Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Say What You Want...

...but I love twitter. I've posted before about my love for the (somewhat) popular social networking site. Still, friends and family say to me constantly, "I just don't get twitter. What's the point?"

Let me tell you. First - the point is to meet people. I have several friends (yes, actual, in person, I'd know 'em if I saw 'em) who I met on twitter. How do you meet people? The same way you'd meet them at a cocktail party or any other function - just start talking tweeting. You can also search for people in a specific geographic area, or people tweeting about specific topics.

People still doubt me. So, let me share a couple of recent success stories.

I've started tweeting for my cousin's flower shop/floral design business, Ambiance Florals & Events. In the few weeks I've had her business on twitter, I've networked with other local business, gotten her free advertising for her floral design classes (and found some new participants) and I was able to use twitter to find an awesome contact to redesign her website.

Personally, I've been having some problems with my mortgage lender. There's been some mix-ups with paying my city and school taxes on time. I thought I was able to solve the issue a couple months back, through several phone calls and faxes. But then I got a notice a couple weeks ago that my taxes were still delinquent. (Not a notice any homeowner wants to see.)

Rather than calling my lender again - I tweeted. A short message saying I had a problem, and I mentioned my lender's twitter handle so I knew they would see my tweet.

Within about 5 minutes, I had a response from the person who was monitoring the bank's twitter account. She followed me so that I could direct message her my contact information. Within an hour I had a customer service manager contact me for more details. Later that same day, that same manager called me back to tell me the problem had been resolved.

So, if you were wondering - THAT is the purpose of twitter.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Yes, Billy - There is a Santa Claus

Dear Billy,
I heard someone whispered in your ear that Santa isn't real. So now, you're wondering - if no one sees Santa, or knows how he does what he does, and there's no proof or explanation how can Santa be real?

What does love look like to you?
You use things all the time, like your DS and Wii, but you're not really sure exactly how they work. You've learned about places and people in school - you've never seen or met them, but you know they're real, right? Me too. I'm been many planes, but I still have no idea how they work. I've never seen Las Vegas, but I know it's a real place. Maybe we don't need to understand how something works, or see it in action, to know it exists.

But I know how you feel, Billy. For a long time, I didn't believe in love. It seemed impossible; no one could show me proof that it was real. I was too afraid to trust. I didn't want to be disappointed, or be laughed at for believing. Then I started spending time with you, and your parents, and now your little brother. Know what? You showed me love. It's not something I can touch or see - but I feel it fill my heart, every time you smile. That feeling makes me happy when I'm sad or hurt, and it makes me smile through my tears.

That's pretty powerful, right? Do you want to know what I think? Anything that powerful has to be real - even if it's just real to me. And, if something that I can't see or touch, like love, is that powerful - then there's really no reason not to believe in Santa, too.

So, Billy - I say Santa is very, very real. Let's make a deal: I'll believe if you do, okay?

Love & Merry Christmas,

For those who believe, no proof is necessary. ~ Stuart Chase

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday (Necklace) Fun

I tweeted on Wednesday that my Friday Fun post was going to be pictures of my new necklace, just because I like it that much. I wasn't kidding.

It might surprise you to know that I have a crafty side to me. Crafty Sue actually has some creative hobbies, like floral design (that's another post) and making Christmas ornaments (for which I'm considering an etsy site). Crafty Sue also likes to go to craft fairs and find unique items as gifts, as well as for myself. Last weekend I went to this craft fair at Hudson Valley Community College and found a very cool necklace.

This is the necklace I bought. At full length, it's about 20 inches (shown below). Just right with a turtleneck sweater. 

Perfect length for the winter wardrobe.
But, those clever crafters gave us some options. When worn full length, the toggle connector is hidden behind your neck, and the the circle is part of the design on the end. But when brought together, they close the necklace up, cutting its length in half. 

Arrows show the toggle connector. 

Once the toggle is closed, you have two options for wearing the necklace. See? 

You can wear it as a strict choker, or place the toggle in front and give yourself the added length. 

While I love my designer brands, this makes craft finds such a great little thing. Add this to my list of things that make me happy.

Hope your holiday was great, that you're loving the football or shopping and that you found lots for which to be thankful. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Hope and Thanks

Today is a day to be thankful. I started a list: Familyfriends, my Dad, my homekids and the little things. Then I wondered - what do all those things have in common?

