Sunday, December 13, 2009

I Want To Rock Your Gypsy Soul.

With no intention of starting a conversation, I walked away. I felt uncomfortable like a bad note in the middle of a violin solo. Chills and a familiar ache pricked me. No. It was worse. I felt like I was bleeding. Wounded by an elbow to the lip in a mosh pit. A mosh pit in slow motion ramming and diving to a familiar tune..

.."Johnny rosin up your bow and play your fiddle hard. 'Cause hells broke loose in Georgia and the devil deals the cards and if you win you get this shiny fiddle made of gold. But if you lose, the devil gets your soul...."

I sat down waiting for the ringing in my ears to stop. Clarity was improving slowly, but inside regret still rocked unsettled.

I don't know what I should have said. I barely make it out the door every morning confident the earings I'm wearing do not require a necklace.

If I'm being totally honest, which I'm not, I don't know love. I know what love is and how to spot it, but I don't know it personally. So when asked anything about it - other than how to make it stay, which consequently will get you regurgitated Tom Robbins - I know nothing.

In my own terms I have been in love. Once. Maybe twice. But really once. I could probably be in love again if the timing and circumstances were different. They aren't though.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Your future or mine.

Open your eyes when one of these reminds you of you. Greatness. Courage. Art. Love. Lust. You blinked at lust. OK, which one is more likely to catch the kissing disease? I might tell you to look the other way while I use the bottom of your glass as an orange juice kaleidoscope. It's not hard to look past the pulp and see the universe laid out like Tarot origami. I can read the pulpy shapes and see your future. I'll say, "It's in the cards." You won't believe me, but you'll nod and lay a quarter down.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

"Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have known all along that it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek."
— Tom Robbins (Jitterbug Perfume)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The End of Struggle

This is the west side. Our side. Not your sunny side up white collar pancakes and dreams. We are the puppy mill. The last stop. Harder veins, tagged trains, jacked brains. You don't fit in.

We don't see the litter. And I didn't crawl out from under this rock yesterday. Add it to the pile. Burn it to the ground. Stomp your feet. Drag. Waste. You won't fit in or stand in line at the clinic.

We are the generations. This is the west side. Our side. Not your hayride white collar lattes and creams. Push back. Stomp. Fit in. Try looking the other way or looking me in the eye.

This is the bad side. Our side. Not your All You Need Is Love two disc set. Take your sad eyes and see my struggle isn't against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against darkness.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Clutter for sale!

Today I will straighten my room. It is getting quite cluttered and the disarray makes me twitch. All day I tidy counters, wash and put away dishes, and clean up behind people. I can’t stand a messy work area. It makes me crazy. Literally the walls begin pushing the clutter closer to my already tweaking brain stem. The only reason my room breeds neglect is because I am too tired to be neurotic. My brain shuts down long enough to help me feel my way to bed. I don’t - no, won’t look around. My bed is tidy. Even if it is not made, the sheets and bed spread are pulled tight and pillows aligned. The clutter won’t disrupt my sleep. It will, however, cause a total mental meltdown when I get to work and look for a space big enough to SET A PURSE.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

One of those last moments.

She spooned me while I wept. The cool air anchored me like her arms around my waist. I was leaving. In a few short hours it was Destination: Palm Beach. I had a job waiting for me and life was making one of those hard left turns that force gravity to leave a seatbelt mark across your breast bone. I would survive, but not without scars. The only time I’d spent away from home was college. For me, college was three years of self mutilation both mentally and academically. Palm Beach was going to be different. A new chance. An opportunity to discover who I was and what I was meant to do. An escape.

My car was full and ready. But I wasn’t. I had said my goodbyes for weeks. Not once giving in to the fear, I prepared. Daydreams had window treatments selling themselves. My toes would spell success in the sand and the days would be counted in lime wedges. I’d spend cool nights on the beach and brush shoulders with Rod Stewart on Clematis. I had it all worked out. I only needed to get there.

It was my last shift behind the bar. The people across from me, I saw everyday. I was invested in their lives. They were friends. Co-workers. Drunks. Lovers. The crumpled cash they stuffed in jars paid my rent. I celebrated their birthdays, new babies, anniversaries, and cleared DUIs. They helped me move and I smiled for them. I smiled through a smoky haze for their bad days and lost jobs. I smiled for new loves and broken dreams. I smiled to mask discontent and an aching heart. A cold beer and a smile were stronger than any blood covenant. I did this everyday.

But now I was leaving.

Before the night was over I would memorize the bar and the faces in the room. I breathed the familiar blend of martini olives and cigarette smoke. I listened closely to the chatter and bagpipes in the background, intent on branding my memory with the very things I wanted to leave behind.

I saved my last goodbye for him. I had prepared my speech a dozen times. Tim Rice could not have composed a better background soundtrack. But I don’t remember it. I don‘t remember any of it. I remember him. But I cannot recall a single moment of our goodbye. It’s a total blank. It changed my life and I can’t even remember.

