Thursday, February 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Mackipoo

Our pooch is two years old today. We adopted him nearly 8 months ago. The calm, timid, meek, docile little creature we met at the rescue is actually a colorful mix of crazy.

Yes I made him a special party hat, did you expect anything less? He's not a super fan of things on his head so J had to hold it there while I snapped a quick picture. He much more prefers eating the party hat, as illustrated below.

Our little family will celebrate tonight with hamburgers, because that is Mack's favorite dish. He'll have his own burger with cheese and perhaps a little peanut butter for dessert.
He's one spoiled pooch with some great birthday loot. We got him a jolly roger collar, because nothing says preppy bad ass like a jolly roger collar, and that's exactly what he is. He also got a new t-shirt that says "Tough Guy" which I find hilarious because he's, um, well, not. I wanted to get the one that read "Lover not a Biter" but that's a lie and Mack is nothing if not honest.
Lastly, J picked up a big bone for him. Big. Two-feet long big, so roughly the size of the pooch. Hopefully he'll chew on that for a while and it will entertain him on weekend mornings when we would enjoy sleeping past 6 am.
Speaking of chewing, let's review what the Mackipoo has eaten this week:
  • a disposable razor
  • the lid to a bottle of happy perfume
  • twenty-five dollars
  • a hairbow
  • strings of thread dug out of the vacuum
  • coupons
  • sticky paper (for sewing/monogramming use)
  • the tail to my beloved Eeyore (of which I barely saved)

Strange that he's not intersted in his puppy food.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The one post week

I'm a headless chicken this week.

I've been busy finishing up sewing and monogramming projects that need to be done as well as hemming the husband's pants.

In addition, I've been making my house spotless because the M Bed & Breakfast is open for business this weekend. The O's will arrive Friday evening to stay with us through Sunday. I've also decided to throw a little wine and dessert gathering Friday night for five couples (butter pecan bundt cake, strawberry cake with cream cheese icing and fresh berries, brownies, cookies, fruit and dip, FYI). And if that's not enough to make me one crazy banchee I got and throw a small dinner part for 6 on Saturday, stuffed pork tenderloin, broasted red potatoes, salad, bread, and dessert, if you're wondering. Recap: guests all weekend, wine and dessert gathering for 10 on Friday, and dinner party for 6 on Saturday.

So I suppose I'll be going to the grocery store tomorrow.

By the way, Addy, will you be swinging by this weekend? There's gonna be food and wine (see above!).

Work has kept me slightly stressed this week. We currently don't have a web/graphic designer so guess who does ads? That's the marketing department. Oh right, I am the marketing department. I'm creative, I can come up with new and fresh ideas, I can layout an ad or marketing piece, I can edit and change made pieces, but a designer I am not. I may have lead them to believe a lot of things, but my being a design guru was not one of them.

That said my VP loved my ad and raved on the good job I did. Great! Now he's going to expect that of me more. Seriously, it was a small ad and not that hard, but it took me nearly two whole days. If it were a large ad it would be a train wreck. Ugh!

Enough about work.

Oh, so get this. I went to the shoe shop earlier this week to drop off one of my black boots. Apparently this little incident compromised one of my heels. It wasn't broken, but it was weaker and I didn't want it to break. As if I'm not graceful enough I can see my heel breaking while I'm out in the rain a mile from my car in a dress and tall boots. Why? Because that's my life. Anyway, as I was leaving the guy (an older grandfather like fellow) called after me "wow, you have such beautiful hair." You could have knocked me over with a feather. Now I like my hair ok, it's served me well for, errr, 21 years (who's counting really?) but it's never been what I'd call beautiful. It's grown a lot and it seems that long hair is usually prettier, but mine is also fine and limp and although I feel it looks fairly nice as I leave my bathroom vanity of the morning, it's usually a hot mess by the time I reach work. No matter my hairstyle, it doesn't hold style very well. So in short, my hair is nervous about returning to the shoe shop tomorrow, it has a lot to live up to now.

I woke up to this outside my door this morning. Isn't it pretty? It will probably last for at least 30 minutes!

Since I'm sparse this week, check out updates on The Bargainista:

Happy Reading!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The New Headboard

I purchased these lovely antique windows nearly two years ago at an estate sale. I had a vision of making them a headboard by mounting them to the wall and tying up ribbon to give the illusion that they were hanging by the ribbon. My husband took it a step further and decided to build a frame to give it a more prominant headboard-esque look.

I used remnant fabric that was coordinating and repeating in the room to fill in the panes for a rich, textured look with a little more interest and personality. I love the paisley I found. It's the perfect color of blue and gives me the touch of paisley without making my husband want to gag. The stripes are left over from the balloon shades I made for the room. I found the toile and gingham to finish it off with a cottage chic and elegant look.

