Sunday, January 30, 2005

Just a thought... 

Please send your thoughts and prayers out to the Iraqi people who are risking (and some are losing) their lives to vote today.


One Day At A Time 

I was watching TV last night and heard a blurb on CBS that they are doing a "One Day At A Time" reunion show. I doubted that I heard correctly, so I eagerly anticipated the next time the ad was shown, and sure enough, I had heard correctly!


When I was growing up, I LOVED this show. It was about a single Mom and her 2 teenaged girls and their trials and tribulations. I guess I identified with the show because I was a teenaged girl living with her single Mom.

I loved Valerie Bertinelli who played Barbara on the show. I thought she was so pretty. She was one of those girls that I wanted to be like. When she married Eddie Van Halen (not on the show, but in real life) I was over the moon! I LOVED Eddie Van Halen.

About the same time was when "The Facts of Life" was on. I loved that show as well. I wanted to be Nancy McKeon who played "Jo." She was a tomboy and had street smarts - she was just too cool!

Finally, who can forget Melissa Gilbert in "Little House on the Prairie?" I watched that show religiously. I had read all of the books and was not disappointed with the adaptation of the show on TV. I wasn't exactly crazy about Melissa Gilbert until she started growing up, basically because she was a goofy looking kid. However once she started growing up and began her relationship with "Manly," I was hooked.

Now that I'm older, if there is anything on TV that stars Valerie Bertinelli, Nancy McKeon, or Melissa Gilbert, I HAVE to watch it. I don't care how sappy the Lifetime movie is, I'm there from beginning to end. The only exception is that weekly drama that Nancy McKeon was in where she played a drunk. I just couldn't stand seeing my childhood hero in that situation! At least with the Lifetime movies, things usually have a happy ending!

Isn't it funny how the people in shows we watched as a kid affect us so much? What TV show and/or actor from your childhood did you admire? Why?



Saturday, January 29, 2005

Baby it's cold outside 

Atlanta is a big ole ice skating rink right now. The ice storm came in last night and covered everything in a thin sheet of slippery ice. It looked as if things were starting to melt off just a little bit this afternoon, but then the temperature must have dipped because everything froze right back up again.

This happened right about this time in 2000, too. We were fresh off the hypersensitivity of "Y2K" and then on to "The Ice Storm of 2000." The good thing about it, is that those of us who bought the extra batteries and water and groceries getting ready for Y2K, actually got to use some of those supplies during the ice storm.

Back then, my roommate and I lost electricity and the temperature in our apartment had dipped to the mid 50's. Having grown up in a house where the only source of heat was a fire place, this was something I was used to. However my roommate was acting like she was going to die of hypothermia. We found out that some friends of ours had electricity, so we packed up an overnight bag and slowly crept to their house.

Tomorrow the temperature is supposed to get into the 40's or 50's so the ice will all melt off and hustle and bustle of life will prevail, but until then I will camp out on my couch with my cats and occasionally revel in the silence of the slower paced life that this ice storm has brought us.



Friday, January 28, 2005

Sweet Memories of the Past 

From the time I was in 4th grade until I graduated from High School I lived in a small town. My Mom worked at the newspaper on the Town Square, so after school, I would walk down there and pass the time until she got off work.

There was a big, beautiful courthouse in the middle of the square, and sometimes, I would walk in there and climb as high as I could up the stairs and look out the windows at the world around me.

I would often visit the bookstore and look around at all of the books and novelty items that the owner carried. The owner knew both me and my Mom and she didn't have a problem with my sitting on the floor and reading. She knew I was careful with the books and put them right back where I found them. I think I read the entire "Little House on the Prairie" series this way.

I would stop by the Ice Cream and Delicatessen and sit at the counter. I had a crush on the son of the man that owned the shop, so I would sip on my Dr. Pepper very slowly so I had an excuse to sit there and talk to him.

My next stop was usually a clothing store that specialized in Jeans and T-shirts. Those of you who were around in the mid to late 70's will remember that T-shirts with iron-on transfers and your name on the back were all the rage. I must have had at least 10-15 different T-shirts like that!

Sometimes I would quietly creep into the Opera House and sit in the back row to watch rehearsals. I remember dreaming how cool it would be to be one of the actresses on stage. I thought they were so glamorous!

I loved to explore this old and dusty antique store and see what treasures I could find. Sometimes the owner and her son would bribe me with a Dr. Pepper if I would sit and pump the pedals of the player piano while the door was open.

Sometimes I would find some friends of mine on the square and we would congregate at the gazebo on the lawn of the Courthouse. We tested the patience of a lot of the townspeople when we decided to practice our band instruments on several afternoons.

