Friday, July 30, 2010

Under the weather

Got the creeping crud while up north visiting family last week.
Been fighting this all week and I am now seriously down for the count.


See you all soon....in the mean time laugh with David Sedaris again.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Don't Speed.

In Northern VA if you get a traffic ticket and don't pay on time they send you a very nice letter in the mail to inform you that your license has been suspended. 
If you pay your fine late then you must bring your receipt to the DMV and show them that you have paid so that they can reinstate your drivers license.

This is what happened to my husband. 
He left the ticket in his work veheicle.
If he had brought it into the house I would have paid it. 
Yet, somehow this event became my fault. Hmm...imagine that.

After reading his mail last week he looked at me and said, "Didn't you ever pay my ticket?"
I had no idea what the hell he was talking about but apparently my tone really fired him up.
He went to my desk and began moving things around and well that didn't make me happy shall we say.
After he turned my neat desk into a small mess he asked, "What did you do with the ticket?"
Again I say, "I never saw your ticket Richard."
Yes, formal names are now being used.....I'm pissed.
I suggest he look in his work truck.

He goes outside and imagine my surprise when he comes in holding his ticket.
He mumbles something like, "Sorry I'm just a big ole jerk aren't I?  Because you are the omnipotent one and I should always listen to you." 
Yea, he said something like that.

I immediately pay the ticket online and now he has to go to the DMV which really makes the big bear grumble.  I chuckle because I know I don't want to go to the DMV to sit for hours.
Thankfully this isn't my problem because I was not the one caught speeding for once.
And I didn't leave it in his truck.  It is just my fault you see.

Now here in northern VA we can renew our license online. 
No new pictures need to be taken  just fill out the paper work and they will use the current photo on your license. 
They will then mail you your new license that is no longer in color but it has all these halograms and such as well as the photo from 1997. 
Odd to me but that is what they do. 
And since he had more hair in 1997 he didn't mind keeping that photo.

But when he got to the DMV they grabbed his license quickly and cut it up. 
They told him he had to have a new license now that he was in there in person. 
He explained that he just got this one in May 2010. 
Doesn't matter if you show up you have to go by the new laws invoked since 9/11.
The cheery people who work there instructed Rick where to go next to get his photo taken.

The DMV "happy" people told Rick to take off his glasses. 
No photo's can be taken with glasses.
Because he was working he had on a baseball cap with company logo. 
They made him take the hat off as well.  So now he has "hat head" oh so attractive! 
They tell him he can NOT smile or show teeth only stare at the camera. 
They ask him to open his eyes more, real wide they yell - then click! 

The result is so horrendous I begged to have him allow me to put it up on my blog.
He will not. 
After all those funny mustache and swim trunk pictures he draws the line at this apparently.

He looks like a deranged serial killer for sure. 
His hair is all funky, his eyes are opened very wide like he is on coke or some such drug.
His head is in a position where he looks like he is listening to the voices in his head. 
Honest to God if you saw this man you would run for your life. 
I took one look at this picture and about peed my pants.

This alone will make me honor the speed limit. 
I do not want to have my photo taken like this!
Apparently this is how they spot terrorists....yea right.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Story of Old Age Eyes

Once upon a time when I was a young girl I had wonderful distance vision.
My sight was 20-14. 
I could read things blocks and blocks away while driving down the street.
But I wore reading glasses since the age of 14. Crazy wasn't it?

Then I turned 40 and I remember saying to Rick that I can't see very far anymore.
He began to tease me and tell me it was old age etc.
Rick did not wear glasses and he found this all so humorous.

I went to have an eye exam and I could no longer read the bottom line or the small print below it that said where it was made as before.

The doctor confirmed to me that I was indeed correct, I couldn't see as far as I have in the past.
My vision was now 20-20 so the good news was I didn't need glasses but I needed to make my reading glasses stronger. 

Rick went to have his eyes exam shortly after and not only did the old fart need them for reading but he needed them ALL the time for distance.  So much for teasing me now old man!  That's karma isn't it?

Fast forward a decade and I am 50.
I could not longer read my new AARP card that arrived so off to the eye doctor I go. 
I told her how seeing the computer was becoming more difficult.
She told me that I also needed them a little bit for distance, for computer and for reading.
Wow.  What a difference that decade made.  Holy Shit.

Today I just have trouble seeing period!
Far, close, arms length - you name it I can't see it.
Honestly braille may be something I have to learn next. 
I am deteriorating rapidly it appears.
Tell me again why Oprah says 50 is great?
'Cause the bitch can afford Lasik I suppose. 
Why didn't my eyes fall apart before I was downsized and my corporate insurance paid for Lasik? 

