Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Do I have a life? Let's see...I guess I do! Only 17!

SUPPOSEDLY if you've seen more than 85 of these films, you have no life. Mark the ones you've seen. There are 239 films on this list. Copy this list. Then, put x's next to the films you've seen, add them up, change the header adding your number, and click post at the bottom. Have fun. I got tagged by Frenzied Feline.

(X) Rocky Horror Picture Show
() Grease
() Pirates of the Caribbean
() Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest
() Boondock Saints
() Fight Club
() Starsky and Hutch
(x) Neverending Story
(X)Blazing Saddles
(X) Airplane
Total: 4

() The Princess Bride
() Anchorman
() Napoleon Dynamite
() Labyrinth
() Saw
() Saw II
() White Noise
() White Oleander
() Anger Management
() 50 First Dates
() The Princess Diaries
() The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
Total so far: 4

() Scream
() Scream 2
() Scream 3
() Scary Movie
() Scary Movie 2
() Scary Movie 3
() Scary Movie 4
() American Pie
() American Pie 2
() American Wedding
() American Pie Band Camp
Total so far:4

() Harry Potter 1
() Harry Potter 2
() Harry Potter 3
() Harry Potter 4
() Resident Evil 1
() Resident Evil 2
(X) The Wedding Singer
() Little Black Book
() The Village
() Lilo & Stitch
Total so far: 5

() Finding Nemo
() Finding Neverland
() Signs
() The Grinch
() Texas Chainsaw Massacre
() Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
() White Chicks
() Butterfly Effect
() 13 Going on 30
() I, Robot
() Robots
Total so far: 5

() Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
() Universal Soldier
(X) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
() Along Came Polly
() Deep Impact
() KingPin
() Never Been Kissed
() Meet The Parents
() Meet the Fockers
() Eight Crazy Nights
() Joe Dirt
Total so far: 6

() A Cinderella Story
() The Terminal
() The Lizzie McGuire Movie
() Passport to Paris
() Dumb & Dumber
() Dumber & Dumberer
() Final Destination
() Final Destination 2
() Final Destination 3
() Halloween
() The Ring
() The Ring 2
() Surviving X-MAS
() Flubber
Total so far: 6

() Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
() Practical Magic
() Chicago
() Ghost Ship
() From Hell
() Hellboy
() Secret Window
() I Am Sam
() The Whole Nine Yards
() The Whole Ten Yards
Total so far: 6

() The Day After Tomorrow
() Child's Play
() Seed of Chucky
() Bride of Chucky
() Ten Things I Hate About You
() Just Married
() Gothika
() Nightmare on Elm Street
() Sixteen Candles
() Remember the Titans
() Coach Carter
() The Grudge
() The Grudge 2
() The Mask
() Son Of The Mask
Total so far: 6

() Bad Boys
() Bad Boys 2
() Joy Ride
() Lucky Number Slevin
() Ocean's Eleven
() Ocean's Twelve
() Bourne Identity
() Bourne Supremecy
() Lone Star
() Bedazzled
() Predator I
() Predator II
() The Fog
() Ice Age
() Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
() Curious George
Total so far: 6

() Cujo
() A Bronx Tale
() Darkness Falls
() Christine
(x) ET
() Children of the Corn
() My Bosses Daughter
(x) Maid in Manhattan
() War of the Worlds
() Rush Hour
() Rush Hour 2
Total so far: 8

() Best Bet
() How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
() She's All That
(X) Calendar Girls
() Sideways
() Mars Attacks
() Event Horizon
() Ever After
(x) Wizard of Oz
() Forrest Gump
() Big Trouble in Little China
() The Terminator
() The Terminator 2
() The Terminator 3
Total so far: 10

() X-Men
() X-2
() X-3
() Spider-Man
() Spider-Man 2
() Sky High
() Jeepers Creepers
() Jeepers Creepers 2
() Catch Me If You Can
() The Little Mermaid
() Freaky Friday
() Reign of Fire
() The Skulls
() Cruel Intentions
() Cruel Intentions 2
() The Hot Chick
() Shrek
() Shrek 2
Total so far: 10