Isn’t it pretty? It’s going to look great in the master bedroom redo. Look forward to the full report on that next week.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Seven random things you didn't know about me and are really curious to know.

Addy tagged me sometime this year to do a seven random, new, interesting, etc. things about me that you didn’t know.

  1. My family has a greyhound farm, as in the dogs, not the buses. My Pappy and his brother raise and race greyhound dogs. It used to be quite a profitable business but now I think it’s more of a hobby. However, I’m happy that my Pappy is able to participate in all of this in his 70s. Therefore, long live the farm!

  2. I don’t have plain socks. I’m far too festive for plain, white socks. All of my socks have prints such as argyle, polka dots, stripes, etc. They only solid white socks I own are the little anklets to wear with sneakers and even then they have the Polo or Gap logo in a pretty color. However, I still have festive anklets.
  3. (Lest you think I lied about the Brandon Walsh socks! How are these copyright 2007??)

  4. If you see me next to my biological mother, I look just like her. If you see me next to my biological father, I look just like him. I have a relationship with neither but there is no way they can deny me. Although I don’t like looking so much like them (both) they did make a damn good looking daughter.

  5. I have some nasty scars on my knees and legs from a highly vicious and competitive game of Mud Bowl with my sorority sisters. They will forever remind me that Addy, Mrs. S, and I threw punches and rolled in mud while frat boys drank beer. I know, WTH? This is definitely another post for another time. No, wait. That is the gist of it. Right there. Um, but the money was for philanthropy?

  6. I went to the Eye Doctor to day, a new one, and she wanted to dilate my pupils for a thorough examination. I got light headed and queasy. I have lab coat syndrome and blatant wimpiness to the nth degree!

  7. My entire young life I wished to attend a private school where I could wear plaid jumpers, knee-socks, and penny loafers. I wanted to ride horses after school and attend book clubs. Unfortunately I grew up in the sticks and such things as this didn’t exist. I was, in fact, completely opposite of this. The rednecks rode their tractors to school ( I wish I was making this up) and I was a cheerleader. I hope my kids never want to be cheerleaders.

  8. I try my best to make my husband have a three-step face regime so that his young, beautiful skin will stay young and beautiful. Despite finding very manly products he won’t give in and participate. I’m sure posting this here will not help my agenda whatsoever.

    Go ahead…play along.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Switch it. Change it. Rearrange it.

I think I just might make some changes around here and jump ship. I’ve went through all of my old entries via keywords and searching to change names, places, etc. so that I feel I’ve sufficiently protected the privacy of myself, my family, and my friends and now can return to a public blog like the hussy I am! I have a family friendly blog that, go figure, I share with our family and friends, with real names and not nearly as fun stories as it’s totally PG. I just can’t tell them everything I tell you Internet. Nosiree. We have secrets between the two of us.

I’ve decided I’d like to be a public hussy under a new pseudonym rather than The Mrs. M, bless her heart. Since this blog address was once published among the ranks of those who know me I feel The Mrs. M can only be a half-way hussy in a public world and well, what fun is a half-way hussy? None at all I’ll tell ya!

I’ve pondered and pondered a new name and although I have a few ideas, I thought I’d ask the experts. That’s you!

So if you were to name me oh wise Internets, what would you name me? My blog reflects a wide spectrum of topics from being a Southern Belle, to my love for all things pink and frilly and girly, to how I could be perfectly happy on a lifelong diet of wine and cheese (and green beans and brownies), to how I’d monogram the world and make it a better place because that would totally work, to being too crafty for my own good, to hypothetically tinkling in my pants but literally tinkling on my pants, and now, the half-way hussy.

So basically, I’ve got more personalities than a three-ring circus.

What do you name one as complex yet as simple as I?

Monday, February 18, 2008

The most exciting part of our weekend.

Oh Internets, we didn’t something great this weekend! Do you want to guess what it was? Sure you do so here we go.

Friday night J’s parents came to town and took us to dinner at one of our very favorite restaurants and also brought us loads of candy, dark chocolate, homemade and baked goods.

Was this the most exciting part of our weekend?


