Thursday, July 12, 2012

Protecting Possessions

When we were away the other weekend, someone kicked in the corner of our garage door.  We are unsure if it was bored teenagers or an attempted break-in.  There were 3-5 other garages damaged in the exact same way the same weekend.

I was discussing this with Marc's brother who is visiting from England. He's 17.  His commentary on it reminded me of my little brother's attitude: let's get guns to protect our house.

Really?  Why?  Despite the NRA pushing these horrible Stand Your Ground laws.  Doing so makes no sense.  We have insurance.  And what material goods are worth risking your life over, even without insurance?  Yes, it is wrong of someone to take them and I'm not advocating that you leave your doors unlocked.  Instead I'm questioning this American need to defend one's home and castle.

I'd throw myself in harms way to protect my son - of course.  But take a bullet to for my flat screen TV? No thank you! And guns in the house are so dangerous to the occupants. If you keep them safely - ie in a gun safe in an out of the way area, they aren't going to be available to you when facing a burglar. So do you risk your family's safety to protect against a hypothetical burglar?

None of this makes sense. And then we see the loss of life of the poor teen in Florida at the extreme.  He wasn't even breaking into a house, he was just walking in the wrong neighborhood.  Funny how, what is the "right" neighborhood for people with my skin tone is the "wrong" neighborhood for minorities.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Spam Comments

I know I haven't written much lately. But I haven't been to the gym either. This whole working mother thing is really cutting into my life style.

However, I can't quite forget my blog, as I keep getting these people trying to post comments, which in turn reminds me that I'm neglectful and need to post. I really should work on writing, as emails do not exercise one's writing abilities, even if 90% of my day is reading and writing email. But I digress.
I should be grateful, the comments are positive. However, they always seem to note how, "very informative" my writing is. Now, this was said about my last posting. That would be the post about how I wasn't the best with customer service. I guess you could consider it informative about my character flaws, yet I have the sense that isn't quite what they mean.
Today's comment:
These articles are fantastic, The information you show us is interesting for everybody and is really good written, very informative. It’s just nice! continue posting. Thanks!
I'm also curious as to what information I'm showing. These posts are anecdotes and opinion pieces, not DIY instructions.
I shouldn't be ungrateful. Thank you for being my cheerleader, even if your cheer at my basketball game is, "First & 10 - Do it Again!"

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

I Should not be in Customer Service??

I just recounted the following to my husband, only to be told that I shouldn't get a job in customer service.
I get a email requesting a renewal of equipment that reached its End of Life (EOL) 12/31/10 from a company other than the one that shows up in our files. We'll call that company, Company B. We do not support gear that is 2nd hand, as it is too expensive to certify that it has not been tampered with. Never fun to let a customer know that what they have just purchased is a several thousand dollar door stop.
The customer says that they got the box from their partner company, Company A. I can't find anything on the web that links Company A with Company B, as often is the case with mergers & spin-offs. Also Company A is in San Jose, California and Company B is in Vancouver. Also, Company A already upgraded away from the EOL hardware.
All signs point to a 2nd hand sale with the new customer aware of the "we don't re-license used hardware policy". They have called support and asked to get the box reset. Support has told them they cannot unless they get the box reassigned to their name. I'm telling them that we don't re-license boxes and that the right Account Manager would be happy to quote new equipment. They haven't liked our message of, "we won't support that box in any way, we'd be happy to sell you new hardware."
Despite this not being my territory, and my attempts at being clear about their options, Company B is still calling me.
Today's call:
"I spoke with support and they won't let me reset the box."
"No, they won't, as the box is EOL and we cannot support it."
"But I just want it reset. I don't need it to be supported. Why can't I just get it activated?"
"If you activate it, then you're likely to call support for assistance."
"Why would I do that?"
"Well, haven't you already called support about the box?"
That last statement popped his bubble and he just asked for the name and number of the Account Manager. I'm hoping that is my last call with the customer. I'm thinking they might feel the same way.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Science Experiment

I've decided to do a follow-up study to R Soussignan's discoveries regarding how smiling causes an uplift in mood.

Having further meditated on my dissatisfaction with my recent photos (see my last post), I think I also find that I don't look happy enough in pictures. When not posed, candid shots have recently found me with some pretty unpleasant expressions - revulsion, disdain, annoyance. I don't associate those emotions with myself, and feel my photos should not reflect feelings I don't think I feel. I want the photos to reflect to reflect my inner peace, unfortunately that may already be the case.

Back to my cunning plan; Instead of spending endless hours in therapy or meditation, I think I have a quick fix to some of my internal turmoil woes. I have been reflecting on the nature of the body and emotions. I believe it to be a two way street. Not only will I try to smile more - I'll channel that Buddha half smile at all time - I will release the tension from my shoulders.

While getting a massage a few years back the therapist told me that she has be trying to get my shoulders to relax and move away from my ears. According to her, every time she pushed my shoulders down, they popped right back up again. I thought it odd and now, I am SO much more tranquil and told the story to my massage therapist last week. She confirmed that my shoulders still like to creep up to my ears.

