Friday, March 31, 2006

Military Channel :: GI Factory :: Episode Guide

Military Channel :: GI Factory :: Episode Guide
Apparently it is a big TV week for me. From Little Rock to the Military Channel! If you are curious what else my job may entail on occasion, check out the "GI Factory" tonight (Friday) at 8 on the Military Channel. (Don't expect to see me in it though. As far as I know, I stayed on the right side of the camera the whole time.)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

well, that's a first

I am getting very excited for the Mason Final Four game on Saturday. (anyone want to go to a sports bar with me to watch it?) The excitement is in the air, and I'm feeling it big time. But today something a little unusual has happened making it that much more fun for me. Not one, but two different readers to the "Single Thought" column wrote in just to say "Go Patriots" to me. And I must admit, that has made my whole day. I think that is just too cute! But then something a little odd happened as well. Someone on LDS LinkUp spotted my profile, recognized me from the column (which isn't mentioned directly in my profile), emailed me (via Linkup) and asked me out. He has, of course, failed to mention his name, which just makes it that much funnier to me. Does he really think I am going to respond to a complete stranger and say, "Yes, I'd love to go out with you sometime. What is your name?" Um, no. Sorry, I do need a slightly better intro than that before I'll even do lunch with complete unknowns.

In the meantime, I'm glad to be back home. Perfect weather, perfect Cherry Blossoms, perfect yoga tonight, and perfect dinner club. I can't wait!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Today's THV KTHV Little Rock

Today's THV KTHV Little Rock

Click on "THVideo" button to see what it is I'm doing out here. And to see Red Arrow (aka Blake) teaching a few gun skills. I do show up in the video briefly- look for the blond hair walk by holding 2 rifles. (and 2 pairs of hearing protection)

Word Association From Little Rock

- complete idiots at show management level

- Bill Clinton nightmares

- Waffle House Biker Dudes

- People need to mind their own business

- SWAT guys

- Blake and the red underarmor

My Blog, My Way

Stupid blogger. I wrote this whole big post ranting about the awful horrible show management today. But then I hit "publish post," and the whole stupid computer crashed. ARGH!!!

More later, after "Idol," when I'll most likely have something completely superficial to say. After all, it's my blog. I can do and say what I want here. If you don't like it, or me, why are you here?

Go Pats, Go Pats, Go Pats!
test test test

Monday, March 27, 2006

i think i'm on a roll here in little rock (thank you collin raye)

I know way too many songs involving the words, "little rock."
"ooh, ooh, Little Rock. Think I'm gonna have to slip you off..." (Reba)

