Wednesday, February 22, 2006


I have signed up to take a creative writing class. The ABC's of Creative Writing. You all are in danger of being my victims as I practice my ABC's.

This is a continuing education class offered through the local community college (translation: no credit). However, it was held at a local high school, in room 102. This particular high school is one of those with a sprawling campus consisting of 5 buildings. Sadly, none of them had a sign which said "ABC's of Creative Writing Is Held In This Building, In Room 102, Second Door on the Left. THE LEFT, Wrong-Way."

My plan was to go into the building that had the most cars parked in front of it. Imagine my surprise when I walked into the building which housed the auditorium where the Senior Class Dinner Theater was being held. So much for that plan. I walked around aimlessly in the empty lobby, listening to muffled off-key singing and searched for a "you are here, but you want to be there" kind of map of the campus. From across the lobby, a rather imposing looking woman purposefully walked towards me. Interestingly she was dressed as I was; black trousers, white blouse and red blazer. As she approached me, she said with a great deal of authority, "I'm hopelessly lost. Can you direct me to room 102?"

I laughed, introduced myself and suggested we try the next building. On our way there, Julie and I picked up another lost soul, Calvin, a young black man dressed in baggy black slacks, black t-shirt, lots of silver necklaces, black bandana and black ball cap covering his hair. After encountering a series of locked doors and a not-quite English speaking janitor, we found room 102.

My intent in signing up for this class was NOT to meet eligible men, but this was certainly the place to meet them; particularly if I was wanting to meet veterans of World War II and the Korean War. OK, not all of the men were old war veterans; just four out of seven. Besides Calvin, there was a local radio broadcaster who is quite impressed with himself and assumes we are as well. There was also a rather quiet young man who arrived even later than we did.

After the instructor introduced herself, and told us what websites sold her books, she had us briefly describe our writing endeavors, hopes, dreams and expectations. Only about half were like me, wannabe writers with drawers full of unfinished novels and short stories. During my introduction, I said that up until now, I have basically been writing for my own amusement. My intent in taking the class was to light a fire under mysef.

A few of the others had already been published, but either as technical or industrial writers and now wanted to branch out. Mr. Broadcaster introduced himself, saying "My writing is more advanced, I'm a broadcaster and motivational speaker, I write news and sports, and have compiled brochures for my seminars and just finished a book about blah blahblah......zzzzzzzzzzz...." I'm sorry, I drifted off there for awhile, after screaming in my head "ABC'S OF CREATIVE WRITING, DUDE!!" I was afraid we would hear from him all freaking night. I was half right. He was quiet after the break. Someone must have pulled his battery pack.

We were put through several writing exercises involving the senses and then we took a break. When we returned, Calvin was missing. I think there was more moldy whitebread in the room than he could deal with, yo.

After the break, Barb had us chose a picture (which she had torn out of scenic calendars) and write about it incorporating all senses. Jim, the war veteran sitting next to me, wrote an amazing piece in the 5 minutes we had to draft our stories. Jim is interesting. When we were given our exercises, most of us would spend a few minutes either staring at our blank pages or staring at the ceiling. Jim immediately started writing at warp speed. When he was asked to read, he did so at the same speed. I'm thinking there's a heavy caffeine addiction going on there.

The photo he chose to write about was a full moon shining down on a peaceful harbor. He started off with "Oh, bold moon" and continued talking about how cruel the moon was to be shining down on him after his Mary had been taken away and how desolate his life is without her. He began to describe Mary with her auburn hair and green eyes. I then noticed the other students' gaze shift from him to me. And my auburn hair and green eyes.

Coincidence, I'm sure.

An exercise we did towards the end was to take a simple sentence and expand it. One such sentence was "The kitchen was cold." I liked my sentence, but didn't get a chance to read it, so I'll share it with you. "The kitchen's frigid air mimicked the inside of the Frigidaire."

I told you, I've been writing for my own amusement.

Monday, February 13, 2006


What can you say about a sport in which athleticism doesn't seem to be a priority....