Usually after I had made all of my rounds around the Square, I would end up back at the newspaper. If Mom wasn't ready to go home yet, I would find the forms they used for Wedding announcements and fill them out for my imaginary wedding. Usually the groom was whatever "Boy du Jour" I had a crush on or David Cassidy. After the wedding announcement I would usually make the natural progression and fill out the form for the birth announcement of my baby with "Boy du Jour" or David Cassidy.

Everyone on the Square knew my name and who my Mom was. I could roam the streets and never be afraid that something bad would happen to me. I loved growing up in a small town and I'm so thankful that I had that experience. I wish that all kids could know what it's like to not live in fear of anything other than someone telling your Mom when you were horsin' around too much or actin' a fool.



Tuesday, January 25, 2005

OK! I admit it!! I'm a comment whore!!! 

If you are anything like me, you make a post and you just get all excited about people commenting. I just know that my post was so witty/clever/sad/funny/pathetic that people will throng to my blog just for the privilege of commenting. They will tell all of their blog-friends and then they'll phone family near and far and all of them will come to my blog and comment.

I'll be damned if that rarely happens! I'll even up the ante a bit and immediately after posting, I'll go to Blog Explosion so that new people that may have never seen my blog before will thank their lucky stars that they finally found a blog that was worthy of commenting on and they'll come back again and again!

Fat chance. My quest for validation is again squashed.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love the people that regularly comment on my blog. Most of these people I consider friends even though we've never met in person. However, whenever I see that 90 people have visited my blog in one day, and only 7 people have commented - well - I'm just gonna say it - it's a downer.

Yesterday, MrBob wrote in his blog about how he suspected that I stole some sex toys from a Vancouver sex toy store. He even linked to me and everything! He got 23 comments. I got 7. *Snif!*

So, do a girl a favor, would ya? Share some words of wisdom with me! Tell me a story! Tell me how much you love/hate/feel indifferent about "Conversations With A Woman" in ye olde comments section, k?

...and by the way? I was no where near Vancouver on the night in question, Officer!



Monday, January 24, 2005

Here is that gorgeous moon! Posted by Hello

Part of the beautiful Atlanta Skyline from afar. Posted by Hello

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Jazz and the Color of the Sky 

I wish I could describe to you the color of the sky this evening. It was absolutely breathtaking. I walked out of the bookstore shortly after the sun had gone to bed and noticed how the graduated colors of blue were just exquisite.

I stopped for a minute to take in the beauty of the Atlanta skyline. I'll admit - I haven't seen that many skylines in my life, but of those I have seen, Atlanta's is my favorite. Some nights it's almost as if there are fireflys circling around her as the planes going to the airport await their turn to land.

I turned to walk to my car and the full moon smiled down at me, and I up at her. "Hello, Gorgeous!" I said under my breath. I think she winked at me as if to say, "Back atcha, babe!"

Jazz music is playing in my head as I drive through the dark streets to my home. A piano, a bass and a saxophone serenade me and act as a soundtrack to this beautiful evening. I can't help but laugh quietly at myself as once again think of my life like a movie.

Yes, there are things that are horrible in this world. Things that appall us and make us want to cry, or scream, or both. However, it is evenings like this when the beauty of a simple stroll to my car and drive home help me remember how good my life really is.

{Music swells and then fades as the writer is sitting at her desk smiling to herself.}



Thursday, January 20, 2005


Is anyone else besides me super excited that Jonathan and Victoria lost on the Amazing Race this past Tuesday?

There was much rejoicing and happy dancing going on in my house when they lost!

If I had to hear Jonathan be verbally abusive or Victoria whine and squeal one more show, I was going to fly to the next Pit Stop and kick Jonathan in the nads and put some duct tape on Victoria's mouth.

My sister can testify that after every show that they remained on there, I would call her and gripe about how horrible Jonathan had been or how annoying Victoria had been.

I'm hoping Kris and Jon win. They are having a good time, they rarely complain and they are just too darn cute!!!



Saturday, January 15, 2005

Long time no blog! 

Yeah...I know that anyone who was keeping up with my blog has probably totally given up on me. Sorry about that! I was a sickly girl this week and there was so much snot in my head, that I fear it took up the brain space that would have thought of something profound or funny or even remotely interesting to write. While I still have copious amounts of snot in my head, it has decreased enough to let me have a thought other than, "If I could breathe through something other than my mouth, I would be a happy woman."