() Swimfan
(x) Miracle on 34th street
() Old School
() The Notebook
() K-Pax
() Krippendorf's Tribe
() A Walk to Remember
() Ice Castles
() Boogeyman
() The 40-year-old Virgin
Total so far: 10

() Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring
() Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
() Lord of the Rings Return Of the King
(x) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(X) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
() Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Total so far: 12

() Baseketball
() Hostel
() Waiting for Guffman
() House of 1000 Corpses
() Devils Rejects
(x) Elf
() Highlander
() Mothman Prophecies
() American History X
() Three
Total so Far: 13

(x) Titanic
(X) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
() Shaun Of the Dead
() Willard
Total so far: 15

() High Tension
() Club Dread
() Hulk
() Dawn Of the Dead
() Hook
(X) Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
() 28 days later
() Orgazmo
() Phantasm
() Waterworld
Total so far: 16

() Kill Bill vol 1
() Kill Bill vol 2
() Mortal Kombat
() Wolf Creek
() Kingdom of Heaven
() the Hills Have Eyes
() I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman
() The Last House on the Left
() Re-Animator
() Army of Darkness
Total so far: 16

(x) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
() Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
() Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
() Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
() Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
() Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
() Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
() Ewoks The Battle For Endor
Total so far: 17

() The Matrix
() The Matrix Reloaded
() The Matrix Revolutions
() Animatrix
() Evil Dead
() Evil Dead 2
() Team America: World Police
() Red Dragon
() Silence of the Lambs
() Hannibal

Grand Total: 17

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Day After Christmas!

Hello my friends! I've been away from blogging for a bit, as I'm sure you noticed. Part of that is due to cutting back on a LOT of things and working on rebalancing my life.

And, part of it is a result of the rebalancing -- I've rediscovered my love of sewing and I've been taking advantage of little parcels of time to really go for it! In the past bit I have made a fleece coat with a hood and collar (given to a co-worker's mother); made a fleece swing jacket for myself; started another jacket for me; made two skirts (yes, for ME); made six zipper pouches from elegant fabrics to give the women in my office for Christmas. And today I shipped off a package to an online friend who recently had surgery -- three flannel nighties that I made for her and her two daughters. That one is a surprise -- I hope she gets the box by New Year's so they can have a mommy-daughter slumber party!

I also am in the middle of a nice jacket that will match a dress that's in the lineup, in a gorgeous midnight blue. I had hoped to wear it to the company Christmas party, but I wound up taking election results that night while everyone else was at the party. It was my job to text the results to the boss as they came in.

Great news medically -- a cardiologist re-read my echocardiogram and found no enlargements of the chambers and no valve problems. I don't know why the other doctor said their was tricuspid valve regurgitation, but hey, I'll take good news. Also, the MRI just showed some sinus inflammation. A trip to the ENT should help get that cleared up.

I'm not complaining too much about the orders to reduce my work load. I miss the money from the overtime, but I also love having more time for my other interests. What I do object to is being made to feel like an invalid on death's doorstep while I was waiting for concrete answers. That actually ticks me off. As soon as I heard I was fine, I FELT FINE!! Goes to show you the power of suggestion, I guess! Eh, maybe there was more to it than that, but at least for now I feel just great.

As soon as I know my friend has received her parcel, I'll post some sewing photos. Hey, part of this is my way of dealing with the current economic crisis we all are facing. Part of this is finally having some clothes that are made to fit ME.

And.. as I've said before ... it's all about me, right? (LOL!)

And lest anyone take that too seriously, I've made a pledge to myself that at least every third item I make has to be for someone else.

I hope you all had a great Christmas. I attended the late Christmas eve service at my church. It was just right. I spent yesterday alone here at home just chilling. And today was nice -- just a half-day of work. I'm off this weekend, so I'm counting on more ... SEWING TIME!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

What a week -- so far!

Yesterday was a busy day, which made today a big news day for me!

First of all, the city commissioners named a new city manager last night. Big story No. 1.

Second, they set the date for a municipal election to elect two new members of the Board of Commissioners. Two commissioners whose terms expire in April 2009 have announced they will not seek re-election. This has the potential of severely shifting the balance of the board. Already a previous commissioner has announced he will seek one of the positions. This is a good thing -- he is experienced and brings a very cool, level head and calming spirit to the position. I don't know yet who else will seek one of these offices.