Now I know a lot of you will tell me you can get your Lasik for only $99 an eye or some such cheap price. 
Honestly discounts for eye surgery is not where you need to save money or use coupons. 
These are my eyes. 
I don't think shopping for discounts for my eyes is a way to go.
Besides if I am spending money on my eyes it will be for plastic surgery.
Lift those lids.








I think I mentioned here that I accidentally threw my eye glasses away over Memorial Day and have been using some old ones from the 90's which aren't as helpful as one would think.
Yesterday I went to have my eyes examined and to get some answers.
I wasn't sure if I wanted glasses or contacts or to  learn braille if I needed to so that I can see or read. 

I opted for contacts.
They were just a bit more than glasses. Not much though and that surprised me.
Having never worn glasses full time I find there is an adjustment curve.
Now add in contacts and I realize there is a lot to think about before going on with my day.
Who knew?

So I now have contacts that are for distance, computer, and reading. 
There are circles in my contacts for each thing. 
While I don't understand this completely I do see that it works.
My doctor told me that it will take up to 2 weeks for my brain to adjust and I see how it's better today than yesterday so we'll see.

Putting them in and taking them out hasn't been all that difficult like I thought it would be. 
However last night my allergies really kicked in. 
They have only been hovering and then last night BAM.
Normally this doesn't start until August but apparently it's close enough for my allergies. 
Today I have a very very sore throat, cough, post nasal drip and my eyes are itchy. 
I was to wear these contacts 4 hrs yesterday and 6 today and I want them out so I can rub my eyes. 
Bad thing is that I don't have my new glasses yet. 
So if I do take them out to rub my eyes I will be unable to see and have to go back to the 1990's eye glasses. 

All of this is just too much.
I just want to be able to see damn it.

That young girl in the photo's yesterday never realized how good she had it.
She just got up and went on with life.

Someone call Oprah for me - I need to tell her that 50 is not so awesome for we little people.
I think that's a full episode for her fall line up.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

70's Picture-palooza

Going home is always stressful for me. 
First the drive.  Then of course the family dynamics.
While I love my family it can be difficult and some days that is an understatement.
My Dad being older now he is very mellow and that sure is easier.
But at the same time it's sad to see him like this as well.

This trip was so much more light hearted.
What I find interesting in this whole thing is how we were all there at the same time and we all have different memories of a situation.
My reality could be completely different than a sisters reality of the same exact situation.
I would love to know the why, the how and what that all means.
But I suppose I need a therapist for that.

My sister Pam and I were the only 2 kids when our mom died.
She was so young (10) and she doesn't have the memories that I do.
Pam and I normally are the least close of all the sisters. We are oil and water.
But this weekend she was so easy to be around. 
As my sister Jennifer said, "maybe she's mellowing with age"
Whatever it was she wasn't defensive and she wasn't snarky to anyone of us.
But as all of us spoke about this situation in a photo or that one we all remembered something a little bit different and I really find that fascinating.  When I said that to all my sisters they laughed and said, "Only you would find that interesting like a science project when the rest of us don't even notice it!"
So it goes to show you that it's true, when you go home you revert to who you are in the pecking order of your family!

Here are some of the photo's from the 70's that made my sisters and I all laugh.
I will take you right through the 90's. 
You have to promise not to make fun of me - I know the hairstyles and the clothes are damn funny though.  The 80's were not good to me!

This is Pam and myself one Christmas morning and that little bald head in the bottom right hand corner is our new sister from our new mom and our dad. As you can see I am not a happy person in the morning - nothing has changed.  Yes those are big ass rollers on the top of my head.  Check out Pam's "Mrs. Carol Brady" hair do.  She took a lot of shit this past Saturday about that look.
This is my cousin Betsy and I in 1970. Check out the poster!













I can't believe I am putting this photo into the universe.
I will have to find one to counter balance but it is funny I will admit that.
I think I had the "Rachel" before the real Rachel did. 
Someone should have removed the tweezers from my hands for God's sake I plucked them to nothing! (15 yrs old here) I have skinny and not straight eyebrows here. Oh my.
You can stop laughing now!


These are my 2 youngest sisters. 
Ann Marie is the toddler and  Jennifer is the baby. 
I am 17 yrs old here. When I took these two places everyone assumed I was their mother.  
I remember this picture being taken yet I can't remember where the hell  I put my purse or my cell phone at any given moment.  How does that happen?

