Sunday, December 30, 2007

Five Days Until Creative Writing Residency

I cannot believe how time flies. My second creative writing residency at Wilkes University starts Saturday, but I am checking into the hotel (makeshift dorm) on Friday, as are most. I can't wait to see my classmates and students from the other cohorts and the faculty again.

Sounds kind of obvious for an aspiring writer, but my resolution for life and this year is to write more, so kicking off the first full-week of the new year at at creative writing residency with fellow creative people is really just the best thing to ever ask for!

If you click on the "academia" link you can see all my posts from the last residency posted. I am hoping to have more fun this time!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Most of My Amazon Wishlist Came True

I am swimming in books and I like it. I like it a lot.

I could barely carry the bag from my mom's house on Christmas. She got me about a dozen books on my wishlist. I am so happy! Dave also got me Naked, by David Sedaris- a memoir of I have dying to read. And speaking of memoirs, I also from my mom recieved the much-anticiapted I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell.

Since have decided to write non-fiction and most likely a memoir for my MA in creative writing, I've decided that I need to read all the fun memoirs I can find. Augusten Burroughs is my hero, but I also know I need to read David Sedaris and his sister. Also, Tucker Max.

I Hope They Serve Beer in hell is not only something that I really hope for in real life since I will probably join all the other fun people in hell, but also the name of a memoir by Tucker Max. He's horrible and mean and HILARIOUS. This was the first book that I read from my Christmas presents. I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell is freaking amazing. I am only up to Chapter Five- but just from reading this book, I know that my style is similar to his and I also know that I could be successful because I have similar material.

I think that me being a girl and writing a memoir of this style will be very cool. Chelsea Handler wrote a book about her one night stands. And Diablo wrote a memoir (like Tucker, first it was a blog) on stripping. I mean- there is a market for these self-depricating memoirs.
So- I am hoping to learn some things from my Amazon Wishlist about life. writing, the writing life and also about the 60s and the secular life. Good stuff.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Good Clean Fun at the Company Christmas Shinding

I have to thank the owners of my company for a wonderful Christmas party Friday! They really put on a great night for us, and as always, the Woodlands did a fine job of providing great service. I love my company!
I also have to say that I LOVE my coworkers. The only other place I worked where there was such camraderie and just plain wild fun was at the radio station. Everyone's dates were also cool as well, blending right in with the crazy cactus crew. (We've all been to parties where they aren't...) You couldn't ask for a better bunch of co-workers- no wonder we are voted one of the "Best Places to Work in PA!" I had a blast and so did Dave. He was out on the floor all night!

What is ironic about this is that at his own Christmas party, he was an absolute wallflower. I had more fun at this party than he did (which actually caused a tad of turmoil...) but I get it now. It's who you are with that makes it fun. That's why you can go to a shitty redneck bar and still have fun, as long as you are with cool people.
His company spent a ton of money bussing us all to New York from various locations in PA and NY, giving us a tour of the Raymond factory (he works for a dealership) and also put over 100 people up in a nice hotel for the evening. Not to mention a catered cocktail party and great dinner.... Totally a top-notch affair-- however, most people were a drag during the party itself. I am a social person and like to talk to everyone, dance (even thought I CANNOT dance), tell funny stories and just have fun. Well, imagine someone like me at a table full of duds!! No one would dance; everyone just talked shop-- which is exactly what you don't do at a holiday party-- it's the one day to let loose!

I kept telling Dave he wasn't his normal self (which upset me, because anyone who knows us, we are always fun).... I guess it's just who he was around that made him that way... because he rocked his socks off at my party and told me how much he enjoyed himself. Not that I am competitive, but I win! My party was overall better! : )

The after party was great, too. M80 was playing in the downstairs club and a few dozen of us hung out and continued to dance. Dave, Kevin, Kristen and I had a room- and since we had a room, we had access to the hot tub, which is as big as a freakin' pool- I think the biggest in PA. But, but the time me and my new friend Ben from the Call Center department made it there, our key only produced a red light-- meaning, locked. No go.

I ran up to the front desk. Two bouncers from the club were sitting on the couches - their shift was done for the evening. I asked them if I could have access to the Jaccuzi. He told me to fart in my bathtub. So, I ran back to the rooms we were hanging out it.

"Benjamin! Let's make a hot tub out of the bathtub!"

"Okay," he exclaimed.

And that's how you have some good clean fun after a Christmas party.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

What I Want for Christmas - Santa can you hear me?

I'll be honest. Christmas sucks this year! Gas prices are high. And with that, everything else has gone up. I don't want my blog to be about complaining, but my goodness this year is rough! I mean, we have a long gift list. So, we're buying for everyone else first, and will probably not get each other anything this year. But there are some things that I would love for Christmas this year. So, perhaps I will buy them in January when my student loan money comes in. Thanks George Bush for making Christmas in America blow.

1. Senseo Coffee Maker and lots of coffee pods
Ever since my Labor Day trek to Suppa's, my creative writing classmate's house, I have been in love with the Senseo coffee maker. I also like the idea of coffee pods. They are just neat. Every cup of coffee from this nifty machine is fresh and frothy. I know it's a bit more expensive to buy the pods all the time, but if you love coffee like I do, man is it worth it! It makes the coffee so fast, too. I've haven't found these at any local store, but I did find them online at for around $70. Not too shabby!

2. A Killer Desk with lots of storage- found a cool one for about $600 at Just Cabinets
My old desk was huge and it moved four times. It was starting to fall apart-- it was that particle board stuff. So, this summer we burned it. Now, my desk is a card table. It's wobbly. And, I have no drawers to stash my clutter. I have no shelves for my reference books. I am a writer and dammit, I need a good desk. Of course I swear once I have a new desk, I will become organized. I know that won't happen, but I still need the desk! So, I found a desk with a matching hutch at Just Cabinets in Edwardsville- I fell in love with this and its still available and also on the store's website. The desk is way cooler than it looks in this picture.... has all these hook-ups and neat nooks and crannies.

3. Anything or Everything on my Wishlist
Maybe I'd have more money if I didn't spend so much throughout the year on I hate that they know me so well. Amazon is KING of marketing and data-- everytime I go to the site, all these reccomendations pop up-- it's like they are in my head. I've worked in sales and marketing and in e-commerce and I still fall for it. I buy something nearly everytime I visit. But not everything. I still have a wishlist there. What kind of chick am I? I'd rather have books than jewelry!

4. A Harmonica
Really. I'm serious. I love the harmonica. Always wanted to know how to play.

Then there's socks and underwear, too. I guess I could go on and on-- but those are some things I've been wanting for a while now. Okay- back to Christmas card addressing. I can't believe it, but I lost my address book. I got a new, really cool address book and put some addresses in there, but never transfered everything. Now, I can't find my old one. Ten years worth of addresses!! Maybe it's in my car or something- didn't check there yet. I'm so bummed.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Merry Christmas. Here's Your Citation. A Holiday Memoir...

Since I can't mail a card through my blog, as a tiding of joy, I am sharing a memoir piece I wrote this semester-- still in it's infant stages- but I figured that hearing about the real meaning of Christmas and things like that can get old, so here is a true story about a cold, snowy December evening in 1999....

