Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Day Late, Many Dollars Short...

I'm late with the Fun Monday post assignment, hosted by Willowtree. Not sure how it affects my grade or how many points I will lose in Blogging 101 class, but I DID do my best to calm the restless natives by posting photos from my party weekend, featuring ample cleavage. So that MUST count for something.I blog from work most of the time, since The Offspring hogs our home computer. This is where I am blogging from now - our front desk - as I sit for Lanna's lunch hour. (She is the girl featured in the last two photos of yesterday's post.) This machine works well, and for some reason, I write better under pressure. Working the desk, answering the phone, and greeting clients as they enter the door makes for a chaotic environment, prompting me to be concise in my writing.Sometimes, I'm forced to upload photos from our office camera (which I did today), and this is the only computer that recognizes my old Kodak DC4800. It is located in our common computer room. Most of photo uploads are done here.
This is where I get brazen. My private, upstairs office. I'm always scurrying around the building, so I'm rarely in here - but if there is something weighing heavily on my mind, and I want VERY private time to blog and measure my words carefully, I'll blog from here.

Here is another view of my office. I figured I should take photos today, since the cleaning lady has recently visited, dusted my corners and vacuumed the floor. Like my skylight? I don't think I've turned on the lights in this room 10 times since I moved into this space 5 years ago.
No, I'm not THAT narcissistic. The mirror to the left used to be a window. When we remodeled the building to add more offices, I had to decide between a two-way mirror that would allow me to spy on my agents in the next office, or a regular mirror. Figuring I'd get nothing more than a disgusting display of bodily habits and a feeling of voyeurism with the two-way, I opted for the regular mirror. At least I can check my posture on occasion.
Last view of my office - and NO, the couch is rarely used. (I know what you're thinking, Matt!) There's a funky '70s mirror above the couch that I just can't toss.

Well, there you have it! I have been totally absent from the blogosphere since last Thursday. Our DSL, cell phones and long distance all went down due to a fiber optic cable accident that afternoon, and I had no time during my weekend to blog. I promise to visit you all and respond to comments by tomorrow, as well as visit your blogging environments!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Better Late Than Never

I promise to post my Fun Monday assignment later today. I had a big weekend out of town, and then ended up having to answer phones and work the front desk at my orifice today - so I'm WAY behind schedule and trapped! Look for my post by 2PM CST!

IMPORTANT UPDATE!! Looks like there's NO WAY I'm gonna get this done today. Not gonna happen. To appease you, here is a glimpse of the kind of weekend Tiggerlane enjoyed, until I can get my assignment together!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Controversy Continues...

Just another quick post. I really have some cool things to tell you all, and I still have to finish my "tag" assignment.

But have to update you regarding this post. Evidently, Merck has received negative responses to its new Garadsil vaccine, and made this decision today.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Congrats, Willowtree!

Just a quick post - because Willowtree was feeling left out of blog honors (not a click for those afraid of the f-bomb), and he was persistent enough to take another stab at Monday's quote question - I'm giving him public props. Most of you assumed that any quote with "my precious" in it would have been spoken by Smeagol, or Gollum, from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. It was a bit of a trick question, seeing as the exact quote was an "under his breath" utterance from someone else!

Willowtree guessed this first:
"Tiff, Gollum (or smeagal) spoke that line, and although it's not a movie yet, I think the first time he said it was actually in the Hobbit when Bilbo first found it."

The only participant to mention the book. Way to go! In fact, I thought for a moment he might have me - since I didn't have a copy of the actual text to peruse.

And then, he brilliantly came back with this:
"Ok then, if it was not Smeagol, then it was Bilbo Baggins (the other long time holder), and I would say that he said it to Gandalf, when Gandalf wanted him to hand it over before he left after his birthday party at the beginning of Fellowship of the Ring."
WOOHOOO!! Way to go! Explicit, mentioned locale, a great answer! Even mentioned the exact movie title of the trilogy. Unfortunately, I don't have a prize, except adulation. Which sounds kinda naughty. Which might actually be enough.

You can check out the script of the movie here, but since this is an extremely "linky" post, here is the context:

Gandalf: I think you should leave the ring behind, Bilbo. Is that so hard?
Bilbo: Well, no.
Bilbo: ...and yes. Now it comes to it, I don't feel like parting with it. It's mine, I found it. It came to me!
Gandalf: There's no need to get angry.
Bilbo: Well, if I'm angry, it's your fault.
[to himself]
Bilbo: ...it's mine... my own... my precious...
Gandalf: Precious? It's been called that before, but not by you.