3 am ET- wake up
4 am- depart for BWI
5 am- arrive BWI
6 am- flight is cancelled
7 am- depart on new flight
7:20 am- recognize man in seat next to me- arch enemy.
7:30 am- ask flight attendant for a can, she gives me a cup instead
7:35 am- man in seat in front of me suddenly reclines his chair, causing my drink to spill in my lap.
7:36 am- every bad word i know goes through my head. go to lav, clean up, and scrounge for a blanket in front of whole plane looking like i've peed my pants.
8 am CT- arrive Memphis- pants still wet
8:01 am- i've missed connecting flight, must sit around for 2.5 hours. scrounge around airport for sweatpants or something. no luck. pants no longer look like i've peed them, but i'm still cold and wet on the inside. give up and read. and book plane tickets. and order 500 t-shirts. and call doctor's office. and watch cnn. and tell complete strangers i went to mason. and correct complete strangers when they think mason is in maryland.
10:45 am- get on next flight to little rock.
11:30 am- flight actually takes off (30 mins late)
12 noon- we land
12:02 pm- stand in front of sign wondering where my camera is when i need it. "Please hold children's hands on escalators. No strollers or wheelchairs on escalator. Persons with barefeet are encouraged to use elevator." Seriously. It doesn't say, "no barefeet in the airport." or "no barefeet on escalator." It says, "encouraged to use elevator." 1 pm- get rental car, drive towards hotel.
1:01 pm- get attacked by the black flies living in the car
1:30 pm- Get to hotel, check in, and grimace when I realize I am in a room with a "special view overlooking the Clinton library."
2:00- meet up with Blake, grab stuff, head to the base in seperate cars.
2:30- driving through the middle of nowhere Little Rock pass some of worst poverty ever seen. Can't help but wonder why it is people actually think the governors of this state are good people. They should be shot for allowing people to live in this squalor.
2:45 pm- following directions. "Turn Right on Clinton Drive." Can't help but laugh.
2:47 pm- thought crosses my mind. "Wow, I know ranges tend to be in the middle of nowhere, but this is ridiculous." 2:48 pm- "Wait, I'm not looking for a range. I'm looking for an entire military base. Something is wrong here."
2:49 pm- directions come to a screeching halt at a dead end road in someone's driveway. Commence Plan B (where Blake calls local police department and asks for a little help.)
3:30 pm- arrive at correct destination. Maybe it's just my DC upbringing. But when I pull onto a military base I fully expect to show my ID, and have my car searched. In the past 6 months I have been on Quantico, Ft Myer, Andrews, Bolling, and the Pentagon. This was the routine at each place. And in some cases I had guns with me, and that process takes a few minutes. But not here in Little Rock! Here the guard takes my license and says, "Is this a military ID?" "Um, no, it's a VA driver's license." I ask for directions, he tells me, I go. I expect that Blake will be a while since he's got guns in the truck. But no, he just gets waved on in.
3:45 pm- find our destination. Oh my. This is not a "show" in the usual sense. The "covered pavilion" we're supposed to be in is more "tent on gravel" than "covered pavillion." And it's going to rain all day tomorrow. Great. We set stuff up, and leave.
4:30 pm- Feeling ever so adventurous we go to the Little Rock Wal-Mart. Classssss-y. And then we went to Gander Mountain, Academy Sports, and Outback for dinner. I bought men's carpenter jeans at Gander. They are not flattering, not cute, but very comfortable. And more importantly, not still damp from the airplane incident.
9 pm- back to the hotel- EXHAUSTED
9:59 pm- hit publish on blog, while wondering if I can sleep in a hotel decorated in Clinton Memorabilia? Will just the picture of him in my room give me seizures in my sleep? Or worse yet, how can I wake up knowing that the view outside of my window is of the Clinton Library?

If You Believe in Yourself . . .


"Biggest upset in NCAA history!" Yeah Baby!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

so far, so good

down 2.5 lbs. run/walked at least 1.5 miles each day. have done so many sit ups and sitting on big ball thing that my bum is sore. friday's caffeine intake- 2 diet cokes. counteracted by 6 glasses of water. on way to gym.
won't get hopes up that a 2.5 lbs loss means anything. have always been able to lose 5 lbs without effort. it's the other 15 i will struggle with.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Colin Firth, Duck Beach, Vegan Diet- it all comes together now

For years now I have slowly threatened to completely turn into Bridget Jones. As of today, I officially give up the fight and just allow the inevitable to happen. From alternating crushes on Colin Firth and Hugh Grant to her trademark absentmindedness and clumsiness, I have slowly evolved into Bridget. (By the way, this would be the Bridget from the books, not her movies. Although, I am also considerably like Movie Bridget as well.) I was about to make the following blog post when I realized that I have become Bridget (sans the "fags.") I now completely acknowledge and proceed forward anyway.

The contract on the beach house is complete and the deposit is in the mail. Which basically means I am officially on a weight loss regimen. Diet City here we come. In order to keep myself dedicated I will be posting my progress here (a la Bridget). Today is kickoff day which means only water and fresh fruits and vegetables. I'm not going vegan, just healthier than my usual burger and fries. I will attempt to maintain a vegetarian lifestyle for a full week. (Not easy considering I'll be in Little Rock all next week.) No sugar and no bread for at least 2 weeks. (I might die.) I'm not so brave as to say no diet sodas yet. But I will be slowly weening myself from them. Cold turkey on the sugar and caffeine really could kill a girl.

I will also keep up the yoga once a week, gym at least 3 times a week, and hopefully institute running/walking at least 3 miles a week as well. And all TV watching and knitting will be done while sitting on my yoga exercise ball thingy. (It's good for posture and butt toning. And I need both.)

And in true Bridget fashion I will be tracking my weight loss and exercise success and/or failures right here.

All My Favorite TV Shows Online

AOL Television: In2TV: Upgrade

If you are so blessed as to have Windows XP, you can also watch Wonder Woman, V, Mr Kotter, and more on your computer.
Sadly, I don't have XP. Stinkin' stupid laptop.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Did Anyone Else Just Fall in Love?