Merry Christmas. Here's Your Citation: A memoir about a tree, a cop and a slight misunderstanding.

Snowflakes. Billions of them.

I have a driveway and walkway full of snow and my only shovel is locked in the garage. Dave is in New York with the only key.

Not that I would shovel anyway.... he'll be back tomorrow. Haha.

Don't mind trudging through the snow by any means to get to the truck, but here's hoping I can still get out of the driveway over the 8 inches behind it.

Last week it was really frigid the one night and I was on E. Selfishly, I went to the full-serve pump at the Uni-Mart on Northhampton Street. The man who pumped my gas was bundled up- except for gloves. As I signed my credit card slip with gloved hands, he said:

"I don't know how you can wear gloves!"

"I don't know how you can't," I said back.

"I dunno. I just never could wear gloves. As long as the wind's not blowing, I'm okay."

I felt sorry for him and tipped him what little cash I had, darn those debit cards.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Where did the time go?! How I've missed you!

Just a quick blog to let readers of Daily Dose o' Donna know that I am still living, breathing and writing! Just off-line!

A few updates- position changed at work-- in sales now so things have gotten busier. Have a lot to learn and a lot more to do. I am becoming a career woman- coming in early and staying late! So, that's really the main reason I have been lax on the blog. So many great things to write about too!!

In other news, I realize that I can't handle vodka. Why is it that certain alcohols hit people differently? Don't need to get into the story or anything, but when I drink beer, as usual, I am a happy, fun-loving drunk. Vodka makes me weepy. And I am RARELY EVER weepy! Anyone who knows me knows that! Haha! I just can't figure out why that happens. Don't want to call anyone out in a public blog, but someone else we know never drinks vodka. Went to a party, got too crazy, embarrassed himself and never got asked back by those folks again. But-- we've known this guy for years- and he has never been like that. So, I am very interested in learning why people react to certain things in certain ways. People say that you can't blame the alcohol, but I think sometimes you can-- and should!

Other than that, things are going well. Haven't starting my Christmas cards or shopping yet-- need to start doing that very soon!

Just wanted to give a quick update! Cheers!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

First Snowfall of 2007

I think winter is here!

It's been snowing non-stop here in Fairmount Township, Pa. since about noon. The snow sure is pretty when it sticks to the trees! But I hate to drive it the stuff!

The snow is really starting to stick now, as its getting darker out and the cars are starting to slow down. I am kind of sad that fall is gone. The leaves were gorgeous this year, but the weather was
really mild right up until now. It went from the upper 60s to freezing! Where's that gradual change that used to happen?

So, I guess it is time to let go of all the summer clothes I still have hanging up. Time to put them in a Glad and shove them in the attic to make room for all the long-sleeve shirts. Ah- better yet- time to go shopping for more sweaters, etc. Maybe a cute hat and some mittens...
My NJ Adventure- I 've been working on my adventure coming home from NYC for a memoir chapter. Perhaps I will post it soon.. It's quite the story!
I just hope getting to work tomorrow is not as treacherous.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The View- I celebrated Whoppi's Birthday!

I had quite the adventure getting there and getting home-- more on that later ( A LOT more on that later!!)- but Steph and I were at the View on Tuesday.
Bill O'Reilly and Marc Cohn were the guests that day. I love "Walking in Memphis," which he performed a snippet of for Whoopi Goldberg when her cake was wheeled out. Prior to that, he played a song of his new album and talked about his hiatus from releasing new music, and how he got back on track after being shot in the head in Denver. Cool guy and super talented. Marc Cohn's band and back-up singers were really good too. I'd go see him in concert for sure if he came around here.

Bill O'Reilly? Eh. I am way too liberal for him, but I must say that I could agree with him on the topic of his new book, "Kids are Americans, Too" which basically states that parents are absent these days, while the kids are the boss. Despite me disagreeing with him most of the time, I suppose it was cool. I would have loved if it was Michael Moore, though!

The women were a hoot. Didn't interact with the audience as much as other shows I have gone to, but there is just so much that has to be done behind the scenes in those few minutes during the commercial breaks. I was just so excited to see Whoopi Goldberg in person- I mean, I grew up loving her. It was awesome to be that close to the icon, Barbara Walters on the set of the View, too. Joy and Sherri are a hoot as well!! But Whoopi-- she's been making me laugh since I was a kid.

We made out well with the gifts, too. I did not even know they gave out gifts on the View until a few weeks ago when some friends of mine went. Here is what we received:

1.) Bill O'Reilly's book, "Kids are Americans, Too"
2.) Marc Cohn's new CD
3.) A Tickle Me Elmo
4.) $100 gift card to Daffy's
5.) Candy bar from the Retro Candy Bar
6.) Piece of strawberry shortcake served in a commemorative Whoopi's Birthday Bash pint glass.

Good times!! Thanks Steph for coming with me. And... stay tuned to read about my adventure. This is the first time I have been at my home computer since Monday-- and it's 8:00am on Thursday... yep. That should clue you in to the adventure I had.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Norman Mailer & Wilkes University

The front pages of both local papers featured a tribute to the life of the great Norman Mailer. I also think it is appropriate because today is Veteran's Day, too and Norman Mailer is a veteran. My creative writing classmate, Joe Cetta was quoted in this one:

Mailer connected to Wilkes through creative writing program
by Heidi Ruckno, The Citizen's Voice (11.11.07)

A close friendship with Wilkes University professor Dr. J. Michael Lennon gave Norman Mailer the opportunity to get well acquainted with Wilkes University.

Lennon, Mailer’s literary executor and biographer, and Dr. Bonnie Culver co-founded the university’s Masters of Creative Writing program in 2004. When they asked Mailer to be on the advisory board, the author accepted the invitation.Lennon and Mailer had been friends for more than 30 years.

The two collaborated on Mailer’s last book, “On God: An Uncommon Conversation.”Mailer was a great friend to the Wilkes community and to Culver personally, she said. He even convinced her a bachelor’s degree was not a necessary requirement for admission into the creative writing masters program.So far, three students without bachelor’s degrees received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing, Culver said.

“That’s because of Norman,” she said.

Mailer always believed a writer’s level of formal education had little to do with his or her ability, but his involvement with Wilkes stemmed far beyond that small detail.Mailer visited the university several times as a guest speaker, delivering the keynote address at the inaugural Pennsylvania Writer’s Conference in June 2004. He also started the Norris Church Mailer scholarship fund in honor of his sixth wife, and routinely invited Wilkes students into his Provincetown, Mass. home.

Scranton resident Joe Cetta, 28, a graduate of the creative writing program, visited Mailer’s home during a Wilkes University trip. Mailer was not one to protect trade secrets, Cetta said. He was always willing to share some pointers with aspiring writers.Mailer told Cetta it was best to write now and edit later. The author felt it was easier than censoring before the pen hit the paper.Cetta was grateful for the advice, even though he was never a Mailer fan. Like many others, Cetta had some difficulty with some of the author’s views.

