Monday, November 27, 2006

Before I Call It a Night

Before I cozy up on the sofa with my glass of wine to watch America's best train wreck television, "The Bachelor Rome," (because, don't these "girls" realize their hearts are going to be crushed into a million little pieces???) thought I'd share:

Yes, my writings WILL be included in this Asian-guidebook series, probably because I traveled to some pretty obscure places in Japan. But publication isn't until early fall 2007. So still, "bummer."

And, forgot to mention that I finally made AC's "editors pick" list over the weekend with my story about meeting Dubya. I'm not feeling too comfortable with that site these days. It's a bit controversial in the writing world whether it's a site for writing or not. I know the extra dough has been nice, but me thinks it's time to back away from the AC.

Not sure what to get me for Christmas this year? Well check out this site for some nifty and groovy ideas from Great American Days. My number one pick is the "Special Forces Training." All the training without enlisting.


Today was a pretty cool day - learning HTML. I love all this coding stuff - so far. Pretty soon, I'll be able to clean up this blog and start my web sites.

Then I read my email. Remember that Japanese anthology-guidebook I had contributed to almost two years ago? Well, the project has "changed" so I don't know if they'll still be using my stories. Which pisses me off a little bit, considering I could have contributed them elsewhere. So, I'm awaiting what, if any, of the stories they will be using. On an upside, the project has morphed to an eight-country guidebook series. Afghanistan falls into Asia but I'm waiting word back whether it's included in the series. Chances are slim to none, but I had to ask.

House/pet sitting this week - which means CABLE TV! Yes :)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

And So Begins Another Week

For the first time in many years, I set up and decorated a Christmas tree today. It's a pitiful, mini silver tree which needs a lot of love and can't fit all of my ornaments, but it makes me feel festive.

Tomorrow begins two days of HTML classes. Yup, on my way to geek-certification. Just imagine what I can get into then...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanksgiving: It's About the Bird & Stuff

Thanksgiving is about the journey. The photo below shows me and 31.7 million of my closest friends on the road Wednesday. Not everyone plays nice on the highway. Careless driving caused wrecks here and there, which caused rubber-necking and backed-up traffic. Ugh! I also realized that 18-wheeler trucks passing me while I'm pushing 80 mph scare me. The joy of travel over the holidays.

Thanksgiving is about family and friends. Spent Thanksgiving with friends but stopped at the local state park to see some relatives. Uncle smoked a turkey (didn't stick around long enough to taste it), kids ran around and I spotted alligators on the river bank. Uncle's in-laws were there; I left Sarasota 1.5 years ago and none of them knew! These are times when I feel invisible and awkward in the world. I did get to catch up with Kathy and Matt-A over the weekend, always nice to see them; Kathy's parents were there, too.

Thanksgiving is about the bird. Thursday afternoon, while walking the cat (around the backyard), Zelda Mae and I were outside when she spotted something blue under the bushes. A blue parakeet hopped and chirped. Not sure if it was a neighborhood pet or wild, but after a few screeches (from me, not the bird), we somehow managed to corral it into a cage. Not sure what to do with it next, I later went to feed it - by opening the door. The bird made the great escape, so I'm pretty sure the little thing is wild.

Thanksgiving is knowing you can always return home. Returning to Sarasota is always strange. Sometimes I feel as though I'm away at college (especially this go around when I brought a laundry basket full of dirty cloths). It's not my "true" home, but one where I have sprouted roots. While I've enjoyed many good times, I'm reminded of self-perceived, personal failures. I'm my toughest critic and when I figure out how to ease-up on myself, I will exceed my dreams. In the meantime, "my people" (in their own special ways) continue to inspire and remind me that know matter what one's faults, you can always go home.

Monday, November 20, 2006

When There's Too Much Time to Think

I went for a run tonight. Ok, that's mostly a lie, but not a total one. I recently dreamt about running to get back in shape. Does that count?

But today, I faced the reality that the dryer has NOT been shrinking my cloths and I've become the incredible expanding woman, I headed out on a 3.5 mile jog after work.

Well, I didn't get very far jogging, see, I'm very conscientious about people looking at me. And I don't like ducks looking at me either. The place I like to walk is a little place called Lake Ella and it is INFESTED with Muscovy ducks. You know, those ugly ducks that like to hiss. I didn't like the way they looked at me while jogging by, so I walked, quickly.

