Thursday, December 31

Happy New Year HNT

I made myself a promise. A promise to write something every day. A commitment that I'll explain later. But it has led to a decision that must be made. A difficult decision. To make a change that I have attempted--and failed at--many times over the past few years.

I've tried to leave this blog before. Each time I've found myself right back here. I've set up new blogs and invited everyone to come with me. I wouldn't even get my blogging bags unpacked at my new digs before I would come running back, leaving confused readers with an annoying case of whiplash. I think I've finally found a compromise. A way to start 2010 at peace with my dichotomous spirit. And with renewed purpose.

"IT was not death, for I stood up,
And all the dead lie down;
Part Four: Time and Eternity LXXV
~~ Emily Dickinson

hnt work

    As per Os' instructions I made a choice of my favorite HNT from this year. Not much to choose from due to my forced hiatus for half of it.

    I selected the Freelance Writing HNT because it was the time that I finally began to feel myself again.

    I'm working the long mid-shift tomorrow so have patience. If I'm not there this morning I will be by to visit in the evening. I have so much to say to so many of you as we usher in this new year. And comments will be answered.

    Until then I love you all.
    Happy New Year.
    Happy HNT.
    You've brought me the joy and confidence I needed to continue on.

    Wednesday, December 30

    Blog Explosion

    blog explosion

      I'm an admin for A free traffic generating community for bloggers. We currently have 106,807 blogs in the directory and we're looking for quality writers to join. This site is for bloggers, not for sellers, not for corporate websites. Just blogs.

      The subject doesn't matter. There about fifty categories, from podcasts and video blogs to anime, gaming, technology, blogging tips, business info and personal diaries. The only requirements are that they are written in English, that they are updated at least monthly and that comments are enabled. All sites are reviewed by (mostly) real human beings and we try to keep up a standard that weeds out junk and spam blogs.

      I review websites for admission into the blog explosion directory. This is a labor of love that I took on as a result of my desire to find well-written blogs. I enjoy reading interesting sites. I'm always fascinated by the eclectic mix of writing and topics that roll through my dashboard.

      Last night I had intended to visit the blogs I follow, but when I popped into Blog Explosion I found a large number of blogs that needed reviewing. I set aside my own visits to make sure that these writers waiting for their acceptance emails were not held off too long. We get hundreds of new blog requests daily. It has added up over the holidays as admin members spent time with their families--as they should.

      The problem I'm increasingly running into is the number of spam and advertising blogs that are being submitted. This is a site that runs as a community. With 'Battle of the Blogs' you can pit your blog against another and members will vote on their favorites, they offer free blogging services and the chance to get to know other bloggers with similar interests. After you log-in you gain visits by visiting blogs in the directory. This increases your traffic as well as helping you find interesting new sites and writers.

      Not to mention all of the useful blogging/technology information you find on Blog Explosion sites like Gadgets Directory or the great photography and biting wit of runswithscissors. The chillingly fascinating chronicles of True Crime journaled at In Cold Blog.

      Anais Nin's Diary has been called 'The Liary' due to the heavy re-writing that Nin did to get it published, and yet it is still a brilliant, creative, erotic piece of lying literature--Much like UnpopularTruths "When my fake editor came to me with the chance to conduct a fake interview with Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger – noted pants-around-your-feet enthusiast and unapologetic photo-op horn-thrower – I jumped at it like a chicken on a dough dish." Okay. Maybe not so much erotic, but brilliant and creative definitely.

      And then there's My Kafkaesque Life. It takes a special stroke of creative genius to take a picture of an unpublished post and make it a post. A shy guy. It says all of the things he would never say directly in a post.

      Now that is brilliant.

      One of my dirty little vices~ I could easily blow an entire afternoon reading the book reviews, rants, recipes and plain kvetching of The Library Lady Rants "Yes,I am aware that people can't read simple instructions. Hell, I'm a librarian, who would know better?" As a matter of fact I have blown an entire afternoon reading her. In my pajamas, drinking hot tea. What can I say? Showers are over-rated.

      Last night I wasted hours wading through money-making blogs that offer nothing in their posts except links to on-line stores and advertising disguised as blog posts. I couldn't unleash that feculent bilge on this community of bloggers who have devoted themselves to creating a unique, entertaining and informational presence within the blogosphere. I hit the reject button so many times I chipped a nail. Frggg

      So now I'm turning to you. If you can write and you have a unique style, information to assist bloggers, or just humorous observations on your daily life, please. Please. Add your blog to Blog Explosion. I'd rather chew off my own toes than have to sit through another night of viagra/creatin laced drivel.

        Friday, December 25

        Christmas Humor

        The story of how the angel ended up on top of the Christmas tree.

          When four of Santa's elves got sick, and the trainee elves did not produce the toys as fast as the regular ones, Santa was beginning to feel the pressure of being behind schedule.

          Then Mrs. Claus told Santa that her Mom was coming to visit. This stressed Santa even more. When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two had jumped the fence and were out Heaven knows where.

          More stress.

          Then when he began to load the sleigh one of the boards cracked, and the toy bag fell to the ground and scattered the toys. So, frustrated, Santa went into the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered that the elves had hidden the liquor, and there was nothing to drink. In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider pot, and it broke into hundreds of little pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found that mice had eaten the straw end of the broom. Just then the doorbell rang, and irritable Santa trudged to the door. He opened the door, and there was a little Angel with a great big Christmas tree.

          The Angel said, very cheerfully, "Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't it a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?"

          And so began the tradition of the Little Angel on top of the Christmas tree.


          Thursday, December 17

          HNT Christmas Tree

            I've been working and writing.
            I've barely had time to get ready for Christmas, which is very unlike me. I'm usually fighting the urge to put up my decorations too early.

            The latest article is up on blogcritics.
            A Photograph of My Father
            But I just got the lights up on the tree.
            I don't even want to think about the holiday shopping I'll have to do this weekend. I'd better get Christmas-y real fast.