.....and the uniforms look like they were stolen from the lockers of a your local copy repair service?

The women look like escapees from Merry Maids

Who supplies the shoes? I don't see any Nike swooshes there.

The "curling position" is interesting.

I tried to watch a game (is that where they are called?) Here are notes from that:

1. You don't hear a lot of southern accents.

2. Sheetrock; shotrock; second rock. .... Rock on!!!!

3. One commentator said "they are playing with 9 rocks and they have 6 left"
Laugher followed. Must be an inside joke.

4. Something about someone being a good intern thrower (??)

5. After the rock is let go, numbers are shouted out: "9, 7 5, 4" The
commentators will then say, "it's a 6" or something like that.

6. I found this odd: (player): "It's curling! It's curling!" (commentator) "It's curling. Oh, you don't want to see that." You don't?

At the end of the game (match? set?) I can honestly say, I won't do that again.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Dear NBC.

I've been had by your marketing department. I had mistakenly thought that since the Olympics were being aired on your networkS, I would be able to actually watch the Olympics at any given time during the day. Especially, during the time that competition was occuring in Italy.

Apparently, it is a foreign concept to NBC, the network of the Olympics, to broadcast an Olympic competition AS IT ACTUALLY HAPPENS!!!

As I write this, it is 6:00 am CDT on Sunday. (Why I am awake at this time is of no consequence.) In Turin, Italy, it is 1:00 pm. The middle of the day. Athletes are competing. Medals are being won. The thrill of victory and agony of defeat are being experienced.

I know this because I can read about the results on

But what is being aired on the networkS of NBC?

NBC: 6 - 7; local programming
7: Today
8: Meet the Press
9: Local news
10 Bob Villa
10:30 Paid Programming
11:00 NASCAR (!?!?!)
2:00 Olympics
5:00 Local news
5:30 Network news
6: Olympics
10:30 local news

MSNBC: (am)
6:00 Headliners and Legends (Halle Berry)
7:00 MSNBC News Live
10:00 Weekends with Maury Pauvich and Connie Chung
10:30 MSNBC News Live
3:00 Weekends with Maury Pauvich and Connie Chung
3:30 MSNBC News Live
4:00 Headliners and Legends (Cameron Diaz)
5:00 MSNBC Investigates (military murder)
6:00 MSNBC Special (Love and marriage: real journeys)
9:00 Meet the Press
10: MSNBC Special (Love and marriage: real journeys)

CNBC: (am)
6:00 Paid programming
7:00 Paid programming
8:00 Paid programming
9:00 Select Comfort (about the sleep number bed. Sounds like paid programming)
9:30 Olympics
12:00n - 6:00 Paid Programming
6:00 Diabetes
7:00 High Net Worth
7:30 CHris Matthews
8:00 Cover to cover
9:00 Bid Idea
10: High Net Worth
10:30 Chris Matthews

USA (am)
6:00 - 8:00 Paid Programming
8:30 Big Daddy
10:00 PGA Tournament
11:00 Monk
12:oo Olympics
2:30 Sabrina
5:00 Olympic Ice (highlight show)
6:00 - midnight Law and Order Marathon

On NBC, the Olympic coverage STARTS as the days' actual events are ending. Clearly, we will be getting taped and edited coverage.

MSNBC doesn't have ANY coverage, other than stories on its news.

CNBC has a smidgeon of coverage, but clearly would rather sell us vacuum cleaners , exercise equipment and something about not having to work but making $70,000 a month with the cash flow business.

If USA isn't showing informercials, we can watch more Law & Order than anyone should have to watch, only to be interrupted for a short period of time for taped and edited Olympic coverage.

As you can see, very little of your networkS are airing the Olympics; and NONE of it is in real time.

Yesterday, I watched a little luge, to be interrupted with a couple of skaters, to be interrupted with some skiing. Then there was the 2002 skating scandal.

