Sunday, December 31, 2006

My Year in Review

Happy New Year everyone. We've all made it through another one. Here are the big events that happened in Zippychik's life:

January: Started my second class, Dr. D's database management principals (say that three times fast.) Ended my temp job in the advertising department of the local paper.

Februrary: Got hired as a part-time graphic designer for a software development company. Helped my friend, D celebrate her 5oth birthday. Hubby and I had a new standpipe installed; nothing like throwing two grand into a hole in your yard.

March: Got a year older, but not any wiser. Attended my fifth CineFest; Leonard Maltin sat in front of me -- again.

April: Volunteered at the International Video and Film Festival in Syracuse. I had a good time, but no celeb sightings this year.

May: Got an A in Dr. D's class. Started my second part-time job at JCPenneys.

June: Hell month begins. Was made full-time right at the software company after I started working evenings and weekends at Penneys. Also managed to work at the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life in Liverpool, NY. We raised over $45,000.

July: Quit JCPenney. Got my life back.

August: Visited Uncle T in Boston.

September: Spent time with R and her friend, K when they visited Ithaca, NY. My design for the company billboard was posted. Started another class, Internet Architecture.

October: Kind of a blur.

November: Hell month. Final group project for class begins. Worked on 2 important projects at work AND organized the office ribbon cutting ceremony and open house for the company.

December: Group presentation was wildly successful, but still waiting for professor to post grade. Had a long overdue get together with close friends on 12/22. Spent quiet holidays with family.

That's the year for me. The new job was the biggest thing. I didn't see any concerts this year, although, buddies, R & C had front row seats to The Pretenders in November and are still talking about the show. Didn't go anywhere exciting and didn't purchase any fun toys, either. Another year goes by, and I am still iPodless.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

I'm All Aglow

Your Christmas lights are glowing 100%.

Awesome! Your Christmas tree lights up the whole room! You are a true lover of all things Christmas, and a joy for those around you!

Christmas Trivia
Make Your Own Quiz

I scored 100 on my first try, although I almost got tripped up on Scrooge's business partner being named "Jacob Marley" not "Bob Marley." I also went above and beyond Christmas Spirit this year when the string of lights on the top of our tree blew out last weekend. It really looked crappy. After hubby and I spent the rest of the weekend debating the best solution to this crisis, I undecorated the entire top third of tree, put up a new string, then redecorated the tree and best I could. It looks terrific, but not as nice as the tree my friend S put up. Props to him for a tremendous job! He'd score 200% on any Christmas Quiz!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Just to prove that I have offline friends who are even nuttier than my online pals, here's a Christmas card that my husband and I received the other day form our friend M. M is a professional drummer who's played with many great blues bands over the course of his career. For the past several years, however, M. has been developing a sideline in handcrafted wacked out greeting cards, which he appropriately calls "Hellmark LTD." In addition to M's subversive holiday cards, he sent my husband an absolutely hysterical card on the occassion of the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series.

To all my friends both online and off, I wish you and yours all a safe and Happy Holiday. And I'll borrow this final wish from another of my crazy offline friends, "Peace, love and shirazz!"

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Now That's My Kind of Christmas Tree!

Since my good friend, R is Thai, I had no doubt of how brilliant and creative the Thai people are, but I really have to hand it to the culinary staff at the Amari Atrium Hotel in Bangkok for building this masterwork!

Be sure to check out the video, too. It's the closest thing to my concept of the perfect Christmas Tree.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas...

Yes, we had a few inches of snow last week, but with the rain earlier this week it's all gone. Temperatures have been in the high fifties all week! I even saw a few guys out wearing shorts today. Of course, there's more than a week until Christmas and a lot can happen here in a week, at least as far as the weather is concerned. Temperatures are supposed to go back down into the thirties next week, so there's still a good chance of seeing white stuff for the holiday!

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Month That Was

You gotta be kidding? I've gone a whole month without a post? Actually, I've hardly had time to breath this past month. Yesterday my sister called to chew me out, "What's wrong? We haven't heard from you since Thanksgiving?" Hey, she should be happy -- at least she got to see me for Thanksgiving! So here's the run down from my last post:

Halloween found me in at the office until eight, working on graphics for one of our client's tradeshow exhibits. The show was five days out. I was all alone in the office, probably close to being all alone in that huge building. The old radiators kept banging, and being Halloween I tried not to let me imagination run away with me.

The following week we had a huge web site launch at work, and I had a huge research paper due. The week after that I was beginning to freak out because my professor wasn't giving us enough direction on our final group project. I was seriously doubting we could get this project done with only 4 weeks left in the semester. Then it was Thanksgiving; my sister had us over for dinner, and all I had to cook was my famous sweet potato casserole.

Now the REAL fun begins, I'm pushing full out on the final project and then my boss puts in in charge of organizing the company's open house--only two days before the open house is scheduled!!!! I put in extra hours and ran my butt off. For those three days all I wanted to do when I got home was crawl right into bed--but no, I had a final project to work on!!! Then I spent the entire following weekend compiling the powerpoint file deliverable.

Last week, of course, the last day of class the professor scheduled a quiz, so I had to cram in some study time with the final project work. My group gave the presentation this past Friday afternoon. We blew the professor away. At the meeting he each group member their grades up to that point. Even if the presentation had sucked, my labs and papers were so strong, I still would have received an "A."

So now with all that behind me I could kick back and relax for a bit, right? Oh God, no!!! Saturday night my husband and I took his 21-year-old niece and her boyfriend who're both going to college nearby to an Orange basketball game. And then there's that little thing called Christmas that's going on. I decorated our tree and finished all the shopping, except my favorite shop -- the liquor store. I save that for last. I'll go next Saturday!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Your Birthdate: March 4

You have an extraordinary character - moral, responsible, and disciplined.
Your sincerely and honesty shine through in almost every situation.
Driven and focused, you rarely let your emotions get the better of you.
You're level headed and rational. People count on your to look at things objectively.