            Happy HNT!
            See the man, Os.

            Tuesday, December 15

            Basic Windows Computer Maintenance

              For Great Justice

                When we were little I tried to teach O how to do the Marilyn Monroe 'updraft thingy', but would she listen?
                Yeah. Sure. Right.
                She always had to do things her own way.

                "Look," I said, "you just gotta lean back and let it poof out. Like this. Yes, sucking on a pacifier does help."

                "No. Leaning back like that will just reify the bullshit patriarchical paradigm. It offends my feminist ethos, almost as much as your hat.
                Besides, I don't wanna. My panties will show."
                And then she started crying... as usual.

                She still doesn't listen to me. So I wrote this post for her. Because I'm always having to chastise her for not doing her computer maintenance. But I have news for her, this time--I'm not wearing any panties.

                So, for the sake of O, let the wind blow up your skirt, throw your undies in the air, and lets pwn IT like a geek girl should.

                All your Intertubes are belong to us.
                You have no chance.
                Make your time.

                Windows Computer Maintenance
                We'll start with cleaning up all of the temp files using Disk Cleanup then we'll speed up your computer using the Disk Defragmentation utility.

                * Always do the disk cleanup before you defragment. There's no point in wasting a lot of time defragmenting files that need to be deleted anyway.

                **If you download and use CCleaner then you can save yourself the time of running Disk Cleanup and just scroll down to the section on Disk Defragmentation.

                DISK CLEANUP

                Click Start
                Slide the mouse over each of these to open a new menu.
                All Programs
                System Tools

                First you want to run the Disk Cleanup.

                *This is the same thing you do to get to the defragmenter*

                Click on Disk Cleanup.
                It will open immediately and hunt down all of the garbage that is stored on the computer.

                It's safe to delete them all, they're just temporary files, but if you're worried about it you can unclick the box next to anything you aren't sure about.

                It won't delete any files that you need to run your computer though. Just duplicates of files and basically garbage. Like if you open a Word document and edit it- you hit save to keep the document with all of its changes, but there is still a copy of the old page left on the hard drive. It just goes to a folder to wait for the cleaner to dump it. You can also click on compress files.

                It'll compress old files that you haven't used in a long time, but you can still open them if you need them.

                When you've done that you want to use the steps above to get to the Disk Defragmenter. It's just below the Disk Clean Up on the system tools menu.
                Click on that and the defragmenter will open.

                Click on Defragment. It will first analyze- the top window. And underneath it shows the progress of the defragment.

                All red files are fragmented. It will move all of the files around in the bottom window and when a file is defragmented it will turn from red to blue.

                You needn't do anything, just let it run, it will take a while if your files are really badly fragmented.

                When it's done you'll get a box that says Defragment is complete. Just click close, unless you want to view the report first. But you can pretty much judge how much was done by comparing the top window (pre-defragment) and the bottom window (defragmented)

                For detailed instructions on Windows Repair see these posts:
                Use System Restore to Repair Windows XP
                Repair Windows using System File Checker SFC

                The next Geek Girl post will be on the best free virus and spyware removal programs.

                  Thursday, December 10

                  HNT ascii drawing

                    A reader made an ascii drawing from my profile picture.

                    ascii drawing

                      Pretty cool, right?
                      Click to enlarge.

                      Have a geeky HNT!

                      See the man, OS!

                      Currently Reading ~~ Salt Dancers by Ursula Hegi
                      When she was young her mother disappeared without a trace. Now grown, Julia has returned home. Pregnant, still haunted by her father's abuse and her brother's betrayal, she seeks to reconcile her long buried anger and find peace with her past.

                        Friday, December 4

                        Dead Air by Deborah Shlian and Linda Reid

                          There is something diabolical and sinister lurking in the halls and secret labs of Ellsford University. Secrets that must be kept at any cost.
                          ~~ A Geek Girl Book Review ~~

                          Dead Air by Deborah Shlian and Linda Reid

                          Ellsford University holds many secrets within its austere walls. Macabre murder, suicidal students and one radio journalist who threatens to bring down the institution, if her own dark secrets don't destroy her first.

                          A good mystery is a work of art. By its very nature it must be. Plots, subplots, characters. All must be interwoven just so to draw the reader in. Any failure on one front will cause the entire work to unravel, leaving the reader feeling disappointed, cheated. If the writer is too elaborate the work will not flow naturally, leaving the reader feeling overwhelmed and confused.

                          Dead Air by Deborah Shlian and Linda Reid finds that perfect balance, engaging the reader, yet taking the time to build upon itself. It draws you in, but leaves just enough distance to allow for objectivity. An omniscient viewpoint that gives the book a web like feeling as the reader becomes aware of events happening on campus and the characters are left to play catch up. The layers create an intricate groundwork that adds to the anticipation and makes the novel a fast read.

                          From the opening pages Dead Air begins to weave its magic with an elegant prose that wraps its fingers around your mind, refusing to let go. You find yourself compelled by the writer's language, no matter how macabre the subject matter.

                          The first campus death is a suicide, a young man who decides to take a high dive off a low clock tower, but it's the writing that strikes you. Not a grisly death scene, a tantalizing tease that leaves you hungry for more.

                          "He'd been sitting there, feet dangling over the precipice of the university clock tower for nearly twenty minutes, not clear how he got there or why. But then he hadn't been certain of much since—since when? He wasn't sure. He couldn't seem to remember anything except the recurrent nightmares. Tormenting him. Invading his thoughts. He'd hardly slept at all in two weeks."

                          I had a feeling of anticipation as I began reading Dead Air. The information I had received beforehand was fascinating. A dead Professor, disappearing students, a student radio journalist whose own dark past threatens to destroy her as she delves deeper into her investigation.