I love Chris Daughtry. There, I've said it. How did it take me 6 weeks of American Idol to just now notice this guy? He took the biggest chance ever tonight on "Walk the Line," but oh my... There's steam rising up off my television set. There is definately something about rockers.
I need to go take a cold shower.

Go Patriots!

Overnight Success, Instant Changes at George Mason

Oh and let's not forget that other important little detail- my alma mater making into the Sweet Sixteen! Yeah Baby!

Mork from Ork Lied

TV has lied to us again. As children we were lead to believe that on the planet Ork, babies were hatched out of giant shells and started out bigger than their parents. Eventually they shrank and apparently became hairy like Robin Williams. But I’m here to tell you this is impossible. This civilization never could have survived if the children were bigger than their parents. The only leverage parents really have over their children is size. And trust me, size matters.

I've been "house-sitting" for my parents this past week. The house comes complete with two dogs, (one in heat,) and 2 teenage siblings. To be perfectly honest an experience like this is enough for my tubes to tie themselves. I've determined that the only reason parenting works is because the parents start out bigger. Size and the ability to forcibly train and brainwash children makes a huge difference. Cause let me tell you, right now I have nothing on these kids. They are bigger than me- taller, heavier, stronger, etc. I can't make them do anything. They know full well that I have guns, and I still can't make these kids do anything. They call my bluff on everything. We are two days into the school week and therefore on the second day of the 16 yr old skipping school. The 18 yr old (high school graduate) has not left the couch in 4 days, and continues to sit there in his underwear playing video games. If you think I am exaggerating and that he must leave the video games to use the head, you are wrong. He takes the laptop in there with him. (Thereby also ensuring that no one else will ever touch his laptop.) And neither child attended a full session of church on Sunday. What happened to the cute little brother and sister that used to adore me, and play "Princess" with me? (Princess is a great game where the big older sister, (aka the Princess) stays in bed on a Saturday morning while the little Duke and Duchess bring her breakfast). What happened to the little brother and sister that lived for the weekends their parents would leave so that they could play games and eat ice cream all day with their big sister?

Mork from Ork lied to us all. I’m suing.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Happy Erin's Independence Day

A few weeks ago I realized I was about to have an anniversary of sorts for myself. It is the anniversary of the end of a period of my life that most people will never truly understand or even know much about. It was the day I got out of an abusive relationship. It unfortunately also coincides with the anniversary of the death of a good friend of mine, and as a result it is hard for me to seperate the two events in my head. I wonder what my friend would have said to me or thought of me if he had ever seen me in an abusive relationship. I wonder if I would have ended up in that same situation if my friend hadn't died.
But this isn't meant to be a sad blog post today. It is a happy one. It has been two years since I got out, made changes, and moved on. It is my personal Independence Day, and I couldn't be happier. Last year when I marked just one year out, I was still shaky and scared that I could lose it all again. Now I know how to stand on my own two feet and know if it all falls apart again, I know how to put it back together. I haven't had an anxiety attack over nothing in over a year. For someone getting out of an abusive relationship, that is huge. I'm not scared anymore. I'm happy. That is the bottom line of all of it. I'm happy. I haven't fallen back into another abusive relationship. I didn't leave one for another, like too many people do. I'm safe. I'm good. I'm happy. I survived.

Oddly, history is repeating itself in a different way today as well. Go back and see my first ever blog post at . Two years later my parents are out of town, I'm watching my brother and sister for the weekend, there's a roast in the crockpot, and well, it is all repeating itself again. (except this time I took the bullion cubes out of the wrappers first.) We were late for Church, only 2/3 of us made it to Church. And now both siblings are asleep on the couch because I didn't get them to bed early enough last night. Come to think of it, a Sunday nap sounds really nice...

Saturday, March 18, 2006

i've heard that's hard for a guy (like it's not for a girl)

Funniest conversation this week-

Male: Growing up in the Church, we were taught that girls barely like the physical stuff. Kissing, making out, etc. They just barely put up with it. And we were given the talks of "Men are like microwaves, women are like crock pots." What I have found in the last year, and my friend in the last four years is that Mormon women are AGGRESSIVE.

Female: Some- not all- the ones that are not aggressive, are sitting at home knitting something

Male: Ok, the age group I've been dating has been. I've been mauled. I've had to tell the girl, "WHOA, back down."

