Tuesday, March 31, 2009

1 second (literally) of fame




Now you see me, now you don't ...

Back in November, I participated as an extra in a "made for TV movie" ... I was officially dubed, "background" - serving as a wedding guest. The wedding scenes were filmed in our church - which was actually kind of neat. There are a couple of stories in this - which at some point will be revealed ... most likely after the film has been aired.

So here's the teaser, my 1 second of fame ... I'm in the opening trailer. If you hit the pause button at the 1 second mark, I'm the guest at the end of the pew on the right - the very first one you see ... albeit briefly.

Let me know if you want an autograph.


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Friday, March 27, 2009

Having trouble deciding what to wear?

Since I think that life is like a box of LEGOs, I'm always on the lookout for supporting collateral ...
I think this fits the bill for today.


Virtual Lego Fashion Show - Click here for the funniest movie of the week

As I was drinking my first cup of coffee this morning, the one thought that kept going through my head was, "Lord, please don't let me make too many mistakes today ..." and then I turned on my computer and found this video.

Enough said.


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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A common mistake

It's been a hectic two weeks - and no letting up in sight I fear ... huh ... I think I started last week's post the same way ... odd.

Today's post is prompted by

Heads Or Tails


Today is HEADS: Common and oddly timely ... it's as if Skittles has a web cam placed mysteriously inside my head.

One of my common mistakes is that I believe I have much more time that I actually do. Ergo, I often try to squeeze in just one more thing ... so more times than not, I am late to things. Take for example, today.

I woke up ... late.
I tried to make up for that by doing a host of important but not urgent things prior to leaving for a seminar this morning. Which of course, made me late to the meeting.
I made up for my late arrival by staying "after" ... which ultimately made me late for lunch.
I arrived home with a list of things to do before I had to pick up my son at the bus stop ... (I did make it on time to the bus stop, however, the bus was late ... so I'm not sure if "on time" in that instance counts).
After arriving back home, I checked email, made some phone calls, and checked the time. We were late for a "play" date. After confirming we were still invited (the mom of my son's friend was running late as well), I drove my son to his friend's house.
We stayed there too late.
We missed baseball practice.
And dinner.
And I forgot to pick up milk at the grocery store.
In the end, my son finally got to bed an hour later than usual ... which means that my whole evening "routine" was pushed back which leads me to making this post ... late.

I wonder how common or widespread the propensity to squeeze in just one more thing is ... maybe it's not really a mistake, maybe it's a life choice ... nah - who would consciously make that kind of choice?


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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sometimes I forget the point

It's been a hectic two weeks - and no letting up in sight I fear.

Today's post is prompted by

Heads Or Tails


Today is HEADS: Point ... and oddly timely. Let me recap how I spent most of last Friday ... but as usual, I have to provide a little back story.

Back Story starts here ...
On December 15, 2008 - I remember this clearly, because it is my cousin's birthday and my very dearest friend was in the hospital having surgery. I was on the phone with her husband to see how she was when I glanced out the front window and saw two truckloads of men ... with jackhammers, and other implements of destruction ... in front of my house (driveway specifically). After assured that my friend was in recovery and the surgery went well, I trotted outside to say hello to the pack of men.

"Good Morning!" (I said with a bit of fear and trepidation).
"Hey." (Along with some grunts, and head nods).
"Can I get you guys any coffee, tea, water?" (Said with beaming smile and attempted oozings of charm).
"No, thanks - we're all set."
"Great! Can I ask what's going on?" (Said with a smile and still a bit of trepidation).
"Well, y'all reported a gas leak and even though it's your neighbor's pipes, we're going to have to break up your drive way to fix it."
"WHAT?" (Trepidation resolved into angst at this point)
"Didn't you report a gas leak?" (I'm guessing my mouth still agape made the supervisor ask this).
"Uh, my husband did ..." (great, thanks honey - sure, I know you were being all helpful ... but...)
"Well, we have to fix the leak and to do that we will need access to the pipes, which are under your driveway." (Said with just a hint of patronization).
"Fine. Who's going to repair the driveway?" (All trepidation gone at this point, along with the charm).
"Oh, we are, ma'am. Someone will be out in a two weeks to pour the cement. Before we leave today, we'll put in a patch so you won't have a gaping hole in your driveway."
"Uh huh, great, can you give me a number to call just in case there are any issues?" (Trepidation now has returned - still smiling, only with gritted teeth).
"Just call the gas company."
"And you guys will replace the entire section of the driveway, not just fill in the patch, right?
"Sure, ma'am. I'll make a note of it."
(Said as he turned away).
"OK - let me know if I can do anything for you - " (Said as I turned away).


Fast forward to Friday ... uh, that would be not 2 weeks, not even 2 months, but 3 - count 'em T-H-R-E-E months later and POINTLESS follow up phone calls.

End of back story - Friday's happenings start here ...
I glanced out the window about Noon ... to see some men in my driveway with tools and a dump truck. I thought to myself, great - they finally came - so I ran upstairs to put on my shoes and go outside ... only to get there while the truck was driving away (less than 2 minutes since I first saw them). So I looked at the front door - no little "tag" or "note" saying "HEY! WE WERE HERE" ... nothing. HOWEVER, they did leave a giant hole in the driveway - think about 9 square feet in the center of the front section (the gravel and chunks of concrete and asphalt that comprised the infamous patch were now gone). Oh, and they left a barrier gate ... so as to indicate a type of warning. Brilliant.

I don't mean to whine about it, but it would have been slightly helpful to have had someone let me know what they were doing so that I could get my car out of the garage - but OK - clearly they're coming right back ... but more to the point, they did not rip up the entire section of the driveway - which was about twice as long as the 3 foot by 3 foot hole (approximately three feet on either side of the hole). And, they must have been quite stealthy because I didn't hear them prior to my happen glance out the window.