                          That information was actually a bit deceiving. There's so much more to this book than the expurgated synopsis let on. The authors both have backgrounds as university medical directors and researchers, that should have been my first clue that this was not going to be your run-of-the-mill murder mystery. I haven't been this rocked by a book since reading Coma by Robin Cook.

                          Sammy Greene is a red-headed spitfire, a Junior at Ellsford University, and a native New Yorker who's turning the University and the little town of St. Charlesbury on its ear with her popular, controversial radio talk show called The Hot Line. This seems to make her a threat to the establishment and a magnet for the religious nutjobs who have made the University and its medical experiments the focal point of their protests. When Sammy sets out to do an expose called 'The Death of Education', examining the supposed suicide of a prominent Professor, she finds more questions than answers. It seems that Ellsford has a problem with suicide. Suicide amongst the staff and the student body. And it's a problem that's growing. As the bodies start to pile up the University wheels begin to turn in the direction of self preservation.

                          And Sammy has secrets of her own. On the outside she's a tough kid with a thick skin who doesn't back down from a challenge, but there is an underlying fragility that threatens to break her. She can't escape her past or the voices in her own head that have been re-awakened by her research.

                          At times it's difficult to distinguish between the roles of protagonist and antagonist. For instance, the powerful, evangelical figurehead who holds sway over the town and many of the University students. His unfocused vitriol leaves one wondering exactly whom the target really is. However, even this seems to work in the authors' favor. Another loose cannon whose next move is unpredictable. Can he become a trusted ally or is he simply another dark cog in Ellsford's murderous machinery?

                          There are several foreshadowing events that occur early on, but you shouldn't get too comfortable thinking that you have it all figured out. You'll find that this story weaves in and out and it will shake up anyone going in with preconceived notions. The tension builds as Sammy realizes the magnitude of skeletons in Ellsford's closets. Students begin to disappear and Sammy soon finds herself in a race for her life. As her situation becomes more desperate she struggles to discern friend from foe in a world full of deception and danger.

                          The authors call this 'A Sammy Greene Thriller' leaving the impression that there are more to come in a series. I hope so. They've done for academia what Patricia Cornwell did for forensic science.

                          This is a great book for anyone who enjoys reading thrillers and mysteries. The release date is set for December 7th but I'd definitely recommend pre-ordering a copy for anyone who has an avid reader on their holiday shopping list. This book is sure to be in high demand this season.

                          Book Review: Dead Air by Deborah Shlian and Linda Reid was originally published on Blogcritics on Nov. 23, 2009.

                              Thursday, November 19

                              HNT Writing Geek


                                I've been writing all week. Every spare minute. All geek.
                                The little mouse on the wheel in my brain has packed his cheese and left a note that says 'Gone Fishing'.

                                It's good to be home again.

                                Happy HNT.
                                See the man, Os

                                Repair Windows Files Using System File Checker
                                HNT themes for December:
                                Thursday, Dec. 17th will be the Christmas HNT
                                Thursday, Dec. 24th will be the Three Christmas Wishes HNT
                                Thursday, Dec. 31st will be your Year's Favorite HNT

                                  Currently Reading: I'm working on my latest book review for Blogcritics. Dead Air by Deborah Shlian and Linda Reid ~ due for release in December.

                                  Creative Commons License
                                  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


                                  Hang with Me on Twitter: @a_geek_girl

                                    Saturday, November 14


                                    words meanings

                                      Halfway through shaving it came–
                                      the word for a poem.
                                      I should have scribbled it
                                      on the mirror with a soapy finger,

                                      Gone Forever ~~ Barriss Mills

                                      Lately it seems as if words have lost their meaning. Where once there was a wealth, seemingly endless, now there is a dearth. I feel empty. Exhausted.

                                      Mnemosyne has cradled my head and brought me back to places past. Places which I have no desire to revisit. I wake up in the middle of the night to whispered words, the voice my own. Yet they will not stay with me. I force them from my mouth again and again, as if speaking them aloud will transform them into something substantial, some form that I can retrieve in the morning's light. But this is an exercise in futility. What I have left, the gossamer remnants, are scattered on random slips of paper that I leave where they fall.

                                      I find them later and wonder why.

                                      Her memories have been lost in death.
                                      I mourn for them.

                                      My blood runs, thick as stones

                                      The mind's eye is deceitful.
                                      It shows us a face we can live with.

                                      Perhaps I just need rest.
                                      so that we may sleep... when sleep will have us

                                      I have no choice. I can never connect the psyche and the logos in this state.

                                      I will sleep
                                      when the last star
                                      has lost its light
                                      and my love is
                                      wrapped around me
                                      Like my own skin

                                      Let me tell you this once
                                      (I will not be able to say it again):
                                      I have lost the meaning of words.
                                      Heavy, they ripped
                                      away from the sounds,
                                      fell into cracked ground.

                                      Naming ~~ Nancy Mair

                                      Creative Commons License
                                      This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


                                      Hang with Me on Twitter: @a_geek_girl

                                      Currently Reading: I'm working on my latest book review for Blogcritics. Dead Air by Deborah Shlian and Linda Reid ~ due for release in December.

                                        Thursday, November 12

                                        HNT Over The Knee Boots

                                          charlotte russe sexy boots

                                            There's nothing sexier than over-the-knee boots with a short skirt. These are plain suede slouch boots, but boots with buckles would work just as well.

                                            You can dress up a work outfit with boots as well. Thanks to the fashion industry's love of retro, leggings are going to be hot this season. And boots with a long coat are a perfect way to dress them up.

                                            Happy HNT!

                                            PS. Thanks to my mom for the new blog name.
                                            We'll see how long it lasts.

                                            See the man, OS.

                                            Over-the-knee suede boots in red.

                                            Creative Commons License
                                            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


                                            Hang with Me on Twitter: @a_geek_girl

                                              Wednesday, November 4

                                              I had three Blended Threats last night

                                              and my head is just killing me...