One way or another, every one of those things has helped me survive hurt. In the process, I learned about people; we all know love, we all know loss, and we all have something to offer. I've also learned about myself; I've figured out what I like, and what I want to change and improve. Without the hurt, there are friends I wouldn't have met, and experiences I might not have had.

That's all wrapped in one thing: Hope. That's the thing for which I am most thankful. 

Hope has taught me that the best thing about happiness is you never know when or where you'll find it next. It's taught me to never, ever give up. If you do, you might miss something wonderful. 

I've been told that my advice and support has helped friends survive difficult times. Complete strangers have commented that I validated a feeling, made them laugh, or made them think. Without the pain, and the lessons that followed, I wouldn't have been able to offer any of that hope. So it hasn't only helped me - my hope has helped me to help others.

That's a true gift - one for which I am very thankful. Hopefully, what I share makes you smile, laugh, cry or think. Maybe it even makes you hope a little. 

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Friend or Foe?

So, I talked yesterday about cheapening the meaning of friendship through facebook. How I pretty much add anyone (although, I do have to say, I still prefer to add those with whom I have some relationship, even if it is all electronic.). So, here's the dilemma in reverse:

Once you've added someone, when do you unfriend them (if ever)?

I've unfriended when I never had a real life relationship. Friends of friends, people I met only briefly, etc. Never being real-life friends, I'm sure it didn't matter when we were no longer facebook friends.

But what about real-life friends, who are suddenly not friends anymore? I have two in my facebook list right now that sort of meet this definition. One is a woman with whom I was really good friends a few years ago. We spoke everyday, we exchanged birthday and Christmas gifts, and I attended her wedding. Then, we had a falling out and we haven't spoken in over a year. She was the one who was upset; so should she be the one to unfriend?

The other is a guy who I used to date, and after we dated, we remained good friends. We hung out, he introduced me to new friends who we still have in common, and we used to talk every day. Then he found a girlfriend fiancée. I haven't heard from him - not even a response to my congratulatory email. I know his fiancée doesn't approve of all his female friends. I'm not necessarily angry - just disappointed and missing my friend. Again, the rift is on his end, not mine - so should he do the unfriending?

A few weeks back I heard Peter Shankman talk about social media. One thing he said that stuck with me is that social media is just life - and your network is the people who are a part of your world. Some people are more relevant in your life than others - and their relevance can change, and then easily change back again.

I tend to agree with him. With this in mind, it seems like no one should unfriend anyone. I mean - just because we aren't relevant in each other's lives right now doesn't mean we weren't once, and might not be again someday.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Friends of Mine

Did you hear/read/see how Jimmy Kimmel called for a national Unfriend Day recently? A day set aside to "clean house" as my friend calls it, and get rid of anyone in your facebook friend list who is not actually your friend.

Everyone uses facebook differently. Some people use a facebook page to promote a personal business. Some people use it as their primary social network, and add anyone with whom they're connected - even a little. Other people treat facebook like their home - something to be protected, and kept private. Or, as private as a website can be, anyway.

The landscape of my facebook page has changed drastically in the last year. The first big change was some real education on facebook privacy settings and how facebook uses our information. That prompted an overhaul to the information I share, including customized privacy settings, and  deleting applications. While I fully support your right to tend a garden, run a mafia or feed fish on facebook, I won't be joining you.

The second major change was my friends list. I've made some new friends online (twitter and blogs). At first, I thought my twitter/blog life should be separate from my facebook life. But after a while, that seemed silly - and complicated. Really, what's the difference between someone whom I've never met in person, but with whom I talk everyday - and someone from grade-school who I've certainly met in person, but haven't spoken to in fifteen years? 

Does it cheapen the meaning of friendship when we broaden our definition? I don't believe so. I'm opening myself up to friendships I might not have otherwise found. I can connect with people by commenting on their status or post, sharing their blog, or posting on their wall. That connection is friendship - and it can happen with someone I've known for thirty minutes as easily as thirty years.

That's friendship. It comes in all shapes and sizes. Thanks to facebook, and social media - it's just easier to find.

What about you? Has facebook changed the way you look at friendship?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Time Well Spent

Look to your right. No, your other right - below my picture, where it says, "About the Blogger." If you know me in person, you know I am definitely not a tall, pretty blonde. What you might not know is that woman really exists. She's my friend and often-times roommate, Chrissy.

No Joke.
Chrissy is really her nickname. Her friends nick-named her after Chrissy Snow, the character from the show Three's Company. I know, many of you are in your twenties and have no idea what I'm talking about. Go ahead, google it. We'll wait. 