Female: Poor guy. (rolling her eyes in mock sympathy)

Male: That's hard for a guy.

Female: So I've heard.

Male: I (we?) are at that time in life when both mentally, physically and psychologically, we have a deep need for that fulfillment.

Female: I'm pretty sure when the chastity commandment was handed down, no one ever expected people to make it to 30 yrs old and still be single. They just thought it was a good way to get people married younger.

Um, "Male"- don't hate me!

Blog accolades to the first person who correctly guesses who this conversational exchange employed.

Friday, March 17, 2006

these irish eyes are not smiling

Its that time again- time for Erin's rants on men to begin. I've been debating posting anything on this subject because I'm not sure if any of the men in question read this or not. But today I realized that I don't care. They obviously don't know my side of things, and it probably couldn't hurt for them to find out. There are four guys worth mentioning right now.

We'll call the first one Cougar (which has nothing to do with anything other than I'm looking at a college logo on my desk right now). Cougar and I met online and had several great conversations, at pretty predictable times of the day. Without having actually met him, I was really starting to like him, and I had every reason to think it was mutual. And then he disappeared. Poof! Vanish! Gone! I waited an appropriate amount of time before sending an email to hopefully spur our conversations back on. Nothing. Days turn to weeks, weeks turn to a month, and NOTHING. No contact, no explanation, nothing. He's just gone. And then out of the blue, I get an email from him that says, "Hey, its been a while, where did you go?" UM, WHAT? I had contacted him twice during his vanishing act, and got no response. I'm not the type of girl to make excuses like, "the email never got there." But these things are always possible. But come on!! I waited a decent amount of time and responded to Cougar and gently reminded him he is the one who stopped the communication, not me. It wasn't rude or anything, in fact, the email continued to be friendly and funny. And since then I have heard from him every day, back to his old routine. (Its been about a week in progress now.) I think he is possibly one of the best guys I have ever met. We have some amazing connections and tons in common. But chances of my heart and/or brain every trusting him again are close to zero.

The second guy we shall call "Lucky." We met, had a great time together, and hooked up several times over a 2 month period. And then in a pretty mutual move, stopped seeing each other. We never discussed it or anything, but we both just knew it was time. Things had run their course. So much to my surprise, he surfaced again as well. And even more to my surprise, he was better than I remembered. But I knew it was going to be short-lived. This isn't a guy known for his long term capabilities. We saw each other a few times, everything was very cool, and then boom, he's done- again. It was a little sooner than I predicted, but I was at least expecting it. My only real surprise in it is that I'm disappointed. I was starting to like having him around again. I just might miss him. I think he may come back around again in a few weeks, it is his pattern. But I'm really not sure if I want him to. Or do I want to tell him I want him to take me seriously? I don't know.

The next guy doesn't really qualify for a nickname, but we'll call him Stumpy just for fun. He wasn't a "good on paper guy" at all. In fact, he's lacking seriously in all qualifications. I'm only mentioning him because he was possibly the worst and most boring date I have been on in years. We had nothing in common and conversation truly hurt. The lowlight of the date? He asked where I was last week and I explained I was in Boston touring hotels for a big convention. He said, "Oh really? I'm staying in a hotel." You have really really got to be trying hard when the best connection you can come up with is, "I'm staying in a hotel." (I withheld my sarcasm and didn't make a "I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night!" joke.)

Last we have Soldier Boy (what cracks me up is that multiple guys could be reading this right now and guessing that he is Soldier Boy, but none of you are. I am 90% certain he knows nothing of the blog.) He's a great guy. Very "good on paper." And even better in person. But we're just friends, and I love our friendship. I look forward to our emails, phone calls, and "friend dates." There is no question that we have a great chemistry and fun friendship. I could really fall for him. But he seems to be oblivious to the fact that I am an eligible maiden. I can't hold it against him. He thinks I am actually dating Lucky, which I have tried to correct. (Lucky and I are not dating. We are just people who go on dates occasionally.)

So there you have it. I'm a confused and overwhelmed girl. After 15 years of dating, I have no idea what I am doing. My heart gets twisted, turned around, and hurt way too often. Of course no one sees that because I prefer to keep my heart in deep freeze where it belongs, but it is starting to miss the fresh air and daylight. What do you do when you have met 3 guys that you truly consider to be perfect and wonderful, and yet, nothing seems to work out with them? And then guys that you really couldn't ever get interested in keep throwing themselves in your path. I just don't know what to do. I could use the advice. Anyone got some pearls for me??