                                                  I've been thinking about starting a geek bar for a long time.
                                                  I think the first drink I want to create will be called a 'Blended Threat'.

                                                  Now for the ingredients?

                                                    Thursday, October 29

                                                    HNT Halloween

                                                    I'm getting ready for Halloween. Nice Pink hair.

                                                    halloween pink hair

                                                    The Masque of the Red Death
                                                    "And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revellers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall."
                                                    ~~ Edgar Allen Poe

                                                    Scary stuff, no?

                                                    Happy Halloween to you all.
                                                    See the man, Os

                                                    Friday, October 16

                                                    Shakespeare for Telemarketers

                                                    Featured Blog: Fizzle and Pop

                                                    Collin is one of my oldest blogging buddies. We also worked together on the Fizzle and Pop Writing Forum a few years ago. A project that was a blast to be a part of, but extremely time consuming to moderate -- it ended with a fizzle and no pop.

                                                    That may have been my fault. I was moderating at the time and the last writing challenge ended with people wondering in comments if I was dead. And I was. Okay. No I wasn't. But don't tell them that. They might want their burial donations back.

                                                    So we never got to the voting stage on the last challenge. And now the writing forum stands as a memorial to the community of brilliant, witty writers who once played there. We may still have links on sites like a Harley Davidson shop who apparently thought their visitors would like the Motorcycles Vs Carousel Horses discussion. And the pet store who must have thought that when Collin wrote about 'petting his chinchilla' he actually meant a real chinchilla. I'm sure their visitors must get a kick out of it when they read and realize what he was actually talking about. Unfortunately this has become a Members Only section with a note from Collin:
                                                    These are games that are open to members only.
                                                    Because they're dirty and stuff.
                                                    The games.
                                                    Not the members.

                                                    I told you he was funny.

                                                    I was reading a post on the beefjerky blog on 101 Creative Ways to deal with telemarketers.
                                                    * Tell them you have that stuff for sale that they've always wanted, but this time it's gonna cost them. If they ask what stuff, tell them 'you know the stuff i'm talking about'

                                                    That made me laugh.

                                                    Then I read The Job Search Continues by Collin...

                                                    I came across a posting for "Phone Actors & Actresses"... I'm thinking "Sex Line." That, or perhaps they call up people and do Macbeth at them until they're paid to stop.



                                                    "And oftentimes, to win us to our harm, The instruments of darkness tell us truths, Win us with honest trifles, to betray's In deepest consequence."


                                                    I thought to myself that perhaps if you combine the two...
                                                    Shakespeare For Telemarketers.

                                                    William Shakespeare

                                                    You might actually have a real solution to the telemarketer problem. I would recommend that you memorize some Richard III and recite it in a loud, obnoxious, Shakespearean voice. Think Lawrence Olivier... only louder and roll your rrrrrrrrrs longer.

                                                    Foul devil, for God's sake, hence, and trouble us not;
                                                    For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell,
                                                    Fill'd it with cursing cries and deep exclaims.
                                                    If thou delight to view thy heinous deeds,
                                                    Behold this pattern of thy butcheries

                                                    Do not be detered from your speech no matter what they say on the other end of the line. This is war! You must bring them to their knees.

                                                    I hope you enjoy a visit to Collin's blog.
                                                    He's a brilliant, witty writer.

                                                      Saturday, October 10

                                                      Observations From a Mall

                                                      Rotten kids. Horrible Parents. Shopping has become a nightmare.
                                                      Even Versace can't save us now.

                                                      dolce gabbana blue

                                                      I've been noticing it more and more lately. Perhaps it's due to the economy, the heated political environment or maybe just a cultural shift towards impatience with anything that doesn't bring immediate gratification.

                                                      This is an observation I made last week as I was setting up displays for the latest changes during Fashion Week.

                                                      The Setting: An upscale fashion store.

                                                      A mother is waiting for a fitting room. There are 6 fitting rooms and each one is occupied. She has her 3 children with her. A daughter about 12 years old. A son about 10. A little girl about 4. Mom is around 30, she has a fantastic tanning bed tan and she is in incredible shape. No doubt she keeps her personal trainer very busy. She's wearing enough diamonds and gold to give Queen Elizabeth an inferiority complex. She's carrying Dolce and Gabbana (the big blue bag, not the little one). And she's driving a gas-guzzling SUV. Her clothes are high end. The kid's clothes are high end as well. She is extremely rude to the sales staff and other patrons. She is gaudy and ostentatious; one of the patrons hand-coughs bourgeois as she walks by and others titter at the joke. However she seems blissfully oblivious to this fact. And also to the fact that she strongly resembles a ridiculous caricature of a late night TV drama character.

                                                      Mom has dragged the kids into the store so she can shop for herself. She has loaded up her arms with clothes that she wants to try on and now, a good hour or so into shopping, she is starting to get angry and impatient that she can't get into a fitting room right away. She starts to yell at the sales associate, demanding to know why there aren't more fitting rooms.

                                                      In the meantime baby is running around grabbing clothes off of racks and screaming 'I want this!', stamping her little feet and glaring at mom with an 'I dare you to say no' look on her face. Mom turns to her and says 'No. You can't have that'. Baby angrily throws the garment on the floor and goes back to the rack to grab another garment and return with it--she repeats this scenario over and over. Mom turns to big sis and yells at her 'I told you to keep an eye on her! Go get her now!' I'm thinking... It's your kid lady, you go get her.

                                                      Big sis looks overwhelmed trying to wrestle garments from baby and drags her, literally kicking and screaming, back to the fitting rooms where she promptly breaks loose and runs back out onto the sales floor.

                                                      Brother has been completely ignored during this time and he's obviously been trained that negative attention is better than no attention at all. He's been knocking over displays and taking swipes at big sis while she wrestles with baby. Mom yells at him to 'cut it out or else'.

