Muse of Fire
31 December 2008 @ 04:29 pm
Hey all!

I'm taking time off from posting until I'm happier with the direction life is going - for me and for everyone else. Just wanted to pop in and wish every one of my friends on LJ and in real life a very Happy New Year. May 2009 bring us all happiness, good will, good economics, good love, good friends, and good luck.

Muse
 
 
Writing from...: Northampton, MA
Feelin'...: relievedrelieved
 
 
 
Muse of Fire
Reading some of the McCain supporters' comments on-line this morning, lamenting the "end of America as we know it" and whinging about how now we'll become some sort of horrible Communist country, I just have to post this. And yes, I'm gloating:



I'll be mature later.
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Writing from...: Home Office
Feelin'...: jubilantjubilant
 
 
 
Muse of Fire
04 November 2008 @ 04:30 pm
I am proud and excited to have cast my vote today for a man whom I find to be an admirable human being, and someone who I honestly WANT as my president. I know he doesn't walk on water - and in fact I fear he won't get a second term after he's unable to make a dent in the stinking pile of corruption that the last eight years have left us with. But he's smart, and intelligent, and shows a depth of understanding, and a willingness to listen to the opposition. I don't agree with everything he says - hell, he's not really liberal enough for my tastes. But I RESPECT him, and I'm grateful to have a potential president whom I honestly respect.

I am also extremely proud to have had the opportunity to cast my vote for president for an African American. I'm just sad that it has taken this long, and that race, gender or religion are still issues that affect people's choice of candidates. But we are taking steps in the right direction - strides, even. And those who continue to use those factors for discrimination will become pathetic pariahs rather than mainstream.

Yes, we can. For once, in a very long time, I actually believe it.
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Writing from...: Home Office
Feelin'...: gratefulmoved
 
 
 
Muse of Fire
04 November 2008 @ 09:36 am
This is interesting...
 
Today I'm running a PR campaign for a major news network (I was hired for it by a PR company) in 8 different cities across the country: Boston, D.C., Dallas, Detroit, Chicago, Nashville, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. We're handing out coffee and hot chocolate outside of one voting precinct in each of those cities.
 
What's interesting is that so far, in the the most affluent areas (rich/white suburbs of Detroit, Dallas, Nashville, Chicago) we are getting REALLY low turnout - so far in Dallas they've had maybe 10 people come vote this morning. And these are supposed to be large precincts.
 
My client is speculating that because so many people see the race as definitely won by Obama, those who are McCain supporters (or just not Obama supporters) aren't bothering to vote at all.
 
Fascinating! I'm still not counting those chickens, but I'm feeling optimistic...
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Writing from...: Home Office
Feelin'...: excitedexcited
Listening to...: Lose Yourself - Eminem
 
 
 
Muse of Fire
To all my friends frustrated, annoying and disgusted by the campaigns - watch this video. Some lovely levity, and it proves that Barack Obama has class (AND can deliver a joke.)

EDIT: Crap, I'm doing too much at once - posted the wrong video. Here's the good one! And I still think Obama was funnier than McCain.




 
 
Writing from...: Home Office
Feelin'...: amusedamused
 
 
 
Muse of Fire
28 September 2008 @ 03:32 pm
For my friends who don't live in the Southeast, here's a photo I took this morning when Husband and I were walking up to brunch. It's of a line of cars waiting to fill up on gas (notice how it circles around the block - the line on the right eventually reaches the pumps). A friend of mine waited TWO HOURS in line the other day. How crazy is this?



There are reports that say an actual shortage is debatable, and there's no doubt that part of the problem is because as people panic about a shortage of gas they keep topping off their tank unnecessarily.  There's an article in the Atlanta paper that tries to explain the whole thing.

How bizarre, how bizarre.
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Writing from...: At home
Feelin'...: tiredtired
 
 
 
Muse of Fire
28 September 2008 @ 03:04 pm
Too funny not to share... this part of a transcript of Bill Maher's latest "New Rules" rant:

And finally, new rule: a candidate for President should not be judged by the color of his skin. And to…and to anyone who thinks differently, I say please do not reject John McCain just because he’s white. I think the recent news from Wall Street has made us all less tolerant and only reinforce the stereotype that white people are shiftless, thieving welfare queens.

