Sunday, December 31, 2006

Urban Camping in Los Angeles

Happy New Years Eve!

This is my idea of urban camping:

On Friday, I flew my cough happy self to Los Angeles to celebrate the New Year with my someone special.

Just in time for my arrival, the hot water heater promptly broke. Yesterday, I had a cold shower that had just a hair of lukewarm to it. It wasn't fun, but I lived.

Today, there wasn't a drop of warm water in sight. It was 100% freezing, 100% of the time.

Along the same lines, the heater in BoRyan's place isn't quite up to speed, so this was my routine today: I woke up and turned the oven to 400 degrees and opened up the door to heat the air in the apartment. Then, I filled up the hot water kettle and turned on the stove to heat the water. I then poured that warm water into a bigger bowl that I used to bathe myself.


Me, Emily, and our neighbor lady downstairs all have dirty hair today. I have my fingers crossed that the plummer really does show up now like he promised. I just have to take a shower...

While I was out today, I picked up a dish of brown sugar body scrub and a scratchy brush. I can't wait to get clean.

Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Great magazine articles: InStyle and U.S. News

While dashing through the aiport today, I grabbed two magazines which turned out to be great: InStyle and U.S. News.

InStyle offered fun fashion tips, including:
* Tiny jackets with short sleeves are in this season.
* The Army and Navy Surplus Stores are great places to find fun accent pieces at reasonable prices.
* The Vonage V-Phone is a tiny little phone (the size of a thumb drive) on a keychain, in orange-- looks fun!
* is offering a Swarovski covered pepper spray canister, to keep you safe and stylish.

Okay, okay... so I'm sure you got tons of value out of that. :-)

Now, the magazine that you HAVE TO BUY this month-- U.S. News & World Report Annual Double Issue for December 25th, 2006 to January 1st, 2007. This magazine will change your life-- get it now before it's too late!!

Here's a summary of a few articles I read that I found helpful:

"50 Ways to Improve Your Life" article:
Included in this article are amazing tips, that are forward thinking and on point. Here are a few tips, in a nutshell:
* Get Happy, and You'll Live Longer -- "While some people may be born with sunny dispositions, happiness isn't necessarily based on genes or luck. Psychologists now belive it's like a learned skill, almost like knitting."
* Lose Those Shoes (downsizing on your heels)
* Eat at Home for Your Own Good -- "Research suggests that eating out plays a key role in America's obesity epidemic."
* Drink some cups of white tea -- "Move over green and black teas -- younger and healthier, and sweeter white tea is poised to take over your pot. White tea actually comes from the same plant... but is less processed and made from the buds of young leaves instead of mature, whithered leaves."
* Stop Diabetes 2 before you get it -- The American Diabetes Association "estimates 20.8 MILLION Americans have
* Book a passage to change -- Including how we treat our planet, how we view politics, and how we live daily
* Take up an instrument -- again
* Give each week a tech-free day
* Start your own blog
* Write your family cookbook (I'm thinking this could be a cool idea!)
* Divorceproof your marriage (or relationship) -- "Based on research, the best single predictor of whether a couple is going to divorce is contempt... Comtempt goes beyond criticism or name-calling to a you're-so-beneath-me tone of haughty superiority. 'My favorite example is correcting someone's grammer when they're arguing with you...' " Also, try this: " by the stranger standard. Like letting someone with only one item go in front of you at the supermarket line."
* Unplug the television
* Hit the road without the DVDs
* Coach your kids sports team
* Lift a shovel in New Orleans
* Vote!
* Lend a hand to your troops
* Help rennovate your local park
* Get rid of the leaf blower -- "A single gas powered leaf blower can emit as much pollution in one year as 80 cars" WOW! Time to get a rake!
* See a glacier before it melts!
And MORE! As you can see, this is a great article!

"America's High Anxiety" article:
I would really like to copy in this entire article... let's see if I can find it online. It definitely represents what I experienced over the last two years, and many people experience every day. I think that this one issue absoluately stiffles our country's innovation. So many people who might otherwise open their own business and help to generate more ideas and money for our country don't because of this one thing. What is it? Healthcare...

I found it! Read it (below) and be SURE to buy the latest copy of U.S. News (Dec. 25 - Jan. 1 Double issue) on the newstands today!

And, Happy New Year if I don't talk to you before!

:-) Angie

America's High Anxiety
By Mortimer B. Zuckerman
Posted Sunday, December 17, 2006

Our nation's core bargain with the middle class is disintegrating. We are into the fifth year of a relatively robust expansion, but millions are worse off. Exposed to greater risks in job security, they feel abandoned, left to fund their own health and retirement programs out of static or falling real incomes.

Resentment and envy are not normal characteristics of our society; we usually don't care how much the other guy makes as long as we feel we're getting a fair shake. Today, however, the middle class is not. Most of our economic gains have gone to people at the very top of the income ladder. Median income for a household of people of working age, by contrast, has fallen five years in a row. What's more, in a rapidly changing economy, Americans are losing their jobs, and while they often find new ones, the average pay is 17 percent below what they were earning before.

Even college graduates have been hard hit, their wages having failed to keep pace with inflation over the past five years-and this at a time when the profits per share for the companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 index have been increasing at double-digit rates while corporate profits are at the highest level in two generations. Wages and salaries, meanwhile, account for the lowest share of our GDP since the government began recording the data, in 1947. As former Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers put it: "If the anxious middle's concerns about fairness are this serious when the unemployment rate is 4.4 percent, there will be far greater concerns whenever the economy next turns down."

Risk. The economy is going great guns-thanks to globalization, continued technology advancements, and improved productivity-but the middle class and working families just don't feel they are getting ahead, despite the fact that they're working very hard. Indeed, many ordinary Americans say they are either falling behind or just barely keeping up.
Philosophers and politicians-from Plato to Disraeli to John Edwards-are fond of the "two nations" concept (slave/free; rich/poor; black/white). Today, we can add another: secure/anxious. Risk, even more than the level of incomes, is the main issue. As family incomes have become more stable, loss aversion has become increasingly important. By a margin of 2 to 1, Americans-traditionally, eager entrepreneurs-consider it more important to protect current sources of income than to take an opportunity to take a chance on something new and make more money.

Tens of millions of Americans live in fear that a major health problem can reduce them to bankruptcy. They realize their families are one health crisis away from family hardship, which is a key reason for the pervasive feeling of personal and permanent insecurity.
This particularly affects American families. Marriage has always been a vital economic and social institution. Yet married people with kids are twice as likely to file for bankruptcy as single adults or childless couples, and they're more likely to lose their homes than married couples without children or single adults. Why hasn't the two-earner family protected more Americans from the risk of financial disaster? Well, to most families, a second income is not a luxury but a necessity, as wages for men basically flattened out as women entered the workforce. The job market has become more uncertain, with roughly as large a share of workers involuntarily losing their jobs every three years as during the steep economic decline of the early 1980s. The cost of housing, education, healthcare, and child care, meanwhile, has gone through the roof.

Think about what happens when a woman leaves the workforce to have a child.

Think about the possibility of a child who becomes chronically ill.

Think about what happens when one of two parents loses his or her job, and what happens afterward when families break apart.

Think about the fact that raising a child to the age of 18 will cost over $200,000 for a middle-income family-and that doesn't even account for college tuition, now a required ticket for admission into the middle class.

Perhaps that's why for the first time, according to the Census Bureau, households headed by single people outnumber those headed by married ones.

If there is one single source of risk our policymakers must tackle, it is health insurance. We must not muddle on, a band-aid here and a band-aid there. We must find some way to provide universal health insurance, especially to cover all children. This is one of the critical reasons that Americans are nervous and no longer believe that the next generation will be better off.

The deep disquiet in this newly anxious American nation was evident in last month's midterm elections. Whichever party better focuses on healthcare will do a world of good for itself and the country.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Almost better!!!

Today was another day with the lepers. It's amazing how people run the other way when your voice is horse.

Anyway, I'm just about bored out of my goard with all this... hopefully, I'll have something fun to write about soon.

I finally did go to the doctor today. It looks like what started as a cold may have developed into a sinus infection.

To remedy this, the doctor wrote me the typical prescriptions for an antibiotic and cough medicine. Then, she said, "would you like a 'sinus cocktail'"? Sinus cocktail? What's that?

Anyway, after talking to a few friends and family members around the country-- I've decided that this could possibly be a Memphis term. Okahoma didn't know it. California didn't. And not Washington DC. And that's a pretty good cross section I'd say.