I am preparing to move. I dislike moving. I dislike everything associated with moving. When I moved into this apartment 2 years ago, I promised myself that the next time I moved 2 things would be going on: 1. I would be moving into my own house and 2. I would have budgeted money for big burly movers to come in and do the work for me.

Well, I am moving into a house, just not my house. I'm moving in with a very generous friend of mine. Also, I do have movers coming to the house, however they are my friends and relatives coming to my rescue, yet again, and none of them could be described as big or burly. Poor Jef. Of all of my friends helping me with this move, he has known me the longest (with the exception of my sister, of course!) and therefore has seen me through all but just a couple of my moves. This move will be no exception.

When I was in college, I gave my friend Jonathan an address book for a going away gift when he was going to New Hampshire for the summer. Allegedly he still has that same address book and he claims that whenever MTV shows up to film my "Behind the Music" special, that they should contact him because he can tell them exactly every place I lived since college. I'm told that I take up at least 2 pages, front and back, in said address book.

Jef came over and we did the "Pre-move purging." No, we did not eat until we threw up, however we did go through a lot of my stuff and threw stuff away and made a Goodwill pile.

One of the funniest moments of the day is when he picked up a very non-descript cloth bag from the table beside my bed. I noticed he was slightly squeezing it to see if he could discern what it was.

"Where does this need to go?"

I looked up, bit my lip and replied, "Um, just set it there on the bed and I'll put it away."

"What is it?"

Very softly I replied, "My vibrators."

"What did you say, Joan?"

"My vibrators!"

He quit squeezing the bag, set it down on the bed and said, "You know, it's good that we are as close as we are otherwise this would have been very embarrassing!"

He's right. Although I would have preferred that he not have found my non-descript bag, it really didn't bother me that he knew I had it.

The squeezing part, though? That kinda weirded me out...



Monday, January 10, 2005

Please rip my head off... 

...and empty it of all the mucous that has taken residence in every nook and cranny of my head.

Thank you,




Sunday, January 09, 2005

Trying to prove I am not my Father 

My family has been friends with the Smith's* since I was 18 months old. They were on the outside looking into the circus that was my childhood.

Yesterday, I called Mrs. Smith to have a conversation I've been wanting to have with both her and Mr. Smith for a while. I wanted to make sure they understood what's been going on with me lately so that can understand where I'm at right now. In addition, I also asked for a loan.

Already feeling REALLY horrible at having to ask for a loan in the first place, that horribleness increased to the nth degree when there was a long pause on the other side of the phone after the question left my lips.

Now, I'm guessing you might be thinking to yourself, "Well of course she had to pause, Joan! You just asked her for money, for Pete's sake!" Yes, I know that. However, I knew the real reason why she paused. She was having a flashback to my Father asking for money - time and time again.

My Father lost his industrial janitorial business when I was about 5. From that point until the day he died, he never had a "regular" job for more than a couple of months. Dad didn't want to be somebody else's employee. He wanted to be the boss. He was constantly on the look out for the "next big, quick money maker." Man, if I had a dime for every time he tried to get me to be a part of some pyramid marketing scheme that he found, I would be a rich woman right now!

Mother worked at whatever secretarial job she could to bring some regular money in until she found the "Newspaper business." Secretarial jobs or newspaper jobs do not pay squat. Therefore there were many months that Dad would have to pull a rabbit out of the hat so that we didn't get evicted from wherever we were living at the time. Let it suffice to say that we got evicted and/or we moved in the middle of the night frequently.

Because my Father always knew he was just a hair's breath away from the next big money making thing that would make us rich, he borrowed from friends - A LOT. It got to where people avoided answering their front doors when they saw Dad's truck in their driveway. It was really embarrassing for both Mom and I. I was just a kid, but I still understood what was going on.

Fast forward to yesterday, when Mrs. Smith heard my Father's daughter asking for a loan. She finally replied that she would see what they could do to loan me some money - one time. I told her that I totally understood, and I did. She wanted to make sure that I would not continue coming back to them for loans.

Now, Mrs. Smith and I had been having a pretty intense conversation before we even talked about money. I was confirming to her some of the things that she suspected I had gone through as a kid, but didn't know for sure until now. I was explaining to her that these are some of the things that I have been dealing with this year. Not once during that part of the conversation did my eyes get wet or my voice crack.

However, now I felt like I had to reassure Mrs. Smith that despite the fact that I was my Father's daughter, I was not my Father. As I tried to do this, the tears began to fall and talking was not very easy. I stumbled over my words as I tried to get my point across. I believe in the end that she understood. She confirmed that the flashback to my Dad did cross her mind and that was why she made sure to emphasize this would be a one time loan. As I tried to gain my composure to end the call, she advised that they would help me out and a check would be in the mail shortly.