Third, the school board met last night and voted to extend last year's teachers' contract to end an impasse between the school district and the Association of Classroom Teachers which has been ongoing since negotiations bogged in September. The two sides have tried to negotiate a settlement but they were unable to, even after a three-member fact-finding commission held a hearing and made recommendations. So it is done, over, finished for this year and the board and teachers will find themselves right back at work on a contract for next school year.

And today we have a city election on extending a half-cent sales tax for another five years to cover cost overruns on a project to build the city's Aquatic and Family Center -- YMCA. The original sales tax was passed overwhelmingly when the projected cost of the center was $16 million. When bids were opened in July this year, however, bids came in at $23 million, $24 million and $26 million.

City commissioners and the board of the YMCA hired a construction manager at-risk to do value engineering on the project and then the commission called for a special election which would extend the sales tax for an additional five years, expiring either at the end of the five years or when the tax has raised enough money to cover construction costs.

Today we are having a winter snow storm (it is becoming severe even as I type!) The weather definitely will play a roll in this vote. Emotions are high on both sides of this issue.

One salient point is that ConocoPhillips recently announced that it will be pulling an additional 700+ jobs from here, which puts the issue at risk of not passing, certainly moreso than when the election was set. Talk about bad timing -- the crash of the economy coupled with this pull-out, coupled with rising construction costs...

I have come home to work this afternoon in order to get myself off of the snow-laden streets. I am in to stay. I've arranged to call the election board through the evening for updates.

Tonight is also the company Christmas dinner, which I had planned to attend. Instead, I'll be working on some school issues and relaying election information via text messages to another worker at the party, who will post via laptop to the company web site (and also keep the boss informed of the results.)

This accomplishes much. It gets me home earlier this afternoon; keeps us current on the election count without having to drive in this weather to the county election board in the county seat 21 miles away, and keeps me from having to dress up for a company party at the country club.

I don't care so much how the election goes -- the people will speak. But I count ALL of that as a win for ME! (And we all know it's all about me, right?)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A few days off

After working virtually every day since June 4, 2007, I now have some vacation time to use before the end of the year. Twenty-two hours, to be exact. Yep, not even THREE DAYS. However, I'm going to blow the budget and add two unpaid hours to that (or make up those two hours with some extra time next week -- whatever squares).

No great plans for travel, obviously. So I'm "hiring" myself out to me to get some things done around my house. I might be able to make a small dent.

Now, right to my health update for today. I went to my doctor yesterday. The results of the MRI are not back yet; however, I do have some preliminary info from the carotid artery dopplers and the echocardiogram. There is some plaque in the carotid arteries, but not enough to consider surgery. It's just a huge warning sign.

The more serious issue is what they found on the echocardiogram. It seems I have a tricuspid valve problem -- regurgitation. The valve is "floppy" and is allowing blood go flow backwards. Not enough that it can be heard by stethescope. And the physician's assistant wants a cardiologist to read the test results. A different doctor read the results and it wasn't who she asked for specifically. So.... we'll see if there's more information to come on that.

Apparently they are really backed up on MRI results so it may be another few days before they get those.

Now, the reason the tricuspid valve problem worries me so much is because I was a longterm user of the diet drugs Phen-Fen during the 1990s. I was probably on the combination for two years. They consider four months "long-term" use. And just recently there has been even more news about former users having valve damage more than 10 years later. I think I may be one of those people. And that is scary.

There's more to come in the way of big changes, but I'll wait to post until I can firm up some things. Big dreams may be on their way to becoming either fulfilled or dashed hopelessly forever. Whichever way it goes, I've got to do something big while I have some chance at it. Cryptic I know but there's nothing concrete to report, just dreams and hopes and plans at this point. And since I have a rather long history of dreams being dashed and plans being thwarted, I'll just keep some of this quiet for now, to protect my emotions.

Off I go to report for duty for the day. I think I'll crank up some high-energy music to get me going!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Technology bites sometimes

Last night I was reading one of my favorite message boards when someone posted about Black Jewel popcorn. I've never heard of it, but the mention sparked a fierce craving for popcorn, so off I toddled to the kitchen for one of my evil treats, a mini-bag of Pop Secret (it's called that because it's supposed to be a secret from my doctor. Don't tell.)