The author had unpopular opinions about feminism and fought to get a convicted killer released from prison.Mailer was brilliant because of the controversy, Culver said. He was never afraid to stretch the boundaries of what is acceptable.“He was never shy about trying something that was going to stretch our imaginations, and that’s the mark of a truly great artist,” she said.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Norman Mailer Died This Morning

It's ironic that shortly after Norman Mailer and J. Michael Lennon's On God was released, Mailer's questions regarding God could have been answered. The Pulitzer prize winning author Norman Mailer died this morning of acute renal failure, according to the AP.

Of of my writing mentors, Dr. Lennon (as I and my classmates call him, but known as J. Michael Lennon to the literary community) is Mailer's archivist and biographer. I envy that Dr. Lennon gets to tell the tale of this revolutinary man who dabbled in so many creative things during his ever-so exciting life.

Most people discount Wikipedia as not being a reliable source, but I checked today and Dr. Lennon updated the Norman Mailer entry to include his death, so I know that Mailer's entry is accurate. There is a wonderful tribue to Norman Mailer from the AP I found on Yahoo news, and I am sure as the day goes on and the Sunday papers will have beautiful spreads and collages about this literary figure and his life. But here is a snippet from the above-mentioned source that displays what a fascinating life this man had:

"Mailer built and nurtured an image over the years as pugnacious, streetwise and high-living. He drank, fought, smoked pot, married six times and stabbed his second wife, almost fatally, during a drunken party. He had nine children, made a quixotic bid to become mayor of New York, produced five forgettable films, dabbled in journalism, flew gliders, challenged professional boxers, was banned from a Manhattan YWHA for reciting obscene poetry, feuded publicly with writer Gore Vidal and crusaded against women's lib..

...But as Newsweek reviewer Raymond Sokolov said in 1968, "in the end it is the writing that will count." (Source: AP, Nov. 9, article by Richard Pyle.)

Mailer is known for many novels and creative nonfiction: I created an Amazon Link search results for : Norman Mailer

For more on Norman Mailer, just Google him. There is so much to read and learn. I particularly love the counterculture era and guys like Ginsberg, so it is way cool that Mailer was part of that. Sometimes I wish was alive in those days-- I would have fit in. That's why I wish I had the chance to meet Norman Mailer before he passed away, but I know that in small ways I am already influenced and touched by him. He is a writer I want to emulate- serious about the writing, but also takes a stand on issues he believes in... and also likes to take riskes, change gears when you least expect it and above all, enjoy life- Norman Mailer did a little bit of everything and that's how my life is, random.

At our January residency of the Wilkes University MA in Creative Writing program I am sure we will have a tribute to Mailer, who was a board member. I know that many of the Wilkes students who have been in the program longer than me have met Norman Mailer at his Mailer conventions. I know that Dr. Lennon will make sure that America and the World remembers Mailer and all the things he gave us.

While trying to find a few pics, I came across this really cool writer's mugs page. You can get this print on a mug or in a frame:

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Deadly Crash on Route 118 AGAIN

Over the summer I wrote a Letter to the Editor to the Times Leader about people driving too fast on Route 118, as well as the general condition of the rural road.

The front page of the paper today has this headline:

One dead, five injured in five-vehicle accident on Route 118

I will add to this blog later today- I can't find my letter- the link above works, but does not show my whole letter.... the TL only keeps the full stories up for seven days. At any rate, I am glad to know that they did print my letter and that the issue I was writing in about was indeed an important one-- of course it seems some people ignored my pleas.

They State Rep. Karen Boback will look into this- I hope she goes back to read my letter.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I created a podcast about sleep and dreams

Call me a dork. I know.I made a podcast to go along with a new website, to make it more fun.

I just made a quick introductory episode, which also has a review of a cool sleep tea, but the 'grand opening' will be on Nov. 19. about lucid dreams.

Check it out and let me know what you think!! Please?
Also- if you like to learn about dreams, want herbal sleep aids, etc. check out the site!

I finally got knocked up & some book news

First of all- my headline. Let me explain. I am a direct mail sucker and signed up for the Columbia House DVD club a few months back. I usually check the "Do Not Send" box for the monthly selection... until last month when the movie was Knocked Up. So-- yep. I got Knocked Up. Found out yesterday. Haha. I've been wanting to see it- I always go for horror and thriller movies when I rent or go to theaters, so this will be refreshing. Plus, I like Elizabeth Hegel.

I am in a procrastinating mode so I decided to Google and search Yahoo for my book ("Kids, Have You Seen My Backpack?" and Other Inspirational Stories of Non-Traditional Students: An Adult Learner Anthology) to see what I could find. It's been out a few years and sold a few copies, so I just like to search every now and then to see if there is anything new online about it. Here are some tidbits I found:

1) It sells for over $30 in Australia.
2) It is availabe at which is like a Netflix for books. That's pretty cool. I should join and "rent" it and write a note in it. Haha.
3) It's used as a textbook at Drexel University for an adult learner's program- a class called Strategies in Life Long Learning. That is awesome that the 22 people in my book get to inspire other adult learners- I want to e-mail the professor and see what kinds of assignments she has with it... that'd be cool. I'd like to try them, too! (I'm a nerd; I LOVE homework!) By the way, the Goodwin College at Drexel has, since the book came out, used book snippets as testimonials, as two of the essayists attended the evening program. Coolness. Read them here.
4) And this one- I found a few weeks ago, but figured I'd share here. I am nobody, but this guy somehow got a signed copy and it's going for like $70. Can you believe that?! Who would by that? Haha! (Who else but me would search for that?!)
5) You can do a search by what Barnes & Noble stores have it in stock, and one on 555 5th Avenue in NYC has it! And, there is one left at the Arena Hub one too.
6) Google Books is the coolest thing- I didn't even know this, but I guess through the publisher they have a deal to show previews... Check it out here.
7)You can do a national library search at Google Books too- my book is available at 13 that were found, from Penn State Scranton to schools in Florida, Ohio, Washington, Cali, and Colorado.

--I just get a kick out of this stuff. I don't have a lot of money to put toward marketing my book, so this is pretty cool that it got to all these places with minimal effort- I am thinking about putting out a revised edition soon. What do you think?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Berks County Roadtrip: Crystal Cave and Roadside America

Today was all about reliving old memories, while making new ones. I had a very cool childhood. I was fortunate enough to spend almost every weekend on the road to music gigs- and during our travels we always made it a point to stop at roadside tourist attractions. I think that's why I always bonded with the Griswalds. At any rate, Dave hasn't been to any of these cool places I've been to. When we first met, he told me that he loved trains. And for four years, I've been trying to go on a day trip to check out Roadside America, the world's largest miniature village. Since Crystal Cave was in near by Kutztown, I plotted a spontaneous Sunday afternoon.

Roadside America, Shartlesville
Roadside America is just amazing. Of course last time I was there I was a kid, so things looked a lot bigger- but this roadside Pennsylvania attraction is definitely one to take in. The 1,500 square-foot attraction was started by brothers Larry and Paul Geiringer. The story is that when the two were boys, they lived on a mountain and saw all these 'miniature' houses and buildings. They were fascinated by them- even upon learning they were regular size buildings.... They began to build models and train sets and their passion eventually led to Roadside America. Paul became and priest and moved to Ohio, while Larry kept going. He passed away in 1963; his wife took over until her death in 1973 and to this day, the same family runs Roadside America.