Thursday, March 16, 2006

As Luck Would Have It, Bishops Allow Meat on St. Patrick's Day

As Luck Would Have It, Bishops Allow Meat on St. Patrick's Day
Despite the Vatican's prohibition against eating meat on Fridays during Lent, Catholic bishops in about one-third of the country's 197 dioceses have issued a one-day waiver of the rule, citing the benefits of Irish American tradition and community. After all, what do you wash down with green beer if not corned beef and cabbage?
Not to be left behind, the Mormon Church Bishops have lifted its ban on drinking beer in honor of St Patrick's Day for all those of Irish descent. "Finally, a chance to sin and not get in trouble," Patrick McBride said after hearing the news.

Celebritology- My Newest Weakness

I have a new addiction. Love it!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

From HBO, a 'Big' Distortion

From HBO, a 'Big' Distortion

Thank you Steve Hovey, whoever you are.

I believe in Politics and the Achenblog

NPR : I Believe In Politics


Every day I anxiously await my lunch break so I can peruse all of my friends' blogs and wait for the next edition of the Achenblog to pop up. I am convinced that Joel Achenbach is the next Dave Barry.
This post is one of my current favorites. Not because it is all that funny, even though it is funny. (Hey Sherpa- does the 'dueling banjos' on backroads sound familiar?) But because I like the NPR article he's talking about.

Expect to start seeing a lot more political posts from me. I have kept away from posting too many political rants on here knowing that my views are very different from many of my friends'. And the fact that I didn't want to alienate 68% of my readers. (Yes, I did the math. I don't know who 68% of my page hits are coming from.) But then I woke up and realized, "This is my blog. I can say whatever I want."

Friends, if you agree or disagree, you are always welcome to state your opinions. Just keep them to the point and factual, and cite credible sources. Passionate crap will be mocked as always.

I think Mark Shields' quote is the best way to officially kick off the opening season of my political rants.

"I believe in politics. In addition to being great fun, politics is basically the peaceable resolution of conflict among legitimate competing interests. I believe in the politics that wrote the GI Bill, that passed the Marshall Plan to rebuild a war-devastated Europe, that saved the Great Lakes and that through Social Security took want and terror out of old age. The kind of politics that teaches us all we owe to those who came before us and those who will come after. That each of us has drunk from wells we did not dig; that each of us has been warmed by fires we did not build."

pictures found on my computer

I was cleaning up the personal files on my work computer today and found the following fun pictures. Just had to share.

I'm too sexy for my car. (But we all knew that already.)

Hanging out with Little G Money last month. (Sorry it took so long to find and post G!)

Two girls who will be happily keeping all of their hair. For more info on what that means, please visit Le Ruby G's blog.
(This picture is not sideways. It is how I was holding the camera when I took the picture. )

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

HBO sucks - Local Politics: Mormon Mitt not �Big� on HBO polygamist series

HBO has brought us some decent programming. It is no secret that I am a huge "Sex and the City" fan (the edited, cleaned-up versions on WB and TBS). I have never seen the "Sopranos" but I hear people like it. However, I can't believe they have stooped so low as to create this new series, "Big Love." It just makes me mad that they are calling up old stereotypes on something so many of us have worked so hard to shed. They have made no attempt to make the situation even close to accurate. A real polygamist family wouldn't be found living so close to mainstream, probably wouldn't be anywhere near as attractive, and most likely would live in either rural Utah or Colorado. But not hanging out in the SLC suburbs. It all just makes me mad. Why can't someone do a real movie/series/something on Mormons that is actually somewhat indicative of who we really are??
All I can say is this- with Mitt Romney running for the GOP nod, and this new series, something tells me all Mormons are in for a lot of new questions in the next year.
(Still have to admit I loved this last paragraph from the article- " “The governor doesn’t have much time to watch TV,” said his spokeswoman, Julie Teer. “But when he does he likes to watch ‘My Name is Earl,’ ‘24’ and ‘Lost.’ ”) Who doesn't love those shows??

Always Think Twice

From Russia, a Royal Infatuation That Misses Its Mark

Note to self: next time check to see which country my beloved lives in before sending a love letter. Sheesh! What was I thinking??