It has always been my lot in life to be friends with someone taller, thinner and prettier than I. Always. It's a role to which I've become accustomed. But Chrissy is....different. Spending time with her is like time spent with no one else. 

It occurred to me the other night that sharing some of my Chrissy stories with you would make for a good blog read. I had this thought as she leaned over and tried to change the station on a TV on the wall at the gym using the audio controller attached to my treadmill. 

Why would she think that an audio controller would change the station of a TV? And why on earth would she leap to the conclusion that the one attached to my treadmill would have more control than, oh, say the one attached to hers? Those are the sort of questions you ask yourself a lot when you hang out with Chrissy. 

Make no mistake - I love her. She drives me absolutely nuts sometimes, but she's my best friend. She's more than a friend, really. She's like a sister to me. If it wasn't for her and her kids, I honestly don't think I'd be alive right now. So, any fun I make at her expense will be just that - fun. Besides, she could embarrass me right back if she wanted.

And I really do make sarcastic comments about her shoes. All the time. Mostly about how they often don't match her purse. Drives. Her. Crazy.  

Friday, November 19, 2010

Who are You Calling Sexy?

You might have heard that People Magazine recently announced their pick for Sexiest Man Alive - 2010. You can the details here. Certainly, they have some good picks - I'm particularly fond of their pick for age 36 in the sexy at any age gallery.  *sigh*

I decided to come up with a Top Ten list of my own. My taste is pretty specific - and unique. For me, looks   take a backseat to things like intellect, sense of humor and class. And no, that isn't a line of BS.

My list would look something like this:

The original sexy guy in my life.
Jon Bon Jovi - He's been on my sexy-guy list since I was old enought to know what sexy meant. He's been with the same woman for all of those years, with nary a word of infidelity or trouble. He's the guy next door. If, you know, the door next to yours is attached to a mansion in a gated community.

Chris Daughtry - That voice! And those arms! Plus, he tweets photos of his wife and is so proud of his family. Nothing sexier than a guy you might actually be able to trust.

Gene Simmons - His charisma, of course. His business savvy. The fact that he, also, has been "happily unmarried" to the same woman, with no cheating, for over 20 years. He's a marketing genius - and he once cleaned litter boxes on his reality show.

Dontcha just want to run
errands with him?
Ben Affleck - Still on my family-man kick. Plus - he always has  just enough Saturday scuff to make me smile. You could totally dress him up in LL Bean and take him to a farmer's market.

Seth Rogen - Funny? Check. Smart? Check. Honest? No proof yet to the contrary, so he gets this check. He's on my list because he makes me laugh.

Kevin Smith - See Seth Rogan. Add: He talks adoringly about his wife, which in my opinion, is very sexy behavior for any guy. Not to mention, he took his favorite hobby and made himself a millionaire. Genius!

John Cusack - Another old-school favorite. His annoying tweets aside, I find him to be smart and funny. He's a baseball fan who stands by his convictions. Sexy.

Stay off his mound.
Dallas Braden - He argued with A-Rod, which by itself would land him my list. When Rodriguez made snide comments that Dallas was using him for his 15 minutes, Dallas responded with a perfect game. Double sexy, in my book.

Rob Thomas - He sings, he writes, he adores his wife and they seem happy. Plus, he tweets all the time, which is a sure-fire way to my heart.

So, who is my Number One? As if there were any doubt....


Derek Jeter - Yes, he's a pretty boy. Yes, he has very classic, attractive features. Make no mistake - he's a smart guy. He says and does all the right things to maintain his image, and therefore his marketability and value.

Even if it's just an act (which I've been told it is not), he carries himself with class, showing respect for the game, his team, his family and his friends. He appreciates the opportunities that he's been given, and isn't afraid to show his gratitude. He takes his parents to all his public appearences - how adorable is that?!? He seems like an upstanding guy. That's sexy.

He makes me smile, and as of right now, is the ONLY guy on planet earth who has never fallen short of my expectations. Who else would be number one?  

Like you're surprised.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Thanksgiving is next week. I know this because my father started texting me four weeks ago asking what we were going to do about dinner. Also, although dates frequently sneak up on me, that almost never happens when they're attached to a four day weekend. 

You call that a meal?
They aren't even throwing any food!!
Other than nagging and fighting, my family doesn't really have "traditions." We used to eat as a large group when I was younger. When I got married, X thought it would be "fun" if we hosted Thanksgiving dinner at our home. Thankfully, my immediate family is not very large, so we he only ever cooked for four-six people. 