But I do remember her and how she held me for hours that night. I sobbed for him and for the end of the chapter. I kissed her hands and told her what she meant to me. She blanketed my body with strength and comfort and let me absorb a friendship that would permanently mark the blank slate before me. One last time before it all changed, I smiled.

Monday, October 12, 2009


My friend Sara is a writer. She's also beautiful. In every aspect of the word. And I am proud of her.

Seven months and counting...

"How long before I get in. Before it starts. Before I begin." Coldplay

seven months ago:


We began renting our space. The neighborhood was new. The crack hos were a shock. Sort of. The kind of hard work was still physical.

seven months and counting:


We have successfully established ourselves as one of Greenville's competative restaurants. The hard work is hardwork.

It's funny how a year ago I would have spilled my beer on you and laughed if you had said I would be the owner of a successful bakery and coffee shop. Now there's no time for beer. No time for telemarketers. No time for The Hills. But there is time for reflection. And it is good.

Friday, August 21, 2009

No Poetry Gary Jules

"There's no poetry between us"
Said the paper to the pen
Something's burning in the attic
That her tongue will not defend
Through the arc of conversation
Past the teeth behind the smile
Down the miracle mileTo the bottom of the ladder
Paint your eyes and hide the tatters
What's the matter baby?
Could we go downtown
To the middle of the world?
You were always such a pretty girl
And you told me I was beautiful
"There's no poetry between us"
Said the paper to the pen
"And I get nothing for my trouble
But the ink beneath my skin"
If your clothes are getting weary
And your soul's gone out of style
Blame the miracle mile
And the bottom of the ladder
Paint your eyes and hide the tatters
What's the matter baby?...I'm coming too

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Coffee to a Tea

I know it's been months since I updated but I have been a busy bee!

Just thought I'd post some pictures of the completed and open coffee shop and bakery.

We've had some great free advertising from newspaper, magazine articles, and internet write-ups! We've had much traffic from these interviews and stories.

We keep three different cakes on the counter at all times and serve and light lunch menu.

Our decor makes a relaxed and inviting space for coffee drinkers, bloggers*, and hungry patrons.

If you live in Greenville, SC you owe it to yourself to visit the Wild West End. If you don't live in Greenville - Come visit!
*free Wi-Fi

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Butter Pecan

I eat, sleep, and bake.

I love it.

I am SO tired when I have to face a 15 hour day at 6am with one eye frosted shut.

But I love it.

I measure the raw, clean, pure ingredients.

I mix and whip.

I get to spin all the day's dirt off on mix 10.

My favorite. Cause it's fast like me.

I pour, bake, test, bake, test, and SLAM!

If no one's blood pressure spikes I'm slightly disappointed.

But there's always tomorrow. ;)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Boy howdy!

I'd be lying if I said, "I've never felt this way." -ha.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sneak Peaks

How do you spell CHAOS?!
C.o.f.f.e.e. S.h.o.p.
It is a mad house. Mad car. Mad purse/travelling office.
Here is one of four chairs we've picked. They are super comfy and I love the color. We're still looking for some accent pillows. I can't wait to sit in this chair. Or any chair. I can't wait to sit.
Lucky and I went furniture shopping for HOURS. We found 8 couches we love. We have room for one. I tell you - Garden Ridge has some great deals. I don't shop there often but they really came through for us today.
Just a few progression shots. Can't show ya everything. We want you to be shocked and amazed. And appreciate it like we do having seen the dreadful 'before' photos.
Little by little.
Can't judge a counter by its dust. In fact, you couldn't have judged anything. EVERYTHING was covered in an inch of sheetrock and sawdust. Ma lungs!
Big stuff is a comin'!

Life doesn't stop for big plans, but we work hard and diligently to make our way. The end of phase one is really just the beginning of a completely different life for us. Ready or not.

Ferociously Yours

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Love Poem

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,--- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Green with Envy

KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer

Technical data
Color: Green Apple
Power output: 325 watts
Speeds: 10
Bowl capacity: 5 qts.
Body material: Metal
Bowl material: Stainless Steel
Manufacturer: KitchenAid
Country of manufacture: USA
Tilt-up head: Yes
Dough hook: Yes
Pouring shield: Yes
Outlets for attachments: Yes

Height: 13.9 inches
Length: 8.7 inches
Depth: 14.1 inches
Weight: 27.9 lbs
*This is on my bakery wishlist. We have two already, one being 5X this size for giant cakes, but this one is so pretty and it would be all mine. So since it is not a necessity it will have to wait. But I will remain firmly fixed upon it - green apple of my eye.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

I Art February

"Art arises when the secret vision of the artist and the manifestation of nature agree to find new shapes."

