and unusual.

A display of purses

I took about a zillion pictures of this fashion display. They had dresses, hats (you can kinda see some of them to the right), shoes and purses. Simply stunning.

Made from leaves and vines. (My hair looks like this when it's windy out.)

Outdoor dining space. ahhhh

I have no idea what exactly this is, but it looked very cool. All of the stems were resting in water bottles.

The Atlantis display. Lots of mermaids and this guy.

This big gondola exhibit was in a display near the entrance. Beautiful, but the best was yet to come.


This is my favorite pic. The colors make me want to do the worm across the floor.

After I took this, a lady standing behind me commented on how beautiful my picture turned out. I think she may have been right.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Using a Bazooka to Kill a Mosquito

Were you ever around someone who uses a particular word constantly, and once you take notice it just annoys the hell out of you?

Well, I've noticed a few buzzwords and phrases in the working world that I want to run over with my car. They've sprained my ears, blurred my vision and caused silent rage.

Here are my top 5 offenders:
  • "From a global perspective" = Nails on a chalkboard. It just sounds so lofty and ridiculous. Can we please come up with another way of relating the concepts of "big picture" or "overall?"
  • Utilize - this word should be banned from the English language. There's no need for it. "Use" means exactly the same thing, and it takes up less space and less time.
  • Components - This is frequently used to describe any parts of a greater whole. For example, instead of saying "we'll have talk about that topic later", someone might say "we'll have to address that component offline."
  • And speaking of "offline" ... let's not speak of it. Anymore.
  • Do you have a copy of the document? - Document is used to refer to any piece of paper .... and agenda, a memo, and chart, etc. Why can't you just call it what it is? (OK, not YOU personally .... but think of the word YOU from a more "global perspective" .... ack!) Because saying "send me the document" sounds better than "send me the agenda?" I don't know, but people love to refer to anything as a document. Personally, I'm a fan of specificity.

And here's a bonus extra: "Let's identify the disconnects." This is a combo offender. I probably hear the word "identify" about 300 times a day. It's the same as "find" or "figure out." And "disconnects" is a big way of saying problems, screw-ups, issues, etc.

I had a boss a few years ago that was particularly creative in his use of metaphor and non-traditional business communication. I miss that guy. Not only did I learn alot from observing and working with him, but he was easy to listen to and kept things interesting. One of my favorites was a line he said when telling somebody they were overdoing something -- "you don't need to build a space shuttle to get a glass of Tang." Pretty good, eh?

Inspired by his creativity, I told somebody the other day they were "using a bazooka to kill a mosquito."

Monday, February 23, 2009

Spring, Where Are You?

I really hate those periods of time when it seems like death is looming in the air and lurking around every corner. Unfortunately, this seems to be one of those times. It makes the air feel heavy, like a mid-August day that's 105 degrees with 98% humidity.

Within the span of a week, I'll will attend a second funeral. The first was for the father of my dear friend, Linda. Although I didn't know him, I care very much about her and her family. I didn't know what to do other than show up and say I'm sorry. I sent flowers, which I rarely ever do, because they're sad flowers and smell like death. Not sure why, but for some reason I felt like sending flowers this time -- hopefully they cheered her up a little bit.

This Friday, I'll pay respects for a man from my neighborhood who lost his bout with the lung cancer that had travelled throughout his body. Tony was a very good, decent man -- the kind of person that humbled me just because of the kind of human he was. He was quiet, a veteran, and a true gentleman. I'll miss him, and it's sad to know there's one less good guy on the planet.

Others are sick, and I pray for them to be well. Sometimes I'm not sure anyone is anyone is listening, but just in case I say prayers anyway.

The news, on any given night, seems to leave me shaking my head in disbelief. The headline story is either a senseless murder or another nail in the coffin of our financial system. I know a bad economy isn't the same as losing a loved one, but even if you're not on the brink of financial ruin, it IS depressing to hear nothing but bad news day after day. Especially when people around you are sick and dying.