Honestly, the only family with whom I concern myself when it comes to holidays is my Dad. Since I don't cook (much), we're still figuring out what the new "tradition" will be. I expect it to be something that will change over time, which is fine. Were it up to me, I'd stay in bed, eat donuts, watch the parade and then have takeout while I start putting up my Christmas decorations. 

For the record, this year we'll be joining my cousins and some of their family. This would be a perfectly fine tradition with me, since Bill is probably the best cook I have ever encountered. Sorry, X. 

What are your Thanksgiving traditions? 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Did you read this article about the sweetest couple EVER?! No? Check it out.

*patiently waiting*

Done reading? Are you shocked? I was. I find it hard to believe that anyone could be that selfless and content. Aren't most of us always looking for the next best thing? A big break? Can't something always be just a little bit better?

It got me thinking - if I won all that money, what would I do? I like to think I'd be that kind - but the truth is, I'd probably only be a little bit kind. Observe:

I'd pay off all my debt - which includes a mortgage, a car and a credit card.

I would make a few improvements to my house.

I would set up college funds for Nathan, Emily, Tiffany, Billy and Joey.

I would give some money to certain family and friends who I know could use the help.

I would quit my job and try to make a writing career for myself. In my current situation, I can't really afford to be a starving writer; but if I had the money, I'd like to give it a shot.

Would I donate to charity? Of course. I'd give some to several animal charities and some to charities supporting our soldiers and their families. I'd also donate to charities that support counseling and advocacy for at-risk youth.

What would you do?  

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Might be Right

In case you're not already aware - I'm divorced. Since our divorce, X and I have become pretty good friends. I'll admit, at one point, that didn't seem possible. But, we've both forgiven each other (and ourselves), and moved on. That has allowed us to continue our friendship.

Okay, okay. You're right. I'm wrong.
There is one thing that I didn't like when we were married, and I continue to dislike in our post-nuptual friendship: I hate it when he's right. When we were married, it was usually computer, house or worry related. I dealt with it through finely honed sense of denial - I simply didn't admit he was right. *shrugs* Now that we're just friends - it's often related to dating and relationships (he's become very enlightened). Since he's my friend, I feel I have to treat him like any other friend, and give him credit when he's correct. *sigh*

The thing is - he's always right. What's more, he has absolutely no vested interest in protecting my feelings - so he's always honest. He doesn't just tell me what I want to hear. He's been right when he said I'd find out a guy was actually seeing someone else. He's been right when he's said that a friend was being unfair and would apologize. He's been right when he's said family drama was going to head into overdrive, and I should take cover.

People have asked how I can be friends with X. I think it comes down to this: Some people are meant to be in your life forever. It may be not be the way you expected or planned - but there they are. So, listen - you never know when they may be right.    

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gone Crazy

Two bloggers I adore had recent posts about women acting crazy, or like "that girl." Of course you, being the discerning blog reader that you are, have probably already read them. What's that? You haven't?! Well - get to it! It's okay, I'll wait right here 'til you're done. 

Back already? What did you think?

I'm not one to judge. I have had moments of pure crazy in my life (not my proudest moments). Nowadays, I like to think that Crazy-Sue has evolved. She's grown. She's matured.

She's tired.

It takes a lot of energy to be that crazy. First, there's the mental energy - you have to get angry, then you have to think up the plan - then you have to get angry enough to put the plan into action. Never mind the physical energy - driving to someone's house in the middle of the night, staying up late chatting online, digging the big hole in the ground....

I'm just saying that if anything, or anyone, deserves that much of your energy - it's you. When you focus on proving yourself to someone else, or getting revenge, or proving someone wrong - it's all about that other person. None of that is about you. 

I know some people argue that love makes you do crazy things. That it makes people go out on a limb, and if you're willing to take those risks for someone, that must be real love. Puh-lease - I've used that argument to rationalize my own crazy spontaneous behavior. "I just wanted to show how much I cared," or "I just had to make you understand, no matter the cost," can be loosely translated to "I needed to do anything to make this all about you so that I could avoid focusing on myself and my own issues." 

Not one of us is perfect. It's okay feel loss, and hurt, and even anger. It's okay to make mistakes, too. What's important is that you learn from your mistakes - that you figure yourself out and make changes for the better. The really good people - the ones who deserve your energy - are those that bring out the best in you. They won't bring out your crazy. 