But every person I talked to in Memphis knew it-- young, old, man, woman.

For those reading who may not know what a sinus cocktail is, it's a combination of 2 shots: one is a steroid of some kind and one reduces the amount of drainage you're producing... and I think there are some antibiotics mixed in. The idea is that it takes the antibiotic pills a few days to kick in and this helps in the meantime... Actually, I hear I'll be a new person tomorrow.

I'm counting on that!

The whole visit was definitely an interesting experience. First, they drew blood to be sure I had an infection-- 3 vials of it. Yeow! Then, they gave me the two shots. I can't really remember the last time I had a shot per se... so I was a little nervous. This poor lady who did it-- that's all she does all day is give people shots. What an experience with other people that is.

Anyway, I had to do this whole drop your pants, hold onto the table routine. I let her know that although I wouldn't move during the shots, it did really freak me out to have them. I think this formed some kind of rapport, as she gave me tips to reduce the pain and was chatty. This made the whole thing way more reasonable.

Afterward, I went to the Walgreen's next door to get my prescriptions and walk off the shots. That's one of the ways to reduce the pain-- walk.

While I was there, I had the good fortune to get a phone call from my friend Larry. I had a few extra tickets to an event this weekend and he's going to take his kids. Larry just so happens to live near the Walgreen's and drove up to get the tickets. I'm super happy he'll be able to use them and take his kids. :-)

In the end, I'm here to type about the experience... :-) I just have a few extra bandaides.... and for those of you who may have talked with me personally lately, this is nothing new. I'm really becoming quite tolerant of pain. For one reason or another, I've fallen down completely on the ground 3 times since moving back to Memphis a couple of months ago. I'm black and blue and covered with bandages constantly. Sexy!

So, the moral is-- life is looking up and I'm fighting to get better. Although I do enjoy time at home and relaxation... It's not my favorite when it's forced... and also, when it spans over a month. This all started at the end of November.

But again, I'll be better tomorrow I hope!

Cross your fingers for me. :-)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I've lost my voice...

So, I'm sick again. Did I say that already? lol. :-)

I don't actually FEEL that bad, but I SOUND terrible! I've almost lost my voice.

It's left me feeling somewhat isolated. I can't really talk to anyone... and at work, I've been staying low, to keep from getting sent home. :-)

I think that tomorrow I may work from home. I'm also going to head to the doctor.

I can hardly breathe (much less talk) right now without coughing. Will it be allergies? A cold? A sinus infection?

Your guess is as good as mine! lol.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


I'm awake. It's 5:30 A.M. and I'm officially up and typing. I woke up this morning hacking myself to death (I'm sick again-- ugh), and I thought I'd give the computer a try for a few minutes until my body relaxes again enough to go back to sleep.

I checked on my Myspace and received the most unexpected Christmas interaction I had all day.

Last night, I was purusing through Myspace... I see one of my classmates from high school who I never knew was on Myspace. I remember her as one of those people who was a bit of a trouble maker and a bit endearing at the same time... definitely someone with issues, but someone you wanted to like. She appears to be divorced with 2 children-- one of them being a small baby. I was happy to see how strong and independant she appears to be.

I thought that I should definitely connect. Our 10 year class reunion is coming up soon and I'm making a special effort to reach out to my classmates. As you probably already know, I do keep in close touch with my friends via the online world.

Anyway, this morning, I received this reply to my "friend request" in my inbox on Myspace from her:
Thanks for the request, but I"m going to deny it..You were on my list for a
long time and I sent you a couple of emails asking how you were doing and
never replied...I'm not trying to be crappy, I just don't think anyone
can have
1000 friends and keep up with them..but I do hope that everything
is going well
for you and I'm sure I will see you at the reunion! Best of
luck and I hope you
had a great Christmas

My thoughts on this:

--Who takes Myspace seriously?
--Does it matter that I never received her messages? Did she even send them to the right person?
--Does she really expect everybody on Myspace to keep up with all of their Myspace friends all of the time? And is this really what qualifies you to be someone's Myspace friend? Isn't it just supposed to be fun?
--Hello, I am an online marketer, this is why I have over 1000 friends...
--And by the way, I do keep up with many of them... I can multitask.

Anyway, not that this really matters, but give me a break... and take your issues somewhere else. I was seriously trying to be a nice person.

Byte me.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Scrooge and intellectual property rights

A more serious, but important thought for Christmas... by Joseph E Stiglitz, professor ...from

A medical prize fund could improve the financing of drug innovations

At Christmas, we traditionally retell Dickens's story of Scrooge, who cared more for money than for his fellow human beings. What would we think of a Scrooge who could cure diseases that blighted thousands of people's lives but did not do so? Clearly, we would be horrified. But this has increasingly been happening in the name of economics, under the innocent sounding guise of "intellectual property rights."

Intellectual property differs from other property—restricting its use is inefficient as it costs nothing for another person to use it. Thomas Jefferson, America's third president, put it more poetically than modern economists (who refer to "zero marginal costs" and "non-rivalrous consumption") when he said that knowledge is like a candle, when one candle lights another it does not diminish from the light of the first. Using knowledge to help someone does not prevent that knowledge from helping others. Intellectual property rights, however, enable one person or company to have exclusive control of the use of a particular piece of knowledge, thereby creating monopoly power. Monopolies distort the economy. Restricting the use of medical knowledge not only affects economic efficiency, but also life itself.

We tolerate such restrictions in the belief that they might spur innovation, balancing costs against benefits. But the costs of restrictions can outweigh the benefits. It is hard to see how the patent issued by the US government for the healing properties of turmeric, which had been known for hundreds of years, stimulated research. Had the patent been enforced in India, poor people who wanted to use this compound would have had to pay royalties to the United States.

In 1995 the Uruguay round trade negotiations concluded in the establishment of the World Trade Organization, which imposed US style intellectual property rights around the world. These rights were intended to reduce access to generic medicines and they succeeded. As generic medicines cost a fraction of their brand name counterparts, billions could no longer afford the drugs they needed. For example, a year's treatment with a generic cocktail of AIDS drugs might cost $130 (£65; {euro}170) compared with $10 000 for the brand name version.1 Billions of people living on $2-3 a day cannot afford $10 000, though they might be able to scrape together enough for the generic drugs. And matters are getting worse. New drug regimens recommended by the World Health Organization and second line defences that need to be used as resistance to standard treatments develops can cost much more.

Developing countries paid a high price for this agreement. But what have they received in return? Drug companies spend more on advertising and marketing than on research, more on research on lifestyle drugs than on life saving drugs, and almost nothing on diseases that affect developing countries only. This is not surprising. Poor people cannot afford drugs, and drug companies make investments that yield the highest returns. The chief executive of Novartis, a drug company with a history of social responsibility, said "We have no model which would [meet] the need for new drugs in a sustainable way ... You can't expect for-profit organizations to do this on a large scale."2

Research needs money, but the current system results in limited funds being spent in the wrong way. For instance, the human genome project decoded the human genome within the target timeframe, but a few scientists managed to beat the project so they could patent genes related to breast cancer. The social value of gaining this knowledge slightly earlier was small, but the cost was enormous. Consequently the cost of testing for breast cancer vulnerability genes is high. In countries with no national health service many women with these genes will fail to be tested. In counties where governments will pay for these tests less money will be available for other public health needs.

A medical prize fund provides an alternative. Such a fund would give large rewards for cures or vaccines for diseases like malaria that affect millions, and smaller rewards for drugs that are similar to existing ones, with perhaps slightly different side effects. The intellectual property would be available to generic drug companies. The power of competitive markets would ensure a wide distribution at the lowest possible price, unlike the current system, which uses monopoly power, with its high prices and limited usage.

The prizes could be funded by governments in advanced industrial countries. For diseases that affect the developed world, governments are already paying as part of the health care they provide for their citizens. For diseases that affect developing countries, the funding could be part of development assistance. Money spent in this way might do as much to improve the wellbeing of people in the developing world—and even their productivity—as any other that they are given.

The medical prize fund could be one of several ways to promote innovation in crucial diseases. The most important ideas that emerge from basic science have never been protected by patents and never should be. Most researchers are motivated by the desire to enhance understanding and help humankind. Of course money is needed, and governments must continue to provide money through research grants along with support for government research laboratories and research universities. The patent system would continue to play a part for applications for which no one offers a prize . The prize fund should complement these other methods of funding; it at least holds the promise that in the future more money will be spent on research than on advertising and marketing of drugs, and that research concentrates on diseases that matter. Importantly, the medical prize fund would ensure that we make the best possible use of whatever knowledge we acquire, rather than hoarding it and limiting usage to those who can afford it, as Scrooge might have done. It is a thought we should keep in mind this Christmas.

