Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bathroom Etiquette - Really?

I know, I know, who died and made me Queen of the Universe...well, luckily nobody died and I get to be Queen simply because it's my blog. Live with it. I work on the 10th floor of a highrise office building in North Dallas. It's a really pretty building with big banks of elevators and a concierge/security desk. It's full of professional people. However, the Ladies' bathroom on my floor is horrifying! I used think that women were cleaner than men, but if this is a sample of normal women, then I take back what I said about men or alternatively...I just don't wanna know. So (ahem) here are the new Bathroom Rules:(and if you think I won't post them in there, you don't know me very well!) 1. Flush. Really, I would think that you might have mastered this in kindergarten, if not before, but apparantly not, and that's just gross. 2. Wash your hands! Seriously. I am in the bathroom and I can hear you go out of your stall and just leave without even pretending to make a stop at the sink! No wonder I use a paper towel to open the door so I don't have to touch anything. I want to go wash my hands now just thinking of it. 3. Don't talk on your cell phone. Whether or not you're actively peeing (yes, people talk on the phone while peeing!) or just loitering in the bathroom (toiloitering?) this is unacceptable behavior. Not only is it just plain weird, but I generally dislike the sound of my peeing being broadcast God knows where. Call me crazy. 4. Eating - Yes, I said eating. I was in the bathroom once and a girl walked in, eating a giant cookie and proceeded into the stall, did her business and left. All (of course) without washing her hands. Eww Eww Eww!! She might as well have gone in there and licked something. Now, really, I don't think that this is asking too much, but obviously it is. The worst offenders are the ladies from the Accounting firm across the hall from us. Think about that next time someone does your taxes. No, don't. Eww.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Bitchmas 2009 Party Like a Rock Star

Been dazed and confused for so long it's not true... This year's Bitchmas theme was "Bitchmas 2009 - Party Like a Rock Star" and was held at the Hard Rock Tulsa. The Unholy Trinity - the Tulsa Girls, Gambling, and vodka was enough to entice Pam to fly up with me. Me and Pam Pam and I flew in together from Dallas and Toni picked us up at the airport. We had lunch at Te Kei's with Laurie and Angie. The food was good and the company better. After that we ran over to Utica Square to canoodle with a giant pink penguin, shop for new boots (Pam's boot zipper broke at the airport, a likely story) and purchase party supplies. I entertained myself by reading aloud from a romance novel that I found in Toni's car - "...she desperately....shamelessly begged...for more." (yeah...I'm easily amused) Pam, Angie and Toni By the time we got out to the Hard Rock, we barely had time to get set up, change and receive our guests. The suite was fabulous. Two queen beds, a bar, kitchen, a big red fainting couch and several extra chairs brought in. We were stocked on munchies, a big chocolate cake from Queenie's and beverages. Our signature party drink - a 'North Pole Dancer', Absolut vodka and cranberry juice with a splash of Sprite and a candy cane garnish. Angie and Toni The party was divalicious fun. We played the Dirty Santa game (whatever you call it, the one where you steal each other's gifts) Renee had created a Michael Jackson gift basket that was extremely popular. All the gifts were wonderful, most contained wine. Renee and her 'tattoo sleeves' Laura, Me, Pam and Angie Scotty T and Toni After Dirty Santa we decended upon the Casino and ran around. The saying goes, it's not what you know, but who you know and that was true...Jimmie got us the VIP treatment at the nightclub as we were able to enter from some secret entrance with no cover charge or waiting in line. It was a cool bar with the band on top of the bar. Scott T and I did some faux dirty dancing. Nobody puts Scotty T in a corner. Scott, Laura and Jimmie We met back up in the room. Pam had won some $$, no surprise. We hung out there for a while and then went back downstairs and to the Center Bar, which somehow is made of ice. I got to pet a bartender's big red mohawk and put a $5 tip in it. Unfortunately the pic of that didn't come out. Pam and Angie "Burt" and Lazina (Burt comes out of the closet for our parties, both literally and figuratively speaking) Mr Peanut? Willie Wonka? The world may never know.. Pam and Laurie Angie shut down the bar with us and headed home. Pam and Jimmie and I hung out until after 4:00, then Pam and I got a few hours sleep, awoke, whined, gambled, lunched and coerced Jimmie into taking us to the airport. Exhausted and punch drunk as boarded the plane, Pam commented "I'm going to order the opposite of coffee". This struck me as hilarious and I wondered for a while - What IS the opposite of coffee? I figure it's Bailey's, but it's really anyone's guess. Ozzy and Gerald were really happy to see me when I got home.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Walking for What?