Off of me for a moment PLEASE.
This is my favorite Uncle, Uncle Angelo and his wife Ruthie.
This is my favorite Grandma, a.k.a.Grandma C who you can read about here.
Love Grandma C!
Uncle Ange and my Dad are brothers and never without a cigar in the 70's.

Back to narcisstic me.....Why in the hell would I wear a shirt like this? 
I don't remember owning it. 
I think I may have blocked out that time of my life for such poor taste. 
I don't know who these kids are which I find hysterical.
And I wish I didn't know the girl in the stupid shirt with the flipped back hair on the sides.
Maybe it's not me but someone who looks like me.  Yea, I'm sticking with that.

Okay I am going to leave you today with a set of 4 and then an old wedding photo. 
(We will visit the 80's later this week.)
It is my guess here that it was my 19th birthday.
My high school sweetheart and now ex husband bought me this opal ring which I wanted so badly.
He first surprised me by coming home for my birthday (he was in the minor leagues then) 
He then surprised me with this gift which as you can see from these dorky pictures I so loved! This was my last year at my parents.

And now to end the decade this below is 1979
That hat!  The whole thing!
I have no words.


That's all for now folks.....I've bored you all enough for today.
Now damn it, stop the laughing!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Back to our Regularly Scheduled Program....

I made it to Pennsylvania with a boat load of coffee.
I checked into my hotel, washed my face because driving that long makes me feel icky and I collapsed on the sofa and I was out like a light.  Coffee and all.  My husband finds that amazing.  I'm telling you driving does this to me.

I got to see a good girl friend for lunch on Friday afternoon and it was fun but too short.
Then it was family, family, and more family.

My sister Stephanie who had been there for a week was in control mode.
She came in and told my mom what she was going to do while there.
They went through the attic and purged.
They went through all the things in the basement and purged.
But in these areas items were grouped together of boxes and items sorted by daughter.

We all went through our stuff and laughed and made ourselves feel old.
One afternoon we looked through so many photo's that I couldn't take much more.
But oh how we laughed.  The clothes, the hair styles, and all Christmas photo's in our nightgowns and crazy morning hair.

My sister Pam had the craziest hair do's.  Mullets, perms, shags, boy cuts. 
At one point she picked up a picture and just shook her head and said, "this is just sad why didn't someone do an intervention?"  
Probably because I had some bad ass perms myself.
I looked ridiculous with that frizzy look!

Then there is my sister Jennifer. 
She is so damn cute and being the youngest we all give her grief.
She is 37. 
When she was a baby she was not so cute.
I know that sounds mean but really, she wasn't so cute.
In fact our Aunt and Uncle approached my parents because they thought something was wrong with her.  Poor Jen!  My mother cried.  She thought she was beautiful.
Well the jokes on us because now she is so pretty inside and out!

Her daughter was looking through this with us and she kept saying, "what's wrong with you mom?"  And that of course would throw we sisters into a fit of giggles.
Jen put it best, I looked bad, then good, then bad again and now it is what it is. Which is Great the little shit!

Stephanie has had her share of bad hair styles and glasses that were the size of her face.
Literally there is a picture of her and all you see are these big glasses that go down to her check bones.  I think those were from the early 80's.  She was real young and those glasses were ridiculous.  Thank goodness she got contacts when she got older!

I will posting some pictures this week.
These are too funny not to share.

My Dad on the other hand gave us all a scare.
He is so small and frail looking now compared to the big imposing figure he once was.
We girls and their kids all piled into my SUV to go to the beach for a break.
My father was on his riding mower when we hear a strange noise and then my mother scream out back.  We all got out of the car and ran to the back of the house.
My father who was on his mower hit the swing/gym set in the back and the mower flipped throwing him and gasoline everywhere.  The way that the mowers tire hit the pole of the gym set it got caught.  Thankfully it did because other wise it would have landed on my father and who knows what would have happened.

My father was more embarressed than anything. 
His pride and stubborness kept him from saying that it scared him or that he was hurt.
My nephew and niece right sided the mower back on it's 4 wheels. 
I began to hose off the gasoline as my sister got a bucket of soap and water to be sure we had it all off.  We took the keys away from my father.
My nephew mowed the lawn.  The lawn that didn't even need mowed I might add.
Honestly when I get to be 82 will I be like this? 
Another reason they need to down size. 
They shouldn't be doing all this lawn maintenance.
They have a big yard for them. 
At 82 you don't need to deal with a 1/2 acre you know?
He was bruised and by Sunday his bruising showed.  But he was okay thank goodness.