Merry Christmas via Text?

I wonder exactly what the future of technology is.

Up until a few weeks ago, I've been using an old cell phone. So old in fact that I rarely sent or received text messages.

Then, I switched to a new cell phone that can send and receive text messages with ease. When I was sick a few weeks ago, I spent a good part of my time in bed exchanging notes with my friends. One night, I think I may have sent around 50 text messages. Wow.

Then, it became apparent to me that some of my friends have been sending 'mass' text messages. These are messages that you may get that say, "Hey, want to go to the movies tonight?" It's a little like phishing. You can send out a mass message to all of your friends and find out who is available without them knowing just who you asked.

So, last week, I tried the mass messaging; it was successful. I sent out a reminder just before meeting up for drinks. Friends who might have forgotten came; friends who were looking for something to do were given an option.

Since then, I've become much more aware of the mass messages I receive.

Today, I've gotten around 6 text messages that I suspect are mass Merry Christmas'. What do you think? Do these messages allow you to more closely connect to your friends or are they disconnecting?

I must say... I tend to feel it connects us. In the past, I would have not heard anything from my friends. It's hard to get away on Christmas day to connect. Text messages allow us to reach out on our own terms... to others who can receive them on their own terms. It's a bonus that you can connect to so many people at one time.

I do wonder though... what is the future of this? Will we eventually send Christmas card-like messages via text message? Christmas presents?

Either way, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Fun Night Playing Trivia at TJ Mulligan's

I know I've been a little checked out lately. Not too worry, tonight won't be much different.

This is just a quick post to say that after a screwed up day, the evening went quite well.

I met up with Serrabee for dinner at Blue Fin before heading down the street to play trivia. I've only every played trivia in Memphis once before and it was an accident. This time, I invited my friends who have never played before.

In the beginning, a few of our team members thought we should just drink... that we didn't understand it well enough to play. Clearly, our self esteem was low for about the first half. When we got to half time, the DJ began to read the team names in reverse order, starting with the most poorly ranked team. As he went up the list and our team name wasn't called (which by the way ended up somehow being "Angie's B*tches), the team began to think we had done so poorly that we weren't ranked at all. That was right up until it was declared that we were in FIRST place!


If there's one thing I have, it's smart friends!

At our little table, we had the following (that I know of, although I didn't get to quiz everyone... ha):
--> 3 engineers
--> 1 chemist
--> 1 psycologist
--> 4 computer programmers
--> 5 current or former Fed Ex employees

Needless to say, we had the math and sciences covered. Unfortunately, we were much more behind on pop culture. When they asked which popular song particular lyrics came from, we weren't sure. When they asked who invited the thermometer, we not only knew who invented it, but how and why... It had something to do with glass balls and liquid and density... but anyway.

Up through the second to last question of the game, we were in 1st place, ahead by around 12 points. The longer the game went on, the more serious and quiet the table became.

The last question was a hard one, especially since we weren't cheating. It was, rank the following 4 companies in order of value. McDonald's, IBM, Marlboro, and Coca Cola.

Unfortunately, we weren't so lucky on this question. We missed it and fell to 3rd place. Still, we won a certificate for $$$ off our tab. It was pretty good for a first try!


Monday, December 04, 2006


Well, in case that you've been wondering what happened to me or the second day on my vacation, I've been sick.

Starting this time last week, I go a cold and ever since, I've been resting-- trying to get better as fast as possible. As you may agree though, the main thing that a cold needs is time. Luckily, I'm just about better and back into the swing of things.

I'll try to take the time to finish my stories about Hawaii as soon as I can. After that, I need to post the photos from my birthday party.

By far, I had the best birthday this year. It officially lasted around a month, with a trip, a party, lunches, dinners... it was great! Thanks to everyone who pitched in! :-)

On another note, the Christmas shopping has been going well. I've been shopping from home and have found that most retailers are giving free shipping and often, free returns. I have compiled my favorite online merchants onto one page for you: It's easy to find and easy to remember. As you know, I LOVE online shopping! Check it out and let me know how it goes.

Back again soon--

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Netflix - A Fun Service Worth Trying

I recently purchased what has turned out to be a great birthday gift for BR: Netflix!

After receiving the gift, he took a few hours to rate some 200-300 movies. Then, in addition to the movies he chose as his favorites, Netflix was able to recommend more movies he might like.

Combining his favorite movies and Netflix suggestions, he created a BIG list of all of the movies he'd like to see. Netflix has a HUGE selection of movies and TV series, so this was easy.

Then, Netflix started mailing him the movies and he's been telling everyone how much he loves Netflix ever since. Just this weekend, he signed up both his mom and his dad with Netflix.

Each DVD comes in its own envelope. After you watch each DVD, you mail it back and Netflix sends you another.

You can watch as many DVDs as you want-- or you can keep each DVD for as long as you want. You send them back whenever you feel like it (1 day, 1 month, or 1 year later...) and Netflix will turn around and send you a new DVD from your list ASAP.

As you can imagine, Netflix has been wonderful! There are 3 options you should try:

  • A gift subscription for a friend, family member, or co-worker (you purchase the subscription online and then print out the gift certificate to give them)
  • A subscription for yourself (they're month to month, so you can cancel anytime)
  • A two-week trial membership (excellent choice if you aren't sure if Netflix is right for you)

Go sign up here now!

Netflix, Inc.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Shame On You, Scamming College Student!

I received an e-mail today from a college student in the state I grew up in. The student claimed to be PayPal (the online financial transaction company) and of course, needed some log in information from me or he would cancel my account.

Isn't this just typical? Well, anyway, sometimes when I get these spam fishing e-mails, I check to see where the links actually take you.

Today, the e-mail's links went to the department of engineering at a large university. This really upsets me. Not only is the person a scammer, but they're using the servers at a public institution to help them. They weren't even smart enough to host their scam off somewhere else. Not that this matters, but you know...

I don't normally take the time to follow up on things, but today I took a few minutes to forward the e-mail to the Dean of Engineering at the school.

Hopefully, he'll stop the kid from sending it on to more unsuspecting internet users.

If you want to learn more about how you can stop receiving spam e-mails, visit If you have received a spam message that you would like to report, forward the message to this e-mail address: SPAM@UCE.GOV.

While we're on the topic, if you receive telemarketing PHONE calls that you'd like to get rid of, check out the Do Not Call Registry's web site here:

Good night and happy Thanksgiving Eve!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Career Goddess Salary Negotiation Blog

I found this important post on Career Goddess' blog here.

Yesterday's USA TODAY ran an extensive multi-page section on women and retirement was informative and yet it missed one very important FACT -- WOMEN EARN 77% FOR EVERY DOLLAR A MAN EARNS and a major contributing reason is that women don't negotiate salary and men typically do. I have seen this in my work as a career counselor having helped thousands through my private counseling and job search seminars. Women seemed shocked when they follow some solid salary negotiation strategies that resulted in securing thousands of dollars more. Men expect it. In fact, the biggest salary raises (over 15%) come from quitting your job and moving to a new employer but only if you successfully negotiate your compensation package. Women need to step out of their comfort zone, and not be humble or complacent. You must ASK to be paid what they are worth. If you don’t know what your skills are worth, go to to get a good idea of the range you should be paid for the work you do. Sadly too many women are timid and just accept the first salary offer an employer makes leaving a great deal of money on the table that could have added to their retirement savings account if they had strategically asked. No one will volunteer to pay you top dollar unless you expect and ask quantifying your skills and experience convincing the employer you are worth the additional dollars.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Birthday Escape: Day 1

(I'm going to try to give the run down on what I did while we were out of town, to give suggestions and feedback for other travelers. I'll add photos as they become available... and, if I've forgotten something, there's nothing an edit won't fix.)

Let's start at the beginning: Day 1 of my adventure. I had a typical day on Tuesday (Nov. 7) last week. I went to work, had lunch, worked. Everything was normal, with one exception.

Instead of going home after work, I headed to the airport. Oh, and-- I wore jeans to be comfortable on the plane. Pretty exciting for a Tuesday... :-)

I hopped onto a 6:45 PM flight from MEM to LAX. It arrived after 9 PM and I hauled my huge bags out to the curb. (It often seems that the first time you try something, an extra suitcase is required for moral support.)