Saturday night we were guests of a fabulous wedding that I’m estimating has a price tag pushing 40 grand. The ceremony was in a cute little chapel of a very large local church and the reception was at one of the swankiest country clubs in town. And MyTown has a lot of country clubs considering it’s not that large. This could be my favorite local reception site. And you know what was at the reception? An open bar. All night! Oh the delight of the wine tasting that evening. There was a live band. There were butler passed hors devours. There was some scrumptious food and not to mention the largest display and variety of cubed cheeses I’d ever seen. You know how much I love my cheese! There was also a candy bar. As in dozens of jars filled with all types of candies from m&ms, jelly beans, red hots, Hershey kisses, skittles, gumballs, etc. In a basket were cute little candy sacks with the couples monogram. And we were allowed to take one of those darling little candy sacks and fill up to our little hearts delight! I felt like one of those kids in the old school version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Remember where they all run in the candy shop and he’s singing the “Candy Man” song and throwing all sorts of goodies at them and they’re all reaching in jars…….

Was this the most exciting part of our weekend?


After much debate and search J and I found the perfect area rug for our den. It also happened to be half off! You know how a good deal makes me tinkle in my pants a bit. (Check out The Bargainista this week for full details!)

Was this the most exciting part of our weekend?


I found the perfect color combination of paisley on some cute little storage bins for our bedside in my master bedroom redo. I love me some paisley and this was the perfect compliment to the other patterns and colors and also wasn’t too much that Hubs wanted to vomit. These fabulous little ditties had been marked down from $16.99 to only $6.79 each! (These will be featured on The Bargainista as well!).

Was this the most exciting part of our weekend?


Sunday J and I tried out a new church. Our current/previous church is fabulous, really it is. The pastors, worship, and services are amazing. We were also part of a great Sunday school class full of about 50 other couples who had been married for about 5 or less years. That said, we just weren’t feeling it lately. We didn’t have the time and schedule to fit into a small group and that is nearly the only option for breaking things down on a more personal level. Lucky for us, we live on Holy Road and have a handful of very large and nice churches to choose from. There are two we planned on trying and the first was a very charming church on the corner that has a large playground, which to me says lots of programs, activities, and family things, and also a full sized gym to which I’d been in for a craft fair. The website was great and seemed to have plenty going on so we tried it out, a little skeptical as it’s a denomination that neither of us is accustomed to, but it was great. Hubs and I both really enjoyed it and the people were very nice and friendly. It was rather large, but still only about a quarter of the church we came from. Everyone seemed to spot us as new people. With Hubs being 6 foot three and bald, he stands out in a crowd. We’re going to return next week and try out Sunday school. Also, they have Wednesday night connection activities in which there is dinner served. Mmm! Mmm! There is nothing better than church lady food. Unfortunately we probably won’t get to attend very often with work schedules. This church is the same proximity from our house as the former one (about 2 miles) and we still plan to attend special events at the former, such as the Marriage Conference coming up in March.

Was this the most exciting part of our weekend?


After church we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant for lunch. It had been a whole two weeks since we’d been there and they were beginning to worry about us. Not to mention concern for their margarita sales! We both branched out and explored new menu options and both were delightful. The staff had a little party and did a little dance they’d missed us so much. I think tears were shed by all parties.

Was this the most exciting part of our weekend?


J and I finally bought a brand-spanking-new broom, with fancy matching super duper dust pan no less, since we were using the reject that Addy gave me when we moved out of the Historic WC because it wasn’t worth her packing and moving as it kinda sucked then so it really sucked now, nearly four years later. (Ohmygoodness how has it been four years?).


That was the most exciting part of our weekend. It really is the little things.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Monogrammed Dishes

I’m sure my faithful and loyal readers aren’t surprised by my monogramming anything at all. This time, I’ve monogrammed dishes. I think I posted on here about the Buffalo China I received that came out of a very old church. I had 17 plates with cups and saucers. They were so simple, elegant, classy, and can be used for so many occasions, but they needed something still. That something was a monogram! So I painted an M on the rim of each plate. Still simple, still elegant, still classy, and now with more personality. I plan on using these for a variety of occasions; bunco night, tea parties, brunches, showers, etc.

These were super easy to create. I bought food safe paint at a local craft store. I painted the letter, let it dry for 24 hours, then baked it for 30 minutes to set the design and make it food and dishwasher safe. Anyone can do this.

I have a few other projects like this up my sleeve, too. Can you stand the anticipation?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Spread the Love

It’s Valentine’s Day, not a bit deal in the M house. We will celebrate by having fondue at home (cheese with dippers and garlic beer broth with dippers), per our tradition developed over the past years. We always have chocolate covered goodness too. I started with just strawberries and had some left. So I did marshmallows and graham crackers. But there was still chocolate left. I tossed in a couple handfuls of pretzels and pecans, swirled it all around made all the goodness I could stand. It should last through tonight for a week. Being that my love language is quality-time, having my husband’s complete and undivided attention for a long, leisurely dinner will totally make my day! Especially since school has been really rough this semester and he has to spend a great deal of time studying.
(Notice the missing strawberry, it was quality control, really it was!)
Although we at the M house are low-key, our niece Pie had a big day! She had her first date, at the ripe old age of two and a half! Her boyfriend picked her up and brought her a flower before his mama drove them to McDonald’s for a romantic lunch of chicken nuggets followed by some love for the indoor playplace.