Anyway, I kept the prayer card from Linda's father's funeral service. The words were neither biblical verse nor traditional, eloquent poetry. Instead, it was the simplicity of the message that stuck with me:

When I am dead, cry for me a little.
Think of me sometimes, but not too much.
It is not good for you, or your wife, or your husband, or your children to allow your thoughts to dwell too long on the dead.
Think of me now and again as I was in life at some moment which it is pleasant to recall.
But not too long.
Leave me in peace as I shall leave you, too, in peace.
While you live, let your thoughts be with the living.

And so I will remember lost friends and loved ones, but I'll focus my energy on loving and cherishing those who are here. Focus on being a better daughter, sister, friend, colleague, person, neighbor, citizen, driver, pinao-player, blogger ... whatever. I can't control the ebb and flow of life and death. I can only control what I contribute, and since I'm not particularly happy with my contributions LTD (life-to-date), I'll work on stepping things up a notch or two.

I'm so thankful that spring is around the corner. Oh Spring, I hope you're around the corner! It's time for you to replace cold, grey, death with your sunshine, life, hope, and warmth.

Maybe I'm totally delusional to hang my hopes of renewed energy and spririt on a flip of the calendar page, but I don't care. Sometimes delusional is fun, and sometimes it's not fun but if it gets me through the lumps, then I'll take a Delusional Super-Sized to go, please.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I'd Like to Give the Academy a Big Razzie

I hereby nominate the Academy Awards show for a Razzie Award. Those are the awards that acknowledge the worst of Hollywood each year. And this show, I'm here to tell you, is one of the worst things I've ever seen.

In all fairness, I haven't watched the entire thing. It's too unbearable, so I've been surfing for the last 2 hours. In 2 hours, I've yet to see one award presented. I've seen comedy sketches, tributes, singing and dancing (which I love, don't get me wrong) ..... but not one award. (Note: Since I wrote that an hour ago, I recently saw Heath Ledger's family accept his award, and a couple of others.)

My point being, most of the show is a big pile of poop and the whole thing could be done faster than one of you-know-who's famous 30-minute meals.

Here are some other Razzie's I'd like to give for worst of Hollywood:
  • Brangelina -- A cheater and a homewrecker, no matter how hot they are and how many kids they adopt.
  • Robin Williams -- Eternally Mork and one of the most un-funny people EVER. I did like a few of his more serious movies, such as Awakenings and Good Will Hunting.
  • Michael Moore & his movies -- I can't stand this guy. He's a self-righteous asshole that takes one side of a story and distorts it so far out of proportion I can only equate his movies to fun-house mirrors.
  • Cloris Leachman -- Please don't ever be on TV again. You stunk on Dancing With the Stars.
  • Paul Shaffer & the CBS Orchestra -- I know you're in New York, not Hollywood, but you get a Razzie from me for the annoying and stale riffs you play to introduce Dave's various sketches. They all sound exactly the same and end with a squealing trumpet. You're too talented to play the same thing every night.
  • Computerized visual effects that have taken over every movie, commercial, and show. Nothing even comes close to looking real anymore. Are stuntmen even needed?
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button -- I'll never see this movie because a.) the premise is stupid (it's a serious "Mork From Ork" for the big screen); and b.) Brad Pitt is a terrible actor; c.) that's a dumb name for a movie.
  • Rachel Ray -- You get a Razzie from me for talking like a 3-year old and never shutting up.
  • Any TV station that has annoying pop-ups that take up half the screen in the middle of a show.

OK, that's just the quick list. Maybe tomorrow I'll focus on stuff I like from Hollywood. I feel like I've been bitching a lot lately.

Friday, February 20, 2009

My Inner Angus Young

Yesterday driving into the parking lot at work I broke one of my own rules -- don't blast music so loud everybody can hear it. Any other time it's okay, but it's not okay to pull up in the work lot with the volume up so high it can be heard through the car windows.

This rule was born a few years ago when I pulled up in my spot rapping along with Eminem to his "Controversy" song. Someone lurking in the spot across from me watched and listened to my best Eminem singalong as I checked my hair and make-up. Let's just say, the guy could rightfully question whether I know the difference between a tube of lipstick and a microphone. No, I couldn't just sing along ... I had to have dance moves, a microphone, facial expressions .... the whole nine yards. How embarrassing.