BR picked me up at the curb outside of the baggage claim. It was great to see him.

On our way to Santa Monica, we stopped at one of my favorite spots in Santa Monica. It's a little diner called Swingers. You can check out their web site here:

They've recently come out with a new drink menu that features mixed drinks, so it's now a fun place to get Mohitos at some late hour. That and cheese fries, humus, veggie chilli, ahi tuna, or whatever other slightly off beat food you may desire. I went with the mohito and cheese fries while BR got a wonderful black and white milk shake.

After our snack, we headed back to the homestead in Santa Monica to dream of warm beaches and lush landscapes.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Hawaiian Angie

As I mentioned in the previous post, I'm back. I've been gone to Hawaii... I can't wait to share the details with you, but for now, I'll post one photo from the first day we arrived. As you can see, I'm a little jet lagged from traveling for two days.

By the way, the t-shirt I'm wearing is for a new music web site you REALLY should check out-- It's the new "music genome project" and you just might like it...!

I'm Back!

I've been out on a birthday adventure. I'll fill you in ASAP!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Update: Ardent Party, Oprah Giveaway, Sprinkles Cupcakes, and more!

Alright, this is going to be a quick post-- hopefully it will work out. With my ultra-un-reliable interet connection, who knows... but I'll give it a shot.

Today was fun; I attended Ardent's 40th birthday party. In case you haven't heard, Ardent is an amazing recording studio in Memphis where tons of great tunes have been recorded. (Whenever I say tunes, it always makes me think of Eddie Izzard... but that post will have to wait for another day)

Here's a link to their web site:

Taken from their site, here are a few of the artists that have recorded there:
• The White Stripes
• 3 Doors Down
• Gin Blossoms
• R.E.M.
• Black Snake Moan (Movie Score)
• Hustle & Flow (Movie Score)
• Cheap Trick
• Sister Hazel
• Soundgarden
• ZZ Top
• Skillet
• Big Star
• Dave Matthews
• Al Green
• Isaac Hayes
• B.B. King
• Bob Dylan
• North Mississippi Allstars
• Bar-Kays
• Travis Tritt
• Marty Stuart
• Tanya Tucker
• Aaron Tippin
• Little Texas
• Waylon Jennings
• The Allman Brothers
• Lynyrd Skynyrd
• Take the Wheel
• DC Talk
• Big Tent Revival
• Smalltown Poets
• Led Zeppelin
• Booker T & the MG's
• Triple 6 Mafia

As you can see, many kinds of music have been recorded at Ardent over the years. Depending on the kind of music that you prefer, you will pick out rock, soul, country, and Christian artists.

On the topic of me, if you know me, you know that I tend to get music stuck in my head. For today, the song on repeat is "Buffalo Soldier" that Bob Marley sang. I saw his sons in concert over the summer at the Hollywood Bowl and Ziggy sang this song.


Two noteable things from the party-- First, it was cool to see Craig Brewer in person. What a low key nice guy! Second, I completely took a tumble down the stairs at the party. Wow. I don't typically do this, really. It was one of those shady spots where you can't quite see the stairs and the stairs change heights. You know? Anyway, it was one of those slow motion moments. Luckily, I managed to come out relatively unharmed... and impressively, there was still wine in my glass when I stood up. Apparently, auto-pilot was working. lol. :)

On other topics... a quick entertainment update:
The bad: Ryan Phillipe and Reese Witherspoon have announced that they are seperating. Awe! :(
The good: Oprah has given out $1000 gift cards to her audience members-- who have to now go donate the $1000 to a charity or a needy person in some way. She's actually giving the gift of "giving." Some people seem to be complaining that she should have just given the audience members $1000 for themselves, but this seems like a good thing to me. Although it's a little unconventional, Oprah appears to be trying to set a few examples in motion... get people thinking about how much you can do with so little when you're trying to help others. :-)

Next topic-- It appears that I'm most definitely completely having a birthday party. But, not only that-- it's a TRIPLE birthday party! For all the details, be sure to e-mail me at birthday(at) and I'll get you fixed up with an invitation. It's going to be at a fun downtown location and the event has the potential for Raiford's and breakfast afterward.

I almost forgot-- there will be CUPCAKES at the party! The two birthday boys who are celebrating with me have been teasing me when I say that cupcakes are in style. But, once again tonight, I did spot the LA cupcakery, Sprinkles, on the TV entertainment rundown. If you haven't heard of them, you should definitely check them out... once you do, you'll understand my addiction. :-)

One final note-- The Grizzlies season kicks off this Wednesday, November 1st. Be sure to get your tickets soon, because the Grizzlies are playing the New York Knicks. Should be a fun time!


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Memphis Manatee

Memphis Manee has his own music video, complete with trips to Graceland and Sun Studio.

If you haven't heard, a manatee swam into the Mississippi River and ended up in Memphis this week. It's been quite the talk.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

New Post, New Day.

Things are looking up.

Today, I visited the Civil Rights Museum and took a tour of the Gibson Guitar Factory. Both were wonderful! I recommend them both highly.

I'm also looking forward to all of the fun activities going on around Downtown Memphis this weekend for Halloween. Paul and Phillip both outlined the weekend very well, so I'll point you to their blogs.

Sarabee also mentioned a fun article on her blog today. It's called "12 Places to Eat on Your Hipster Journey to Memphis" and it sounds tasty. Check it out here. Probably my favorite thing is that he mentions the BP gas / sushi station. I, of course, know just where this is and I have completely tried it! It's not bad at all-- and is actually homemade there at the BP station. :-)

Another "new" place I tried today is Sleep Out Louie's. Although I hear about Sleep Out's all the time from Paul and my co-workers, I've never been before. Oh wait, I should rephrase-- I have never been there to eat before. On one occasion, the bartender there was gracious enough to make change for me on my way to another place that only accepted cash. But anyway, today I actually stayed and had lunch. It was a great atmosphere and tasty food. I had the chicken fingers, french fries (with ranch and honey mustard), and sweet tea. I recommend it.

On another note, the Mpact Memphis party last night was fun, despite it being outdoors in the cold and rain. Around half of the party ended up being held in the gym of the building. I am a definite fan of the occasional party challenge... it always makes for a fun memory and good story. I should note that the party was much larger than I expected... and being that it was in multiple rooms, it was even more impressive that the roof was completely full. In case you haven't seen it yet, Mpact Memphis now has a Myspace page. You should check it out and be sure to ask to be their friend:

Well, that's about it for now. I'm tired; it's late.

Monday, October 23, 2006


I've been thinking the past few days... it seems like lately, I've been so pressed for time that instead of writing my thoughts on one thing or another, I'm essentially going through my daily itinerary. Not that the run down is all that bad, but I'd definitely like to get back into the groove of actually discussing my thoughts on a topic.

Hopefully, I can begin to lean in that direction...

Today, I had another interesting afternoon in Memphis. I traveled around and watched a show be taped that's about Memphis-- and the musical heritage of the city. We visited many different important Memphis landmarks, including the Smithsonian Rock 'n' Soul Museum, WC Handy Park, BB King's Blues Club, Sun Studio, and Graceland.

My favorite spot today was Graceland. I actually took the full tour (house, planes, and cars) on Friday of last week. But today was different. We weren't on the tour and we didn't have to stay behind the ropes. Well, really we only went out onto the lawn, but you know... it was still fun! :-)

In other news... I got a new neighbor yesterday. I became aware something was diffrenent when my entire apartment was suddenly filled with music at around 11 PM; music that wasn't mine. I was so frustrated by the new mystery music that I took a walk around at around 11:30 PM to figure out where it was coming from. I couldn't quite figure out why it suddenly started.

When I got home today, there were movers all over the building, moving in belongings-- none of them in boxes. As you can imagine, there were random loose belongings sitting all over the place. I followed the trail of the belongings and the movers all the way to the apartment next to mine....

...the one with the music.

Going for the gusto, I walked all the way in to the apartment and announced myself to my new neighbor. He seems nice enough; very much like one of the typical neighbor neighbor types here-- divorced, starting over.

Before leaving I said something like, "Oh-- you must have been up late last night unpacking, huh?" And he said something like "Oh yeah, could you hear me?" And I said, "Oh yeah, totally." And, he said, "Oh wow, I wasn't sure how well the speakers carried, and I just got new big ones yesterday." "Yup, it carries... far," I said. Then, I wished him luck moving in and all that nice stuff.