I hung up the phone and began to sob. I had never felt so humiliated in my life. Now, please understand that The Smith's are wonderful people and never in a million years would they intend to make me feel bad. If I were in Mrs. Smith's shoes, I would have had a flashback to the situations they had with my Dad, too. It just felt so awful to be in the position of having to ask for money in the first place and then having to try to prove that I am not my Father.

Let it never be said that your actions do not have far reaching consequences. My Father has been dead for 2 1/2 years and I'm still paying for mistakes he made when I was a child. One thing I have learned from this experience is that I will NEVER be in the situation I am again - NEVER.

Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Smith for your generosity. I truly appreciate it and I truly love you both. Rest assured that I will prove to you that I am not my Father when I pay you back and then never let myself get into this situation again.

Dad - one of the scars that you left me with got seriously re-injured yesterday and it hurt like hell. However, I will heal again, and I forgive you.

* Name changed to protect their privacy.


Thursday, January 06, 2005

I TRY not to hurt small children...really I do! 

However, by the end of Christmas Day, I wanted whack Andrea's niece upside her cute little pig-tailed head!!!

I wrote a post June 7, 2004 about the fact that I have a strabismus. (click here to read the original post) I have learned to live with it, and my friends and family tell me that after they have been around me for a while, they barely notice it.

I went to Texas to hang out with Andrea and her family for Christmas. One thing you should know is that Andrea is a bit of a control freak. I volunteered 865 times to do something to help with the Christmas meal, and this was met with silence or asking me to get the pepper from the cabinet.

Andrea's family started showing up, which included her nieces, ages 7 and 5. Andrea instructs me that I am going to help them dip strawberries in chocolate. COOL! I can do this. I wash the berries and have the girls pat them dry. I heat up the chocolate and get the paper plates ready for their freshly dipped berries. At last! I'm feeling somewhat useful!

The five year old is looking at me strangely. I know what she's looking at, however I decide to let her ask. Finally, she does.

"Are you looking at me?"

"Yes, I am," I reply.

"It doesn't look you are looking at me!"

I then patiently explain to her and her sister why my eyes look kind of different. I finish telling her and we continue dipping strawberries. A couple of moments pass and she says, "Look at me!"

I looked at her.

"Are you looking at me?"

"Yes, sweetie, I am!"

The child was in the house for at least another 2 hours. Outside of the time that she was being showered with presents, she was tracking me down and beseeching me to look at her. I smiled. I chuckled. I cajoled. However about the 75th time I heard her say, "Are you looking at me?" I was about at my wit's end.

I jammed my hands in pockets to make sure they would not involuntarily fly out and smack her upside her cute little head. Finally she and her family left. I heaved a huge sigh of relief.

Later that evening, I was talking to Andrea. "Your niece was about to drive me batty today!"

"Well, you started it!" she replied.

"I started it? What are you talking about?" I asked incredulously.

"You brought it to her attention."

"HELLO? She asked me about it. What was I going to do - LIE to the child?"

Andrea shrugged her shoulders. I grumbled to myself. Sometimes when you've known someone for close to 30 years, you realize that you really love them, but sometimes you just don't like them.

I wasn't liking Andrea so much right then.



Tuesday, January 04, 2005

My Horoscope 

If you take a look down toward the bottom of my "links," you'll see something called "Free Will Astrology." I started reading this guy's syndicated horoscopes in Atlanta's "Creative Loafing," and I may have also read him in Dallas' "Dallas Observer." I like him a lot because you can tell that he actually puts some creativity into what he writes.

I enjoy horoscopes like I enjoy fortunes in fortune cookies. I don't put a lot of stock in them, but I'm open to learning something or at least thinking about something differently whenever I read them.

I really enjoyed my horoscope for this week:


"Since 1991, my Cancerian friend Jared has donated blood to a local blood bank 105 times. He volunteers as a big brother to fatherless kids and donates 20 percent of his salary to charity. Yet I've never once heard him ask anyone for help. Vanessa, another Cancerian friend, compulsively takes care of all her friends, bringing them home-cooked meals and thoughtful gifts whenever they're down. I know she suffers bouts of depression herself sometimes, but as far as I'm aware, no one brings her treats. Jared and Vanessa are going to be the poster children for my crusade to bring balance to your life in 2005. You simply must stop giving more than you receive; you've got to expand your capacity to accept assistance and blessings from other people."