                                                      Mom demands to see a manager. When the manager arrives mom starts yelling at her that she needs a fitting room now! Right now. She starts to curse. She wants to know what's wrong with 'you people'.

                                                      As her agitation mounts the kids become more agitated as well. They're all angry, stressed out. Lashing out both physically and verbally. Big sis looks like she's going to cry, and she is becoming increasingly rough in her handling of baby who is now slapping, kicking and pulling sis' hair to try to escape her restraint. Brother has School Bully written all over him. He's actually enjoying the negative attention he's getting for his acts of violence. He reaches over and thunks baby on the back of the head with his thumb and middle finger, making her scream like someone has poked her eye out. Big sis says 'you're a jerk!' He mimics back at her 'You're a jerk.' in a nasally voice that makes me want to pop him one. Then smack! He slaps big sis in the face while she tries to hang onto the squirming, kicking baby. Mom shouts 'I mean it! You're both going to get it!'

                                                      When a fitting room finally comes available mom turns to the fitting room attendant and says 'Watch them while I try these on'. Not a request. An order.

                                                      My jaw almost hits the floor.

                                                      She chooses to bring the children. She chooses to overload her arms with clothes to try on, at least a good hours worth of clothes changing, and now the fitting room attendant is expected to be her babysitter.

                                                      The fitting room attendant declines politely, explaining that she can't be responsible for the kids.

                                                      Mom begins another cursing fit, throws the clothes on the floor next to baby's rejected wish list, and starts yelling for the kids, with another severe outburst at big sis for not keeping baby under control. She storms out of the store screaming about what a horrible place this is and that she'll never shop here again. She's going to call corporate and complain. She stalks out to her SUV, her face distorted into a mask of insanity as she screams and yells unheard instructions at poor big sis who is trying to wrangle baby into a car seat.

                                                      The Aftermath:

                                                      When she was safely out of the parking lot and on her way back to her happy life, I walked over to the fitting room attendant, she looked up at me sheepishly, with tears in her eyes from the verbal beating she had just taken, I felt bad for her. I let loose a few choice names for 'crazy mom', telling her not to worry about it. If anything we should feel sorry for those kids. She's creating monsters that she's going to have to deal with later on. Her life must be horrid. Can you imagine being that stressed out all of the time? And teaching her kids to get that stressed out whenever they don't immediately get their way?

                                                      The ladies waiting patiently in line for their fitting rooms chimed in with their own support...
                                                      'I don't take my kids shopping with me. It's not fair to them...'
                                                      'She can afford that purse, but she can't afford a babysitter?'
                                                      'I've got news for you. That purse is a knock off.'
                                                      'It's not your fault honey, that woman is nuts...'
                                                      And then a woman who was old enough to have finished raising her kids said the most profound thing.
                                                      'I wonder why people like that even have kids? Some sort of self gratification I guess.'

                                                      Oh yeah.

                                                      I can't think of anything that will guarantee that your kids will grow up to be frustrated, miserable people more than teaching them that they, for whatever reason, should have an expectation of immediate gratification. That their wants and desires should become someone else's priority, simply because that's what they want. Now. And they absolutely should not be made to wait.

                                                      I see similar behaviors every day in different forms. From the grocery store to vacation spots, I see kids stressed out because they cannot get what they want immediately, and I see their parents and how they behave, how their stress and frustration is passed on to their children. It won't be long before those chickens come home to roost.

                                                      If all kids grow up to think that others should acquiesce to them, they are bound to live lives of frustration and anger. Because no one is going to give them what they want all of the time. Particularly not others who have been raised to think that what they want, they should get as well.

                                                      It is a vicious circle.

                                                      Disclaimer: This story is based on actual events, however the names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent. If you see yourself or any of your family members in these characters, I can promise you that I probably was not writing this about you. And you should seek family therapy as soon as possible.

                                                      "Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things."
                                                      Winston Churchill

                                                      This was originally published on Blogcritics. Heading there to answer comments.

                                                        Thursday, October 8

                                                        HNT Fall Riding Boots

                                                        I love wearing shorts in the fall.
                                                        I love the way they look with boots.

                                                        For HNT I'm showing off my side-buckle riding boots.
                                                        They make me feel sexy. They make me feel cool.
                                                        They make me feel like posing in ridiculous places as I did here.


                                                        What other excuse does a woman need to wear her favorite boots?
                                                        None of course. Nothing should ever come between a woman and her shoes.

                                                        'A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.'
                                                        Irina Dunne (Attributed : Gloria Steinem)

                                                        More boots next week?
                                                        Here's an HNT from the past for those who prefer lingerie to footwear.
                                                        Black. Lace. Garter.

                                                        If you posted boots this week let me know so I can add your link.

                                                        See the man, Osbasso.

                                                        Tuesday, October 6

                                                        Fall Fashion Flowers and Boots

                                                        London Fashion Week

                                                        I have to admit that I'm not much of a flowery person. Floral prints and bright colors don't do much for me. Still it was a relief this past week to work with the new visual landscape that the shift in fashion trends has brought about. I complained about Depression Chic. I'm not about to contradict myself by deriding the new florals and brightly optimistic neons. Truth be told it has been creatively stimulating to work on new displays and I'm actually fairly frustrated when I have to stick with prescribed visual merchandising methods. It reminds me of the excitement that I got from mixing Courtesan femininity with the hard-edged rigidity of Industrial androgeny.

                                                        And the boots for this Fall are to die for.

                                                        I have always had a passion for over-the-knee boots and thigh high boots, but the big surprise this year is what is being called "Vagina High Boots". The new 'Thigh-high faux leather boots' brought to London Fashion Week by designer Stella McCartney cost $1,385 if you're lucky enough to find a pair in stock anywhere. Keep your eyes peeled for less expensive versions of these boots. They are going to be the 'must-have' accessory for fashionistas for some time to come.