~ Kahlil Gibran

Last night, February 7th, was First Friday in West Greenville, an event by local artists to open their studios to the public. A fire eater performed and American Grocery exhibited spun sugar art - so cool.
This was my first event and it was fantastic. There were so many wonderful people to meet and the artists had some fabulous works displayed. Cake Squared provided cake for the event and we even bought some wonderful little cake pedestals from Knack.
The buzz of our new cafe is spreading and the West Greenville crew is pumped and ready for some excellent coffee and cake.
If you are ever looking for something to do on a Friday night, First Friday is EVERY first Friday. It's a happy and refreshing evening with art, wine, light refreshments, and entertainment.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Play that funky music white boy...

After reading this post secret, I secretly check my mailbox everyday for a mixed cd.

Not a secret anymore.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

"The Secret" is out.

The Secret saved my life!, December 4, 2007 By Ari Brouillette (Kensington, CA United States)

Please allow me to share with you how "The Secret" changed my life and in a very real and substantive way allowed me to overcome a severe crisis in my personal life. It is well known that the premise of "The Secret" is the science of attracting the things in life that you desire and need and in removing from your life those things that you don't want. Before finding this book, I knew nothing of these principles, the process of positive visualization, and had actually engaged in reckless behaviors to the point of endangering my own life and wellbeing.

At age 36, I found myself in a medium security prison serving 3-5 years for destruction of government property and public intoxication. This was stiff punishment for drunkenly defecating in a mailbox but as the judge pointed out, this was my third conviction for the exact same crime. I obviously had an alcohol problem and a deep and intense disrespect for the postal system, but even more importantly I was ignoring the very fabric of our metaphysical reality and inviting destructive influences into my life.

My fourth day in prison was the first day that I was allowed in general population and while in the recreation yard I was approached by a prisoner named Marcus who calmly informed me that as a new prisoner I had been purchased by him for three packs of Winston cigarettes and 8 ounces of Pruno (prison wine). Marcus elaborated further that I could expect to be [...] raped by him on a daily basis and that I had pretty eyes. Needless to say, I was deeply shocked that my life had sunk to this level. Although I've never been homophobic I was discovering that I was very rape phobic and dismayed by my overall personal street value of roughly $15. I returned to my cell and sat very quietly, searching myself for answers on how I could improve my life and distance myself from harmful outside influences. At that point, in what I consider to be a miraculous moment, my cell mate Jim Norton informed me that he knew about the Marcus situation and that he had something that could solve my problems. He handed me a copy of "The Secret".

Normally I wouldn't have turned to a self help book to resolve such a severe and immediate threat but I literally didn't have any other available alternatives. I immediately opened the book and began to read.The first few chapters deal with the essence of something called the "Law of Attraction" in which a primal universal force is available to us and can be harnessed for the betterment of our lives. The theoretical nature of the first few chapters wasn't exactly putting me at peace. In fact, I had never meditated and had great difficulty with closing out the chaotic noises of the prison and visualizing the positive changes that I so dearly needed. It was when I reached Chapter 6 "The Secret to Relationships" that I realized how this book could help me distance myself from Marcus and his negative intentions.

Starting with chapter six there was a cavity carved into the book and in that cavity was a prison shiv. This particular shiv was a toothbrush with a handle that had been repeatedly melted and ground into a razor sharp point. The next day in the exercise yard I carried "The Secret" with me and when Marcus approached me I opened the book and stabbed him in the neck. The next eight weeks in solitary confinement provided ample time to practice positive visualization and the 16 hours per day of absolute darkness actually made visualization about the only thing that I actually could do. I'm not sure that everybody's life will be changed in such a dramatic way by this book but I'm very thankful to have found it and will continue to recommend it heartily.

Thanks to The Life and Thoughts of the Future David Garcia

The night the lights went out in Georgia.

A friend and author of Confessions of a Rebel Debutante, Anna Fields, poses a question on her blog to all women.

Are you a rebel, a deb, or both?

My initial response is to whoop a rebel call because I wasn't a debutant. I didn't attend the balls or eat the cookies - that was normally for girls whose families had more money. But I was a "quality girl" raised on the right side of the tracks in a good Christian home. So after some introspection, I change my answer to both.

Being raised a lady held the same rules as those debbing. Stand up straight. Be gracious and courteous to others, hospitable, and kind. I learned how to be a good hostess, how to set a table, which fork was which, never to cross my legs at the knee and how to properly behave in mixed company. These instructions gave me confidence and ease in any social or private situation. And as a southern girl I was taught under no circumstance to cause a fuss, make a scene, or embarrass myself or anyone else - all things can be settled in private or eventually the good Lord will deal with the perpetrator and justice will prevail.

I don't always behave the way my mother or grandmother would have in the same setting, but I am more inclined to hold my tongue and chose my battles. If it's none of my business, I generally stay out of it. I won't cause a scene just for the sake of drama, but if I have something to say or feel the need to set someone straight, I will. I don't think there's anything wrong with a little bit of embarrassment where a swift kick in the rear is needed. And if a little public humiliation doesn’t do the trick than I’ll leave it to the good Lawd or their mamas’, which ever one gets to them first.