He seems like a nice guy, but seriously, I can do without music at midnight on Sunday that's not in a dream I'm having. Hopefully, we're on the same page about that. The floors in his place are concrete and he's got no furniture for crying out loud! lol. If he wants to have a second childhood, cool-- but please, do it quietly!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Hello again.

It seems like I'm averaging around 1 post every five days lately. Hopefully I'll pick up the pace at some point. My main hurdle right now is my poor internet connection at home. I've complained about the problem at least 5 or more times now, so maybe I'll finally start to have a decent connection.

This weekend was a good one. BoRyan visited and we had a nice time... Friday night, we had dinner at a great place downtown called Chez Phillipe.

Yesterday morning, we took a long walk around the South Main neighborhood that included the Memphis Farmer's Market, Gestures Gifts, MUSE, and Bluff City Coffee. It was great to see so many businesses doing well in downtown Memphis. At Bluff City, I had a white hot chocolate that was quite tasty and was made with Ghirardelli chocolate. Also, MUSE has added a small mens section. And... the Memphis Farmers Market will be closed for the season.

Last night, we attended Daniel and Victoria's wedding in Collierville. The wedding was very nice and it was good to see a few old friends from FedEx.

Today, we walked down to see where the fires burned the church and the other buildings in downtown. It's amazing to see how far the fire actually traveled. After a long walk, we stopped in to Texas de Brazil for their brunch. I've always avoided this place, because I thought it would be just another salad bar with meat. Luckily I was wrong. About their brunch menu anyway. :-) They had all sorts of meats, cheeses, salads, olives... waffles, cake... and a few other things. Oh, and free mimosas (which were remarkably OJ dominated). Anyway, good place... I recommend trying it at least once.

Yawn... I'm going to go... it's time for Desperate Housewives and relaxation.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Updates, updates....

Today was quite a whirlwind. For my brain, that is. It was one of those days where you wear yourself out early on, and you spend a good part of the evening with your thoughts... sorting things out.

Luckily for me, things are pretty well sorted now. The short of it is...

  • The next few days are going to be fun. I've got an after school activity scheduled each day to keep me occupied.
  • I need to work to put up the decorations in my apartment, even if it turns out to be by myself.
  • Friday, I'm going to enjoy a great dinner with a guest I'm looking forward to.
  • Saturday I have a fun wedding to be a spectator at.
  • I think I'm going to have a party for my birthday in a few weeks. Actually, it looks like it will be a triangular birthday party... with 3 birthday people. I'm looking forwad to this. Hopefully, it will be a super bash! (If I don't have your current e-mail for the e-vite, please send it to me at this address: birthday(at)
  • I hope to eventually get back into retail blogging before Christmas.

In addition to all this important thinking (and a TON of talking), I found out that the items I ordered online a few days ago have started to ship to me. I'm super happy about that.

Sometime soon, I'd like to also begin to spruce up my apartment. I may have to post photos of things I'm thinking of getting, so that I can get your thoughts. :-)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Save Me From the Mall -- Online Shopping Malls and Fashion Stores

With my new job, I'm also working to spruce up my fall wardrobe some.

After an afternoon of debating where to drive to go shopping... and after a bit of a time warp of a trip to Macy's yesterday (the one day sale was a little crazy to say the least), I've decided to try shopping for a few clothes online.

You know that feeling you have when leaving a mall-- like you've been sucked dry by all of the people and the floresent lights? Well, I'm hoping not to have that feeling... and hopefully, I'll find a few things I like.

Luckily, many places provide free shipping and returns these days, so there isn't as big of a risk when I buy online. Plus, online stores tend to have more sizes than the typical brick and morter shops.

I think I may even try this for my Christmas shopping...!

Below are a few links I've created for myself to use for my little virtual trip. Feel free to ignore them, or give them a try if you're also looking to keep yourself away from the mall as we approach the holiday season craziness. I'll be getting my MAC makeup at Macy's. I really like the way they package it up... and so far, they've always sent free samples too., Inc. is a discount retailer

SHOP.COM has a little of everything

The Body Shop Socially responsible company sells lotions and makeup
Huge selection of shoes; Free shipping & returns

Thomas Pink
Cool high end button down dress shirts
Sprit has a sale

Gap's free shipping Logo

Shop at

CoutureCandy Personal Sylists
Couture Candy brings LA style to your door

BlueFly offers designer clothes for less

Frederick's of Hollywood, Inc. Frederick's

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday the 13th

Today was a nice day. I went into the office for the first half of the day... And for the second half, I toured two local Memphis museums.

First, the Memphis Children's Muesum and second, the Pink Palace Museum. I especially enjoyed the Children's Musem. It was incredibly well done, creative-- and the kids who where there were loving it.

The Pink Palace was also good. They had exhibits of old clothes and tools that were used years ago in Tennessee. They also had a model railroad show temporarily going on. I haven't spent much time around model railroads, so it was a learning experience for me.

I ended up finishing a few minutes earlier than I would have anticipated, so I took the time to check out the Peabody Hotel's famous duck walk. Although I've tried to go many times, I don't know that I've actually made it in time for the walk. The walk happens at around 4:45 (they set up at 4:30).

If you've never heard of the walk-- this is the deal: The Duckmaster trains this group of ducks on the roof of the Peabody Hotel, where they have a Duck Palace (or something similiar). If you ever visit the Peabody, be sure to check out the roof because that's where the ducks have their home. Anyway, so the ducks are trained to walk from this big fountain in the center of the hotel-- down a red carpet (at the command of the Duckmaster) and onto the hotel's elevator. From there, they go up to the roof and retire in the Duck Palace for the evening. This routine happens every day at the Peabody, so if you visit Memphis its definitely worth seeing once.

I would recommend getting there early. They have a bar, so the best suggestion I have is to get there for happy hour and pull up a seat close to the fountain. It was amazing to see how rude grown adults were to the 3 and 4 year old children that were trying to get to the front of the crowd. Luckily, they made it up. But there were so many flash bulbs that you would have though Justin Timberlake was marching upstairs to the Duck Palace.

Tomorrow, I'm planning to attend a book party at the Gibson. I'm also getting a haircut, having lunch with a friend, having my car looked at, and running to the bank.

This schedule explains why I stayed in tonight. That and, I wanted to finally try out my gym here. I need to get back into the habit of going to the gym and luckily, there's a great facility here to do just that.

On Sunday, I'm considering a home decorating workshop and a tour of the downtown homes in Memphis. Should be interesting.

Update: My closet is back up. After much controversy, it's been repaired. Turns out that the closet falling is an almost assured occurance for those owners who did not upgrade the closets. The shelving was installed very poorly-- only using plastic anchors and only securing them with the drywall. I'm hoping the new metal anchors and screws that go into the studs will help keep it up on the wall this time.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

What a Morning

I just woke up to find the the shelves in my bedroom closet have fallen off the wall into the center of my closet. Since I wasn't storing anything heavy on the closet, like boxes, it appears that whoever installed the thing in the first place did a poor job installing the anchors.

Ugh, just another thing now on my to-do list!

I'm Spoiled.

This weekend cemented it—I’ve gone from a church mouse lifestyle to being spoiled. Thank goodness!

If you know me well, you know that I’ve spent the last two years working myself to death… quitting my corporate job to earn my MBA, working for myself… taking big risks. It has taken a lot of time, and a huge amount of energy.

On Friday after work, I flew to Los Angeles to spent time with BoRyan. Bright and early at 8 AM Saturday morning, we took off for Santa Barbara County. We drove from Santa Monica, through Malibu, up the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1 / PCH) toward SB. Our goal: relaxation and good wine. The next week or so is the harvest season for the grapes, so this was an extra good time to go.

In all, we visited 6 wineries on Saturday; 5 were open. Gainey was closed for a wedding, so we weren’t able to visit them. But, we did go to Rideau (favorite winery), Foley (like it a lot, despite that they’ll never ship to Memphis), and a few new places, including a place in a shack that was surprisingly wonderful. We also visited one vineyard that used to just grow grapes for other vineyards, but recently started producing their own wine.

Probably the most unexpected experience was our stop by Firestone. Although we’ve both visited Firestone before once, it was fairly basic. We saw the location where Sideways was filmed and that was about it.