So, I've decided to spend a week or two consciously putting more space between the ears and shoulders. I expect this to impact my mood. No more sourpuss photos - just beauty and joy. Much cheaper than a face lift and less effort than finding zen.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Right before I went on my first jog in 2 weeks I took a look at the photos that Marc had uploaded of our trips to England, Italy and Napa. I really didn't enjoy seeing myself. I recall thinking that I was photogenic when I was younger - even into my mid-20's. But now, in my mid-30's, I feel like every photo catches me at a bad angle.

As I pumped my arms and pushed through that 3rd mile at my 11 minute/mile pace. I envisioned myself thinner. What would I look like 40 lbs lighter? I haven't weighed that little since middle school. Would the loss of those pounds suddenly make me look like a celebrity? Would it fix mt stray hairs? Improve my make-up & wardrobe choices?

Coming down the final stretch, I realized that I might be looking for something in the photos that isn't there - the me of 10 years ago. I get compliments about my appearance, so I can't be as ugly as I see myself. And it dawned on me, the photos might look like a woman in her 30's rather than in her 20's. Not much I can do about that.

Not much chance that I'll get those extra 40 lbs off in the next year. I'm hoping to be pregnant in another 3 months and Marc doesn't let me diet when pregnant or nursing - something about not starving the baby. Maybe by the time I'm 40 I'll have the body I did when I was 15.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I put off parenthood for a long time. Aside from the standard need to get established in the world, followed by finding the right person to breed with, there exists other internal resistance to parenthood. However, the desire for something new breached the egocentric levee with no dutch boy to plug the dyke.

Having a baby stretches my ego the same way a new yoga pose expands muscles long contracted. No longer am I in the spotlight of my own life, instead I'm sharing it with a egocentric human fragment. As my mother's life before me was merely a conceptual haze, so must mine be to Sebastian. Photos of parents, their stories and past couldn't be possible, as the child wasn't there to witness it. My mother exists as only my mother, having been delivered as an adult the same time as me. A picture of her graduating high school seems like a film still. She beams from behind her cat-eye glasses, topped off with the bouffant hair, so eager to go off to college. No, my mother was born with long straight hair and hippy clothes. I Look at Sebastian, and my own photos, my own life fades and discolors. Photos of enchanted college years crystallize; the magical moments dulling into a display of funny clothes and odd choices of interior design.

The child in me wants to scream at him, to validate her experiences: there were times without cell phones, tablet computers and cable TV. In college, I inked letters, stamped them and mailed them to my high school friends. During my year in Italy, I had no email. The world changed and I was a part of it.

My thirteen pound baby absorbs the spotlight and leaves me in the shadows. He now dictates my outfits (nursing tops), when I sleep (when he does), when I change clothes (when they are soaked by baby effluence), what I eat (5-7 servings of organic fruits & veg), what I do drink (water) and what I do not (caffeine & excessive amounts of alcohol). I cannot let him out of my sight without first finding someone else to mind him. No longer will I be running off to the circus or Ibiza or the store without thinking of what will happen to Baz.

Magic moments come when he smiles and sleeps. It took 36 years to get my life just right. The right job, the right income, the resources to do what I wanted when I wanted to do it. I finally sated the child in me. Now I've got the child outside of me to sate.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Political Hostage Taking

Lately I've had a hard time with the news. I cannot stand to see what they are doing in Washington. I appalled that so many in Congress are OK with balancing our budget on the backs of the poor, infirm and elderly. This society is better than that - giving the Millionaires tax cuts while fighting a needless war in Iraq and reducing money for programs that give food to poor children.

What annoys me the most are the Tea Party's refusal to compromise. I'm not keen on compromise, I'd like to see Society run my way. However, I realize that not all Americans would support my Utopia. Thus we need to compromise; give & take. We can make changes to medicare AND increase taxes on those making over $1M. But the Tea Party won't budge.

The Tea Party has a Utopian vision of a Federal Government who's primary concern is that of American business. Fewer than 20 of the CEO's of Fortune 500 being anything other than White & Male. They feel the government shouldn't provide a safety net providing for the poor, the infirm and the old. Their ideology, as ideology always does, comes at the price of taking food from poor children, denying care to the sick and allowing the old to suffer. There is a lack of education funding, and thus no investment in the next generation. The driving force is, I want what I want and I want it now. Damn everyone else.

But like all ideologies - from The French Revolution to every attempt to implement Communism, their ends justify their means. No compromise is acceptable. Too bad if others want to live under different rules. Too bad if other citizens would like to see their money go to Planned Parenthood instead of wars. Their intransigent behavior riles me.

Why does the Catholic who is against abortion get to say that no money can go to Planned Parenthood? While my beliefs as a non-denominational spiritualist, don't get to halt my tax dollars from going to pay for these wars that violate all my morals?

As it is, we all pull together and we allot funds and taxes in an imperfect manner. It is a terrible system, yet better than all the others that have existing so far on this planet. Get with the program Tea Party. We compromise here and suffer no tyrants.