It makes me think of a little song:

“He showed up and took me by the hand, his mama drove us in her caravan and that’s alright with me.”

I’m not a huge Valentine’s Day fan in the traditional sense. It seems to be an occasion where everyone who is single needs to feel sad and lonely about not having a “Valentine.” Why does Valentine’s Day have to be about romantic love? Why not use this time to show everyone you love them. That said, I feel that J and I show we love each other everyday, as well as showing our family and friends everyday. While I don’t feel that one day is necessary to get all the love out, it can be a good occasion to stop and think how you can spread the love.

J and I have discussed options of things we can do today rather than give each other flowers, candy, and cheesy stuff animals. We discussed making a donation to our local community ministry for the homeless. Less than two dollars helps someone eat for like a week! This is a ministry we really believe in and support often. Other charities to spread the love to could be your local Salvation Army or Habitat for Humanity. If you don’t have the extra cash to donate, volunteer your time. Homeless shelters are often looking for volunteers to help serve meals, charity thrift-stores need volunteers to assist with daily retail duties, and you can always take your hammer and hardhat to the construction site. If that’s not your thing, consider donating clothes you no longer wear but that are in good condition to a women’s shelter. This take very little time and energy and now money is involved.

I’ve also been praying about sponsoring a child. I’ve always known I wanted to do this once I have children. I think it would be a neat way to show my thankfulness for my child by assisting another in need as well as teaching my child about giving-back, being grateful, and how to pray for our sponsored child. I’ve been following a special mission trip to Uganda made by fellows Bloggers and I’m feeling the urge that I might want to sponsor now. They are ministering to the residents of Uganda and raising awareness for Compassion International. It seems so real to see their pictures and read their stories. Previously I wondered if it really was that bad or if just the most pathetic photos ever were being shown. When I think about doing it I wonder if we should do more domestically than internationally. But by sponsoring a child you can help give them an education, life skills, and prepare them for a bright future that will ultimately assist in reducing the situations in these countries drastically. In addition they are learning the Bible with many of them becoming followers of Christ.

Anyway, as you can see I have a bit more soul-searching and praying on this subject as well as discussion with my husband.

My Valentine wish for you is that you'll use everyday to let your significant other, family, and friends know that you love them and use Valentine’s Day as a reminder to reach out and show a little extra love in whatever way is closest to your heart.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Are there any other craigslist fans out there? The M house just loves craigslist where the bargains are just waiting to be found. J checks it religiously everyday just to see what is there whether we need it or not. We’ve bought and sold tons of items on this site.

Bought: china cabinet, tables and chairs, wrought iron patio furniture, vanity and mirror for the new bath.

Sold: golf clubs, roller skates, dishes, Dell laptop, 4 pc. bedroom suite, entertainment center, toilet (that’s a good story!), Broyhill desk, and a few miscellaneous items.

My old dishes sold for $125 which nearly paid for my new dishes. Isn’t that a sweet deal?

If you don’t use craigslist, you need to check it out. Go to, find your city, and start browsing. In order to post you just need to sign up for an account. It’s very basic and user-friendly and best of all FREE to buy and sell.

Any other craigslisters? You down front, you look awfully excited about craigslist. Did you just tinkle your pants?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Because I feel we're close enough to share this

Internet, I know you can keep a secret, so that's why I feel I can share this story with you. Well, that and because I have a profound ability to laugh at myself.

J and I were driving north Friday evening when I requested a potty break. He has become accustomed to my baby-bladder even if it makes him crazy. I'd crossed my legs and jiggled for about and hour and couldn't take it anymore.

I race inside the fast food joint and into the ladies' room. There is one stall open that no one would use because there was tinkle on the seat. Well I'm not playing games here so I go inside, wipe it off, get the hand sanitizer out of my trusty bag and squirt it all over the seat, and clean the potty seat.

Still I didn't want to actually sit on the seat, so I hover. I'm sure you're aware of the firm stance of power thighs with feet shoulder width apart, arms on the walls for optimum balance, and purse hanging around your neck because it shall not touch the floor!

I assumed the postion and tinkled. And tinkled. And tinkled, and tinkled, and tinkled. I began to get weak about 10 minutes into the power tinkling (I'd had 60 oz of water, 2 cups of coffee, and a shot of orange juice that day).