Monday, March 13, 2006

Vote for ? 2008 :: Polls

Its never too soon to start thinking about who you want to see run for President in 2008. In fact, the earlier on you show your support, the better the chance of your candidate getting the nomination. Here's a link to a poll for the GOP race for the nomination.

rambling- give me a sec, i deserve it

I deserve to complain for a minute. Trust me. I'm sure half of Northern Virginia is suffering from severe allergies this week thanks to everything under the sun blooming at once. And while I've had some allergies in my life, I've had nothing like this ever before. I am severely congested, eyes watery, sneezing more than usual (which for anyone who has been in a room with me knows is a LOT of sneezing), and the worst sore throat ever. And then to add insult to injury, the allergy medicine I was taking was messing with my stomach, and causing me to have flu-like symptoms as well. I'm tough. I can handle it. Except that all of Arlington County lost water yesterday (and a lot of today). You try throwing up repeatedly without running water. Its not a pretty experience. Its all so bad that I've broken a blood vessel in my left eye. Who knows what it was that made that happen, but there it is, looking all nasty. Thankfully our water is back on today, except that it smells bad and isn't running clear, and there is no hot water. So we have a stack of dirty dishes, and a toilet that fills up with brownish water. Our a/c isn't turned on by maintenance yet and my little magnet thermometer thing says its over 80 degrees in here. This is the worst way to endure being sick ever. I have at least learned my lesson about having stored water and food that can be prepared without being cooked. I just wish I didn't have to learn it while I can only tolerate fluids. This sucks!!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Out of the Darkness

Out of the Darkness
Maybe it is because I am sick and miserable today, and Arlington County has no water, that I am feeling extra irritable. (You try having the flu when there's no running water!) But this article has me feeling very critical. I think most of you know that Romania is very near and dear to me, and that I have several close Romanian friends. A good portion of this article and accompanying video is based on a family in Targu Mures, not too far from where I stayed in RO. Transylvania is where I worked and stayed during my time there, so reading an article that actually does a decent job of relating the life there, meant a lot to me.

Except that I don't agree fully with the article. It didn't go far enough. And it certainly didn't finish explaining the story. One of my dearest friends returned to RO over Christmas to see her family after a 1.5 year absence, and told me the following. She was heart broken over the poverty happening in her town and family. Because of the EU, prices have already skyrocketed to be equal with other EU countries. But the workers' wages have not skyrocketed. The inflation and poverty levels are staggering. My friend told me how her aunt was unable to come visit her for Christmas because she didn't have appropriate shoes. She only has summer shoes, and could not travel across the country during winter in them. The price of shoes cost more than her monthly wages as a school teacher.

I want to see the Romania get into the EU eventually. I want to see them benefit from better free trade, more exports and imports, better healthcare, etc. But I don't want to see them lose their culture. And I really don't want to see corruption take an even stronger hold there. As much as I want to see the EU in there, I don't think they are ready for it. The people aren't educated enough, the government isn't clean enough, and the mafia is still too strong.

The video and the article make a point about horse-drawn carriages being commonplace in RO. This is so not true. Yes, there are still a few horse-drawn carts and carriages in some of the more rural villages. But there are certainly more cars there. But can you blame them for not wanting to drive their cars with the high costs of petro, repairs, etc? Everyone, and I do mean everyone, relies on the public transportation- the busses, micro-busses, trains, etc., even though they will tell you they do not believe the mass transit to be safe. The mass transit is where you find the pickpockets. Romanians feel safer out of their own country, than they do inside of it. On most trains in Europe it is perfectly acceptable to fall asleep. But you would never consider doing that in RO. Fall asleep for even a minute and you will be stripped clean.

I can't believe this article attempted to defend the Roma, or gypsies as Americans better know them. I won't go into it, but personally, while I try not to be racist or prejudice, I do think most Roma get what they deserve when treated like second class citizens. They do very little that wouldn't be considered pathetic.

In addition to gypsies, horse-drawn carriages, horrible healthcare, even worse dental care, and shortages of every kind, you still have leadership with Communistic upbringing. Although they try to embrace freedom, democracy, etc. they were raised and brainwashed under Communism, and they have not yet forgotten it. In the smaller villages you will still find "troops" or patrols of policemen walking in formations horribly reminiscent of a Communist era. In many little towns they turn off the water during the daytime. Why? Because that is how it was always done before [under Communist rule]. There is no good reason for it, they just do it. Now do you think the family tradition of pig slaughtering and horse-drawn carriages are the problem in Romania?