Well - not your bad crazy, anyway. ;)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Fun 11/12/2010

For a while, I wasn't crazy about Fridays. Not having anyone with whom to share my weekends kind of bummed me out and took some of the happy out of my week coming to an end.

I'm coming into the busiest, most stressful time of year for me at work (You know, the job that actually pays me?). Since I'm also getting out of my rut a little bit, I'm finally coming to my senses and realizing - Fridays are always a good thing. If for no other reason - I don't have to go there.

In that spirit, if you want to call it that, I thought I'd list the top things I don't like about my job. Call it a rant, call it whining, call it a cleanse - call it a last minute idea for an end-of-the-week blog entry (cause that's what it really is).

Then it occurred to me - I need to put out at least as much good energy as I do bad. So, I'm including a list of things that I do like. You can never be too careful.

No, really - I do.
Things I Like

I work in a small office (only two people). This often means I'm alone.

The Vice President I work with knows he needs me more than I need him. That translates into some perks, including Yankee tickets for my birthday.

I just found out that I get a discount at Sprint. Yay!

I work next door to a mall.

I've been at this a long time, and am pretty good at what I do. Therefore, I am well-paid and often feared. That, combined with the aforementioned isolation, means I get away with an awful lot.

Things I Dislike

I didn't ask for this job. I had a job that I actually liked but the portion of the company that I worked for was sold. The buyer (my new employer) made a deal with my old employer that affected a bunch of us. Now, here I am.

Because I joined the company as the result of a buy-out, I came onboard fast, with no real training or orientation. I've been playing catch up for two years.

Just remember - it could always be worse.

While I can't complain about my salary - I haven't had a raise in two years. During those two years, I divorced, reducing my household income - but not my household costs. You do the math.

My small office has the worst network set up in the history of technology. If you follow my tweets, you know what I'm talking about.

When I say small office, I mean just that. My coworker is a Vice President (which means little here; they're all VPs) has a nice office. I work in a closet.

I could go on; but I won't. Let's just say, the real lists aren't the same length. But, it's Friday - so for today, anyway, the scales are tipped in the "like" favor!!

What's on your list? Either one.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Have you ever had an experience that started out as just a simple thing, but turned into an amazing, nearly life-changing, event? I mean, we all fall in (and out of) love, we all lose loved ones and we all feel pain. You expect those major life events to change you in some way. I'm talking about something that was supposed to be simple but yet made you see things in a completely different way? 

By chance (and because I'm never working when I should be) I noticed this post the other day on one of my favorite blogs. Since becoming active in blogs and and twitter this year, I've developed a greater interest in social media. Peter Shankman is recognized as a social media entrepreneur and expert, so I thought hearing what he had to say would be interesting. Plus, the event was free, and I've been in a rut lately, looking for things to do. Free, local, interesting and didn't involve me sitting home folding laundry. Sold!

I've heard a lot of speakers. A bad speaker is the instructor I had for my insurance licensing class. He had this funny tick and made the strangest mouth noises I've ever heard. I had him for hundreds of hours of licensing class, and I'm pretty sure I never heard a word he said. A good speaker is knowledgeable and accurate; they have a pleasant voice and no distracting features. I'll hear most of what that speaker has to say - as long as he doesn't speak too long. 

Peter Shankman is a great speaker. My friend asked me why I thought so, and the only answer I could come up with was: I took notes. Four years of college with barely a pen and a post-it, but for this guy, I filled up all the note pad space on my phone and started sending myself emails. He was just that good. He wasn't distracting, he was dressed well but unassuming. He was funny, he made sense and he didn't use jargon. He was clear, he made his point - and what he said was relevant. 

Based on what I heard, and what I've read since, the guy's a master of social media. Why? Because he gets it - and he's using it. He talked a lot about how he created (several) successful sites all based on the premise of social media, sharing information, networking, etc. He elaborated on what he considers to be the four rules of social media, which made HARO so successful. (In the interest of space and frankly, because I'm tired as I write this, I'll talk more about those rules in another post.)

Okay, so he was a great speaker, I learned a lot, and it was free. But life-changing? Yup. Here's why.

Like most adults, I spend most of my time at work; in my case, work is not a place I like to be. Consequently, the majority of my time is spent, well - miserable. Recent changes forced me to take stock of my life as a whole; while I'm pretty proud that I haven't succumbed to the "my life sucks" attitude I've had in the past, I do know something has to change. I've started to try and turn my love of all things social media into a new career for myself. 

