Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Help if you are able....

I have been following artist Kelly Rae Roberts since the fall of 2006. When I clicked on her blog today, her Friday July 24th post hit a little too close to home for me.

Her post is about a young woman, Megan who is battling Stage IV breast cancer.

Blue Shield of CA has denied her life-saving treatments.

Please pay a visit to her blog… Megans Circle
If you feel so inclined to donate to her fund… ChipIn
If you care to read her story that was featured on President Obama’s Healthcare Stories for America page…Megan – Altadena,CA

Cancer and insurance companies just make me so sad and angry…

cross posted at motherswithcancer

Monday, July 20, 2009

Good News and Bad News of the Day...

Good News is we are getting a tax refund … the bad news is we got and IUO from the State of California. Since we filed late I think we missed the boat on Banks accepting the IOU’s. We may have to wait until October.

But delivered with that same piece of news was a nice square box. Today was so crazy that I did not get to open it until about 9pm but the good news is that it was THE 2010 calendar…
I guessed January, L guessed June then changed his guess to March. We were both wrong… December it is:
My answer to Life is like a Box of…

Fortune Cookies…

I am hoping to have some of the calendars for sale on my new website…once it is designed… I will let you know when it is live…

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Makes me smile...

This just makes me smile no matter how many times I watch it.


(I am having trouble embedding it into my blog so just click the link and enjoy)

L and I always discuss commercials. I have made many design presentations over the course of my life and L was in the advertising industry for many years. I am sure too many for his liking. So when we see a really poor commercial… you know the ones that insult your intelligence… we always thing of the “pitch” meeting. The many “suits” gathered around the conference table listening to the ad agencies pitch. We wonder how some of the ideas even get to the pitch meeting and then worse yet how they actually get approved, money spent on production and airtime?????

But then there those really good ones… the ones that you really enjoy… the ones that make you smile, or laugh or think. Yes sometimes they are so good that you cannot remember what the exact product they are selling. (I am sure there are the Ad critics who would say that they were not good commercials then). But this ad is so fun… at first I did not remember the product… but now I do. Will I buy Evian… probably not… but I am talking about it… we are talking about it… my kids are talking about it…

I can only think about this pitch meeting. Did the Ad agency know before they went in how good it was? Was it risky? Were the suits up dancing at the end of the presentation?

It is a winner in my book… I may even go out and buy some Evian just so they keep making more… but I guess I would have to stop watching it on my computer and get to the store…

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bobby and Big A** Fans

Today N and I went to a Bath/Hardware Showroom to get a gasket for her shower head, price out some soap dispensers and look at some hot water/filter systems.

When I tell people that I am an Interior Designer it is always followed by “I always wanted to be a decorator and it must be so fun.” I have been a designer for more than ½ of my life and it is not always fun. Today after about 1 1/2 hours with our salesman it was so easy to explain to my daughter why design is not so fun.

The gasket was the easy part… it took only about 10 minutes… he dialed someone and passed the phone to me, I gave him my address and the gasket should be in the mail!!!

Now the rest of the questions … not so easy…

But I skipped over a very important part… He looks at me (5’-1”) and then looks at N (5’-7”)… “Wow Mom she is a lot taller than you” … “yes she is” … “is Dad tall?”… N replies “no I am as tall as him”… Now you would think that is enough but NOOOO…”well is someone in the family tall?” … “Yes” I reply. I turn to N and she mouths a “thank you” to me… Why do people have to keep going… OBVIOUSLY she got her height from someone, does it really matter who?… but I digress as did he over the next hour and half.

Ah yes… soap dispensers… when I asked him to price ONE out for me he asked how many I needed? I asked him to price ONE, but he was having trouble with that so I told him eventually 10. “What finishes he inquired? I will need 3 in Tuscan Brass and 7 in Satin Nickel. I had to ask if there was a difference in price, which of course there was not, so I am not really sure why if I wanted a price on one he needed to know how many of each finish I needed. Bobby also felt the need to ask where we were going to put the soap dispenser versus the hot water tap. I explained that the hot water tap was going to go on the right side of the sink and the soap dispenser was going to go on the left side. “No you have to put the soap dispenser on the right.” Now I should have just said okay and moved along, but no I had to explain my reasoning. Well… “I press the dispenser with my left hand and the soap goes into my right hand… because I am right handed.” … Low and behold Bobby does it the other way… he informed me that at his house he pumps with his right hand and the soap goes into his left. (Another mystery has been solved in my life …thank you Bobby.) “Well Bobby if you come to my house it will be reverse for you… Sorry.” It was at this time that my phone buzzed with a text. When I looked at the message it was from N who was sitting right next to me… “You are being so nice Mom” I am not sure how she texted as her eyes were rolling back in her head at this point, but we texted back and forth as “Bobby” looked up the pricing and asked as many questions about our life as he could.