This time, we had the good fortune of falling into a tour right when we went into Firestone. We were able to walk up to the grape vines and actually eat grapes off them. Then, we got a chance to see how the grapes are smashed… and then how the wine is made… and lastly, how it’s stored. Pretty good tour… and the wine wasn’t too bad either. :-)

After this all day tour (complete with lunch in Los Olivos at the Wine Merchant place from Sideways), we headed to our hotel in a Danish community nearby. We ate Danish diner food at a place specializing in split pea soup. Of course, we both had to try it.

After dinner, we watched Little Miss Sunshine, but as usual, I fell right to sleep. Looks like I’ll have to watch it again another time. I hear it was good.

Sunday morning, we woke up, and after breakfast in bed, we headed down the hall for massages at the hotel spa. It was GREAT!

After the massages, we headed into Santa Barbara for a wonderful lunch at an Italian café and a little shopping. I found a new purse, and a new necklace.

After driving back to Santa Monica, we finished the weekend with dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Monsoon, and a new episode of Desperate Housewives.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

A good / bad day.

Alright, today was bittersweet. But before I get into that, I'll quickly explain my lack of blogging in the past few days. My new apartment comes with "free wireless internet." Well, I guess you get what you pay for because it hardly works for me. I should correct myself-- it doesn't work in my office, but I have just discovered that it does work in my bed. That does not seem like a good sign... what do they expect me to be using my internet for?

Anyway, the good and the bad--
Good (Calvary music lunch performance) + Bad (sore feet from a long, complicated, unexpected walk) = Neutral
Good (Taking my last hour of work to see the new Smithsonian Rock 'n' Soul Museum) + Bad (a freaking terribly long walk that completely did my feet in and added blisters in places I've never had blisters) = Bittersweet
Good (A nice letter from my great aunt) + Bad (News that my great uncle [unrelated to great aunt] had a stroke today and is very ill) = Sucks

I'm also feeling bummed about my upcoming class reunion. I keep wanting to be excited and think that it's going to be a fun time. But, everytime I do, someone leaves our class a message talking about doing the least inexpensive thing-- and making it clear that there are people in charge.

Let me be bold and say that as an adult, I've done a reasonable amount of event planning and coordination. And, with that, it's rare that anyone wants to help. Personally, I welcome ideas and help... but apparently not everyone feels that way. Maybe it's just me, but I keep getting the feeling that some of those in power want to tell everyone to sit down and shut up.

Probably me especially. Ugh. I created a forum for the class, collected together more than 120 members so far... and in addition to people being happy that we've gotten everyone together, there also seems to be this weird sense of fear that those in power are afraid of losing control.

I guess it's that whole age of information thing. Life is more transparent. You can't just control things from inside a locked room and then expect the masses to follow.

Anyway, I really hope to help out in some way. Maybe my main goal was just to gather people together. I don't know. But I do know that I wish everyone's ideas could be treated as valuable. I mean, I feel like ideas are being stomped out before they're even looked at. Nobody in power even seems to have real ideas. But they don't seem to want anyone else's. (There have been quite a few civilians who have unsuccessfully offered up suggestions)

Ugh. Sad. I sure hope this is just temporary, or just my perception. I would really like the entire event to be nice.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

To Be Continued...

I guess I should post a message like Sarabee did on her blog.

I'm still here; I'm just getting myself organized.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

FBI Violent Crime Report

Last night, I heard a distrubing news story on WREG in Memphis. Memphis was selected by the FBI as the second most violent city right now. After hearing that all big cities this year have experienced an increase in crime, this really put things in perspective. The report brings up feelings of sadness and fear for me. I hope that Memphians will look at it as a catalist for change. Here's a little piece from the FBI's press release about the overall national rise in crime:

The violent crime category includes murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault offenses. Nationally, preliminary data for 2005 showed increases in three of the four violent crimes from the previous year’s data. The number of murders and nonnegligent manslaughters rose 4.8 percent. Robbery offenses increased 4.5 percent, and the number of aggravated assaults was up 1.9 percent. Forcible rape was the only offense among the violent crimes that decreased in volume in 2005, down 1.9 percent from the 2004 figure.

A breakdown of the 2005 data by population group revealed that all city population groups experienced increases in violent crime when compared with those data reported for the previous year, with the exception of the Nation’s largest cities, 1 million and over in population, where the number of violent crimes was down 0.4 percent. By percent change in the number of violent crime offenses in 2005 compared with totals from 2004, cities with populations from 500,000 to 999,999 inhabitants saw the greatest increase, 8.3 percent, and cities with populations of 10,000 to 24,999 saw the smallest increase, 0.5 percent. In the Nation’s metropolitan counties, violent crime was up 2.1 percent, and in nonmetropolitan counties, it increased 1.0 percent.

A further examination of violent crime data for the population groups showed that cities with populations from 100,000 to 249,999 had the greatest increase in the number of murders, up 12.5 percent. Cities with 500,000 to 999,999 inhabitants experienced the greatest increases in both robbery, 9.9 percent, and aggravated assault, 8.5 percent. The number of offenses of forcible rape decreased in all city population groups except in those cities with under 10,000 in population, where the number of forcible rape offenses was up 1.5 percent from the 2004 level.

The Nation’s four regions all saw increases in violent crime in 2005. The Midwest experienced the steepest increase, 5.7 percent. The West had a 1.9-percent increase from the previous year’s number; the South, a 1.8-percent rise; and the Northeast, a 1.4-percent increase. All four regions had increases in murder, robbery, and aggravated assault. Contrary to the other three violent crime offenses, the number of forcible rapes declined in each region.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Thank goodness it's finally Friday. You may have noticed that my posts the past two weeks have been sparse. Things have been busy; really busy.

The last month in a nutshell:
  • Accept job, schedule movers, movers take stuff away
  • Stay with BoRyan for a week, wrapping up loose ends in California
  • Drive to Memphis from Santa Monica, move into a hotel
  • Get keys to new apartment
  • Unpack, unpack, unpack
  • Fly to Las Vegas for 5 days for a business trip
  • Fly back to Memphis
  • Move into new apartment
  • Work, work
By the end of yesterday, I was completely running on fumes. I was so tired that articulating words and forming sentences was starting to become a real task.

Things should improve after the weekend though. Since I've only slept 2 nights so far in my new place, sleeping is a bit of a chore itself. Hopefully, I'll adjust soon.

Still on the agenda:
  • Get rid of the boxes
  • Put away office supplies
  • Hang pictures
  • Put up decorations
  • Organize closet
  • Figure out how in the world to get 5 boxes, a chair, etc. to Goodwill...
Oh yes, and I need to figure out how in the world to get the blinds to come down on one of my windows. I have two giant windows in the apartment. They each have blinds. Whoever was in the apartment before me pulled both sets of blinds all the way up. One set is so far up though that I can't get them back down. And they start so high up that I can't just grab them and try to fix it. This is going to be tricky...

I'm also still searching for a good hair stylist and trainer. My old stylist in Memphis moved to Florida.

On a side note, I went to Stella's for the first time yesterday. There I had a tasty hummus and pita combination with mac & cheese. It was very tasty and the place itself was beautiful.

Well, I should probably get up and start the day. Hopefully it will be a short one. As much as I really like what I'm doing, I'm tired. Thank goodness it's Friday.

Friday, September 15, 2006

It's Official: I've Made It Back to Memphis

Well, if I wasn't sure before, this morning definitely marked my return. Good Morning America filmed from Beale Street this morning and Justin Timberlake performed his new Bringing Sexy Back song.

And like the other downtowners, I was there bright and early to see the sun come up. The show was good-- Justin sang 3 songs and the crowd was extremely happy to see him. I must say, he's done a great job with his marketing.

A few things that I found to be interesting:
  1. People who were so excited about the show that they were worried about not getting in-- They either slept out on the street last night or they showed up at 4 this morning.
  2. The part where the city booed the mayer. Was that really necessary on national TV? C'mon!!
  3. The person with the pink sign: Seriously, you were the only person who didn't put your sign down when the show started. And, it was a sign to say hello to your grandparents in Florida. Did you really need to hold that up in front of me and everyone else to block our view during the concert? The camera wasn't actually filming most of the time...
  4. The people who were smoking in the crowd: Why is this even remotely acceptable? I choose not to smoke. I don't need your help.
  5. The people who had stayed out all night from the night before: They were still wearing dance clothes and had on wrist bands from the local bars. That was a sure sign that I'm back. There's no other city I've seen where it's fairly normal to party until breakfast. :-)

Let me just pat myself on the back for not buying into the 4 AM hype. I slept in until 5:20, took a shower, went and had some breakfast, and then walked down to Beale Street around 6:15. The timing couldn't have been better! The show started around 6:30 or 6:45 and it wasn't too crowded.