Your strength: Your unwavering loyalty and ethics

Your weakness: Your rock solid stubbornness

Your power color: Navy blue

Your power symbol: Shield

Your power month: April

Damn! I should be running for Congress!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

No Snow --Yet!

For all my friends who live outside of central New York State, I just want you all to know that , no, we did not get any snow, yet. (Notice I did say "yet" by the time you get to read this there just might be some white stuff on the ground.) Buffalo did get clobbered with over 22 inches this week. Good thing we didn't get this storm, I still haven't got my boots out of storage. I did, however, purchase an adorable leopard print fleece hat and black fleece gloves from Lands' End. They're getting snow north of us today, but hopefully the wind won't shift and bring some of that our way.

The weather this weekend has been pretty miserable anyway, so I've been inside playing catch up on my class reading. I just came up with a topic and outline for my upcoming research paper, and I've got mondo studying to do for this week's quiz.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Voo Dee Rules

There's a baseball team from New York headed to their league championship this week -- and it's NOT THE YANKEES!!!!!

Kudos to Bonderman, Rogers and the Detroit Tigers for making short work of the New York Yankees, the team all the experts were touting as "One of the Greatest Baseball Teams of All Time." So much for the experts. Somehow, I believe that a little rag doll also had some hand in this.

In the autumn of 2001, my husband, a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan and I were disgusted to see the Yankees off to yet another World Series. What could we do? We felt so helpless. It was as if destiny, karma or whatever external force there was ALWAYS favored them. That's when I decided to design a Yankee voodoo doll. Heck, even if it didn't work, we could still get out our frustration by beating the daylights out of this thing. Later, my husband gave him the nickname "Voo Dee," short for Voodoo Doll.

After Voo Dee was created the Yanks were defeated by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the World Series, and have not gone all the way since. We've beat, punched and kicked Voo Dee. Of course, we stick him full of pins. We've done everything short of running him over with our Forester. I'm happy to report the plucky little guy still keeps pulling through.

So, you Yankee fans out there, don't be quite so hard on A-Rod. Perhaps, it's not all his fault that karma's turned against your team. Maybe the blame should go to two Boston Red Sox fans and their little beat up doll.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Two More Weeks

I need to get in control of my life again. I heard on the radio that the Mets clinched their division last night. My response was, "Oh yeah, I knew they were going to do that, just didn't know when." Other seasons I'd be following every pitch and every swing of the bat. Yikes! Now I've hardly got a chance to post in my blog. Fortunately I did get a catch a break, today's class got canceled! Yes, we still have to present our group project next week, but the good thing is NO NEW assignment this week. Maybe I'll get to read the assignment I couldn't finish last week because I was busy writing my web critique/research paper and studying for a quiz (that also was canceled.)

While this past weekend was work, work, work, the weekend before my husband and I got together with 80sgirl and her friend, K, who were visiting Cornell. Ithaca is so nice, I'm sorry we don't get a chance to visit there more often. Maybe with Hubby's niece at school in nearby Cortland, we'll have an excuse to go down there more. Although with the work load I currently have, that looks pretty doubtful.

I really enjoyed our afternoon with 80sgirl and K. First lunch at The Pines for 80sgirl's favorite -- The Pinesburger -- followed by Apple Cranberry Pie ala mode and Chcocolate Decadence for dessert. Then off to check out some beautiful gorges. We ended up back at Cornell for a chimes concert in the bell tower. It was an incredible experience. The weather was perfect; the view spectacular; and the music in the bell tower was terrific. The songs included "The Rose" and "Moon River." It was almost as if they had been selected just for 80sgirl. I'm only sorry that they didn't play any Sting songs.

The high point of the day was when K saw hubby's Grateful Dead skeleton sticker on the rear window of his Forrester. "Oh, a Dead Head," she remarked and proceeded to tell us about her old boyfriend, an Egyptian, who was a Dead Head.

I hope to post again soon, but can't promise you when. Maybe with only ONE assignment to work on this week, I'll find time to post this weekend, but I'm not making any promises. I might end up watching a Mets game on television.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Wet Weekend

It's just another rainy Saturday in the 'cuse as the remnants of tropical depression Ernesto slog up the Mid-Atlantic States into New York State. This is our third rainy weekend in a row. I'm cautiously optimistic that we'll have good weather next Saturday in Ithaca with 80sgirl and her friend.

I'm feeling pretty good since I've already finished all the house work except laundry, and I've already got a good jump on my class readings. Hubby's going to be home brewing with a friend this afternoon so it will be quiet around here. There's no excuses not to continue on with my reading, especially since it's too lousy to do anything outside.

Tomorrow I'm hoping the rain clears. I'd like to see if the billboard I designed for my company is up. They said it was to be up the entire month of September. I'm pretty excited about it; I've never designed a billboard before.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Week That Was

Another week's come and gone without a post, but it was a very busy week as the fall semester begins. Here's the run down in brief:

Friday: B brought in donuts for the office. I was very proud of myself for abstaining.

Saturday: Hubby went to Scranton with T to attend an old friend's clambake. I went for a walk at the lake and sanded the rust off my car doors.

Sunday: I caught up on some neglected house cleaning then primed the areas I sanded on Saturday. Hubby returned from Scranton. He was so impressed the work on my car, he's questioning whether I should return to grad school or consider training for a career in auto body work.

Monday: Back to work and plenty of it.

Tuesday: I had my first web site usability class. The professor admitted to being a Red Sox fan, so he can't be all bad. He reviewed some content management software with us, then let us out early. Hubby and I went to dinner at the mall and then shopped for something for me to wear for his awards dinner. I tried on a few suits, but they all seemed to make me look like an old stewardess.

Wednesday: We got an invite from T & E to a family get together. T's Uncle Tony was visiting from Los Angeles. My husband and I have been wanted to meet Uncle Tony for a long time. He was a character actor in Hollywood in the 1950's and '60's. He worked on several Roger Corman films. He also did an episode of "The Twilight Zone" with Peter Falk and guest starred on several episodes of "The Untouchables" among other shows. Uncle Tony was very charming and a super nice guy. We had a great time with T & E's family.