Time to discuss the Insinkerator Hot Water Dispenser. I have had a few of them over the years and with the amount of Hot tea that I drink it is well worth our investment. Bobby apparently does not like Insinkerator. He showed me some other manufacturers.. I have to give him credit, they do match our faucets better… but back to the pricing again. AHHHHH.
How many do you need? I need one, but depending on the price I may get one for my studio. I just never learn do I???? Well of course Bobby prices out the largest tank… 1000 gallons. When I try to ask him to price the 450 gallon model for my studio he asks “why?” Well even if I drink a gallon of tea each day that gives my almost 1 ½ years until I have to change the filter… so if it is cheaper I may go with that model.

More pricing for Bobby to work on… not to mention some other side conversations that he decided to have… as well as mixing in a few other manufacturers he decided to price to muddy the waters.

This is when I explained to N that as a designer you have to deal with people like this EVERYDAY sometimes multiple times a day and try to be creative and design and get your designs built. As well as dealing with crazy clients or brokers or contractors or city officials, etc. It was one of those teaching moments or teaching 1-1/2 hours.

As I was patiently waiting for more pricing, I spotted these huge fans in the ceilings. “N look at those fans, aren’t they cool?” To which N responded “those are big ass fans” … My eyes must have widened as she quickly said ”No Mom look, they really are big ass fans”… Now if that isn’t the greatest naming job ever. Big Ass Fans!!! The whole experience with Bobby was almost worth that one moment!!! “N…take a picture… this is blog material”

I will spare you the remaining time with Bobby… all I could do was think of how Dooce would blog about this same experience…

I will sum it up my way…

Blog world… here is a BIG ASS FAN!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Summer Fun

I am and have been a Seat Belt Bag fan for about 5 years or so, but this summer I decided to try something a little different.

I had seen recycled juice pouch bags a few times, but just could not find any stores that had them in stock. One of my fellow jurors was carrying one of the bags... she was a buyer for a hospital gift shop and she gave me the 411...

The company name is: Half the Sky Designs or ReBagz...

The only drawback is that the bags do not have any interior pockets... I am spoiled by my seatbeltbags... so I purchased this little change purse to hold my eye drops, rosary, lip gloss, etc.

I get so many compliments each day. They are eco-friendly, they help women in the Philippines, they are colorful, they are reasonably priced and just pure FUN!!!

Wreck This Journal Weeks 1 - 5

I purchased my Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith while we were in Denver for my niece’s wedding. While at Border’s we purchased my son the next book in the Series of 39 Clues that he has been reading. I was going to miss the first week and introduction online but I thought I would be prepared.

My son asked what Wreck This Journal was and if he could look at it in the car. I handed it to him and he proceeded to look through it with such excitement. “Can I do some, Can I get a Wreck this Journal too?” He would not quit, so when we got back to the hotel I let him choose a page…I think it was the scratch using a sharp object… but we really did not have any sharp objects at our hotel.

When we got home we were busy with the end of school, more unpacking etc., so I never even got to open the journal. Now that school is out, I asked him if he would like to do some pages together. You would have thought I just said he can play video games every waking moment for the summer. A resounding “YES” was his response. I had at least opened the book and put my name on its appropriate page.

We started through the journal….

He was going so fast… he could not contain his excitement. “I love this Journal…I love this Journal…”

I enjoyed seeing him poke holes in the journal… He has this habit of somehow getting holes in his shirts. The Mom in me was inquiring one day how he gets so many holes in his shirts… “Are you chewing on your shirt? I asked… “No I poke holes in my shirts with my pencils.” Paper really is a much more cost effective option!!! I guess I will have to send extra paper to school next year!!!

I helped him re-scratch the scratch page. I got out my X-acto knife and scratched away to his amazement. He loved how it was such a fine scratch.

Here are some of the other pages that we accomplished that day:

Last Saturday I came home from an appointment and he was ready for more. “I want to do the candy page”…. He decided to try M & M’s as they are colorful… It was a great experiment for him… the color does melt in your mouth and you are left with a brown tongue from the chocolate!!! I really did not have time that day to do much of the Journal with him and I have to say my excitement level with the journal is nowhere near his… I really am trying to get in touch with my inner child…. I told him he could do any pages that he wanted. He instantly disappeared. A few minutes later he comes out wrapped in a towel with a soaking wet journal. “I just took it in the shower with me!!!” He was beaming from wet ear to wet ear. He has truly enjoyed himself… He even wants his own Wreck this Journal… which I am not sure why as he has wrecked the majority of mine!!!

My favorite page so far has to be the make a paper chain…

He asked me if I could show him how to do that page.. He does not remember making paper chains before. I know for a fact that he has made them but it probably has been awhile. He cut the paper along the dotted lines and I told him we would use tape instead of glue… I know his impatience and he would never wait for the glue to dry. I showed him how to tape the edges together and then string the next one through. I started to make another chain at the same time and then I showed him how to join them. He has been carrying this chain around for a few days. He is very proud.

Yesterday while we were in the children’s section Barnes and Noble he spotted the name Keri Smith…” Hey Mom this is by Keri Smith… she did Wreck this Journal.” The book was a journal in the American Girl Series…Tear up This Book…. He is truly one of Keri Smith’s newest fans.

I wish I shared the same enthusiasm for the experience of this book as my son… I will keep trying… if nothing else it has been a fun experience with him and one that we will both remember.


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