I have to get caught up with my life and I'll be back with photo's to make you all laugh at me!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Out of Service

I'm heading north for a few days to visit the family. 
My sister from the west coast will be there with her family.
So all 5 of the sisters will be in town at the same time.
Should be crazy.

I am going up alone and I admit the 6-6 1/2 hour drive is daunting to me.
I am like a baby in the car. 
You all know those babies/toddlers that are screaming and as soon as you get them in the car they relax and fall asleep? 
That is me.
That poses a slight problem when I must drive.
I could sleep for 2 straight days but immediately upon getting in a car for any length of time I must put my head back and nap.
I am leaving tomorrow at noon so nothing but a light lunch if any at all so that I won't add anymore reasons to want a nap other than being in the car.

My sister from the west, better known as Stephanie, is already there.
I spoke to her 2 days ago and heard about all the work we have ahead of us.
Yard work, sprucing up the house, things that our parents are having a hard time doing these days.  I told her to get busy so by the time I get there they are almost done.
It looks like another Advil week.
But it will be great to see all my nieces and nephews as well as my folks.
(yeah, talk to me about this when I get home!)

So many of you out in blog land talk about being writers and the hope to be published one day.   
I thought of you all when I saw this link in the newspaper the other day.
This page will ask you to put some of your work in the area designated.
It can be the novel you are working on, a blog entry etc.
It will tell you the author you are most like in terms of writing style.
It's just for fun.

I am not a writer as we all know, but thought that might be fun to leave you.
I posted several blog posts on the site and found it interesting.
So I thought all you writers out there may get a giggle out of it as well.
So I leave you this link today.
Enjoy! I'll be back next week.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday Random Notes

Blogger is determined to piss me off every chance they get.
I went to sign in this morning and it told me I had to have a new blogger sign in and password or link via my old sign in.
Either way I needed to begin with my current username.
I put my username in and it tells me it is wrong, no such username exists.
To access this they ask me to put in my email address and they will email me my username. 
My username is my email address.
They send me my email address which I was just told didn't exist.  Aargh!!!
Somehow I got in but if there is a link in someones blog I can not access it without having to sign in again.  I try and it says I don't exist.  .
But I can not upload any photo's here today and that made me scrap what I was writing to bitch about random items. I am so frustrated right now

I have been watching a lot of HBO documentaries lately.
Last night I watched Lucky.
What a sad movie.
Not sad in My Sisters Keeper type of sad.
But sad that the majority of the people who won a large lottery really couldn't cope with what came with it. 
I found it very interesting on so many levels.
The jealousy, the envy, the paranoia, and the inability to enjoy it all.
My biggest question is always the same - Why do you go public? 
You can be anonymous. Everyone then knows and wants a piece of it and worse yet feels you owe it to them. 

They did show 2 very different people who each had won a large amount of money in their state lottery. 
These 2 continue to have money and make their money work for them.
They both live a better life for themselves and their family. 
They couldn't be more different but it is working for them in their way.
It wasn't easy for either of them to learn to live with the wealth.
It got Rick and I talking about some of the issues these people had to deal with and wondered if we could cope.
I would so very much like to find out!

Last night my boyfriend had on Jeffrey Dean Morgan who is a cutie patootie to me.
I would love to be this woman with these two on either side....a nice sandwich shall we say.





I am leaving you with this ecard that I found hysterical.

Monday, July 19, 2010

How Did I Not Know About This?

I have become the person who cooks in the household but only under protest.
As I have mentioned before it has always been my husbands job to feed us.
Cooking has never been one of my favorite things

When I first met Rick he asked if my last name was Italian.
I nodded yes and he said, “Oh you must be a great cook”
“No, but I’m a great eater”
So he knew the drill from the very 1st day he met me that I was better at cream puffs than a meal.

To me creams puffs can be a meal but for some reason he claims to want what he refers to as Sustenance...oh please have a cream puff!

I am also a big reader and believe it or not I love to read cookbooks.
Which comes in handy because Rick loves to buy them.
So how the hell did this book ever escape my radar???

This book is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this week. 


In the newspaper this morning I read the following, “ This book is for those of us who want to fold our big dishwater hands around a dry Martini instead of a wet flounder, come the end of the day," wrote Peg Bracken, a columnist and author.

(C'mon you guys this is my long lost twin and she even has the same name!)