Today: I'm debating whether to start reading for class or to watch "The Office." I guess it's not too difficult a decision since there's a three day weekend coming up. I'll finish doing the laundry while I watch television. I'll start reading on Saturday.

Up next week: The final SkyChiefs game of the season is Monday. We're going tomorrow night since they're forecasting yet another soggy weekend for the area. (Besides we have free tickets.) 80sgirl will be here on Wednesday. I can't believe it's coming up so soon.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Seems Like Old Times

My husband is still trying to cope with the New York Yankees crushing 5-game sweep of his beloved Red Sox over the past weekend. The Evil Empire dealt a crushing blow that has all but extinguished any hopes of post-season for the Bosox. I, on the other hand, am filled with great joy, for not only will St. Thomas of Glavine continue pitching for the New York Mets, but also Shawn Green formerly of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays, and yes-- Syracuse Chiefs will be joining the team as well. This will reunite Green and Delgado again. I spent many nights at the old Mac Arthur Stadium watching them perfect their skills for the big leagues. I am totally thrilled. Sure, the Mets really needed a top tier pitcher, who doesn't? But face it, while Lastings Milledge has a lot of potential, he's not the guy I'd want playing outfield in the post season.

So good luck, Shawn. I'm glad I can cheer for you again, and I'm looking forward to seeing him in a Mets uniform.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Procrastinating Yet Again

Hubby's away with the boys this weekend. It's a good thing too. Otherwise I'd be stuck here listening to him whine about the Bosox dropping a doubleheader to the Yankees yesterday. With all this freedom, what have I been up to? I just spent the past hour installing (or attempting to) a subscription update to Norton Anti-Virus. Geez, I hate windoze, the same procedure would have taken around 20 minutes on my Mac.

I should be working on my freelance project right now, but I got an e-mail from the client saying they like the brochure they just had designed (by another designer) and maybe they'd like to use that design or flyers and brochures. Well great, go see that designer and ask THEM to give you THEIR files so you can convert them over to word docs so you can do print future flyers out on your home office ink jet. See how far you get. BWAHAHAHAAAA!!! That ought to go over big. So I guess I'll hold off working on this project for another weekend. I need to do some sanding on my car, anyway.

I have to go to a graduation party for a friend's granddaughter this afternoon. Of course, the weather's miserable. I'll get to sit in a tent in the rain with a bunch of people I don't know. It should be a lot like Relay for Life.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Back From Beantown

We got back from Boston on Sunday but I haven't spent too much time on line. My wrist's been aching again. Boston was great. We visited hubby's 92 year old Uncle. We usually visit him for his birthday in July, but he was still recuperating from pneumonia so we went later this year. My sister-in-law, her husband and daughter came up from LI. They were in Hartford dropping their granddaughter off after her week with them. It was a nice weekend for catching up and reminiscing. Well, mostly for my husband and his family. Hubby and I snuck into Boston on Saturday afternoon. We went to Quincy Market for shopping and bar hopping. The Black Rose is a really nice Irish Pub located on the edge of the Market. We usually stop in there for a pint when we're in that area. Although last time I was there I made the mistake of using their ladies' room. Scary, scary.

I just received an e-mail from that my textbook has shipped. I guess I'm looking forward to school. I'm not anticipating school as much as last year, but then last year it was all new and different. Now I know what to expect -- a ton of more work. K and I had lunch today. I sold her my textbook from last semester as she's taking the database administration class this semester. I'll be taking Internet Architecture for Web Services. It looks fairly interesting. Some of the material to be covered, I already do at work so I shouldn't be as clueless as I had been in my past classes.

I was also disappointed to find out that I'm not going to be able to make the DayGlo Radio reunion next month. Hubby's awards dinner is the same weekend. I wasn't all sure I could have made it anyway. Fortunately I'll get to see R, and I'm looking forward to that. I picked up a little joke gift for her in a very wild shop, called FUNusual in Quincy Market. Oops, if she reads this post it won't be so much of a surprise, oh well.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Aches & Pains & Ergonomic Keyboards

I really hate to sound like a little old lady here, but I've been on the computer only for work purposes the past few days. I did something to my wrist this past weekend and it's been killing me. I'm suspecting it was tendinitis. Today's the first day it's felt better since Sunday, and it still doesn't fell all that great. I also scarfed the ergonomic keyboard that was in the supply closet at work. It seemed to help more than I imagined it would.

Tomorrow's the company clam bake. Having been umemployed for 9 months, it's been a long time since I had to attend a company function. The lunches that G throws occasionally don't count. They occur in the office on company time so I think of them more like staff meetings with food. This will be off site and significant others and rug rats will be in attendance. It should be an interesting evening.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Losin' It

The title of this blog definitely implies double meanings. As far as my sanity, I lost that a long time ago, and not a day goes by that I don't miss it. I've also lost some weight -- four pounds since I started using a couple of weeks ago. I'm six pounds away from my ten pound goal. I seem to do better when I don't set very ambitious weight loss goals for myself. Unfortunately, after I lose the first ten I never seem to get motivated to go on to lose the next ten. Maybe I'm just meant to be voluptuous.

Last night I got together with my old pals. We go back twenty years to our partying days back in the eighties. R and I go all the way back to sophomore year in high school. We always have a great time hanging out and reminiscing, but I did some massive damage to my diet plan. The Rosemount Cabernet Sauvingot was flowing. I brought chips and a salsa dip. R brought all kinds of chocolate goodies. I definitely overindulged. There was one minor triumph; I didn't eat any of the "whoopie" pies (see photo) she brought.