Yes, the judging scandal was being rehashed with the aid of soap opera stars. Instead of seeing anything of the current Olympics, I was watching yesterday's news. Not even yesterday.

I tried to watch some of the Olympics last night, but the TAPED EVENTS were on so late that I fell asleep. It would be so nice to watch something TODAY while they are actually occuring, instead of trying to stay awake to watch an edited version of it at night.

Out of all of this, the networkS of NBC are insulting its viewers with the Paid Programming. Instead of showing us ACTUAL! OLYMPIC COVERAGE! the bulk of the programming is devoted to modern-day snake oil salesmen running vacuum cleaners while operators are standing by.

Please quit holding the games hostage and let the viewers see actual competition.

I don't need another vacuum cleaner.

But I will admit that I would like to make $70,000 a month while not working.

Thank you.

P.S. Please get some chapstick for Bob Costas.

UPDATE: The above was sent to NBC in an e-mail. If you wish to send your own e-mail the address is :

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Dead Battery

My car's battery was dead last night and I blame my bus driver. A stretch you say? I think not.

I got to my bus stop with 5 minutes to spare. I was debating whether I should stay in the car for a few more minutes, or go stand at the stop in the cold wind. Just as I was thinking that the bus had been several minutes late all week, I saw it three blocks away and speeding towards me. Unfortunately, there was a green light at the intersection and the driver didn't have to stop. I flew out of my car, grabbing my briefcase and purse. I heard the car chiming, and thought it was because the keys were in it. I grabbed them, closed the door and locked it as I slid down the snow-covered embankment to catch up to the bus. The driver was going to fast that it took her a block and a half to stop for me. The other passengers said they had to yell at her that I was there, and she started to argue with them that I wasn't at the STOP. By the way, she was three minutes early.

ANYway, last night as I approached my car, I tried to unlock it with my keyless remote. Nothing. I got closer and hit the button. Still nothing. Then in the back of my mind, I remembered that as the door was closing that morning, I STILL heard chiming. Damn. Fine time to remember THAT.

I got out my AAA card and my cellphone and made the necessary call. The operator wanted me to give the EXACT address where I was. Like I knew that! I told her the name of the parking lot, next to a Steak'n'Shake, across the street from a Harley Davidson store. I gave her the cross street. She wanted the street address. WHO KNOWS STREET ADDRESSES OF PARKING LOTS?!?!

I told her that any local tow truck driver would know where I was located. She reluctantly gave in and told me it would be 45 minutes. I gasped, as it was cold and she said, "maybe sooner."

As I hung up, a nice looking guy (but much younger) approached me and asked if help was on the way, and I told him I had just hung up with AAA and was OK. He said he worked at the Harley Store and noticed my lights on all day and was wishing he knew who to call. He then apologized for not having jumper cables and said he should have thought to get some, knowing that someone was going to need them. I will admit I thought that maybe he should go back across the street and get some because SURELY a Harley store had them. But my dad's voice was in my head warning me about explosions when people do that without knowing what they are doing. But you'd think a Harley dude would know what he was doing.

Isn't it interesting how I had that little argument going on in my head while talking to him? I'm talented that way.

And a side note to the Great Dane, I DO have jumper cables.....somewhere in the basement. Yeah, I know. I should dig them out. But I do have all of the other winter pack stuff in the trunk.

OK, back to the story at hand. I was getting bored (and REAALLLLYYYYY had to pee), so to keep my mind on other things, I dug out my cellphone and started to call people. After that, I started e-mailing them.

Forty-three minutes later, I saw the tow truck aproaching. I wanted to make sure he knew which car I was, so I honked. Horns don't work in cars with dead batteries. So I flashed my headlights. Yeah. It's a lot like flipping the light switch when you walk into a room when the power is out.