Fight what’s worth fighting. Strength of character and a southern tongue are powerful weapons.

Julia: Excuse me, aren't you Marjorie Leigh Winnick, the current Miss Georgia World?

Marjorie: Why, yes I am.

Julia: I'm Julia Sugarbaker, Suzanne Sugarbaker's sister. I couldn't help over hearing part of your conversation.

Marjorie: Well, I'm sorry. I didn't know anyone was here.

Julia: Yes, and I gather from your comments there are a couple of other things you don't know, Marjorie. For example, you probably didn't know that Suzanne was the only contestant in Georgia pageant history to sweep every category except congeniality, and that is not something the women in my family aspire to anyway. Or that when she walked down the runway in her swimsuit, five contestants quit on the spot. Or that when she emerged from the isolation booth to answer the question, "What would you do to prevent war?" she spoke so eloquently of patriotism, battlefields and diamond tiaras, grown men wept. And you probably didn't know, Marjorie, that Suzanne was not just any Miss Georgia, she was the Miss Georgia. She didn't twirl just a baton, that baton was on fire. And when she threw that baton into the air, it flew higher, further, faster than any baton has ever flown before, hitting a transformer and showering the darkened arena with sparks! And when it finally did come down, Marjorie, my sister caught that baton, and 12,000 people jumped to their feet for sixteen and one-half minutes of uninterrupted thunderous ovation, as flames illuminated her tear-stained face! And that, Marjorie - just so you will know - and your children will someday know - is the night the lights went out in Georgia!

So, I'm both. A rebel and a deb.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

How ya like me now?

The bathrooms were 60 years of paint and irregularity. After 4 hours of scraping and a special primer called 'Gripper' (bc it sticks to ANYTHING) we managed to create a blank and sorta crap free canvas.
I painted these bathrooms for 2 full days. "It's all in the preparation." says my dad - a perfect and painting perfectionist. I frown.
Cara. Not taking a break.

Paint on the walls.

A new floor!! No more poop and circumstance.

Finally, we see signs a new counter. Demolition is OVER. It's amazing what even a frame does for the mind's eye.

I love wood tones!! And I love how incredibly messy our work environment looks on film.

We have been cleaning, painting, building, painting, and scraping superflous crap off of things that have no reasonable explanation for the superflous crap they hide behind. What we see is a clean and functional envirmonment emerging. Emerging from beneath the CRAP!
Coming soon to a coffee house near you.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Nerd is the Word

I like that nerds like critiquing things that no one else would think to critique. Like car horns and juice boxes.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Cup of Crazy

The walls were a hot mess. Nasty for one and old poly-something panels everywhere. The new wood tone makes me happy. We want the feel to be organic, warm, and inviting.

This is the corner where the bathrooms are located. It shows the contrast of colors. They change during the course of the day depending on the angle of the sun. Most of the painting is done and we're still somewhat sane. But that is certainly a matter of opinion.
We've bought some beautiful chairs to match our decor and will have some original artwork on the walls. Lighting is something we plan to have some fun with like the perfect accessory.
I'll have more photos soon. I'm at work without my computer and am limited to the photos I have downloaded.

And the winner is... ME!!

Many thanks to Two Dog Pond for her weekly contest.
I won last week's contest - name this necklace - and Two Dog Pond is sending me a free necklace.
Drop by and check her out! You'll love her art and can play to win.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Excuse me while I adjust my band-aid.

I'm at work and I have 8 minutes left on the clock. I'll be blowing by the other cube dwellers so fast their bobble heads will spin. I'm grabbing a six pack of corona light on my flight home and plan to jump into a hot shower to cleanse my scalp of corporate flakes.

We're putting the paint on the walls tomorrow at the cafe! I'll take pictures and share the love. Have a great evening everybody.

And if I don't stop by tomorrow, Happy Inaugural Day!


Life snuck up on me.

One minute I’m sitting in the sunshine across from my best friend on the back deck drinking a beer and doing a crossword (which by the way was almost everyday – so this isn’t a 'one time at band camp' sob story), and the next I’m driving past her work wondering how her weekend went and if she went out of town or not.

I’ll want to call her right then, but then think, “Well, she’s in work I’ll wait.” Then of course, life happens and I forget. And then by the time I remember it’s Cole’s bath time or bedtime or my bath time.

And then after a few days it gets harder to call because I feel so badly about not calling. It would be a lot easier if I could call her up and say ”Hey, I’ve got a half an hour let’s meet for coffee” but our schedules and responsibilities are so off course it’s mostly impossible.

She works during the week. I work during the week and weekends. She’s got Kaiser who’s on a completely different schedule than either of us and I’ve got my mom who doesn’t nap from one to three.

It’s driving me crazy. I want to talk and lounge around. I want Mexican. I want to play with the little man and watch VH1. I want to co-write crappy blogs and share my Ann Curry disdain with someone who understands. I want to watch Cops and dog Tom Cruise. I want to play Find the Fascist. Wow. Yep, I want to hide HITLER!