Heck, I did finally finish painting my garden fence and put in a few miles at the lake yesterday so maybe I worked a glass of wine few M&Ms off.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Still Steamy

I've got to make this post brief as my laptop battery's running down. It got up to 96 degrees here today. Hubby and I went out to dinner since it was just way too hot to cook. Ruby Tuesday's was a good choice. Hubby ordered their new mini burgers, and the air conditioning was cranked way up there. Tommorrow's going to be almost as hot and the dreaded thunderstorms will be returning.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Too Darn Hot!

I always feel guilty complaining about hot weather when I live in an area where it's usually colder than hell. Tomorrow Syracuse is actually going to have a "heat emergency!" The local television meteorologist said tomorrow's high temperature should be somewhere around 98. I also saw a news story on the national news about global warming and how the world's climate is getting warmer. My husband and I have been spending a lot of time recently talking about moving out of the area, but perhaps we should stay put. By the time we're seventy (if we're still around by then) upstate New York's climate might be pretty similar to what North Carolina's climate is now.

Despite the weather I'm already beginning to think about the fall. I e-mailed my professor to check with him regarding the texts for his class. I'm going to shop around and see if I can pick them up used online.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Stuff Always Takes Longer Than You Think

Why is it that I'm so bad at estimating how long a particular job will take, especially if it involves home upkeep? Yesterday, I had to stain two garden fences, each about six feet high an ten feet long. I figured one morning, tops. Well, got up late then realized I had no paint thinner; the stain is oil based. I had to run to the hardware store buy thinner and gloves. According to the warnings on the stain can, this stuff is almost as carcinogenic as radioactive uranium.

After I finally got started, I made good fairly good progress until I reached the part of the fence behind the giant hosta, which is in full bloom. I should have cut that stuff back BEFORE I started. It took a great deal of maneuvering, around them and finally the bumblebees drove me away from the area. I had no idea how popular those plants are with bumblebees. So I now have both fences stained except for the two and a half feet behind the hosta. I'm hoping most of the flowers will be dead by next weekend, so I can cut them down and finish the job. All in all, bumblebees not withstanding, it took me three and a half hours to stain, 17 1/2 feet of fence.

Of course, I was so exhausted from the staining job, I was no good for anything else for the rest of the evening. We had planned to go to the SkyChiefs'game. B had given us his tickets, but it was raining at game time. Hubby tells me they did eventually get the game in, but start time was postponed two hours. We'd already spent 2 hours hanging around the stadium in the rain waiting for the game to start on Tuesday night.

Wednesday a friend of mine lost her battle with cancer. She was gracious, considerate, selfless and intelligent,and she had a terrific sense of humor as well. We met through the Arts and Crafts Society. Both of our spouses were board members. Judy served for a time as the Membership Secretary, a position I has also held. I know what a thankless detail-oriented and time-consuming volunteer job that is.

I will remember Judy most for her undying optimism. When things got shaky with the Society, she always said we'd get through it, and she was right. Every time I saw her, while she was fighting her cancer, she'd tell me she was doing much better than the day before and, "I'm going to lick this thing." Sadly, this time she wasn't right.

I'll miss you, Judy. You were a great person to work with and even greater person to know

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I'm Marge!

Last month Deathlok asked me to post my TV meme. I answered that I was Lisa Simpson, but image my surprise to discover that I'm actually Marge!

You Are Marge Simpson

You're a devoted family member who loves unconditionally.

Sometimes, though, you dream about living a wild secret life!

You will be remembered for: your good cooking and evading the police

Your life philosophy: "You should listen to your heart, and not the voices in your head."

They're sure right about the good cooking and evading the police. (That's for another post.) I'd guess that a lot of the guys will end up as Homer. He seems to personify every bad trait in all the men I've known.

Two Little Stuffed Mushrooms

Alright maybe the stuffed mushrooms I had at Francesca's Cuccina last night weren't that little. It's amazing that something as innocuous as stuffed mushrooms can totally derail your diet. A few days ago I read a comment to one of Wombat-Socho's posts. Willow_one had suggested an online diet journal, I started using it and found it to be very easy to you and informative. They track your recent foods, so you don't have to do searches on foods you eat regularly. I like the custom foods feature. I occasionally buy a mocha flavored milk drink from a deli near my office. I just plugged in all the nutrient information off the drink's label, now it's in my database for the next time I drink it. FitDay will also track my activities (if I ever get around to doing any.) It's raining this morning so no walk at the lake. I like FitDay's graphic reports too. They really can tell you if you're keeping your diet on track. If you're trying to lose weight definitely check it out. If you're not I'd check it out anyway, you might be surprised the impact certain foods, like little stuffed mushrooms may be having on your diet.

I'm not beating myself up about last night's dinner. Hubby and I were celebrating sixteen years of wedded bliss. Hugs and smoochies out to the best husband on earth!Looking forward to many more years together.

On the baseball front, Yankees go down in defeat yet again to the Toronto Blue Jays. Kudos to A.J. Burnett for getting ten consecutive outs against the Yanks. This puts the Boston Red Sox 3 1/2 games in first.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Ok I know, I know

I've been remiss at keeping up with my blog. This is my first post in over a week. Sorry. My friends, Token Asian aka 80sGirl and Deathlok have very good reasons for not posting. They are going through some emotional days right now and my thoughts and heart goes out to them. Me, I have no good excuse except for the nice summer weather here and my general laziness. Who was it who wanted to start her own tech blog, anyway? The net has enough tech blogs as it is. I think I'll just try concentrating on this one for the time being.

Who says there's no good news? I read one of the crawls on CNN yesterday that said that Justin Timberlake told a reporter that would never run for President. Now I can sleep nights with one less thing to worry about. (I tried to google this story but couldn't find it. If one of my readers finds it please e-mail me.)