After an eventful morning, it's time to take a nap!


Tuesday, September 12, 2006



[in-ur-shuh, i-nur-]

In Physics:

The property of matter by which it retains its state of rest or its velocity along a straight line so long as it is not acted upon by an external force.

From me:
My life's inertia has been disturbed.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Memphis Apartment

Now that I've gotten my apartment situation all squared away, I wanted to let you know about another cool place downtown.

Angie & I toured this condo that's for rent in Paperworks. If you've been looking for an apartment in downtown Memphis, but are tired of the filled up complexes, this might be something to check out.

The apartment manager contacted me today to say that if I was still in the market for an apartment, I could have it. But since I already have one, I thought I'd post it here in case you're interested.

It's 1400 square feet with 2 parking spaces and free cable. Oh yeah, and the first month's rent is free. Here's the ad on Craiglist.

Here are a couple of photos:


It looks like I'll be switching my healthcare again, so that I'll have coverage in TN while I switch over.

I didn't have the best experience explaining this to Blue Cross of California over the phone today. I had hoped to just call them and say that I'd be moving... and then they'd be a little like my car insurance and just switch me over to the new state-- with a slightly lower rate.

(I'll be saving around 30% on my car insurance for moving back to TN btw.)

Anyhow, I had to talk to 3 different operators over the course of 30 minutes. Each person just couldn't believe I'd be calling to switch. One person suggested that I shouldn't actually change my health insurance-- that I should just buy the minimum coverage and then go to the emergency room if I really have to. Umm... that's really not what I had in mind.

So it looks like after all that, even if I want to stay with Blue Cross I have to completely reapply from square one. Wonderful. I hope I have enough information with me right now to get it done. Plus, it takes two weeks to become active, so I've really got to go ahead and put it in the system.

Instead of calling back to get frustrated customer service people, I've decided to revert back to the way that I got Blue Cross in the first place-- using They allow you to input a few varables and then compare plans with lots of different companies.

Hopefully they won't complain that I'm moving to TN or suggest I just go to the ER. :-)

This is the link to eHealthInsurance:

Compare free quotes for health insurance online!

Iraq for Sale and Great Labor Day Burgers

Yesterday turned out to be a little different than I would have pictured. In the morning, I woke up and was working on my ever growing to do list while watching Good Day LA on Fox. You may have seen the show called Good Day Live in other parts of the country. I rarely watch this show, but as I channel surfed around, I noticed they were cooking burgers. I stopped to see what was going on and quickly found out that Father's Office was showing how to make their famous hamburgers. Father's Office is a bar in Santa Monica on Montana that I do like. I've been there maybe 3 times and always with BoRyan or Pepperdine students. I've never actually had food there though, so I made a note that I should consider having a burger if I find myself there again and then went back to my to do list.

Then I remembered an e-mail that I received a few days before. It was from Brave New Films, the people who made the documentary about Wal-Mart. They had just finished up a new movie and had a few seats remaining at the world premire here in Santa Monica. To me, one of the selling points to go was that the filmmaker, Robert Greenwald, was going to be there afterward to answer questions about the movie.

So after finishing up as much of my to do list as possible, BoRyan and I headed down at around 5:45 last night. We stood in line for a little over an hour I guess, but it was actually quite interesting just to watch all of the interesting people that came. Because of the subject, I expected the people who came to see it to be young and outspoken. Most of them turned out to have white hair. Most of the people there were in their 60's at least. I was surprised. Where's our generation?

Anyway-- you may be wondering what the movie is about. The movie is about the contracting companies that the government hires to help out during war. You may have seen or read a little about this topic in the news. A few of the companies it discussed were Haliburton and CACI. It talked a lot about the danger that the civilian workers are unexpectadly put under, and how it endangers them and our troops. There were people who thought they were going over to do internet research that ended up having to interrogate prisioners, etc. The movie also highlighted the excessive amount of money that the companies appear to be making on the war. They talk some about how in the past it was considered immoral to make a profit on the war, and now corporations seem to be okay with it. The US military seemed to not be a big fan of these companies either, for many of the reasons described above.

The movie was created to start a dialogue. I would be interested to hear more on the other side of the debate too. I think though that this movie is well made, contains more solid facts than some documentaries I've seen, and also honors the families who have lost loved ones in Iraq.

Just like The Wal-Mart Movie, this movie is a grass roots effort. Instead of seeing the movie in a theatre, you are encouraged to host a viewing. You can host one in your home, at your school, at church, anywhere. I think it would be nice to host one with people that have mixed feelings on the issue-- and then host a debate afterward.

If you are interested to host a viewing, you can. Go to and request a copy of the movie for a showing. Actually, here's a direct link to sign up to do a showing. The cost is around $10. If it's anything like The Wal-Mart Movie, they'll send you a DVD, two movie posters, some stickers (or some other promotional items), and a sheet with questions that you can use to start a discussion after the movie.

I encourage you to give it a try. It's fun!

(Oh yea, and Ariana Huffington from the popular Huffington Post blog was there to ask questions too. I don't see anything in her blog about the movie yet, but I'm betting it will be there soon.)

After the movie, we went to Father's Office and tried their famous hamburgers. They were tasty! As a matter of fact, I'm going to have them for lunch today too. :-) They have a special sauce made with carmelized onions (for 2 days they marinate the sauce). I think it also has some brown sugar and mustard, but that's just my guess. They served it on a fresh baked hoagie with some great french fries. The french fries were those thin, crispy ones that you can tell are home made. They were sprinkled with some kind of herb and served with a dipping sauce that tasted to me like mayo, butter, garlic, and herbs.


Friday, September 01, 2006


I got an apartment!! It couldn't have happened at a better time. The movers are here today taking my belongings and I'm actually going to have a real address!


Thursday, August 31, 2006


It's been one of those weeks... the kind you don't even really want to talk about because it's been so stressful you don't want to relive it all.

I'm in the middle of my move... finding out that the movers may very well possibly charge me based on a totally different scheme than they quoted me in the first place. It would be one thing if I went over somehow, but it's looking like they may just use a completely different method. I'm so annoyed...

Update: I spoke with the movers today. The paper they gave me yesterday was a rate sheet for in town moves. They (supposedly) weren't supposed to give it to me. They are charging me close to the first quote, but it will be determined by a little more than weight. So, instead of being three times the quote, it may be $50 more. Whew-- that was close!

And... I'm still looking for a place to live in Memphis. I've been searching for a condo downtown to rent. Today, it feels like it's going terribly. I've been watching the ads for around 6 weeks now, and I've found that this is the latest pattern for posting apartments downtown:

  1. First post: Post a one line ad for an apartment with an extemely high price tag.
  2. Second post: Post a one line ad + extremely high price tag + 2-4 photos and possibly a link to more photos
  3. Third post: Post a long ad with lots of details about the apartment + extremely high price tag + 2-4 photos and possibly a link to more photos
  4. Fourth post: (Around 1 month later) Same as third post, but with a reduced price. Generally, the reduction is $100-$150 / month. This is the post that finally gets people interested in the apartment.

This whole waiting process is grueling for me. I would like to have an address by tomorrow. The driver will be here at 9 AM to pick up my belongings. How I'm going to explain, "please just drive toward 38103" I don't know.

The other problem, besides having to wait so long because the downtown owners haven't figured out how over-priced their properties are-- Is that they're super unmotivated to move quickly.

One apartment I've been looking at has a realtor managing it. I have been asking her for around a month to check and see what storage options are available in the building. She can't seem to find out, but she still thinks I should move forward with signing a lease with her. Oh, and-- I filled out the application to rent last Thursday and asked her to please process it on Friday because I need an address now. She told me she was doing it right away, and then didn't return any of my messages or phone calls until yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon. How does 6 days equal "right away"? She was also not honest about something... so unfortunately, she's quickly moving off my list.

I've considered just living in an apartment COMPLEX, but unfortunately there aren't many options for those downtown anymore. South Bluffs is the main option and they don't have a single 2-bedroom coming up until September 15th. That's just too late for me. Besides that, they only have two 2-bedroom places coming open then. One is right next to their super noisy pool and the other is directly across from (right next door to) my old apartment. It's just too weird for me to move back into almost the exact same apartment I lived in before. Not to mention, the complexes are over priced right now. Most aren't offering discounts and they raise the rent $100 to $200 per year. Who wants that?