The awful feeling hits me at least twice a day. Maybe more often when I’m alone and less distracted. The sensation in my mind and heart is absence. After the initial assault realty reminds me that it isn’t going away anytime soon.

I think about her everyday and I’m not mad about the way things are, just sad. My feelings about her haven’t changed and I love her as much today as I always have. And I know she misses me too. That makes it a little less hurtful.

But it won’t be right until I’m able to balance my schedule better with hers. I’m ready to have some free weekends. I’m ready to call her up and meet her and the Bean for lunch; do whatever we want to do.

Grab a crossword, some sunshine, and my favorite company.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The "Before"

Tucker's Soda Shop was opened in 1950, by Jack Tucker and his wife. The soda shop was a local hang out for mill workers and surrounding residents. Mr. Tucker would cash the mill worker's paychecks every week. There is an old iron safe in the back room that was once robbed for all the cash it contained. The robbers cut a hole in the roof, dropped through and with dynamite, blew the safe open. You can still see the burnt residue around the old latch. I'm researching the details - most of which come from old patrons who pop in to see what's happening to their hang out of days gone by. There are so many stories and fond memories.
Mommom standing on the front deck of Tucker's Soda Shop. This will be the first name and business change since 1950. The Small windowed area to her left, your right, was the old nook carhops used to get out of the weather and pick up their orders.
This is a shot of behind the old counter. There is lots of old caked on grease. Must insert 'vision' here.
Talking with the designers. All pictures have been removed from the walls and the holes patched. Yikes -ah!
Mom taking a break. It was super cold. No heat because the gas company hadn't been out yet.

Just a couple of pictures to give everyone an idea. I'll try and keep up with the progress. Thanks for all the prayers and good wishes!

Monday, January 12, 2009

~Coffee to a Tea~

The proposed grand opening date for Coffee to a Tea by Cake Squared is Feb 2, 2009. That's less than 3 weeks away. We've picked a color scheme, brought in the designers , and have plenty of bodies ready to get down and dirty.

We have to clean, remodel, order equipment, sample, order product, and train. We are fortunate to have three former baristas in the family and two who managed coffee shops. We will have an in house bread maker who sprouts and grinds his own grain and bakes preservative free breads. Everything we serve will be all natural down to the sugar substitutes for coffee and tea.

We are negotiating with local businesses to use their products and services to promote Shop Local Greenville. The Greenville bike trail is soon to be running right down Lois Street past our building and the West Greenville art district is growing and gaining popularity by the day.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we enter the unknown and attempt to create our vision. We need all the support we can get. The days are long and full and we find ourselves running on adrenaline and caffeine! I'll continue to keep you posted as we make progress and draw nearer to our first open day of business!

Muffins Don't Sell Themselves!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Interview

Interviewed by Kathleen Young

1. I see you live in South Carolina. Are you a native of the state? What's your favorite thing about living there?

I love South Carolina. I love that the mountains are at my fingertips and the beaches are a few hours away. I love our provocative past. I love our perfect seasons; cold winters, gorgeous springs, hot summers, and crisp falls. I love Moon pies with Pepsi, Palmettos, and Crescents, but my most favorite thing about living in Greenville, South Carolina is the people. Tradition and hospitality rise to the occasion. And there’s always an occasion.

2. How did you come to work at your current job and why?

I currently have three jobs. I am the Vice-President of Cake Squared Inc., a brand new designer cake company, a frontline tech at a communications company (my frontline job supports me financially), and am currently opening an all-natural coffee bar in Historic West Greenville. Cake Squared has been incorporated less than a year and is showing great promise for success. My mother is my partner. We are artists and bakers, but first and foremost visionaries. My hope for the near future is to quit my communications job and rely solely on cake and coffee!

3. What would be your favorite film, double-feature?

My favorite film of all time is Moulin Rouge. I love the music and the art. The film’s creative license invokes and the love story inspires. I laugh, I cry. I watch again. And if I had to have a back-up it would be Tommy Boy.

4. Before blogging, what was your mode of personal expression, if any?

It’s hard to say. I’ve always liked to write things down. I paint, draw, and have dabbled in some sculpting. My roommate and I had a quote wall in our apartment where we wrote whatever we felt like and encouraged our friends to do the same. I loved that.

5. Apart from loved ones, what is your most treasured possession?

I have a Brazilian cherry headboard my dad designed and built for me. It’s unbelievably beautiful. I will always cherish it.

Here's the directions:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Re-Post .....Ants Marching

I am reposting this blog as a dedication to my lovely little friend Marie-Lisette.