I need to run. I didn't realize it was getting so late. We have an overnight freeloader..umm, I mean guest tonight, he's supposed to show in a few minutes. I'd better go be on the lookout for him.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Halfway Point

It's that time of the year when some of the world's most overpaid athletes converge in one place to smack little white balls with big wooden sticks. I'm referring to Major League Baseball's All-Star Game that takes place in Pittsburgh tomorrow night. Although it seems to me that the main event is beginning to get eclipsed by the bashfest going on tonight in PNC Park, The Century 21 Home Run Derby. I don't know who thought this up but what a genius! Let's get people to pay to watch batting practice. For those of you like my pal Deathlok who are unfamiliar with the game, in a real game the opposing pitcher tries to throw balls that the batter can't hit. In batting practice they throw balls that should be easy for the batters to hit. Don't get me wrong, watching major league players in batting practice can be pretty thrilling but to turn it into a "event" is pretty damn savvy. I guess the draw is that they take the hottest hitters in all of baseball put them all in and one place then let them all hit home runs all night. While it is fun I rather lose interest after the first hour or so. David "Big Papi" Ortiz hit four balls out into the River. OK the first one was exciting, the fourth one? Well you get the picture. They're going into the second round as I write up this post. David Wright, of the New York Mets is leading with 16 runs. Ortiz is in second with 10 and the Florida Marlins' Miguel Cabrera is in third with nine.

In other baseball news, "The Career That Wouldn't Die" looks like it's finally over. The Minnesota Twins released Ruben Sierra today. Notice I didn't say it WAS OVER. Knowing how desperate the New York Yankees are they just may sign him up...AGAIN.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Blogging and Chatting

Friday night and my husband's already crapped out, but then the guy does get up at 4:30 am on Fridays to get to work so I can't blame him. I usually spend Fridays on my laptop chatting with friends on a sort of an online Happy Hour. We've been doing this for about the past 2 months on and off. K is in online with me now. I'm hoping R will show. She mentioned something about chatting with me to firm up plans for when she visits the east coast in September. I doubt Dlok will make it. I read his blog, it sounds like his father-in-law is gravely ill. My heart really goes out to him and his family.

It's Friday and I need to concentrate on more positive thoughts. Not too much going on this weekend. I need to make a trip to get my hair colored and cut. Then this weekend hubby and I have to start moving stuff out of the living room and dining room since the carpet cleaners are coming this week. Hopefully I'll have time to weed the garden and make it out to the lake for a nice long walk.

One more thing, the final totals from Relay for Life are in. We raised over $47,000! There's a wrap up meeting on Monday night.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Yesterday I couldn't log into my cpanel account and then to my horror found an error page where my web site should have been. Several hours after placing a support ticket this e-mail message appeared:


We are currently experiencing an issue with the Jefferson server which our technicians are looking at now. We have posted a NEWS item on our website concerning this and will update it as soon as we have more from out technicians.

"Jefferson server"? When the hell did get it moved there? The last time I checked it was on the MacDonald server. Thanks for the big heads up on the move. So I go to their web site and here's the announcement:

Tuesday July 4 2006 - 12:30PM - - Connectivity Issues

Our datacenter technicians have traced the source of the recent issues to a faulty hard drive in the server. The technicians have reinstalled Cpanel on a brand drive and have begun to copy the backup data to the new drive. The account restoration process has already begun and we will be updating this thread with the progress to ensure clients are updated.

What they're backing it up NOW to another server? You mean it wasn't already backed up on another server? I'll have to remember to place yet another support ticket in order to find out what the name of new mystery server is. And don't ask me to cut them slack because it was the 4th of July. This is a Canadian company and for all I know their datacenter technicians are in Bangalore!

Good thing it's only a portfolio site. God forbid I was dependent on this site for my liveihood. Although all my e-mail accounts on that server are all messed up. I'm not happy at all.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

How American am I?

I did take this completely objective quiz How American Are You? Here's my results:

You Are 59% American

Most times you are proud to be an American.
Though sometimes the good ole US of A makes you cringe
Still, you know there's no place better suited to be your home.
You love your freedom and no one's going to take it away from you!

I'm so relieved. All this time I thought I was an heinous bleeding heart America hating liberal. I'm not so bad after all. Of course, I'm sure would have scored much lower if I had chosen Carter for the best president of the late twentieth century, and fortunately, there weren't any questions concerning Michael Moore.

But then of course, I'm not as bad as these guys!

Happy Fourth of July everyone!

Must Look Away...

Must not watch "Law and Order" marathon, must look away, must read web marketing book, must not watch "Law and Order." Ok, I'll admit I already sat through two episodes before tearing myself away to sit in front of the computer. I did, however, put in almost 5 miles walking by the lake early this morning, before the rains came. I have such good intentions to get things done, and then I get sucked into an episode of "Law and Order" which I've already seen about a half dozen times. Why does that happen?

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Zippy's TV Meme

Sorry this post is over two weeks late. Please cut me some slack as I am just getting my life back. I just saw radio gnome's response to Deathlok's original post. There's no question that my TV meme would have to be Lisa Simpson. Although we'd all like to believe that if Lisa grew up she'd become President but more likely she'd end up as a frustrated grad student.
No Joy in Mudville

I know I promised to write more entries in my blog after I quit my other job, but the New York Mets were playing the Boston Red Sox this week. The Mets were swept by the Red Sox and then went on to get beat by the Jankies (also known as the New York Yankees) after a lengthy rain delay at Yankee Stadium last night.

My husband happens to be the biggest Red Sox fan I know. Much to my father's dismay I grew up a Mets fan while my sister, was the big Jankie fan. (That's probably why she was his favorite.) While I can't say I was happy about the Mets four recent losses, all that winning, winning, winning was getting slightly boring. Which brings me to ... "What the heck is WRONG with the National League East?" Mets are in first place by ten games followed by the Florida Marlins? The Florida Marlins? Yes, the same team that ended the Boston Red Sox's 12 game winning streak. What is this a sign of Armegeddon? I don't know, it just feels so wrong.