The article went on to say that the author was "Practical to a fault, she offered simple, tasty meals that could be prepared quickly. Frozen vegetables were a staple. She appeared in Birds Eye ads as everywoman."

So I think this is going to be a new cookbook I am going to get.
This time though it will not be to just read and point out to Rick what he should make.
There may actually be things in there for me to try and even conquer.

I am struggling with something to make for dinner these days.
I grilled chicken breasts and then chopped them and made chicken salad.
Stuffed that chicken salad into big beautiful tomatoes and topped with cheese and baked them yesterday.  They were yummy and light.  Perfect with a glass of wine I must say. 

But here we are another day and another damn meal.
Oh God how did June Cleaver do this? (in heels and pearls no less!)
I think a pint of Ben & Jerry can constitute a meal....Rick doesn't agree though.
He may be on his own tonight while I give in to Ben and Jerry.
So hopefully this book will have some great easy recipes for we who are challenged at cooking. 

In the mean time I made a kick ass cheesecake this weekend.
No calories - I'm that good.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Tips

It may seem as though I am having a rant week but I don’t mean this to sound that way.

Talking to a friend about her massage and she asked how much to tip her masseuse.
That got us in a conversation about all the tipping that is EXPECTED.
She and I discussed the stress of the expected tip and all that goes along with it.

Now before you start yelling at me hear me out.
I was a waitress while in school for several years.
It truly was one of my all time favorite jobs.
Wait staff get paid way below minimum wage so tipping is essential and everyone knows that is why one tips them.
However it has come to the point where there is a tip jar everywhere these days and everyone has their hands out.

Here are a few of my tip pet peeves.
My hairdresser who makes a six figure income and works 4 days a week gets tips.
Why?
Please understand that I don’t begrudge her pay, she deserves it because she is very very good and she has a wait list of 6 weeks to get into see her.
She does not take new clients unless one leaves her or dies.
She considers herself a professional yet she expects tips.
I do not tip my dentist when he does a great job so why am I tipping her?
But boy oh boy I sure do tip because I don’t want to have Elmo red hair or a bad cut.
It feels like peer pressure and I have to. I do it because I HAVE TO.
Having to do something never makes me a happy gal.

When I lived in Ohio in the 80's I went to a hair salon that had a sign up front that said, "We do not accept tips.  We are professionals.  Do you tip your dentist?"
Exactly!


But the way our society is set up we have to tip everyone today.
Should I be tipping my doctor when she cured me? 
Was a thank you enough?  Were my thousands of dollars enough?

My friend paid $120 for her massage.
She wanted to know if the tip should be 20% or more like you would wait staff or a hairdresser.
I honestly didn't know what to tell her. 
I just do 20% but I didn't know what society thought was the proper amount.

The masseuse is a professional why are we tipping professionals who make a working wage?
So where does this stop? Dentist? Doctor? Mechanic? Plumber? Teachers?

I read a good book recently should I send the author 20% of the cost of my hard cover because I was so engrossed in the book I was taken away from my life for hours at a time?

No one tipped me when my clients were happy with their sign on bonus. It was my job!
So why do I have to tip the barista at Starbucks because he made my coffee correctly?
He's paid to do that.

I had a wonderful boss who was originally from Ireland and now living in Manhattan.
We were all at a conference in a Midwest city and the group was being shuttled from our hotel to our restaurant for the evening.
We all were getting money out for the driver and our boss went bonkers.
He said that we American’s are tipping for every damn thing.
It was his job to drive us there and he was being paid for this by our company so why must we tip him?
He just said everything I always think ….only where I still tip, he refused to do so.
He went off on the tipping of hotel maids, the man who puts your bag on the hotel shuttle van, the cab driver who takes you where you need to go.
He felt that these people were just doing their jobs and we American’s were bloody nuts!
I couldn’t have agreed more....but I tipped.  What the hell is wrong with me?

I am a great tipper when it comes to my wait staff.
Normally much more than 20% because if done well and they only get $2.00/hr they deserve it. I did it for years and I know it's not an easy job.

But I admit my tipping for a hairdresser and other professionals is done only because I have to not because I want to. I begrudgingly give the obligatory 20% and leave it at that.

I know, I know, you are all thinking I am a tight wad. That's okay.
But don't worry you can still tip me and make yourself feel better and you'll show me won't you?
If you like my posts I expect a tip….you can send American Express gift cards to my email if you are at a loss of what to give.  I accept cash in the mail too.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

NOT a wordless Wednesday

I need to vent a bit today so off I go.