I felt something warm on my calf. I finished tinkling to realize that I'd tinkled on my leg! Yes, me being the ever-present epitome of grace managed to tinkle on my right calf whilst hovering during the marathon tinkling session.

So I walked out of the stall, threw my leg in the sink and rinsed my jeans. Then on the way to the car through laughter and tears I told my darling hubby what happend.

"You see darling, what ha-happened wuz....."

He rolled his eyes but got me the yoga pants from my bag and I changed in the car.

Then we left, but not before I purchased a 32 ounce iced tea. Hey, I was parched after relieving my bladder.

Monday, February 11, 2008

What a wonderful weekend.

Ask and you shall receive! Here are pictures of J's vehicle all loaded up.

Is he a good Uncle J or what? Here are a few shots of the finished product, Pie enjoying it, and me, never failing you and making a fool of myself.

FYI- birthing hips and a ghetto booty aren't made for the slide, but Pie insisted I play with her. Like me cool whale pajama pants? How about sporting them with my mocs? I know, you're jealous of my killer fashion sense.

We had such a fabulous weekend. Bex and Mr. Bex are wonderful friends and such gracious hosts. How sweet of them to let us crash into their home with a two-week old baby?
While we were there The Bex's, J, and I had a large bruch with my aunt, uncle, and cousin. Then, Uncle, Cousin, J, and I headed to the Greyhound Farm, but that's a post in itself one day. J and I also did some great shopping.
Unfortunately I didn't get a whole gaggle of pictures as I'd hoped. Pie was marching to her own drummer all weekend and Tart is such a good sleeper I didn't want to ruin it. The last thing they all needed was for me to break out in Olan Mills and disrupt the homeostasis!
But just look at these sweet, angelic faces. The Bex's sure can make some beautiful babies.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Pack it up, pack it in

I'm super excited because tomorrow J and I are headed north to see Pie and Tart and of course their wonderful parents.

Last fall I found this great deal on two (not one, but two) Little Tikes climber/play thingys that I just had to get for Pie and Tart. They were in fabulous condition, pretty colors, and can be used together or alone. I knew they’d be perfect for the basement in the cold winter months (they get lots of snow) and also nice to put on the deck and in the back yard. The both of them were a whopping twenty dollars. Sadly, I think I forgot to mention them on The Bargainista, I’ll have to go back and do that.

So I bought on the spot (garage sale in my neighborhood) and went home to tell J of my fabulous find. He went back to pick them up with the utility trailer and rolled his eyes at the sight. Clearly, I wasn’t thinking about transportation. We took it all apart and stored it in our garden shed for the time being.

Fast forward til now, we are going to visit this weekend and for a dozen reasons do not want to take the utility trailer. Therefore, J needs to fit it all in the back of his SUV. Sunday afternoon we decided to give it a go. It was our only opportunity since it’s pretty much dark when he gets home and also we were both busy this week with school work, meetings, and an all-day seminar for me.

Of course Murphy showed up with rain as soon as we got started. That Murphy, what a jokester. We persevered. J managed to shove the whole thing in the back of his SUV (how I don't know but there was ample cursing and I think he may have slightly wondered why he married me and my bright ideas) but there are two slides that won't fit. Oh, and the spare tire (like that matters, right?). Also, not the back will not open as slamming it shut apparently jammed it a bit.

And it appears that there is not room for luggage so I just have to dress in layers. Now isn’t that efficient and resourceful? And also J said something along the lines of "getting an (expletive) granny in a rockin' chair for the (expletive) top of the car to make sure we look like a bunch of (expletive) hillbillies."

I don't think he really meant that.

He thought it would be a good idea to get one of those cargo hauler basket thingys that go on the back of an SUV. I think it’s silly. We’ll use it once and never again therefore it’s money and space wasted at the purchase and storage.

J: No, we need it for the granny in the rockin’ chair.
Me: Honey, I only have two slides and a spare tire, not a granny in a rockin’ chair.
J: That’s a lie. I’ve been to Florida and you do have a granny in a rockin’ chair.
J: And we’ll need it if she ever go anywhere with her because I won’t be able to stand her in the car.

He does have a point there.

However this week at lunch J was able to do a little extra maneuvering and fit the small slide in. Woot! We’re only left with the large slide and spare tire which can probably go on top. If you see a red SUV traveling north with a hot pink slide on the top….please honk at us!