As I write this the Mets are leading the Jankies 2-0 in the third inning. What the heck am I doing here behind by computer? I know I can follow the game on the internet, but that's for work. (Oops! Is Doug reading this?) If I can't be at the stadium, watching on television is the only way for me to follow the game. so I'm outta here.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Story of L

Saturday was my last day at the department store. I'm looking forward to getting my life back. I'm sure it will finally hit me when I leave work tomorrow and can go home instead of rushing over to the mall. L finally told me the entire story that she had been feeding me in dribs and drabs over the past month. She and the boyfriend had a huge blow-up last week but as of Saturday they had called a truce provided they quit their jobs and go work for different concerns.

I don't know if I mentioned that the boyfriend works security at the store. The whole story concerns L and one of the boyfriend's co-workers in security, K. Apparently L and K had some hot action and the boyfriend is totally in the dark about it. He thinks that K and L are flirting with each other but that is sooo over. For some reason, K walks over to the kids' department when L's working to insult her. The thing is the boyfriend sees them talking on the security camera and assumes it the exact opposite of what's really going on since he has no idea what's ALREADY gone down (pardon my pun). On one hand I'm sorry I'm not going to find out how this all turns out, but on the other I'd rather not be around for the fallout. L really in't a bad kid afterall. She's just young, I don't think she knows the differnce yet between making love and really loving somebody. I hope someday she can figure it all out.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Drive-by Post

I've still got 3 more shifts left at the department store from Hell. (Hey, do I have to credit Richard Lewis for the "form Hell" thing?) Anyway, I probably won't be posting again until early next week. And I'm still waiting to find out how much money was raised at Relay.

In other news, I'll be moving into my new office tomorrow. Don't worry, I'll post photos on my server. My niece turns eight on Monday. Where does the time go? Note to self: return G's birthday gift, the overpriced DVD I bought from amazon then I found the same thing $10 cheaper at the local Borders, and order a Judybats CD. Toodles til next time.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Relay for Life 2006

I had put off posting the results of this past weekend's Relay for Life until I had heard how much money we raised. I couldn't stay all night; I had to put in a full shift on Saturday. I missed closing ceremonies when they announce how much was raised. I hoped someone would have e-mailed me the results by now, but they must all still be snoozing.

Our Relay was held at Onondaga Lake Park. The participants' campsites were located right on the shore. The weather was fantastic, just the opposite of last year's cold rainy evening. I missed helping to set up since I worked until 4pm. My boss let me leave early. I stopped by the supermarket for ice, went home, and changed loaded the car up with my junk then headed to the lake. I did get put to work as soon as I arrived. I worked the Relay store. Pins with blinking lights and baseball caps sold very well. I also helped out putting names on luminaries and filling them up with sand. I escorted a reporter from a local paper to interview on of our team captains who's also a survivor.

Later in the evening I hung out with K and her husband. I found out that both of her parents had died of cancer within two years of each other.

The only negative thing was that 2 local radio personalities had committed to EMCEE some of the festivities. We put their names in the program thanking them and they stiffed us. I'm certainly glad that I didn't include them in the press releases. If my memory is correct, I think Kel warned me not to anyway.

Before I forget, kudos to the Washington Nationals for taking two out of three games in their series against the Yankees. In both games the Senators came from behind to prevail. And a huge congratulations goes out to Ryan Zimmerman for his exciting walk off home run to end Sunday's game!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Adventures in Retail: Game Over

To quote one of my cyber pals, Wombat-Socho, "I'm not dead yet." I only look and feel that way. After sacrificing all my free personal time and what little sanity I have left to the retail gods,
I decided to pack it in. Yesterday's 9 hour shift with the schedule change that no one bothered to tell me about was pretty much the kicker. Some manager I had never heard of called my house to ask me Iwhy I wasn't already at work! Then there were 2 DIFFERENT $10 off discount coupons and a special 20% discount AFTER 4pm ONLY on already marked dowm items that were the last straw. I swear the March Hare from Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" is the marketing director for this chain. It's not as if anyone explains any of these discounts to the sales staff, oh God, no. Then guess who gets the brunt of the customers' wrath when we try our best to explain these convulted promotions to them. Oh, and did I mention the dozen or so returns from hell I had to issue yesterday and that 2 out of the 4 cash registers in our area are broken, along with the store's elevator which has been out of commisssion for the past week? We've having to send parents with strollers and folks in wheelchairs over to our competititor across the hall to use their elevator. I'll bet their cash registers work, too.

In the 3 weeks since my last post, L broken up and reconciled with her boyfriend twice. Lucky me, I even got to hear all the details of his recent drunken molestation of her. Then there was the fight between the 2 white trash women swearing at the tops of their lungs at each other in the pre-teen girls' section. They continued their heated disageement all the way to the 2 operating cash registers and guess which associate got to cash them out? I was just thrilled to see them leave without coming to blows.

I was supposed to work a 5 hour shift today but woke up with the nastiest sinus infection and a low grade fever. I figured that going to work in the children's department with a fever was definitely not a good idea. I doubt my supervisor would agree with that notion but screw her.

I just submitted my resignation on the company site, which my the way, does work. I'm foolishly planning to serve out the rest of my sentence, I mean finish my scheduled shifts, as long as one one changes them without telling me. This Saturday will be my last day. I can't wait to get my life back. I will NEVER set foot in that store again.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Adventures in Retail: The Saga Begins

I've been trained on the cash register, taken the store tour and watched all the training videos. Now I'm out on the floor as associate #435. I worked Thursday night and survived my first weekend. Saturday was very busy but Sunday was rather quiet. The weather on Sunday was gorgeous. I'm sure most people were probably out enjoying the day.

Surprisingly, I found that many of the customers were friendly and patient. I hope I projected those characteristics back to them. I did overhear two people I had helped tell the big manager what a wonderful sales clerk she had. Alrighty. On the other hand, it's my co-workers who leave much to be desired. One in particular, who was supposed to act as my "buddy" and help me out on the floor. Sure she helped, when she'd bother to be around. L is the stupidest, most self absorbed person I've ever met. Of course she thinks nothing of talking incessantly about herself, herself and herself. She's around twenty years old and has an eighteen month old baby girl. I'd think she'd might occasionally bore me to death talking about her daughter -- but no. She hardly ever mentions the poor little thing.