If I would consider another part of town, I'd have way more alternatives. The issue is that I really like downtown. I like it so much that it's what's bringing me back-- and I'll be working downtown. So, it would make virtually no sense to move myself somewhere else just to have to commute to downtown.

And lets put it on the table, I'm not ready to buy. I think the prices downtown are over inflated right now. I'm going to wait at least a year, if not two.

So that leaves me with four options. Here they are:

"Apartment A"

  • Free gym (and by free, I mean included in the price that's as much as I pay in Santa Monica)
  • Free cable
  • Free internet
  • Cool young professional vibe
  • Storage included
  • No balcony
  • River view
  • Old kitchen

"Apartment B"

  • Free cable
  • Concrete flooring
  • Inexpensive
  • Cool artsy vibe
  • Many closets
  • Old kitchen
  • Old bathroom
  • No gym
  • No balcony

"Apartment C"

  • Balcony
  • Relatively large
  • Newer
  • Upscale I've got everything in my life together vibe
  • Concrete flooring
  • Nice kitchen
  • On the top floor
  • No gym, no cable
  • Expensive

"Apartment D" -- This is the one with the nutty realtor

  • Brand new
  • Free gym
  • Free cable
  • Hardwood flooring
  • My second home is in downtown vibe + the my landlord is shady or lazy and I can't tell which vibe
  • Nice kitchen
  • Nice bathroom
  • Balcony
  • Too small
  • No storage
  • Random other amenities that are cool, but make it hard to arrange furniture, including: book shelves, fireplace, alarm, kitchen island
  • Almost no place to put my office

All these places are within a few blocks of one another. They all have roofs, W/D, secured parking, and appliances.

The biggest challenge now is getting any of these people to return phone calls. None of the managers / owners are all that concerned with getting the freaking things rented out! Nobody is prompt and very few are flexible. There's definitely an expectation that I should BE IN MEMPHIS before I find a place. They want to meet, look it over, chat for a bit. Seriously though, that's not an option. Pick up the phone!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Good News from Santa Monica

I’m proud to announce that I have enthusiastically accepted a position in Memphis!

I recently took a vacation to Memphis to visit friends. While there, I happened to meet the president of a local organization at an event downtown. I told him that I was visiting—contemplating moving back. He asked what I do for a living and I told him that I’m an Internet Marketing Specialist and Consultant in Santa Monica. His response was, “You will never believe this—but I just created that position last week. I have to interview you!”

And, it turns out that meeting was serendipitous--

After further conversations, I attended an event with the same group here in Hollywood at a club appropriately named Memphis. It was over a table there that I made the decision to come back to Tennessee.

This position is aligned with the goals I have been working toward over the last two years—both earning my MBA and starting my own internet marketing business.

Thank you to everyone who has and continues to support me through this exciting, dynamic time!

I will be back in Memphis soon and I’d say that a party is in order!

See you!

Monday Update

Wow, I can't believe it's Monday. Okay, maybe I can. Either way, it's been a whirlwind.

As I mentioned in my last post, on Friday afternoon I got a craving for Santa Barbara. BoRyan and I made the decision at 10 AM on Friday to leave at 1 PM to drive up. The view of course is beautiful... and we saw lots of it while we were sitting in traffic.

Around mid-way through the trip, we passed by a big outlet mall. I'll be the first to say that I really feel outlet malls are a bit of a racket. I mean really... many of the stores carry different merchandise at their outlet store than at their normal store, and some of the stuff isn't even actually on sale. But I went ahead and stopped anyway. The thing is, I really haven't shopped much for clothes over the past 2 years and it's time to stock up. The concept that I haven't shopped in so long is odd... because I write about fashion for my business, and so I'm up on what's in style-- I just haven't been shopping for myself in ages. :-)

Anyhow, the outlet mall was a successful trip. In the two visits there (once on the way to SB and once on the back), I got a pair of pants, a sweater jacket, 2 camisole shirts, 3 dress shirts, and 2 sweaters-- for $200. I must say that I haven't lost my touch-- I know how to find a deal!

Santa Barbara was great! We stayed at a wonderful hotel in the center of the city and were able to walk around and look in all the little shops. We ordered dinner in our room, and watched Trans America with Felecity Huffman. It was great; amazing that they could make Felecity look like a man trying to look like a woman!

In the morning, we woke up early and ate in our room before heading off to the Santa Inez Valley. If you liked the movie Sideways, you'd love the Santa Inez Valley. This is the area where the movie was filmed. Here's a map of the trip that Miles & Jack take in the movie (beware: it's a PDF so it may slow down your browser if you click it):

We visited 5 wineries in all. They were-- Rideau, Gainey, Foley, Babcock, and Lincourt.

My favorites were Rideau, Gainey, and Foley this time. I signed up for wine clubs with Rideau and Gainey, so I'll start getting wine delivered around once every other month from them. If you've ever thought of joining a club, it's really fun. While you're a member, you also receive free tastings for you and 1 to 4 friends. "It's free to join and you can cancel at any time." (This reminds me of Time Life books) Anyhow, if you want more information, I'll be glad to pass it along. (Keep me in mind when you fill out the "referral" line on your membership form - ha! :-) )

Oh yes, and one big perk for me is the free wine glasses they give you with the tastings. One vineyard didn't give us glasses, but in all, I made out with 8 new glasses! Half of them are Riedel, which is nice.

We came back late on Saturday evening and I fell asleep early. Sunday morning, we had a training session with Katie. Normally we meet with Katie in a gym, but because it was Sunday morning, we met in a park in West Hollywood. I've never done that before and I'm still hurting. For part of our workout, we ran around on a big path while Katie stood inside. She had a whistle and she would blow it to signifify to start running or to switch from a sprint to a jog. I guess I'm really out of shape because this whole thing wore me out!

Last night, we attended the Gotan Project concert at the Hollywood Bowl. It was a great show-- quite amazing. Unfortunately, I was SO tired from the rest of the weekend that I think I slept through about half of the show. I think everyone else enjoyed it-- we went with 6 friends, including a friend from Spain who was visiting us this week.

Today, I'm just wrapping things up here and preparing to make my big announcement...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Oh my!

So, I do have an announcement, but-- not enough time to go into it now.

BoRyan and I got the hankering to go to Santa Barbara and the Santa Inez Valley this weekend at around 10 AM this morning. By 1 PM, we were on our way!

This is where I'm typing this blog from: OH MY!

Tomorrow we're going wine tasting around Santa Inez... (think Sideways movie locale...)

See you!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Pause - Temporarily

If you read my blog yesterday, you'll know what I'm talking about-- I've paused my big campaign for at least 24 hours. I'll be back with an update ASAP!


Friday, August 18, 2006

Beach Complaints

Alright, so first of all, I know before I start that it's a little silly to be complaining about things that I don't like about the beach. At least I'm close to the beach; I know, I know...

So, ANYWAY-- when I moved to California two years ago, I bought these things from Red Envelope called steady sticks. They're these little things you stick into the sand to help hold your wine and wine glasses. Since CA is the wine capital of the US, I assumed these sticks would be p*e*r*f*e*c*t!

Here's a picture of the steady sticks:

Unfortunately though, it wasn't a week after I'd arrived in CA, I started hearing rumors that taking alcohol of any kind to the beach is illegal.

I couldn't believe it. I had heard that everyone in CA was super liberal and compared to TN, CA seemed to have less strict laws around alcohol. In TN, you can't sell anything other than beer in a grocery store for example. In CA, you can get wine and hard liquor at any grocery store.

Well, today I was thinking about how nice it would be to take a drive down to Malibu, to make a picnic, and to finally try out those 2 year old steady sticks that are still in the box. We do after all have a membership to a California vineyard's wine club and the wine is beginning to stack up. (I know, I know... life's rough.)

Anyway, so I logged on to the City of Malibu's web site and found that there are all SORTS of things outlawed from the beach. Here's a list:

  • Smoking
  • Fires
  • Barbecues
  • Alcohol
  • Nude sunbathing
  • Dogs

So, not that I would want to do any of those things other than drink wine, but that's a lot of rules! What happened to all of those images in my head of people running their dogs along the beach? People having a cookout or bonfire with friends? Casually sipping wine and watching the sun set over the water?

I mean really, how boring! In conclusion, the sticks are staying in their Red Envelope box. I guess that I may just have to try them out in the mud along the Mississippi!

(P.S. Phillip, if I were going to participate in FU Friday, this would be my post!)