(I'll give you pictures, I promise but I've not uploaded them yet.)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Lent Season

Well looky here, the Lent season is upon us (I hope you all enjoyed Fat Tuesday). I’ve been contemplating what to do for Lent since the beginning of January and have yet to come up with anything. I thought of giving up my mid-day Diet Coke, but that would be suffering for the rest of the world as much as it would me and well, that’s just not fair. I thought of giving up meat and being a vegetarian through the Lent season. I think this would be easy and difficult at the same time. I can often do without meat and find myself having just veggies and pasta. That said, I think restricting it could be a challenge because then of course I'd suddenly want it. It would also be sucky to still cook said meats for dinner since I know my carnivorous husband will not be giving up his meat.

Then again, Lent isn’t supposed to be easy. Why is that I always think of food items? I could give up television, but I don’t watch enough for that to be applicable. Maybe I should give up cooking and housecleaning? That would make for a nice relaxing and lazy Lent season. I'd definately have time to get my online store going quicker.

Does anyone else participate in Lent? Any thoughts or ideas from the peanut gallery out there? Also, is it ok to have what you gave up on Sundays during the Lent season? I’ve had mixed reviews on that and could use some clarification.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

An extra four grand was just lying around.

What’s your favorite way to spend four grand? Here at the M house we were forced by the energy sucking older heat pump bound to die any minute like to buy heat pumps. I mean, we have so much money in our mattresses that after a while they start to get lumpy. We needed to unload four grand so we thought a heat pump would be a nice way to do it. Jealous are you? Hmph!

J is a bit tearful over the ordeal. We had good plans for that bonus money. While I hate that those plans will take a little longer to complete now, I’m not nearly as upset because 1) I don’t really have much to do with money issues in our house. I’m not a number cruncher and 2) to me it was money that we never really had. We were fairly certain he’d get a nice bonus and we had ideas of what to do with it but it isn’t money that we “needed” per se and it was spent no sooner than it arrived. On the bright side, we could have already spent the bonus and been (totally screwed) in a predicament, we could have had to pull money from our savings, we could have had to forego vacations this year, we could have had to (gasp!) use a blood sucking spawn of satan credit card.

So two questions for you, what has been your most painful, bring you to tears painful, purchase; and how would you like to spend four grand?

Monday, February 04, 2008

Jobs, a not-so-brief history

I’ve been uber busy lately and my blog time has been quite slashed. The powers that be at my office issued a threat of personal internet use and now I can no longer spend all afternoon take five minutes a day to post on this here blog. I mean, I can, but I could potentially be without a job then and well that would suck because we at the M house are accustomed to eating, quite well in fact. Therefore I write all of my posts elsewhere and then publish them all at one time during the one time per week I use the computer at home.

But back to work now, ok? Not as in talking about blah, blah, blah work stuff, but good work stuff, if that’s possible. Let me tell you about my job, all of my jobs. I mean, surely you’re just itching to know about all the steps I took to become the corporate marketing superstar that I am, no?

My first job was babysitting. I’m 12 years old than my only sibling. You can either take that as my parents planned a built in nanny or “oops! we did it again.” Well, I’m pretty sure at the ripe old age of 17 they were all “oops we did it the first time.” Moving on, I was a the greatest big sister ever (I have references) and a babysitting rockstar. Being the oldest “kid” in my neighborhood with gaggles of little ones about the age of my brother I kept busy. I could just ride my bike around the block, be there in an instant on a snow day, take care of you kid all summer because I arrive at your house only to go back to sleep until your little darlings wake up, and also if you come in too late you only have to turn the porch light on and walk me home. It was a good deal for all. I continued this rock-star career throughout middle school and high school.

I did, however, branch out during my babysitting off hours to teach cheerleading camps (rah, rah, sis boom bah!) and tutor students at my high school who were in a local program sponsored by a college to get them the hell graduated and gainfully enrolled in an institution of higher learning. I was paid $6 per hour per student. I tutored two girls at the same time for a whopping $12 an hour a few hours a week. Pretty sweet gig for a high school girl, don’t you think nevermind that both girls failed that class?

I left high school for the nary a big city about an hour away. I began my college career as a gymnastics instructor. It was another sweet gig. I was paid $9 per class, which lasted about 45-50 minutes. I taught ten to fifteen classes per week. After my first semester I was bumped up to $10 and hour because I was again, a rock star! With this gig I also taught seasonal Saturday morning gymnastics camps for $100 for the morning. Cha-ching! Through the same fine establishment I worked with a middle school cheerleading squad on tumbling, building, dance routines showing them how to shake what their momma’s gave’em. I think I received the hourly wage for this as well.