Now, take a look at these pictures. Here are the CEOs of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG and the Lehman Brothers. I know the first thing that jumps out about these faces is that they all happen to be white, and they all happen to be responsible for stealing. But what you have to understand is that these whites are a product of a society that made them that way. It was the neighborhoods and the schools they went to: Harvard, Yale, the Wharton School of Business. They never learned the value of doing real, actual work and the first step to fixing that is better role models, so kids growing up white today don’t think the only way out of Westchester is corporate crime. Or a government handout or sailing. So I get it, the temptation is to look at McCain and vote against him because you don’t see an individual, you just see another typical welfare whitey.

And it’s true, he’s spent his entire life shuffling from one low-paying government job to another. Well, except those years he spent in prison. Typical! And between you and me, he’s not very articulate. Oh, he may have some street smarts, but he’s not what you call an educated man. He freely admits he’s ignorant about the economy. And apparently the only thing his white running mate knows how to do is crank out one baby after another. And now of course, her teenage daughter is pregnant out of wedlock. Because she learns it at home! But that doesn’t mean we should assume all white people are like that, just because so many of them are. I believe there is hope. I believe even the stoopiest…stupidest, greediest, laziest whites can break the cycle of dependence like this November when we finally move George Bush out of public housing.

I love it when a stereotype bites itself in the ass.
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Writing from...: At home
Feelin'...: tiredtired
 
 
 
Muse of Fire
29 August 2008 @ 11:16 pm
The Daily Show just showed a clip of one of those retarded pundits from Fox News saying the following, regarding Sarah Palin:

"But of course she DOES have international experience - she's up there in Alaska, which is right next to Russia!"

*headdesk*

Would someone who plans on voting McCain please explain to me how you can feel comfortable voting for a team where the main guy has had cancer multiple times and is 72, and if he died or became incapacitated the person who would take over from him as the Ruler of The Free World™ has two years of experience as governor of Alaska, and prior to that was on a City Council? I mean, come on. Even if you don't care for the democratic party, can you acknowledge that Obama and Biden are far FAR more qualified?

*headdesk*
 
 
Writing from...: At home
Feelin'...: confusedbaffled
 
 
 
Muse of Fire
26 August 2008 @ 01:19 pm
Just to clarify on my previous post:

The issue is not that there's not food I can eat. There are great recipes out there on lots of sites, there are lots of GF-friendly restaurants in Atlanta, and there all sorts of forums with suggestions on delicious gluten-free food. Once I've had the chance to have lengthy conversations - in person - with the local restaurants, I'll know what I can order from them.

But today was one of those days when I didn't want to have to worry about it - I just wanted to get some food that I could eat at my desk, where I'm still in my PJs while I work and listen to the rain. It's the loss of the ability to be able to mindlessly order something when you just have a craving. I usually eat pretty healthy, but I do enjoy my occasional cheeseburger, or pizza, or whatever - and I love to cook but sometimes I just want someone to ring the doorbell and hand me a hot meal. Today was one of those times.

Oh well. Nuked some leftovers from last night's dinner.

*sigh*
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Writing from...: Home Office
Feelin'...: disappointeddisappointed
 
 
 
Muse of Fire
26 August 2008 @ 12:25 pm
The gluten-free diet has been easy enough for the two weeks that I've been following it. But today it's pissing me off, because I want something hearty for lunch, I don't have it in the house, and I don't want to go out shopping in the rain.