I am bombarded with sales calls.
I was in sales for more years than I care to share.
That makes me want to hear them out and be polite but they don't make it easy when they are dumb and lazy.

To me sales is about a couple of major things.
1. Listening!
2. Showing value in your product to fill their need.

I also believe that if you really listen and see that your product probably isn’t a good fit for this company then you need to move on, do not push them or strong arm them.
There are people who need what you have and you need to do your homework and find them.

I also feel strongly about doing your homework before you go knocking on someone’s door.
Here is an example of the poor sales people that have been pursuing our company to advertise with them.

First they call and just start talking.  No introduction just speed talking so fast I can neither understand them or get a word in edgewise while they are spewing incorrect facts.

This young man was telling me things like, “Since you don’t have a website….”
Which of course is news to me and our web designer.
We do have a website and it’s all over the internet on Bing, Google, MSN and Yahoo etc.
We pay for all those spots on the internet so I should know.

This person went on and on and finally I had to say loudly to be heard, “please slow down and catch your breath.”
He laughed assuming I was being nice and funny.
I was just being polite so he would shut up.
While I know it is mean to use these people as sport for myself I just can’t help myself.
So I go on with my charade.

I then said that we did have a website so I did not need their services of building us one but thank you for calling.
His quick response was, “Oh well then you must need us for web site optimization so you can be seen because I didn’t see you. We can make you very visible”

So I played along and say, “ You really didn’t see us? Are you near a computer right now?”

“Yes I am”.

“Great. Let’s walk through this together would that be okay to do? I would like to see why you didn’t see us because that really concerns me.”

“Oh yes, he says all excited, I will show you why you need us to be more visible to attract more customers." 

I innocently said, “I will let you type in the words you think someone would type into Google etc to find us.”

He tells me and we type this in together into Google.

Our website came up on top.

I innocently say, “WOW we’re right on top why do you think you couldn’t find me?
He then just hung up!

Obviously he never bothered to look.
He got a lead from someone and just made calls before finding out that we had a site.
He could have asked about my business to find a need. 
He would have found out that we are soon going to have another division of the current company that we need to make visible. He never asked.
He could have just easily said, “Hello, I am Young Dumb Shit and I would like to tell you how we can improve your current program by just doing XYZ.
He could have sold me on value!
But no he just started dumb dialing and praying that something will click.

Honestly I am not sure what shocked me more.
The fact that he didn’t do his homework and check out the company before he contacted them or the fact that he was so unprofessional and just hung up.
He has a job! When I was looking for work I was too old they would imply. HA!

I didn’t do much cold calling in my career.
I knew that was not my strong suit but I know even though it wasn’t my strength I could do better than Mr. Dumb Shit.
My job in sales was relationship sales.
Once the customer had our product I took over.
I had them for the length of their contract. I got to know their business.
I would sell them based on their need our suite of products for their business model.
I had to build a relationship with them and really get to know them. I had to listen.
People tell you a lot without ever telling you outright what they want or need.
I had to fill those wants and needs. And if I did my job well to help them grow their business it made my job easier when it came time to renegotiate their contracts.
Sounds easier than it was at times but I think you get my point here.
If you listen well you can hear a lot and that alone will help you sell.

That brings me to the 2nd person this week (and it’s only Wednesday)
She called talking so fast and like Mr. Dumb Shit never asked me a question.
When she was done talking I was still listening.
She said, “hello?”
I replied with a cheerful, "Hello."

She then said, “So can I put you down for 2 month program or 1 year. 1 year is a better value because it’s only $X amount of dollars."

I respond with, “So if I understand you correctly the value of your program to me is in the money that I spend?”

Chirpery: "Oh no not at all."

Me: "But that is all you've told me I am not quite sure what it is you do or how it fits me"

Chirpy in now a snotty tone: "Well doesn’t your company lay tile and do remodeling?"

Me: No that is not what we do." I was leaving it open so she could ask me what it is we do but instead....

Chirpy: "Huh. Well we also go into other counties and ….."

Me: If I may interrupt…..we don’t need other counties yet because I don't understand how what you do pertains to my company. Thank you Sherrie for calling."

She said, "BUT WAIT…..let me give you my number because if you change your mind you can call me."

Why the hell would I call her?  Did she give me a reason to call her?  Do I even know what the hell it is that this online community does or can do for me?

If you are working with good sales people you don’t know feel like your are being sold.
They are filling a need. That is how it should be.