So after that day, I swore I'd keep a lid on it once I hit the work parking lot.

But yesterday morning, I was flipping the dial and ran across an old favorite -- AC/DCs "Back in Black." I've always loved this song, and it conjured up my inner 80s, head-banging, guitar hero. By all rights, I should've had to open the sunroof to let some of the noise out, but it was great ... even before 8am.

Can you imagine what all of the Dilbert's sitting in their cubicles looking into the parking lot would've thought if they'd seen a girl in her work duds doing Angus Young's famous one-legged hop across the parking lot, complete with air guitar and head-banging? That's what I wanted to do. Then I would've smashed my air guitar against my office door and set off some fireworks to close the show.

Instead I settled for the driver's seat rendition ... head-bobbing and scream-singing.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

You Can't Be Sirius

Personally, I think satellite radio is a big huge ripoff. Why pay for radio when you can get it free? I ended up with XM because it came with my car, and then I was able to continue for a year for $15.

I know, I know .... XM/Sirius doesn't have commercials and they have Howard Stern (like anyone cares anymore) and they play a bigger variety (translate: stuff no one has ever heard before, probably for a reason). Oh, and you can get the stations anywhere. I guess that might be nice if you live or drive alot in the middle of nowhere.

So, tonight on the way home from work I decided I want my $15 back. I heard the most awful song -- yes, even worse than Susudio and Mambo Number 5! It was called "Smack My Bitch Up." It sounded like a combo of 3 things: someone farting into a microphone, banging cymbals and screaming "Smackmybitchup!" The song may be new or it may be 20 years old ... I have no idea. But it was terrible. In fact, it was also worse than the song that was on before it ... Taco's "Puttin' On the Ritz."

No wonder XM's stock is 10 cents a share .... and plummeting.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Setting the Record Straight

Way back in the olden days of 10th grade, my English teacher Mrs. Ohlsson accused me of cheating on our final exam. She was also the drama teacher, and had a reputation for being bitchy, moody, a little crazy and weird. Sounds par for the course for a drama teacher.

Up until this point, I actually kinda liked her. I could identify with bitchy, moody, crazy and weird. She didn't fit the mold of the other teachers and I didn't fit the mold of other students. . She wore big crazy scarves, and shoes that resembled those we all saw adorning the feet of the witch squashed by Dorothy's house. She wasn't the typical teacher shopping at Talbots -- perhaps she got some salvage from the costume rooom? I don't know. She was an odd combination of 80s-gypsy-Fame-wicked witch. Whatever that is.

So I liked this strange character, and I actually learned from her. She taught me a lot about writing for your audience and with a purpose. (Although it may seem, as you read this, that those lessons fell on deaf ears.) Honestly, she did her job so I guess overall the good outweighed the bad. But, I still haven't forgotten that she accused me of something I didn't do, and I'm not sure what reminded me of this, but decided to spend a minute setting the record straight.

The day before the test, she gave us the essay questions that would appear on the test. We'd have to pick one or two, and write. Simple enough. My brain churned, planning the whole essay in my head so I wouldn't be stuck with writer's block during the test. I did this kind of thing in college too ... preparing and researching without ever writing a thing until I knew what I'd write. Then in one fell swoop I'd bang out my 40 page term paper in 2 hours. The rest of the time I would spend editing. I always found editing to be most time-consuming.

So anyway, I'd prepared in my head and the next day took the test. Once the test started, I quickly tore a piece of paper out of my blue book, and downloaded my planned essay from my brain to the scrap paper. I edited, then when I was satisfied with my essay I copied it into my blue book and turned in my test.

Later at home, I answered the phone and it was Mrs. Ohlsson asking to speak to my mother. My mom picked up on another phone, but I lurked. Apparenty, I dropped the scrap paper with my draft essay on the ground and Mrs. Ohlsson found it.I remember feeling all of the blood rush out of my head and waves of anger running through my body as I heard her tell my mother "I'm sorry to tell you that Lisa cheated on her English exam." My mother was still asking questions when I hung up, sitting completely stunned in our kitchen, contemplating how this woman could possibly think I'd actually cheat.