What is so cool about Roadside America is that all the miniatures are hand-made from simple tools-- the hard way-- but also as I like to say, "the heart way." The stained-glass windows on the little churches are all hand-painted. So, so cool.
Some things that you'll see at Roadside America in addition to streams, waterfalls, trains and trolleys are: Indian tee-pee villages; snowcapped mountains with winter activities and working cable cars; tribute to the coal, lumber, steel and energy industries; the Old West; rural farms with a hoe-down in the barn; a modern zoo; early colonial towns with great architecture; a circus; an airport and so much more. There is music playing throughout, as well as buttons you can push to make certain things work- very, very cool.

Every half-hour Roadside America tells everyone to take a seat and they play patriotic music as they turn down the lights so only the lights within the village are on- it is kind of like a sunset, night and sunrise show. Very cool. The only thing that I didn't like was in the slides was a picture of Jesus- that was unnecessary to me, but this IS after all a family business and they seem to have religious roots.
No matter how old you are at Roadside America, you feel like a total kid again. I should also mention there is a gift shop which of course sells Roadside America souvenirs, but also lots of train items and a selection of PA Dutch and Amish items, too.

Crystal Cave, Route 222, Kutztown, Pa.
I wrote so much about Roadside America that I don't want this post to be too, too long. I was at Crystal Cave many times as a kid, so it was cool to bring Dave here as well. The site closes Nov. 30, so the season was winding down- this was good because we had a small group. We had a spunky teenage tour guide, Steph I think her name was. Very funny and good with the lingo. It always helps when you have a knowledgeable tour guide!

This cavern is very cool- a great geological lesson for sure! We got to see stalactites, stalagmites, flowing rock and other geological marvels made only from sediment and water over the course of hundreds of years. It's amazing that this structure exists underneath Pennsylvania farm country. What was kind of cool to learn was that early visitors were allowed to saw off stalagmites/tites as souvenirs, so some of the cave's treasures are now family heirlooms! 54-degrees year-round, Crystal Cave is definitely literally cool as well.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Screw the Banks! Have you heard of person-to-person lending? Read this if you need money-- or want to invest money.

Todays blog-- for once-- is not a rambling about my views on something. Today, I am providing a public service to those looking for money-- or looking for a great investment opportunity.

On NPR this morning I learned of this wonderful concept of person-to-person lending. I mean- borrowing money from friends, family and neighbors- and loan sharks- has been happening since the beginning of currency. However, this person-to-person lending has stormed onto the Internet, and there are some great success stories on both ends, lender and borrower.

The company that NPR profiled this morning is called Prosper. The site allows people to lend or borrow money- and manage payment, etc. all from one place.

Loans from Prosper:
Users can ask for a Prosper loan from $1000 to $25,000 (certain states have limitations)-- those borrowing on Prosper can create a listing- just like they would on an auction site- explaining their need. Pictures can also be uploaded as well, which I think is a great option especially if the loan is for a house-related purpose. Then, the loan is listed in the listings section and lenders can "bid" on your loan- a $50 minimum. So- this is not like one person out there is giving another $5000- more like a community of people chipping in.

When the Prosper loan is fully-funded- after everything is reviewed- the money is automatically put into your bank account, minus the fees associated. How cool is that?

Lenders get to ask questions to verify anything. Credit score and debt to income ratio is displayed on your listing, but only to registered lenders. One thing I did notice was that people really failed to proofread their listings. My take is that people want to lend to smart people-- and if someone wants to "CONSALIDATE" their loan... or promised the loan will be "PAYED" on time-- they will be ignored.

There are forums, webinars and other help areas to assist borrowers to create successful listings.

Investing in Prosper:
People who are looking to get a good return on investment may want to look into Prosper-- when people get into the high DTI or low credit score area, interest rates go up-- some people in states that allow it will pledge they will pay 25% interest! So, the ROI for lending money on Prosper can be very lucrative. I did not read too much into the lending part, but I believe what happens is that a portfolio of investments is created and the lender is paid by Propser monthly.

How does Prosper make out? They charge an origination fee off the top of the loan and then take 1-2% of each loan, while the lender gets the rest.

This is a sound company with huge financial backing, as well as a community of 450,000 people
and has thus far loaned over $93M.

I did it
I have been wanting to sell dream items on line for a long time now, but just didn't have the start-up money to get an intial inventory-- so I created a listing. Let's see what happens. Here is a link if you want to try it too.... either borrow some money, or make some money!!

Great Rates, No Banks. Borrow. Lend. Prosper.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I love the Grammar Girl! Why didn't I listen sooner?!

I have heard of the Grammar Girl podcast, but I never listened. While on tonight, I stumbled upon it and listened to a few podcasts. Now I am actually fighting the melatonin I took.... This is such a cool, cool show that will really help me with grammar issues. There is a comma podcast I want to listen to. I've been writing for papers for so long and the rule there seems to be less commas; however, in my creative writing class some of my peers add commas everywhere when editing my work. I think those are comma splices though... I'll listen and she what gets ironed out.

The Grammar Girl episode I listened to first included a few questions from listeners that wouldn't make a full podcast. One thing I am EXTREMELY happy that she covered was nauseous v. nauseated. People say, "I feel so nauseous." And that's not correct. I've tried to win arguments on that in the past. Nauseous thing make us feel nauseated!

Another question was about the plural of octopus, hippopotamus and cactus. The proper American way is to end with an -es. How about that?! I guess we are not Cacti where I work, but Cactuses. (<--- and that was picked up as wrong by blogger's spell check program. This is why we cannot trust spell check.) Each podcast (which is audio only, no video) has room for comments. Also, the Grammar Girl invites you to submit questions and ideas for podcasts. I think I am going to write her about people in NEPA adding an "s" to everything and also saying "no more" instead of anymore, as in this example: "I don't like her no more." Ack!!!

She also has a FaceBook game.... Cool. Grammar Girl is produced by Quick & Dirty Podcasts, who also hosts Money Girl and several other quick tip type podcasts. And Grammar Girl, if you stumble upon this blog- don't be too hard on me for unnecessary uses of elipses and dashes and whatever gramar goofs I made.

Kudos to Blue Cross/Blue Shield Smoking Ban

Hurray! I was listening to The Morning News with Kevin & Nancy on WILK-FM this morning. I hadn't read the paper yet, so this was the first news I recieved. As I turned on the radio I heard them discussing the front page news in the Times Leader today: A smoking ban for the employees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield offices on North Main Street in Wilkes-Barre.

But unlike other smoking bans on public and private property, this workplace smoking ban is extreme. Employees cannot smoke within 200 feet of the offices between 7a and 7p and I think within 50 feet at all others hours. (It didn't say why, but I am guessing for safety reasons after dark...)