Listening to someone else who did that very thing talk about how it worked for him was inspiring. Not only that - having a successful expert validate some of my opinions of social media, and how it's changing our society, meant a lot to me. 

Being happy and truly excited about something proves that, even if it's not the way I expected - I made it out of my rut. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The (E)X Factor - Revisited

Exes come in all shapes and sizes. Maybe you have an ex-spouse (or perhaps more than one). You might have ex-significant others. You might even have ex-friends.

Some people think that exes are exes for a reason. But I have to say, since joining the single 30-something world, I've found other reasons to, at the very least, be civil with your ex. When you meet someone new, especially if he's someone you plan on dating, conversations about past relationships are almost inevitable.

If a guy avoids speaking about his ex at all, it makes me wonder. Is he over her? Does he feel guilty? What's he trying to hide? If he speaks about her too often, I wonder if he's constantly comparing me to her. How will I ever compete with the ghost of those memories? Then again, if all he does is complain about her, and how poorly she treated him, I wonder if he's gotten over his anger. If he hasn't - will he redirect that anger at me?

Don't get me wrong - I know we all have baggage. Some relationships are horrible, and there are exes who really were just not good people. I get that - I even have one (Pre-X). You should talk about those things; it's part of who you are.

Still, if a guy constantly talks about all the things his exes did wrong, and never about what he learned or how he grew from the relationship, I have to ask myself:

What awful things will he say about me when I become his ex? 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tweets to Sixteen Year Old Sue

First, some background.

Twitter is a conversation. When you tweet, you're talking to everyone. When tweeters want to make sure a conversation is easy to find (and join), we create a hashtag and mention it in our tweets. It's done by adding a hashtag symbol (#) in front of a string of words (no spaces or symbols). 

Recently, #tweetyour16yearoldself became a pretty popular hashtag. A tweeter would share a message that, given the chance, they'd like to send to their sixteen year old self. Add the hashtag to your tweet, and it became part of a global conversation.

Some people wondered how much sense the whole idea made. First - would a 16-year-old really listen to anything an adult has to say - even if she was the adult? Something else to think about - if you change one thing, what will happen to the course your life takes? 

Sixteen year old Sue was pretty cool. As I told one friend, she knew what she wanted from life, she loved without reservation and she had very few fears. But life happened (as it does) and she veered off what seemed to be her path. If I could tell her anything, it would be to try and stay the course. That some choices would be difficult, but they'd be worth the effort. 

I think she would have listened to me. Sue (both past and present) has never been one who felt she needed to make mistakes herself. She was always happy to learn through observation whenever possible. If someone, especially herself, was able to give her insight and direction, I like to think she would have taken it. 

Not to mention - it's all in fun; and it was better than working.

If you'd like to see what my tweets to sixteen year old Sue would look like, read on.


@ Never, ever loan a boyfriend money. Especially THAT one - you'll know him when you meet him in a few years.

@ Go away to college, at least for one year.

@ Start going to watch the Albany-Colonie Yankees play at Heritage Park. His name is Derek Jeter. J-E-T-E-R!!! [Far and away, my favorite.]

@ Never, EVER let anyone tell you you're not beautiful. Plenty will, and it won't ever stop. Ignore them - you are.

@ Never give up writing. Take that low paying job post college. Avoid job applications that say "insurance" anywhere on them.

Then I stole two:

Via @CuteEllaIs - Don't lose you, it takes a long long time to get back.

Via @nynascar - Do not vote for George W. Bush. It will go badly. Same goes for some guy named Spitzer.

I have cool friends, don't' I? Check Cute~Ella's blog for the rest of her tweets. Also check out Kristi Gustafson's blog feature on what her readers would say to their sixteen-year-old selves.

Now, your turn.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lost and Found

Several years ago, I was outside shoveling (no, really, I was). I beat X home from work, and didn't have much choice, since I couldn't get the car in the driveway. Too lazy to go upstairs and change, I put on a pair of gloves and boots from the garage and started on the snow. The gloves were his, so they didn't fit well. But they did keep my hands warm. 

Later that night, I realized that my ruby ring was missing. I searched everywhere, but couldn't find it in the house. I knew I'd worn it to work that day because I wore it everyday - it was a ruby heart that X had surprised me with for my birthday a couple years before, on a trip to Cape Cod. 

I came to the conclusion that I'd probably lost it outside, while shoveling. A couple of times, I'd removed the gloves to give my hands a rest. My fingers had probably shrunk a bit, being so warm, and I bet the ring had come right off and fallen into the snow. Obviously, I was devastated. How could I lose something so precious? I should have been more careful.