I had NOT cheated on my test. In fact, I never cheated on a test my entire life. I never cared more about my test grade than the consequences of getting caught. First, it would draw attention to me (my worst fear in my high school years). Second, and maybe worse --- it would go on my Permanent Record. Yes, I was successfully brainwashed into believing all humans have a Permanent Record where every transgression is documented, following you on job interviews, dates, and everything ... for the rest of your life.

Over the next day or so, Mrs. Ohlsson gave me an "opportunity" to explain, but refused to believe me. She had no proof, but neither did I. My parents have never been the kind of people who refused to believe their little baby Disco Bubbles was infallible, but in this instance they stood by me.

All said and done, I was docked 2 letter grades for the (non)incident -- so I got a "C" on my essay. Bitch. I never forgot about that. Aside from accusing me of something I didn't do, I was equally bothered by the fact that she couldn't get her big crazy blonde head around the fact that I might actually be smart enough to have studied, planned and done a good job.

Monday, February 9, 2009

You're Quacking Me Up

The grocery store seems to be a place where odd things happen to me. Remember my Trashpicking incident? I was reminded of another incident that happened back before the holidays when I saw my neighbor riding his bike this morning .....

So I was doing my regular grocery trip amidst the massive Saturday pre-holiday crowds (because Saturday morning is a very smart time to go grocery shopping if you want to avoid a crowd, right?) when I had a bizarre series of encounters.

As I rounded the spice aisle and headed for canned tomatoes, I couldn't help but notice a tall rather gruffy looking man watching me rather intently as I walked towards him. I smiled and kept walking, but as I passed him I heard this bizarre noise. It sounded something like a foofie, but not. Whatever. Who doesn't let one out by accident in the grocery store once in a while? Keep moving.

A few aisles later as I was contemplating oyster sauce in "International", I could see him coming towards me once again. As he passed I heard the same noise, and this time I'd figured it out ...
Holy moly, this man was quacking like a duck at me!!

It didn't sound like someone pronouncing the word "quack." Noooo .... imagine the sound a duck would make if you had it pinned to the ground with your shoe on its neck applying a massive amount of pressure, but not enough to silence it. Yeah, THAT'S the noise ..... not cute and funny. (Let me clarify ..... any form of quacking at a person in the grocery store is weird if you're not actually a duck. I'm not really sure what cute funny quacking would be. Maybe if it came from a 2 year old? Probably not. I'm not too fond of most of them either.)

Anyway, I made eye contact after the second quack, and realized it's a man who lives in my neighborhood. How embarrassing that I didn't recognize him. The truth is, every time I'd ever seen him he was sitting, either on a bike or a barstool. My assumption was that he was really short, but truthfully he's quite tall. Still embarrassing -- I'd talked to him before, but definitely don't remember any duck noises.

So I went about my business, and yet a third time I encountered him somewhere around shredded cheese. This time I said "Hi George." And he quacked at me again!!! I never knew George had such a bizarre sense of humor. What the hell, I'll quack back. So I quacked back at George then proceeded to checkout.

When I got home I told Dave (amidst a lot of hysterical laughter) how George kept quacking at me in the Shop Rite, and how I'd quacked back. It was the funniest trip to the store I'd had in a long time.

Then I found out he has Tourette's and quacks all the time. I'm a friggin dummy, but how funny is that?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I've Kept Them Afloat

Here some companies and products whose companies should have no economic woes given the level of financial support I have contributed over the years:

Bounty Paper Towels - You're lucky I'm skeeved by dishtowels.

Comcast - You may be a rip off, but a day on the couch would be nothing without you.

Coor's Light - Although we're departed friends and I can support you no longer, I'm sure I drank more than 9 lives worth during my 20s and early 30s to assure financial stability for years to come.

CVS - aka Mecca

Espositos - Now THAT'S my kinda meat market!

L'Oreal -- Forget American Express, YOU are the one I never leave home without!!!

Macy's - Without you, I'd have to move to a nudist colony. That would suck ... for everyone involved.

Nine West -- My tootsies love you best!

Wawa - So good I could fall asleep in the parking lot.