Ironically, employees who park in the closest city parkade are now not able to smoke in their cars because that garage sits within 200 feet. There is a doughnut shop beneath the garage too, where many employees would smoke. Yes- the ban includes other businesses.

On the radio, Nancy had a problem with someone telling someone what they can and cannot do and Kevin also sympathize with that-- however I think as the morning went on the show seemed to lean in favor of Blue Cross Blue Shield.

When I first heard this, it bothered me because I do believe strongly in civil liberties. But then I got over it and realized that I actually applaud Blue Cross Blue Sheild's smoking ban decision. Here's why:

1. It sets a good example. If other large employers follow suit, it could really help kick the dirty smoking habit.

2. They are providing assistance to employees who want to quit smoking. And if their employees quit smoking, they will be healthier and thus more productive at their jobs. Hell, in the long run maybe the BC/BS customers will see lower premiums!

3. Other workplaces who had similar bans reported less employers smoking- one place the newspaper interviewed said 10% of smokers quit.

4. MY MAIN REASON: Since BC/BS is involved in healthcare is just sets a great example that smoking is not healthy. I don't need to say here how many diseases are a direct result of smoking, do I? So allowing health insurance employees to smoke contradicts the message of staying in good health. Especially not when prevenative health is something that insurance companies promote.

The big Geisinger Group in Danville has also decided to go smoke-free on their campuses. This means people will have to drive off-site to smoke, since many are in out of the way areas, and simply couldn't take a quick walk on their lunch.

I think that more people need to take action against smoking in the workplace. Like Kevin Lynn said this morning, working is a privealge. Sometimes you have to give up certain things or dress a certain way or adhere to certain policies that you don't necessarily agree with- but you do anyway for a good salary, good benefits or a fun job. It just comes with the job. And if new policies, like this example, are instated during employment-- and you don't like it- just leave. If a great job is less important than the nicotine fix, leave. See how people react, too. What will your family, friends and neighbors think? My personal view is that you are a scum bag if you'd quit a job just because you can't smoke there.

And if you don't want to leave, don't get pissy at someone who is helping your health. Deal with it.

Here are some articles and previous blog posts I wrote about smoking:

Sunday, October 28, 2007

IV Drugs are Bad... but Have You Heard of IV Shots? Halloween Party 07

Dave and I went to Andy and Colleen's annual Halloween party last night. Surprisingly, I am already awake. It must be a sign that I and the other party-goers are either getting old, or drinking too much too fast, as the party ended around middnight, however Andy and I and Cara stayed up until 3 a.m. and I have some video of Cara dancing. Very funny. I will post on YouTube I think. I need a better digital camera with video, as with mine you can't adjust the light. I have some video of everyone dancing from earlier in the night, but it turned out way too dark.


I had a lot of difficulty finding a costume this year. I waited until the last minute to get a costume which was mistake #1, but even with the small collection of costume, I had little luck because everything is made for short & skinny chicks. I wanted to be a viking chick, but I when I tried it on I thought the skirt was missing. Then I realized it was a one-piece. The shirt was really a dress. Cute, but I don't think the party wanted to see my ass. Seriously, everything else was a sexy costume. Where was the cute, the funny?

I ended up being Athena, the Greek goddess, which was cool since I love Athena- the goddess of creativity (I wrote about her once, here.) However, I could not find an ivy crown and the cheap gold necklace I bought broke as soon as I put it on. Dave's outfit worked out better. He wanted to be dead construction worker and since he works in the field, he already had some props. We just added a zombie flannel shirt which had flesh popping out, some blood and a knife.

The rest of the party looked great, especially our host and hostess, Andy and Colleen, who always have awesome costumes. John made a very sexy woman- I'd die for those legs and bouncy hair.

And, bet you were wondering what the headline meant-- Gary dressed up as a doctor and brought IVs that were filled with alcohol. We did IV funnels which was a lot fo fun and totally creative.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

I'd Consider Sleeping in a Coffin

When I woke up this morning, I could not feel my left arm. Let me rephrase that. When I woke up this afternoon, I could not feel my left arm.

It kind of just flopped, and I couldn't even lift it up, so Dave shook it back to life for me. For anyone who has ever shared a bed or even a bedroom with me, they know that I sleep very oddly. So, I told Dave the perhaps I should sleep in a coffin so that I have no room to move around to pin my body parts beneath me.


My mom is a deep sleeper a well. One time she thought I ran away from home and had people looking for me when I did not get off the school bus one day. She, with her eyes open and seemingly awake, told me that morning that I could go to my friend's house after school. She had absolutely no recollection of it.

To this day, she requires two alarm clocks and a wake-up call from a neighboor to get up in the morning. One time, all three of those failed. Her next-door neighboor came into the house- the door opened, the dog barked and all- and she still did not wake up (she was on the couch). So, the neighbor proceeded to build a tower on the coffee table with all her canned veggies. My mom was still snoring. She had no idea. So, this explains why I don't hear the alarm clock and how I can sleep through a concert.

We are the only family in America that didn't rise early on Christmas morning- my brother and sister, who are 13 and 14 years younger than me never rose early on Christmas either. We just are deep, long sleepers. It's in our blood. So many, many times I've been late to school because me and my mom slept throught the alarm. The alarm could have been going off for an hour, and our bodies just don't process it.

I had a very difficult time with some past coworkers before things got under control. In the meantime, I read an article by a writer and professor who struggle with my same problem. I befriended him via e-mail and he said that the toughest part about this was that no one understood.

Several years ago before I lived with anyone, I had trouble getting up in the morning. So, I saw a sleep doctor and was actually diagnosed with narcolepsy. I had one of those cool sleep studies done. I spent the night and the whole next day in a sleep center. They determined that I had extremley abnormal sleep patterns during the day-- as in I was given 15 minutes to fall asleep for a nap at four points throughout the day. Then, they let me sleep for 20 minutes and woke me up. Each time this happened,I fell into dream sleep right away- they actually brought me in a tablet to record my dreams as well. So what this means is that I suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness- I can fall asleep and more specifically into a deep sleep with the blink of an eye. I was on Provigil for years- then when I went back to school I didn't have insurance, so I suffered without it. But in the meantime, I was living with Dave and he makes sure I am up. But if there is no alarm or no person, I simply won't wake up- especially if I am sick or under mental stress. Two weeks ago, I missed Sunday.

I have a better handle on my sleeping situation now, but I am considering going back on Provigil now that I have a far drive to and from work. That's one of the other signs of my narcolepsy. If I am a passaenger in any type of moving vehicle, I will fall asleep right away. I have to fight that feeling when I am the driver and it makes driving very, very hard for me.

Ah- that was really a tanget. Didn't expect to go off on my sleep disorder!! But yeah- I sleep funny, and sleep deep and wake up everyday with parts of my body still aslseep.

Friday, October 26, 2007

I like new things. (and a call for comments)

Since this blog is named Daily Dose o Donna, I figured I needed to get more daily.

B&N Gets a Make Over
This morning I noticed that Barnes and Noble's website has a brand new look. Oh boy does it look good. Looks a lot more clean and slick, and is more user friendly. Of course, I am on Amazon nearly every day spending my bill money on books, but I really do like the new Barnes & Noble site.