Original Post : October 18, 2005

I saw a big ant hill today that made me think about ant farms.
Thinking about ant farms made me remember when I was a kid and my sister and I had one. It was cool back then...I think.
Which reminded me of my sister's pets that seemed to die a lot.
Which reminded me of a little girl I used to babysit.
She had about 7 hamsters.
Not at the same time. They all unfortunately met untimely deaths.
The first one died of fright. Apparently they don't like being thrown in the air (go figure. but no one told the 6 yr old)
The second died of hamster cancer. I don't know.
The third was playing in the yard when it seized an opportunity to escape and disappeared forever under the fence.
The fourth died in a bathtub accident. She was bathing it and with fierce objections from me, a horrified onlooker, she swore it could hold its breath, does it all the time.
The fifth was eaten by a neighbors' dog during a most lovely tea party.
The sixth died during a school science project. I never got the full details.
Number seven never made it home. Something about a suicidal plunge out the window of a moving mini van.

Sette, you are my muse! <3

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Full Moon - January 11th - 3:28 - Sunday

"Take two cups and call me in the morning."

I am a lover of coffee. I love it in the morning. I love the aroma and the way it's rich warmth coats my insides. Coffee wakes me and makes me feel good about the day. I love it in the afternoon. I love the way it sooths my weary mind and gives me a boost for the remains of the day. I love it in the evening. A hot cup of decaffeinated coffee shakes off the long day.

Coffee rocks me and rolls me.

I love coffee and coffee loves me back.
1. Researchers from the University of Scranton released on August 29, 2005 that coffee is the No. 1 source of antioxidants in the American diet. Black tea is the second.

2. The latest research has not only confirmed that moderate coffee consumption doesn't cause harm, it's also uncovered possible benefits. Coffee may reduce the risk of developing gallstones.
3. Coffee discourages the development of colon cancer.

4. Coffee improves cognitive function.

5. Reduces the risk of liver damage in people at high risk for liver disease, and reduces the risk of Parkinson's disease.

6. Coffee has also been shown to improve endurance performance in long-duration physical activities.
Source: Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School, 2006.

7. It makes me happy. In The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics by Dr. J. Murdoch Ritchieh, he reports.... On the positive side, caffeine produces "a more rapid and clearer flow of thought," and allays "drowsiness and fatigue. After taking caffeine one is capable of greater sustained intellectual effort and a more perfect association of ideas. There is also a keener appreciation of sensory stimuli, and motor activity is increased; typists, for example, work faster and with fewer errors."

8. You can feel pretty good about yourself when indulging in a hot, steamy cup of black magic. Coffee is a mild stimulant, is packed with antioxidants and can stand head to head with most other “health” beverages in your local health food store.
The problem with the calories in your coffee is not about the coffee at all. It’s about what you add to your coffee.

10 calories - Regular cup of coffee, no cream or sugar

9. Drinking coffee appears to lower the risk of developing skin cancer. A research team at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, has shown that a combination of exercise and some caffeine protects against the destructive effects of the sun’s ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation, known to induce skin cancer.
The caffeine and exercise seemingly work together in killing off pre-cancerous cells whose DNA has been damaged by UVB-rays.

10. Fiber found in coffee is soluble fiber. You can’t see it, but it plays a very important function in our health. In fact, it’s dietary fiber of the soluble kind that helps prevent cholesterol from being absorbed by the intestines.

11. Gary Arendash, a researcher at the Byrd Alzheimer's Institute in Tampa, Florida, says, "The remarkable thing is that a simple cup of coffee appears to have more effect on preventing Alzheimer's than the expensive pharmaceuticals currently being used to treat the disease."

12. Researchers say results suggest that caffeine as well as other elements in coffee may work separately as well as together in lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes by preventing insulin resistance.

13. Coffee does increase your brainpower. In a world filled with expensive supplements claiming to boost memory and intelligence, you'll find it reassuring to know that you can save some money and increase your brainpower naturally, by drinking my favorite

So drink up. Feel good about it. But don't forget to carry a stick of gum. Not everyone loves coffee breath. Sa-na-na!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

..i feel stupid and contagious..

Teenagers are retarded.

My niece is 15. She's is an absolute social nightmare. Her hair isn't blue and she has no facial piercings, but she has the ability to stand in a room and with one comment suck every bit of common sense out of it in a matter of 30 stupid teenage seconds.

How is this possible? Was I like this in my teen years? Were my friends like this? MY parents!? Are teenagers getting worse or are am I just now maturing to a stage of social awareness that makes me want to stick the closest foreign object into her ear and poke around.

She got out of school on her Christmas break on a Friday. She went to her friend's house that evening and stayed until Wednesday, Christmas Eve. She got her presents, ate the feast, played the games, and left the next morning for her friend's house until New Years Eve. On New Years Eve she brought her friend back with her to eat the feast, play the games, watch the fireworks and leave with her the next morning to be gone until school starts on Monday.

She says she doesn't hate us. We're not all her "parents" so she can't use that flippant excuse. Lots of teens have a "cool" aunt. Even if it's not me, she has more than one option. We pay attention to her, we buy her things, accept her the way she is, compliment her, tease her, love and hug her, and even threaten her occasionally to be the best person she can be. What part of that does she not want to be around? Do we mean nothing to her?