Romania will greatly benefit from entering the EU- some day. I just hope it doesn't happen for several more years. They need more training, more experience, better leadership, and younger generations coming into power before they will be truly ready for the big leap. I can't help but feel that if they enter now it will be a huge disaster for them.

If you do want to read what I think will help them out, visit the Jiu Valley Romania website.


I'm sick again! Why???? I thought it was just going to be allergies, but no! Its full-blown flu symptoms- AGAIN.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Starting to Grow On Me

One of the perks of going on the hotel lottery tour are the gifts you get. I got a great fleece from Boston PD, a rubber ducky, a filofax, more hotel pens than I can count, and one Boston Red Sox hat. This town is finally starting to grow on me!

Highlights from Boston

The police escort was a definate highlight of the trip. Except for the following incident...

Let's just say, NEVER insult the Red Sox. (Beautiful Johnny Damien was the only reason to watch them before!)

The Boston Creme Pie (check out the Boston skyline cookie) was worth the trip though. (So was the chowder.)

After touring 17 hotels plus special venues, it is easy to forget why you took certain pictures. I have no idea why I took this one. No idea at all. Posted by Picasa

Some parts of the tour I could live without. Such as the live music at the Hilton. Please note the middle aged man in the double breasted suit singing patriotic hymns with an accordian accompianist. Trust me, NOT a selling point. Posted by Picasa

Boston Day 2

Eight hotel inspections in one day. I am officially exhausted. And we still have dinner at Top of the Hub tonight. All I can say is thank heavens for turndown service and housekeeping. I need it today.
Kinda wish I was home for the Thursday Night Dinner Club though. Someone have fun for me.

Ooh- but I will have good pictures to post after dinner tonight.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

one other lesson learned in boston, okay maybe two

Down mattresses, blankets, and pillows may be absolutely divine to sleep on, but can cause complete misery if you discover you are allergic to them. In spite of the most comfortable bed I have ever enjoyed last night, I also had the worst night of sleep in recent memory. So tonight I am surrendering to the sweet side effects of Benadryl and hopefully sleeping in a state nearing unconsciousness. (I am sure the hotel would provide different bedding if I requested it. But please note, in spite of my overwhelming sinus pain, headache, and fever every time I enter my suite, I still think this is the most divine bed I have ever slept on. I'd rather take Benadryl than give up this perfection.)

One other lesson learned today- Boston is rather fanatic about their baseball. I understand hoping that maybe the Red Sox will defeat all odds and curses and go to the World Series again, but let's be real. THEY WON'T. But that doesn't change the fact that Fenway Park will turn down a well-paying event just on the pathetic off chance the Sox will be in the playoffs/Series and be playing a home game on the one day I want to rent a special events room out in October. (Note to self: Never roll eyes, and say, "yeah, like that's really going to happen" to a fenway rep ever again.)

Boston- Day 1.5

I'm in Boston thoroughly enjoying the IACP Hotel Lottery Tour, also known as the Biggest Boondoggle Ever. The IACP conference is a huge trade show my company attends every year. The actual show isn't until October, but the work starts now. This week we are the guests of the Greater Boston Visitors Bureau and are touring all of the hotels available to us. Seventeen hotels, plus "special event venues" in 2.5 days. Last night kicked it off with a fancy reception at the Convention Center and dinner in Fanueil Hall. I had clam chowder at the oldest restaurant in the US. Boston Clam Chowder really is better than all other chowders. Today we toured six hotels and we still have the Hampshire House to get to for a reception. I'm exhausted! And so stuffed full of food I can't even imagine eating more at the reception tonight. They started us off with a wonderful breakfast, and then we got cookies at two different Doubletrees (including one that specializes in Feng Shui decorating), drinks at every location, a lunch at the Seaport (including the funkiest spinach-mushroom-cheese-oil salad ever), and then "make your own trail mix" at the Marriott. Plus some hotel sent us home with apple plum tarts that I haven't opened yet. I may never eat again!
Last year I did this tour in Miami, and I have to admit, Boston isn't Miami by a long shot. Last year every hotel greeted us with champagne, strawberries, and gifts out by the beach. Here they just hustle us in out of the freezing cold winds. But Boston has provided us with a police escort for our buses every where we go. Which isn't helping me gauge distance to the convention center in traffic, but is getting us everywhere much faster. And of course, all those motorcycle cops in their cute tight pants and boots don't hurt much either.
All in all, good trip so far. But haven't fallen in love with any particular hotel like I did in Miami. Once I see something worth posting a picture of, I'll be sure to post it!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Naturally Seductive?