Donna Launches Bookstores
Speaking of bookstores- I created four new stores-- if you are looking for gifts for people, help a sister out:

The Dream Drawer- sells sleep aids, dream books and lots of cool stuff
The Reporter's Store- for the reporter and freelance writer- DVRs, style guides, pens
MA in Creative Writing Store- books for all genres of creative writing
80s Music & Movies Store

Leave Your Mark!
I have Google Analytics on this blog. I know I have visitors. In fact, I can drill down to where you are from. Ha! Big Brother is watching! But my point is- and my pal Andee will agree- it's nice to have comments. So, leave me comment. Let me know what you think!

XS Blast Energy
I admit-- I have an energy drink addiction. I try every last one I can get my hands on. I really want to try 5-Hour Energy. But, a client of ours sent a few cases of XS Energy - there are some cool flavors. They are a selection of colas and teas in the same size can as the smaller Red Bull. My favorite flavor so far is the Root Beer. Yummy!

So- that's my post for the day!! Back to work. Lunch is over.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Storage Issues: Clutter and More

I have a lot of stuff. And I don't want to part with it. Until we can build an addition and until I get a bigger desk, I must deal with piles of papers. As a writer, you can imagine the accumulation of clips from the last seven years. I only have one filing cabinet and that's been full for years. Since I have a laptop, I now just have a writing desk- so I need something bigger. We only have a two-bedroom house, so right now we share the spare bedroom as an office/gym/closet- so you can see why I don't have me dream writing nook.

I think it is going to be my new year's resolution this year to become organized. I have been asking Dave for years to build my dream wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling bookshelf and storage unit. That's my dream. Plenty of room for all my books and cool memorobilia from my radio & music days-- then cabinets below to store (hide) pictures, files, junk, etc. I've been spending a lot of time looking online for temporary fixes for all my stuff-- but I haven't bought anything yet. In fact, one of my clients I was speaking with is the catalog manager of an organizing site and she is sending me a catalog! But-- Dave tells me where to put it.... haha. But he has an organized garage. But, I was looking at some storage solutionsthat could even work for him at a place called Car Guys Garage. He actually just bought TWO old '67 Chevy's- one for parts and one to rebuild. So-- he has his space and I need my dream office.

One day....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Children of Illegal Immigrants Deserve a Chance- Dream Act 2007

I heard a story on NPR this afternoon relating to a immigration bill. I heard this America Dream Act 2007 (H.R.1275) discussed before on NPR and I guess today congress voted on it-- and it failed by eight votes. This upsets me. Mostly because I think all kids should have a chance for a quality life and future, no matter what wrong their parents have done.

To bring anyone up to speed, this Dream Act would put children of immigrants on the path to citizenship. I guess this would have the potential to help 1.1 million young people become citizens. But before you holler and scream, this act has some measures that give some motivation to not just make these kids American citizens, but BETTER citizens and there are guidelines.

-They must have arrived in America when they were 15 years or younger,
-They must have lived here at least five years
-They must complete at least two years of college or two years in the military (my goodness- that's more than millions of true Americans do!)

I live in Northeast PA and am a supporter of Hazleton mayor's Lou Barletta's stance on illegal immigration. I do not think anyone should be here illegally. But the bottom line is- the children who come with these folks are only doing what their parents tell them to do. A four-year-old does not know well enough to say, "It's illegal to go to America. I am not going." These children are not here on their own accord and should not be punished for it as they grow up.

Senator Harry Reid, who sponsored the Dream Act said these children should not be penalized for the fault of their parents and that most of these children don't even remember their home countries. To me, that makes perfect sense.
I don't think, like some opposers say, that this act would put "illegals" ahead of US citizens, nor is it an amnesty bill. This is not giving amnesty to just anyone.

Another Dream Act sponsor, Senator Dick Durbin said to look into the eyes of these children. The soundbyte from Durbin on NPR today, when he said, "Give these kids a chance..." you could hear his voice crack. To me, this shows that he has some real heart into this matter. Some people care deeply for the future of our children, and others-- like those who oppose the Dream Act- do not.

SIGN THE PETITION & Support the Dream Act!

I just signed a petition to show my support for this. You should too.

My Mustache - Whoda Thunk?

How embarrassing. Yet I can laugh at myself, hence the blog post.

I was in dire need of an eyebrow wax. I usually just get this procedure done at any ol' nail salon. This time, I tried a new place. I love the job the woman did. However-- as she was dousing my eyebrows with hot wax, she asks ever so politely, "Would you like your lip done too?"

I did not know that I had a hairy lip. I did not know that my face featured a mustache! Did she just want more money, or did I really have hair there and if I did why didn't anyone tell me? I told her to go ahead. Ouch.

Then,I realized that I hadn't worn sandals in a while but I was on this day because it was quite warm for October and wanted to get more mileage from the Sketchers. She asks ever so politely, "Color change?" (Only she had to repeat herself several times because I didn't understand her.) I realized that my pink polish was quite worn off. No! Stop trying to upsell me. Just get rid of my facial hair and let me go. I told her, "I am not wearing sandals again so, no thank you."

Then, she grabbed my hand and looked at my short, unpolished nails. "Manicure?" For crying out loud, just do my brows! I won't go back there again. But at least I found out that I have excess facial hair.

Monday, October 22, 2007

A HOT weekend: Wings and Fire in Downtown Wilkes-Barre

Dave and I had a hot weekend. It started Saturday. Our friends Rob & Craig had a Wing Night party, which was a total blast and a killer party. We played CLR- a new die game and ate a lot of great food... and somehow the night ended with those left at the party at GClub 10. At any rate, given the amount Dave and I had to drink, there was no way we could drive home. So we crashed.

We headed home around 10am on Sunday and as we went over the South Street bridge, coming down from the Heights section, I spotted this enormous cloud of smoke. The investigative reporter in my blood told Dave to follow the cloud. Turns out we really didn't need to because the fire was on our way home. When we reached River Street, we saw that the old warehouse behind Antonio's pizza was engulfed in flames. I was never this close to such a large fire before and was in awe. I rolled the window down to take some pictures and the burst of heat poured into the truck. We could feel the heat. I can't believe what it must be like to be a fire fighter. Below are some pics of the smoke cloud. I also took a video, but since I had so many pics on my camera, I only had a few seconds left. I posted the video on YouTube. Here are my pics as I followed the cloud of smoke to the big fire in Wilkes-Barre.

Also- I had intentions of posting this yesterday when I got home to be the first with the news on the web (haha), but I passed out again. I was hungover. So, I am not first with the story, as I am sure it was all over the news and in the papers today.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Upsetting Things in the Side of the Road

A week or so ago, I was saddened by something I saw on the side of the road. As I got off Exit 2 of the Cross Valley en route to work, I saw a dead cat on the side of the road. It looked like Morris the cat- an orange sherbet color cat- orange and white. I am a cat lover and being that this exit was close to some backyards of a neighborhood, I was sure that some pet owner was devastated.