Less than 5 minutes after he got to my car, I was on the road. He told me to be sure to let the car run for 15 to 20 minutes before shutting it off. I live 1.3 miles from there, so when I got home, I let the car run (locking it of course.) I went in the house, started dinner, and returned a couple of phone calls. Quite some time later, I received a reply from friend I had e-mailed in San Diego who said she assumed I was home now. Suddenly, I thought MY CAR!!! and rushed out to shut it off. Fortunately, I still had gas, but not a lot. That would have been real cute, having to call AAA the next day.

Which reminds me of a AAA rant. I've had the service for about 6 years now. I haven't needed it much, but every year, I've paid $106.00 to them for a family membership. One year, I had the misfortune of getting a flat tire, a dead battery and getting locked out. After the third incident, I received a chastizing letter from AAA in which they WARNED me that if I used their service again before my yearly membership expired, they would have to charge me. They said it wasn't FAIR for me to use them so often without paying; and in order to keep costs down, they would have to charge.

I shot off a letter to them that I'd been PAYING them for several years and hadn't needed them until now and they DARE chastise me!?!? I know they aren't a charity, but they've made a nice little profit off of me. I never received a reply.

When it came time for renewal, I considered not paying, but thought it would be bitter revenge if Meghan's car broke down on the way home from school. So, I paid the renewal, BUT I WASN'T HAPPY ABOUT IT!!!

Thursday, February 09, 2006


OK, she looks good; sings well and puts on a great show. But she has undergarment issues. If she's not wearing her bra on the outside, then it's her corset. And I do NOT get those leggings. They look like reverse knee-highs. Knee-lows?

Great performance; ehhhh dress.

Who were the Gorillaz wearing? Fruit of the Loom and Levi.

I must be too whitebread to understand what Kanye was doing.

Great dress. Take our word for it, Stevie.

I like Teri Hatcher; I think she's attractive and I like the character "Susan" that she plays on Desperate Housewives. Can't say I'm a big fan of this dress; or the fact that she accessorized it with several cross necklaces.

I'm guessing Sheryl was too distraught over her break-up with Lance to pick a dress.

Some of the men wore more bling than the women.

Wanda Sykes showed up at an after-party, apparently on her way to the grocery store.

Kick ass performance!!

Another good performance coupled with a crappy dress.

I'll be honest. I wasn't aware of John Legend before the Grammy's, but I'm now a fan. Ordinary People was a great ballad.

Ya gotta admit; rehab seems to have done Courtney some good.

Kanye had to crouch here to make room for his ego in the pic.

Beyonce (or Bouncy as a friend of mine calls her) wore my favorite dress.


Apparently, the American Idol Winner's Package didn't include a stylist for Fantasia.

Your typical American family.....the Hogans.

Sly is kind of stuck in his 80's look.........

........just like a Z from ZZ Top.

Someone who needed no introduction, so he got none. It's hard to believe that was his first Grammy performance!

Monday, February 06, 2006


THE COMMENTS SECTION IS NOW OPEN!!! For some mysterious reason, the comments section hadn't been working the last few days. I was wondering why you all were so quiet!!

I would like to think I'm fairly intelligent. My circle of friends are also intelligent. During the last two decades, I've managed to raise two intelligent daughters. I've noticed, however, that nothing makes anyone feel stupid faster than attempting to program a new cell phone.


I've had my new phone for almost a month and TODAY! I finally figured out how to select predictive text for text messaging. It was much easier to figure out with my old phone. At dinner the other night, my friend, Kathy, showed me her new cell phone, which is just like mine. I asked her about predictive text and she said she figured it out. Then we sat there in the restaurant with our phones, punching buttons and squinting at our read-outs and couldn't figure it out. She said she'd call me after she got home and read up on it.

She called me and walked me through it. No luck.

Today, I got out my book and committed to getting it figured out TODAY, no matter what. SUCCESS. Sadly, I have no idea how I did it.

Next step, trying to find the location of the ringtones I downloaded. They aren't where the book says they should be. I've concluded that the instructions in the book were written by the Mapquest people. This instruction book seems to sometimes leave out a step in a similar fashion that Mapquest sometimes leaves out an important intersection or left turn.