No. Who? We. We mean nothing.

Now, there are some signs this is strictly teenage behavior and not to be feared for eternity's sake. For example: when she likes an article of clothing she wears it every day, appropriately or not. She speaks quickly and inaudibly like she's incapable of opening her mouth. 'Like' has become the most important word in her vocabulary and Twilight has become the life she'll never lead.

As for other behaviors that heed concern or squeeze my brain through her fingers of teen perception she shows a shaky needle on the crazy scale. Whoever said, "no question is a stupid question", never answered my niece.

A typical conversation with my niece goes like this-

Niece: All reminds me of hall, but not if you add pass. Cause that would be hall-pass and my parents said I'm not allowed to ask the teacher if I can have a hall-pass.

Me: They wouldn't say that if there was no logical reason for them to be concerned about your abuse of hall-pass privileges.

Niece: Well, I don't really need to go to the bathroom 4 times during class. But what they don't understand is that Edward visits Bella when she's in the bathroom to talk about love and stuff and why they can't be together because he's doomed to the sacred awesomeness of the night and sometimes it makes me feel better about myself if I can go to the bathroom. I like to wear tight shirts because it drives the boys crazy. I mean no i don't. What? Sometimes my friends and boys say I talk too much but I can't help it. So my friends and I (after I correct her grammar) are designing our own spring dance dresses and mine is going to be just like Bella's but different. Well, not really like hers at all, but it's going to be sorta like hers. The color will be different but I need the shape to be all funky because that's the way my friends and I like to do things.

~Now insert LIKE into that paragraph 48 times, wherever you want, doesn't matter, and read it again and that is how it sounded before I deciphered it.

There are too many citations and not enough patience to validate her weirdness and lack of savoir-faire. I guess there is nothing to do but give it time. See it out. Try to correct her when it's important and make her feel as conventional, average, and normal as the other cracked-out teenagers. And pray she'll eventually grow into a human being.

More Celebrity Jeopardy

Celebrity Jeopardy

Alex Trebek.....Will Ferrell
Robin Williams.....Jimmy Fallon
Catherine Zeta-Jones.....Lucy Liu.
Sean Connery.....Darrell Hammond

Alex Trebek: And welcome back to Celebrity Jeopardy. Because of what just happened before during the commercial, I'd like to apologize to all blind people and children. That said, let's take a look at the scores. Robin Williams has set a Jeopardy record by buzzing in 2,000 times and never answering a question.

Alex Trebek: Catherine Zeta Jones has no score at all because she's mostly been talking about her recent marriage.

Alex Trebek: That's beautiful. And finally, Sean Connery's also here let's move on to Double Jeopardy where the categories -

Sean Connery: Not so fast Trebek.

Alex Trebek: I really thought that was going to work.

Sean Connery: Well, you were wrong, you mountebank. I pose a conundrum to ya, I riddle if you will

Alex Trebek: I don't want to hear it.

Sean Connery: What's the difference between you and a mallard with a cold? One's a sick duck and I can't remember how it ends, but your mother's a whore. [ Laughs ]

Alex Trebek: Wonderful. Let's take a look at the categories. They are: Potent Potables, Point to your own head, Letters or Numbers, Will this hurt if you put it in your mouth, An album cover, Make any noise, and finally, Famous Muppet Frogs. I should add that the answer to every question in that category is Kermit.

Robin Williams: Thank you, yes, Kermit. Yes it's like Kermit and John Wayne goin, "It's not easy being green, pilgrim." It's like Schwarzenegger,"Ya, I'm Kermit the frog, ya that's me, Schwarzenegger Kermit."

Sean Connery: Boy, you might be legally retarded.

Alex Trebek: He has a point. All right, Catherine Zeta Jones we'll start with you.

Catherine Zeta-Jones: I'll take Giraffes for a billion.

Alex Trebek: Let's just go with Letters or Numbers for 200. And the answer is "five." Is five a letter or a number? The number five, is it a number? [ ring ] Mr. Williams.

Robin Williams: Oh, it's a beautiful thing yes, right now there's a guy at home goin [ motions a remote control w/ his hand ] what the hell's goin on there, why don't you change -

Alex Trebek: Thank you. Thank you. [ ring ] Mr. Williams, you already rang in.

Robin Williams: Yes, it's a beautiful thing, though. Monica Lewinsky's at home goin' [ screams ]
Alex Trebek: Thank you, thank you, anyone else. [ ring ] Mr. Williams, I hate you.

Robin Williams: But I love you! It's like Jesse Helms and Michael Jackson going, "Yo quiero Taco Bell!"Alex Trebek: You are a very sick man. Anyone besides Mr. Williams? [ beep ] Five is of course, a number. Catherine Zeta Jones, sadly, it's still your board.