Each day, as I drove to work I saw the cat. But thanks to scavengers, like crows this poor cat was being picked at. It had rained as well, so the whole cat I saw the first day was now a dwindling pile of fur. After a week, I didn't look to my left because I didn't want to start crying. I get too sentimental sometimes.

This week, the Lake-Lehman School District teacher strike is in full-swing. Each day on the way to work, I pass this rural high school school. Once again, I was saddened by something on the side of the road. I refuse to make eye contact at these people that are holding expensive coffees in one had and a protest sign in another. I think of how much I loved high school and how I would have hated to see the teachers I looked up to doing something like this. How can they not think of their students and the things that made them want to be a teacher in the first place?

Gosh- if they want better benefits the should just quit working and go on public assistance. I guess either way, the taxpayers lose.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hello. Today's post will be about some random website things. First of all, the Wilkes University book I wrote does not seem to be on Amazon right now, however, it IS available at College Prowler- and they made a cool page and added some additional content re: Sex in the City. I think this is great copy! I also found out that if you go to Wilkes and you register with the site, you have access to the online version of the Wilkes book for free- but I'd love it if you bought the print version... here is the link:

Also- I've been a member of Amazon Associates forever now- however I learned a little while ago that they have this cool Web Store option, so I decided to play around with it. I created two online stores- check 'em out and let me know what you think:

The Dream Drawer- a sleep and dreams store
I had this up previously as an old astore, which was just a big widget pasted to a Yahoo geocities page- check this one out-- looks a little better now. At any rate, it has dream dictionaries, dream journals, sleep aids and things like that.

80s Music & Movies- self-explanitory, however I also have some TV shows and pop culture stuff thrown in. I also bought the domains 60smusicandmovies and 70smusicandmovies, so look for some sister decade sites, soon.

Wow- how is all that for shameless promotion?! Have a nice day and thanks for reading!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sweet Nostalgia. Literally.

**updated 10/24/07- I had the link to the site wrong- if you are revisiting this post, please try the candy link again!

As I am writing this, I am chewing on something that I haven't chewed on in FOREVER.

Teaberry gum.

And it is yummy. And, I think it still sells for .25 a pack.

I have to thank Candy Pam from the Blair Candy Company in Altoona, PA for this nostaligic taste trek I am on right now. Check out her site at: as she sells lots of classic candies- including of course Clark's Teabrry gum.

I had the chance to meet Pam at our Boot Camp last week when our clients camp to town to learn all about ecommerce. She was one of those who made the trek- and she came bearing gifts. I just tore into my candy baggie today and am glad I did. Mmmmm. Teaberry rocks.
What is teaberry? Well, it is actually an endangered plant in some parts, like Illinois. But the Eastern Teaberry plant (or, Gaultheria procumbens) is an American Wintergreen plant, which produces berries. According to
"This leathery semi-woody aromatic perennial has creeping underground stems thus forming small colonies of plants. Showy red fruits may persist through the winter. The genus was named for Dr. Gaultier a Canadian physician of the mid-18th century. Teaberry extract is used to flavor teas candies medicines and chewing gum. "
And according to the very reliable soure, Wikipedia the D.L. Clark Company based in Buffalo, New York began making the teaberry gum in the 60s. The gum is still made in Mexico.

If I run out of gas now, it's totally my fault

Well, if you've been following along, my GMC Yukon was part of a recall-- apparently the gas gauge sticks.

I know first hand. I ran out of gas twice, nearly a third time. I knew I had gas. Yet, I endured the poking fun at me.

HA! Valley Chevrolet last week said yes indeed my particular truck was one of the rejects. So today was the day I dropped it off to get fixed. Thank goodness it was free.

So now, if I am close to 'E' and try to push it, well-- the gas gauge is correct now.

Thanks for the fast service, Valley Chevrolet and thanks to GMC for being honest about this goof. If only they can do something about all the walking I had to do.....

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Day Full of God... or Not (Norman Mailer, Freedom from Religion, Etc.)


This morning as soon as I logged into WebCT-which is the platform for which Wilkes uses for its low-residency creative writing program, I found a message from a classmate, Rick which said one our program's co-founders and faculty members had a story in this week's New York Magazine. Way cool. Dr. J. Michael Lennon befriended Norman Mailer 35 years ago and has since become his historian and biographer. Mailer is on the advisory board of the Wilkes University MA in Creative Writing program, actually. And together they wrote a new book, On God: An Uncommon Conversation. (RandomHouse)

New York Magazine published an expcerpt of the book in an article called "The Rise of Mailerism." Mailer is neither an athesist or a traditional practictioner of any religion-- he has a very unique take on god that makes much sense, at least from the excerpt that I read. I am very fascinated by peoples' beliefs and I think that this book will do quite well. People seem to be much more open these days to looking at different interpretations of religion.

I encourage you to read the article: and maybe even preorder the book.

I have always had my doubts about there being a god, and even more than that, had major issues with organized religion. I could go on and on about that. However, as I got older and attended a liberal school and met more liberal friends, I have realized that how I feel is okay. I know people just like me, who respect the bible as literature and live by ethics instilled by those bible stories-- however again, have major issues with things revolving around organized religion. I am also extremely fascinated by creation stories-- every culture has one. In an Art, Music, Literature and Culture class I took at Wilkes with Dr. Steven Thomas, we read many of these stories. Some said the world was created by nature, and so on and so forth. To me, humans all question where we came from and why we're here. That's why there are so many stories that have been pondered-- and who is to say which is right? Again- I could go on. But... let me get to the point....

I did not get to the newspaper until this evening. In the Faith section of the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, which runs every Saturday was an article about a convention for atheists and agnostics. First of all, kudos to the Times Leader for printing this article in this section. That is just very cool that they also consider atheists and agnostics to have valid beliefs and I think they were brave by printing this article in this particular section of the paper, rather than move it to say, the news or features section.

So anyway, the article was about Freedom From Religion Foundation. Each year they have a convention in their home city of Madison, WI. I was intrigued by this group and agree with their mission. So today, I became a student member of the group for $25.

The Purpose of The Freedom From Religion Foundation is: (from its website)

The history of Western civilization shows us that most social and moral progress has been brought about by persons free from religion.

In modern times the first to speak out for prison reform, for humane treatment of the mentally ill, for abolition of capital punishment, for women's right to vote, for death with dignity for the terminally ill, and for the right to choose contraception, sterilization and abortion have been freethinkers, just as they were the first to call for an end to slavery.

The Foundation works as an umbrella for those who are free from religion and are committed to the cherished principle of separation of state and church.

So, today has been a day of discovery for me.... God as an artist, God not existing, etc. Some things to think about for sure... thoughts anyone?

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Sweet Dreams Tea & a GMC Yukon Recall

This blog is about two things I love: getting a good night's sleep and proving that I am right!

I always loved tea, and more specifically green tea, but I always forget about it and just drown myself into caffeinated oblivion with coffee or Red Bull or Monster Energy. So last week, I had the plague. I was so congested from my head to my nose to my chest. I tried everything: Benadryl, Mucinex, Sudafed, Coldeez and Therflu. Nothing seemed to work. So I pushed through work during the week and over the weekend, I decided to just drink hot green tea with honey and sleep. By Monday- I felt like a brand new person!! I guess the Eastern Way knew all along.