Triscuits - There has been no other since I was introduced to Rosemary and Olive Oil.

State Farm - Like a good neighbor I've been with you for the last 15 years

Aqua Net - Never far from my mind ... literally

The Japanese Auto Industry - Toyota and Acura have been shuffling me all over the country since the day I rammed my Ford Mustang into the side of a gas station with no brakes.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


As an obsessive listmaker, I can appreciate the compulsion to make lists of anything and everything. I love making a list, so much I've got them all over the place. And any topic is fair game. My friend Schue knows me so well, she gave me a list for my birthday ... and I loved it!!

So there's the obvious stuff to list: things to get at the store, party guests to invite, books to read, Christmas cards to send, errands to run. And then there are some bizarre lists I've made: names I'd rather have other than Lisa, things I wanna be when I grow up, guys an unnamed friend has slept with, all 50 states in alphabetical order (oh yeah, that's one of my own "homemade" puzzles when no crossword is available; it's not a question of can I do it, it's how fast .... nerd!)

But there's one list I don't make. Never did. And this occurred to me as I was watching "The Bachelor" the other night. (Yes, I AM embarrassed to admit I watch this.) The girls go on individual or group dates with the guy, and at some point they have conversations that are just positively painful to watch. Never in my life have I had a conversation like the ones I hear on this show:

GIRL: "So, what qualities are you looking for in a wife? (and they ALL ask this)

(Guy whips out his invisible list which is memorized just as well as my alphabetized list of 50 states, and starts rattling off adjectives)

GUY: I want a girl who is funny, smart, outgoing, a good heart .... What do you want in a guy?

GIRL: (Repeats list back, then says) "You're everything I want in a guy. You're so amazing."

GUY: "You're amazing too."

I cringe when I watch this. People don't really talk to each other like this, do they? Please tell me they don't. Of all the lists I've made (and have yet to make) in my life, the mating checklist is not one of them.

Here's a list of reasons why I don't like the mating checklist:

1.) It's stifling. People get so hung up on their checklist, they stop seeing someone for what they are, and they focus on what they're not. Yes, I've known people who have walked away from a good thing because of an unchecked box. Hmm. Let's move on.

2.) The checklist pays no regard to balance. Yeah, you may be easy going and Mr. Go-With-The-Flow. So much you're a big lazy slob with no initiative. Or you may have a great job ... but be a complete workaholic. Maybe you're funny ... but only once a year.

Point being, saying you are _____ doesn't mean you are____, or in a good way.

3.) It's stupid. Grow up.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Don't Let the Door Hit Ya ....

(nice sweater!)

Dear David & Victoria:

I hear David wants to leave the LA Galaxy and go play soccer for a team in Milan. This is probably a good idea since no one in this country really pays any attention to Major League Soccer anyway. Also, can you please take Tom and Katie with you?

And Vickie, no more come backs please. Your "band" sucked the first time around and you can't sing.



Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Vegas Anyone?

I think companies that are taking bailout money should have to account for every single penny of the handout they are accepting. Now, this is hardly a unique or genius opinion, but after hearing two stories on this morning's news I'm a little bit livid.

Wells Fargo took a $25 BILLION handout, and guess what they are -- rather, WERE -- planning to do with it? I'll tell you: They had planned to host a 2 night retreat in Vegas for 40 people. Rooms were booked at both the Wynn and the Encore hotels. Why? Because the employee recognition conference is a tradition and an important part of their culture. Now I'm not saying they shouldn't continue to recognize employees, but a freebie to the Wynn?? Couldn't they at least stay at Circus Circus, or something? Or better yet, do what my company does and skip the trip and give them free ice cream or a $5 coupon for lunch at the cafeteria. I mean, seriously. How can these people sleep at night? They're using my money and yours to book vacations. I want to use my money to book MY vacation!

As an aside and rather ironically, I was actually the benefactor of one of the lavish employee recognition trips sponsored by Wells Fargo, years ago. My sister won an employee recognition award, and they sent her and a guest (moi) on a 4 day cruise to the Bahamas. All expenses paid ... gifts ... off shore excursions .... posh posh posh.