                                                        thigh high boots mccartney

                                                        Short skirts and mini-dresses are big this year as well as leggings. Personally I still have a preference for shorts in the Fall. Loose, pleated or tight, shorts look great with either over the knee or tall slouch boots. I'll have those pictures up this week.

                                                        For work skirts and dresses I like mid calf slouch boots. They make your legs look longer. Just look at how lovely my legs look in this pair that I ruined in the rain.
                                                        boots,mid calf,slouch,blog

                                                          Friday, October 2

                                                          I hate and I love

                                                          These chains that bind me are not of metal nor silk.
                                                          They have been forged by my own hand. My own heart.
                                                          I know I should go and yet I cannot move.

                                                          Why is it that the more cruel he behaves the more I fold myself into him? Why is it that one sharp word from his lips can send me into the darkest of places? And yet every word from my own lips is of love.

                                                          There is most certainly betrayal here. But is it his betrayal or mine? And who is being betrayed? Does he betray me or do I betray myself?

                                                          Thank you Catullus for seeing the truth in contradictions.

                                                          I HATE and I love. Why I do so, perhaps you ask.
                                                          I know not, but I feel it, and I am in torment.

                                                          ~~Gaius Valerius Catullus

                                                          I knew a ferryman before.
                                                          But he was not so old as you.
                                                          He spoke from unembittered lips,
                                                          With careless eyes on the bright sea
                                                          One day, such bitter words to me
                                                          As age and wisdom never knew.
                                                          Sappho Crosses the Dark River into Hades

                                                          ~~Edna St. Vincent Millay

                                                            Wednesday, September 30

                                                            HNT Boobiethon 2!

                                                            Boobie-thon begins today.
                                                            It will run until the 7th.
                                                            I thought I'd use this opportunity to do my part to support the cause.

                                                            The click-through is the picture I took for Evening when she was going through her battle.

                                                            My first Boobie-Thon.

                                                            Next week I'll be back with more boots for Fall.
                                                            Until then See the Man, Osbasso!

                                                            Monday, September 28

                                                            The Rain

                                                            Tonight I sat with the french doors open and listened to the sound of the rain.
                                                            I lit candles around the room and turned on the stereo.

                                                            Fade Into You by Mazzy Star was playing softly.
                                                            I want to hold the hand inside you
                                                            I want to take a breath thats true

                                                            I poured a glass of wine and settled down into the couch to listen, pulling my throw blanket up close. The turbulance of the last week has left me feeling drained. And although I can still feel the brush of your lips on my mouth I feel lonely. Disconnected.

                                                            I look to you and I see nothing
                                                            I look to you to see the truth

                                                            There's something comforting in the sound of rain. It takes me to a place of peace. A place where I feel more myself. I've always found comfort in water, the sound of it. Whether it's the crash of angry waves against a rocky shore or the bubbling rush of a hidden spring, I feel it inside me. A soothing re-connection with my metaphysical soul, as if I am merely a simulacrum of a woman, lost without my pelagic spirit.

                                                            Fade into you
                                                            I think its strange you never knew

                                                            I drank my wine and listened to the rain drops beat their own particular rhythm on the flagstones of the patio outside.

                                                            Tomorrow I think. Tomorrow we'll be better. We'll let the rain wash away the past and begin again.

                                                              Thursday, September 24

                                                              Thank You

                                                              My first article for Blogcritics, 'Broken House - A Look at Life One Year After Foreclosure' has been selected as an *Editors Pick*. Let me say this quickly, before Kanye West takes the mic from me. I'd just like to thank my family and the fans...

                                                              Tuesday, September 22


                                                              A man has only one escape from his old self: to see a different self in the mirror of some woman's eyes.
                                                              Claire Booth Luce

                                                              Isn't that what we all strive for?
                                                              To be seen by our lover as a better person than we see ourselves?
                                                              We hope that they can look beyond all of those idiosyncrasies, those things we cannot abide in ourselves, and see instead the person we wish to be. That they may help us become more like that which we desire to be.

                                                              So why does it always seem that women get the short end of this stick? That we are supposed to tolerate constant comparisons to embryonic twits that leave us only more ambiguous, more fearful to gaze at ourselves? Smaller, diminished in some way, in order to keep him happy? While he grows and blossoms under our loving touch.

                                                              De Beauvoir --I think?-- says that it's women only that possess the amazing power of reflecting a man's image back to him doubled in size...
                                                              and only half of her own.

                                                              That's how I am feeling today.
                                                              Half of myself.
                                                              The least important half of a happy couple.
                                                              My first instinct is to beat myself up for feeling this way. Some form of my vicious hatred of self pity. If you know me at all you know that I don't tolerate antagonism well. Yes, not one of my better qualities. I do not suffer fools either. And if you want to go rounds with me you'd better do it wearing armor because I like to fight. I didn't come by my former name accidently. I earned it.

                                                              And so my first instinct is to lash out when I'm feeling any form of self-loathing. Lash at myself, lash at anyone within scratching distance. Never unjustly though - it does take a lot to piss me off.

                                                              But protecting loved ones is one point where I never hesitate - and my wrath is awesome. But with every drop of blood drawn I become less. And he grows. I swear love is leeching. It sucks the blood from my very veins sometimes. I give my strength and once given it can never be restored. That part gone.

                                                              And would he prefer that? To see his lover diminished? No. That's what he finds attractive. So when she has drained her very spirit for him he looks upon her as weak. And he must look for someone new and vibrant. Someone to feed the appetite of a strong man like himself.

                                                              I find it sickening.
                                                              And gross.

                                                              And I will staunch that flow and restore myself.
                                                              No one may take from me and I have no need.

                                                              Monday, September 21

                                                              Going Pink For October

                                                              When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something's suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.
                                                              ~Barbara Bloom

                                                              That time is almost upon us again.

                                                              Are you ready to Go Pink in October to show your support for breast cancer awareness month?