Months later, after all the snow had melted, I was outside doing some project in the front yard. I was standing at the foot of the steps, and something shiny caught my eye. It was stuck in the seam of the concrete, so I bent down to take a look. There, on the steps, was my ring. In perfect condition, as though it had just fallen off my hand that second. 

I still have the ring, although it obviously means something different to me now. While I no longer wear it everyday, it is a constant reminder that no matter how lost something might seem, in the end, it'll find its way back. Usually, that happens when you stop looking. 

If that can happen with a ring buried in the snow, I should think it works the same with people gone from your life, your happiness, or even love. If you lose them, eventually, maybe when you least expect it - there they are again.  

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Fun 11/5/2010

Happy November! I'm already hearing Christmas music - ugh. Stop it, already, radio stations!! I love Christmas music (actually, I love all parts of Christmas - well, the non-religious parts, anyway. There's a post in there, somewhere....) But let's not ruin it by starting too early. Black Friday, people - Black Friday.

Anyway, I've got another Friday Five from The Women's Colony. Check it out (and respond, if you like).

And hey - if you're looking for something to do inside this weekend, why don't you spend some time catching up on a few blogs? Here are a few that I definitely recommend:

1) Are you a morning or a night person? Definitely night. I recently tweeted that we really only need one 5:30 per day - and I believe that.

2) You're having dinner with friends. They all start gossiping about another friend of yours. What do you do? Are we talking concerned, what can we do to help this friend gossip? Or Oh-my-God can you believe that guy she's dating gossip? Depending on the friend (and friends), the context and the situation, I'd probably change the subject. If it gets out of hand, I'll say something. I'm not real big on letting my friends get hurt.

3) What is the worst job you've ever had? You'd think it was Walmart - where I was harrassed and abused, and where customers threw things at me as I stood helpless behind the service desk. But nope - it's the job I have now. Stupid mortgage.

4) What magazines do you subscribe to? I used to subscribe to People, but cancelled it because there's really not much value - I can see the pictures, and read many of the articles, online for free. I currently get Rachael Ray Magazine and Real Simple at home. Those subscriptions were purchased as part of a school fundraiser, and won't be renewed when they run out.

5) What is your favorite restaurant in your area? Currently, this is a sore subject. My latest favorite is probably Sake Cafe. Yum.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Nice Girls Finish First

Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something and has lost something. ~ Proverb

X called the other day. His heart is broken, and he needed to talk. So I listened.

My best friend asked why. She said I owe him nothing, that he deserves whatever pain he feels and that it's his own fault, for having hurt my feelings. "What goes around, comes around," she said, which made me think of this post

If you look at my comments in the post, you'll see one of my favorite quotes, by a man named Wayne Dyer: How others treat you is their karma; how you react is yours. Anger, hate and revenge are all ugly emotions. You can't stay surrounded in all that negativity and expect good things to happen. 

Maybe this is his karma. Maybe the universe is making sure he understands the hurt that he caused. I think most people would understand if I felt that way, and if I just stopped there. His karma will take care of itself - but how will it help mine? 

If I want good karma, I have to put positive, friendly, helpful energy out there. I have to give something good in order to get something good back in return.

So, I listened. For all the times that he was there for me before he was "X." For all the times he's helped me since. For all the things he's done for my family over the years. For all the good times, and memories, we share.

I listened for myself. I listened so that I could feel good about being a good friend. I reminded him of his good qualities, so I could let go of some negative feelings. I listened so I could forget my own problems for a little while and help someone else with theirs. I listened because it might just teach me something about my own fears, pain and loss.

I listened because I like to think that the nice, positive, strong woman in me is winning this race. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Secret Identity

I've been gone for a while; but I'm slowly coming back. [Didja miss me?] Still, I have a whole bunch of blogs that I want to share, but this isn't the place for what I have to say.

I'm been toying with the idea of creating an anonymous blog. I know some really great bloggers who've done this successfully, and it definitely has its benefits.  

My only hesitation has been that I really don't want to hide behind a fake name, and a shadow avatar. I like putting myself out there and saying what's on my mind. I don't mind commenter's backlash (so far, anyway). Mostly - I'm proud of what I have to say and want people to know it's coming from me.