My sister and her wedding cake are a great example.
She knew what she wanted.
She brought in pictures and had her mind made up when we went into meet the baker.
She brought me because her husband could not make this appointment.

The baker listened and made notes.
When my sister was done she asked her a ton of questions.
I began to see my sister begin to open up a little at a time.
My sister said words like classy, different, one of a kind, delicious, high end not cheesy. 
The baker got her talking about her dress, the location.
She asked why she picked that location.
That opened a can of worms and my sister was spilling her guts. 
But out of all that talk about things that appeared to be nothing to do with the cake the baker had gathered what really was important to my sister.

By gathering all that info she now had my sisters hot buttons.
The baker suggested a few things that my sister did not have on her coveted list.
She had her taste a lot of cakes. 
She drew pictures of a few things.
She dropped words that were like a thesaurus for things my sister had said making my sister feel that she knew EXACTLY what she wanted.
By the time this was done my sister was so thrilled with the new suggestions she was hugging this woman.

This cake was everything my sister thought she wanted for her special day….it just happened to be the complete opposite of what she thought she wanted when she walked in.
She gave my sister something better than what she brought in on her list.
This baker saw my sisters emotions and the direction she was leaning.
The baker drew on that and sold her based on those hot buttons.

Some people think that is a bad thing.  I don't. 
I see the baker making this even better than my sister could imagine by listening.
If she hadn't done any of that but just took an order my sister may have left there feeling like it was okay but maybe she should try one more place.
Then the sale would have been lost right?

Instead when we walked out of there my sister was so excited with what she was getting.
She kept telling me that the baker "understood her"
My sister was heard and had a warm fuzzy feeling about the whole thing.
All because the baker listened.
That is sales 101!

By the way that cake was FABULOUS!!!
Her friends still talk about it and that baker got many more weddings from that.
The baker listened, she asked questions, she heard my sister but only because she didn't do all the talking or pushing.
She made a bigger and better cake and my sister didn't mind the money spent she saw the value.
That is why this baker now makes the big bucks$$$$.

Chirpy and Mr. Dumb Shit could use some cake lessons!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Salt and Pepper

I have always wanted salt and pepper hair.

Wait, allow me to rephrase that…..when my hair began to go gray I wished I could wear salt and pepper well.

I see woman of all ages with this beautiful gray hair.
Short and spiky, long or classic bob, they all look great..
I would love that lower maintenance hair color.

Look at Emmy Lou Harris. Her hair is a beautiful color of white.















And Jamie Lee Curtis.  She looks great with gray hair I think.




I began to gray early. I had gray hairs in my mid 30’s.
I began to color my hair as soon as it was the majority of color that framed my face.
I used to say, When I’m 50 I’ll just let it be gray.
For some reason 50 seemed so damn old at age 34 and so far away. HAH!
But then in my late 40’s I had surgery and I couldn’t color my hair for awhile.
The gray no longer just framed my face. All of my roots were gray.
I must admit I was shocked.  Joke was on me.
I had 2 inches of hair growth that was this horrible yellow gray color and I was mortified.
As soon as I was able I got myself to the hairdresser for brunette hair STAT.

I used to tell Tracy, my stylist, that when I turn 50 how about we just let the color go and just go natural. She would always say no. I  would laugh and say, “well it’s my hair”
She would laugh as well and say, “No we won’t be doing that.”
She said this with such conviction it would make me laugh.

Then I hit 50. I tried, oh how I tried. The problem is they can’t dye it gray.
So you have to grow it out and that is a very nasty look.
I gave up fairly quickly. I realized I may never be able to do this.
Unless I want to wear a hat forever for or at the least a year which I do not.

Now I say when I’m 60 I’ll go for it. But who am I kidding I bet I won’t.
I told my new hairdresser of my ambition she turned up her nose.
Recently while getting my hair colored I was moaning about the high maintenance of all this coloring. She asked if she could be honest with me.
Sure, I told her I won’t be offended; just tell me what you think.
She said, “Your hair color isn’t a pretty white it has a yellow tint.
I do not think this would look good with your complexion.
I am not telling you this so you keep coming to be colored honestly; I just think you’ll be very unhappy if you do this.”

Great so now my own hair color will look terrible on me.
Why don't men have these issues?
I know she’s right but my goodness I want to be rid of this feeling of being tied to hair color.
I have tried the do it yourself at home but it can tend to look flat.
It looks so much better when professionally colored.