I know this may not be a popular opinion, but it's my blog, so what the heck. A friend of mine made a facebook post about teenagers going on a thirty hour fast to raise money to feed the hungry. First of all, let me say that I applaud these kids for thinking of someone other than themselves, which is a challenge for all of us, especially when we're teenagers. But I just don't get it. At the end of the day (or the thirty hours) you've done nothing but starve yourself, which in my opinion isn't healthy. I know some people think fasting is healthy, but I do not. It's the same think with 'Walks' for something. Okay, you've walked for three days and given yourself blisters and sore muscles. But what if that time was spent picking up trash, painting elderly people's homes, clearing out a vacant lot and turning it into a playground, organizing programs for underprivileged kids? Doing something productive and lasting? That's what I'm talking about. Yes, you've raised money and that's great. But what if you used that time/effort to actually DO something other than walk or not eat. Like I said, just my two cents.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Supermodel Makeovers

Chloe and Tyra (my next door daughter) did Supermodel makeovers last night. They were so cute! It only takes a few minutes to turn from 12 to 21! (sometimes it seems that way, huh?) Before - two sweet young girls. As usual, Ozzy is there to oversee. He was napping in the hamper in my closet because of course, the girls were into my makeup, jewelry, purses and heels. After: Attitude is everything Love this pose Very Dramatic Then they put their jammies on and we all three shared a piece of cheesecake. They didn't even throw up afterward! LOL

Friday, November 6, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jack

Eighteen years ago today, I gave birth to a baby boy named Jack. It was a sunny Fall day and he was already a week overdue. Sick of my whining, my Doctor told me to come to his office early that morning and he’d break my water. Then I could walk next door to the hospital and say “My water broke!” and they’d have no choice but to admit me. Many hours, contractions, an IV of Pitocin, an epidural, a knotted umbilical cord and ultimately a c-section later, he arrived, weighing in at a whopping 9 pounds and 1 ounce. After the fog of Demoral subsided, I held him in my arms and fell in love. I remember our first night at home. He was asleep in the little white bassinet next to my bed and there I lay. Wide awake, my mind racing. “What if I’m doing something wrong? I don’t know what I’m doing. What if he stops breathing? He hasn’t had a lot of practice at that. What was I thinking? Why did they let me bring him home?!” Eventually, the panic subsided and I was resigned to the fact that I would never, ever sleep again. There have been many milestones, firsts, birthdays, laughter, tears, hugs and sleepless nights. Jack is now and has always been a joy. He has grown into a sweet, responsible, and loving young man. Sure, he’s still a teenager, but he’s mine. We used to play Power Ranger action figures when he was little. I always had to be the Girl Power Rangers – the Yellow and Pink ones. Jack wanted the boy Power Rangers to ‘save’ them from the bad guys. I always made sure that the girls saved themselves or at least did as much fighting as the boys. When he was a little older, we’d put his baby sister down for a nap and sneak off to create elaborate Lego buildings or entire towns, complete with characters and stories. We read the Harry Potter books together. I taught him to drive at 15. Now, we watch scary movies or old classics together. He used to stand on the staircase a few steps above me and say ‘Look, Mommy! Someday I’ll be taller than you - like this!”. Sure enough, he’s about 6’3” and has to bend down to hug me. Happy Birthday, Jackson Everett Baldwin! Once upon a time we were young together. Thank you for making me a Mommy and for always taking the time to play with me. You are a blessing and I love you!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Art Festival!