I've looked over the delivery menus, and there's nothing I can order without having a lengthy conversation on the phone, first, and I'm sure peak lunchtime is not when restaurants are interested in having that conversation. What a freakin' pain in the ass. I'd love a burger - and I can deal with no bun - but I have to find out whether there are breadcrumbs or marinade used in the burger. I'd love a Philly Cheesesteak - and hell, I can deal with the meat and cheese tossed on a salad. It's not available as an option on their menu, and again - this is not the time of day to have that conversation, I'm sure. Pizza and Chinese food are out. Even sushi delivery is out because I have to make sure they don't use imitation crab (which usually contains gluten) and I've been lied to about that in the past when I asked out of curiousity. And I haven't been able to find gluten-free soy sauce in any stores yet, so I have to order some over the web.  There's a Thai places that does a beef salad bowl, but again, I have to know what the beef is marinated in.

I don't want to be that person who has to ask about every single ingredient!

Until today it looked like following the GF diet wouldn't be so bad - today is testing my commitment. Severely.
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Writing from...: Home Office
Feelin'...: crankycranky
 
 
 
Muse of Fire
25 August 2008 @ 01:56 pm
Let me e'splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

1. I owe my mother an apology - I was supposed to drive with her out to meet up with my sister and her kids in Tennessee on Sunday, and I didn't because I haven't been sleeping well and wanted to sleep in that morning. Turns out she had made a whole gluten-free picnic for the day, which I didn't know about until afterward. So Mutti, I'm very sorry I flaked.

2. On Saturday night I went with notgruntled  and a few other friends to see Tropic Thunder at the drive-in. I don't remember the last time I laughed that hard at any movie, and the drive-in is the perfect venue for a movie that encourages a raucous audience. It was absolutely hilarious. And yes, I've regained a modicum of respect for Tom Cruise. Further, to those people who are protesting because of the fake mentally-handicapped character of "Simple Jack", you clearly have never heard of the following terms: irony, sarcasm, subtext, allegorical.

This is a pet peeve of mine. Because a movie has a sexist or racist character, it doesn't mean that the movie is therefore ALSO racist or sexist. When a movie shows a person doing an offensive portrayal of a character which is clearly MEANT to be over the top and offensive, so as to point out the obtuseness of the person portraying the character in addition to the shallow industry promoting that type of portryal and the easily-emotionally-manipulated mass audiences who often thrive on such characters, the movie is therefore mocking the aforementioned person and groups and NOT the actual offensively portrayed character. Ok?

3. We got a new couch for our upstairs media room - it is bright red and exactly what we've been looking for since we bought the house almost five years ago. Most importantly, the cats approve.

4. I broke down and signed up on Facebook. *sigh* And it's already a soul-sucking timewaster. And I intend to waste more time with after I've gotten my inbox down to 100 emails.  On the plus side, I've already - in the space of a few hours - managed to reconnect with a number of old high school friends with whom I haven't been in touch since I graduated in 1991. I'm also grinning at the number of them who also qualify as ex-boyfriends. I was such a playa.

5. Are you all sure you don't need a fabulous black desk?? Do you know anyone who might??

6. I'm looking forward The Daily Show's take on the DNC convention. Their whole "Best F*cking News Team Ever" gag has been terrific.

7. Fritos make an excellent side to roasted red pepper and tomato soup. (And all gluten-free!)

8. It's clear that McCain is going to take a page from Giuliani's old playbook and replace the overused phrase "9/11" with "POW". Yes, you were in a POW camp, you survived a horrible experience, it's admirable as hell, but it HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MOST OF THE QUESTIONS YOU ARE BEING ASKED. Now please, continue your regularly scheduled program of gaffes, hypocracy and right-wing-ass-kissing.

That's all, folks - have a lovely week!
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Writing from...: Home Office
Feelin'...: cheerfulcheerful
 
 
 
Muse of Fire
21 August 2008 @ 02:40 pm
We're selling two items of furniture - both in excellent condition. Husband put up pics and descriptions on Craig's List:

1.  King-sized luxury pillow-top mattress - four years old, but in pristine condition - listed at $375, but we'll take the best offer. Selling it because it's too soft for us.