During the gymnastics gig I also worked at a nearby daycare that I’d found through teaching the gymnastics classes. I took care of six (count ‘em one, two, three four, five, six) one year olds. The kids were precious and I loved it! This is where I met H and his sister The Belle and became their private babysitter. I left the daycare behind because the management sucked and so did the pay at a meager $6 per hour (did you count the one, two, three, four, five, six above?) It wasn’t much more than a summer supplement for the big beach trip I took with my girlfriends that year.

During the midst of all of this I was referred from my little brother’s, best friend’s mother to a guy she worked with who lived in MyTown that I was an awesome rock-star of a babysitter. He had a 9 month old little boy and had just moved back to the area. It was love at first sight for all involved, and this began a beautiful relationship with my boyfriend and me.

The gymnastics gig ended after about two years when my school schedule no longer fit well with the gymnastics class schedule and it was more of a pain than anything. But to re-cap I did work two jobs (gymnastics and daycare) and two private sitter side jobs all at one time. Go ahead and shout it out: you’re a rock star! No, just a poor college kid with a love for shopping and sorority dues.

When the gymnastics thing ended and I quit the daycare I was just a private babysitter. It was pretty sweet and paid awesome. A job within the College of Communications in the Dean’s Office fell into my lap and I had to take it as it was a prime opportunity to rub elbows and brown nose. The job sucked, the pay sucked, but mostly I just studied in the office between classes and well I did get paid to do that. I did this for about a year in addition to many hours of babysitting.

The just a babysitter turned into a nearly full-time nanny gig with the above families and one more family, their friends, who also had two kids. They kept me super busy and I loved it. The pay was great, the kids were precious, the parents fabulous, and the perks were amazing such as all-expense paid vacations that came with a paycheck. Now that, is what I call a paid vacation. I even kept this job a year post-graduation because I loved it so much and I couldn’t find a “real job” in the fabulous economy looking for marketing superstars.

During the nanny gigs I began doing internships. One was required by my college and the others were to rub elbows and brown nose for the experience. Only one had a stipend pay, some were flat out unpaid (nearly all PR type internships in MyTown were unpaid) and some only came with a few perks to give it a little allure.

My internship career included working at the local food bank assisting the women who worked in PR and Development. I’d write press releases, find clippings, recruit volunteers, promote events, and do mail-outs for donations (oh the heaping piles of mail- outs!). I did this internship right after Addy.

Next I was an Account Executive (AE—fancy) for a student-run PR Firm. My projects included compiling a media list for a big, well-known airline that “loves to fly and it shows”, promotion and media for a blood-drive, and an internship fair (ironic?) for the College of Communications.

Following that I was the Public Relations Intern for the local art museum. I wrote press releases, organized special events, sent information to media, assisted in creating press kits and made advertisements and gave out piles of posters and begged friends to hanghung a lot of posters all over campus. The art museum was about 8 blocks from my apartment which was great because I totaled my car during this time and I could walk there, and then walk to class. Anyone wanna see my Hercules calves from walking all that in heels, up hill both ways? Coincidentally I walked into this internship right after A as well, that girl really paved the way for me.

My fourth internship was the PR Chair for the campus sponsored event where you stay up all night walking in support of a charity. Fill in the blanks there, will you? It was a major pain as the chair of the event was a major, idiotic, not-a-brain-in-her-head, bimbo, and those were, and continue to be, her good points (ask Addy). In this position I wrote press releases, contacted media, prepared a small media kit, designed a brochure, scheduled campus events, and tried not to beat the living day out of aforementioned bimbo. The latter was the most challenging.

My final internship was as the Intern Promotion Manager at a large conglomerate media group that owns radio stations. The local group owned four stations and I worked with two of them. I scheduled van hits, which is where we send a group of individuals to your fine establishment, have them hit all the vans, and then leave quickly. I kid, I kid! I van hit is when the car/truck/van with fancy wraps, big lights, and loud speakers would come to a certain location, play the radio, have contests, and give out free stuff such as t-shirts, frisbees, coozies, cd’s, etc. I found locations for van hits, scheduled the meager peons beneath me to arrive at said van hits, and ensured they were equipped with all necessary gear of prizes, etc. The best thing about this was that it was super flexible and I could take care of a lot of it by emailing at night in my pj’s or on the phone walking to class. The worst thing is that it was right next to Lenny’s Sub Shop and I gained a pound or ten.

I also had a sixth internship as a PR Intern at a nearby hospital which is infamous for being labeled as “in the ER and out the morgue”. I suppose my job would have been to assist in changing that typecast should I have taken it. I was scheduled to begin it the summer post graduation (it paid a meager amount) but all plans were shot when my dad died the middle of the last semester of my senior year.