Your Seduction Style: The Natural
You don't really try to seduce people... it just seems to happen.
Fun loving and free spirited, you bring out the inner child in people.
You are spontaneous, sincere, and unpretentious - a hard combo to find!
People drop their guard around you, and find themselves falling fast.

Treehouse Camping

The Treehouse Camp, Gapland, Maryland

I'm so happy. The time has finally come for me to spend some quality time with my camping gear again. I have missed it so! And I get to fulfill a little childhood dream and camp in a treehouse! What could be cooler?!?!

Sidenote: I'm off to Boston for 4 days tomorrow. Be back on Friday. May or may not have time to post while I am gone. Next week I have a trade show in Arlington, so I'll be treating it like I'm on the road. (And then I'm going treehouse camping.) The following week I'm going to be home- sort of. I'll be "hanging out" with my baby sister, who refuses to let me call it babysitting. And then the next week I'll be in Little Rock. The week after that I will be in Ft Bragg. And then I will need to take a nap. Such is the life of a frequent flyer miles queen.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Good on Paper...

The past few weeks have brought several new guys in to my little world. (I'd venture to say too many guys, but really, that would be a lie. You can never have too many guys.) So I've been thinking about something I call "Good on Paper Guys." These are the guys that if you were to pick a boyfriend solely based on his dating resume would make it to your short stack and called in for an interview. I've met several of these guys recently. They look great on paper, particularly if they are required to attach a photo. But then you meet them... Some continue to be great, some let you know that they believe themselves to be great on paper, and others remind you that anyone can pad a resume. Which is why the interview is so important, right? And why we don't allow our mothers to arrange our marriages.
One particular new friend really qualifies as "Good on Paper" (hereby to be called "GOP men.") He has a good job, interesting career, nice home, nice car, disposable income, he's talented, smart, interesting, funny, etc. And his photo is worth keeping under your pillow. And I can tell you from firsthand experience, he passes the interview. Unfortunately, he knows this and therefore, loses points for cockiness, and for his complete, total, horrifying inability to commit.
Then there is guy #2, equally qualified as the previous candidate. He seems to know his resume will get passed around, but isn't pompous about it. Instead he earns 3-pointers for his humility. The problem with him? Every girl in town wants to interview him. To his credit, he appears to be willing to interview everywhere. But the waiting time to get in with him is just so long that you have to wonder if he's worth the wait.
I've met a few guys that come highly recommended and look decent on paper, but don't jump out at you. I've had some fun with these guys lately. (All a part of the New Years goal to broaden my horizons.) I've made some new friends this way, but the truth of it still stands. They aren't the candidate I was looking for.
But then there are the GOPMen who interview horribly. You think they are going to be perfect. You get your hopes up. You are ready to make a very high starting offer, but then... No! They either don't show up for the interview, reject the request for the interview, or just plain bomb the interview. Sometimes you are still even willing to give them a second chance. True chemistry can take time and practice. But no matter what you do you can't get past it. And it is so frustrating, because they were so well qualified on paper. Your heart is broken over something that doesn't really exist. And you have to throw the resume away, and look at the other candidates, which is next to impossible because their credentials just don't add up! Part of you knows that you just have to forget they existed, burn the resume, hit the delete key, erase your memory, and move on. Give the other candidates their fair chance. But part of you knows that your heart can't really ever forget anything. Can it? No matter how good or bad the other candidates look on paper... - Fugitive dad leaves sick son on dialysis - Mar 3, 2006 - Fugitive dad leaves sick son on dialysis - Mar 3, 2006
I hope this man burns in hell. Or dies from injuries in a horrible car accident because of indecent medical care in a sub-par Mexican hospital. He deserves nothing more.

Working Girl

Recently, I've been picking up work as a background extra on various projects. In the past month or so I've worked on 3 different m...

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