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/fuo/798822526.html

2. Black desk, great condition, rolling printer table and two-drawer cabinet - $75 OBO. We're replacing it with an elliptical machine:

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/fuo/798827042.html

Know anyone who might be interested? Please pass it on! Reward is good karma!
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Muse of Fire
21 August 2008 @ 01:14 pm
 If one or more of the following applies to you, this clip MUST be watched:

1. You love Neil Patrick Harris
2. You watch How I Met My Mother
3. You love Les Miserables
4. You love to try to sing both parts of the Javert/Valjean confrontation song at once

Credit goes to dangerousdame  who posted this on the dr_horriblesing  group.

I haven't actually watched Dr. Horrible in over two weeks - deliberately - and yet I STILL can't get the entire score out of my head. Every morning I wake up with at least one of the songs in my head, and then they cycle throughout the day. It's like auditory flashbacks. It's fabulous stuff, but please, god, make it stop!
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In other news, I'm on Day 6 of the gluten-free diet, and it's not too terrible. We've been cooking at home every night, which is great, and making pretty healthy meals. There are tons of gluten-free resources on the web and I'm finding some good ideas. Still don't think it will hold up when I'm in Budapest in October, but we'll see.

Husband and I went to see my parents in Cape Cod last week and had a wonderful time with them - although it's pretty clear that Massachusetts weather hates my husband, because every time he's up there with me it's cold and rainy, but if I'm there without him it's beautiful. In this case he went home three days before I did so I could have some quality time alone with the 'rents, and literally the MOMENT he got on the plane the weather turned gorgeous. Meanwhile, I gorged myself on all my favorite Cape Cod food, and all the stuff I knew I might never be able to eat again - fabulous bread, clam chowder, lobster bisque, fried clams, lobby rolls, etc. And oh yes, a fabulous night of fresh lobster with lots of lovely bread to dunk in the melted butter, and many bottles of good wine. My dad and step-mum are very good to me - I've never been able to find bialys in Georgia, so we had them every morning for breakfast. Yum!

The view from my parents' house is truly amazing - from their upstairs balcony you can see up and down the inside of the Cape. Husband put up some pictures - he's still having fun playing with the new SLR camera, so there are some random sort of repetitive pics in the mix, and I'm not sure why he put up some many of the Hood blimp. (And oh yes, I'm still waiting for him to upload the London/Indian Wedding pics...unfortunately he got busy with work, so that got set aside.)  These photos were all taken on the day we got there, when it was still gorgeous and the weather hadn't realized that Husband was in town.

And finally, I'm on call this week and next for Federal Jury Duty. Had a fascinating time participating in a "voir dire" session on Monday where 40 prospective jurors (including me) were interviewed in the courtroom with the judge, attorneys, and defendant (charged with the sale of marijuana and meth). I had asked my lawyer friend Tammy who they would be looking for and she responded quickly, "Not you." Apparently they don't want people who are opinionated, read a lot, and have political bumper stickers. Meanwhile I got to learn very private information about these 39 other strangers, including the fact that one woman has four brothers-in-law addicted to crack, another has a husband in prison for 40 years for abusing their 4 month old daughter, and one woman's brother was shot to death by NYPD officers inside the Nigerian embassy in New York. Anyhow, Tammy was right and I was dismissed from that one (as soon as they asked what my bumper stickers said - the other jurors chuckled and one muttered "oh yeah, you are SO not getting chosen")  but I still have to call every day for two weeks to see if I have to go back in.

And that's the news, folks.
 
 
Writing from...: Home Office
Feelin'...: busybusy
Listening to...: Dr. Horrible songs stuck in my head
 
 
 
Muse of Fire
20 August 2008 @ 02:46 pm
My new favorite site for e-cards is www.someecards.com. Here's one of their more recent ones (thanks to Crooks and Liars for pointing it out):



I need this as a giant bumper sticker.
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Writing from...: Home Office
Feelin'...: blahblah
 
 
 
Muse of Fire
Any real techies on my LJ? Need help, badly.

Disclaimer: I have a Mac, but I primarily run Windows XP. All you Mac people can save the comments - I hear them from my husband all the time.