On morning Sunday L and I were scheduled to open. I knew I'd have to get the cash bags and open the registers, even though I'd never done it before on my own. I didn't figure I'd have to be there for a whole 45 minutes on my own. I did run into a small problem that I didn't know how to deal with so had to call for a manager. K, the store assistant GM who hired me showed up. She helped me on the registers until L showed up at 11:45. I did cover a bit for L (which I really shouldn't have). We were both originally scheduled to start the shift at noon but our supervisor changed it on Saturday. (The supervisor forgot that the store was opening early on Sunday when she made out the original schedule.) I told K that maybe L had forgotten the shift start time had been moved up an hour, or maybe our supervisor neglected to tell L.

Then, once L was on the floor with me I was subjected to hearing all the details of her breakup with her boyfriend (who by the way IS not the same guy who fathered her baby). Apparently his friends were talking trash about her, and he wouldn't defend her. Incidentally, he also hits her. I got the impression thought that the punch fests might have been permissible if he would just stick up for her. Either way, she dumped him. There might be a bright side to this. The boyfriend also works in the store, so L is considering quitting to avoid constantly running into him. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

I opened two new credit applications over the weekend (that's two extra dollars in the old paycheck for each). They were also handing out candy bars for each application. I left mine in my locker for those evening shifts I have to go to directly from the software company to the mall.

I did have today off so I was able to catch up on house cleaning and laundry. I got out to buy some flowers for the flower boxes and a decent hanging plant for the porch despite that most of plants were fairly picked over by this afternoon. I'm hoping to put the flowers in the box tomorrow night. I wrote up the Relay press release. Those will have to wait until the ACS office approves it before I can send them out later this week.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Hello I Must Be Going

I would have had more time to write tonight if I hadn't gone to the lake for a walk after work. It's a gorgeous day, and I haven't been able to get out to the lake for about a month. I noticed all the trees have leaves on them and there are boats in the marina now!

I met with the head of my department yesterday. Dr. H encouraged me to apply for the master's program. I'm going to wait until the end of next year and see where I am. He told me not to worry about money. He'd help find aid for me and all but assured me of a Graduate Assistantship. It would be great to have school paid for but where the funds for food and shelter would come from is the big question. There's always loans and hubby says if that's what I really want to do, he'll sell some stock.

Wish I could write a bit more to tell you how my adventures in retail is going. Classroom training is over. Tomorrow they put me on the floor. Should be interesting. I'll try to post again over the weekend.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

My Last Weekend

I think this is the last weekend I can call my own for some time to come. I started my adventures in retail Thursday night. I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't have to go back again until Monday night. Apparently they don't want to let you loose on the selling floor until you've mastered the cash register. Cash register! I had enough problems with the combination lock on my locker! Tomorrow should be interesting, especially seeing that I'm going straight from eight hours at the software company right to the mall.

With most of my future weekends spoken for I used this one to finish up some household chores. I did finish painting the porch floor. It looks great. Hubby can start getting it ready for the summer next weekend. I also cleaned and straightened up my studio. It's still a mess but it's a less dusty mess. I just finished putting away my winter clothes -- at least the really heavy stuff that I'm not still wearing. I was standing the my attic freezing my butt off while taking my shorts out of storage. I know didn't make much sense, but it's supposed to get very warm next week. I'll be too busy then to do anything, and yes they want me in for forty hours at the software company.

I have to ask D for extended lunch on Tuesday. I have to meet with my department head at school. Nothing serious, he was responsible for hooking me up with D and this job. He wanted to know how it was going. I also think I should touch base with him on how my studies are progressing. He e-mailed me a few weeks ago to ask if I were interested in a GA position. If I didn't have the software firm gig, I might have gone for it. I would have had to commit to the degree program; I'm only working on an advanced certificate right now. At this point, I'm still not sure I want to continue on for a full degree. It's good to know though that if I keep up my grades that possibility could be there.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Five Things That Zippchik Hates

This entry was inspired by recent posts by Deathlok, although I doubt this will be half as entertaining as his were.

5. Grimjack hates Verizon. I hate Time Warner Cable. Several years ago they shuffled our cable line-up. We stopped getting the program guide, the channel that broadcasts what's on and when. So I called customer service, they told me that they had moved it to a new tier and now I'd have to pay more for it. Pay, for the program guide? WTF? But the friendly customer service rep told me it would only cost a dollar more a month than what I was currently paying. So stupidly I agreed. The next month I get my bill, and it had gone up THREE dollars!!! That bi-atch had lied to me!!!! And I love their promotion where you sign up for Road Runner and get the first six months for $29. Then they jack up your monthly rate to $55. If they can give you cable for $29 a month for six months why can't they just give it to you at $29 all the time? Well of course they can, but they're friggin greedy bastards!

4. The New York Yankees. Don't people just get tired of these overpaid arrogant jerks winning all the time? And don't get me started on George Steinbrenner, the Grinch Who Stole Baseball.

3. Fox News. It's not fair. It's not balanced. It's just a mouthpiece for Bush's failed administration. If it weren't for Fox News, Bill O'Reilly would probably be selling used cars in Topeka.

2. SUVs. They're big, ugly, and bad for the environment. They might make their owners feel safer but for those of us who can't fork over better than a year's salary for a vehicle, they are a safety hazard. I've yet to perfect my X-Ray vision so I can't even see around the damn things on the road or in parking lots. SUVs also hog resources. If there's anything positive about these rising gas prices it's fact that the SUV owners are going to pay and pay and pay. Also check out

1. Cancer. Cancer sucks no matter how you look at it. No one wants to get it, but it seems like everyone's lives have been affected by it in some way. If you've been fortunate not to have been diagnosed yourself, chances are you have a relative, friend, neighbor or co-worker who has. Cancer killed both of my parents. So here's where I lead up to my little pitch. This year I will be participating in the Relay for Life. For more information please visit I'm on the Lockheed Martin All Sports Team and if you hate cancer as much as I do please feel free to sponsor me. (BTW, I don't work for Lockheed Martin, I just like the people on that team so I'm helping them out.)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Year Without DayGlo

I'm working three days this week and doing a bang up job. It's been mostly coding not much design work. It's a bit frustrating because most of the site is in Active Server Pages; I don't know jack about coding asp. Today I was back in my HTML tables world so it wasn't too bad. I just put on the headphones and listened to hidebound all afternoon. Speaking of tunes, I finally figured out how to access D's music server. He's got a ton of 80s tunes. I was totally shocked to see he had a copy of Pet Shop Boys' "Absolutely Fabulous!" I've been looking for that song for a year! It has a lot of sentimental memories connected to my Day Glo friends attached to it.