The Watters Creek Fine Art Festival was last weekend and I had a booth along with my partner in crime, Dale, where we sold our jewelry, shrines and various unique creations. The weather was cold and dreary and the crowds were sparse. I guess most people were at home curled up in front of a football game all wrapped in a Snuggee. But not us! We braved the entire weekend, armed with a big pot of coffee and our boots. Sales were slow, but we had fun. We made some new friends, had friends come by to visit and sampled the cuisine of Watters Creek. Tortilla soup from Mi Cocina, a gyro from Terra, the new Meditteranean restaurant, pizza from Grimaldi's. It was all delicious. Chloe and her band of houligans were there to help, too. Since our creations are wonderfully glittery fun, we sprinkled gold glitter on the ground of our tent/store, to create a beautiful carpet. Turns out that the glitter stuck to people's feet and was tracked over every inch of the shopping center! Like fairy dust, it lifted our spirits. I drove by today and could still see glitter on the street. So, even though we didn't make as much money as we'd hoped, we did come in 3rd place in the People's Choice Award and spread a little glitter around.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Email Pet Peeves

Maybe I'm just irritable today (a nice way of saying bitchy, although bitchy sounds more entitled), so let's just go with that and we'll go over my email pet peeves. You can read while I go get some chocolate and a glass of wine. Please stop poking your head in my office and asking, “Did you get my email?”. Unless you are having some difficulty with your emails going through, this is almost as unnecessary as Vanilla Ice Greatest Hits CD. “Did you read my email?” is perhaps the question you should be asking. There is no need to cc me on something that is not of any consequence to me. I really don’t care. In the same vein, if I hand off an email assignment to you, please do not cc me on the email assignment. This is called delegating. You don’t have to prove to me you did it. For God’s sake, clean up your email before forwarding. I don’t need to see the four thousand people on the previous list of recipients. I probably won’t even make the effort to scroll that far down. The same applies to a message that has an attachment that leads to an attachment that leads to an attachment. It’s like a Russian nesting doll and I can promise you I won’t even open it up. You really don’t need to think up a clever closing line for business email. ‘Thanks’ is ok when appropriate. ‘Best’ doesn’t bother me, but when you get too cutesy like ‘Enjoy your day!!!’ it makes me throw up a little bit in my mouth. And ‘Cheers’ shouldn’t be used unless you are European or Australian. To be honest, it makes me jealous because I think you are drinking on the job and I’m not. I want to sign off with ‘Rock on’, but I don’t do it on my business email. Well, not too often. Learn the difference between ‘Reply’ and ‘Reply All’. I don’t care to hear back from you if I don’t know who you are. In a business environment, please do not answer an email question that I have sent you with a phone call. (Unless, of course, it’s just too long of an explanation to type out). I don’t have time to talk to you and I probably need your answer in writing. I know you’re excited to be at work!!!! Please don’t flaunt it!!! Enough said? If you have a question for me, ask it. Don’t state an issue/problem out and then say ‘Please Advise’. If you want a specific answer, learn to ask a specific question. It’s like when my kids say ‘I’m hungry’. I answer with ‘That’s too bad’. What I want to hear is ‘Can I have a snack?’, ‘When is dinner?’, ‘Are there any apples in the fruit bowl?’. I may seem clairvoyant, but this is just a complete waste of my powers. Likewise, please don’t forward a back and forth email conversation between you and another person and expect me to read it and figure out what you want. If you are that lazy, I wonder how you even get out of bed and get to work. Stay Gold, Jana