See that link about IMDB in my list? Go check out all sorts of trivia! It's a pop culture whore's dream!

Monday, February 19, 2007

"It's mine... My own... My precious..."

Another Fun Monday assignment, co-hosted by Karmyn R and an anonymous yet entertaining associate of Marnie's.

It was difficult to come up with just ONE precious thing - and as Pamela commented in the post below, the most precious is my daughter. But that's too easy.

Much like a gypsy (maybe therein lies my heritage, eh, Matt?) - I always wear several gold rings. A total of FOUR on my wedding finger (see the sapphires, Willowtree?), my Texas Aggie ring, my MBA ring, and then, my most prized - I've worn it on my left hand ring finger for almost 21 years.

I received this ring from my grandmother - my mother's mom. Before you get all in a twitter, I'm talking about the only family I've ever known - my adoptive family. My grandmother attended Marlborough School, a prestigious all-girls' high school in Los Angeles, CA. The inscription inside the ring is "BCM 1934," for Barbara Corinne Morrow - graduated in 1934. My grandmother sent it to me shortly before my own high school graduation in 1986. The crest and lettering were once clearly defined; they have worn down now, and the ring has taken on the shape of my finger. (By the way, I had to have a lot of help taking this photograph. It's nearly impossible to take a photo of your own right hand, and I don't have a fancy camera with a macro-lens like Ree's. The ring I'm talking about is the top one in this photo.)

My grandmother was articulate and wrote long letters to me over the years, discussing everything from current events to stories of her past. As the eldest of her granddaughters, even sharing her middle name, I felt very close to her - even though we lived many miles apart. I only saw her a few times after my family moved to Texas in 1976. The last time was during Christmas of 1992, when I flew to California to visit my parents, who were then serving as my grandparents' caretakers. Unfortunately, she was no longer completely lucid, and our conversations were limited by the onset of her Alzheimer's.

I started this post late last night - too late to phone my mom and ask more about my grandmother's past. I knew she had attended college, but couldn't remember where. I found a "missing alumni" entry for Barbara Morrow Weir at the Alpha Phi site, in the UCLA Beta Delta chapter, with a graduation year of 1938. I assume she married my grandfather during her college years. I remember hearing that she had also attended Cornell University, though I wasn't able to access their alumni site for verification.

I am extremely proud of my grandmother, as it was quite an achievement for a young lady to attend college during the Depression Era of the mid-1930's. The ring reminds me of the challenges she might have faced, as well as her determination to receive a quality education. I am honored to wear it each day, and it has given me courage to face adversity as I seek my own place in this world.

Oh! And I'm giving bonus points for those of you who can correctly name the movie character whose quote I used to title this post!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Bad, Bad, Tiggerlane...

"Baddest broad in the whole....."

Oh, sorry...got to singin' there.

I know, I've been a bad girl. I was tagged by the beautiful Desert Songbird, and haven't completed my assignment. I haven't been blog visiting much. Also, I can't even tell you without looking it up what our next Fun Monday assignment is. BAD Blogger behavior.

The GOOD news is threefold:
1. We had a VERY successful week at the orifice.
2. We have been blessed by visits from various friends like Emily (who managed to treat me to lunch the other day - knowing I would never stop to eat during work unless forced, and I NEED the nutrition! Thanks, Em!).
3. I have basically finished the revision of our house plan, with the exception of inking the final copy to show the builder next week!

To appease you (and demonstrate why I can't blog much from home), I'm sharing some photos The Lovely Offspring has been toying with using Photoshop. She is fiddling with tons of photos, all the time. (As a sidenote, I'm finally seeing a little bit of me in her.)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Lovin' Arkansas

Just a quick post, for those of you who are envious of my current location. If you haven't already, check out Songbird's post about where we live. She offers a different perspective, with more photos.

And I apologize for not blogging more frequently - my business is in full swing, and I have to take advantage of it when I can!


Monday, February 12, 2007

Why I Love Where I Live

Another FUN MONDAY assignment -hosted by everyone's favorite Canadian, Marnie. Mena is my home at present - a 5,600 population town located in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas. This is our state park, and the Queen Wilhelmina Lodge.

As a real estate agent, I could go on and on about our incredibly low property taxes. When I disclose the annual tax bill for a property, most people are shocked. For example, I live in a 1400 square foot house in the city limits, with annual property taxes of $279. Since we receive a homestead credit of $300 each year, I don't pay a dime! Even my 3,400 square foot office building, located on an acre of prime highway frontage, has yearly taxes of only $1,800. So if you're cheap - this is the place for you!