As if all this PR goodness wasn’t enough I also was the Development Chair for a campus event (Dance Marathon) that supports a certain miracle network for children (read between the lines) where I created a media kit and brochure to solicit corporate donations and also created marketing materials to solicit gifts-in-kind such as food and prizes.

Addy and I also took over our sorority philanthropy to get the show on the road for a walk that raises money and awareness for premature babies (you know the one, right?). We created a media kit, made some phone calls, and flaunted ourselves at frat houses. Hey, whatever gets the job done.

Moving on to the real world I began my career as an Advertising Coordinator for a large travel center. By advertising I mean billboards. I hate billboards as they are eyesores and ruin the landscape. Though the company was fabulous with decent benefits, nice perks, and a soda fountain and popcorn machine set up in the break room, I hated the job and my manager was comparable to the bimbo listed above only with more power and more mood swings. It lasted about 9 months, all of which I had an IV of Diet Coke running through my veins due to the accessibility. I gave my notice, worked more or less 5 half days by showing up and leaving whenever I damn well pleased, got married, went on my honeymoon, and never returned. This is where my superstar status began.

Next I moved on to a large media group that owns everything from television networks, to newspapers, to elephants in the jungle. Seriously, they have a diverse portfolio. I worked at one of their large daily newspapers doing advertising sales. I mostly worked with car dealers who liked to call me baby, honey, and buy me margaritas. The benefits were pretty fabulous with ample vacation and personal time. I received a few raises, but never an opportunity to do anything else. My boss was a twelve year old girl trapped in the body of a thirty-five year old man. Most days, he could be found working on the golf course or at happy-hour. This gig lasted about a year and a half. I gave a two weeks notice that went something along the lines of “in two weeks, I won’t be here”.

This brings me to my current gig corporate marketing superstar. I really do like this job, as much as I’m going to like anything that takes 40 plus hours of my time every week. I make decent money for my area and some benefits are great (free insurance), but some suck (less vacation time than I’d like). There isn’t much I don’t do at this job and I should but sometimes don’t stay busy everyday, all day. I work in the travel, tourism, and hospitality industry. I do Marketing and PR with and for investors, guests, agencies, media, and other corporations.

I’m responsible for advertising for properties and keeping them all current; finding new sources of advertising whether it be magazines, direct mail, or online sites; offering new ideas of ad designs and layouts; guiding the web designer on changes/updates to keep the corporate and property websites current; writing blurbs and copy for all medium such as brochures, websites, magazines, travel guides, etc.; creating the in-room guest directory for the resorts; scheduling photo shoots of the property and finding a photographer; sending proper letters of notice to investors and owners; creating an overall marketing plan and flow cart for each property; creating all marketing materials and media kits; putting together vacation packages for the different resorts; doing pre-construction comparisons for future projects; preparing sales kits for retail establishments in the lifestyle centers; getting branded toiletries for the resorts as well as other items, i.e. vending signs; distributing placement charts so that each room is set up identical and ready for guests; writing newsletters (of the 12 page variety); providing editorial content for nearly anyone who wants to give us some press; and searching opportunities to join organizations and associations of interest to give us good PR and free advertisement. Well, that’s some of what I do anyway. See? I told you I was a corporate marketing superstar. I feel the need to brag and I’m sure you understand if you read what I went through to get here.

You’re quite a trooper if you read all of that. Looking back, I had a pretty good job career. I never had to work retail or wait tables. Not that I think that’s bad, I just don’t see me being a good fit for such a position. Trust me, you don’t want me and all my (clumsiness) gracefulness carrying a large tray of food and drinks. I don’t see myself fit for retail because I’d spend my entire paycheck by using my discount and would live out of my car with an ever-expanding and fabulous wardrobe. I still think I’d like a stint at the make-up counter in an upscale department store.

Ok, your turn. Take as much room as you’d like and tell us about your history of jobs from the good, bad, and ugly and what your current gig is as well as your future plans. (Addy, I better hear from you because you have some good ones).

My future plans, next to being the make-up counter girl, are to have a decently profitable small business that I work at exclusively, free-lance, and be a mommy.

Ok, your turn. Go!

Friday, February 01, 2008

The Ice Cream, a short one act play

Characters: J, Cupcake, Pooch
Setting: the master bathrooom, Cupcake just trying to take a shower in peace.

J: (accusingly) Cupcake, did you know that all the ice cream was gone?

Cupcake: (aghast) What? It is? The ice cream? (pausing). Pooch....did you eat the ice cream?

Pooch: ??? (silently saying: Hell no I didn't eat the ice cream. If I could open the freezer I'd go for the ribeye and pork chops, not the ice cream!)

Cupcake: D*$% mouse!

J: (rolls his eyes and walks away).