Anyway, I got the spark I wanted plus some to the 10th degree. Halfway through the designated nuking time, my little cheap microwave belched a terrible sound and emitted a flash of electricity or nuclear power from the chamber. I didn't know whether to approach it and try to shut off the dial or to run for the hills. I tried desperately to remember what people did in that movie, "The Day After." You know the one -- the 1983 movie where the nuclear bomb explodes in Lawrence, Kansas, and the last thing people saw was the image of their own skeleton as they went to heaven in a hurry? Quite a step up from the Kansas-Missouri war with Quantrill's Raiders.

Anyway, I digress. The daggone microwave went and blowed itself up. And it scared me. I haven't heard a sound like that before and sure haven't seen a nuclear meltdown in my kitchen before. But I ate that popcorn, and it was the best I ever had, even if I glowed on about it all night.

However, I paid the piper this morning -- the coldest morning so far this year -- when I decided to dress up and wear a skirt and blouse to work. And then the car wouldn't start. Not a single crank left in the cranky thing. I was supposed to go cover a county commissioner's meeting this morning, but it was too late to make the drive to the county seat once I had a co-worker come pick me up and drive me to the office.

The good news is I got some work done, then contacted the handy-dandy Goodyear car repair store a couple of blocks from my office. I made arrangements to have them drive me over to my car to try to jump the battery enough to drive it to their store to get a new battery, and an oil change while I was at it. (O Lord, for your tender mercies on my car, I do humbly give thanks. It has been xxxsometimexxx since my last oil change.)

I had inquired about the cost of the services before making these arrangements. Dude-O says $79.99 for a two-year battery. Fine. $29.99 for an oil change. OK, fine. It's cold. I'm in need. I'm also poor, and I figure $100 spent today will save me more than $100 in cab fare this week.

Off we go to my house. Dude-O says "why don't you give it a crank so I can hear what it's doing." OK. I expect the same dead nuthin' I got this morning. Oh no! The girl has ONE. LAST. CRANK. LEFT.

I wipe the egg off my face and we drive back to the store. I left the car and went on my way to cover a city commission meeting. And then I piddled with some other work, including a front-page story for tomorrow and stuff. I call over to the Goodyear store about 4:40 -- inquire about my darlin' car. "Oh, he's just about to start that and should be done by 5." Er, OK. cutting it close, ain'tcha? Cold beggars, however, cannot be picky. So I walk, in my ridiculous short skirt, to the Goodyear store, freezing more with each step in the darkening afternoon. No, it's not done at 5. It's not done at 5:15. Finally, it is complete at 5:35.

Meanwhile, Dude-O has given me a figure for the work.

"$198.98," he says with great satisfaction.

I did not faint on the showroom floor, because it would be unladylike to fall down in that dang short skirt. I didn't want to lose all of my dignity, or all of my money, for that matter.

I called him on it and asked how a $79.99 battery and a $29.99 oil change came up to near on 200 bucks.

Oh, well, you see, there's the $41.95 installation fee for the battery, and the $44.95 electrical system check we ran....

Not once in the 36 years that I have been driving have I ever, ever paid a fee to install a battery in any car I've owned, not even the one in 1972 that exploded when I started the Datsun station wagon in our front yard, causing both of my parents to run from the house fearing they would find pieces of my mangled body scattered across the block. Fortunately for me, that did not happen. I just wet my pants and sat staring blankly into space from the front seat until my dad dragged me out of the car to make sure I still had my lower limbs. I was fine once I changed clothes; they were fine when they reached the guy at the Datsun dealership who drove over and put a whole brand-new battery in the car for free, "cuz it shouldn'ta oughta done that."

So, here I sit, with a pile of bills I can't pay, but by George I can start that old car again. Of course, there are those other things that need attention, like, I supposedly need new wiper blades (how many times a year do garages think we need to replace those?) Oh, and the air filter needs to be changed next oil change. Oh. One other thing. That front left tie rod needs to be replaced and you need an alignment.

OK. Thanks. I'll start getting estimates for that -- at other places. I'm afraid you might charge me a fee to replace the air in my tires next time.