So, Monday night when I went grocery shopping I decided that I would buy a bunch of tea. Yes. I would become a tea drinker instead of a coffee drinker. Then I stumbled upon Bigelow Tea brand's Sweet Dreams tea with chamomille and peppermint. Since it's for bedtime, it's noncaffienated. So, I made myself a glass and went to bed. The tea tasted wonderful, and smelled so calming. I read for a little while then shut off the light. I could smell the relaxing scent of the chamomille and as I inhaled and exhaled, I could feel it calming me. Next thing I knew, it was 6am and time to get up. The tea knocked me out. I've had the best sleeping week of my life I think with Bigelow Tea - and the Sweet Dreams flavor. Even better than with my melatonin!

So- if you read my blog post from a few days ago, you read about my running out of gas. Truth be told, I honestly thought I could make it. Last June, I had a similar even happen to me on my lunch break at work during a travel. And my coworkers busted me. I swore to Dave that I didn't run out of gas. So- Monday in the mail we get a RECALL letter from GMC.


See. I knew it. I knew that by what the gauge said, that I had gas. I didn't let it get down to E from what I could see! In a twisted way, I am happy that this recall letter came. I can salvage my reputation.... ; )

Thursday, September 27, 2007

CCR- Credence Clearwater Revisited- Awesome show last night

FINALLY!!! Working in radio for many years, I've been able to see many concerts and meet some cool people and of course have some of those "what happened on the bus, stays on the bus" moments with some of country music's finest. However, since radio I have not been to many shows. After last night, I realize that live music is what I love. At any rate-- I have been wanting to see CCR for a long time. Forever, really. And the 'new' CCR kicks major ass.

I will add a mini-review to this post later today, but wanted to get these pics up. The only thing that kind of sucked was that I have this massive cold and my throat is super sore, so I could not scream or sing along (off key, of course) and that was a bummer.

By the way, I look like total crap in this picture (I REMOVED THE DANG PICTURE)- I was giving directions to the tour manager, Wayne while I was posing for the picture and I think he snapped it while I was saying something- but what are ya gonna do? I'll blame it on my cold.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Andee of Wilkes Beacon Writes About Blogging, Interviews Yours Truly

I love Andee Scarantino. Watch out media- she graduates soon. Actually, watch out WORLD!

At any rate, the editor-in-chief of my favorite college newspaper, the Wilkes University Beacon wrote about blogging this week. Check out the story. She interviewed me for it, so you get to see my thoughts and reasons for writing things like, this post for instance!

Good Samaritans... They Still Exist

I know that I am a good Samaritan, as much as I can be and when I have time. I felt terrible the other day when I drove past one of those boot drives and had no cash- which is usually the case with me since they invented the VISA check card.

At any rate, this blog comes a little late. Things have been busy. But, I have to write a little about my Thursday morning. On my way home Wednesday, I was not paying too much attention to the gas gauge. It beeps an warns be when there is 32 miles left to drive. I was already passed the last gas station when the beep went off and the orange light came on. I was too tired from the gym to turn around. I could make it to the station in the morning.

I had two choices when the morning came. To drive two miles to the Red Rock gas station which is out of the way and is probably the only gas station in the county that does not have pay at the pump. So, I opted to drive the seven to the Pump-n-Pantry.

When I was about a mile from my destination, the car died. And there is barely a shoulder. So, I parked in a ditch and called Dave, who really could do nothing for me since we freakin' live in the middle of nowhere and he was already at work. So, I started to walk. There is really no shoulder like I said, so I was walking in the dew-filled grass- I was soaked up to the knee cap. Cars were whizzing by and no one was stopping. I took of my sweatshirt and right after I did that, someone stopped. I must have looked like a bum before.

"A little early to be pickin' up cans," he said.

I laughed and hopped in his van, not even second-guessing that I was getting in a stranger's van. It was a company van, Stone Stackers in Sweet Valley. I told him what happened. He drove me to his place of employment which was a stone's throw away and got a gas can from a shed. Then, he drove me back to my car.

He put some gas into my tank, but my Yukon would still not start- it was on an angle.So- this kind man pushed by behemoth truck onto the highway. Then, it started. I zooomed off before it could die again. He followed me to the PnP, where I filled my tank. After all that, I was only seven minutes late to work. I had left early because I knew I needed gas. (I was just a little wet from my ordeal when I go there...)

So- I am thankful that I live in an area where everyone seems to have a work truck and gas can. ; ) I have not run out of gas in years, but this reminds me how I can't let things like this slip. Although I could always argue that I was doing an experiment on samaritanship.

And, if anyone needs landscaping work, call Stone Stackers in Sweet Valley. They have nice guys working there.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I work for one of the fastest growing companies in America! Inc 500! Plus, CCR interview!

Woo hoo. I know I just started at Solid Cactus, so I am not a part of its success (yet) but I am damn proud to work there. We were just named to the Inc. 500 at #255 for "Fastest Growing Private Companies in America."

That's a HUGE accomplishment considering just how many private companies there really are in America. So kudos to our owners, officers and everyone who helped make this distinction!

The company had special Inc. 500 t-shirts made and we had a company photo and then a slew of us went out to Fuse to celebrate, all donning the t-shirts. It was a good time! Here is the whole company (I am on the bottom row, third from the left):

CCR- Credence Clearwater Revisited
For those of you who know me, you know that I love CCR. So, I was thrilled when I got an e-mail out of the blue from the band's publicist, Wendy asking me if I could do an interview with one of the members for their upcoming show at the Bloomsburg Fair. My editor okayed it and I spoke with the original drummer Cosmo (Doug Clifford). That was a big highlight for me. I've been fortunate to be able to interview lots of cool people, but this is the first person from my fave era of music and one of my life-long favorite bands that I have interviewed. Look for the story in this Weds.'s Weekender.

Doug was very open and extremely cool to talk to. I didn't want to bring up anything about Fogerty.... For those that don't know- this new CCR (with the R meaning revisited, not revival) is made up of two original CCR members and three new guys-- but all the same hits! They also have an album out: Recollection.

Credence Clearwater Revisited will be at the Bloomsburg Fair on Weds. Sept. 26. Check them out.

BONUS MATERIAL: A Funny Dream About CCR Music
In other CCR news-- and this is something that I did not Doug in my interview-- a few years ago I was overplaying my CCR Chronicle: 20 Greatest Hits CD and I guess it went into my dreams. I had this dream that there was a Flintstones Musical and Fred and the gang had headset microphones on and they were singing to the tune of "Up and Around the Bend" only it went like this:

The Flintstones Are Back Again/We're Coming Up and Around the Bed (yes, as in Bedrock!)

and then instead of "Doo Doo Doo, Doo Dooo Doo, Do, Do Do Doooo...." it was

YabbaDoo/YabbaDoo/Yabba Do Do

Yeah. I did that. In my head. In my sleep. Yeah. If you think I'm nuts when I am awake, you should see my dreams... Incase you forget how the song goes- here is a link to a video.