This could be me. You'd never figure it out.
Still - some of what I want to share might bother some friends. Since I'd never want to hurt anyone, and especially not anyone important to me, I've been hitting "save now" instead of "publish" for a while. But I'm pretty proud of some of the things I want to say, and I'd like to share them. I'd just prefer to do so responsibly

So, I think I might. I'd keep this blog going, of course. But I may start another blog where I can share some of my stories and no one will know it's me; or who I'm talking about. 

What do you think? Do you blog anonymously? Would you?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Scary Me

I went out with a group of people this weekend to celebrate Halloween. Originally, I had no plans, and thus, no costume. I was in the middle of putting together a mediocre witch costume that I was at all happy with, when my sometimes-roommate came home to put together her outfit.

She was dressing as a Red Sox fan. No, I wasn't happy. In fact, the only thing that made me less happy than her costume was finding out that her Red Sox hat and t-shirts had been sitting in her bedroom. The room used to be my office, and is painted in Yankee pinstripes. It's a wonder lightening hasn't struck the house.


In order to restore balance to the universe and appease the baseball gods, I scrapped my witch costume and put together a Yankee costume. I called myself the Yankee Spirit.

There was a ton of glitter involved, too.
Don't judge too harshly; I was doing it for the greater good.
If you follow me on twitter, you know it turned out to be a pretty scary costume - since my group of friends decided we'd go to dinner and then to a bar in Bennington, VT. There I was, dressed as a Yankee fan in the heart of New England - otherwise known as Red Sox Nation. Awesome.

My friends were all worried I would be beat up or stalked in the ladies room. In the restaurant, a bunch of fans did laugh, reminding me the Yankees weren't playing that night. (You're all class, Red Sox Nation.) I politely reminded them that, since October started, the only balls the Red Sox have been hitting are made by Titleist.

Game. Over.

In the bar, one (likely drunk) guy growled at me, "Yankee fan, huh?" while trying to stop me from passing to get to the restroom. I guess he thought he was all tough, dressed like a pirate and picking on a single girl, who is all of 5'2" in heels. Way to impress, my friend. Of course, I turned tail and ran away...wait, no I didn't. Let me think...did I beg for forgiveness, or bat my eyelashes and flirt my way out of the situation? Nope, that doesn't sound right, either.


Now I remember! I glared and pushed past him, reminding him who bested who this year. (A word to drinkers: sober people can stand their ground much better, no matter how bad their knees or how high their heels.) He stared at me with a stunned look - and walked away. Neither he, nor any other Red Sox fans bothered me the rest of the night.

The lesson here? Just because a girl carries herself like a lady, can be cute without being slutty, is quiet and *gasp* not a drunken mess doesn't make her a push over. Please make a note of it.

What was your scariest costume ever?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Girls Are Pretty Girls

"I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls." Audrey Hepburn

I haven't been feeling very happy (or pretty) lately. My cousin (the one who gives the good advice) told me that one way to get past that is to look for at least one thing every day to be happy about. It doesn't have to be a big thing; those will come in time. 

She's right, of course; but some days it's easier said than done.  But we all know that happiness comes from within, and I'm determined to find mine. To that end, here's a list of things that always make me smile.


My kitties. They stick by me when I'm sad or sick. No matter how long I've been gone, or what mood I'm in, they are always happy to see me. How can that not make me smile? 

Purses and shoes. They always fit, and they are easy to add to my wardrobe. If I can find them on the cheap, even better. What can I say; I'm a girl.

Baseball. I've talked before about what baseball means to me. Plus, it's awfully hard to look at Derek Jeter and not smile. *sigh*

Flowers. I like to grow them, arrange them and I love to smell them. Roses and lilies are my favorite. I'm inspired when I garden, knowing that I brought beauty into the world and helped it grow. When I arrange cut flowers, I'm happy knowing that I created something that will bring a smile to someone else.

Chocolate. They say that chocolate triggers a chemical reaction in your brain that is similar to love. Well, I don't know much about love - but I know dark chocolate makes me awfully happy. In the immortal words of Author Unknown - "Forget love - I'd rather fall into chocolate!" Amen.

My "nieces and nephews." I don't have any kids of my own (that's its own post). I'm also an only child, so I don't actually have any nieces or nephews. I am lucky enough to be surrounded by some of the most wonderful children in the world. My best friend's son and daughter are little angels who brought me back to life. My cousins are the sweetest, kindest (and coolest) kids around, and always make me smile.

So that's my list. Well, part of my list - the most consistent parts - anyway. That's the great thing about happiness - even when it's not right in front of you, you never know where you might find it next.

What's on your list?