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Fair to Remember

When I was growing up in Oklahoma, nothing heralded the coming of Fall like the Tulsa State Fair. The Fair usually blew into town with the first cool temperatures and crunchy leaves and brought with it an air of excitement and tradition. One of the things that made the Tulsa State Fair so wonderful was Bell’s Amusement Park, a charming park that was open most of the year. The Fair was connected to Bell’s, so in addition to the Fair rides, the Midway and the exhibits, you also had the perk of your favorite rides at Bell’s. The big white wooden roller coaster, known as ‘Zingo’ was Bell’s crown jewel. Built in 1968,‘Zingo’ was a series of giant hills and breathtaking drops, up to 82 feet. You entered the park by walking under one of the hills of the roller coaster, excitement growing as you heard the ‘clack clack clack’ of the coaster and the happy screams of its victims. Being old enough to ride ‘Zingo’ was a definite rite of passage in my day. There was also the ‘Phantasmagoria’ spook/fun house that you rode through in a cart (a notorious make out ride), the ‘Himalaya’, which went round and round to the sound of sirens and loud music du jour, and a big ominous Ferris Wheel. One of my all time favorites was the giant Super Slide, that we flew down on old burlap sacks. I think the Super Slide was removed sometime in the late 1970s or early 80s, as I’m sure it was pretty dangerous. Other favorites included the Log Ride, the Octopus, the Scrambler and the Super Round Up. A day at Bell’s was always a dream come true for me and I often got to go there for my birthday. The Fair was like Bell’s on steroids. Although I don’t really care for Fair food, I like the smells, I love to walk around and people watch, check out all of the rides and revel in the cool night air. When I was in Middle School, my friend, Karen and I were allowed to go to the Fair by ourselves (during the day only). Wow, did we think we were grown up! We spent a dizzying day riding rides and looking for cute boys all on about $20. When I was in high school, the Fair was the ultimate date. I mean, it had all of the perfect romantic elements – the opportunity for your date to win you a stuffed animal (thus proving his manliness), the prospect of holding hands as you walked around the Midway, the pleasure of getting to wear one of your brand new sweaters in the cool weather, and the chance that you might kiss on the Skyride as you glided way up over everyone and swung gently from the cables. Oh, yes! A kiss was quite possible, being that he was the most manly-stuffed-animal-winning thing this side of the Arkansas River. Alas, I am now grown and Bell’s amusement park is no longer. It was closed a couple of years ago and ‘Zingo’ now sits somewhere in a warehouse, quiet and dismantled. I drove by where it used to be one time and was devastated to see a huge expanse of concrete and grass where my Mecca used to be. It actually hit me harder than I thought it would and I swear a couple of tears slid down my cheeks. Maybe I can find a cute guy to take me to the Fair to cheer me up. Maybe I’ll even kiss him on the Skyride.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sea Glass -Everything you always wanted to know

I didn't know much about sea glass when I first started picking it up on the beach and collecting it years ago, except that it was pretty. I make jewelry out of it and have big vases of it in all colors. My friend, Dale, gave me a book about sea glass for my birthday and WOW is it interesting. Sea glass is graded by color (extremely rare, rare, uncommon, common) and frostiness (A-D). There are also 'bonus' points for being a shard from a rare type of glass or bottle. I was inspired to spread my sea glass out and take a good look at it. Then I separated the colors and put each color in a different glass container. Let's start with the Blues...(I got the blueeeees) I used to have a lot of blue (classified as 'Rare'), but have used most of it to make jewelry. It gets harder and harder to find. The turquoise color is also Rare and the large piece on the upper left side could be the bottom of a medicine bottle. I know some of those square ones are tiles, but I like 'em. Soft Green Soft green is classified as 'Uncommon', but is pretty common on Isla Mujeres. It ranges in color from the palest green to a darker color as you can see here. Some of the long, thin dagger shaped ones are automobile glass shards. The darker color (middle to right) are old Coca Cola bottles and you can see the vertical rib pattern on some pieces. This color makes pretty jewelry and is the color of the shallow areas of the sea This is a cool piece that I think is from an old Mason Jar dating around the 1920s. Purple I thought these were Pink, but silly me...the book says they're purple and purple is Rare. What they call pink is a peachy color. I found a really cool piece of pink sea glass that was 'frilly' and I made it into a necklace. I think that it was Depression glass in a past life and now it hangs around the neck of a lovely lady named Dianne. I also like this necklace, made of a 'purple' bottle neck and a strand of white moonstone beads. Brown Brown is 'common' and usually from beer bottles. Older shards can be from brown Clorox bottles. Brown can range in color from amber to darker shades. Kelly Green It may be rated 'common' but I think it's pretty. This color mostly originates from green beer bottles and Sprite bottles. Other Greens Forest, Lime, Jade There are many different hues of green and most are considered 'uncommon'. I have found a couple of Lime Green pieces, one with which I made this necklace. I was reluctant to part with it. White White is common, but I think it makes some of the prettiest jewelry. White sea glass lived it's former life as clear glass bottles. Black "Black Glass" is truly an exceedingly dark green or brown, but it's called 'black' and is considered 'extremely rare'. Iron slag is added to glass to get this color and therefore, it's very strong and usually found in large pieces, like the large bottle neck. Sea Tile Mostly tile or pottery, I like these. I have some with cool words on them or numbers. I wonder where all of it came from, if there's something really old there or a shard with a good story. Did some of it come from a home, damaged in a hurricane or a ship, sunk at sea? Sea Glass is getting more rare overall due to less littering and more plastic being used for bottles than glass. I still think it's a treasure and love to walk along the beach and collect it.

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Some of these entries are vintage travel reports and have been restored from a lost blog. I hope you enjoy them.