A friend of mine has always colored her long hair or I should say bleached her hair.
As she got older I found her hair got blonder.
Then she got breast cancer and her long blonde hair went quickly after chemo started.
As it began to grow again her hair grew in the most beautiful salt and pepper color.
When she got enough hair to get a style she got a real cute short messy a bit spiky haircut.
A hair cut she never would have been brave enough to try otherwise.
She looks better than ever. (and best of all healthy now!)
Personally I find her new hair matches her personality far better and while she has the salt and pepper instead of the blonde I think she looks much younger with it like this.
She agrees and would never go back to coloring her hair or growing it long again.
She says she feels free.  Oh my goodness I want that ....without the chemo part.

I’m beginning to think I may be the only old person in a wooden box with a beautiful head of brunette hair with low lights and highlights.

What age will I finally just figure the hell with it?
Why isn't there a way to grow this out to see for myself?
And can't they put a rinse over the yellowish tint to make it white?
Or is that just more maintenance?

Will you let your hair just be gray?
Are you waiting for a certain age when you think you’ll just go gray?
Or will you be holding on to your orginial hair color until the end?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Flashback Friday

My friend Susan convinced me that going camping would be fun.
Her dad would drive down and help us get the "camp" set up. 
He would stay for the day and then we were on our own for 5 days. 
I didn't like the idea of sleeping in a tent or any of that nonsense.
She told me there were real bathrooms and showers etc.
I said okay because I really never ever believed my dad would allow me to go.

Imagine my surprise when he spoke to Susan's Dad and then said YES.
I was convinced he said yes because he knew I didn't really want to go.
Why would I want to lay on the ground in a tent to sleep or walk to a public bathroom that was gross and smelly?  But the fact that my father said yes made me want to go.

So off to camp I went with Colleen and Susan in July 1973.
It was the summer before I became a senior in high school.
I have a lot of fond memories of this week and here are a few of them on film.

This is Susan - Susan was our great fire starter!
Her bell bottoms are back in style now only we call them flares.
This is Susan getting her hair washed by Colleen.  We had to go to a pump to get water and fill a bucket and then wet our hair, lather, rinse, repeat...you get the drill.  This was the water we drank too.  No bottled water back in the day. Now guys camping would no more wash their hair during the 5 day period but we girls sure felt we had to but oh wait.....

This is us in the evening sitting around the fire and Colleen washed and set her hair.  I find this hysterical.  Collen only got straight hair if she rolled it and since everyone in 1973 had straight hair you did what you had to do. 
There were no straight irons back then.
This picture does make me laugh, a 17yr old in rollers around a camp fire.
We didn't even have blow dryers then, we had those big ole ugly dryers with a tube attached to the cap that went over your head. To dry your hair you had to bring that damn dryer with you from room to room or just sit still forever while your hair dried. 
Those were not the good ole days!  Hairstyling in 2010 is so so much better!

Before peri menopause I was a very heavy sleeper. And I could fall asleep at the drop of a hat.  That drove the girls crazy. On this particular evening I was freezing.  I had on several coats and sweatshirts.  Then I got under my sleeping bag and before you know it I was sound asleep. Susan and Colleen put these suitcases on me and not ever so gently I've been told.
I never woke up.  I never even knew they did this until the film was developed in my camera.  I long to be able to sleep like that now.


Susan and Colleen knew I was very very self conscious about having big boobs. 
While sun bathing if guys came around I would throw on a T-shirt. 
If I didn't notice they were coming over I made them promise me to tell me so I would have time to cover up. I would get so angry at them if they "forgot" to tell me.
I know, I know, it seems so silly in today's world where people are paying big bucks to have big ole fake boobs planted on their small frames to show 'em off every chance they get.
But it was a decade of Twiggy and flat was in.  I hated those puppies! 

This is me at the beach after 2 boys came over and I grabbed my T-shirt so quickly so no one would see my big chest.  What's funny to me is that even in a T-shirt you could see that I had DD's so why sweat - take off the shirt and prance around in your bikini? 
Whoever said Youth is wasted on the young is so damn right!
When we left the parking lot of the beach area on this particular day there on Susan's '73 Plymouth Duster car antenna were a pair of tighty whities (check out the white racing stripe which we thought was so cool)
We were so grossed out because the tighty whities had shall we say "skid marks" on them. 
Sue and Colleen were looking for a big long stick to take them off the antenna. 
Sue was ready to cry and while I was grossed out I still found it very funny so I had to stop to get a picture.

You wouldn't catch me camping today for anything.
This old back couldn't take sleeping on the ground anymore!