Catherine Zeta-Jones: I'll take TV shows that did stories about my wedding for 300.

Alex Trebek: For the last time, that is not a category. Sean Connery, why don't you pick?

Sean Connery: Well, the game is afoot. I'll take anal bum cover for 7,000.

Alex Trebek: That's An album cover, not anal bum cover.

Sean Connery: I can read, Trebek. That says Anal bum cover. I've spent five years of my life trying to invent an anal bum cover, failing to do so is my greatest regret.

Alex Trebek: You have lead a horrifying life. The category is An album cover and the answer is: The Beatles White album is this color. [ ring ]

Robin Williams: Oh, the Beatles, oh yes, what if they were the Volkswagon Beatles? Then they'd be in the back going, "I wanna hold your farfigneugent"

Alex Trebek: For the love of God, shut your mouth. I'll tell you what, let's just go to final Jeopardy. And the category is, you know what? You guys just decide. You each ask your own question and answer it. There's no way you can get this wrong, because you're asking the question. Ask yourself anything at all and then answer it. You'd have to be the dumbest people in the world to mess this up; and now let's see how you managed to mess it up. Robin Williams wrote: Nothing. Because he stuck his pen through his own hand.

Robin Williams: Yes, you know what it's like, suddenly it's like a Shakespearean actor who's gay going, "Tell us for york I" [ Trebek grabs pen and sticks it deeper into Williams' hand ]

Alex Trebek: Don't ever come here again. Catherine Zeta Jones, asked herself this question: What sound does a doggy make? Fine. And you answered: [ Blank ] You didn't know the answer? You couldn't answer your own question?

Catherine Zeta-Jones: It was hard.

Alex Trebek: Unbelievable. And finally, Sean Connery asked himself: [ Show half a picture of a horse having sex w/ Trebek ] Ok, I, I think I know where this is going. Let me just see here, [ Looks over podium ] Yeah, yeah, that's a horse having sex with me. Ok. That's beautiful.

Sean Connery: Come on, you pansy, let the people see my work.

Alex Trebek: No, we're not going to do that. Ok, I quit, again. Good night.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Celebrity Jeopardy

Sean Connery: It looks like this is my lucky day! I'll take "The Rapists" for $200.

Alex Trebek: That's "Therapists." That's "Therapists," not "The Rapists." Let's skip "Therapists" and try "Household Objects", for $400. And the answer is, "You usually drink water out of one of these."

[Sean Connery buzzes in] Sean Connery.

Sean Connery: A leather glove!


Live Long and Prosper

If you've ever worked in an office environment you know that personal expression is exhibited by cubicle decor. Whether you're in finance or communications your office cubiwalls set the stage.
Creative display is sometimes manifested by a photo screen saver of the Black & White Playa's Ball, an air brushed mystical fairy calendar, a meticulously arranged frog collection, or a plastic cacti/ficus jungle. Every office building is a canvas for the people that work there.

Some offices even have a penchant for Meerkats and Llamas. ;)

If you work in a technical support office you are more likely to find an impressive array of Star Trek posters, Star Wars' figurines, and Batman. Why Batman? I'm not absolutely sure, but I think it has something to do with his black bullet proof rubber suit. Yum. Even Trekkies find Superman and Aqua Man's flamboyant spandex emasculating.
What they don't find machismo threatening is having a man crush on Mark Hamill and Leonard Nemoy. Speaking fluent Klingon and being a card carrying member of STARFLEET: The International Star Trek Fan Association is even cool.
I don't mind your strange trekky ways or your Star Wars humor. I can even understand your curiosity for galaxies far far away and agree that gold bikinis are hot, but I'll never really "get it".

Medical offices are completely different. Just as strange but with less influence from the Force. Ziggy and kitten posters rock these cube walls. You can find kitten calendars, Ziggy pens, notepads and no one in that office has a problem a cute kitten can't solve. So hang in there and enjoy those custom sewn chair pads and trash bin coozies.

Corporate offices tend to lean towards professional personality-which means stifled personality. Framed photos of fishing trips and sorority reunions replace cracked out kittens and crocheted tissue box holders. Functional calendars that are neither fun or funky hang in perfect alignment above printers. Matching metal mesh pencils holders and paper trays sit at a right angle to coffee mugs personalized just like everyone else's with the company insignia.

Warehouse offices are for the most part a disaster. Desks are piled with papers and chewed pencils. Ratty posters from the 80's of red Cameros and bikini clad babes can be found on the walls if you push aside janitor sized key rings and bottle opener collections. The only calender is two years old and singed from the over flowing ashtray. The leather swivel chairs are busting foam and the space heaters' cords are frayed.
If you've never worked in an office like this you haven't worked. Or played. Or survived the cold harsh winters of the warehouse.

So whatever your work environment, style it up! Nothing says "don't approach me" like an over-sized stuffed Meerkat holding your mechanical pencil collection.
Right, Sara?