LOW crime. Around these parts (how hick does that sound?), most people own police scanners. If there is a violent crime, it usually stems from an ongoing domestic situation. The schools are very safe, and the fact that everyone knows everyone else can provide a measure of safety, too.

Over 70% of the county is National Forest property - so it can only become so populated. Even better, the scarcity of land almost guarantees that the demand for real estate will increase annually. But prices are still very low compared to those in the rest of the nation. Ever watch thos home improvement shows? Or "Flip This House?" I think people could do REALLY well here. For example, check out this house, and compare it to those you see on tv.

We also enjoy four distinct seasons. The most beautiful of all is Fall.

I don't plan to live here forever, but Mena will always be special to me for two reasons.
1) I met my husband here.
2) My daugher was born here.

Now I'm trotting off to visit your town - should make for another exhausting, but FUN Monday!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

To Gardasil, or Not to Gardasil?

I'm in a quandary, folks, and I need your input. Especially yours, swampy. I got into a lively discussion with my dear friend/twin sister (who happens to work for an OB/GYN) about the imperative need to inject my daughter with Gardasil, the new vaccine that, according to their official website, MAY help guard against diseases caused by HPV and some cervical cancers. (Guys, you have my permission to bail on this post now.) Texas will begin REQUIRING girls to receive this vaccine by the fall of 2008.

I am not "anti-medicine," but I am extremely leery of all the drugs that are pushed on today's society. Eating a bunch of crap that makes your tummy hurt? Take a pill so you can continue your gluttony! Only want your period four times a year? There's a pill for that, too! Look at the pretty green moth/sleep fairy! One night, I counted FOURTEEN different drug advertisements during two hours of television. What is going on? You can't open a magazine or watch television or surf the Internet without seeing at least ONE drug ad.

And what of the side effects? They rattle through the list like it's insignificant, but listen carefully and you'll hear horrible terms like "bleeding" and "stroke" and "liver disorders." Or maybe you'll have to wade through four pages of fine print to discover the hidden side effects.

Remember Vioxx? How about Norplant? Oh, and let's not leave out the Ortha Evra patch, which is now under scrutiny b/c of the serious health risks it has been found to cause.

Drug companies want to make money. And they don't always have our best interests in mind. I implore you to read this article before making your judgment.

Personally, I don't trust the pharmaceutical industry. I know that there are fabulous, life-saving treatments and medicines that work, and since my husband is a nurse, I am privy to personal stories of success. But can man really play God, and mess with our biological chemistry to this extent, in such a way that we are much better off?

At this point, I don't want my daughter to receive this new vaccine. It has only recently been introduced to the market, and no one knows what the long-term side effects could be. It MAY help prevent cancer - but what if the side effects create something worse? Please give me your input...

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Best Blog You're Not Reading

I used to dread Mondays, but the past few have been GREAT, thanks to the new "posting games" hosted by my blogging buddies. This week's hostess is swampy, and she's curious about blogger posts that inspire us.

If you read Angelina Williamson at Dustpan Alley, you know there's powerful stuff there. POWERFUL stuff. I chose to share this photo from her blog, because she once wrote, "This is how I wish to be remembered, both now, and when I'm gone. Spiritually speaking, this is what I will look like for all time. If I come back as a ghost, this is what frightened little girls will see come out of their closets."

Recent events in the blogosphere, and...well...OTHER recent events in the blogosphere make her writings even more poignant to me. She weighs in on the first debate in a ponderous post cleverly entitled The Puritanical Motherhood Witch Hunt. If tackling controversial, heartfelt issues makes you uneasy, then you're not ready for the bare-naked and fabulous blog that is Angelina's purest inner dialogue, spilling forth.

Angelina uses the blogging medium as a catharsis. Yes, she can rant like nobody's business. And yes, she's a mom. But most impressive is her perseverant journey to open both her own online store and a traditional brick and mortar site.

Our Monday challenge was: "What is the most significant, powerful post you have ever read?" I respectfully submit two from the Alley for your consideration.

Read St. Vincent de Paul, and you will likely never walk into a thrift store again with nonchalance.

Ten Things I Know For Sure contains straightforward advice, uncensored and unabashed - and most importantly, may prompt you to reconsider your perspective on life.

Thankfully, I wrote the bulk of this before Super Bowl coverage began. Now, I'm going to tie one on for the COLTS. And NO ONE can say that Prince didn't SHRED halftime! I'm going to bed a happy Tigger tonight!

Let's keep these Monday assignments going, gang. It's good for a Neophyte - like a college course in Blogging 101!