I'm at a hotel - they have a wifi network - none of my colleagues are having any trouble getting on the network, but I keep getting a bad IP (starts with 169). I'll have connectivity for like a minute, and then I get "limited or no connectivity". For the last three days I could click "repair" and have connectivity for a few minutes, but today - nada. Nothing. Spent 30 minutes on the phone with the company who supports the hotel's wifi system, and the tech was baffled. He gave me a static IP address, we turned of the Windows firewall. Nothing. I tried booting into the Mac OS. Still nothing. So now I'm wondering whether it's my hardware.

Most of the time I can get by using my Blackberry as a modem, but even that's been going in and out today - it also doesn't want to pull a legit IP address. (I can sneak in a minute or two here and there, and then it goes away.)

Help? Anyone? Please?
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Writing from...: Arizona
Feelin'...: frustratedfrustrated
 
 
 
Muse of Fire
02 August 2008 @ 09:19 pm
So one of the other meeting planners hear overheard my cell phone ring, which happens to be Ministry's "Every Day is Halloween" and said, "Hey! Ministry" I was surprised she recognized because she just didn't look like the Ministry type - very well put together and Ann Taylorish, in a young and sassy way. I have a terrible habit of judging books by their covers, and I'm so often wrong - I really need to quit doing that. Anyhow, turns out she knew it because her former step-father was a member of Ministry. So that was kind of cool.

She also arranged a very cool outing last night to a few luxury homes (in the $10 million range) where the owners (one was a dot com millionaire) are never there, so they rent them out for corporate events. These places were absolutely incredible - set on the upper side of a red rock mountain in the desert, with an incredible view, often working the rock into the design, with 12,000 square feet and many MANY flat screened TVs. I try not to be materialistic, but it really wouldn't suck to be that rich.

And turning to politics...

Sometimes political cartoons hit the nail on the head...Collapse )
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Writing from...: Scottsdale, Arizona
Feelin'...: amusedamused
 
 
 
Muse of Fire
31 July 2008 @ 10:08 am
It's not the best Doonesbury ever, but I'm going to save this last line and use it when appropriate. Seems the perfect response to "get over it."



I know the press keeps talking about how the press (um, guys? that's you) gives too much positive coverage to Barack, but most of the headlines I see are about specific critiques levied against him by McCain or other GOPers. There may be positive press on Barack's reception by audiences around the world, and that's lovely, but I'd rather see positive press on his ideas and where he stands on issues.

I'm losing faith that he'll win, and it really irritates my husband when I say that - he's staying positive. I hope he's right and I'm wrong.

In other news, I'm headed to Arizona tomorrow on a gig with my old company (the one I was with for five years) where temperatures are expected to reach 107 - and I'll be running around working a meeting on a gigantic property that's spread out like a college campus. Packing extra deodorant.
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Writing from...: Home Office
Feelin'...: busybusy
Listening to...: Dr. Horrible songs stuck in my head
 
 
 
Muse of Fire
29 July 2008 @ 12:29 pm
Quote for the Day:

"Anybody who maintains absolute standards of good and evil is dangerous. As dangerous as a maniac with a loaded revolver. In fact, the person who maintains absolute standards of good and evil usually is the maniac with the revolver."

--Tom Robbins
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Writing from...: Home Office
Feelin'...: busybusy
 
 
 
 
 
Muse of Fire
24 July 2008 @ 12:09 am
Dear parents of Atlanta,

Those of you with small children clearly under the age of 10 who take your kids to see Dark Knight are bad parents and should be slapped upside the head.

No love,

Muse

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Husband and I went back to see it a second time with my 14 year old nephew, and while I was a bit worried that it was too scary for him, I was being naive - he adored it, of course. But would I take my 12 year old niece who is also visiting? Oh HELL no. She cringed when we watched Jurassic Park earlier this year.

Having a lovely time with the niece and nephew overall - this morning we went to the new ropes course at Stone Mountain, and I highly recommend it for those of you with kids around. Very worth the time and effort.
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Writing from...: At home
Feelin'...: sleepysleepy