                                                              The Pink For October site is down, but that doesn't mean that we can't still show our support by decorating our blogs in Pink, carrying the Pink Ribbon and adding the button to click for free mammograms.

                                                              Here are the buttons and link if you need to copy them.
                                                              click to give
                                                              Click For Free Mammograms

                                                              The Breast Cancer Site

                                                              The link is

                                                              I still have the free pink blogger templates to download -- or just to look at for inspiration.

                                                              Here they are:
                                                              Here are the Pink For October Free Blogger Templates.
                                                              Email me if you need help.

                                                              Here are the zip files to download these templates.

                                                              If you just want to make an easy switch I'll be adding some of the hex color codes so you can just change your background color to pink.

                                                              Do you have a breast cancer story?
                                                              Please feel free to share.
                                                              These are the stories that inspire and empower us all in our Race for the Cure.

                                                              Thursday, September 17

                                                              Sarong Song HNT

                                                              Lecram wanted to see us in our sarongs.

                                                              Charlotte Russe Boots
                                                              (All photos ©Tricia.Weight-->gmail)

                                                              There are several different ways to wear a sarong. Tied around your waist or tied around your breasts. My favorite is criss-crossed at the top and tied behind my neck.

                                                              For me, with my boot fetish, I decided to wear my mid-calve boots with one of my sarongs.

                                                              Just goes to show you that there are no rules. And you can wear a sarong in the Fall with a sweater and boots. They look great together!

                                                              Charlotte Russe Suede Boots

                                                              This goes along with AnotherSuburbanMom's idea to highlight what we think are our best features. For me it's my legs. I do like my legs.

                                                              And here's some inspiration for your boot fetish.
                                                              Shakira Objection Tango.

                                                              That should whet your imagination for what you can wear with your boots this Fall.
                                                              A short skirt with a shawl tied around your waist and a pair of over the knee boots is really hot! Maybe next week?

                                                              The boots are from Charlotte Russe.
                                                              The HNT is from Osbasso.

                                                              Creative Commons License
                                                              This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


                                                              Hang with Me on Twitter: @a_geek_girl


                                                              Wednesday, September 16

                                                              Free Pink Templates for October

                                                              Pink For October
                                                              It's about that time. Breast cancer awareness is almost upon us.
                                                              Are you Going Pink For October?
                                                              Are you ready to learn how to revert your blog to old / classic blogger?
                                                              And how to switch back to new blogger as well?
                                                              You'll need to know how to back-up your blogger template.
                                                              The process is really quite easy, but it does take a lot of copy /paste if you're used to using blogger widgets.

                                                              I'd advise starting a 'template_test' blog so you can practice before going live on your home blog.

                                                              I'm starting to work on some new additions to the free 'going pink for October' blogger templates. I have to make some corrections to the old templates as well. Some are not working in Mozilla as they should.

                                                              You'll see the templates move up on the sidebar as we get closer to the date.
                                                              And as always, I'm happy to help anyone who needs it, whether you're using one of my templates or another you've found elsewhere.

                                                              Boobiethon 2009
                                                              October 1st-7th
                                                              And it's time to start thinking about your Boobiethon pictures. Bloggers baring it all to save the bOObs.
                                                              You can see some of last years submissions in the Boobie Gallery.
                                                              Don't forget to send out your Boobiethon Tweets.
                                                              Remember: It's for a good cause.

                                                              Here's the HNT I did with my daughter on Breast Exams. The Greatest Gift. It's important to teach them yourself. You're the only one who can really show them correctly.

                                                              Here's a way to waste 5 minutes.
                                                              A 41 Question Personality Test from
                                                              My Personality Test results.

                                                              Personality Test

                                                              Not at all accurate, and yet... completely accurate.
                                                              Much like my horoscope in the newspaper.
                                                              If you take the test make sure you post your results in the comments. I'm more interested in others than in myself as my results clearly show.

                                                              Saturday, September 12

                                                              Body Perception

                                                              Diet Photo

                                                              When AnotherSuburbanMom suggested we post our flaws on HNT I thought it was a brilliant idea.
                                                              I posted my belly picture. The part of my body that I see as 'flawed'.

                                                              I also read the posts from a lot of other bloggers on what they consider to be their flawed parts. Many of those posts had to do with dieting. The desire to lose weight.

                                                              I had written a post back in 2005 when I had finally reached my dietary goal.
                                                              A celebration. But I did take the post down after talking with a friend about how I had managed to kick those last pounds. I had gone to the extreme of an almost entirely liquid diet. A diet that was extremely high in sodium and not healthy at all. A diet of desperation.

                                                              I took the post down when a friend suggested that others might follow my lead and harm themselves in the process. That was something that I hadn't considered. It was bad advice. It had to go.

                                                              But the post that I did on Thursday made me start thinking about the battle I've had with my belly. The picture above is from the original post I had written about my weight loss. As you can see the belly battle began there. I had lost the weight, and my belly was actually very toned. But there were still pockets of flesh that no amount of exercise could erase.

                                                              I've actually put some weight back on intentionally. The goal I had set for my weight was not a good weight for my figure. I just didn't look 'right'. My belly did start to look much more normal when I put some weight back on. Not perfect by any means and still 'flawed' in my eyes. But I've learned to live with it.

                                                              This is a cautionary tale for all those who think that a certain 'weight' is desirable. We listen too much to Hollywood. We let them instill in us what we should consider normal, or acceptable.

                                                              I'm here to tell you that it's not realistic to believe that Demi has never had plastic surgery. And it is okay to get a tummy tuck if you want one. Wanting to feel good. Wanting to feel desirable and sexy is fine.

                                                              It's your body.
                                                              It's your happiness.
                                                              Own it.

                                                              Tuesday, September 1

                                                              Remembering Ted Kennedy

                                                              My mother once met Ted Kennedy on a flight to NY.