That last sentence is the kicker! Man, has that been a hard lesson for me to learn. However, I have not had much of a choice with being unemployed and being out of money. I have received so much in the way of assistance and blessings from people that it just boggles my mind. I have had to learn to sit back, accept the assistance and blessings, and just say a very heartfelt, "Thank you." I am so incredibly thankful that I have the people in my life that I do.

It has taken me a long time to feel deserving for what I have received and what I am receiving, however I believe I have finally - tenatively - gotten to that place. I say tenatively because I have my days where I feel like such a loser and want to hide under a rock, but they are fewer and far between.

Never underestimate the power that you have to help another being. The power of a kind thought or word is immeasurable. The power of showing up and saying, "OK, I understand you are going through a tough time. What do you need me to do?" is beyond belief. I have been, and continue to be, on the receiving end of both of those scenario's. It has humbled me and strengthened me at the same time. It has humbled me in that I finally had to reveal that I needed help. The strength came from having the courage to ask for that help and feel worthy of it.



Monday, January 03, 2005

Yes, I know they're a little dark... 

...but I couldn't resist sharing these beautiful (albeit dark) pictures of my kitties. I am a big ole sap when it comes to my babies, but they are a very important part of my life! We've been through so much together!

These pictures were taken Saturday night. I had laid down to try to go to sleep, but was wide awake. I got up, turned on the light and tortured the cats by taking pictures of them at 1:00am!

I'm still experimenting with and getting to know the camera that my sister so graciously gave me. It's been a lot of fun!



What a beautiful face! This is Shelby Cat. Posted by Hello

My sweet little Kitty! This is
Fred McMurray! Posted by Hello


Saturday, January 01, 2005


Ahh....I LOVE irony!

In the year 2005 I resolve to:
Get fired from my current job.

Get your resolution here

Yes, PLEASE fire me from my current job!



Happy New Year! 

I hope you and yours are doing wonderfully on this first day of 2005!

I had a very low-key, but good, New Year's Eve. I went to the "Burning Bowl" Service at church. I went for the first time last year and loved it so much that I had to come back this year. What is a "Burning Bowl" Service, you ask? Well, for our church, you are handed a piece of "flash" paper, which looks a lot like tissue paper, a piece of notebook paper, and an envelope as you enter the sanctuary. During the course of the service, you are instructed to write down everything that you want to release onto the "flash" paper. Then we take turns going up to the various bowls of fire throughout the sanctuary, and put the paper into the fire. "Flash" paper burns up instantly and brightly and leaves no ash behind. Therefore, the things that you wrote on your paper to release, are gone and no trace is left behind.

Next, you are instructed to write a letter to God letting him know what your heart's desires are for 2005. Now granted, God already knows this, but this exercise is more for you. Once you finish your letter, you seal it in the envelope, address the envelope to yourself, and the church sends the letter back to you in November. That way you can see if your heart's desire panned out for you, or if you went on a different journey to reach your heart's desire. It's really quite interesting to see what you wrote and to think about what has happened over the year. When I got my letter from 12/31/03 this past November, I saw that even though I had not attained what I wrote in my letter, I was very actively working toward all of my heart's desires. It gave me a renewed sense of determination.

For me, the "Burning Bowl" Service is a very quiet, reflective and positive way to start out the New Year. I highly recommend it to everyone. You don't have to be in a church environment or have "flash" paper to do it.

As a matter of fact, last year, on 1/16/04, I was over at Jef's house with a group of friends and we decided to write down things we wanted to release on a piece of paper. One of the many things I wrote down was, "the need to work for my current employer." We went out in Jef's back yard, fired up the chiminera, and watched the smoke of what we were releasing float up to the sky. Lo and behold, on 1/23/04, I was fired from my job!

Now, some would say, "Geez, Joan - you really needed to be careful what you asked for!" That may be true, and yes, I do wish I would have had more control over my leaving my last employer. However, it actually was a blessing in disguise. I have accomplished so much over this last year that I never would have been able to had I been working for my previous employer, or working at all, for that matter. I am so thankful that I had been given the gift of having that time to do what I needed to do.

However, now I'm releasing that gift to make room for the gift of a wonderful job with a fantastic salary and great benefits. That's not to say that I won't continue improving myself, because I will. However, it's time for me to join the workforce again! If you would, I would really appreciate your extra prayers and good thoughts coming my direction to help me reach this goal.

In whatever way you have chosen to ring in the New Year, I wish for you happiness, good health, a roof over your head, food in your fridge, people and pets to love and love you back, and the ability to appreciate it all.

Happy New Year, my friends!



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