I don't think I mentioned that the driveway, prior to the patch, was in great condition, it's not more than a few years old - no cracks, no pits, no blemishes of any kind. So, I called the gas company ... again. When I called over the last 3 months, they just made a note of my call and said someone would be out soon. Apparently, soon is 3 months. I had no idea.

The calls always start out like this:

RING RING ...
"Please press 1 if you are calling to report a gas leak, Press 2 if you would like Customer Service".
PRESS 2
"Please press 1 if you meant to report a gas leak the first time, press 2 for all other questions."
PRESS 2
"Please press 1 if this is an emergency and you are reporting a gas leak".
--->Insert expletives and hitting the phone against the wall (as if that would help).
"Press 2 to contact billing, Press 3 to contact repairs ... AHHA!!!!"
PRESS 3
"If you are calling to report a gas emergency ... "

And so it goes, until finally, they figure that they will give you a break (since you've been on the phone for 15 minutes pressing buttons) and get you to a real person.

Back to Friday... I speak to the very polite but clue free CSR from India who routed me to four different contacts. However, rather than just a simple transfer, I have to go BACK through the PHONE MAZE ... can you feel the frustration building? Then the real fun begins, so now after going through the voice prompts, I now have to explain to each person what my problem is ... and after they hear it, they send me to somewhere else. So 45 minutes later and still no further along, I get sent back to where I started ... polite but clue free CSR.

I explain to him, yet again what my problem is and he suggests I call another 800 number directly for repairs. I am elated ... and want to hug him through the phone.

I hang up, call the number ... gleefully go through the PHONE PROMPTS FROM HELL and talk to someone who tells me ... that this is the repair line for gas APPLIANCES.

I am sorry to say that I hung up rather abruptly. It's now been over 90 minutes since I started this little dance.

So I call back the first number again ... working my way through the maze, and ending up with another outsourced Customer Service Rep. This time, the CSR asks me to spell driveway. I was tempted to provide an alternate spelling (briefly) - but held back somehow. Brimming with frustration, blood vessels popping out of my forehead everywhere, I said, somewhat incredulously ... "I apologize for having to ask this, but I'm not sure I can take much more ... and I mean no offense ... but, do you understand what I mean when I say, 'driveway'?"

He replied, "No ma'am, I do not. But I would be most pleased to help you if you could explain."

Sigh.

I attempted an explanation of a driveway - frustration mounting, tension building, ready to erupt at a moment's notice ... when the rep finally gave up trying to understand and suggested that he transfer me to his escalation supervisor.

No, really?

Within 2 minutes of speaking with her (she was an Atlanta native and very calming soul) to provide a reader's digest version of the events to date - she said, "You mean they left a hole in your driveway and didn't tell you?"

"YES!!! YES!!!! YES!!!!!!!!" I exclaimed with delight - and more jumping. "But not only that, they didn't remove the whole section which is what I asked for initially because the driveway is (or was) in great condition."


They came back ... within an hour of my phone conversation with the understanding escalation supervisor and assured me that they would return on Monday to remove the entire section and pour new concrete. In the meantime, they filled the patch with concrete so there wouldn't be a giant whole over the weekend.

So what's the point? You know, at this point, I really have no idea. I'm open for suggestions.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sometimes you have to think outside the box


Today's post is a combination of thoughts - I'm thinking outside the LEGO box today - both metaphorically and literally.

First, let me say that I haven't fallen back into my non-blogging or sporadic blogging habits of old, I've just been away ... at the beach ... and, well, I've been reluctant to sit in front of the old laptop ... so this morning, I am sitting on the deck, looking at the beach, while the laptop sits on my lap.

However, since the calendar says it's Tuesday, that means it's time for the Tuesday meme, Heads or Tails. Today's prompt is "Tails: Spring Memory". To play along, click here.

So many good spring memories, it's a bit difficult to choose, but I'm going with the more recent. For the last 6 or 7 years, we've made a trip to the beach in the spring (ok, it might not be the official spring on the calendar, but spring comes early in the south). For example, it's been in the 80's here this week. It's a lovely time to rejuvenate after our "oh-so-harsh" winters (we did have 1 day of snow a few weeks ago and I think a week of temperatures in the 20's - brrrrr) and the frantic schedules of the holidays. But in all seriousness, spring does lend itself to thinking outside the box, coming up with new ideas, approaching problems with a different perspective, and cleaning out the proverbial closet.

So my favorite spring memory is really a series of memories at the beach - staring at the palmetto trees ... listening to the surf ... thinking of ways to achieve ... and well, just thinking outside the box. We didn't even bring LEGOs on this trip (gasp!)

It's time for me to go ... the banana pancakes are almost ready ... and the sun and surf are calling.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Getting there is half the fun ... or is it all?

Today's post is prompted by the Tuesday meme, Heads or Tails. Today's prompt is Heads: "Getting There". To join the fun, click here - you know you want to, go ahead, do it.

My last two posts have been about Mile 4 ... I'm stretching today's prompt to get there, well, sort of ... I'm getting there, just keep reading (please).

This morning, I read about a writing challenge in the online Smith magazine, where they asked readers to describe their life in six words. This was apparently prompted by the question posed to Hemmingway and his response, "For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn". So that got me thinking, naturally, of what six words I would use to describe my life.

My first thought was, "ha ha ha, but I digress" ... which was closely followed by, "unconditional love, much laughter, healing tears". I would digress further, but this post is about "getting there" and is going to "get there" by asking a question ... what are your six words? Do tell and comment below ...

Grins and giggles to all and remember that

“Life is not a journey to the grave with intentions of arriving safely in a pretty well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming ... WOW! What a ride!”




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