I can't believe it's been a whole year since DayGlo Radio went down. Deathlok recently posted a blog in tribute to the site several weeks ago. It really was more than an internet radio station, it was also a tremendous online community. Those of us who really cared to keep in touch, in my opinion, have done a pretty good job, especially when you consider how geographically dispersed we are. Still it's not the same. Unfortunately, as the cliche goes, "all good things come to an end." I'm hoping if we all stick together and keep working at it, that at least the friendships we've made through DayGlo won't end.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Too Many Irons in the Fire?

A few months ago, I had no jobs now I may have three. I told you that the hours at the software company were spotty. I wasn't expecting to work at all this week, but D called me today and asked me to work the rest of the week. He also said they really want to put me on a regular schedule, which would definitely help with the possible upcoming gig at Penneys. Yesterday I contacted an ad agency I did a fill-in emergency job for last fall. They offered me a part-time job this past winter about the same time the software company did. I turned them down at the time because, I really wanted to work at the software company, and the agency was further away from home. I called MB at the agency to see if they had anything, not really expecting much. He e-mailed me this morning, telling me that he might have something for me next week. I'm hoping I can juggle all of this. Although if something had to give, the retail job would be the first to go. It pays half what the design jobs do.

At least I got the nice part of the week off. Yesterday and today the weather was gorgeous. Yesterday I went shopping for the house: porch floor paint, patchmaster for the lawn, shower curtains, drinking glasses, and cedar blocks for winter clothes storage. Then I headed out to the lake for a walk; it was just perfect. Today was the same but even warmer.

I would have gone to the lake again today, but my husband strongly suggested I check out the Adelaide Alsop Robineau exhibit at the Everson. The show closes on May 21 so I knew if I didn't go now, I'd probably miss it. It was a tremendous show. Robineau is best known for her painstakingly incised porcelain pieces, such as "Apotheosis of the Toiler" (shown) also referred to as The Scarab Vase. I found her glazes were truly remarkable. There was a vase with an electric turquoise glaze that seemed to radiate. If she had excelled in either the incising OR the glazes, she would have been regarded as a great ceramist, but to have mastered BOTH just blows me away. As Elbert Hubbard, the founder of the Roycroft Community once said, "The love you liberate in your work is the only love you keep." I really felt the love at the Robineau exhibition.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Congratulations, Gabriella!

My seven year old niece made her First Holy Communion today almost 37 years to the day that I made mine. The weather was cold, clammy and rainy just like on my First Communion Day. She looked so beautiful and all the kidlets in her class were adorable, too. After church the gang went over for brunch at a local trattoria, Cafe Asti. I had the grilled Eggplant but too much cake and a mocha latte for dessert. I probably won't have to make dinner tonight. It's four hours later and I'm still stuffed.

I threw my shower curtain in the washing machine. It had survived a washing last fall, but today the washer decided to eat it. I guess we'll just use the liner until I get a chance to go to Bead Bath & Beyond or Target next week.

Speaking of retail, Friday, I took a job working in the children's department at JC Penneys. This position has "DEEP DARK STEAMY HELL" written all over it. Unfortunately we really need the money,nw that my unemployment benefits have run out. I'm going to try to stick it out until I go back to school. Maybe I'll be working more hours at the software company by then. If not, there should be more retail jobs opening up after school starts again. Wish me luck.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Wash Out

It's been a busy, busy week for me as you could tell from my lack of postings here. I worked at the office all week and delivered my final report to my professor yesterday morning. We had free tickets to last night's Syracuse SkyChiefs game. I went with my husband. We sat with the usual suspects. It was my first game of the season; it was BP's first game since Saturday. He'd been sick. Yesterday was also BP's birthday. It seemed that it was going to be a perfect evening for the game versus Pawtucket Red Sox. Then during the third inning it started to sprinkle. The rain got heavier and kept on falling. Play was suspended in the bottom of the third inning. We hung out with our friends until around 9pm then left. Hubby had to be into work at 6am this morning, so no late night for us. Play never resumed anyway. It's going to be a nice night, although cooler tonight. Unfortunately hubby has a meeting, and I really should stay home to get some Relay for Life stuff taken care of.

Here's an update on my part-time design. I've been able to get a few of the geek-a-trons to talk to me. The younger guys, have been pretty friendly, though. G bought us all lunch from Dinosaur Barbe-que on Monday. I worked four days and accomplished, I think, some fairly impressive stuff: a new design concept for a new job portal site, some spiffy apps icons, a e-newletter layout, a new power point template for company presentations and a resign for the home page. The problem is my schedule is so spotty. I'm not scheduled to work next week at all. G's going to try to give me more hours to work from home, but I'm still afraid that we're still not going to be able to make it on this. I'll have to see what I can do about checking some old leads and drumming up more freelance business.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Yes, I deleted my blog. Don't ask me how I did it. I was trying to set up a new blog on this account and deleted out BOTH of them!!! D'oh. Well don't worry, there's a back up on Not that I'm conceited enough to think that you would want to go back and relive the "zippychik experience." But at least for my own use it's still there. This is another case of when really stupid things happen to really careless people.

I am in the process of starting a technology blog but I've defintely decided that I'm sending the blogs up on 2 different accounts!