                                                              She called me when she landed and said 'guess who I was just on an airplane with?' It was so cute. Considering everyone she had worked with in the music business that was the first time I ever heard her sound like she had just met a rock star.

                                                              It's sad to lose him at a time when he was still so passionately involved in the current issues and when he still had so much work to do. Nancy Reagan had some wonderful things to say about him, which I think is rather appropriate and very telling about the true spirit of the man. He did defeat Reagan's attempts to reverse his personal labor of love, the Civil Rights Act, that polarizing issue that got Reagan elected in the first place (and that still seems to be at the heart of the animosity between the 2 parties almost 30 years later).

                                                              Regardless of how far we have come in our fight to make this country truly equal for all of its citizens, the fact is that there is still fear of racial equality being dramatically served up to the masses and a portion of the population who want to believe it and who thrive on drama and reactionaryism) and yet he never allowed politics to prevent him from being there when his support was needed.

                                                              I worry now about who will take his place. Whether you loved him or hated him it cannot be denied that he was the embodiment of pertinacity. He never gave up when he thought a cause was worthy and he had no fear of taking heat. His outspoken opinions and his willingness to fight the long battles made him a key component in keeping a certain equalibrium when the scales were tipped dangerously close to Orwellian paranoia. He was never politically correct, yet he was correct in his politics. All Americans should have a voice in our political system, and when they did not he could be counted upon to be their voice. And he would never back down in the face of attack.

                                                              No matter what personal faults and flaws he had as a man, he truly was a man of the people. All people.

                                                              "Yes, we are all Americans. This is what we do. We reach the moon. We scale the heights. I know it. I've seen it. I've lived it. And we can do it again."
                                                              --Democratic National Convention, August 2008

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                                                              Thursday, August 27

                                                              HNT New York Fashion Week

                                                              Working Fashion Week

                                                              hnt work 2

                                                              Creating displays of panties, bras, and accessories.
                                                              I had the lay outs. The color boards. The models. The photos.
                                                              And never enough of my best friend - coffee!

                                                              Obviously these were not part of the Depression Chic collection.

                                                              A blast from the HNT past.
                                                              HNT Black Leather Boots VS White Gogo Boots?
                                                              There were 86 comments on that post. I can't pick a favorite. I loved them all. We had a great time playing. I guess that's all that really matters.

                                                              See the man, Osbasso!

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                                                              Thursday, August 20

                                                              HNT Freelance Writing

                                                              hnt work
                                                              I picked up some freelance writing work. Nothing technical for a change.
                                                              It did my heart good to be able to write again. A calm came over me.
                                                              I felt myself again as I haven't in a long while.

                                                              How still,
                                                              How strangely still
                                                              The water is today,
                                                              It is not good
                                                              For water
                                                              To be so still that way.
                                                              Sea Calm ~~Langston Hughes

                                                              An HNT Blast From the Past.
                                                              HNT BLUES
                                                              hnt blues
                                                              Unfortunately haloscan lost most of the comments, but they have promised to return them for a small ransom.
                                                              Most memorable comment from that post.
                                                              Denny Shane: "thanks for the nice vote of confidence but I don't do half-nude gracefully. I'm a 100% type guy! lol"

                                                              See the man, Osbasso!

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                                                              Sunday, August 9

                                                              Depression Chic

                                                              Last Spring, In the midst of all of the chaos that was going on in my life, I had the opportunity to pick up some freelance work in Fashion Marketing. It was my first time working during Fashion Week in New York.

                                                              The one thing you can count on in the fashion industry is that it will always find a way to take whatever topic is hot in the world and turn it into a 'trend'. This year, as the country headed into a downhill spiral of financial despair, the fashion industry quickly picked up the headlines that we were 'Heading into the Next Great Depression' and, with their usual joie de vivre, created the latest fashion trend called Depression Chic.

                                                              I've been working in merchandising clothing lines this year that include some of the most drab and strange colors. All of the colors look like they've been mixed with a sooty gray.

                                                              I'm hoping the fall lines will be a bit more cheerful.

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                                                              Thursday, August 6

                                                              HNT Working Driving

                                                              HNT Work
                                                              I'm late, but at least I made it!

                                                              Oh, summer has clothed the earth
                                                              In a cloak from the loom of the sun!
                                                              And a mantle, too, of the skies' soft blue,
                                                              And a belt where the rivers run
                                                              In Summer ~~Paul Laurence Dunbar

                                                              I don't know what Dunbar was talking about. Obviously he never spent a summer here.
                                                              I run from my air-conditioned car to my air-conditioned office.
                                                              By the time I get inside my curls have turned into a sticky, hair-spray mop and my make-up has melted into icky, brown tie-dye on my dress.

                                                              Is summer almost over yet?

                                                              Happy HNT everyone!

                                                              Join HNT. Visit Osbasso!

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                                                              Wednesday, August 5

                                                              Early Hours

                                                              Night has given birth to a new morning. The faintest light has begun to creep against my window shades.

                                                              This is the hour when I miss you most. My body is still tingling from my dreams of you. I can still feel your hands on me. Those same hands that touched, first tentatively, then with growing urgency. I wonder if I would feel this longing for you if you were here. Would I pull away from you? Afraid to lose myself in your touch. Would I fear to let myself go and lose myself completely?

                                                              Sometimes the thought of it makes me shudder. I don't know that I can get myself back if I dare to venture into the depths that you have promised.

                                                              Sometimes I'm afraid that I'll just stop breathing.

                                                              Only you would be able to bring me back.

                                                              But I think that you would not.

                                                              Helpless as a burning city,
                                                              how can I ignore that the extremes
                                                              of pleasure are fire storms
                                                              that leave a vacuum into which
                                                              dangerous feelings (tenderness,
                                                              affection, l o v e) may rush
                                                              like gale force winds

                                                              You Ask Why Sometimes I Say Stop
                                                              ~~ Marge Piercy

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