I walked and walked and walked. The air was nippy yet refreshing. I thought a lot, in between watching strange men tumble out of bushes in front of me. I wondered why when growing up, no one told me about aging and that single, wild, black hairs would pop up in odd places on my body. There's a lot more I wondered, but I'll save that for another day.

I am happy to tell everyone that my post, "Clowns or Kings? Hands Down, the Golden Arches Win," has been selected by CREAMaid. Yippee! Check them out, they're legit. Come play, too!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Clowns or Kings? Hands Down, the Golden Arches Win

Long-time readers of my blog are well aware of my fear of the freaky King and my subsequent boycott. So in the realm of fast food giants, I choose McDonald's. During spring break trips driving to Florida, we kids looked forward to Mom saying, "the Golden Arches are ahead." Eating at Mickey D's was a treat, not that we didn't like Bologna and ketchup sandwiches. But honestly, hot, crisp, salty fries beat out white bread any day.

And now that I'm grown up and have had cholesterol issues, I limit my visit to McDonald's. But on the those days when I know it's going to be a long one, I pull through the corner Mickey D's on Tallahassee's Monroe and Martin Luther King for good ole' comfort food: a #1 with a Coke - Egg McMuffin and hashbrown. I do this less and less, however, since the meal now costs about four bucks.

Today was a day to indulge, especially after reading a fellow ACer's blog, Paula Mooney, I learned of a promotion seeking authentic experiences and photos of McDonald's. So my lunch was a Fillet O'Fish. Had to wait a while for the crew to catch and prepare my meal, after all, I imagine fish is not in high demand. But waiting was ok, Southern hospitality is alive and well in Tallahassee, Florida and my cashier was pleasant and friendly. In the bottom photo, you can see the crew working away.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

How Bad is Bad?

Growing up in Buffalo, NY, we had what's called "snow days." Days when schools, and usually businesses, were closed due to massive snow fall. Sometimes, these snow storms hit early in the day, forcing schools to close early (they also seem to hit on Friday afternoons so everything was cleared away in time for school on Monday morning). Well today in Tallahassee, schools closed early and so did my office, due to bad weather moving in. This is Florida!!!! There are no hurricanes out there, how bad will the weather be tonight??? I did park far away from any trees though, just in case.

Anyway, have you been checking out my friend Cordelia's blog lately? She's winding down her multi-month trip to India. She recently posted photos of her journey. Stunning. Makes me want to travel to India, among other places. Pay her blog a visit, you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Clowning Around in Sarasota: Beware

I've heard the hype about the clowns coming to Sarasota, Fla. this year. While Boston had cows this summer, Cincinnati had pigs long ago, Sarasota opted for colorful clowns to decorate the downtown. Which makes sense, it's where circus magnate John Ringling wintered his circus.

TideWell Hospice is the benefactor of the proceeds generated by the clowns. Organizations in Sarasota sponsored artists to create beautiful masterpieces, or so I thought.

I had read about the clowns being destroyed. Appendages have been sawed off. Accessories have been stolen. Some people object to them because of a legitimate fear of clowns while others object because clowns aren't art. Prior to seeing the clowns, I was all for them, picturing an Emmett Kelly-type clown. After all, clowns are a part of Sarasota's circus heritage.

But, to my "surprise," the clowns I saw on the streets of Sarasota were pretty freaky. The female clowns are half leaning - pushing out their chests, sticking out their butts and look like they're hyped up on steroids. The men have innocent, wimpy looking faces with a hint of creepiness. Their guts are round, pot bellies. If you haven't been to Sarasota, let these images help you decided:

Grounds of the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art

Spent some much needed R&R in Sarasota this weekend. Sorry to those of you (which are most of you in Sarasota) whom I didn't get in touch with. Was in Naples for business, our largest signature event, and needed time to unwind and relax. Anyway, here are some images of the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art's grounds. The Dwarf Garden is fairly new, the dwarfs aren't new, but the garden is.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Fired for Blogging, Former Flight Attendant Publishes World's First

Two years ago, Ellen Simonetti, aka: Queen of Sky, was fired from Delta Air Lines for photos posted on her blog, Diary of a [Fired] Flight Attendant. Since then, she's filed a lawsuit against Delta and has been educating bloggers about employer backlash due to blogging.

She's also published the World's first novel in blog format called, Diary of a Dysfunctional Flight Attendant: The Queen of Sky Blog, which includes the first nine months of her blog, including her termination.

I recently interviewed Queen of Sky, and this is what she had to say about this blogging business. Read the interview here.