Anyway, the second company I wanna punch in the face this morning is Citigroup. They took $35.6 BILLION (I keep capitalizing that word because it's so huge I can hardly even fathom it) in taxpayer money and guess what they had planned to do with $400MILLION of it? Again, I'll save you the research time. They were going to buy naming rights to the Mets' stadium.

Thankfully, both of these fiscally irresponsible giants have been shamed into "reconsidering" their use of bailout money. But, I can't help wondering what else is going on that we don't know about. Personally, I think any company that takes a bailout should have to detail how they plan to use all of the money before they get the check ... then, they should be required full disclosure of all accounting once they receive it. There should be reviewers assigned to monitor everything they're doing for a period of time going forward. Any inappropriate use of funds should carry severe civil and criminal penalties for the executive decision-makers.

I'm sorry, but how else do you hold them accountable to exercise appropriate discretion? Apparently, the honor system ain't working.

And no more bailouts until appropriate controls are in place.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The CLAMorous Life

Yesterday I received a Lobstergram in the mail (as you may know from my previous post). It was a Lobster dinner/feast for two that my sister gave me for Christmas ... and it was fantastic.

Part of the dinner was a choice between clams, shrimp or mussels. I chose the clams. They arrived looking like this:

Yum! I steamed them in butter, garlic, parsley and white wine. Two dozen of them ... expecting them to turn out like this .....

Guess what? Ever hear of a geoduck? (It's pronouned "gooey duck") Well it's a type of clam, and it's the kind that arrived in my lobster dinner feast. So I cooked them up , and here's what they looked like ...

Imagine two dozen of these staring you in the face.

Friday, January 30, 2009


I've gone a little crazy with the online shopping over the past week. As a result, I've had a parade of delivery guys and a stack of pick-up slips on my front door. Well, "parade" and "stack"may be a slight exaggeration, but since I never really buy anything online it seems like a lot to me.

Anyway, here's what I've been finding on the world wide webmall:

Shampoo - My Mom left a near-empty bottle of her shampoo when she stayed over the holidays, so I decided to use the last of it before throwing the bottle away. It's a special shampoo that she used when her hair was growing back after chemo, and the label says it's for fine or thinning hair. I loved this stuff. My hair is very fine, and thankfully after my own bout with hair loss it's all grown back .... but, I dig this shampoo and want to keep using it. I couldn't find it in a regular retail store, but Amazon came through!

Camera - I've been taking pictures with the same Spiderman disposable for the last 2+ years and a digital camera that I got for Christmas about 8 years ago. I really do like to take pictures, so it was time to make an investment in something decent. Let's hope it's not too hard to use! I've been stalking this camera for about 2 months, and found it online for half the price of anywhere else. Nice!!

Curtains -- OK, so I didn't turn my house into a theatre and the curtains don't look anything like this, but I need curtains for the french doors in my bedroom. Thank you, Target!

Piano music -- I bought a piano over the holidays, which has been great. If you thought my blogging hiatus was long, it's nothing compared to the 25 year vacation I took from my first love. Not only am I pretty rusty on the ivories, but my music is terribly outdated. One book cover boasts that it includes "Everyone's Favorites" -- "What's Love Got to Do with It" and "Axel F" (you know, the theme song from "Beverly Hills Cop") Another book of "Today's Hits" contains the theme to "Hill Street Blues" and "Tomorrow" (from Annie). Now, the majority of what I play is classical music, but still .... it would be nice to have something a little more up to date. So what did I do? I ordered a book of 400 Broadway Show Tunes!! I CANNOT WAIT to have a big singalong party!!! (I know, it may just be Schue, my sister and I for that one!)

And the grand finale of deliveries .....

My sister gave me a Lobstergram for Christmas. Today, I'm working at home because the lobsters are live and have to be cooked the same day. The "Down East Feast" dinner for two contains:

Live Maine Lobsters
Lobster Bisque (I picked this over Clam Chowder)
Corn on the Cob (or potatoes)
Clams (shrimp or mussels are the other choices)
Shell crackers
A lobster pot

Thanks Laura ... I'm really excited to try this out, and will call to give a full report!!